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Recently, I a friend told me that we were moving into the ‘Age of Aquarius” and I should be on the lookout for major positive changes in my life. Only vaguely aware of the concepts behind astrology and the planetary sign under which I was born, I simply laughed her statement away and asked if she really believed in horoscopes and such “super-natural” seeming ideas. This question led to a lengthy debate regarding astrology and inspired me to conduct a bit of research and discover some of the ideas behind the “science of the stars.”
Astrology, or the “science of the stars,” is widely regarded as one of those pseudo-sciences, important in the old days but not nearly as relevant in today’s logical and linear-inclined scientific ideologies. Indeed, the basic principles of astrology are rooted far beyond what can be observed or measured physically; it builds instead on foundations of celestial thought, intuitiveness, and ancient philosophies. For example, as stated by Rob Tillet, published astrologer, “astrology seeks the meaning and application of the influences of the planets, stars and other celestial phenomena in our lives.” Yet, despite the somewhat mystical and spiritual doctrines of astrology, many people are drawn to astrology to determine the significance of various events or even attempt to predict what may next occur.
The science of astrology predates nearly every other science currently in existence today and has been traced as far back as 1645 BC to certain Babylonian civilizations. However, as noted by Astrology.com, “astrology’s origins can also be traced to several other locations and cultures, including Egypt, Greece, and Rome—civilizations whose people developed sophisticated sciences, authored influential astrological texts, or provided counsel based on the stars.” So how is “counsel based on the stars” rendered? Traditionally, astrologers relied on the premise that every human is a spiritual being born under a particular planet and as such is very likely to display certain personality traits, have specific encounters/experiences, or fulfill various obligations depending upon the alignment of their birth planet with the other planets. Astrologers defined which planet an individual was born under by reviewing their birth date and decoding what the position of the sun and the other planets were at that time. For example, as Rob Tillet tells us, “each planet is literally the body and expression of a spiritual being or entity whose job it is to guide the destinies of life-forms on this planet.” Each planet has its own physical representation (i.e. fish, justice scales, ram) which corresponds to a particular month. These symbols are recorded chronologically in a reference chart called the “Zodiac.”
The Zodiac is divided into twelve divisions—also known as houses—each of which corresponds to a planet and of course a sign. For example, the first sign of the Zodiac is Aries (the ram) which is ruled by the planet Mars, followed by Taurus (the bull) ruled by Venus, Gemini (the twins) rules by Mercury, Cancer (the crab) ruled by the Moon, Leo (the lion) ruled by the Sun, Virgo (the Virgin) ruled by Mercury, Libra (the scales) ruled by Venus, Scorpio (the scorpion) ruled by Pluto, Sagittarius (the Archer) ruled by Jupiter, Capricorn (the goat) ruled by Saturn, Aquarius (the Water-bearer) ruled by Uranus, and Pisces (the fish) ruled by Neptune.
Astrologers today rely on the Zodiac chart in much the same way as astrologers of old. For example, comparing a person’s birth date with the alignment of the planets on that particular day not only reveals their sign but it is also said to provide insight as to the person’s future—hence daily horoscopes.
As I conducted my research, I also began to read up on my sign and determine how closely my personality matches the attributes credited to individuals born under the planet Uranus. After learning Aquarians are thought to be, as stated by Michael Thiessen, creator of Astrology Online, “friendly, humanitarian, honest, loyal, original, inventive, independent, and intellectual with tendencies toward unpredictability and contrariness,” it is my thought that my personality traits do closely parallel the ideas of the astrologers. I now flip to the daily horoscope section in the paper to see what astrologers of today are advising me to look out for!
With that being said, I am looking forward to entering the “Age of Aquarius” and encourage everyone to look into their own astrological sign. If nothing else, it will be a fun pursuit and an educational journey!
Tillet, Rob. How Does Astrology Work? Astrology on the Web, 2012. Web. 7 August 2012.
Astrology.com. A History of Astrology. Astrology.com, 2010. Web. 7 August 2012.
Thiessen, Michael. The Water Carrier. Astrology Online, 2012. Web. 7 August 2012.