Anyone who makes even a half-serious study of astrology will find that the horoscope provides an accurate description of its subject. It's a system of symbols and has to be interpreted in context for the fullest understanding but creative analysis of the chart of the sky at a person's birth will always give insight into the nature and character of that person. No doubt the destiny too but I haven't investigated that side of things. I have looked at many horoscopes from the psychological perspective though and everyone one of them has given an accurate description of the person. In one case I even went back to someone to check if he had given me the right date because chart and personality didn't tally though they did for the year before. It turned out that this person had indeed been born the year before he had said. (I think this was an error on his part rather than a test). When my children were born I made a special case of noting the exact time so I could do the most accurate horoscope possible. This is because it is not just the date and place that matters but the time which is especially significant from the point of view of points on the horizon and zenith, Ascendant and Midheaven in astrological speak, the former indicating the way you present yourself to the world and the latter showing your direction in life. I studied the horoscopes before I knew the personalities of the children and they have proved extremely accurate. I understand things about myself much better from knowing my birth chart. I believe it would benefit everyone to study their horoscope. They would have a good insight into their character strengths and weaknesses.
In Western astrology every sign of the zodiac, signs being the constellations which serve as the backdrop against which the sun, moon and planets move in the course of a year, is said to be ruled by a particular planet. This is because sign and planet share similar qualities. Thus, Aries was traditionally ruled by Mars, Taurus by Venus, Gemini by Mercury, Cancer by the Moon, Leo by the Sun, Virgo by Mercury, Libra by Venus, Scorpio by Mars, Sagittarius by Jupiter, Capricorn by Saturn, Aquarius by Saturn and Pisces by Jupiter. If you know anything about astrology you will see that some of these make sense and others not so much. You have to perform some mental acrobatics to make them fit. The reason is that there are 12 signs but only 5 planets plus the sun and the moon which are counted as planets for these purposes, a planet in astrology really being something that qualifies and represents a certain energy or, in human psychological terms, character trait. When Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were discovered they were assigned certain qualities which, it was found, fitted much better with the signs Aquarius, Pisces and Scorpio, and this isn't just arbitrary. Astrological practice shows it works. By the way, the discovery of these planets coincided with certain changes and developments in human consciousness so here we can see how astrology is a living system with room for growth.
This leaves two planets with a double rulership which implies that there remain two planets waiting to be discovered, perhaps again coinciding with changes in consciousness. These could either be very far out on the edge of the solar system or very close to the sun. They could even be planets which are not fully materialised. It seems obvious that Gemini and Mercury go together but Venus has affinities with both Taurus and Libra so that is harder to decide. On the other hand, Virgo seems unlikely to be ruled by Mercury. The two have little in common so I am sure this is one of the signs that awaits its true ruler. That may be the planet known by esoteric astrologers as Vulcan, a so-called veiled or hidden planet. I am undecided about the 12th sign and its true ruler though I expect those more learned in astrology than me have their ideas.
All this indicates that astrology is still a work in progress. New ways to analyse the chart are always being developed and tested but there are also new astronomical factors astrologers take into account such as the minor planet Chiron. This is not an anything goes approach because everything has to work. Nothing is arbitrary. But we are dealing with a wisdom encoded into the structure of the universe and it would be very foolish to think we have uncovered all its details.
Many Christians reject astrology as a fundamentally irreligious practice. This is a mistake though perhaps understandable given the human tendency to lapse into superstition and fatalism. Astrology is certainly not a religious practice nor any kind of substitute for proper religion but it is an excellent tool for looking at creation and understanding the psyche, and if regarded in the light of the Creator has many positive contributions to make to human development. Astrology is a signpost to the fact of creation.
how would you recommend one to get into this topic? professional astrologers? I have a feeling a lot of it is not very serious and have no idea how to tell the frauds. Self-study? where to start?
I haven't bought an astrology book for over 20 years soI can't really advise on this but back in the day the 'cookbooks' by Robert Hand were very good. A cookbook is something that provides interpretations for planets in signs and houses and also for aspects between planets, ie their angular relationships to one another. This last is an important part of astrology.
I'm sure there are good professional astrologers but I'm equally sure there are not so good ones. Unfortunately I know nothing about that so can't recommend anyone. If you are interested I would suggest you browse some books online and see what appeals to you. Otherwise you can visit the website astro.com which has some good writing on the subject and also will enable you to do birth charts.
I recommend Rick Tarnas’ Cosmos & Psyche because it illustrates the astrological archetypes projected onto the screen of history.
Thank you both. Will check those out.
It seems to me that Astrology stands at a crossroads.
Firstly there is the sidereal/tropical question. To illustrate this, we could look at the birthchart of Winston Churchill and note that the Sun is conjunct with Antares - the "Heart of the Scorpion". And yet tropically - he is a Sagittarius.
So we are left with the question: do the actual stars matter in Western Astrology?
Secondly there is the problem of the cookbook. It is problematic in the extreme that astrology is now wholly dependent on tradition. Ask an astrologer why such and such a configuration is significant and there will be no answer.
That all said, I believe that a true renaissance of the discipline is underway and a bright future awaits.
Regarding the sidereal/ tropical question I almost touched on this when I said that signs were the constellations which serve as the backdrop against which the sun etc. Because the fact is that they aren't anymore because of the precession of the equinoxes which mean that the vernal point moves 1 degree every 72 years. This is what is behind the age of Aquarius scenario. ie the sun at the spring equinox moves out of Pisces and into Aquarius. However, i don't think this matters because I don't actually believe the constellations are relevant as such, not in ordinary Western astrology anyway though I know for some other systems they are. What matters is that what we call Aries is always the 30 degree section after the spring equinox and it is followed by what we call Taurus etc. These were actually in Aries and Taurus at one time but no longer are. Since the constellations are arbitrary collections of stars anyway, existing as such only from an earthcentric pov, that doesn't seem so important.
But all this is technical stuff. The fact is that astrology does actually work though I do agree that it awaits further development. It is certainly a work in progress.
There is a good book by Robert Powell called "The History of the Zodiac".
His research is interesting in that it delves into that point in time that you mention when the two zodiacs were in sync - approximately 215 AD.
In the previous century Ptolemy had written that the Vernal Equinox was to be found at the First Part of Aries. He was correct (within one degree). He knew about the precession of the equinoxes but he lived at the time when the distinction was without a difference.
The problem arose when his writings were taken up by the Arab astrologers and the statement was accepted without knowledge of the context in which it was made.
Of course Western astrology works - but the question is - does it do so in spite of this situation? After all good intuition can often surmount obstacles in its path. Also there is the fact that the aspects remain true whichever system is used.
I actually find the aspects the most revealing part of the horoscope and ,as you say, they exist whatever system one uses.
When discussing astrology or any other type of "magic", it's important to distinguish the difference between trying manipulating the supernatural for your own benefit or trying to use the supernatural to understand God's will.
Some types of astrology are wrong b/c they make the stars the arbiter of men's destiny. However, God does use the stars to communicate His will. The Magi discovering the location of the Christ Child is the most famous example of using astrology for divine purposes. I may have posted this article before, and I apologize for reposting material. However, it's an interesting history of how the Church traditionally used astrology in a Christian manner.
I suppose the point I was trying to make here is that astrology is built into the creation by the Creator so it is a divine science even if, like any other form of knowledge as you point out, it can be misused.
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