If you'd like to know
something about astrology, but find it all baffling
and don't know where to start, you've come to the
right place. This is a little course in the
subject, starting with the most basics of basics,
and building up in easy steps. It won't make you a
master astrologer, but it should bring you to the
point where you're comfortable with the lingo and
have a solid notion of the important concepts and
how they work.
Simply put, astrology is the
practice of studying the heavens to learn about
ourselves and our lives.
How Does Astrology
When you look up into the
sky, if it is night time, you can see the stars.
The stars form familiar patterns, like the Big
Dipper or the constellation Orion. These patterns
have been there, basically without change, for all
of human history and before.
Besides the stars, though,
there are objects in the sky that move around as
time goes by. The Sun and the Moon are obvious
ones. There are also five planets that can be seen
in the night sky (if you know where to look):
Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
Astrology interprets the movements of these
"wanderers" (where they are with respect to the
stars and each other) according to a tradition that
has been growing since the time of the Sumerians,
several thousand years ago. Since the discovery of
the telescope, additional planets, asteroids, and
other celestial objects have also come under the
attention of astrology.
The most common use of
astrology is to use the positions of the Sun, Moon,
and planets at the time of one's birth to gain
insight into that person's personality, challenges,
and potential. To do this, astrologers need to be
able to calculate where all the celestial bodies
were at that moment, and must be able to interpret
those positions in human terms. Today, the
calculations are usually done with computers, so
the astrologer can focus on the
So Does Astrology Really
The honest answer is "It
depends on what you mean by work." As a
predictor of a person's fate, astrology does not
fare well under scientific testing. Studies that
have tried to confirm that certain planetary
placements make someone more likely to be a
competitive athlete, have a stable marriage, become
wealthy, etc., generally do not show any
significant result that holds up under scientific
However, if you regard
astrology as a spiritual practice that helps us to
understand ourselves and make positive change in
our lives, astrology has been unquestionably
beneficial for many people. Astrology helps us put
things in clearer perspective, helps us ask the
right questions, and provides suggestions for how
we can make life richer and more
Like any field of study
that's been around for centuries, astrology has
accumulated a lot of special terminology, nuances,
and details. But much of astrology's reputation for
complexity comes from the fact that before
computers, one had to know astronomy and
mathematics (in addition to astrology) to calculate
where the planets were at a given time.
One does not need to master
every detail in order to use astrology effectively.
You can have a good working understanding of
astrology by learning how to interpret the
following basic elements:
- 7-10 planets
- The 12 signs
- The 12
- 5-9 aspects
Once could say there are
about 40 basic "words" in the language of
astrology. One needs to learn what each of these
words mean, and how to make sentences out of them.
This is not an overwhelming task. Compare it with
learning the 78 cards of a tarot deck, or the 64
hexagrams of the I Ching.
The power and subtlety of
astrology comes from the way these basic components
come together and make patterns.
Ready to start
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