Astrology is a group of systems, traditions, and beliefs which hold that the relative positions of celestial bodies and related details can provide information about personality, human affairs, and other terrestrial matters.
A practitioner of astrology is called an astrologer.
Astrologers believe that the movements and positions of celestial bodies either directly influence life on Earth or correspond to events experienced on a human scale. Modern astrologers define astrology as a symbolic language, an art form, or a form of divination.
Despite differences in definitions, a common assumption of astrologers is that celestial placements can aid in the interpretation of past and present events, and in the prediction of the future. Scientists consider astrology a pseudoscience or superstition.
Meaning of astrology
Numerous traditions and applications employing astrological concepts have arisen since its earliest recorded beginnings in the 3rd millennium BC. Astrology has played an important role in the shaping of culture, early astronomy, the Vedas, and various disciplines throughout history. In fact, astrology and astronomy were often indistinguishable before the modern era, with the desire for predictive and divinatory knowledge one of the motivating factors for astronomical observation. Astronomy began to diverge from astrology after a period of gradual separation from the Renaissance up until the 18th century. Eventually, astronomy distinguished itself as the empirical study of astronomical objects and phenomena, without regard to the terrestrial implications of astrology.
The science which treats of the influence upon human character of cosmic forces emanating from celestial bodies. It has been spoken of as the soul of astronomy. Its antiquity places it among the earliest records of human learning. To these ancient astrologers we owe the modern Science of Astronomy. According to Hindu lore Astrology reached its zenith some two hundred thousand years ago, and is presumed to have been first taught by the Manu who had charge of the fourth rootrace. In ancient times it enjoyed general acceptance, and was practiced by the Chaldeans, Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Arabs. It flourished in Europe during the 14th and 15th centuries. It is charged that the Spanish Inquisition was a cloak to disguise a secret purpose to stamp out Astrology. It was once termed Astromancy - divination by the stars.
Geocentric vs. Heliocentric Astrology. As practised by various authorities in various countries there are two fundamentally different methods, or approaches, to Astrology: the Geocentric and the Heliocentric. Geocentric Astrology is based upon calculations of the planetary positions as seen by the observer on the Earth, i.e, using the Earth as a center. Heliocentric Astrology bases its interpretations upon positions within the solar system with reference to the Sun as the center. While it is true that the Sun is the center, the effect of the motion as manifest on the Earth is the basis of most astrological interpretation. Therefore the vast majority of astrologers employ the geocentric calcu@lations of the planets' positions.
However, these terms are used by many astrologers in a different sense, i.e., heliocentric when considering changes of position by virtue of the body's motion in orbit, and geocentric when considering changes of position with reference to the observer, by reason of the observer's personal orbit around the Earth -- the revolution of the periphery of the Earth around the Earth's center. Thus considered the Signs are heliocentric divisions, or Heliarcs, while the Houses are geocentric divisions, or Geoarcs.
There are several distinct branches of Astrology:
Natal, or Genethliacal - having to do with the birth figure and the subsequent transits of the bodies and their Progressed, or average net progress. v. Directions, Progressions.
Horary: fundamentally a Figure cast for the birth-moment of an idea, a question, or an event. Practitioners of this branch of Astrology usually take the moment when the question is propounded.
Electional: an application of Horary art whereby to choose the most propitious moment for initiating a new enterprise, or commencing a journey, etc.
Mundane, also termed Judicial Astrology: a consideration of the current positions of the planets with respect to their influence upon entire populations, or portions thereof, by countries, cities or localities, at Ingresses, eclipses, ordinary Lunations and Full Moons, and major transits or conjunctions.
Medical: the application of the science to questions of health, chiefly as a diagnostic aid when confronted with baffling symptoms of disease and obscure ailments.
Meteorological, also known as Astro-Meteorology: the application of the science to the forecasting of weather conditions, earthquakes and severe storms.
Agricultural: an application of Astrology to the planting and the harvesting of crops.