What is Astrology?
Astrology is a long-established method of exploring ourselves, our relationships and our place within the world. It works by taking a look at the significant environmental influences operating in a particular place at a given time - as expressed through the horoscope in the symbolic relationships of the heavenly bodies. Astrology, the science of the stars, can give us insight into all manner of situations, from the personal to the political and from the most intimate to the most mundane.
Astrology is just one of those subjects: it's easy to learn but can take a lifetime to master. Most people are familiar with the most basic aspect of Astrology; their Star Sign (or Sun Sign), and usually they can name at least one common trait of their Sign. Star Signs are popularized through all the horoscopes that appear in daily newspaper columns, magazines, and on web sites. Unfortunately, many people think that their Star Sign is all that there is to Astrology. While it is a good place to start, there is a lot more to Astrology than just the Sun's position!
Astrology is not a modern invention dating back only a few years, decades or even centuries. Astrology has been studied for millennia, and it dates back as far as recorded history. The original Astrologers were priests and scholars, and they were looked up to as doctors and learned men. According to modern speculation, the Three Wise Men of Christian belief were Astrologers! At that time, Astrology was the same science as Astronomy and Psyschology, whose modern descendants arose from Astrology.
In ancient times, the Greeks and Romans based their system of gods on what they believed was up in the sky. Zeus, who equates to Jupiter in Roman myth, and other gods and goddesses were based on the Planets visible to the ancients. Astrology was similarly popular in Babylon and Egypt, and it also rose in the Middle East, India and China.
Is Astrology Scientific?
The simple answer is yes - and no. Astrology, like medicine, is an art based on a science.
The nautral world is not as chaotic as it seems on the surface. Science has always sought to discover the underlying order that governs the appearance and behaviour of phenomena, from sub-atomic particles to the movement of galaxies. Science also seeks an understanding of human behavior through biology, pyschology and economics, for example. Scientists set out to find "natural laws" that govern phenomena, then look for ways that the knowledge of these interacting laws (repeatable patterns of phenomena) can be applied for our benefit.
The Art of Astrology
The art of astrology lies at one level in the construction of accurate profiles of personality and relationship, through the skilled interpretation of symbolic patterns, and in mapping the general tendencies that present themselves over the course of our lives.
Astrologers use scientific facts in the mapping of human consciousness and as keys to the understanding of experience. This is an interpretative process, which does not depend on accepting particular theories about how planets can affect us, or on whether they are a sort of synchronous clock ticking along with psychological and social factors on earth, or on some other causal process. The strength of astrology comes from the accumulated knowledge of centuries of research and observation, developed within a deeply intuitive understanding of the essential nature of the world, consciousness and the environment. Combined with accurate mathematical and scientific data, today's astrologers can use this established knowledge in the generation of valuable psychological, economic, or predictive profiles.