ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Religion and Philosophy»
  • Astrology & Metaphysics

The world of Astrology

Updated on September 9, 2011

Astrology is different from the sciences in that it is not a logical theory-based model derived from experimentation, but a body of knowledge derived from deductions from empirical observations over the years. And while it has a fair share of critics who believe it to be a hoax it also has a sizeable following as can be seen from the astrology pages in popular magazines and the crowds that practitioners collect.  

Believers and disbelievers

Astrology often differentiates the rationalist, confident, self-driven achievers, who believe in free will and the struggling, striving believers in destiny who give a measure of significance to the role of others and external factors in shaping the outcome of their efforts and lives. The differences are sometimes stark but at other times muted – as for instance the man who believes only in hard work but takes a look at the weekly zodiac predictions “just for the fun of it.”

My movement from being a firm disbeliever while I was in the prime of youth, when nothing was impossible, to being a healthy sceptic open to experiencing and finally learning the fundamentals of this body of knowledge has helped me understand the views on both sides of the divide. Without taking sides, let me just say that crossovers do take place. Generally when things go well, we tend to credit ourselves for all the achievements and ridicule those who run to astrologers and their ilk for succor or redemption. Then when the tide turns and serial misfortunes wear us out, we become more receptive and open to experience these alternative systems.

Meaning of astrology

If you look at the popular understanding, astrology means different things to different people. For the disbelievers, it has a whole lot of negative connotations ranging from pseudoscience to something meant for the stupid and gullible to some sort of a hoax or fraud. The surprising thing is that even for the believers, it may mean different things - the weekly column in the magazine or on the astrology site or some would mix it up with palmistry. You may come across people who think it has to do with tarot reading while others would think it means wearing gemstones. There are also those who would associate it with the crystal ball predictions of the famous American crystal ball gazer, Jeane Dixon while others would recall the psychic predictions of the future by Nostrodamus. Taken literally, astrology would mean the study of stars and constellations. Practically the study focuses on the influence of these celestial bodies on human activities / life.

Astrology models

There are various models in different parts of the world and the better known ones are Western astrology, Chinese astrology and Indian astrology.

Western Astrology

Coming down from the days of Ptolemy’s work in the 2nd century AD the popular form of astrology in the western world involves drawing up a horoscope or chart of the heavens for the moment when one was born, This is then analysed and taking into account the positions of the planets in the twelve signs and houses of the zodiac, and their influences on each other, the personality and life events are predicted. The Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were traditionally taken into account while modern astrologers have added Uranus, Pluto, Ceres and Neptune as well.

A simpler form of this exercise takes into account only the position of the Sun and this forms the basis of the weekly columns and yearly horoscopes that one comes across.

Chinese astrology

Chinese astrology is a different model based on Chinese philosophy and their calendar based on traditional astronomy, According to Chinese astrology there are twelve different animal signs based on twelve personality types and one’s zodiac sign depends on the Chinese year in which one was born.

Indian astrology

Indian astrology dates back to the Vedas and is intertwined with the religious texts and beliefs of the Hindus. Modern understanding of Indian astrology is derived from the works of sages like Parashara, Varahamihira, Jaimini and Garga.

In this vey elaborate system, the horoscope is drawn up to plot the positions of the planets (Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter as well as the two Nodes (Rahu and Ketu), and based on the positions of the planets and their mutual aspects or influences the personality and predictions of the future are arrived at. The position of the sun is not given the primacy as in western astrology. Instead the ascendant and position of the moon are considered equally important. Nowadays, some magazines and astrology websites carry weekly monthly and yearly forecasts for different janma rashis. (zodiac sign in which the moon is placed at the time of birth) just as western astrology forecasts are prepared for zodiac signs based on the position of the sun.

The dasa system or planetary periods provides a tool to figure out the flavor of life, challenges and opportunities and significant life events from time to time. There are many other tools and systems that have evolved over the years but it will take volumes to cover and cannot be condensed in a hub.

In the hands of a skilled practitioner, Indian astrology has all the tools to provide a blue print which can guide us through life recognizing all the while the truth from the Vedas that astrologers can ”only indicate in a way what will take place in future, for who else, other than the creator Brahma can say with certainty what will definitely happen.”

If one is interested in making a reference to an astrologer, it is necessary to engage a serious astrologer and not a charlatan. That is easier said than done but word of mouth references would help.


Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)