What is it about the stars that feels so romantic? Romance, not only in meaning of affection but a quality or feeling of mystery, excitement, and remoteness from our everyday life?
“In a stressful, data-driven era, many young people find comfort and insight in the zodiac—even if they don’t exactly believe in it.”
—The new age of Astrology, by Julie Beck
Whether as a form of escape or a way to base their ideals off, astrology also comes as a form of reassurance—to people with a genuine curiosity towards it and to those who don’t. Everyone has some form of relation to astrology.
“Even if they don’t exactly believe in it?”
Well, isn’t everybody under the same sky? Seeing the same stars? Everyone can relate to something that they can see with their own eyes. Why else would astrology gifts be so popular?
What is Astrology?
Astrology comes from the root words, astro and -logy. Astro, coming from the Greek ástron, meaning “star.” And -logy, meaning, “The study of.” So Astrology literally translates to,
“The study of the stars.”
Now, many people find studying boring and tedious but they do so regardless. That is in order to gain knowledge, since knowledge is a currency that never runs out. Some pursuers of knowledge would look past astrology and saying,
“Looking through a telescope all day to watch the stars, how is that studying?”
Astrology isn’t simply gazing at the stars. It is a method of predicting mundane events based upon the assumption that the celestial bodies—particularly the planets and the stars considered in their arbitrary combinations or configurations (called constellations)—in some way either determine or indicate changes to everything inside of the moon’s orbit.
In simple terms, many astrologers believe that the stars have an effect on everything—various events, people’s lives and behaviors—the results of their studies on the stars appearing in many familiar forms.
Although everyone is familiar with what constellations are, they may not be aware of what the word constellation means.
A constellation is a group of stars that appears to form a pattern or picture like Orion the Great Hunter, Leo the Lion, or Taurus the Bull. Constellations are easily recognizable patterns that help people orient themselves using the night sky. There are 88 “official” constellations.
—What’s a constellation?, Skytellers
88 official constellations—many more unnamed or unofficial. That’s a lot to keep in mind. Now this is truly becoming a study.
The Twelve Zodiacs
If we asked any random passerby on the street to name them all, surely they would be flustered. But did you know that anyone would at least be able to name three? If you listen to the radio, watch television, or are active in social media, then you would have heard of The Twelve Zodiacs, as they are the most popular and well-known constellations.
In order: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.
Now that we’ve named them, surely now you’re going, “Horoscopes?”
What can astrology be used for?
There are a number of things that have come about due to the study of the stars. Many of which are familiar and are mentioned daily in life. The most familiar, being Horoscopes.
Can astrology predict the future?
The words—future prediction, and stars—when associated together would usually bring Horoscopes to mind. A forecast of a person’s future, typically including a delineation of character and circumstances, based on the relative positions of the stars and planets at the time of that person’s birth—people rely on Horoscopes daily as a way to predict fortune and misfortune, and how to act in accordance.
“As an Aries, you tend to have no problem launching new initiatives in your life. The only snag you wind up hitting is your ability to follow through. Wednesday’s skies put you in working mode and help you return to any endeavors that have fallen by the wayside, as the moon glides through driven Virgo. Luna’s late night link to innovative Uranus brings a fresh burst of inspiration to your talents.”
Here is an example of a horoscope for Aries, June 16, 2021. For that particular day, astrologers observe how the planets and the stars shift to give a prediction for a certain zodiac sign. It is both informative and relatable, allowing anyone—even those who don’t believe in predictions—to form a connection with the stars.
Original purpose of Astrology
The original purpose of astrology, on the other hand, was to inform the individual of the course of his life on the basis of the positions of the planets and of the zodiac signs (the 12 astrological constellations) at the moment of his birth or conception.
How astrology was used when it had first come about seems to have no major difference to how it is used today. Only back then, Astrology would be used to determine the path of a scholar, a noble, or even a king.
Now, it has become a common practice. Everyone can enjoy astrology, even the most humble of persons.
Allure of the Stars
Why is astrology so attractive and fascinating? We look towards the future with a certain degree of uncertainty. Especially so for some, as an uncertain future can be a cause for anxiety and stress. At times like these, astrology provides the perfect comfort.
Though not an entirely accurate prediction of one’s future, astrology can be a reassuring guide—a lamp to use when struggling to walk in the dark.
There are two sets of the 12 Zodiacs? What’s the difference?
The 12 zodiacs of which everyone is familiar through horoscopes, consists of the Western Zodiac. Whereas, the 12 zodiacs which consist of the twelve animals—the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig—come from the Eastern Zodiac.
Eastern Astrology, which comes mainly from China, divides astrological signs by years, and Western Astrology separates them by months. Therefore, the Chinese believe that people born in the same year share the same traits, whereas westerners group people on a month-by-month basis.
Is there a 13th Zodiac Sign?
It is true that there are 13 major constellations in the zodiac—the thirteenth being Ophiucus, or the serpent bearer. The ancient Babylonians who assigned the twelve zodiac signs, however, chose not to include Ophiucus as they followed the 12-month calendar. Sadly, there were only twelve spots and Ophiucus couldn’t garner a spot.