What is Astrology?

by Joelle Steele

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Most people only know about astrology from horoscope columns in newspapers and magazines. But, those forecasts are for entertainment and should never be taken seriously. If they seem even remotely accurate, rest assured it is only coincidence, because those columns have no bearing on real astrology.

Astrology is a complex art and science which applies symbolic meaning to astronomical information as it existed over two thousand years ago when the practice of astrology was first documented in writing by ancient astronomers and astrologers.

Western or Tropical astrologers use the ancient positions of the constellations and Sidereal (a.k.a. Vedic or Hindu) astrologers use current astronomical positions. The two systems are very different and each have their advocates. Astrologers begin by erecting a natal chart, or horoscope, based on the date, time, and place you were born. Today, most charts are done on a computer which makes them very accurate. But, they are only as accurate as the information you provide. Any reputable astrologer will advise you to obtain more accurate birth information or to have your chart rectified if you only know that you were born "around 5 p.m."

Astrologers see your chart as a "map" or "guide" to your personality and your life. They interpret everything in your chart individually and then integrate it all for you into a picture of you and your life. Interpretations come in many forms: basic insight into your personality; examining specific trouble spots in your life; comparing and contrasting your chart with that of a loved one, friend, co-worker, etc.; looking at career options and financial indications; finding the best place to live; forecasting future opportunities; selecting the best time for a wedding, to start a business, etc.; spiritual growth; and, answering questions.

Most astrologers have a general practice which incorporates a variety of these services, and they may also have some areas in which they specialize such as relationships, careers, horary, or electional. Astrology is a tool and using it as such will make you more aware of just how much control you have over your life. No one is a "karmic victim" unless they choose to be. The very nature of astrology speaks to your free will and the many choices you have.

The best way to use astrology is to learn to evaluate a problem on your own, to examine the choices you have to make in order to fix the problem, and then to consult your astrologer to see in which ways the possible solutions will work for you and when the best time is to make changes, take risks, be patient and wait, plan, etc. With all that information in hand, you will possess a powerful knowledge with which to solve your problems, change your life, and be the person you always wanted to be.

This article last updated: 10/11/2010.