An Introduction to Astrology

"The placement of the celestial bodies in the heavens at any given moment in time reflects the nature of that moment, including the nature of an individual born in that moment."

The Shaping of Astrology

the zodiacal wheel The History and early origins of astrology date back thousands of years ago, but the history of "modern astrology" can be traced back to the 2nd millennium BC during the time of the ancient Babylonians. Early observation of the heavens led to the assembling of a system of celestial omens that slowly gave rise to the astrological principles and methods that later developed in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, and eventually spread to other countries, like India, China, Greece. There are many traditions, systems, and methods of astrology, but most share common similarities.

Egypt was one of the most important places in the development of astrology. After the occupation by Alexander the Great in 332BC, Egypt came under Greek rule and influence. Babylonian astrology was mixed with the Egyptian tradition of Decanic astrology to create Horoscopic astrology. Horoscopic Astrology was the first system to use the Ascendant, and the twelve celestial houses which are derived from it.

In ancient Hellenistic astrology (a tradition of horoscopic astrology that was developed and practiced in Hellenistic Egypt and the Mediterranean) the Ascendant marked the first celestial house of a horoscope. Some of the astrological signs of the zodiac may have originated in Egypt, although most originated in Babylon.Star charts have been found in Egypt that go back as far as 4,200 BC.

The calculation of the horoscope or astrological chart is central to horoscopic astrology. A horoscope is an astrological chart that visually represents the positions and aspects of celestial bodies (sun, moon, and planets) at the time of an event, The astrological chart is analyzed and interpreted, revealing the nature of an individual event, and often determining future events.

A horoscope is divided into twelve different celestial Houses. which govern different areas of life. The Ascendant, or Rising Sign, is the zodiacal sign and degree that was ascending on the eastern horizon at the specific time and location of an event. Any system of astrology that does not utilize the ascendant does not fall under the category of horoscopic astrology.The tradition of Horoscopic Astrology is the most commonly used today, it's four main branches being Natal astrology, Mundane astrology, Electional astrology, Horary astrology.

Electional astrology (also known as Katarchic astrology) concerns itself with finding the best time to do a particular activity, taking into account the individual person, and the place where the action will be performed, in order to get the best results possible. It can determine the ideal time to initiate an action, such as buying a house, starting a business, getting married, buying a car, beginning a journey/travel, and so on. A Farmers Almanac uses such concepts.

Mundane astrology (or world astrology) is the application of astrology to world affairs and events, government and politics, weather, natural and man-made disasters, and the rise and fall of empires or religions. This includes the Astrological Ages, such as the Age of Aquarius, Age of Pisces and so on. Each age is about 2,150 years in length. These massive ages correspond to major historical events and current developments in the world. It's purposes are to look back and explain history and also to predict the future (sometimes for the prevention of danger or disasters)..

Horary astrology is used in an attempt to answer a question by constructing a horoscope for the exact time and place at which either the question was asked by the querent, or received by the astrologer. The answer might be a simple yes or no, but is generally more complex, offering insights into the motives of the questioner, the motives of others involved in the matter, and the options available to him./her

Natal astrology (also know as genethliacal astrology) is based upon the concept that each individual's personality, life experiences, or path in life can be determined by constructing a natal chart for the exact date, time, and location of a person's birth. This is the most common branch of horoscopic astrology seen in the western world today.

The focus on the natal chart of the individual is the most significant contribution and shift of emphasis that was made during the Hellenistic tradition of astrology that originated in Egypt, and it quickly spread into Europe, the Middle East and India. A Natal chart shows the positions and aspects of the sun, moon, and planets at the exact time and location of an individual's birth, for the purpose of gaining information about the individual and about future events.

See also: The Shaping of Modern Western Astrology

 Introduction to Astrology
 Astrological Self Exploration
[The Shaping of Astrology]
 Astrological Traditions and Zodiac System
 The Inner Workings of Astrology

Next Section: The History of Astrology

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