Astrology is a discipline that deals with the study and interpretation of apparent relative positions of planets and stars and how their positions affect our lives. An astrologer calculates the positions of the celestial bodies to predict the future and to explain past and present incidents. Modern astrologers often consider the discipline as an art form or symbolic language.
Though scientists always have considered Astrology as a pseudo-science or superstition, the majority of the people in this world have strong belief on this discipline. It is quite natural that on an average, anyone would get interested if somebody can read our past. Immediately he would feel like to know what are coming forth. This is the principal attraction point of this controversial yet popular subject. Without any doubt, this is one of the most talked about topic in the world.
If we go through the history of ancient civilizations, we would see that each one of them had its own astrological discourses. All these traditions share some common features. In each case, the core theme has been the relative positions of the planets and stars. Modern Astrology has three main traditions – Vedic, Western and Chinese.
Both Vedic and Western astrological traditions focus on horoscopic charts. But there are a lot of differences between these two schools. Western Astrologers follow tropical zodiacs whereas their Vedic counterparts use sidereal zodiacs. 27 or (28) lunar mansions play a significant role in Vedic school but not in western traditions. On the other hand, Chinese Astrology is quite different from other two. Here twelve zodiac signs divide the celestial equator instead of the sky. Chinese astrologers developed a system where each zodiac sign controls a different year and combines with a system of Chinese cosmology to give rise to a 60 (12×5) year cycle. This school is popular in Southeast Asian countries.
Horoscope is an important aspect of Vedic and Western Astrology. This is basically a two-dimensional diagrammatic representation. It shows the apparent positions of the celestial bodies at a given time and place. A horoscope is divided into twelve celestial houses that control different sections of life. Arithmetic and simple geometrical calculations are performed to locate the positions on a desired date and time.
Zodiac is the chief focus of Astrology. It indicates a belt of constellations through which the celestial bodies transit across the sky. After studying these constellations for years ancient astrologers put special significance to each and developed the twelve signs of the zodiacs such as Pisces, cancer, Leo etc. It is believed that the date and time of our birth determines our zodiac sign. And each person with a particular sign tends to show certain habits or mental features.
Astrology has had a great influence on both eastern and western popular cultures over the past thousand years. However, the eternal conflict between science and astrological discourses are on and it would continue forever. But there is no doubt that people would always keep their faith on the subject as they did throughout history.