Zodiac Symbols and Signs
Astrology is one of the most ancient of the surviving magickal and occult sciences, with evidence of a highly sophisticated system existing in Babylonian and Egyptian cultures. Astrology is the pseudo-scientific study of the impact of celestial bodies on the Earth and its inhabitants. An Astrologer is a person who practices astrology, predicts or determines the impact of the planets and stars on human affairs.
Components of Astrology
Today's astrology primarily concerns itself with the reading of a horoscope chart cast based upon the moment of an individual's birth. In some cases, complex methods of progressing the planets of the birth chart enable the astrologer to predict the future for the person for whom the chart was cast. The chart is interpreted in relation to the influence of the zodiacal signs and the various powers the planets possess in these signs. There are different house systems linked with interpretation of the directions in a person's life, and in these, planetary and other influences manifest themselves. The house system in astrology is divided into twelve arcs, symbolically presented as being equal either in a spatial system or in a time system. This division is superimposed upon the projected celestial sphere, with the symbolic horizon line usually marking the cusps of the first and seventh houses, the east point and west point, respectively. The tenth house cusp marks the symbolic zenith, called the Medium coeli, while the fourth house cusp marks the symbolic nadir, called the Imutn coeli. Planetary effects are considered not only in terms of zodiacal placing, such as on the basis that Mars in Leo is different from Mars in Cancer, but also in terms of the angles they may or may not hold to each other; this realm of astrology is the study of aspects.
Components of the Zodiac
The zodiac is an imaginary belt in the celestial sphere, which extends about 8° on either side of the ecliptic, or apparent path of the Sun among the stars. The width of the zodiac was determined originally to include the orbits of the Sun and Moon and of the five planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, as these were the only planets known to the people of ancient times.
The zodiac is divided into 12 sections of 30° each and within these lies the signs of the zodiac. Starting with the vernal equinox and then proceeding eastward along the ecliptic, each of the divisions is named for the constellation situated within its limits as observed in the 2nd century BC.
The names of the zodiacal signs are Aries, the Ram; Taurus, the Bull; Gemini, the Twins; Cancer, the Crab; Leo, the Lion; Virgo, the Virgin; Libra, the Balance; Scorpio, the Scorpion; Sagittarius, the Archer; Capricorn, the Goat; Aquarius, the Water Bearer; and Pisces, the Fishes.
Because of the precession of the equinoxes about the ecliptic, a 26,000-year cycle, the first point of Aries retrogrades about 1° in 70 years, so that the sign Aries today lies in the constellation Pisces. In about 24,000 years, when the retrogression will have completed the entire circuit of 360°, the zodiacal signs and constellations will again coincide.
The horoscope is an important element in astrology that interprets the character and destiny of a person or group according to the position of the planets, usually at the time of the person's birth.
A horoscope is cast based on information given by the person, which is then interpreted according to systematic principles. The horoscope takes into account two main considerations: the circle of the 12 signs of the zodiac (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces) as they are crossed by the sun, moon and planets at different periods, and a circle of 12 'houses', around which the circle of the zodiac turns.
Casting a horoscope is a rather complicated procedure that relies upon accurate data and timing. Further relevant factors are: the position of sun, moon, planets and signs of the zodiac; the aspects of sun, moon and planets in relation to each other; and the position of sun, moon, planets and signs of the zodiac in relation to the circle of 12 houses. Certain planets are allied with certain activities and human propensities, for example Venus with love; the 12 houses with certain areas of life; and the aspects are believed to be associated with helpful or unhelpful situations and possibilities. Horoscopes remain important in the East and are growing in popular significance in the West despite scientific skepticism.
Horary Astrology is the astrological art of interpreting specific questions based on a chart constructed for the moment the question is formulated.
Electional Astrology is the casting and interpretation of astrological charts to determine suitable times for commencing any specific activity, such as marriage, travel, commerce and so on. It can be one of the most fascinating forms of astrology, and when properly used is a powerful tool. Throughout history, electional astrology has been used as a means of planning battles, including when to start the battle, who should command and where the battle should be fought.
Roadomancy, or divination by stars, is also known as Astromancy. Roadomancy is a form of Aeromancy, which in turn is also divided into many forms or types, such as Meteoromancy (divination by the observation of meteors or falling stars) and Cometomancy (divination by omens derived from the observation of comets).
Astromancy refers to divination by the stars. The Greek prefix "astro" means "star" while the word "mancy" is from the Greek "manteia" which means "prophesying". Astromancy is a form of fortune telling done by making predictions based-on the positions and angles of the stars, sun, moon and planets.
Also known as Nephelomancy, Aeromancy is the art of foretelling future events by the observation of atmospheric phenomena. This goes beyond the range of weather prognostications, concentrating on such things as wind currents, cloud shape and formation, comets and falling stars, spectral formations, and other phenomena not normally seen or visible in the skies.
Some of the different forms of Aeromancy include Eromancy, which is a type of divination by omens taken from the air; Austromancy, which is divination by a study of the winds and interpretation of cloud formations; Chaomancy, which is divination related to aerial visions, usually forming in the clouds or occasionally by the appearance of a comet's tail (also known as Cometomancy); Ceraunoscopy, also known as Keraunoscopy, which is a form of divination practiced by the ancients, consisting of making prognostications by the examination of certain phenomena of the air, such as thunder and lightning. Ceraunoscopy is further branched into Brontoscopy (divination solely by thunder), and Ceraunomancy (divination solely by lightning).