Astrology is the study of the relationship between the placement of planets at the time of an individuals birth, and that individual. The most common tool used in this process is the natal or birth chart, which is a written representation of the planets at the exact time and location of a persons birth, literally putting that person at the center of the solar system.
Sadly, no. At least not the ones you read in newspapers. They're based solely on sun signs, and as you can imagine, it's highly unlikely that every human on the planet fits into one of only 12 neat pigeon holes. It sells newspapers, and little else. Not every Aries is having a bad hair day and falling in love with someone wearing blue at lunchtime. While it is possible to generalize personality charcteristics into 12 broad types, it just isn't for daily events (which need an infinitely smaller level of detail to be useful). It's a workable solution, but for entertainment value only. In this respect 'public' horoscopes on news sites have made astrology lose most of its credibility. With all that said, a personal horoscope (prepared for one individual, from their birth time) on the other hand can be very accurate.
It's 50% science and 50% art. Strip away all the pictures and hocus-pocus, and ultimately it's a big collection of data (the interpretation of which was gradually refined over hundreds of years) being extrapolated into an individuals personality, using the lowest common denominator.
Astrology is the art of interpreting planet placement at the time of an individuals birth, focused on humans, personalities, life events, relationships etc. Astronomy is the study of celestial bodies from a purely scientific standpoint - concerned with orbits, sizes, distances, star masses etc. Astrologers can learn a lot from astronomers, whereas little in astrology will be of much usefulness to an astronomer. For a long time (prior to the medieval period +/-) they were lumped together and treated as the same subject.
Yes, they were. They filled in several 'gaps', and generally improved the accuracy of astrology. Interestingly, overall the newly discovered planets made everything make even more sense.
The practical answer is because it's much easier to determine (unless you have a very uneventful and well documented sex life). The metaphysical answer - because you don't have a fully formed 'person' until the moment of birth (when the cord is cut). The scientific answer - the result would be the same (the cosmic 'clock' would read the same 'time') only offset by 9 months. In other words if it's 2pm in New York (conception) then we know it's 9pm in London (birth) and from either position can calculate that it's midnight in Moscow (the astrological result).
There's no reason that a person cannot believe in both astrology and religion at the same time. God can certainly have created the complex cosmic mechanism of both humans and planets, and astrology does not involve any form of pagan or spiritual ceremonies which some religions might find offensive.
Absolutely not. There's no psychic element to astrology. You don't need to see spirits, go into a trance, or dance naked with goats in order to read a natal chart. What you do in your free time is of course up to you ;)
While much of astrology is a science, the end result is entirely human. Subjects such as personality and interaction are by nature subjective, and hence imprecise. If someone is 'intelligent' one astrologer might refer to it as 'analytical' within a context, while another might refer to it as 'non-emotional' within a context.
The main reason is because there's no certification yet for astrologers, so anyone can read a book for a few months and label themselves as an astrologer, competing immediately with someone who has devoted most of their life to study. It's the same reason that a doctor can earn more than a hairstylist. Also, as with any field, technical skill and the ability to earn money from it are independent. Often the very best practitioners do so out of passion and love for the subject.
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Choose the Zodiac sign from a right column to match with your Zodiac Sign:
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