Portal:Astrology

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Introduction

Astrology is the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial objects as a means of divining information about human affairs and terrestrial events. Astrology has been dated to at least the 2nd millennium BCE, and has its roots in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Many cultures have attached importance to astronomical events, and some – such as the Indians, Chinese, and Maya – developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from which it spread to Ancient Greece, Rome, the Arab world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person's personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.

Throughout most of its history astrology was considered a scholarly tradition and was common in academic circles, often in close relation with astronomy, alchemy, meteorology, and medicine. It was present in political circles, and is mentioned in various works of literature, from Dante Alighieri and Geoffrey Chaucer to William Shakespeare, Lope de Vega and Calderón de la Barca. During the 20th century and following the wide-scale adoption of the scientific method, astrology has been challenged successfully on both theoretical and experimental grounds, and has been shown to have no scientific validity or explanatory power. Astrology thus lost its academic and theoretical standing, and common belief in it has largely declined. While polling studies have demonstrated that approximately 25% of Americans, Canadians, and Britons say they continue to believe that star and planet positions affect their lives, astrology is now recognized as pseudoscience.

Selected general articles

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Hellenistic astrology is a tradition of horoscopic astrology that was developed and practiced in the late Hellenistic period in and around the Mediterranean region, especially in Egypt. The texts and technical terminology of this tradition of astrology were largely written in Greek (or sometimes Latin). The tradition originated sometime around the late 2nd or early 1st century BCE, and then was practiced until the 6th or 7th century CE. This type of astrology is commonly referred to as "Hellenistic astrology" because it was developed in the late Hellenistic period, although it continued to be practiced for several centuries after the end of what historians usually classify as the Hellenistic era. Read more...
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Most human civilizations - India, China, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Maya, and Inca, among others - based their culture on complex systems of astrology, which provided a link between the cosmos with the conditions and events on earth. For these, the astrological practice was not mere divination because it also served as the foundation for their spiritual culture and knowledge-systems used for practical purposes such as the calendar (see Mesoamerican calendrical shamans) and medicine (e.g. I Ching). Astrological tradition even contributed to the development of astronomy as the study of the skies provided invaluable insights about celestial bodies. For instance, the Ptolemaic astrological tradition has already listed some of the planets in the solar system and their movements.

The following is an incomplete list of the different traditions, types, systems, methods, applications, and branches of astrology. Read more...
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Astrological beliefs in correspondences between celestial observations and terrestrial events have influenced various aspects of human history, including world-views, language and many elements of social culture.

Among Indo-European peoples, astrology has been dated to the 3rd millennium BC, with roots in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Until the 17th century, astrology was considered a scholarly tradition, and it helped drive the development of astronomy. It was commonly accepted in political and cultural circles, and some of its concepts were used in other traditional studies, such as alchemy, meteorology and medicine. By the end of the 17th century, emerging scientific concepts in astronomy, such as heliocentrism, undermined the theoretical basis of astrology, which subsequently lost its academic standing and became regarded as a pseudoscience. Empirical scientific investigation has shown that predictions and recommendations based on these systems are not accurate. Read more...
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Horary astrology is an ancient branch of horoscopic astrology in which an astrologer attempts to answer a question by constructing a horoscope for the exact time at which the question was received and understood by the astrologer.

The answer to the horary question might be a simple yes or no, but is generally more complex with insights into, for example, the motives of the questioner, the motives of others involved in the matter, and the options available to them. Read more...
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Planets in astrology have a meaning different from the modern astronomical understanding of what a planet is. Before the age of telescopes, the night sky was thought to consist of two very similar components: fixed stars, which remained motionless in relation to each other, and "wandering stars" (Ancient Greek: ἀστέρες πλανῆται asteres planetai), which moved relative to the fixed stars over the course of the year.

To the Greeks and the other earliest astronomers, this group consisted of the five planets visible to the naked eye and excluded Earth. Although strictly, the term planet applied only to those five objects, the term was latterly broadened, particularly in the Middle Ages, to include the Sun and the Moon (sometimes referred to as "Lights"), making a total of seven planets. Astrologers retain this definition today. Read more...
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Western astrology is the system of astrology most popular in Western countries. Western astrology is historically based on Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos (2nd century CE), which in turn was a continuation of Hellenistic and ultimately Babylonian traditions.

Western astrology is largely horoscopic, that is, it is a form of divination based on the construction of a horoscope for an exact moment, such as a person's birth, in which various cosmic bodies are said to have an influence.
Astrology in western popular culture is often reduced to sun sign astrology, which considers only the individual's date of birth (i.e. the "position of the Sun" at that date). Read more...
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Astrology is the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial objects as a means of divining information about human affairs and terrestrial events. Astrology has been dated to at least the 2nd millennium BCE, and has its roots in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Many cultures have attached importance to astronomical events, and some – such as the Indians, Chinese, and Maya – developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from which it spread to Ancient Greece, Rome, the Arab world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person's personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.

Throughout most of its history astrology was considered a scholarly tradition and was common in academic circles, often in close relation with astronomy, alchemy, meteorology, and medicine. It was present in political circles, and is mentioned in various works of literature, from Dante Alighieri and Geoffrey Chaucer to William Shakespeare, Lope de Vega and Calderón de la Barca.
During the 20th century and following the wide-scale adoption of the scientific method, astrology has been challenged successfully on both theoretical and experimental grounds, and has been shown to have no scientific validity or explanatory power. Astrology thus lost its academic and theoretical standing, and common belief in it has largely declined. While polling studies have demonstrated that approximately 25% of Americans, Canadians, and Britons say they continue to believe that star and planet positions affect their lives, astrology is now recognized as pseudoscience. Read more...
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This is a list of astrologers with Wikipedia articles. Read more...
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Symbols used in astrology overlap with those used in astronomy because of the historical overlap between the two subjects. Frequently used symbols include signs of the zodiac and for the classical planets. These have their origin in medieval Byzantiny, but in their current form are a product of the European Renaissance. Other symbols for astrological aspects are used in various astrological traditions. Read more...
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An astrological age is a time period in astrologic theology which astrologers claim parallels major changes in the development of Earth's inhabitants, particularly relating to culture, society, and politics. There are twelve astrological ages corresponding to the twelve zodiacal signs in western astrology. Advocates believe that when one cycle of the twelve astrological ages is completed, another cycle of twelve ages begins. The length of one cycle of twelve ages is 25,860 years.

Some astrologers believe that during a given age, some events are directly caused or indirectly influenced by the astrological sign associated with that age, while other astrologers believe the different astrological ages do not influence events in any way. Read more...
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The astrological aspects are noted in the central circle of this natal chart, where the different colors and symbols distinguish between the different aspects, such as the square (red) or trine (green)
In astrology, an aspect is an angle the planets make to each other in the horoscope, also to the ascendant, midheaven, descendant, lower midheaven, and other points of astrological interest. Aspects are measured by the angular distance in degrees and minutes of ecliptic longitude between two points, as viewed from Earth. According to astrological tradition, they indicate the timing of transitions and developmental changes in the lives of people and affairs relative to the Earth.

As an example, if an astrologer creates a horoscope that shows the apparent positions of the celestial bodies at the time of a person's birth (a natal chart), and the angular distance between Mars and Venus is 92° of arc, the chart is said to have the aspect "Venus square Mars" with an orb of 2° (i.e., it is 2° away from being an exact square; a square being a 90° aspect). The more exact an aspect, the stronger or more dominant it is said to be in shaping character or manifesting change. Read more...
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The Earth in its orbit around the Sun causes the Sun to appear on the celestial sphere moving along the ecliptic (red), which is tilted 23.44° with respect to the celestial equator (blue-white).


The zodiac is an area of the sky that extends approximately 8° north or south (as measured in celestial latitude) of the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year. The paths of the Moon and visible planets are also within the belt of the zodiac.

In Western astrology, and formerly astronomy, the zodiac is divided into twelve signs, each occupying 30° of celestial longitude and roughly corresponding to the constellations Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Read more...
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The medieval Muslims took a keen interest in the study of astrology: partly because they considered the celestial bodies to be divine, partly because the dwellers of desert-regions often travelled at night, and relied upon knowledge of the constellations for guidance in their journeys. After the advent of Islam, the Muslims needed to determine the time of the prayers, the direction of the Kaaba, and the correct orientation of the mosque, all of which helped give a religious impetus to the study of astronomy and contributed towards the belief that the heavenly bodies were influential upon terrestrial affairs as well as the human condition. The science dealing with such influences was termed astrology (Arabic: علم النجوم Ilm an-Nujūm), a discipline contained within the field of astronomy (more broadly known as علم الفلك Ilm al-Falak 'the science of formation [of the heavens]'). The principles of these studies were rooted in Arabian, Persian, Babylonian, Hellenistic and Indian traditions and both were developed by the Arabs following their establishment of a magnificent observatory and library of astronomical and astrological texts at Baghdad in the 8th century.

Throughout the medieval period the practical application of astrology was subject to deep philosophical debate by Muslim religious scholars and scientists. Astrological prognostications nevertheless required a fair amount of exact scientific expertise and the quest for such knowledge within this era helped to provide the incentive for the study and development of astronomy. Read more...
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Jyotisha (or Jyotishyam from Sanskrit jyotiṣa, from jyótis- "light, heavenly body") is the traditional Hindu system of astrology, also known as Hindu astrology, and more recently Vedic astrology. The term Hindu astrology has been in use as the English equivalent of Jyotiṣa since the early 19th century, whereas Vedic astrology is a relatively recent term, entering common usage in the 1980s with self-help publications on Āyurveda or Yoga. Vedanga Jyotisha is one of the earliest texts about astronomy within the Vedas. However, some authors have claimed that the horoscopic astrology in the Indian subcontinent came from Hellenistic influences, post-dating the Vedic period. In the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, only electional astrology, omens, dreams and physiognomy are used.

Following a judgement of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2001, which favoured astrology, some Indian universities offer advanced degrees in Hindu astrology. Read more...
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Electional astrology, also known as event astrology, is a branch found in most traditions of astrology in which a practitioner decides the most appropriate time for an event based on the astrological auspiciousness of that time. It is distinct from horary astrology because, while horary astrologers seek to find the answer to a question based on the time the question was asked, electional astrologers seek to find a period of time which will result in the most preferable outcome for the event being planned.

Historically being used primarily to plan battles, electional astrology has been used by its proponents to plan a number of events, including weddings and trips. Read more...
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Chinese astrology is based on the traditional astronomy and calendars. The development of Chinese astrology is tied to that of astronomy, which came to flourish during the Han Dynasty (2nd century BC to 2nd century AD).

Chinese astrology has a close relation with Chinese philosophy (theory of the three harmony: heaven, earth, and water), and uses the principles of yin and yang and concepts that are not found in Western astrology, such as the Wu Xing teachings, the 10 Celestial stems, the 12 Earthly Branches, the lunisolar calendar (moon calendar and sun calendar), and the time calculation after year, month, day, and shichen (時辰). Read more...
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Astrology and astronomy were archaically treated together (Latin: astrologia), and were only gradually separated in Western 17th century philosophy (the "Age of Reason") with the rejection of astrology. During the later part of the medieval period, astronomy was treated as the foundation upon which astrology could operate.

Since the 18th century they have come to be regarded as completely separate disciplines. Astronomy, the study of objects and phenomena originating beyond the Earth's atmosphere, is a science and is a widely studied academic discipline. Astrology, which uses the apparent positions of celestial objects as the basis for the prediction of future events, is a form of divination and a pseudoscience having no scientific validity. Read more...
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Natal astrology, also known as genethliacal astrology, is the system of astrology based on the concept that each individual's personality or path in life can be determined by constructing a natal chart for the exact date, time, and locations of that individual's birth. Natal astrology can be found in the Indian or Jyotish, Chinese and Western astrological traditions.

In horoscopic astrology an individual's personality is determined by the construction of the horoscope or birth chart for the particular individual involved (known as the native), showing the positions of the sun, moon, planets, ascendant, midheaven, and the angles or aspects among them. Read more...
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Astrology has used the concept of classical elements from antiquity up until the present. In Western astrology and Indian astrology four elements are used: Fire, [[Earth (classical element) Read more...
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Astrology consists of a number of belief systems that hold that there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events or descriptions of personality in the human world. Astrology has been rejected by the scientific community as having no explanatory power for describing the universe. Scientific testing has found no evidence to support the premises or purported effects outlined in astrological traditions.

Where astrology has made falsifiable predictions, it has been falsified. The most famous test was headed by Shawn Carlson and included a committee of scientists and a committee of astrologers. It led to the conclusion that natal astrology performed no better than chance. Astrologer and psychologist Michel Gauquelin claimed to have found statistical support for "the Mars effect" in the birth dates of athletes, but it could not be replicated in further studies.[citation needed] The organisers of later studies claimed that Gauquelin had tried to influence their inclusion criteria for the study by suggesting specific individuals be removed. It has also been suggested, by Geoffrey Dean, that the reporting of birth times by parents (before the 1950s) may have caused the apparent effect. Read more...
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Astrological beliefs in correspondences between celestial observations and terrestrial events have influenced various aspects of human history, including world-views, language and many elements of social culture.

Among Indo-European peoples, astrology has been dated to the 3rd millennium BC, with roots in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Until the 17th century, astrology was considered a scholarly tradition, and it helped drive the development of astronomy. It was commonly accepted in political and cultural circles, and some of its concepts were used in other traditional studies, such as alchemy, meteorology and medicine. By the end of the 17th century, emerging scientific concepts in astronomy, such as heliocentrism, undermined the theoretical basis of astrology, which subsequently lost its academic standing and became regarded as a pseudoscience. Empirical scientific investigation has shown that predictions and recommendations based on these systems are not accurate. Read more...
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The rising Sun illuminates the inner chamber of Newgrange, Ireland, only at the winter solstice.


Archaeoastronomy (also spelled archeoastronomy) is the study of how people in the past "have understood the phenomena in the sky, how they used these phenomena and what role the sky played in their cultures". Clive Ruggles argues it is misleading to consider archaeoastronomy to be the study of ancient astronomy, as modern astronomy is a scientific discipline, while archaeoastronomy considers symbolically rich cultural interpretations of phenomena in the sky by other cultures. It is often twinned with ethnoastronomy, the anthropological study of skywatching in contemporary societies. Archaeoastronomy is also closely associated with historical astronomy, the use of historical records of heavenly events to answer astronomical problems and the history of astronomy, which uses written records to evaluate past astronomical practice.Archaeoastronomy uses a variety of methods to uncover evidence of past practices including archaeology, anthropology, astronomy, statistics and probability, and history. Because these methods are diverse and use data from such different sources, integrating them into a coherent argument has been a long-term difficulty for archaeoastronomers. Archaeoastronomy fills complementary niches in landscape archaeology and cognitive archaeology. Material evidence and its connection to the sky can reveal how a wider landscape can be integrated into beliefs about the cycles of nature, such as Mayan astronomy and its relationship with agriculture. Other examples which have brought together ideas of cognition and landscape include studies of the cosmic order embedded in the roads of settlements. Read more...
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Astrology consists of a number of belief systems that hold that there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events or descriptions of personality in the human world. Astrology has been rejected by the scientific community as having no explanatory power for describing the universe. Scientific testing has found no evidence to support the premises or purported effects outlined in astrological traditions.

Where astrology has made falsifiable predictions, it has been falsified. The most famous test was headed by Shawn Carlson and included a committee of scientists and a committee of astrologers. It led to the conclusion that natal astrology performed no better than chance. Astrologer and psychologist Michel Gauquelin claimed to have found statistical support for "the Mars effect" in the birth dates of athletes, but it could not be replicated in further studies.[citation needed] The organisers of later studies claimed that Gauquelin had tried to influence their inclusion criteria for the study by suggesting specific individuals be removed. It has also been suggested, by Geoffrey Dean, that the reporting of birth times by parents (before the 1950s) may have caused the apparent effect. Read more...
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In Babylon as well as in Assyria as a direct offshoot of Babylonian culture, astrology takes its place as one of the two chief means at the disposal of the priests (who were called bare or "inspectors") for ascertaining the will and intention of the gods, the other being through the inspection of the livers of sacrificial animals (see omen). Read more...
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Astrology consists of a number of belief systems that hold that there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events or descriptions of personality in the human world. Astrology has been rejected by the scientific community as having no explanatory power for describing the universe. Scientific testing has found no evidence to support the premises or purported effects outlined in astrological traditions.

Where astrology has made falsifiable predictions, it has been falsified. The most famous test was headed by Shawn Carlson and included a committee of scientists and a committee of astrologers. It led to the conclusion that natal astrology performed no better than chance. Astrologer and psychologist Michel Gauquelin claimed to have found statistical support for "the Mars effect" in the birth dates of athletes, but it could not be replicated in further studies.[citation needed] The organisers of later studies claimed that Gauquelin had tried to influence their inclusion criteria for the study by suggesting specific individuals be removed. It has also been suggested, by Geoffrey Dean, that the reporting of birth times by parents (before the 1950s) may have caused the apparent effect. Read more...
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Harmony of the world, 1806

Musica universalis (literally universal music), also called Music of the spheres or Harmony of the Spheres, is an ancient philosophical concept that regards proportions in the movements of celestial bodies—the Sun, Moon, and planets—as a form of musica (the Medieval Latin term for music). This "music" is not usually thought to be literally audible, but a harmonic, mathematical or religious concept. The idea continued to appeal to thinkers about music until the end of the Renaissance, influencing scholars of many kinds, including humanists. Further scientific exploration has determined specific proportions in some orbital motion, described as orbital resonance. Read more...
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Astrology and astronomy were archaically treated together (Latin: astrologia), and were only gradually separated in Western 17th century philosophy (the "Age of Reason") with the rejection of astrology. During the later part of the medieval period, astronomy was treated as the foundation upon which astrology could operate.

Since the 18th century they have come to be regarded as completely separate disciplines. Astronomy, the study of objects and phenomena originating beyond the Earth's atmosphere, is a science and is a widely studied academic discipline. Astrology, which uses the apparent positions of celestial objects as the basis for the prediction of future events, is a form of divination and a pseudoscience having no scientific validity. Read more...
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Opening page of Tetrabiblos: 15th-century Latin printed edition of the 12th-century translation of Plato of Tivoli; published in Venice by Erhard Ratdolt, 1484.

Tetrabiblos (Τετράβιβλος) 'four books', also known in Greek as Apotelesmatiká (Ἀποτελεσματικά) "Effects", and in Latin as Quadripartitum "Four Parts", is a text on the philosophy and practice of astrology, written in the 2nd century AD by the Alexandrian scholar Claudius Ptolemy (c. AD 90–c. AD 168).

Ptolemy's Almagest was an authoritative text on astronomy for more than a thousand years, and the Tetrabiblos, its companion volume, was equally influential in astrology, the study of the effects of astronomical cycles on earthly matters. But whilst the Almagest as an astronomical authority was superseded by acceptance of the heliocentric model of the solar system, the Tetrabiblos remains an important theoretical work for astrology. Read more...
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