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Astrology

Hand-colored version of the anonymous Flammarion woodcut (1888).
Astrology (from Greek στρον, ἄ astron, "constellation, star"; and -λογία, -logia, "the study of") is a
group of systems, traditions, and beliefs which hold that the relative positions of celestial bodies
and related details can provide information about personality, human affairs, and other terrestrial
matters. A practitioner of astrology is called an astrologer or, more rarely, an astrologist.
Numerous traditions and applications employing astrological concepts have arisen since its earliest
recorded beginnings in the 3rd millennium BC. Astrology has played an important role in the
shaping of culture, early astronomy, the Vedas, the Bible, and various disciplines throughout
history. In fact, astrology and astronomy were often indistinguishable before the modern era, with
the desire for predictive and divinatory knowledge one of the primary motivating factors for
astronomical observation. Astronomy began to diverge from astrology after a period of gradual
separation from the Renaissance up until the 18th century. Eventually, astronomy distinguished
itself as the scientific study of astronomical objects and phenomena without regard to the
astrological understandings of these phenomena.
Astrologers believe that the movements and positions of celestial bodies either directly influence
life on Earth or correspond to events experienced on a human scale. Modern astrologers define
astrology as a symbolic language, an art form, or a form of divination. Despite differences in
definitions, a common assumption of astrology is that celestial placements can aid in the
interpretation of past and present events and in the prediction of the future.
Experimental scientists consider astrology a pseudoscience or superstition. In one poll, 31% of
Americans expressed a belief in astrology and, according to another study, 39% considered it
scientific. In India, there is widespread belief in astrology and it is commonly used. Indian astrology
uses a different zodiac than Western astrology and is a branch of Vedic science.
Core beliefs
The core beliefs of astrology were prevalent in most of the ancient world and are epitomized in the
Hermetic maxim "as above, so below". Tycho Brahe used a similar phrase to summarize his studies
in astrology: suspiciendo despicio, "by looking up I see downward". Although the principle that
events in the heavens are mirrored by those on Earth was once generally held in most traditions of
astrology around the world, in the West there has historically been a debate among astrologers over
the nature of the mechanism behind astrology. The debate also covers whether or not celestial
bodies are only signs or portents of events, or if they are actual causes of events through some sort
of force or mechanism.[citation needed]
Although the connection between celestial mechanics and terrestrial dynamics was explored first by
Isaac Newton with his development of a universal theory of gravitation, claims that the gravitational
effects of the celestial bodies are what accounts for astrological generalizations are not substantiated
by scientific research, nor are they advocated by most astrologers.[citation needed]
Most astrological traditions are based on the relative positions and movements of various real or
construed celestial bodies and on the construction of implied or calculated celestial patterns as seen
at the time and place of the event being studied. These are chiefly the astrological planets, dwarf
planets, the asteroids, the stars, the lunar nodes, Arabic parts and hypothetical planets. The frame of
reference for such apparent positions is defined by the tropical or sidereal zodiac of twelve signs on
one hand, and by the local horizon (ascendant-descendant axis) and midheaven-imum coeli axis on
the other. This latter (local) frame is typically further divided into the twelve astrological houses.
Furthermore, the astrological aspects are used to determine the geometric/angular relationship(s)
between the various celestial bodies and angles in the horoscope.
The claim of astrology to predict future trends and developments, or predictive astrology, is based
on two main methods in western astrology: astrological transits and astrological progressions. In
astrological transits the ongoing movements of the planets are interpreted for their significance as
they transit through space and the horoscope. In astrological progressions the horoscope is
progressed forward in time according to set methods. In vedic astrology the focus is on planetary
periods to infer the trend while transits are used to time significant events. Most western astrologers
no longer try to forecast actual events, but focus instead on general trends and developments. By
comparison, vedic astrologers predict both trends and events. Skeptics respond that this practice of
western astrologers allows them to avoid making verifiable predictions, and gives them the ability
to attach significance to arbitrary and unrelated events, in a way that suits their purpose.
In the past, astrologers often relied on close observation of celestial objects and the charting of their
movements. Modern astrologers use data provided by astronomers which are transformed to a set of
astrological tables called ephemerides, showing the changing zodiacal positions of the heavenly
bodies through time.
Traditions

Zodiac signs, 16th century European woodcut
See also: List of astrological traditions, types, and systems
There are many traditions of astrology, some of which share similar features due to the transmission
of astrological doctrines between cultures. Other traditions developed in isolation and hold different
doctrines, though they too share some features due to drawing on similar astronomical sources.
Current traditions
The main traditions used by modern astrologers are Jyoti a ṣ , Western astrology, and Chinese
astrology.
Vedic and Western astrology share a common ancestry as horoscopic systems of astrology, in that
both traditions focus on the casting of an astrological chart or horoscope, a representation of
celestial entities, for an event based on the position of the Sun, Moon, and planets at the moment of
the event. However, Vedic astrology uses the sidereal zodiac, linking the signs of the zodiac to their
original constellations, while Western astrology uses the tropical zodiac. Because of the precession
of the equinoxes, over the centuries the twelve zodiacal signs in Western astrology no longer
correspond to the same part of the sky as their original constellations. In effect, in Western
astrology the link between sign and constellation has been broken, whereas in Vedic astrology it
remains of paramount importance. Other differences between the two traditions include the use of
27 (or 28) nakshatras or lunar mansions, which have been used in India since Vedic times, and the
system of planetary periods known as dashas.
In Chinese astrology a quite different tradition has evolved. By contrast to Western and Indian
astrology, the twelve signs of the zodiac do not divide the sky, but rather the celestial equator. The
Chinese evolved a system where each sign corresponds to one of twelve 'double-hours' that govern
the day, and to one of the twelve months. Each sign of the zodiac governs a different year, and
combines with a system based on the five elements of Chinese cosmology to give a 60 (12 x 5) year
cycle. The term Chinese astrology is used here for convenience, but it must be recognised that
versions of the same tradition exist in Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and other Asian countries.
In modern times, these traditions have come into greater contact with each other, notably with
Indian and Chinese astrology having spread to the West, while awareness of Western astrology is
still fairly limited in Asia. Astrology in the Western world has diversified greatly in modern times.
New movements have appeared, which have jettisoned much of traditional astrology to concentrate
on different approaches, such as a greater emphasis on midpoints, or a more psychological
approach. Some recent Western developments include modern tropical and sidereal horoscopic
astrology; cosmobiology; psychological astrology; sun sign astrology; the Hamburg School of
Astrology; and Uranian astrology, a subset of the Hamburg School.
Historical traditions
Throughout its long history, astrology has come to prominence in many regions and undergone
developments and change. There are many astrological traditions that are historically important, but
which have largely fallen out of use today. Astrologers still retain an interest in them and regard
them as an important resource. Historically significant traditions of astrology include Arab and
Persian astrology (Medieval, near East); Babylonian astrology (Ancient, near East); Egyptian
astrology; Hellenistic astrology (Classical antiquity); and Mayan astrology.
Esoteric traditions

Extract and symbol key from 17th century alchemy text - Kenelm Digby.
Many mystic or esoteric traditions have links to astrology. In some cases, like Kabbalah, this
involves participants incorporating elements of astrology into their own traditions. In other cases,
like divinatory tarot, many astrologers themselves have incorporated the tradition into their own
practice of astrology. Esoteric traditions include, but are not limited to, alchemy, chiromancy,
Kabbalistic astrology, medical astrology, numerology, Rosicrucian or "Rose Cross", and Tarot
divination.
Historically, alchemy in the Western World was particularly allied and intertwined with traditional
Babylonian-Greek style astrology; in numerous ways they were built to complement each other in
the search for occult or hidden knowledge. Astrology has used the concept of the four classical
elements of alchemy from antiquity up until the present day. Traditionally, each of the seven planets
in the solar system known to the ancients was associated with, held dominion over, and "ruled" a
certain metal.
List of astrological traditions, types, and
systems
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
This is an incomplete list of the different traditions, types, systems, methods, applications, and
branches of astrology.
Current traditions
Traditions still practiced in modern times include:
• Chinese astrology
• Electional astrology
• Horary astrology
• Horoscopic astrology
• Natal astrology
• Indian astrology
• Sidereal astrology
• Western astrology
• Tropical astrology
• Astrological Ages
Historical traditions
Traditions which were once widely used but have either partly or fully fallen into disuse:
• Agricultural astrology
• Arab and Persian astrology and Islamic astrology
• Babylonian astrology
• Burmese astrology
• Celtic astrology
• Egyptian astrology
• Hellenistic astrology
• Judicial astrology
• Katarchic astrology
• Mayan astrology
• Medical astrology
• Medieval astrology
• Meteorological astrology
• Mundane astrology
• Nadi astrology
• Political astrology
• Tibetan astrology
Recent Western developments
Traditions which have arisen relatively recently in the West:
• Cosmobiology
• Evolutionary astrology
• Financial astrology
• Hamburg School of Astrology
• Uranian astrology , subset of the Hamburg School
• Harmonic astrology
• Heliocentric astrology
• Huber School of Astrology
• Locational astrology
• Astrocartography
• Psychological astrology or Astropsychology
• Sun sign astrology
• Tarotscope
Esoteric systems of astrology
Astrological concepts applied to various esoteric schools of thought or forms of divination:
• Alchemy and astrology
• Astrology and the classical elements
• Chiromancy
• Christianity and astrology
• Esoteric astrology
• Geomancy
• Kabbalistic astrology
• Numerology
• Physiognomy
• Phrenology
• Rosicrucianism
• I Ching
• Tarot divination
The zodiac
Main article: Zodiac

Zodiac in a 6th century synagogue at Beit Alpha, Israel.
The zodiac is the girdle or band of constellations through which the Sun, Moon, and planets transit
across the sky. Astrologers noted these constellations and so attached a particular significance to
them. Over time they developed the system of twelve signs of the zodiac (Aries, Taurus, Gemini,
Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces), based on twelve
of the constellations they considered to be particularly important. The Western and Vedic zodiac
signs have a common origin in the tradition of horoscopic astrology, and so are very similar in
meaning. In China on the other hand, the development of the zodiac was different. Although the
Chinese too have a system of twelve signs (named after animals), the Chinese zodiac refers to a
pure calendrical cycle, as there are no equivalent constellations linked to it like the Western or
Indian zodiacs. The common choice of twelve zodiac signs is understandable considering the
interaction of the Sun and Moon was central to all forms of astrology.
The majority of Western astrologers base their work on the tropical zodiac which divides the sky
into twelve equal segments of 30 degrees each, beginning with the first point of Aries, the point
where the line of the Earth's celestial equator and the ecliptic (the Sun's path through the sky) meet
at the northern hemisphere spring equinox. Due to the precession of the equinoxes, the slow
changing of the way Earth rotates in space, the zodiacal signs in this system bear no relation to the
constellations of the same name but stay aligned to the months and seasons.
Practitioners of the Vedic astrological tradition and a minority of Western astrologers use the
sidereal zodiac. This zodiac uses the same evenly divided ecliptic but approximately stays aligned
to the positions of the observable constellations with the same name as the zodiacal signs. The
sidereal zodiac differs from the tropical zodiac by an offset called the ayanamsa, which steadily
increases as the equinoxes drift further. Furthermore, some siderealists (i.e. astrologers employing
sidereal techniques) use the actual, unequal constellations of the zodiac in their work.
Horoscopic astrology
Main article: Horoscopic astrology
Horoscopic astrology is a system that some claim to have developed in the Mediterranean region
and specifically Hellenistic Egypt around the late 2nd or early 1st century BCE. However,
horoscopic astrology has been practiced in India since ancient times and vedic astrology is the
oldest surviving form of horoscopic astrology in the world. The tradition deals with two-
dimensional diagrams of the heavens, or horoscopes, created for specific moments in time. The
diagram is then used to interpret the inherent meaning underlying the alignment of celestial bodies
at that moment based on a specific set of rules and guidelines. A horoscope was calculated normally
for the moment of an individual's birth, or at the beginning of an enterprise or event, because the
alignments of the heavens at that moment were thought to determine the nature of the subject in
question. One of the defining characteristics of this form of astrology that makes it distinct from
other traditions is the computation of the degree of the Eastern horizon rising against the backdrop
of the ecliptic at the specific moment under examination, otherwise known as the ascendant.
Horoscopic astrology is the most influential and widespread form of astrology in Africa, India,
Europe and the Middle East. Medieval and most modern Western traditions of astrology have
Hellenistic origins.
The horoscope

18th century Icelandic manuscript showing astrological houses and glyphs for planets and signs.
Central to horoscopic astrology and its branches is the calculation of the horoscope or astrological
chart. This two-dimensional diagrammatic representation shows the celestial bodies' apparent
positions in the heavens from the vantage of a location on Earth at a given time and place. The
horoscope is also divided into twelve different celestial houses which govern different areas of life.
Calculations performed in casting a horoscope involve arithmetic and simple geometry which serve
to locate the apparent position of heavenly bodies on desired dates and times based on astronomical
tables. In ancient Hellenistic astrology the ascendant demarcated the first celestial house of a
horoscope. The word for the ascendant in Greek was horoskopos from which horoscope derives. In
modern times, the word has come to refer to the astrological chart as a whole.
Branches of horoscopic astrology
Traditions of horoscopic astrology can be divided into four branches which are directed towards
specific subjects or purposes. Often these branches use a unique set of techniques or a different
application of the core principles of the system to a different area. Many other subsets and
applications of astrology are derived from these four fundamental branches.
Natal astrology is the study of a person's natal chart to gain information about the individual and
his/her life experience. Katarchic astrology includes both electional and event astrology. The former
uses astrology to determine the most auspicious moment to begin an enterprise or undertaking, and
the latter to understand everything about an event from the time at which it took place. Horary
astrology is used to answer a specific question by studying the chart of the moment the question is
posed to an astrologer. Mundane or world astrology is the application of astrology to world events,
including weather, earthquakes, 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 and many people believe these massive ages correspond to major historical events
and current developments in the world.
History of astrology
Main article: History of astrology

15th century image from the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry showing believed relations
between areas of the body and the zodiacal signs.
Origins
The origins of much of the astrological doctrine and method that would later develop in Asia,
Europe, and the Middle East are found among the ancient Babylonians and their system of celestial
omens that began to be compiled around the middle of the 2nd millennium BCE. This system of
celestial omens later spread either directly or indirectly through the Babylonians and Assyrians to
other areas such as India, Middle East, and Greece where it merged with pre-existing indigenous
forms of astrology. This Babylonian astrology came to Greece initially as early as the middle of the
4th century BCE, and then around the late 2nd or early 1st century BCE after the Alexandrian
conquests, this Babylonian astrology was mixed with the Egyptian tradition of decanic astrology to
create horoscopic astrology. This new form of astrology, which appears to have originated in
Alexandrian Egypt, quickly spread across the ancient world into Europe, the Middle East and India.
Before the modern era
The differentiation between astronomy and astrology varied from place to place; they were strongly
linked in ancient India, ancient Babylonia and medieval Europe, but separated to an extent in the
Hellenistic world. The first semantic distinction between astrology and astronomy was given in the
11th century by the Persian astronomer, Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī (see astrology and astronomy).
The pattern of astronomical knowledge gained from astrological endeavours has been historically
repeated across numerous cultures, from ancient India through the classical Maya civilization to
medieval Europe. Given this historical contribution, astrology has been called a protoscience along
with disciplines such as alchemy.
Astrology was not without criticism before the modern era; it was often challenged by Hellenistic
skeptics, church authorities, and medieval Muslim astronomers, such as Al-Farabi (Alpharabius),
Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī, Avicenna and Averroes. Their reasons for
refuting astrology were often due to both scientific (the methods used by astrologers being
conjectural rather than empirical) and religious (conflicts with orthodox Islamic scholars) reasons.
Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya (1292-1350), in his Miftah Dar al-SaCadah, used empirical arguments in
astronomy in order to refute astrology and divination.
Many prominent thinkers, philosophers and scientists, such as Galen, Paracelsus, Girolamo Cardan,
Nicolaus Copernicus, Taqi al-Din, Tycho Brahe, Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Carl Jung and
others, practiced or significantly contributed to astrology.
Modern approaches
Several innovations have occurred in astrological practice in modern times.
Western astrology
During the middle of the 20th century, Alfred Witte and following him Reinhold Ebertin pioneered
the use of midpoints (midpoints in Astrology) in horoscopic analysis. From the 1930s to the 1980s,
astrologers including Dane Rudhyar, Liz Greene and Stephen Arroyo pioneered the use of astrology
for psychological analysis, with some following the lead of psychologists like Carl Jung. In the
1930s, Don Neroman developed and popularised in Europe a form of Locational Astrology under
the name of "Astrogeography." In the 1970s, American astrologer Jim Lewis developed and
popularized a different approach under the name of Astrocartography. Both methods purport to
identify varying life conditions through differences in location.
Vedic astrology
In the 1960s, H.R. Seshadri Iyer, introduced a system including the concepts of yogi and avayogi. It
generated interest with research oriented astrologers in the West. From the early 1990s, Indian vedic
astrologer and author, V.K. Choudhry has created and developed the Systems' Approach for
Interpreting Horoscopes, a simplified system of Jyotish (predictive astrology). The system, also
known as "SA", helps those who are trying to learn Jyotisha. The late K. S. Krishnamurti developed
the Krishnamurti Paddhati system based on the analysis of the stars (nakshatras), by sub-dividing
the stars in the ratio of the dasha of the concerned planets. The system is also known as "KP" and
"sub theory".
Effects on world culture
Main article: Cultural influence of astrology
Astrology has had a profound influence over the past few thousand years on Western and Eastern
cultures. In the Middle Ages, when the educated of the time believed in astrology, the system of
heavenly spheres and bodies was believed to reflect on the system of knowledge and the world itself
below.
Astrology has had an influence on both language and literature. For example, influenza, from
medieval Latin influentia meaning influence, was so named because doctors once believed
epidemics to be caused by unfavorable planetary and stellar influences. The word "disaster" comes
from the Italian disastro, derived from the negative prefix dis- and from Latin aster "star", thus
meaning "ill-starred". Adjectives "lunatic" (Luna/Moon), "mercurial" (Mercury), "venereal"
(Venus), "martial" (Mars), "jovial" (Jupiter/Jove), and "saturnine" (Saturn) are all old words used to
describe personal qualities said to resemble or be highly influenced by the astrological
characteristics of the planet, some of which are derived from the attributes of the ancient Roman
gods they are named after. In literature, many writers, notably Geoffrey Chaucer and William
Shakespeare, used astrological symbolism to add subtlety and nuance to the description of their
characters' motivation(s). More recently, Michael Ward has proposed that C.S. Lewis imbued his
Chronicles of Narnia with the characteristics and symbols of the seven heavens. Often, an
understanding of astrological symbolism is needed to fully appreciate such literature.
Some modern thinkers, notably Carl Jung, believe in astrology's descriptive powers regarding the
mind without necessarily subscribing to its predictive claims. In education astrology is reflected in
the university education of medieval Europe, which was divided into seven distinct areas, each
represented by a particular planet and known as the seven liberal arts. Dante Alighieri speculated
that these arts, which grew into the sciences we know today, fitted the same structure as the planets.
In music the best known example of astrology's influence is in the orchestral suite called "The
Planets" by the British composer Gustav Holst, the framework of which is based upon the
astrological symbolism of the planets.
Astrology and science
By the time of Francis Bacon and the scientific revolution, newly emerging scientific disciplines
acquired a method of systematic empirical induction based upon experimental observations. At this
point, astrology and astronomy began to diverge; astronomy became one of the central sciences
while astrology was increasingly viewed as an occult science or superstition by natural scientists.
This separation accelerated through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Contemporary scientists such as Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking regard astrology as
unscientific, and those such as Andrew Fraknoi of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific have
labeled it a pseudoscience. In 1975, the American Humanist Association characterized those who
have faith in astrology as doing so "in spite of the fact that there is no verified scientific basis for
their beliefs, and indeed that there is strong evidence to the contrary". Astronomer Carl Sagan found
himself unable to sign the statement, not because he felt astrology was valid, but because he found
the statement's tone authoritarian. Sagan stated that he would instead have been willing to sign a
statement describing and refuting the principal tenets of astrological belief, which he believed
would have been more persuasive and would have produced less controversy than the circulated
statement.
Although astrology has had limited scientific standing for some time, it has been the subject of
much research among astrologers since the beginning of the twentieth century. In their study of
twentieth-century research into natal astrology, astrology critics Geoffrey Dean and coauthors
documented this burgeoning research activity, primarily within the astrological community. In one
poll, 31% of Americans expressed a belief in astrology and, according to another study, 39%
considered it scientific.
Research

The Mars effect: relative frequency of the diurnal position of Mars in the birth chart of eminent
athletes.
Studies have repeatedly failed to demonstrate statistically significant relationships between
astrological predictions and operationally-defined outcomes. Effect size tests of astrology-based
hypotheses conclude that the mean accuracy of astrological predictions is no greater than what is
expected by chance. For example, when testing for cognitive, behavioral, physical and other
variables, one study of astrological "time twins" did not show a celestial influence on human
characteristics. It has been suggested that other statistical research is often wrongly seen as evidence
for astrology due to uncontrolled artifacts.
Experimental psychologists have suggested that several different effects can contribute to
astrological convictions. One observed tendency is known as the confirmation bias, whereby people
who are given a set of multiple predictions tend to remember more of the accurate predictions
("hits") than the inaccurate ones ("misses"). Consequently, people tend to recall the set of
predictions as being more accurate than it actually was. A second psychological phenomenon is
known as the Forer effect, which refers to a tendency for individuals to give high accuracy ratings
to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact
vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. When astrological predictions turn
out to correspond with some phenomena but not with others, the recollected integrity of these
predictions may stem in part from confirmation bias. When predictions use vague language, their
individualized appearance may be partially attributable to the Forer effect.
French psychologist and statistician Michel Gauquelin wrote that he had found correlations between
some planetary positions and certain human traits such as vocations. Gauquelin's most widely
known concept is the Mars effect, which denotes a correlation between the planet Mars occupying
certain positions in the sky more often at the birth of eminent sports champions than at the birth of
ordinary people. A similar idea is explored by Richard Tarnas in his work Cosmos and Psyche, in
which he examines correspondences between planetary alignments and historically significant
events and individuals. Since its original publication in 1955, the Mars effect has been the subject of
critical studies and skeptical publications which aim to refute it, and of studies in fringe journals
used to support or expand the original ideas. Gauquelin's research has not received mainstream
scientific notice.

The Ptolemaic system depicted by Andreas Cellarius, 1660/61
Obstacles to research
Astrologers have argued that there are significant obstacles in carrying out scientific research into
astrology today, including lack of funding, lack of background in science and statistics by
astrologers, and insufficient expertise in astrology by research scientists and skeptics. There are
only a handful of journals dealing with scientific research into astrology, as astrological journals
seldom are directed towards scientific research and as scientific journals rarely cover astrological
topics. Some astrologers have argued that few practitioners today pursue scientific testing of
astrology because they feel that working with clients on a daily basis provides personal validation
for their clients.
Another argument made by astrologers is that most studies of astrology do not reflect the nature of
astrological practice and that the scientific method does not apply to astrology. Some astrology
proponents argue that the prevailing attitudes and motives of many opponents of astrology
introduce conscious or unconscious bias in the formulation of hypotheses to be tested, the conduct
of the tests, and the reporting of results.

Early science, particularly geometry and astronomy/astrology, was connected to the divine for most
medieval scholars. The compass in this 13th century manuscript is a symbol of God's act of
creation, as many believed that there was something intrinsically divine or perfect that could be
found in circles.
Mechanism
Astrologers have not presented consistent physical mechanisms underlying astrological phenomena,
and few modern astrologers believe in a direct causal relationship between heavenly bodies and
earthly events. An editorial published by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific reports that they
can find no evidence for a scientifically defined mechanism by which celestial objects can influence
terrestrial affairs. Some researchers have posited acausal, purely correlative, relationships between
astrological observations and events, such as the theory of synchronicity proposed by Carl Jung.
Others have posited a basis in divination. Still others have argued that empirical correlations can
stand on their own epistemologically, and do not need the support of any theory or mechanism. To
some observers, these non-mechanistic concepts raise serious questions about the feasibility of
validating astrology through scientific testing, and some have gone so far as to reject the
applicability of the scientific method to astrology almost entirely. Some astrologers, on the other
hand, believe that astrology is amenable to the scientific method, given sufficiently sophisticated
analytical methods, and they cite pilot studies to support this view. Consequently, several
astrologers have called for or advocated continuing studies of astrology based on statistical
validation.
List of astrological traditions, types, and systems
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from List of astrological traditions)
Jump to: navigation, search
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.
This is an incomplete list of the different traditions, types, systems, methods, applications, and
branches of astrology.
Current traditions
Traditions still practiced in modern times include:
• Chinese astrology
• Electional astrology
• Horary astrology
• Horoscopic astrology
• Natal astrology
• Indian astrology
• Sidereal astrology
• Western astrology
• Tropical astrology
• Astrological Ages
Historical traditions
Traditions which were once widely used but have either partly or fully fallen into disuse:
• Agricultural astrology
• Arab and Persian astrology and Islamic astrology
• Babylonian astrology
• Burmese astrology
• Celtic astrology
• Egyptian astrology
• Hellenistic astrology
• Judicial astrology
• Katarchic astrology
• Mayan astrology
• Medical astrology
• Medieval astrology
• Meteorological astrology
• Mundane astrology
• Nadi astrology
• Political astrology
• Tibetan astrology
Recent Western developments
Traditions which have arisen relatively recently in the West:
• Cosmobiology
• Evolutionary astrology
• Financial astrology
• Hamburg School of Astrology
• Uranian astrology , subset of the Hamburg School
• Harmonic astrology
• Heliocentric astrology
• Huber School of Astrology
• Locational astrology
• Astrocartography
• Psychological astrology or Astropsychology
• Sun sign astrology
• Tarotscope
Esoteric systems of astrology
Astrological concepts applied to various esoteric schools of thought or forms of divination:
• Alchemy and astrology
• Astrology and the classical elements
• Chiromancy
• Christianity and astrology
• Esoteric astrology
• Geomancy
• Kabbalistic astrology
• Numerology
• Physiognomy
• Phrenology
• Rosicrucianism
• I Ching
• Tarot divination
Astrology and astronomy
Astrology and astronomy were archaically one and the same discipline (Latin: astrologia), and
were only gradually recognized as separate in western 17th century philosophy (the "Age of
Reason").
Since the 18th century they have come to be regarded as completely separate disciplines.
Astronomy, the study of objects and phenomena 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 psychology, prediction of future events, and other esoteric knowledge, is not
widely regarded as science and is typically defined as a form of divination.
Overview

Early science, particularly geometry and astronomy/astrology (astronomia), was connected to the
divine for most medieval scholars. The compass in this 13th Century manuscript is a symbol of
God's act of creation, as many believed that there was something intrinsically divine or perfect that
could be found in circles.
In pre-modern times, most cultures have not made a clear distinction between the two disciplines,
lumping them both together as one. In ancient Babylonia, famed for its astrology, there were not
separate roles for the astronomer as predictor of celestial phenomena, and the astrologer as their
interpreter; both functions were performed by the same person. This overlap does not mean that
astrology and astronomy were always regarded as one and the same. In ancient Greece, presocratic
thinkers such as Anaximander, Xenophanes, Anaximenes, and Heraclides speculated about the
nature and substance of the stars and planets. Astronomers such as Eudoxus (contemporary with
Plato) observed planetary motions and cycles, and created a geocentric cosmological model that
would be accepted by Aristotle -- this model generally lasted until Ptolemy, who added epicycles to
explain certain motions. However, around 250 B.C., Aristarchus of Samos postulated a proto-
heliocentric theory, which would not be reconsidered for nearly two millennia (Copernicus), as
Aristotle's geocentric model was favored. The Platonic school promoted the study of astronomy as a
part of philosophy because the motions of the heavens demonstrate an orderly and harmonious
cosmos. In the third century B.C.E., Babylonian astrology began to make its presence felt in
Greece. Astrology was criticized by Hellenistic philosophers such as the Academic Skeptic
Carneades and Middle Stoic Panaetius. However, the notions of the Great Year (when all the
planets complete a full cycle and return to their relative positions) and eternal recurrence were Stoic
doctrines that made divination and fatalism possible.
While the Greek words astrologia and astronomia were often used interchangeably, they were
conceptually not the same. Both words more often than not referred to astronomy. The words for
astrology proper, were more typically apotelesma and katarkhê.[citation needed]
The earliest to differentiate between the terms astronomy and astrology was Isidore of Seville in the
7th century, while the earliest semantic distinction between astronomy and astrology was given by
the Persian astronomer and astrologer Abu Rayhan al-Biruni circa 1000. Astrology was also refuted
by al-Biruni and other medieval Muslim astronomers such as Al-Farabi (Alpharabius), Ibn al-
Haytham (Alhazen), Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī, Avicenna and Averroes. Their reasons for refuting
astrology were often due to both scientific (the methods used by astrologers being conjectural rather
than empirical) and religious (conflicts with orthodox Islamic scholars) reasons. Ibn Qayyim Al-
Jawziyya (1292-1350), in his Miftah Dar al-SaCadah, used empirical arguments in astronomy in
order to refute astrology and divination.
Astrology was widely accepted in medieval Europe as astrological texts from Hellenistic and
Arabic astrologers were translated into Latin. In the late Middle Ages, its acceptance or rejection
often depended on its reception in the royal courts of Europe. Not until the time of Francis Bacon
was astrology rejected as a part of scholastic metaphysics rather than empirical observation. A more
definitive split between astrology and astronomy the West took place gradually in the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries, when astrology was increasingly thought of as an occult sciencel or
superstition by the intellectual elite. Because of their lengthy shared history, it sometimes happens
that the two are confused with one another even today. Many contemporary astrologers, however,
do not claim that astrology is a science, but think of it as a form of divination like the I-Ching, an
art, or a part of a spiritual belief structure (influenced by trends such as Neoplatonism,
Neopaganism, Theosophy, and Hinduism).
Distinguishing characteristics

Astrologer–astronomer Richard of Wallingford is shown measuring an equatorium with a pair of
compasses in this 14th century work.
• The primary goal of astronomy is to understand the physics of the universe. Astrologers use
astronomical calculations for the positions of celestial bodies along the ecliptic and attempt
to correlate celestial events (astrological aspects, sign positions) with earthly events and
human affairs. Astronomers consistently use the scientific method, naturalistic
presuppositions and abstract mathematical reasoning to investigate or explain phenomena in
the universe. Astrologers use mystical/religious reasoning as well as traditional folklore,
symbolism and superstition blended with mathematical predictions to explain phenomena in
the universe. The scientific method is not consistently used by astrologers.
• Astrologers practice their discipline geocentricically and they consider the universe to be
harmonious, changeless and static, while astronomers have employed the scientific method
to determine the universe is without a center and is dynamic, expanding outward.
• Astrologers are generally working on the assumption that the universe is deterministic and
fully or mostly predictable; either that events occur orderly, predictable and predetermined,
or that some process in the solar system give a frame for partial predeterminedness within
the individual free will be able to work. Astronomers, on the contrary, generally adher to the
scientific indetermination concept, claiming that nothing can actually be predetermined nor
predicted, except in a shorter run and as a prognosis. Astronomers also adher to the strict
philosophy of providing explanations according to established knowledge, and therefore
generally reject astrology for erecting prognoses or exact divinations without connection to
any known real world phenomenon.
• Both astrologers and astronomers see Earth as being an integral part of the universe, that
Earth and the universe are interconnected as one cosmos (not as being separate and distinct
from each other). However, astrologers philosophically and mystically portray the cosmos as
having a supernatural, metaphysical and divine essence that actively influences world events
and the personal lives of people.. Astronomers, as members of the scientific community,
cannot use religious nor mystical explanations in their scientific articles, irrespective of their
religious convictions and non-convictions. Scientific discources must provide explanations
based on known measurable laws of nature, so that the image provided explain that Earth is
an integral part of the universe, celestial objects are just as humbly natural as terrestrial
objects, being composed of exactly the same substances, and controlled by exactly the same
forces, as objects on Earth.

Three Capetian French scholars consulting an astrolabe, ca. AD 1200
• As regards to constellations, their usage is yet one point that separate astrologers and
astronomers. Astrologers did originally prepare horoscopes based on stars, but this is
relatively uncommon today, and the signs of the zodiac are symbolic representations of 30°
sectors measured from the vernal equinox. Those sectors names originated in real
constellations, but because of the precession, the distance between the sector and the real
constellation have increased during thousands of years, making the sign of Aries differ from
the constellation of Aries by some 20° degrees. Astronomers, on the other hand, regard
constellations as kind of old-fashioned memorizing patterns subdividing the sky into
conventional areas to which immobile astronomical objects are members. Not all kinds of
objects get an object designation according to the constellation pattern, most astronomical
object catalogues disregard constellation as a name part of the designation, but in general
discussions about an object, the constellations are mentioned as a general direction where
the object can be seen. Short constellation myths are preserved and retold, as a "cultural
extra", providing some insignificant "mysticism" in an otherwise technical and dry
intellectual culture.
Historical divergence
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An engraving by Albrecht Dürer featuring Mashallah, from the title page of the De scientia motus
orbis (Latin version with engraving, 1504). As in many medieval illustrations, the compass here is
an icon of religion as well as science, in reference to God as the architect of creation.
Astrology and astronomy were indistinguishable for a very long time - the funding from astrology
supported some astronomical research, which was in turn used to make more accurate ephemerides
for use in astrology. In Medieval Europe the word Astronomia was often used to encompass both
disciplines as this included the study of astronomy and astrology jointly and without a real
distinction; this was one of the original Seven Liberal Arts. Kings and other rulers generally
employed court astrologers to aid them in the decision making in their kingdoms, thereby funding
astronomical research. University medical students were taught astrology as it was generally used in
medical practice.
Astronomy and astrology diverged over the course of the 17th through 19th centuries. Copernicus
didn't practice astrology (nor empirical astronomy; his work was theoretical), but the most
important astronomers before Isaac Newton were astrologers by profession -- Tycho Brahe,
Johannes Kepler, and Galileo Galilei. Newton most likely rejected astrology, however (as did his
contemporary Christiaan Huygens), and interest in astrology declined after his era, helped by the
increasing popularity of a Cartesian, "mechanistic" cosmology in the Enlightenment.
Also relevant here was the development of better timekeeping instruments, initially for aid in
navigation; improved timekeeping made it possible to make more exact astrological predictions --
predictions which could be tested, and which consistently proved to be false. By the end of the 18th
century, astronomy was one of the major sciences of the Enlightenment model, using the recently
codified scientific method, and was altogether distinct from astrology.
History of astrology
The history of Astrology encompasses a great span of human history and many cultures. The belief
in a connection between the cosmos and terrestrial matters has also played an important part in
human history. See also the main article on astrology.
Overview
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There are three main branches of astrology today, namely Western astrology, Vedic astrology, and
Chinese or East Asian astrology. The study of Western astrology and the belief in it, as part of
astronomy, is first.[citation needed] found in a developed form among the ancient Babylonians; and
directly or indirectly through the Babylonians, it spread to other nations. It came to Greece about
the middle of the 4th century B.C., reached Rome before the advent of the Christian era, and India
with the Hellenistic Indo-Greek kingdoms.[citation needed]
With the introduction of Greek culture into Egypt, both astronomy and astrology were actively
cultivated in the region of the Nile during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Astrology was further
developed by the Arabs from the 7th to the 13th century , and in the Europe of the 14th and 15th
centuries astrologers were dominating influences at court. The Mayans of Central America and the
Aztecs also developed their own form of astrology. Other cultures and civilizations around the
world also developed their own astrological systems independently.
The terms astrology and astronomy have long been closely related. An Astrologer is an interpreter
of celestial phenomena, while an Astronomer is a predictor of celestial phenomena. Astrology itself
can be divided into two camps: "Natural astrologers" (i.e. astronomers) study the motions of the
heavenly bodies, timing of eclipses, etc. "Judicial astrologers" study the supposed correlations
between the positions of various celestial objects and the affairs of human beings.
Astrology in the Middle East and Europe
The history of astrology in Europe and the Middle East are inextricably linked, with each region
contributing to astrologial theories and continually influencing each other over time. Bouché-
Leclercq, Cumont and Boll hold that the middle of the 4th century B.C. is when Babylonian
astrology began to firmly enter western culture.[citation needed]
This spread of astrology was concomitant with the rise of a genuine scientific phase of astronomy in
Babylonia itself. This may have weakened to some extent the hold that astrology had on the priests
and the people[citation needed]. Another factor leading to the decline of the old faith in the
Euphrates Valley may have been the advent of the Persians[citation needed], who brought with
them a religion which differed markedly from the Babylonian-Assyrian polytheism (see
Zoroastrianism).
The spread of astrology beyond Babylonia is thus concomitant with the rise of a truly scientific
astronomy in Babylonia itself, which in turn is due to the intellectual impulse afforded by the
contact with new forms of culture from both the East and the West. In the hands of the Greeks and
of the Egyptians both astrology and astronomy were carried far beyond the limits attained by the
Babylonians.[citation needed]
Babylonia
Main article: Babylonian astrology
The history of astrology can now be traced back to ancient Babylonia, and indeed to the earliest
phases of Babylonian history, in the third millennium B.C.
In Babylonia as well as in Assyria as a direct offshoot of Sumerian culture (or in general the
"Mesopotamian" culture), astrology takes its place in the official cult 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 liver of the sacrificial animal (see
omen).[citation needed]
The earliest extant Babylonian astrology text is the Enuma Anu Enlil (literally meaning "When the
gods Anu and Enlil..."), dating back to 1600 B.C. This text describes various astronomical omens
and their application to national and political affairs. For example, a segment of the text says: "If in
Nisannu the sunrise appears sprinkled with blood, battles [follow]." Nisannu is the Babylonian
month corresponding to March/April in the Western calendar.[citation needed]
Theory of Divine government
Just as the sacrificial method of divination rested on a well-defined theory - to wit, that the liver was
the seat of the soul of the animal and that the deity in accepting the sacrifice identified himself with
the animal, whose "soul" was thus placed in complete accord with that of the god and therefore
reflected the mind and will of the god - so astrology is sometimes purported to be based on a theory
of divine government of the world.[citation needed]
Starting with the view that man's life and happiness are largely dependent upon phenomena in the
heavens, that the fertility of the soil is dependent upon the sun shining in the heavens as well as
upon the rains that come from heaven; and that, on the other hand, the mischief and damage done
by storms and floods (both of which the Euphratean Valley was almost regularly subject to), were
to be traced likewise to the heavens - the conclusion was drawn that all the great gods had their
seats in the heavens.[citation needed]
In that early age of culture known as the "nomadic" stage, which under normal conditions precedes
the "agricultural" stage, the moon cult is even more prominent than sun worship, and with the moon
and sun cults thus furnished by the "popular" faith, it was a natural step for the priests, who
correspond to the "scientists" of a later day, to perfect a theory of a complete accord between
phenomena observed in the heavens and occurrences on earth.[citation needed]
Gods and planets

Detail of the Ishtar Gate in Babylon
Of the planets five were recognized - Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mercury and Mars - to name them in
the order in which they appear in the older cuneiform literature; in later texts Mercury and Saturn
change places.[citation needed]
These five planets were identified with the gods of the Babylonian pantheon as follows:
• Jupiter with Marduk;
• Venus with the goddess Ishtar,
• Saturn with Ninurta (Ninib),
• Mercury with Nabu (Nebo),
• and Mars with Nergal.
The movements of the sun, moon and five planets were regarded as representing the activity of the
five gods in question, together with the moon-god Sin and the sun-god Shamash, in preparing the
occurrences on earth. If, therefore, one could correctly read and interpret the activity of these
powers, one knew what the gods were aiming to bring about.[citation needed]
The influence of Babylonian planetary lore appears also in the assignment of the days of the week
to the planets, for example Sunday, assigned to the sun, and Saturday, the day of Saturn.[citation
needed]
System of interpretation
The Babylonian priests accordingly applied themselves to the task of perfecting a system of
interpretation of the phenomena to be observed in the heavens, and it was natural that the system
was extended from the moon, sun and five planets to the more prominent and recognizable fixed
stars.[citation needed]
The interpretations themselves were based (as in the case of divination through the liver) chiefly on
two factors:
• On the recollection or on written records of what in the past had taken place when the
phenomenon or phenomena in question had been observed, and
• Association of ideas - involving sometimes merely a play upon words - in connection with
the phenomenon or phenomena observed.[citation needed]
Thus, if on a certain occasion, the rise of the new moon in a cloudy sky was followed by victory
over an enemy or by abundant rain, the sign in question was thus proved to be a favourable one and
its recurrence would thenceforth be regarded as a omen for good fortune of some kind to follow. On
the other hand, the appearance of the new moon earlier than was expected was regarded as
unfavourable, as it was believed that anything appearing prematurely suggested an unfavourable
occurrence.[citation needed]
In this way a mass of traditional interpretation of all kinds of observed phenomena was gathered,
and once gathered became a guide to the priests for all times.
Limitations of early knowledge
Astrology in its earliest stage was marked by three characteristics:
• In the first place, In Babylonia and Assyria the interpretation of the movements and position
of the heavenly bodies were centred largely and indeed almost exclusively in the public
welfare and the person of the king, because upon his well-being and favour with the gods the
fortunes of the country were dependent[citation needed]. The ordinary individual's interests
were not in any way involved, and many centuries had to pass beyond the confines of
Babylonia and Assyria before that phase is reached, which in medieval and modern
astrology is almost exclusively dwelt upon - the individual horoscope.
• In the second place, the astronomical knowledge presupposed and accompanying early
Babylonian astrology was, though essentially of an empirical character, limited and flawed.
The theory of the ecliptic as representing the course of the sun through the year, divided
among twelve constellations with a measurement of 30° to each division, is of Babylonian
origin, as has now been definitely proved; but it does not appear to have been perfected until
after the fall of the Babylonian empire in 539 B.C. The defectiveness of early Babylonian
astronomy may be gathered from the fact that as late as the 6th century B.C. an error of
almost an entire month was made by the Babylonian astronomers in the attempt to determine
through calculation the beginning of a certain year. For a long time the rise of any serious
study of astronomy did not go beyond what was needed for the purely practical purposes
that the priests as "inspectors" of the heavens (as they were also the "inspectors" of the
sacrificial livers) had in mind.[citation needed]
• In the third place, we have, probably as early as the days of Khammurabi, i.e. c. 2000 B.C.,
[citation needed] the combinations of prominent groups of stars with outlines of pictures
fantastically put together, but there is no evidence that prior to 700 B.C. more than a number
of the constellations of our zodiac had become part of the current astronomy.[citation
needed]
Hellenistic astrology
Main article: Hellenistic astrology
Further information: Egyptian astrology
After the occupation by Alexander the Great in 332BC, Egypt came under Greek rule and influence,
and it was in Alexandrian Egypt where horoscopic astrology first appeared. The endeavour to trace
the horoscope of the individual from the position of the planets and stars at the time of birth
represents the most significant contribution of the Greeks to astrology. This system can be labeled
as "horoscopic astrology" because it employed the use of the ascendant, otherwise known as the
horoskopos in Greek.
The system was carried to such a degree of perfection that later ages made but few additions of an
essential character to the genethlialogy or drawing up of the individual horoscope by the Greek
astrologers. Particularly important in the development of horoscopic astrology was the astrologer
and astronomer Ptolemy , whose work, the Tetrabiblos laid the basis of the Western astrological
tradition. Under the Greeks and Ptolemy in particular, the planets, Houses, and Signs of the zodiac
were rationalized and their function set down in a way that has changed little to the present day.
Ptolemy's work on astronomy was also the basis of Western teachings on the subject for the next
1,300 years.
To the Greek astronomer Hipparchus belongs the credit of the discovery (c. 130 B.C.) of the theory
of the precession of the equinoxes, for a knowledge of which among the Babylonians we find no
definite proof; but such a single advancement in pure science did not prevent the Greeks from
developing in a most elaborate manner the theory of the influence of the planets upon the fate of the
individual.
Babylonia or Chaldea was so identified with astrology that "Chaldaean wisdom" became among
Greeks and Romans the synonym of divination through the planets and stars, and it is perhaps not
surprising that in the course of time to be known as a "Chaldaean" carried with it frequently the
suspicion of charlatanry and of more or less willful deception.
Astrology in Egypt developed under the Ptolemies after the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the
Great.
Astrology and the sciences

Astrology played an important part in Medieval medicine; most educated physicians were trained in
at least the basics of astrology to use in their practice.
Partly in further development of views unfolded in Babylonia, but chiefly under Greek influences,
the scope of astrology was enlarged until it was brought into connection with practically all of the
known sciences: botany, chemistry, zoology, mineralogy, anatomy and medicine. Colours, metals,
stones, plants, drugs and animal life of all kinds were each associated with one or another of the
planets and placed under their rulership.
By this process of combination, the entire realm of the natural sciences was translated into the
language of astrology with the single avowed purpose of seeing in all phenomena signs indicative
of what the future had in store.
The fate of the individual, as that feature of the future which had a supreme interest, led to the
association of the planets with different parts of the body and so with medicine . Here, too, we find
various systems devised, in part representing the views of different schools, in part reflecting
advancing conceptions regarding the functions of the organs in man and animals.
From the planets the same association of ideas was applied to the constellations of the zodiac . The
zodiac came to be regarded as the prototype of the human body, the different parts of which all had
their corresponding section in the zodiac itself. The head was placed in the first sign of the zodiac,
Aries, the Ram; and the feet in the last sign, Pisces, the Fishes. Between these two extremes the
other parts and organs of the body were distributed among the remaining signs of the zodiac. In
later phases of astrology the signs of the zodiac are sometimes placed on a par with the planets
themselves, so far as their importance for the individual horoscope is concerned.
With human anatomy thus connected with the planets, with constellations, and with single stars,
medicine became an integral part of astrology. Diseases and disturbances of the ordinary functions
of the organs were attributed to the influences of planets and explained as due to conditions
observed in a constellation or in the position of a star.
Arab and Persian Astrology
Main articles: Arab and Persian astrology and Islamic astrology
The system was taken up almost in its entirety by the Arab astrologers. From their great centres of
learning in Damascus and Baghdad they revived the learning of the ancient Greeks in astronomy,
astrology, mathematics and medicine which Europe had forgotten and developed it immensely.
Their knowledge was then imported into Europe, during and after the Latin translations of the 12th
century, helping to start the Renaissance. Albumasur was the greatest of the Arab astrologers,
whose work 'Introductorium in Astronomiam' was later highly influential in Europe. Also important
was Al Khwarizmi , the Persian mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and geographer, who is
considered to be the father of algebra and the algorithm. The Arabs greatly increased the knowledge
of astronomy, naming many of the stars for the first time, such as Aldebaran, Altair, Betelgeuse,
Rigel and Vega. In astrology they discovered a system still known as Arabic parts , which accorded
a significance to the difference or "part" between the ascendant and each planet. The Arabs were
also the first to speak of favourable and unfavourable indications in astrology, instead of categorical
events fated to happen.
The first semantic distinction between astrology and astronomy was given by the Persian Muslim
astronomer Abu Rayhan al-Biruni in the 11th century, and he later refuted astrology in another
treatise. The study of astrology was also refuted by other medieval Muslim astronomers such as Al-
Farabi (Alpharabius), Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), Avicenna and Averroes. Their reasons for refuting
astrology were often due to both scientific (the methods used by astrologers being conjectural rather
than empirical) and religious (conflicts with orthodox Islamic scholars) reasons.
Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya (1292-1350), in his Miftah Dar al-SaCadah, used empirical arguments in
astronomy in order to refute the practice of astrology and divination. He recognized that the stars
are much larger than the planets, and thus argued:
"And if you astrologers answer that it is precisely because of this distance and smallness
that their influences are negligible, then why is it that you claim a great influence for the
smallest heavenly body, Mercury? Why is it that you have given an influence to al-Ra's
and al-Dhanab, which are two imaginary points [ascending and descending nodes]?"
Al-Jawziyya also recognized the Milky Way galaxy as "a myriad of tiny stars packed together in the
sphere of the fixed stars" and thus argued that "it is certainly impossible to have knowledge of their
influences."
Astrology in Medieval and Renaissance Europe

Astrologer-astronomer Richard of Wallingford is shown measuring an equatorium with a pair of
compasses in this 14th century work
Astrology became embodied in the Kabbalistic lore of Jews and Christians, and through these and
other channels came to be the substance of the astrology of the Middle Ages. In time this would
lead to Church prelates and Protestant princes using the services of astrologers. This system was
referred to as "judicial astrology", and its practitioners believed that the position of heavenly bodies
influenced the affairs of mankind. It is now usually regarded as a pseudo-science. At the time,
however, it was placed on a similar footing of equality and esteem with "natural astrology", the
latter name for the study of the motions and phenomena of the heavenly bodies and their effect on
the weather.
During the Middle Ages astrologers were called mathematici. Historically the term mathematicus
was used to denote a person proficient in astrology, astronomy, and mathematics. Inasmuch as some
practice of medicine was based to some extent on astrology, physicians learned some mathematics
and astrology.
In the XIII century, Johannes de Sacrobosco (c. 1195 - 1256) and Guido Bonatti from Forlì (Italy)
were the most famous astronomers and astrologers in Great Britain (the first) and in Europe (the
second): the book Liber Astronomicus by Bonatti was reputed "the most important astrological
work produced in Latin in the 13th century" (Lynn Thorndike).
Jerome Cardan (1501-1576) hated Martin Luther, and so changed his birthday in order to give him
an unfavourable horoscope. In Cardan's times, as in those of Augustus, it was a common practice
for men to conceal the day and hour of their birth, till, like Augustus, they found a complaisant
astrologer.
During the Renaissance, a form of "scientific astrology" evolved in which court astrologers would
compliment their use of horoscopes with genuine discoveries about the nature of the universe.
Many individuals now credited with having overturned the old astrological order, such as Galileo
Galilei, Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler, were themselves practising astrologers.
But, as a general rule, medieval and Renaissance astrologers did not give themselves the trouble of
reading the stars, but contented themselves with telling fortunes by faces. They practised
chiromancy (also known as palmistry), and relied on afterwards drawing a horoscope to suit.
As physiognomists (see physiognomy) their talent was undoubted, and according to Lucilio Vanini
there was no need to mount to the house-top to cast a nativity. "Yes," he says, "I can read his face;
by his hair and his forehead it is easy to guess that the sun at his birth was in the sign of Libra and
near Venus. Nay, his complexion shows that Venus touches Libra. By the rules of astrology he
could not lie."
Astrology in India
Main articles: Indian astronomy and Hindu astrology
The term jyoti a ṣ in the sense of one of the Vedanga, the six auxiliary disciplines of Vedic religion,
is used in the Mundaka Upanishad and thus likely dates to Mauryan times. The Vedanga Jyotisha
redacted by Lagadha dates to the Mauryan period, with rules for tracking the motions of the sun and
the moon.
The documented history of Jyotisha begins with the interaction of Indian and Hellenistic cultures in
the Indo-Greek period. The oldest surviving treatises, such as the Yavanajataka or the Brihat-
Samhita, date to the early centuries CE. The oldest astrological treatise in Sanskrit is the
Yavanajataka ("Sayings of the Greeks"), a versification by Sphujidhvaja in 269/270 CE of a now
lost translation of a Greek treatise by Yavanesvara during the 2nd century CE under the patronage
of the Western Satrap Saka king Rudradaman I.
The first named authors writing treatises on astronomy are from the 5th century CE, the date when
the classical period of Indian astronomy can be said to begin. Besides the theories of Aryabhata in
the Aryabhatiya and the lost Arya-siddhānta, there is the Pancha-Siddhāntika of Varahamihira.
Astrology in China and East Asia
The tradition usually called 'Chinese Astrology', by Westerners is in fact not only used by the
Chinese, but has a long history in other East Asian countries such as Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.
Chinese Astrology
Main article: Chinese astrology

Replica of an oracle bone -- turtle shell
Astrology is believed to have originated in China about the 3rd millennium BC. Astrology was
always traditionally regarded very highly in China, and indeed Confucius is said to have treated
astrology with respect saying: "Heaven sends down its good or evil symbols and wise men act
accordingly". The 60 year cycle combining the five elements with the twelve animal signs of the
zodiac has been documented in China since at least the time of the Shang (Shing or Yin) dynasty
(ca 1766BC - CA 1050BC). Oracles bones have been found dating from that period with the date
according to the 60 year cycle inscribed on them, along with the name of the diviner and the topic
being divined about. One of the most famous astrologers in China was Tsou Yen who lived in
around 300 BC, and who wrote: "When some new dynasty is going to arise, heaven exhibits
auspicious signs for the people". Astrology in China also became combined with the Chinese form
of geomancy known as Feng shui .
Astrology in MesoAmerica
The calenders of Pre-Columbian MesoAmerica are based upon a system which had been in
common use throughout the region, dating back to at least the 6th century BCE. The earliest
calendars were employed by peoples such as the Zapotecs and Olmecs, and later by such peoples as
the Maya , Mixtec and Aztecs. Although the Mesoamerican calendar did not originate with the
Maya, their subsequent extensions and refinements to it were the most sophisticated. Along with
those of the Aztecs, the Maya calendars are the best-documented and most completely understood.
Mayan Astrology
Main article: Maya calendar
The distinctive Mayan calendar and Mayan astrology have been in use in Meso-America from at
least the 6th Century BCE. There were two main calendars, one plotting the solar year of 360 days,
which governed the planting of crops and other domestic matters; the other called the Tzolkin of
260 days, which governed ritual use. Each was linked to an elaborate astrological system to cover
every facet of life. On the fifth day after the birth of a boy, the Mayan astrologer-priests would cast
his horoscope to see what his profession was to be: soldier, priest, civil servant or sacrificial victim.
A 584 day Venus cycle was also maintained, which tracked the appearance and conjunctions of
Venus. Venus was seen as a generally inauspicious and baleful influence, and Mayan rulers often
planned the beginning of warfare to coincide with when Venus rose. There is evidence that the
Maya also tracked the movements of Mercury, Mars and Jupiter, and possessed a zodiac of some
kind. The Mayan name for the constellation Scorpio was also 'scorpion', while the name of the
constellation Gemini was 'peccary'. There is evidence for other constellations being named after
various beasts, but it remains unclear. The most famous Mayan astrological observatory still intact
is the Caracol observatory in the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza in modern day Mexico.
Aztec Astrology
Main article: Aztec calendar
The Aztec calendar shares the same basic structure as the Mayan calendar, with two main cycles of
360 days and 260 days. The 260 day calendar was called Tonalpohualli by the Aztecs, and was used
primarily for divinatory purposes. Like the Mayan calendar, these two cycles formed a 52 year
'century', sometimes called the Calendar Round .
Astrology in the 20th century
Astrology in the United States
In the United States, a great surge of popular interest in astrology took place between 1900 through
1949. A very popular astrologer based in New York City named Evangeline Adams helped feed the
public's thirst for astrology readings with many accurate forecasts, her biographers say. A famous
court case involving Adams, who was arrested and charged with illegal fortune-telling in 1914 -
was later dismissed when Adams correctly read the horoscope of the judge's son with only a
birthdate. Her acquittal set an American precedent that if astrologers practiced in a professional
manner that they were not guilty of any wrong-doing.
The hunger for astrology in the earliest years of the 20th century by such astrologers as Alan Leo,
Sepharial (also known as Walter Gorn Old), "Paul Cheisnard" and Charles Carter, among others,
further led the surge of interest in astrology by wide distribution of astrological journals, text,
papers, and textbooks of astrology throughout the United States.
The serious and complex writings on astrological practice and concepts in America progressed from
the turn-of-the-century years and into a new period of popular expansion in the 1920s, 1930s, and
1940s. Many complex astrological materials were simplified to attempt to carve a clear line through
points of contention and controversy. The result of this attempt was to "simplify astrology" in the
minds of professionals and gave the impression of settled and agreed positions on many points that
were not resolved.
The period between 1920-1940 gave way to the popular media jumping on board the great public
interest in astrology. Publishers realized that millions of readers were interested in astrological
forecasts and the interest grew ever more intense with the advent of America's entry into the First
World War. The war heightened interest in astrology. Journalists began to write articles based on
character descriptions and astrological "forecasts" were published in newspapers based on the one
and only factor known to the public: the month and day of birth, as taken from the position of the
Sun when a person is born. The result of this practice led to modern-day publishing of Sun-Sign
astrology columns and expanded to some astrological books and magazines in later decades of the
20th century.
Noted predictions
See also Mundane astrology, Horary astrology, Electional astrology
Throughout history many astrologers have made predictions about the future course of world
events, and these are often remarkable either for their fulfilment or for the ruin and confusion they
brought upon their authors.
A favourite topic of the astrologers of all countries has been the immediate end of the world. As
early as 1186 the Earth had escaped one threatened cataclysm of the astrologers.
This did not prevent Stöffler from predicting a universal deluge for the year 1524 - a year, as it
turned out, distinguished for drought. His aspect of the heavens told him that in that year three
planets would meet in the aqueous sign of Pisces. The prediction was believed far and wide, and
President Aurial, at Toulouse, built himself a Noah's ark - a curious realization, in fact, of Chaucer's
merry invention in the Miller's Tale.
The most famous predictions about European and world affairs were made by the French astrologer
Nostradamus (1503 - 66). Nostradamus became famous after the publication in 1555 of his work
Centuries , which was a series of prophecies in cryptic verse. So obscure are the predictions that
they have been interpreted as relating to a great variety of events since, including the French and
English Revolutions, and the Second World War. In 1556 Nostradamus was summoned to the
French court by Catherine de Medici and commissioned to draw up the horoscope of the royal
children. Although Nostradamus later fell out of favour with many in the court and was accused of
witchcraft, Catherine continued to support him and patronized him until his death.
Historical figures and astrology
Throughout history many astrologers have made their mark, including such figures as Ptolemy,
Albumasur, Tsou Yen and Nostradamus. In addition, many famous people over the centuries have
expressed opinions either in favour or in opposition to astrology, and have either used it or refused
to use it in their actions.
Historical proponents of astrology
The influence of the Medici made astrologers popular in France.
Richelieu, on whose council was Jacques Gaffarel (1601-1681), the last of the Kabbalists, did not
despise astrology as an engine of government.
At the birth of Louis XIV a certain Morin de Villefranche was placed behind a curtain to cast the
nativity of the future autocrat. A generation back the astrologer would not have been hidden behind
a curtain, but have taken precedence over the doctor.
La Bruyère dares not pronounce against such beliefs, "for there are perplexing facts affirmed by
grave men who were eye-witnesses."
In England William Lilly and Robert Fludd were both dressed in a little brief authority. The latter
gives us elaborate rules for the detection of a thief, and tells us that he has had personal experience
of their efficacy. "If the lord of the sixth house is found in the second house, or in company with the
lord of the second house, the thief is one of the family. If Mercury is in the sign of the Scorpion he
will be bald, &c."
Francis Bacon abuses the astrologers of his day no less than the alchemists, but he does so because
he has visions of a reformed astrology and a reformed alchemy.
Sir Thomas Browne, too, while he denies the capacity of the astrologers of his day, does not venture
to dispute the reality of the science. The idea of the souls of men passing at death to the stars, the
blessedness of their particular sphere being assigned them according to their deserts (the
metempsychosis of J. Reynaud), may be regarded as a survival of religious astrology, which, even
as late as Descartes's day, assigned to the angels the task of moving the planets and the stars.
Joseph de Maistre believed in comets as messengers of divine justice, and in animated planets, and
declared that divination by astrology is not an absolutely chimerical science.
Kepler was cautious in his opinion; he spoke of astronomy as the wise mother, and astrology as the
foolish daughter, but he added that the existence of the daughter was necessary to the life of the
mother.
Kepler may have said this with the cynical meaning that the "foolish" work of astrology paid for the
serious work of astronomy - as, at the time, the main motivation to fund advancements in
astronomy was the desire for better, more accurate astrological predictions.
Historical opponents of astrology
Lastly, we may mention a few distinguished men who ran counter to their age in denying stellar
influences.
Panaetius, Augustine, Martianus Capella (the precursor of Copernicus), Cicero, Favorinus, Sextus
Empiricus, Juvenal, and in a later age Savonarola and Pico della Mirandola, and La Fontaine, a
contemporary of the neutral La Bruyère, were all pronounced opponents of astrology.
In the Hellenistic and Roman Empire eras, a number of notable philosophers and scientists, such as
Diogenes of Babylon (Middle Stoic), Galen, and Pliny accepted some aspects of astrology while
rejecting others.
Cultural influence of astrology
Main article: Cultural influence of astrology
To astrological politics we owe the theory of heaven-sent rulers, instruments in the hands of
Providence, and saviours of society.
Napoleon, as well as Wallenstein, believed in his star. Many passages in the older English poets are
unintelligible without some knowledge of astrology.
Chaucer wrote a treatise on the astrolabe; Milton constantly refers to planetary influences; in
Shakespeare's King Lear, Gloucester and Edmund represent respectively the old and the new faith.
We still contemplate and consider; we still speak of men as jovial, saturnine or mercurial; we still
talk of the ascendancy of genius, or a disastrous defeat.
In French heur, malheur, heureux, malheureux, are all derived from the Latin augurium; the
expression né sous une mauvaise étoile, born under an evil star, corresponds (with the change of
étoile into astre) to the word malôtru, in Provençal malastrue; and son étoile palit, his star grows
pale, belongs to the same class of allusions.
The Latin ex augurio appears in the Italian sciagura, sciagurato, softened into sciaura, sciaurato,
wretchedness, wretched.
The influence of a particular planet has also left traces in various languages; but the French and
English jovial and the English saturnine correspond to the gods who served as types in chiromancy
rather than to the planets which bear the same names.
In the case of the expressions bien or mal luné, well or ill mooned, avoir un quartier de lune dans
la tetê, to have the quarter of the Moon in one's head, the German mondsüchtig and the English
moonstruck or lunatic, the fundamental idea lies in the strange opinions formerly (and in some
cases, still) held about the Moon.
Babylonian astrology
In Babylonia as well as in Assyria as a direct offshoot of Babylonian culture (or as we might also
term it "Euphratean" culture), astrology takes its place in the official cult 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 liver of the sacrificial animal
(see omen).
History
Babylonian astrology was the first organized system of astrology, arising in the second millennium
B.C. There is some speculation that astrology of some form or other appeared in the Sumerian
period in the 3rd millennium BC but no ancient written evidence is available to support this
hypothesis. By the 16th century B.C. its beginnings as a simple omen-based astrology had begun to
take shape in the astrological writings of the time, most important of these being the Enuma Anu
Enlil, whose contents consisted of 70 tablets of 7,000 recorded mundane (i.e., public, common;
famine or victory in war, for example) phenomena and whatever celestial occurrences happened to
be present at the time of the event. However texts from this time also refer to an oral tradition - the
origin and content of which we can only speculate upon. At this time Babylonian astrology was
solely mundane, and prior to the 7th century B.C. the practitioners' understanding of astronomy was
very rudimentary. Because of their inability to accurately predict future celestial phenomena and
planetary movement very far in advance, interpretations were done as the phenomena occurred or
slightly before. By the 4th century, however, their mathematical methods had progressed enough to
calculate future planetary positions with reasonable accuracy, at which point extensive ephemerides
began to appear.
Theory of divine government
Just as the sacrificial method of divination rested on a well-defined theory - to wit, that the liver was
the seat of the soul of the animal and that the deity in accepting the sacrifice identified himself with
the animal, whose "soul" was thus placed in complete accord with that of the god and therefore
reflected the mind and will of the god - so astrology is sometimes purported to be based on a theory
of divine government of the world.
On the mythological presumption that mans life and happiness is dependent on upon phenomena in
the heaven and that the fertility of the soil is dependent upon the sun shining in the heavens as well
as upon the rains that come from heaven; and that, on the other hand, the mischief and damage done
by storms and floods (both of which the Euphratean Valley was almost regularly subject to), were
to be traced likewise to the heavens - the conclusion was drawn that all the great gods had their
seats in the heavens.
In that early age of culture known as the "nomadic" stage, which under normal conditions precedes
the "agricultural" stage, the moon cult is even more prominent than sun worship, and with the moon
and sun cults thus furnished by the "popular" faith, it was a natural step for the priests to perfect a
theory of a complete accord between phenomena observed in the heavens and occurrences on earth.
Planets and gods
Further information: Babylonian calendar
Of the planets five were recognized - Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mercury and Mars - to name them in
the order in which they appear in the older cuneiform literature; in later texts Mercury and Saturn
change places.
These five planets were identified with the gods of the Babylonian pantheon as follows:
• Jupiter with Marduk;
• Venus with the goddess Ishtar,
• Saturn with Ninurta (Ninib),
• Mercury with Nabu (Nebo),
• and Mars with Nergal.
The movements of the sun, moon and five planets were regarded as representing the activity of the
five gods in question, together with the moon-god Sin and the sun-god Shamash, in preparing the
occurrences on earth. If, therefore, one could correctly read and interpret the activity of these
powers, one knew what the gods were aiming to bring about.
Babylonian observational records enabled Babylonian scholars to construct planetary theories by
which to predict planetary phenomena. Modern scholars have reconstructed Theory A[clarification
needed] - it successfully calculates the heliacal phases of the Moon and the planets (New Crescent,
Last Crescent, Acronychal Rise, Cosmic Setting, Morning First, Morning Last).
The Babylonians were the first to name the Days of the week after the sun, moon and planets.
[citation needed] Their naming scheme is still widely followed today in many languages, including
English, and goes as follows:
• Sunday - day of the sun
• Monday - day of the moon
• Tuesday - day of Mars (Norse Tiw, the Anglo-Saxon Mars)
• Wednesday - day of Mercury (Norse Wodin, the Anglo-Saxon Mercury)
• Thursday - day of Jupiter (Norse Thor, the Anglo-Saxon Jupiter)
• Friday - day of Venus (Norse Frig, the Anglo-Saxon Venus)
• Saturday - day of Saturn
Celestial houses
Further information: Babylonian zodiac
The Babylonians were also the first to set out the twelve houses of the horoscope. The houses were
numbered from the east downward under the horizon, and represented areas of life on the following
pattern: 1. Life ; 2. Poverty/Riches ; 3. Brothers ; 4. Parents ; 5. Children ; 6. Illness/health ; 7.
Wife/husband ; 8. Death ; 9. Religion ; 10. Dignities ; 11. Friendship ; 12. Enmity . These represent
the basic outline of the houses as they are still understood today.
System of Interpretation

Detail of the Ishtar Gate in Babylon
The Babylonian priests accordingly applied themselves to the task of perfecting a system of
interpretation of the phenomena to be observed in the heavens, and it was natural that the system
was extended from the moon, sun and five planets to the more prominent and recognizable fixed
stars.
The interpretations themselves were based (as in the case of divination through the liver) chiefly on
two factors:
• On the recollection or on written records of what in the past had taken place when the
phenomenon or phenomena in question had been observed, and
• Association of ideas - involving sometimes merely a play upon words - in connection with
the phenomenon or phenomena observed.
Thus, if on a certain occasion, the rise of the new moon in a cloudy sky was followed by victory
over an enemy or by abundant rain, the sign in question was thus proved to be a favourable one and
its recurrence would thenceforth be regarded as a good omen, though the prognostication would not
necessarily be limited to the one or the other of those occurrences, but might be extended to apply
to other circumstances.
On the other hand, the appearance of the new moon earlier than was expected was regarded as
unfavourable - prognosticating in one case defeat, in another death among cattle, in a third bad
crops - not necessarily because these events actually took place after such a phenomenon, but by an
application of the general principle resting upon association of ideas whereby anything premature
would suggest an unfavourable occurrence.
In this way a mass of traditional interpretation of all kinds of observed phenomena was gathered,
and once gathered became a guide to the priests for all times. However, not all of these ideas are
still used in astrology as it is usually practiced today.
Limits of early knowledge
Astrology in its earliest stage was marked by three characteristic limitations:
General nature
The first limitation was that the movements and position of the heavenly bodies point to such
occurrences as are of public import and affect the general welfare. The individual's interests are not
in any way involved, and we must descend many centuries and pass beyond the confines of
Babylonia and Assyria before we reach that phase which in medieval and modern astrology is
almost exclusively dwelt upon - the individual horoscope.
In Babylonia and Assyria the cult centred largely and indeed almost exclusively in the public
welfare and the person of the king, because upon his well-being and favour with the gods the
fortunes of the country were dependent, in accordance with the ancient conception of kingship.
Astronomical expertise
The second limitation was that the astronomical knowledge presupposed and accompanying early
Babylonian astrology was, though essentially of an empirical character, limited and flawed. The
theory of the ecliptic as representing the course of the sun through the year, divided among twelve
constellations with a measurement of 30° to each division, is of Babylonian origin, as has now been
definitely proved; but it does not appear to have been perfected until after the fall of the Babylonian
empire in 539 B.C.
Similarly, the other accomplishments of Babylonian astronomers, such as their system or rather
systems of moon calculations and the drawing up of planetary tablets, belong to this late period, so
that the golden age of Babylonian astronomy belongs not to the remote past, as was until recently
supposed, but to the Seleucid period, i.e. after the advent of the Greeks in the Euphrates Valley.
From certain expressions used in astrological texts that are earlier than the 7th century B.C. it would
appear, indeed, that the beginnings at least of the calculation of sun and moon eclipses belong to the
earlier period, but here, too, the chief work accomplished was after 400 B.C., and the defectiveness
of early Babylonian astronomy may be gathered from the fact that as late as the 6th century B.C. an
error of almost an entire month was made by the Babylonian astronomers in the attempt to
determine through calculation the beginning of a certain year.
In a general way, the reign of law and order in the movements of the heavenly bodies was
recognized, and indeed must have exercised an influence at an early period in leading to the rise of
a methodical divination that was certainly of a much higher order than the examination of an
animal's liver.
However, the importance that was laid upon the endless variations in the form of the phenomena
and the equally numerous apparent deviations from what were regarded as normal conditions,
prevented for a long time the rise of any serious study of astronomy beyond what was needed for
the purely practical purposes that the priests as "inspectors" of the heavens (as they were also the
"inspectors" of the sacrificial livers) had in mind.
Constellations
The third limitation was that there is little evidence that the signs of the zodiac that we now
recognise, were used in Babylonian astronomy prior to 700 B.C.. However, probably from as early
as the days of Hammurabi, i.e. c. 2000 B.C., Babylonian astrologers did develop the idea of
constellations by depicting prominent groups of stars with outlines of images derived from their
mythology and religion. The earliest irrefutable evidence for the use of constellations can be found
in a variety of lexical star-lists dating to the Old Babylonian Period.
Ashurbanipal
Ashurbanipal was a king of Assyria who ruled in the seventh century BC from 668BC to 625BC.
He was famous for assembling a great library of cuneiform tablets in Nineveh on the subjects of
astrology, history, mythology and science. Some of Assurbanipal's astrologers, such as Rammanu-
sumausar and Nabu-musisi, became so adept at deducing omens from daily movements of the
planets that a system of making periodical reports to the king came into being. Thus, Assurbanipal
received swift messengers detailing 'all occurrences in heaven and earth' throughout his kingdom
and the results of his astrologer's examinations of them. He then used this information as a political
weapon, and for the practical day-to-day running of his kingdom. After his death Nineveh fell to the
Medians and the Chaldean Babylonians, and Assurbanipal's library was destroyed or dispersed.
Hellenistic astrology
Hellenistic astrology is a tradition of horoscopic astrology that was developed and practiced in
Hellenistic Egypt and the Mediterranean, whose texts were written in Greek (or sometimes Latin),
sometime around the late 2nd or early 1st century BCE. Although the Hellenistic period properly
ended in the early part of the Common Era, this type of astrology that was developed sometime
during the early Hellenistic period was practiced in essentially its original form until the 6th or 7th
century CE and thus it is still commonly referred to as 'Hellenistic astrology'.
History
The origins of much of the astrology that would later develop in Asia, Europe and the Middle East
are found among the ancient Babylonians and their system of celestial omens that began to be
compiled around the middle of the 2nd millennium BCE. This system later spread either directly or
indirectly through the Babylonians to other areas such as India, China and Greece where it merged
with preexisting indigenous forms of astrology. It came to Greece initially as early as the middle of
the 4th century BCE, and then around the late 2nd or early 1st century BCE after the Alexandrian
conquests this Babylonian astrology was mixed with the Egyptian tradition of Decanic astrology to
create horoscopic astrology. This system is labeled as "horoscopic astrology" because, unlike the
previous traditions, it employed the use of the ascendant, otherwise known as the horoskopos ("hour
marker") in Greek, and the twelve celestial houses which are derived from it. The focus on the natal
chart of the individual, as derived from the position of the planets and stars at the time of birth,
represents the most significant contribution and shift of emphasis that was made during the
Hellenistic tradition of astrology. This new form of astrology quickly spread across the ancient
world into Europe, the Middle East and India.
This complex system of astrology was developed to such an extent that later traditions made few
fundamental changes to the core of the system, and many of the same components of horoscopic
astrology that were developed during the Hellenistic period are still in use by astrologers in modern
times.
Mythical origins
Several Hellenistic astrologers ascribe its creation to a mythical sage named Hermes Trismegistus.
Hermes is said to have written several major texts which formed the basis of the art or its evolution
from the system of astrology that was inherited from the Babylonians and the Egyptians. Several
authors cite Hermes as being the first to outline the houses and their meaning, and thus the houses
are usually thought to date back to the very beginning of the Hellenistic tradition and indeed they
are one of the major defining factors which separate Hellenistic astrology and other forms of
horoscopic astrology from Babylonian astrology and other traditions in different parts of the world.
This system of horoscopic astrology was then passed to another mythical figure named Asclepius to
who some of the Hermetic writings are addressed.
According to Firmicus Maternus, the system was subsequently handed down to an Egyptian
pharaoh named Nechepso and his priest Petosiris. They are said to have written several major
textbooks which explicated the system and it is from this text that many of the later Hellenistic
astrologers draw from and cite directly. This system formed the basis of all later forms of
horoscopic astrology.

The Thema Mundi
Astrology in Rome
Like so much else, astrology came to Rome due to Greek influence. Among the Greeks and
Romans, Babylonia or Chaldea was so identified with astrology that "Chaldaean wisdom" became
the synonym of divination through the planets and stars. Astrologers became very much in vogue in
Imperial Rome. Indeed the emperor Tiberius had had his destiny predicted for him at birth, and so
surrounded himself with astrologers such as Thrasyllus of Mendes. According to Juvenal 'there are
people who cannot appear in public, dine or bathe, without having first consulted an ephemeris'.
Claudius, on the other hand favoured augury and banned astrologers from Rome altogether. It is
perhaps not surprising, that in the course of time, to be known as a "Chaldaean" carried with it
frequently the suspicion of charlatanry and of more or less willful deception.
The Satyricon of Petronius details one view of the zodiac: "This heaven in which dwell the twelve
gods resolves itself into twelve different configurations, and presently becomes the Ram. So
whosoever is born under this sign has many flocks and herds and much wool, a hard head into the
bargain, a shameless brow and a sharp horn. Most of your schoolmen and pettifoggers are born
under this sign... Next the whole sky becomes Bull; then are born obstinate fellows and neatherds
and such as think of nothing but filling their own bellies. Under the Twins are born horses in a
pair, oxen in a yoke, men blessed with a sturdy brace of testicles, all who manage to keep in with
both sides. I was born under the Crab myself. Wherefore I stand on many feet, and have many
possessions both by sea and land; for the Crab is equally adapted to either element. And this is why
I never put anything on that sign, so as not to eclipse my horoscope. Under the Lion are born great
eaters and wasters, and all who love to domineer; under the Virgin, women and runaways and
jailbirds; under the Scales, butchers and perfumers and all retail traders; under the Scorpion,
poisoners and cutthroats; under the Archer, squint-eyed folks, who look at the greens and whip off
with the bacon; under Capricorn, the 'horny-handed sons of toil'; under Aquarius or the Waterman,
innkeepers and pumpkin-heads; under Pisces, or the Fishes, fine cooks and fine talkers. Thus the
world goes round like a mill, and is for ever at some mischief, whether making men or marring
them...
Transmission
This system of Hellenistic astrology was passed to India sometime around the 1st century CE where
it was merged with the preexisting tradition of Babylonian astrology and the indigenous lunar
astrology of the Nakshatras and this founded the vast tradition of Indian astrology. Hellenistic
astrology was practiced from the 2nd century BCE until sometime around the 7th century CE when
Europe entered the Middle Ages. Astrology was then passed to and further developed by
individuals working within the Islamic Empire from the 7th to the 13th century.
Egyptian astrology
Classical astrology in Egypt only developed after it was conquered by Alexander the Great.
Alexandrian Egypt
After the occupation by Alexander the Great in 332BC, Egypt came under Greek rule and influence.
It was in 'Alexandrian Egypt' as it was called, that Babylonian astrology was mixed with the
Egyptian tradition of Decanic astrology to create Horoscopic astrology. This new system was
labelled as "horoscopic astrology" because it employed the use of the ascendant, otherwise known
as the horoskopos in Greek, and the twelve celestial houses which are derived from it. Its endeavour
to trace the horoscope of the individual from the position of the planets and stars at the time of birth
represents the most significant contribution of the Greeks to astrology. This new form of astrology
quickly spread across the ancient world into Europe, the Middle East and India.
Particularly important in the development of horoscopic astrology was the astrologer and
astronomer Ptolemy, who lived in Alexandria in Egypt. Ptolemy's work the Tetrabiblos laid the
basis of the Western astrological tradition. Under the Greeks and Ptolemy in particular, the planets,
Houses, and Signs of the zodiac were rationalized and their function set down in a way that has
changed little to the present day. Ptolemy's work on astronomy was also the basis of Western
teachings on the subject for the next 1,300 years.
The Zodiac
The earliest Zodiac found in Egypt dates to the first century BC, the Dendera Zodiac
According to Firmicus Maternus, the system of horoscopic astrology was given early on to an
Egyptian pharaoh named Nechepso and his priest Petosiris. They apparently wrote a major textbook
which explicated the system and it is from this text that much of Hellenistic astrology was drawn.
This system formed the basis of all later forms of Horoscopic astrology.
Jyoti a ṣ
Jyoti a ṣ (Sanskrit jyoti a ṣ , from jyótis- "light, heavenly body": also spelled Jyotish and Jyotisha in
English, Devanagari: ज"ìत¬ष) is the Hindu system of astrology (also known as Indian astrology,
Hindu astrology, and of late, Vedic astrology). Traditionally, it has three branches:
• Siddhanta: , which is traditional Indian astronomy.
• Samhita: also known as Medini Jyotisha (mundane astrology), predicting important events
based on analysis of astrological dynamics in a country's horoscope or general transit events
such as war, earthquakes, political events, financial positions, electional astrology; house
and construction related matters (Vāstu Shāstra), animals, portents, omens etc.
• Hora: Predictive astrology based on analysis of natal horoscopes and the moment a query is
made.
The latter two are part of predictive astrology (Phalita). Conceptually, therefore, Indian astrology
has two branches, Ganita (Siddhanta) and Phalita (Samhita plus Hora).
The foundation of Jyotisha is the notion of bandhu of the Vedas or scriptures, which is the
connection between the microcosm and the macrocosm. The practice of Jyotisha primarily relies on
the sidereal zodiac, which is different from the tropical zodiac used in Western astrology in that an
ayanamsa adjustment is made for the gradual precession of the vernal equinox. Jyotisha includes
several nuanced sub-systems of interpretation and prediction with elements not found in Hellenistic
astrology, such as its system of lunar mansions (nakshatras).
Astrology remains an important facet in the lives of many Hindus. In Hindu culture, newborns are
traditionally named based on their jyotish charts, and jyotish concepts are pervasive in the
organization of the calendar and holidays as well as in many areas of life, such as in making
decisions made about marriage, opening a new business, and moving into a new home. To some
extent, astrology even manages to retain a position among the sciences in modern India. Following
a controversial judgement of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2001, some Indian universities even
offer advanced degrees in astrology.
History
Main article: Indian astronomy
Further information: Astrology and astronomy
Further information: Hindu chronology
The term jyoti a ṣ in the sense of one of the Vedanga, the six auxiliary disciplines of Vedic religion,
is used in the Mundaka Upanishad and thus likely dates to Mauryan times. The Vedanga Jyotisha
redacted by Lagadha dates to the Mauryan period, with rules for tracking the motions of the sun and
the moon.
The documented history of Jyotisha begins with the interaction of Indian and Hellenistic cultures in
the Indo-Greek period. The oldest surviving treatises, such as the Yavanajataka or the Brihat-
Samhita, date to the early centuries CE. The oldest astrological treatise in Sanskrit is the
Yavanajataka ("Sayings of the Greeks"), a versification by Sphujidhvaja in 269/270 CE of a now
lost translation of a Greek treatise by Yavanesvara during the 2nd century CE under the patronage
of the Western Satrap Saka king Rudradaman I.
The first named authors writing treatises on astronomy are from the 5th century CE, the date when
the classical period of Indian astronomy can be said to begin. Besides the theories of Aryabhata in
the Aryabhatiya and the lost Arya-siddhānta, there is the Pancha-Siddhāntika of Varahamihira.
The main texts upon which classical Indian astrology is based are early medieval compilations,
notably the B hat Parāśara Horāśāstra ṛ , and Sārāvalī by Kalyā avarman ṇ . The Horashastra is a
composite work of 71 chapters, of which the first part (chapters 1-51) dates to the 7th to early 8th
centuries and the second part (chapters 52-71) to the later 8th century. The Sārāvalī likewise dates
to around 800 CE. English translations of these texts were published by N.N. Krishna Rau and
V.B. Choudhari in 1963 and 1961, respectively.
Historically, the study of astrology in India was an important factor in the development of
astronomy in the Early Middle Ages.
Elements
Rāshi – the signs (zodiac)
Further information: sign (astrology)
See also: Varga (astrology)
A zodiac divides the 360 degrees of the ecliptic into 12 equal parts. Each twelfth part (of 30
degrees) is called a sign or rāshi. Whereas Western astrology uses the tropical zodiac (where the
signs are measured from the point of the Spring Equinox on the ecliptic), the Jyotisha system favors
the sidereal zodiac (where the signs are aligned with their eponymous constellations). The
difference, due to the precession of the equinoxes, becomes noticeable over time. After two
millennia, the origin of the ecliptic longitude has shifted by about 24 degrees. As a result the
assignment of planets to their sign positions in the Jyotisha system is consistent with the actual
zodiac, while in Western astrology the planets fall into the following sign, as compared to their
placement in the sidereal zodiac, about two thirds of the time. The Sanskrit names of the signs are
direct or approximate translations of the Greek names (dhanus meaning "bow" rather than "archer",
and kumbha meaning "water-pitcher" rather than "water-carrier", and "makara" meaning
"crocodile" rather than "goat").
The word Rashi is used to indicate the Houses of the Zodiac, and also specifically, the Moon-sign
of the horoscope. It never refers to one's sunsign. Thus, if one's Rashi from his/her horoscope is
Capricorn, it means that the Moon (and not the Sun) was in Capricorn zodiac during the person's
birth.
Number Sanskrit Name Western/Greek Name
Tattva
(Element)
Quality
Ruling
Planet
1 Me a ṣ "ram" Aries (Κριός "ram") Tejas (Fire) Cara (Movable) Mars
2 V abha ṛṣ "bull" Taurus (Ταύρος "bull")
Prithivi
(Earth)
Sthira (Fixed) Venus
3
Mithuna
"twins"
Gemini (Δίδυμοι "twins") Vayu (Air)
Dvisvabhava
(Dual)
Mercury
4 Karka "crab" Cancer (Καρκίνος "crab") Jala (Water) Cara (Movable) Moon
5 Si ha ṃ "lion" Leo (Λέων "lion") Tejas (Fire) Sthira (Fixed) Sun
6 Kanyā "girl"
Virgo (Παρθένος
"virgin")
Prithivi
(Earth)
Dvisvabhava
(Dual)
Mercury
7 Tula "balance" Libra (Ζυγός "balance") Vayu (Air) Cara (Movable) Venus
8
V ścika ṛ
"scorpion"
Scorpio (Σκoρπιός
"scorpion")
Jala (Water) Sthira (Fixed) Mars
9 Dhanus "bow" Sagittarius (Τοξότης Tejas (Fire) Dvisvabhava Jupiter
"archer") (Dual)
10
Makara "sea-
monster"
Capricorn (Α γόκερως ἰ
"goat-horned")
Prithivi
(Earth)
Cara (Movable) Saturn
11
Kumbha
"pitcher"
Aquarius ( δροχόος Ὑ
"water-pourer")
Vayu (Air) Sthira (Fixed) Saturn
12 Mīna "fish" Pisces ( χθείς "fish") Ἰ Jala (Water)
Dvisvabhava
(Dual)
Jupiter
Bhāva – the houses
Further information: house (astrology)
In almost all traditional Jyotish practice, the twelve houses of an astrological chart have the same
boundaries as the twelve signs in the chart; in other words, each sign is a house in the chart. The
beginning of each house is the 0th degrees of the sign and the end is the 30th degree of the sign.
What varies from chart to chart is the enumeration of these houses, i.e., which sign is the first
house, which is the second, and so forth. This is determined by the position of the Lagna (usually
the Ascendant, or the longitudinal point of the zodiac that was rising in the East at birth.) The house
in which the Lagna falls is always the first house of the chart, and the other houses follow it,
counter-clockwise, in the sequence of the zodiac.
Each of the twelve houses signifies a region of the concerns of life, and the identity of the sign of
that house will color what may be expected from that life.
More than one system to align houses with signs are recognized in Jyotisha. The most common
method is described above, a method that Western astrologers call the whole sign house system;
another is Sripathi, akin to a Porphyry house system. The modern Krishnamurti Paddhati also
incorporates a Placidus house system.
The areas of life represented by the 12 houses are:
1. Lagna - Nature of Native, Appearance, Health, Character, Purpose of Life, behavior, birth,
limbs, head
2. Dhana - Wealth, Family, Domestic Comforts, Early Education, Inheritance, Speech,
moveable asssets
3. Parākrama - Younger Brothers and Sisters, Communication (Talking, Writing, Business
Documents), Intelligence, fine arts Short Journeys, "great prowess (physical and mental),"
hands, arms, shoulders
4. Suh da ṛ - Mother, Emotions, Education, Home, Property and Land, Surrounding in Old Age,
vehicles, the chest
5. Suta - Children, Lovers, Recreation Devotion, Speculation and Gambling, the belly,
accumulated karma
6. Ripu/Roga - Diseases, Maternal uncle and aunt, Litigation, Servants, Mental Worries,
Enemies, Foreigners, small intestine,
7. Kāma - Spouse, Business Partner, Death, Respect, passion, groin
8. Mrityu - Death & Longevity, Obstacles, Suffering, Sexual organs and sexual attractiveness,
Occult, Dowry, Inheritance, Imprisonment, Excretory organs, accidents
9. Bhāgya - Father, Luck, Higher learning, Philosophy & Religion, Mentor or Guru,
Prosperity, Travel, "deeds of virtue"
10.Karma - Profession, Status & fame, Power, Father, Mother-in-law, Government, Clothes,
Commerce, knees
11.Āya - Friends, Hopes, Earnings, Club or Social Activities, Elder Brothers and Sisters,
Daughter/Son-in-law, calves, shins and ankles
12.Vyaya - Expenses, Sleep (and convalescence), Sexual pleasures, Spirituality, Travel &
Pilgrimage, Secret Enemies, Imprisonment, Hospitals, Asylums, Liberation, loss foreign
residency, feet
In general houses are classified into four categories:
• Kendra houses, which are angular houses, that is the first, fourth, seventh and tenth houses.
(kendra also describes the relationship between any houses or grahas which are about 90
degrees apart.) These are very strong houses for grahas to occupy.
• Trikona houses, which are houses forming a triangle within the chart with the first house,
about 120 degrees apart from one another: the first, the fifth and ninth. These are the most
auspicious houses.
• Dusthana houses, which are the less fortunate houses which tend to rule unhappy areas.
These houses make no clear geometric connection to the Lagna. Dusthanas include the
sixth, eighth and twelfth houses.
• Upachaya houses, or "growth" or "remedial" houses, where malefic planets tend to
improve, include the third, sixth, tenth and eleventh houses.
In addition, the second house is considered a neutral house, having no strong weight for
auspiciousness or evil.
Graha – the planets
Main article: Navagraha
See also: Dasha (astrology)
Graha means rotating body which may be translated as planet or any heavenly body or point that
can cast an impact on human affairs. Graha also means a demon or something which possesses a
person. They are literally called "Seizers," entities which can grab and take hold of a person. The
grahas also include the north and south lunar nodes, (Rahu and Ketu), which are not planets but
only slightly less effective than planets, as well as sub-planets (upgrahas), which are also sometimes
used.
There are nine grahas: the two luminaries (Sun and Moon), the five visible planets (Mercury,
Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) and the two lunar nodes (Rahu [the North Node] and Ketu [the
South Node].) The extra-saturnine planets (Uranus , Neptune and Pluto) are not included in the
category of Graha. (The links just given and in the Sanskrit name column of the table below will
give more information about each Graha.)
Sanskrit
Name
English Name Abbreviation Gender Guna Represents
Surya (स" ) Sun Sy or Su M Sattva
Soul, king, highly placed persons,
father.
Chandra
(चद)
Moon Ch or Mo F Sattva Mind, queen, mother.
Mangala Mars Ma M Tamas energetic action, confidence and
(मगल) ego
Budha (बध) Mercury Bu or Me N Rajas Communication and analysis
Brihaspati
(बहस¯त¬)
Jupiter Gu or Ju M Sattva the great teacher
Shukra
(शक)
Venus Sk or Ve F Rajas wealth, pleasure and reproduction
Shani (शत-) Saturn Sa M Tamas
learning the hard way. Career and
Longevity
Rahu (रïह)
Head of Demon
Snake
Ascending/North
Lunar Node
Ra M Tamas
a Asura who does his best to
plunge any area of one's life he
controls into chaos
Ketu (क ¬ )
Tail of Demon
Snake
Descending/Sout
h Lunar Node
Ke M Tamas supernatural influences
Nakshatra – the lunar mansions
Main article: Nakshatra
A nakshatra (Devanagari: -कत) or lunar mansion , is one of the 27 or 28 consecutive divisions of
the sky, identified by the prominent star(s) within them, each of which identifies the starry
background of the region in which the Moon is found on each night of its monthly cycle. In fact, the
nakshatras are styled as the wives of the Moon God, with whom he spends one night each month.
Each nakshatra represents a division of the ecliptic (of 13 degree 20 minutes), similar to the zodiac.
Traditionally the nakshatra position of the Moon is computed for the newborn's mental make-up,
and calculations of planetary periods (dasha). Each nakshatra is further partitioned into four equal
segments known as charan or pada The Nakshatras are important factors in the calculation of the
Panchanga (Hindu ephemeris and calendar) and in Indian methods of astrological matchmaking (see
Synastry), Muhurta (Electional astrology), and Praśna (Horary astrology).
Horoscopy
Lagna – the ascendant
One's ascendant, or lagna, is the degree of the rāshi (or sign) which is rising on the eastern horizon
at the time of one's birth. This is more specifically called the Udaya Lagna to differentiate it from
charts in which other points are used to determine the first house of the horoscope (see below.) The
Udaya Lagna is the most influential and important sign within the natal chart, and the
characteristics of that sign will to some extent be impressed upon the personality of the person or
event being born. This sign will be considered the first house of the horoscope, and the enumeration
of the other houses follows in sequence through the rest of the signs of the zodiac. In this way, the
Lagna does not only delineate the rising sign, but also all the other houses in the chart.
However, the Ascendant is not the only Lagna used in Jyoti a. Another important lagna is the ṣ
Janma Rāshi, which is the rāshi (or sign) in which the moon is found at birth. A Chandra Lagna
chart, which is also an important tool used to analyze the horoscope, is a chart in which the Moon's
house is treated as the first house of the horoscope and the enumeration of the other houses are
made starting from that rāshi and continuing in sequence throughout the rest of the zodiac signs.
The astrologer will use the Chandra Lagna to see the personality from the perspective of his or her
mind, since the Moon is predominant symbol of the mind among planets.
The Rāshi Chakra (that is, the horoscope where the first house is the house in which the rising sign
is found) is the still the most important natal chart, but charts can be cast for different analytical
purposes. The primary Lagnas (that is, houses designated as the First House, from which the rest of
the houses are enumerated) used to analyze the horoscope are:
• Udaya lagna (rising sign, or Ascendant as first house)
• Chandra Lagna (first house counted from the sign of the natal Moon, used to anlayze mind,
memory and mental activity, and also used to help determine how fertile a woman will be.)
In addition, the rishi Parasara mentioned a few other special ascendants or Veshaish Lagni. to be
used in special circumstances, including:
• Surya Lagna (ascendant counted from sign where the natal Sun is located)
• Karak Lagna (significator taken as ascendant for all grahas)
• Varnada Lagna (for social company)
• Shri Lagna (for prosperity and marriage)
• Indu Lagna (for wealth)
• Hora Lagna (for financial prosperity)
• Gati Lagna (for name and fame)
Lastly, there are some Lagnas which are determined by factors outside the chart, and which are used
for electional and horary charts. These are mainly:
• Dig Lagna (first house determined by compass direction)
• Shabda Lagna (where the first house is determined by the "words a client utters"
• Sparsa Lagna (where the first house is determined by a part of the body which is touched)
• Nama Lagna (where the first house is determined by the numerology of the person's name)
Drishti (aspects)
In Sanskrit the word drishti means "glance" or "sight." Grahas (that is, planets and nodes of the
Moon) and also signs which can "see" each other are said to be in "aspect" to one another. In most
cases, this means that the signs or grahas are opposite one another in the sky, but there are some
special cases where drishtis occur with other placements.
When they are in aspect, grahas transfer their influence other grahas, creating relationships within
the chart. These relationships also will occur between signs. In Jyotish, these connections are
usually described by the number of houses which separate the grahas (counting from the house of
the first graha.) Signs opposite each other in the sky are 7 houses apart from one another.
Since there are no "orbs" (or small ranges of exactness of degree which determine strength of
aspect) in Jyotish, all aspects are from one sign to another sign or from one graha in a sign to
another graha in a different sign, without regard to where a planet or node may be located within
that sign. Thus a graha at 2 degrees of Aries casts a drishti (that is, makes an aspect) with any
planet or node in all of Libra--even if the second planet is located at 29 degrees of Libra.
Mutual aspects
In Jyotish, there is only one relationship where there is mutual influence from one graha to another,
and that is when the grahas are 7 houses aparat. In astronomy, this relationship called opposition, a
condition where signs are located opposite one another in the sky, at a difference of about 180
degrees. Therefore the only fully mutual aspects in Jyotish are between:
• Me a (Aries) and Tula (Libra) ṣ
• V i abha (Taurus) and Vrischika (Scorpio) ṛ ṣ
• Mithuna (Gemini) and Dhanus (Sagittarius)
• Kataka (Cancer) and Makara (Capricorn)
• Simha (Leo) and Kumbha (Aquarius), and
• Kanya (Virgo) and Meena (Pisces)
and the grahas which may be located in these signs.
One-directional aspects
In addition to these mutual aspects, three of the planets have the special ability to influence other
planets or signs or houses without receiving a mutual aspect in return. These one-directional aspects
are measured by the number of houses ahead the aspect is cast, and these distances vary by the
planet which casts them.
• Saturn aspects planets, signs and houses located 3 signs ahead and 10 signs ahead in the
zodiac. For example, if Saturn is in Aries, it aspects Gemini, located 3 signs ahead
(including the sign of Aries in the count), as well as any planets located in Gemini; it also
aspects Capricorn, 10 signs ahead, as well as any grahas in Capricorn. However, the grahas
in Gemini and Capricorn do not influence Saturn in return.
• Mars aspects planets, signs and houses located 4 signs ahead and 8 signs ahead in the
zodiac. For instance, Mars in Libra aspects Capricorn, located 4 signs ahead, and any grahas
in Capricorn; it also aspects Taurus, located 8 signs ahead. But the grahas in Capricorn and
Taurus do not have an influence upon Mars in return.
• Jupiter aspects planets, signs and houses located 5 signs ahead and 9 signs ahead in the
zodiac. For instance, Jupiter in Cancer aspects Scorpio, located 5 signs ahead, as well as
Pisces, located 9 signs ahead. But no graha in Cancer or Scorpio will have an influence
upon Jupiter in return.
Argala – the intervention
Significations of various houses are interlinked. Support provided by one house to another is called
Argala and the obstruction offered to supporting houses is called Virodha argala.
Graha (planets) in 2nd, 4th and 11th house cause argalas on a given house, whereas the planets in
12th, 10th and 3rd cause virodha argalas to 2nd, 4th and 11th respectively.
Benefic generally give shubha argalas, malefic offerpapa argalas. If however a malefic has an
argala on house of which it is a significator, such an aragala can be termed as shubha. For example
a malefics in 10th house cast papa argala to 9th house as 10th house is second from 9th. This may
make the newborn non religious and give bad relations with boss/teacher, provided there is no
virodh argala from 8th.
Arudha – the mounted image
The term Arudha Pada is also known as "Pada". Arudha literally means "mount" and refers to the
IMAGE of a sign falling on another due to "reflection of the rays emanating from it and being
reflected by its lord.
Keeping the reflection in view, the Karaka (Significator) can be taken to be the Moon. Count from a
sign to its lord. Then count as many signs from the lord to arrive at the ARUDHA PADA. For
example, if the Lagna Lord is in the fifth house, then count five signs from the Lagna lord to arrive
at the ninth house. This ninth house becomes the arudha Pada for the Lagna.
Exception: The Arudha Pada cannot be in the same sign or the seventh from it. In case this
happens, then choose the tenth house therefrom. For example, if the Lagna Lord is in the 4th house,
then the Arudha lagna should be in the 4th from the 4th house i.e. the 7th house. But since this is
not allowed, the tenth therefrom should be chosen. The tenth from the 7th house is the 4th house
and the 4th house becomes the Arudha Lagna.
Arudha of 1st house is also called PADA LAGNA or ARUDHA LAGNA. Arudha lagna stands for
"manifestation of self, in this maya (illusory) world". In this manner Arudha Pada can be computed
for all the houses. They are called Dhana Pada (2nd), Bhratripada (3rd), Matri Pada (4th),
Mantrapada (5th), Satrupada (6th), Dara Pada (7th), Roga pada (8th), Bhagyapada (9th), Rajyapada
(10th), Labhapada (11th) and Upapada (12th). Jaimini discussed Arudha lagna (AL) and Upapada
(UL) extinsively in his classical treatise.
Yoga: planetary combinations
In Jyotish, Yoga means "union" or "combination." Most of the time, a yoga is a conjunction of
planets which takes on special significance, generally because of the houses which each planet rules
in a given chart. Yogas are used to delineate character and to predict possible future events.
Yogas also obtain when planets are in mutual aspect to one another or in cases in which they rule
each other's houses (a condition called Parivarthana Yoga, or mutual reception in Western
astrology.)
Since there is no orb for conjunctions or aspects in Jyotish, it is sufficient that planets occupy the
same or connected signs to create a yoga. For example, when the ruler of the first house and the
ruler of the ninth house are in the same sign--even if they are 29 degrees apart--this is considered a
raj yoga which signifies leadership, power and fame.
Ancient and early medieval Indian Jyotish literature contains nearly eight hundred of these yogas,
but there are several dozen which are most commonly used. Some of them are favorable; some are
not.
Yogas are general grouped by the areas of life they affect, but may also be grouped by the graha
affected. The major categories of yogas are:
• Raj (Royal) Yogas, which produce fame and power. They occur most commonly when the
ruler of an angular house, most commonly the first or seventh, is combined with one of the
rulers of Trikona houses, usually the ninth or the fifth.
• Pancha Mahaparusha Yogas are yogas which indicate great strength for the five starry
planets (Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Venus or Saturn) when they are located in the houses that
they rule or when they are in the sign of their exaltation, and at the same time are located in
a house 90 degrees from the Lagna (or sometimes the Moon.)
• Chandra (Lunar) Yogas
• Solar Yogas
• Lagna (Ascendant) Yogas
• Dhana (Wealth-producing) Yogas combine the rulers of the Trikona houses (the first, fifth
and ninth) with the ruler of a wealth-producing house, particularly the second or the eleventh
house. It also includes Chandra/Mangala yoga in which the Moon and Mars are combined.
• Arishta (Poverty-producing) Yogas are yogas which combine the rulers of the Trikona
houses with the rulers of the unfortunate eighth or twelfth houses, and tend to indicate
poverty.
Shadbala – the sixfold strength
Shadbala, or "sixfold strength" is a common method used by astrologers to weigh the relative
strength of each of the grahas in a chart.
Shad Bal consists of the following strengths
• 1. Sthan Bal (Positional strength)
• 2. Dig Bal (Directional strength)
• 3. Kāl Bal (Temporalstrength), inclusive of Ayan Bal (Equinoctial strength)
• 4. Chesht Bal (Motional strength)
• 5. Naisargika Bal (Natural strength)
• 6. Drik Bal (Aspectual strength)
These strengths are computed for the seven Grahas from Sun to Saturn. The lunar nodes (Rahu and
Ketu) are not considered.
The method for calculating these indices is complicated, but the overall result is to produce an
comparative index number, which is used to gauge how effective each planet is within the chart.
This can be helpful in understanding the overall horoscope and also in helping to predict the nature
of periods in life which are ruled by one or two planets (Vimshottari dasas.)
Dashas (Planetary periods)
Main article: Dasha (astrology)
As in traditional Western astrology, much of the prediction in Jyotish is accomplished by
interpreting the nature of planetary periods within a lifetime which are controlled by various grahas
in the chart (including Rahu and Ketu.)
Every lifetime falls into long periods where one graha has major control over events. These periods
are called dashas or "eras." When each dasha begins and how long it lasts is most commonly
calculated by a method called Vimshottari dashas, which, unlike any form of Western astrology, is
determined from the nakshatra and degree in which the Moon is found at birth.
As in Hellenistic Western astrology, every graha in Jyotish is associated with a certain specific
number of years, and these determine the length of each dasha. Dashas are further divided into sub-
periods controlled by secondary rulers. The natal condition and strength of each ruler determines
how benevolent or unfortunate each period will be, and which region of life will be highlighted
during the dasha.
Birth charts
Further information: Natal chart
There are three different Jyotish chart representations, for showing the rāshi (signs) and bhāva
(houses) which are apparently equivalent but quite different in function. The following images
show the same birth chart in the two main notations - North Indian and South Indian.
In the North Indian notation, the house positions
are fixed (1st house top middle, with the rest
following in counterclockwise order) and the
signs of the zodiac are placed sequentially
therein, starting from the Ascendant (rising
zodiac sign) placed in the 1st house, and
indicated by numerals in the chart (1 for Aries, 2
for Taurus, and so on).
Conversely, in the South Indian notation, the
signs of the zodiac have fixed positions (Aries
always occupies the 2nd box from the left in the
top row, with the rest following in clockwise
order), and the first house is marked "As" (for
ascendant) with the rest following in clockwise
order.
The charts contain twelve sections, houses or bhāvas, each of which is related to a rāshi in an equal
house system when rough and hurried computations are needed, but when precision is needed
bhāvas are made according to Bhāvachalita in which houses are unequal due to elliptical nature of
apparent orbit of the Sun.
Panchangam (almanac)
Main article: Panchangam
Further information: Hindu calendar
A panchangam (Sanskrit pañcā gam ṅ ) is a Hindu astrological almanac (or calendar), which
follows traditional Indian cosmology, and presents important astronomical data in tabulated form. It
forecasts celestial phenomena, such as solar eclipses, and weather (rain, dryspells), as well as more
mundane occurrences. A typical Panchanga has tabulations of positions of the Sun, Moon, and other
planets for every day of the year at a fixed place (longitude, latitude) and time of day (in 24-hour
format IST). Remaining data can be calculated using the relative difference from this fixed place
and time. Panchangas may contain information for more than one year, such as the Vishvavijaya
Panchanga which is for 100 years.
The theories in the Surya Siddhanta and Grahalaghava formed the basis for the plethora of
Panchangas in the past in different regions of the country - a culturally complex system. Thus, the
Government of India has prepared the National Panchanga or the Indian national calendar in 1957
(was proposed by Saha and Lahiri in 1952), which is used in predictive Astrology. The Lahiri
Ephemeris published annually is the most widely used English almanac in Jyotisha apart from the
many Panchangas published in local languages, which are mostly based on the National Panchanga.
In modern India
David Pingree notes that astrology and traditional medicine are the two traditional sciences that
have survived best in modern India, although both have been much transformed by their western
counterparts.
There are a great number of contemporary publications, reflecting the persisting importance of
astrology in Hindu culture, and the corresponding economical attractivity of the market in India.
Notable modern authors include Sri Yukteswar Giri (1855-1936), Bangalore Venkata Raman
(1912-1998), Bejan Daruwalla (b. 1931), V. K. Choudhry (b. 1951), Sanjay Rath (b. 1963) & Prash
Trivedi (b. 1975).
Innovations
New approaches developed by Hindu astrologers in the modern epoch include the following:
• New Techniques of Predictions by the late Mr. H.R.S. Iyer. In the 1960s, H.R. Seshadri
Iyer, introduced a system including the yoga point, which became popular in the West.
• Systems' Approach for Interpreting Horoscopes by Mr. V.K. Choudhry. In the early
1990s, Indian Vedic Astrologer and Author, V.K. Choudhry introduced the Systems'
Approach for Interpreting Horoscopes a simplified system of Jyotish (predictive astrology).
The system, also known as "SA", helps those who are trying to learn Jyotisha.
• Krishnamurti Paddhati by the late Mr. K. S. Krishnamurti. The system developed by
Shri Krishnamurti is mainly based on the analysis of the stars (nakshatras), by sub-dividing
the stars in the ratio of the dasha of the concerned planets. The system is also known as
"KP" and "sub theory".
Controversy
Further information: NCERT controversy and Saffronization
In the early 2000s, under the Bharatiya Janata Party led government, astrology became a topic of
political contention between the religious right and academic establishment, comparable to the
"Creation science" debate in US education. The University Grants Commission and the Ministry of
Human Resource Development of the Government decided to introduce "Jyotir Vigyan" (i.e. jyotir
vijñāna) or "Vedic astrology" as a discipline of study in Indian universities, backed up by a decision
by the Andhra Pradesh High Court, despite widespread protests from the scientific community in
India and Indian scientists working abroad. In September of the same year, the Supreme Court of
India issued a notice to the Ministry of Human Resource Development in reaction to a petition,
stating that the introduction of astrology to university curricula is "a giant leap backwards,
undermining whatever scientific credibility the country has achieved so far". In 2004, the Supreme
Court dismissed a further petition, judging that the teaching of astrology does not qualify as
promotion of religion.
A number of Indian universities currently offer advanced degrees in Jyotisha, including Benaras
Hindu University.
Western astrology
Western astrology is the system of astrology most popular in Western countries. Western astrology
was founded by Ptolemy's Tetrabiblos in the 2nd century AD, and forms a continuation of
Hellenistic astrology and ultimately Babylonian astrology.
Western astrology is largely horoscopic, that is, it is largely based on the construction of a
horoscope for an exact moment in time, such as a person's birth, in which various cosmic bodies are
said to have an influence. In modern Western sun sign astrology, only the location of the Sun is
considered.
During the Dark Ages in Europe knowledge of astrology was lost along with much other learning. It
was revived and extended by Arab and Persian scholars and reimported into Europe in the Middle
Ages. In medieval Europe, important political and military decisions were often made in
consultation with astrologers. Nowadays, believers in astrology use it primarily for making personal
decisions or attaining information about an individual through natal astrology. Today, astrology has
become distinct from astronomy and mainstream scientists in general dismiss astrology as a form of
pseudoscience.
The Zodiac
The zodiac is the belt or band of constellations through which the Sun, Moon, and planets move on
their journey across the sky. Astrologers noted these constellations and so attached a particular
significance to them. Over time they developed the system of twelve signs of the zodiac, based on
twelve of the constellations they considered to be particularly important. Most western astrologers
use the tropical zodiac beginning with the sign of Aries at the Northern hemisphere Vernal Equinox
always on or around March 21 of each year. Due to a phenomenon called precession of the
equinoxes (where the Earth's axis slowly rotates like a spinning top in a 25,700 year cycle), there is
a slow shift in the correspondence between Earth's seasons (and calendar) and the constellations of
the zodiac. This means the signs of the tropical zodiac do not now correspond with the
constellations of the same name as they did about 2000 years ago. For this reason some Western
astrologers use the Sidereal zodiac which still uses the actual star positions.
The twelve signs
Further information: Astrological sign#Western zodiac signs
In modern Western astrology the signs of the zodiac are believed to represent twelve basic
personality types or characteristic modes of expression. The twelve signs are divided into four
elements fire, earth, air and water. Fire and air signs are considered masculine, while water and
earth signs are considered feminine. The twelve signs are also divided into three qualities, cardinal,
mutable and fixed.
Sign Dates
- Aries
(The Ram)
March 21 to April 19.
- Taurus
(The Bull)
April 20 to May 20.
- Gemini
(The Twins)
May 21 to June 20.
- Cancer
(The Crab)
June 21 to July 22.
- Leo
(The Lion)
July 23 to August 22.
- Virgo
(The Virgin)
August 23 to September 22.
- Libra
(The Scales)
September 23 to October 23.
- Scorpio
(The Scorpion)
October 24 to November 22.
- Sagittarius
(The Archer)
November 23 to December 21.
- Capricorn
(The Sea-goat)
December 22 to January 19.
- Aquarius
(The Water
Bearer)
January 20 to February 19.
- Pisces
(The Fishes)
February 20 to March 20.
How important a zodiac sign is for an individual depends on the placement of planets and the
ascendant in that sign. If a person has nothing placed in a particular sign, that sign will play no
active role in their personality. On the other hand a person with, for example, both the sun and
moon in Cancer, will strongly display the characteristics of that sign in their make up.
Sun-sign astrology
Main article: Sun sign astrology
Newspapers often print astrology columns which purport to provide guidance on what might occur
in a day in relation to the sign of the zodiac that included the sun when the person was born.
Astrologers refer to this as the "sun sign", but it is often commonly called the "star sign". These
predictions are vague or general; so much so that even practising astrologers consider them of little
to no value. Experiments have shown that when people are shown a newspaper horoscope for their
own sign along with a newspaper horoscope for a different sign, they judge them to be equally
accurate on the average.[citation needed] Professional astrologers claim that a more complete,
personalized horoscope is more effective, but critics claim that this is not the case (see external link
to "The AstroTest" below).
Western sidereal astrology
There are two camps of thought among western astrologers about the "starting point", 0 degrees
Aries, in the zodiac. Sidereal astrology believes that the starting point is at a particular fixed
position in the background of stars, while tropical astrology (which is adopted by the majority of
Western astrologers) believes that the starting point is when the position of the Sun against the
background of stars coincides with the Northern hemisphere vernal equinox (i.e. when the Sun
position against the heavens crosses over from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere)
each year. In effect, in most Western astrology the link between the zodiac sign and the sky
constellation from which it takes its name has been broken, whereas in Sidereal astrology it remains
of paramount importance.
As the Earth spins on its axis, it "wobbles" like a top, causing the vernal equinox to move gradually
backwards against the star background, (a phenomenon known as the Precession of the equinoxes)
at a rate of about 30 degrees (one Zodiacal sign length) every 2,160 years. Thus the two zodiacs
would be aligned only once every 26,000 years and were aligned about 2,000 years ago when the
zodiac was originally established.
This phenomenon gives us the conceptual basis for the Age of Aquarius, whose "dawning"
coincides with the movement of the vernal equinox across the cusp from Pisces to Aquarius in the
star background.
The planets
Main article: Planets in astrology
This section needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and
removed. (April 2009)
In modern Western astrology the planets represent basic drives or impulses in the human psyche.
These planets differ from the definition of a planet in astronomy in that the sun, moon, and recently,
Pluto and Ceres (considered as dwarf planets in astronomy), are all considered to be planets for the
purposes of astrology. Each planet is also said to be the ruler of one or two zodiac signs, on the
basis of a similarity or sympathy between planet and sign. The three modern planets have each been
assigned rulership of a zodiac sign by astrologers and Ceres has been suggested as the ruler of
Taurus or Virgo. The eleven planets used in astrology are as follows:
Classical planets
These are the seven heavenly bodies known to the ancients and are believed to represent the seven
basic drives in every individual (the sun and moon, also known as 'the lights', are included in this
assessment alongside the planets). Astrologers call Mercury, Venus and Mars the 'personal planets',
as they represent the most immediate drives. The 'lights' symbolise respectively the existential and
sensitive fundamentals of the individuality. Jupiter and Saturn, until very recently the two furthest
planets, represent aspects of the individual functioning as part of society.
• - Sun: Ruler of the zodiac sign Leo.
• - Moon: Ruler of the zodiac sign Cancer.
• - Mercury: Ruler of the zodiac sign Gemini and Virgo traditionally.
• - Venus: Ruler of the zodiac signs Libra and Taurus traditionally.
• - Mars: Ruler of the zodiac sign Aries and Scorpio traditionally.
• - Jupiter: Ruler of the zodiac sign Sagittarius and Pisces traditionally.
• - Saturn: Ruler of the zodiac sign Capricorn and Aquarius traditionally.
Modern planets
These are the planets discovered in modern times, which have since been assigned meanings by
Western astrologers. Except Ceres, which is considered to be a 'personal' planet because of its
rotation and proximity, the other three are considered to be 'impersonal' planets, representing broad
trends and impulses in society rather than in the individual.
• - Uranus: Ruler of the zodiac sign Aquarius.
• - Neptune: Ruler of the zodiac sign Pisces.
• or - Pluto: Ruler of the zodiac sign Scorpio.
• - Ceres: Ruler of the zodiac sign Taurus or Virgo.
The moon's nodes
Also important in astrology are the moon's nodes. The nodes are where the moon's path crosses the
ecliptic. The North node marks the place where the moon crosses from South to North (or ascends),
while the South node marks where the moon crosses from North to South (or descends). While they
are not considered by Western astrologers to be as important a factor as each of the planets, they are
thought to mark sensitive areas that are worth taking into account.
• - North or ascending Node.
• - South or descending Node.
The horoscope
Western astrology is based mainly upon the construction of a horoscope , which is a map or chart of
the heavens at a particular moment in time. The moment chosen is the beginning of the existence of
the subject of the horoscope, as it is believed that the subject will carry with it the pattern of the
heavens from that moment throughout its life. The most common form of horoscope is the natal
chart based on the moment of a person's birth; though in theory a horoscope can be drawn up for the
beginning of anything, from a business enterprise to the foundation of a nation state.

The Thema Mundi
Interpretation
In Western horoscopic astrology the interpretation of a horoscope is governed by:
• The position of the planets in the astrological signs of the zodiac,
• The position of the planets in the houses of the horoscope,
• The position of the primary angles of the horoscope, namely the horizon line (called the
ascendant/descendant axis), and the prime vertical line (called the zenith/midheaven and
nadir/imum coeli axis),
• The angles formed by the planets relative to each other and the primary angles, called
aspects
• The position of deduced astronomical entities, such as the Lunar nodes.
Some astrologers also use the position of various mathematical points such as the Arabic parts.
The primary angles
There are four primary angles in the horoscope (though the cusps of the houses are often included
as important angles by some astrologers).
• - The ascendant or rising sign is the eastern point where the ecliptic and horizon
intersect. During the course of a day, because of the Earth's rotation, the entire circle of the
ecliptic will pass through the ascendant and will be advanced by about 1°. This provides us
with the term rising sign', which is the sign of the zodiac that was rising in the east at the
exact time that the horoscope or natal chart is calculated. In creating a horoscope the
ascendant is traditionally placed as the left-hand side point of the chart. In most house
systems the ascendant lies on the cusp of the 1st house of the horoscope.
The ascendant is generally considered the most important and personalized angle in the horoscope
by the vast majority of astrologers. It signifies a person's awakening consciousness, in the same way
that the Sun's appearance on the eastern horizon signifies the dawn of a new day. Due to the fact
that the ascendant is specific to a particular time and place, it signifies the individual environment
and conditioning that a person receives during their upbringing, and also the circumstances of their
childhood. For this reason, the ascendant is also concerned with how a person has learned to present
him or herself to the world, especially in public and in impersonal situations.
The opposite point to the ascendant in the west is the descendant , which denotes how a person
reacts in their relationships with others. It also show the kind of person we are likely to be attracted
to, and our ability to form romantic attachments. In most house systems the descendant lies on the
cusp of the 7th house of the horoscope.
• - The midheaven or medium coeli is the point on the ecliptic that is furthest above the
plane of the horizon. For events occurring where the planes of the ecliptic and the horizon
coincide, the limiting position for these points is located 90° from the ascendant. For
astrologers, the midheaven traditionally indicates a person's career, status, aim in life,
aspirations, public reputation, and life goal. In quadrant house systems the midheaven lies
on the cusp of the 10th house of the horoscope.
The opposite point to the midheaven is known as the imum coeli. For astrologers the nadir or IC
traditionally indicates the circumstances at the beginning and end of a person's life, their parents
and the parental home, and their own domestic life. In quadrant house systems it lies on the cusp of
the 4th house of the horoscope.
The houses
Main article: House (astrology)
The horoscope is divided by astrologers into twelve portions called the houses. The houses of the
horoscope are interpreted as being twelve different spheres of life or activity. There are various
ways of calculating the houses in the horoscope or birth chart. However, there is no dispute about
their meanings, and the twelve houses
Many modern astrologers assume that the houses relate to their corresponding signs, i.e. that the
first house has a natural affinity with the first sign, Aries, and so on.
Aspects
Main article: Astrological aspects
The aspects are the angles the planets make to each other in the horoscope, and also to the
ascendant, midheaven, descendant and nadir. The aspects are measured by the angular distance
along the ecliptic in degrees and minutes of celestial longitude between two points, as viewed from
the earth. They indicate focal points in the horoscope where the energies involved are given extra
emphasis. The more exact the angle, the more powerful the aspect, although an allowance of a few
degrees each side of the aspect called an orb is allowed for interpretation. The following are the
aspects in order of importance
• - Conjunction 0° (orb ±8°). The conjunction is a major point in the chart, giving strong
emphasis to the planets involved. The planets will act together to outside stimulus and act on
each other.[citation needed]
• - Opposition 180° (orb ±8°). The opposition is indicative of tension, conflict and
confrontation, due to the polarity between the two elements involved. Stress arises when one
is used over the other, causing an imbalance; but the opposition can work well if the two
parts of the aspect are made to complement each other in a synthesis.[citation needed]
• - Trine 120°(orb ±8°). The trine indicates harmony, and ease of expression, with the two
elements reinforcing each other. The trine is a source of artistic and creative talent, but can
be a 'line of least resistance' to a person of weak character.[citation needed]
• - Square 90°(orb ±8°). The square indicates frustration, inhibitions, disruption and inner
conflict, but can become a source of energy and activation to a person determined to
overcome limitations.[citation needed]
• - Sextile 60°(orb ±6°). The sextile is similar to the trine, but of less significance. It
indicates ease of communication between the two elements involved, with compatibility and
harmony between them.[citation needed]
• - Quincunx 150°(orb ±3°). The quincunx indicates difficulty and stress, due to
incompatible elements being forced together. It can mean an area of self neglect in a
person's life (especially health), or obligations being forced on a person. The quincunx can
vary from minor to quite major in impact.[citation needed]
• - Semisextile 30° (orb ±2°). Slight in effect. Indicates an area of life where a conscious
effort to be positive will have to be made.[citation needed]
• - Semisquare 45°(orb ±2°). Indicates somewhat difficult circumstance. Similar in effect
to semisextile.[citation needed]
• - Sesquiquadrate 135°(orb ±2°). Indicates somewhat stressful conditions. Similar to
semisextile.[citation needed]
• - Quintile 72° (orb ±2°). Slight in effect. Indicates talent and vaguely fortunate
circumstances.
• - Biquintile 144° (orb ±2°). Slight in effect. Indicates talent and vaguely fortunate
circumstances.[citation needed]
• - Retrograde: A planet is retrograde when it appears to move backwards across the sky
when seen from the earth, due to one planet moving more quickly relative to the other.
Although it is not an aspect, some astrologers believe that it should be included for
consideration in the chart. Planets which are retrograde in the natal chart are considered by
them to be potential weak points.[citation needed]
Muslim views on astrology
Astrology (Arabic ilm al-nujum or ilm al-falak) was a subject of study and debate by early
Muslims. In early Arabic sources, ilm al-nujum was used to refer to both astronomy and astrology.
In medieval sources, however, a clear distinction was made between ilm al-nujum (science of the
stars) or ilm al-falak (science of the celestial orbs), referring to astrology, and ilm al-hay'ah (science
of the figure of the heavens), referring to astronomy. Both fields were rooted in Greek, Persian, and
Indian traditions. Astrology was subject to consistent critiques by Muslim religious scholars and
scientists. Astrological prognostications nevertheless required a fair amount of exact scientific
knowledge and thus gave partial incentive for the study and development of astronomy.
The earliest semantic distinction between astronomy and astrology was given by the Persian
astronomer and astrologer Abu Rayhan al-Biruni circa 1000.
Opinions of contemporary scholars
According to jurists, the study of astronomy (ilm al-hay'ah) is lawful, as it is useful in predicting the
beginning of months and seasons, determining the direction of salat (prayer), and navigation. They
agree that this branch of science be used in determining the beginning and end of the month of
Ramadan. As for astrology, this is considered by many Islamic scholars as haram (unlawful), as
knowledge of the Unseen is known only by Allah. Dr. Husam al-Din Ibn Musa `Afana, a Professor
of the Principles of Fiqh at Al-Quds University, Palestine, states the following:
"First of all, it is worth noting that the Arabs knew astronomy a long time ago. They would
predict time through observing the movements of stars. According to the scholars of Shar`iah,
there are two terms confused in many people's minds when it comes to dealing with the
question in hand. These terms are astronomy and astrology. Astronomy is the science that
deals with studying the movements of the celestial bodies and reducing observations to
mathematical order. That science is useful in determining time, seasons, the direction of
Prayer, etc. Astrology, on the other hand, is concerned with studying the positions and aspects
of celestial bodies in the belief that they have an influence on the course of natural earthly
occurrences and human affairs. Astrologists believe that the movements of stars have an
influence on people's lives. Both Muslim astronomers and [religious] scholars refuse the
prophecies of astrologists."
Some scholars believe that astrology is a prohibited field of study. Imam Ibn Taymiyah said:
“Astrology that is concerned with studying the positions and aspects of celestial bodies in the belief
that they have an influence on the course of natural earthly occurrences and human affairs is
prohibited by the Quran, the Sunnah, and the unanimous agreement of the Muslim scholars.
Furthermore, astrology was considered forbidden by all Messengers of Almighty Allah.”
The Saudi scholar, Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen, said: “Astrology is a kind of sorcery and fortune-
telling. It is forbidden because it is based on illusions, not on concrete facts. There is no relation
between the movements of celestial bodies and what takes place on the Earth.”
Refutations of astrology
The first semantic distinction between astrology and astronomy was given by the Persian Muslim
astronomer Abu Rayhan al-Biruni in the 11th century, and he later refuted astrology in another
treatise. The study of astrology was also refuted by other medieval Muslim astronomers such as Al-
Farabi (Alpharabius), Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), Avicenna and Averroes. Their reasons for refuting
astrology were often due to both scientific (the methods used by astrologers being conjectural rather
than empirical) and religious (conflicts with orthodox Islamic scholars) reasons.
Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya (1292-1350), in his Miftah Dar al-SaCadah, used empirical arguments in
astronomy in order to refute the practice of astrology and divination. He recognized that the stars
are much larger than the planets, and thus argued:
"And if you astrologers answer that it is precisely because of this distance and smallness
that their influences are negligible, then why is it that you claim a great influence for the
smallest heavenly body, Mercury? Why is it that you have given an influence to al-Ra's
and al-Dhanab, which are two imaginary points [ascending and descending nodes]?"
Al-Jawziyya also recognized the Milky Way galaxy as "a myriad of tiny stars packed together in the
sphere of the fixed stars" and thus argued that "it is certainly impossible to have knowledge of their
influences."
Prominent Muslim, Persian, Arab, and/or Middle Eastern
and North African astrologers
• Abraham ibn Ezra
• Abraham Zacuto
• Al-Battani
• Al-Biruni
• Albubather
• Alchabitius
• Al-fadl ibn Naubakht
• 'Ali ibn Ridwan
• Al-Kindī
• Arzachel
• Berossus
• Biblical Magi (the "Three Wise Men")
• Haly Abenragel
• Hypatia of Alexandria
• Ibn Arabi
• Ibn Yunus
• Ibrahim al-Fazari
• Ja'far ibn Muhammad Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi
• Mashallah
• Muhammad al-Fazari
• Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi
• Naubakht
• Porphyry
• Sharafeddin Tusi
• Sudines
• Taqi al-Din
Chinese astrology
Chinese astrology is based on the traditional astronomy and calendars. Chinese astrology does not
calculate the positions of the sun, moon and planets at the time of birth.
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 harmony of sky,
humans and earth) and different "principles" to Western: the wu xing teachings, yin and yang,
astronomy: five planet, the 10 Celestial stems, the 12 Earthly Branches, the lunisolare calendar
(moon calendar and sun calendar), the time calculation after year, month, day and shichen (時辰).
Background
Chinese refer to the 5 major planets by the one of the Wu Xing they were associated with:
NOTE: These are not listed in the actual order of the planets from nearest to farthest the sun.
• Venus —Metal (White Tiger)
• Jupiter —Wood (Azure Dragon)
• Mercury —Water (Black Tortoise)
• Mars —Fire (Vermilion Bird)
• Saturn —Earth (Yellow Dragon)
According to Chinese astrology, a person's destiny can be determined by the position of the major
planets at the person's birth along with the positions of the Sun, Moon and comets and the person's
time of birth and Zodiac Sign. The system of the twelve-year cycle of animal signs was built from
observations of the orbit of Jupiter (the Year Star; simplified Chinese: 岁星; traditional Chinese: 歳
星; pinyin: Suìxīng). Following the orbit of Jupiter around the sun, Chinese astronomers divided the
celestial circle into 12 sections, and rounded it to 12 years (from 11.86). Jupiter is associated with
the constellation Sheti (simplified Chinese: 摄提; traditional Chinese: 攝提- Boötes; symbol: ) and ɳ
is sometimes called Sheti.
A laborious system of computing one's fate and destiny based on one's birthday,birth season,and
birth hours, known as Zi Wei Dou Shu (simplified Chinese: 紫微斗数; traditional Chinese: 紫微斗
數; pinyin: zǐwēidǒushù) is still used regularly in modern day Chinese astrology to divine one's
fortune. The 28 Chinese constellations, Xiu (Chinese: 宿; pinyin: xìu), are quite different from the
88 Western constellations. For example, the Big Bear (Ursa Major) is known as Dou (Chinese: 斗;
pinyin: dǒu); the belt of Orion is known as Shen (simplified Chinese: 参; traditional Chinese: 參;
pinyin: shēn), or the "Happiness, Fortune, Longevity" trio of demigods. The seven northern
constellations are referred to as Xuan Wu (Chinese: 玄武; pinyin: xúanwǔ). Xuan Wu is also known
as the spirit of the northern sky or the spirit of Water in Taoism belief.
In addition to astrological readings of the heavenly bodies, the stars in the sky form the basis of
many fairy tales. For example, the Summer Triangle is the trio of the cowherd (Altair), the weaving
maiden fairy (Vega), and the "tai bai" fairy (Deneb). The two forbidden lovers were separated by
the silvery river (the Milky Way). Each year on the seventh day of the seventh month in the Chinese
calendar, the birds form a bridge across the Milky Way. The cowherd carries their two sons (the
two stars on each side of Altair) across the bridge to reunite with their fairy mother. The tai bai fairy
acts as the chaperone of these two immortal lovers.
Luni-solar calendar
Main article: Chinese calendar
The 60-year cycle consists of two separate cycles interacting with each other. The first is the cycle
of ten heavenly stems, namely the Five Elements (in order Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water) in
their ip Yin and Yang forms.
The second is the cycle of the twelve Zodiac animal signs (生肖 shēngxiào) or Earthly Branches .
They are in order as follows: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep (ram or goat),
monkey, rooster, dog, and boar. In Vietnam the rabbit is replaced by the cat.
This combination creates the 60-year cycle due to the least amount of years (least common
multiple) it would take to get from Yang Wood Rat to its next iteration, which always starts with
Yang Wood Rat and ends with Yin Water Boar. Since the zodiac animal cycle of 12 is divisible by
two, every zodiac sign can also only occur in either Yin or Yang: the dragon is always yang, the
snake is always yin, etc. The current cycle began in 1984 (as shown in "Table of the sixty year
calendar" below).
When trying to traverse the lunisolar calendar, an easy rule to follow is that years that end in an
even number are yang, those that end with an odd number are yin. The cycle proceeds as follows:
• If the year ends in 0 it is Yang Metal.
• If the year ends in 1 it is Yin Metal.
• If the year ends in 2 it is Yang Water.
• If the year ends in 3 it is Yin Water.
• If the year ends in 4 it is Yang Wood.
• If the year ends in 5 it is Yin Wood.
• If the year ends in 6 it is Yang Fire.
• If the year ends in 7 it is Yin Fire.
• If the year ends in 8 it is Yang Earth.
• If the year ends in 9 it is Yin Earth.
However, since the (traditional) Chinese zodiac follows the (lunisolar) Chinese calendar, the
switch-over date is the Chinese New Year, not January 1 as in the Gregorian calendar. Therefore, a
person who was born in late January or early February may have the sign of the previous year. For
example, if a person was born in January 1970, his or her element would still be Yin Earth, not
Yang Metal. Similarly, although 1990 was called the year of the horse, anyone born from January 1
to January 26, 1990, was in fact born in the Year of the Snake (the sign of the previous year),
because the 1990 Year of the Horse did not begin until January 27, 1990. For this reason, many
online sign calculators (and Chinese restaurant place mats) may give a person the wrong sign if
he/she was born in late January or early February.
The start of a new Zodiac is also celebrated on Chinese New Year along with many other customs.
Table of the sixty year calendar
Main article: Sexagenary cycle
The following table shows the 60-year cycle matched up to the Western calendar for the years
1924–2043 (see Sexagenary cycle article for years 1804–1923).

Year
Associated
Element
Heavenly
Stem
Earthly
Branch
Associated
Animal
Year
1924–1983 1984–2043
1
Feb 05 1924–Jan 23
1925
Yang Wood
甲 子
Rat
Feb 02 1984–Feb 19
1985
2
Jan 24 1925–Feb 12
1926
Yin Wood
乙 丑
Ox
Feb 20 1985–Feb 08
1986
3
Feb 13 1926–Feb 01
1927
Yang Fire
丙 寅
Tiger
Feb 09 1986–Jan 28
1987
4
Feb 02 1927–Jan 22
1928
Yin Fire
丁 卯
Rabbit
Jan 29 1987–Feb 16
1988
5
Jan 23 1928–Feb 09
1929
Yang Earth
戊 辰
Dragon
Feb 17 1988–Feb 05
1989
6
Feb 10 1929–Jan 29
1930
Yin Earth
己 巳
Snake
Feb 06 1989–Jan 26
1990
7
Jan 30 1930–Feb 16
1931
Yang Metal
庚 午
Horse
Jan 27 1990–Feb 14
1991
8
Feb 17 1931–Feb 05
1932
Yin Metal
辛 未
Ram
Feb 15 1991–Feb 03
1992
9
Feb 06 1932–Jan 25
1933
Yang Water
壬 申
Monkey
Feb 04 1992–Jan 22
1993
10
Jan 26 1933–Feb 13
1934
Yin Water
癸 酉
Rooster
Jan 23 1993– Feb 09
1994
11
Feb 14 1934–Feb 03
1935
Yang Wood
甲 戌
Dog
Feb 10 1994–Jan 30
1995
12
Feb 04 1935–Jan 23
1936
Yin Wood
乙 亥
Boar
Jan 31 1995–Feb 18
1996
13
Jan 24 1936–Feb 10
1937
Yang Fire
丙 子
Rat
Feb 19 1996–Feb 06
1997
14
Feb 11 1937–Jan 30
1938
Yin Fire
丁 丑
Ox
Feb 07 1997–Jan 27
1998
15
Jan 31 1938–Feb 18
1939
Yang Earth
戊 寅
Tiger
Jan 28 1998–Feb 15
1999
16
Feb 19 1939–Feb 07
1940
Yin Earth
己 卯
Rabbit
Feb 16 1999–Feb 04
2000
17
Feb 08 1940–Jan 26
1941
Yang Metal
庚 辰
Dragon
Feb 05 2000–Jan 23
2001
18
Jan 27 1941–Feb 14
1942
Yin Metal
辛 巳
Snake
Jan 24 2001–Feb 11
2002
19
Feb 15 1942–Feb 04
1943
Yang Water
壬 午
Horse
Feb 12 2002–Jan 31
2003
20
Feb 05 1943–Jan 24
1944
Yin Water
癸 未
Ram
Feb 01 2003–Jan 21
2004
21
Jan 25 1944–Feb 12
1945
Yang Wood
甲 申
Monkey
Jan 22 2004–Feb 08
2005
22
Feb 13 1945–Feb 01
1946
Yin Wood
乙 酉
Rooster
Feb 09 2005–Jan 28
2006
23
Feb 02 1946–Jan 21
1947
Yang Fire
丙 戌
Dog
Jan 29 2006–Feb 17
2007
24
Jan 22 1947–Feb 09
1948
Yin Fire
丁 亥
Boar
Feb 18 2007–Feb 06
2008
25 Feb 10 1948–Jan 28 Yang Earth
戊 子
Rat Feb 07 2008–Jan 25
1949 2009
26
Jan 29 1949–Feb 16
1950
Yin Earth
己 丑
Ox
Jan 26 2009–Feb 13
2010
27
Feb 17 1950–Feb 05
1951
Yang Metal
庚 寅
Tiger
Feb 14 2010–Feb 02
2011
28
Feb 06 1951–Jan 26
1952
Yin Metal
辛 卯
Rabbit
Feb 03 2011–Jan 22
2012
29
Jan 27 1952–Feb 13
1953
Yang Water
壬 辰
Dragon
Jan 23 2012–Feb 09
2013
30
Feb 14 1953–Feb 02
1954
Yin Water
癸 巳
Snake
Feb 10 2013–Jan 30
2014
31
Feb 03 1954–Jan 23
1955
Yang Wood
甲 午
Horse
Jan 31 2014–Feb 18
2015
32
Jan 24 1955–Feb 11
1956
Yin Wood
乙 未
Ram
Feb 19 2015–Feb 07
2016
33
Feb 12 1956–Jan 30
1957
Yang Fire
丙 申
Monkey
Feb 08 2016–Jan 27
2017
34
Jan 31 1957–Feb 17
1958
Yin Fire
丁 酉
Rooster
Jan 28 2017–Feb 18
2018
35
Feb 18 1958–Feb 07
1959
Yang Earth
戊 戌
Dog
Feb 19 2018–Feb 04
2019
36
Feb 08 1959–Jan 27
1960
Yin Earth
己 亥
Boar
Feb 05 2019–Jan 24
2020
37
Jan 28 1960–Feb 14
1961
Yang Metal
庚 子
Rat
Jan 25 2020–Feb. 11
2021
38
Feb 15 1961–Feb 04
1962
Yin Metal
辛 丑
Ox
Feb 12 2021–Jan 31
2022
39
Feb 05 1962–Jan 24
1963
Yang Water
壬 寅
Tiger
Feb 01 2022–Jan 21
2023
40
Jan 25 1963–Feb 12
1964
Yin Water
癸 卯
Rabbit
Jan 22 2023–Feb 09
2024
41
Feb 13 1964–Feb 01
1965
Yang Wood
甲 辰
Dragon
Feb 10 2024–Jan 28
2025
42
Feb 02 1965–Jan 20
1966
Yin Wood
乙 巳
Snake
Jan 29 2025–Feb 16
2026
43
Jan 21 1966–Feb 08
1967
Yang Fire
丙 午
Horse
Feb 17 2026–Feb 05
2027
44
Feb 09 1967–Jan 29
1968
Yin Fire
丁 未
Ram
Feb 06 2027–Jan 25
2028
45
Jan 30 1968–Feb 16
1969
Yang Earth
戊 申
Monkey
Jan 26 2028–Feb 12
2029
46
Feb 17 1969–Feb 05
1970
Yin Earth
己 酉
Rooster
Feb 13 2029–Feb 02
2030
47
Feb 06 1970–Jan 26
1971
Yang Metal
庚 戌
Dog
Feb 03 2030–Jan 22
2031
48
Jan 27 1971–Feb 14
1972
Yin Metal
辛 亥
Boar
Jan 23 2031–Feb 10
2032
49
Feb 15 1972–Feb 02
1973
Yang Water
壬 子
Rat
Feb 11 2032–Jan 30
2033
50
Feb 03 1973–Jan 22
1974
Yin Water
癸 丑
Ox
Jan 31 2033–Feb 18
2034
51
Jan 23 1974–Feb 10
1975
Yang Wood
甲 寅
Tiger
Feb 19 2034–Feb 07
2035
52
Feb 11 1975–Jan 30
1976
Yin Wood
乙 卯
Rabbit
Feb 08 2035–Jan 27
2036
53
Jan 31 1976–Feb 17
1977
Yang Fire
丙 辰
Dragon
Jan 28 2036–Feb 14
2037
54
Feb 18 1977–Feb 06
1978
Yin Fire
丁 巳
Snake
Feb 15 2037–Feb 03
2038
55
Feb 07 1978–Jan 27
1979
Yang Earth
戊 午
Horse
Feb 04 2038–Jan 23
2039
56
Jan 28 1979–Feb 15
1980
Yin Earth
己 未
Ram
Jan 24 2039–Feb 11
2040
57
Feb 16 1980–Feb 04
1981
Yang Metal
庚 申
Monkey
Feb 12 2040–Jan 31
2041
58
Feb 05 1981–Jan 24
1982
Yin Metal
辛 酉
Rooster
Feb 01 2041–Jan 21
2042
59
Jan 25 1982–Feb 12
1983
Yang Water
壬 戌
Dog
Jan 22 2042–Feb 09
2043
60
Feb 13 1983–Feb 01
1984
Yin Water
癸 亥
Boar
Feb 10 2043–Jan 29
2044
Wu Xing
Although it is usually translated as 'element' the Chinese word xing literally means something like
'changing states of being', 'permutations' or 'metamorphoses of being'. In fact Sinologists cannot
agree on one single translation. The Chinese conception of 'element' is therefore quite different from
the Western one. The Western elements were seen as the basic building blocks of matter. The
Chinese 'elements', by contrast, were seen as ever changing and moving forces or energies—one
translation of xing is simply 'the five changes'.
The balance of yin and yang and the five elements in a person's make-up has a major bearing on
what is beneficial and effective for them in terms of feng shui, the Chinese form of geomancy. This
is because each element is linked to a particular direction and season, and their different kinds of qì
or life force.
木Wood
• The East(東)
• Springtime (春)
• Azure Dragon (青龍)
• The Planet Jupiter (木星)
• The Color Green(緑)
• Liver (Chinese medicine) (肝) and Gall bladder (Chinese medicine)(胆)
火Fire
• The South(南)
• Summer (夏)
• Vermilion Bird (朱雀)
• The Planet Mars(火星)
• The Color Red(赤)
• Circulatory system & Heart (Chinese medicine)(心)
土Earth
• Centre (中)
• Change of seasons (the last month of the season)
• The Yellow Dragon(黄龙)
• The Planet Saturn(土星)
• The Color Yellow(黄)
• Digestive system , Spleen (Chinese medicine)(脾) and Stomach (Chinese medicine)
(胃)
金Metal
• The West(西)
• Autumn (秋)
• White Tiger (白虎)
• The Planet Venus(金星)
• The Color White(白)
• Respiratory system & Lung (Chinese medicine)(肺)
水Water
• The North (北)
• Winter (冬)
• Black Tortoise (玄武)
• The Planet Mercury(水星)
• The Colour Black(黑)
• Skeletal (骨), Excretory System & Kidney (Chinese medicine) (肾)
Chinese zodiac
In Chinese astrology the zodiac of twelve animal signs represents twelve different types of
personality. The zodiac traditionally begins with the sign of the Rat, and there are many stories
about the Origins of the Chinese Zodiac which explain why this is so (see below). The following
are the twelve zodiac signs in order and their characteristics.
Each of the 12 animals are governed by an element plus a Yin Yang Direction.

v • d • e
Chinese Zodiac
Rat · Ox · Tiger · Rabbit · Dragon · Snake · Horse · Ram · Monkey · Rooster · Dog ·
Pig
1. Rat (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Water).
2. Ox (Water buffalo), (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Water).
3. Tiger (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Wood).
4. Rabbit (Cat in Vietnam) (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Wood).
5. Dragon (Snail in Kazakhstan) (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Wood).
6. Snake (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Fire).
7. Horse (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Fire).
8. Ram (Goat in Vietnam) (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Fire).
9. Monkey (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Metal).
10.Rooster (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Metal).
11.Dog (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Metal).
12.Pig (Wild boar in Japan) (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Water).
In Chinese astrology the animal signs assigned by year represent what others perceive you as being
or how you present yourself. It is a common misconception that the animals assigned by year are
the only signs, and many western descriptions of Chinese astrology draw solely on this system. In
fact, there are also animal signs assigned by month (called inner animals), day, and hours of the
day (called secret animals).
To sum it up, while a person might appear to be a dragon because they were born in the year of the
dragon, they might also be a snake internally and an ox secretively. In total, this makes for 8,640
possible combinations (five elements x 12 animals in the 60 year cycle (12 x 5 = 60) , 12 months,
12 times of day) that a person might be. These are all considered critical for the proper use of
Chinese astrology[citation needed].
Sidereal astrology
Sidereal astrology is the system of astrology used by some Western and all Jyotish astrologers who
base their interpretation around the use of the sidereal zodiac. Its primary feature is that the signs of
the zodiac align to the sky constellations of the same name. The signs therefore run between dates
which are different from the tropical zodiac used in the West. For example, Aries runs from about
March 21 to April 20 in the tropical zodiac but extends from April 14 to May 14 in the
sidereal[citation needed] (although the precise dates may vary depending on the sidereal system
used).
The difference between sidereal and tropical astrology is in the opinion whether the system as
defined by Ptolemy in the 2nd century should be fixed to the seasons, i.e. the orientation of the
Earth relative to the solar system, or to the background stars, i.e. the orientation of the Earth relative
to the galaxy. Tropical astrology chooses the former, sidereal astrology the latter option. Both
systems coincide for times close to the historical definition of the Zodiac, i.e. Classical Antiquity.
A recent definition of a sidereal system was introduced by Irish astrologer Cyril Fagan in 1944 and
is practiced by a minority of Western astrologers.
Background
The classical zodiac of Greek astronomy as defined by Ptolemy is tropical in nature, defining the
signs relative to vernal equinox regardless of the position of constellations. Western astrology
traditionally uses this system.
Sidereal astrology ties its signs of the zodiac to the actual constellations.

Changing position of the vernal equinox. The red line is a section of the apparent path traced by the
Sun through the Earth's year. The red/green line is a projection of the Earth's equator onto the
celestial sphere. The crossing point of these two lines is the spring equinox. In 1500 BC it was near
the end of the constellation of Aries, in 500 BC it was near the beginning of the constellation of
Aries, and in AD 150 (the time of Ptolemy) it was in the center of the constellation of Pisces.
The precession of the equinoxes, a phenomenon discovered c. 130 BC by Hipparchus and known to
Ptolemy, results in a shift between the two systems of about one degree every 70 years.
The vernal equinox lay near the beginning of the Aries constellation around 500 BC, consistent
with a Babylonian origin of the system.
While classical tropical astrology is based on the orientation of the Earth relative to the Sun and
planets of the solar system, sidereal astrology deals with the position of the Earth relative to both of
these as well as the stars of the celestial sphere. The actual positions of certain fixed stars as well as
their constellations is an additional consideration in the horoscope. (Over very long astronomical
time scales, these fixed stars are of course themselves far from stationary.)
Some sidereal astrologers denounce tropical astrologers for failing to relate to the "actual heavens,"
seeing in this a fundamental degeneration of the subject (Kenneth Bowser, The Traditional
Astrologer magazine, (Ascella), Issue 14, May 1997, pp.23–27 ).
Hindu astrology
Main article: Ayanamsa
Further information: Jyotisha
Traditional Hindu astrology is based on the sidereal or visible zodiac, accounting for the shift of the
equinoxes by a correction called ayanamsa. The difference between the Vedic and the Western
zodiacs is currently around 24 degrees. This corresponds to a separation of c. 1700 years, when the
vernal equinox was approximately at the center of the constellation Pisces and the tropical zodiac
coincided with the sidereal one (around 290 AD, or at 23.86° as of 2000 according to N. C.
Lahiri[who?]). The separation is believed to have taken place in the centuries following Ptolemy
(2nd century AD), apparently going back to Indo-Greek transmission of the system. But earlier
Greek astronomers like Eudoxus spoke of vernal equinox at 15° in Aries, while later Greeks spoke
of vernal equinox at 8° and then 0° in Aries (cf. p.16, S. Jim Tester in ref.), which suggests use of
sidereal zodiac in Greece before Ptolemy and Hipparchus.[clarification needed]
Cyril Fagan
Cyril Fagan assumes the origin of the zodiac in 786 BCE, when the vernal equinox lay somewhere
in mid-Aries, based on a major conjunction that occurred that year (ref), corresponding to a
difference of some 39 degrees or days.
Signs vs. astronomical constellations of the zodiac
Nearly all astrologers, tropical and sidereal, agree that the ecliptic should be divided into twelve
equal segments to form the zodiac; they differ on where the zodiac begins.
Thus, most sidereal astrologers simply divide the ecliptic into 12 equal signs of 30 degrees but
approximately aligned to the 12 zodiac constellations. Assuming an origin of the system in 786
BCE, this results in an identical system as that of the classical tropical zodiac, shifted by 25.5 days,
i.e., if in tropical astrology, Aries is taken to begin at March 21, sidereal Aries will begin on April
15.
The 13 astronomical constellations of the ecliptic
A small number of sidereal astrologers (such as Walter Berg) wish to include other constellations,
such as Ophiuchus, in their zodiac and use 13 signs instead of 12. This results in a system
completely unrelated to the zodiac as described by Ptolemy. While Ptolemy noted that Ophiuchus is
in contact with the ecliptic, he was aware that the twelve signs were just conventional names for 30
degrees segments (especially since the Aries sign had ceased to be in contact with the Aries
constellation already in his time).
For the purpose of determining the constellations in contact with the ecliptic, the constellation
boundaries as defined by the International Astronomical Union in 1930 are used. For example, the
Sun enters the IAU boundary of Aries on April 19 at the lower right corner, a position that is still
rather closer to the "body" of Pisces than of Aries. Needless to say, the IAU defined the
constellation boundaries without consideration of astrological purposes.
The dates the Sun passes through the 13 astronomical constellations of the ecliptic are listed below,
accurate to the year 2002. The dates will increment by one day every 70½ years, and already several
have changed. The corresponding tropical and sidereal dates are given as well.
Constellation Tropical date Sidereal Date Sun is in constellation
Aries March 21 - April 20 April 15 - May 15 April 19 - May 13
Taurus April 21 - May 21 May 16 - June 15 May 14 - June 19
Gemini May 22 - June 21 June 16 - July 15 June 20 - July 20
Cancer June 22 - July 22 July 16 - August 15 July 21 - August 9
Leo July 23 - August 22
August 16 - September
15
August 10 - September
15
Virgo
August 23 - September
23
September 16 - October
15
September 16 - October
30
Libra
September 24 - October
23
October 16 - November
15
October 31 - November
22
Scorpius
October 24 - November
22
November 16 -
December 15
November 23 -
November 29
Ophiuchus
November 30 -
December 17
Sagittarius
November 23 -
December 21
December 16 - January
14
December 18 - January
17
Capricornu
s
December 22 - January
20
January 15 - February
14
January 18 - February 15
Aquarius
January 21 - February
19
February 15 - March 14 February 16 - March 11
Pisces February 20 - March 20 March 15 - April 14 March 12 - April 18
The 21 zodiacal constellations of the planets
Because of their inclination from the ecliptic, the planets are not restricted to the 13 constellations
of the ecliptic. The eight planets pass through 21 constellations. Thus there are 21 astronomical
constellations of the zodiac. These are, in addition to the 13 constellations listed above, Cetus,
Corvus, Crater, Hydra, Orion, Pegasus, Scutum, and Sextans.
Tropical astrology
Tropical astrology is a type of astrology based on a zodiac whose points of reference are the
tropics. The word tropic comes from the Greek for "turning point," and originally meant the point at
which the sun at sunrise and sunset appears to turn, and to move north in the northern hemisphere
and south in the southern hemisphere along the horizon after the winter solstice or the opposite
direction after the summer solstice.
Tropical astrology is based on the idea that early astrologers (mid-to-late first millennium BCE)
defined the star signs according to the seasons in which the sun rose in them; it wishes to preserve
the seasonal associations of those star signs by laying out new horoscopes against a first-
millennium sky. For tropical astrologers therefore it is irrelevant that the solsticial points (tropics)
have drifted from one constellation to another over the millennia, due to the precession of the
equinoxes. The underlying philosophy remains unchanged in spite of precession, because it is based
on the Earth's (and therefore our) relationship to the sun, not to the stars. The names of the zodiacal
constellations that became the star signs are supposed to suggest the characteristics of (the sun in)
each segment of the year. Thus, Aries (House 1), representing the sun just returning to the northern
hemisphere at the vernal equinox, symbolises unruly beginnings; Leo (House 5), representing the
powerful sun of mid-summer, symbolises fertility and self-display; Sagittarius (House 9),
representing the retreating or meditative sun close to the winter solstice, symbolises the search for
understanding.
In its emphasis on the symbolic or metaphorical meaning of the star signs tropical astrology differs
from sidereal astrology which claims intrinsic meaning for the star signs and wishes to preserve
those meanings by laying out horoscopes against the actually occurring sky.
In the tropical zodiac the sun at the vernal equinox is considered to be in the first degree of the star
sign Aries. This is because when astrology was being developed by the Babylonians and the
Hellenistic Greeks the sun actually was in the constellation Aries at the vernal equinox (whereas
now it is in Pisces). Even by the time the earliest horoscopes were written, however, in the fifth
century BCE, the equinoctial point had drifted -- to about the 28th degree of Aries. The last time the
vernal equinox was in the first degree of Aries was around 1900 BCE, give or take a hundred years,
depending on how you read the ecliptic.
The tropical zodiac in astrology is largely exclusive to The Americas and Western European
astrologers. Some Western astrologers choose to practice sidereal astrology, and criticise the
tropical approach as erroneous because it does not align with the actual position of the stars.
Sidereal astrologers also point out the absurdity of applying northern hemisphere seasons to the
whole planet when there are now large populations within the southerm hemisphere who experience
seasons six months apart from those in the north. Tropical astrologers counter that there may be
many ways of interpreting the relationship of the current night sky to the pattern of star signs. This
is a long running dispute within Western astrology.
Electional astrology
Electional astrology is a branch found in most systems of astrology. In western culture one can see
remnants of this in ceremonies such as the cutting of a ribbon to open a new building. This is
traditionally done at the auspicious moment for the building to come into use, which is considered
its actual birth to the people who will utilize the space. A heavy importance is placed on this in
modern Hindu culture, and therefore there is a large amount of information on this topic from that
tradition.
Vedic Electional Astrology (Muhūrta)
Electional astrology (called Muhurt or Muhūrta in Vedic astrology) concerns itself with finding the
best time to do a particular activity. A part of Vedic astrology, this system proposes that the results
of any action are based not only on who or how they are performed, but also when. This system
takes in account the individual person, and the place where the action is performed to suggest the
best time to perform the activity in order to get the best results possible.
The basis of electional astrology lies in the assumption that just as the destiny of an individual is
governed by the state of the heaven when he was born, the outcome of the action also depends on
the stars governing it.
The Vedic system of Electional astrology is more than a way to find out the best time to perform
actions that you wish to gain fruit from. It is a guide to life itself and suggests the best time to do
not only the important, but even mundane rituals of life like shaving, bathing, etc.
Muhurtha uses the person's horoscope, mundane influences, omens, prevailing religious & social
customs etc., to suggest when the heavens are harmonious with an individual's desire and thus
arrive on the best time to perform an action.
In jyotisha system of electional astrology, electional astrology is distinct from horary astrology;
having separate logics, rules, factors for consideration, application & utility, though the
fundamental rules of astrology are applicable to both the branches. Separate treatises are available
on each of these two branches. Horary is predictive astrology while electional astrology is
predictive, preventive & prescriptive in nature.
Considerations in selection of an election
To arrive at precise (Sukshama) election for a specific activity, following main factors are
considered :
Nativity of the aspirant, his name, birth ascendant, lunar sign (the radical Moon sign), lunar
asterism, his status (social status, age, religion, caste), place where activity is to be performed,
social & religious considerations.
Availability of universal purified time length, Panchang Shuddhi [suitable availability of
fundamental five elements of Hindu ephemeris – day, asterism, half lunar day (Tithi), Karan &
Yoga], Special Muhurt Yogas, selection of purified time (year, month, solstice, Lunar half, hora).
Presence of special Muhurt Yogas (specific combinations of weekday, asterism, lunar day, asterism
transited by the Sun etc.) fortifies an election, which is hallmark of Hindu electional astrology.
Suitability of specific elements of Vedic ephemeris has been separately prescribed for specific
elections.
Bright & luminous Moon lays foundations of an election. No good election is thought possible
without detailed consideration of the Moon, as other planets gets strength from the Moon, & the
Moon is mind of the election.
Absence of universal malefic / prohibited time like– junctional points (Gandantas), eclipses, solar
ingresses into a new sign, Vishti Karan, Mahapaatas, Latta-Paata-Baana-Sangrahas- Kartari-Dash
Doshas, malefic Yogas, blind / deaf signs-months-Tithis, combustion of Jupiter & Venus, etc. etc.),
malefic / poisonous Yogas (combination of astrological elements) the list is long to mention here all
the factors.
Absence of malefic time for the doer – adverse transit of the Moon & significator of the event,
adverse asterisms; adverse killer (Ghaata) ascendant-Tithi- day- part of the day- Yoga-Karan etc.
Favourable transits of planets for the native selected through various Hindu systems – like Gochar,
Ashtakvarga, Vaam Vedha, Karam Vedha, auspicious asterism, Ansha Chakra, Sarvaobhadra
Chakra etc., favourable Dasha (Hindu progression system), Omens, portents, proper Swar (mode of
breathing), incantation of Mantras & Vedic hymns. Extensive rules have been laid down to fortify
& purify the election chart & election ascendant.
The unsullied election – without any maleficence is the best but is rarely available. Next middling
election, having more beneficence & less maleficence is used by specialist astrologer through his
expertise after balancing the election & examining the antidotes. The election having lesser
beneficence is used in emergency. In Hindu system, other styles of Muhurtas (elections) like Do
Ghati Muhurt, Shivprokat Muhurt, Chaughadia Muhurt & Brihaspati Muhurtas are also in vogue.
Time range / limitations available to the doer, nature of activity – degree of its signification /
importance. Some events are time bound like first feeding, Jaatakaram (propitiations just after
birth) have to be initiated within specific time limit.
Antidotes: No election is feasible unless antidotes to the maleficence is available & the election is
balanced by a specialist astrologer. He has to examine compliance to the laid down logics,
purification of divisional charts; arriving at the precise moment to start the event for the best
benefits of the aspirants explaining him the limitations & constraints, as perceived by the specialist
astrologer.
Constellations (Nakshatra) : application in Vedic Electional
Astrology
Main article: Nakshatras
Extremely high auspicious Muhurtas in Vedic electional
astrology
According to Vedic / Indian treatises on electional astrology three Muhurtas are held as most
auspicious in initiating life activities. These are : Abhijit Muhrat, Sade-Teen Muhurt and Gau-Dhuli
(12 minutes before and after the Sunset). Though these have been held as most auspicious in
general but caution need to be exercised that their durations are not sullied by concurrent presence
of inauspicious Yogas, universally accepted malefic time like eclipse and Ganadanta (junction
points) etc, and adverse planetary transits for the doer etc. Further doers are cautioned to select the
Muhurt properly as Abhijit Muhurt is suitable for worldly activities, and the Sade-Teem Muhurtas
and Gow-Dhuli are suitable for auspicious and meritorious activities. Selection of an auspicious
time is one of the highest skill of an electional astrologers but still the said auspicious Muhurtas can
be effectively utilized when expert's services are not available.
Sade – Teen Muhurtas
1st Tithi of Bright Half of Chaitra (starting of new year), 10th Tithi of Bright Half of Ashvina
(Vijay Dashmi), 3rd Tithi of Bright Half of Vaishakha (Akshay Tritiya- Parshu Jyanti) & 1st Tithi
of Bright Half of Karttika are called "Sade-Teen (3 ½) Muhurt". The first three Tithis are counted as
full & the last one as half Tithi, and constitute Sade - Teen Muhurt. These are among the most
auspicious Tithis & auspicious (Manglik) deeds successfully fructify when started in these Tithis. It
is held that there is no blemish during these Tithis. Meritorious activities (Punya Karma) such as
recitation (Japa), penance (Tapa), donations, bating (Snaana), oblation to fire (Havan), burnt
offering (Hooma) performed in this Tithi is extremely beneficial. Wearing sacred thread
(Upnayana), marriage, ending of fast, house construction & entering thereof, travailing and
plantation are prohibited during Akshay Tritiya as this Tithi is Yugadi Tithis; which was prevailing
during start of Treta Yuga.
Abhijit Muhurt
Abhijit Muhurt is a powerful election as per Hindu astrology. Exponents of Vedic / Hindu
electional astrology have prescribed Abhijit Muhurt (election) as on of the most powerful election
& has general acceptance of exponents for initiating a wide spectrum of life activities, especially for
fruition of worldly activities. Its Puranik name is Abhijit or Kutup Muhurt. This election
(Muhurt) is also called Swami Tithiyansha', 'Vijay Muhurt' & 'Chaturlagna. It is ruled by
Abhijit (Vega 19) asterism, a benefic one.
It has power to annihilate / destroy numerous malevolent influences in elections. However, its
efficacy is enhanced by presence of special Muhurt Yogas, prescribed beneficial Hindu ephemeris
(Panchang) elements, luminous Moon, fortified & purified ascendant, specific disposition of
election related planets, favourable transits of the planets to the aspirant etc. etc. This election is that
powerful that some exponents have praised to the extent that when a suitable election is not
available, it can be selected for fruition of the desires.
This election is as or similarly powerful as Vijay Dashmi, Ravi Yoga, Sade-Teen Muhurt, Sarva-
Karya-Arambha Muhurt, Gow-Dhuli, and Vijay Muhurt & Amrit Ghatis for initiating a wide
spectrum of life activities.
Abhijit Muhurt starts from 24 minutes before the Local Noon Time (LNT) & remains till 24
minutes thereafter (total duration 48 minutes) for 12-hour duration of daytime. For variable length
of daytime its duration should be calculated proportional to non-nocturnal (daytime) length.
Proportional election time (total duration) of this election is 15th part of the daytime length. Thus at
a place of activity on a given day the election shall be current during:
LNT ± [(proportional election time) ÷ 2]
=[(Sunset time + Sunrise time)÷2] ± [(Sunsettime - Sunrisetime)÷ 30]
For example if Sunrise is at 07.00 GMT & the Sunset time is 18.00 GMT at a place of an activity
then, its total duration shall be 44 minutes (11 h ÷2 = 44 m). Local Noon Time shall be 12.30 GMT.
The said election time shall start from 12.08 & ends at 12.52 GMT (12.30 ± 22 m).
In the corresponding duration during night-time, equally auspicious election prevails which is called
Brahma Muhurt. Most of the authoritative writers have eulogized this Muhurt as suitable to
initiate all types of works, & as the most powerful & efficacious Muhurt capable of removing
plurality of maleficence (Doshas).
Lord Shiva killed a powerful demon named Tripurasur in this Muhurt. This Muhurt has blessing of
Lord Vishnu who destroys innumerable Doshas with His Sudarshan Chakra during the currency of
this Muhurt. Aspirants (not having in-depth knowledge of Muhurt astrology) may select this
powerful election for day-to-day life activities without going into intricacies of the knowledge
regarding election & ephemeris.
Exceptions : But this powerful Muhurt is not suitable for auspicious / sacraments (Manglik
activities like marriage, Upanayana etc.) functions on Wednesdays, as it forms a malefic Muhurt.
Further travel in the South direction should be refrained during this powerful election.
Some exponents have advised that ± 4 minutes of time (total 8 minutes) from the junction of
forenoon & after-noon (mid-day), and also the first & latter part of night (mid-night - Mahanisha)
are malefic & should be refrained in a benefic Muhurt (elections). Thus aspirants should not use this
election during LNT ± 4 minutes.
Readers shall find that some of the countries whose birth took place in the said election have thrived
& progressed merely by virtues of this powerful election.
Breath Astrology (Swar Shaastra) - its significance in
electional astrology
Swar Shaastra – is a unique oriental knowledge based on breathing and speech. Sound is one of the
most effective energies playing leading role in interpersonal and spiritual development. The
exponents of jyotisha /Hindu / Indian astrology had mastered this knowledge and had gifted
numerous treatises (Shiv Swarodaya, Samarsaar, Narpatijacharya, seven Yamalaas) on this subject.
However, subtleties of its usage and application are still kept highly secret. It has been held that for
maximum possible success in a venture, assistance from harmonious sound is essential.
As opined by exponents of Hindu electional astrology, electional astrology is not merely selecting a
suitable moment through astrology, but ensuring that harmonious / beneficial environment prevails
through incantation of holy sound / Mantras and the aspirant has the right mode of breathing to
attain highest feasible success in the venture. This highly developed branch of knowledge has
fundamental role in spiritual evolution of human being through various mode of breathing
(Pranayam & Yogas), incantation of Mantras and fine art of music. Its derived applications are
found in selection (election) of suitable time for initiation of life (and also day-to-day) activities
based on name of person; judging compatibility among persons; using suitable style of breathing
while initiation of specific activity; horary astrology, and providing vital assistance in clinching the
issue; independent mode to decipher future; selection of breathing mode for health maintenance and
removal of illness; enchantment of persons. It is a subject in itself and its application in electional
astrology is very briefly given for delight and benefit of aspirants.
There are three modes of breathing, viz, flow from left nostril, flow from right nostril & flow from
both the nostrils. The last mode is generally for a short duration when breathing switches from left
to right & vice versa. Mode of breathing can be checked by examining air flow while exhaling.
When breath is flowing from both the nostrils, the time is beneficial for worshipping & devotional
activities only; all other activities must not be then initiated. Following are some of the specific
activities which should be initiated when left or right nostrils are active. Some activities are listed
under both the modes, which the aspirant may select based on the functional / piousness of the
activity. In general for pious activities are initiated during currency of left nostril.
Activities recommended during running of left nostril:
It is beneficial / auspicious in long distance travels; charity; donation; wearing of clothes and
ornaments; treaty & agreement; installation of God's idol; practicing Yoga; oblation of fire for
peace; worshipping; marriage; administering of medicine, treating of difficult illness, removing
poison; starting of education-singing-dancing-playing musical instruments; discussion on dance -
drama; stationary & fixed works; entering into house - city - village; coronation, seeing king (high
official, master, employer); sweet & friendly activities, making friends; auspicious deeds; teachings;
initiation of Mantras; leaning of futurity knowledge; collection of domestic items - wealth & grains;
starting of water tank-pond-well; peaceful & developmental works; trade (give & take by the hand
presenting the mode of breathing); agriculture works, sowing seeds, buying agricultural land.
Activities recommended during running of right nostril:
Currency of breathing through right nostril is auspicious / beneficial for performing accurate &
difficult works; writing alphabets; learning and practicing use of arms and weapons; destruction of
enemy war, attack, encounter; enmity; inflicting punishment; breaking / splitting; gambling;
bathing; taking food; sleeping; sex, visiting women & prostitutes, enchanting females, attracting
others; creating fear, cruel works; short distance travel; entry into house; boarding ship / big boat;
drinking intoxicants, administration of poison, removal of poison; usage of Mantras; study of holy
books; study & teaching of difficult & destructive branches of knowledge climbing mountains &
forts; riding on horse / elephant and transports; physical exercise; sale of animals; crossing pond-
river; taking medicine; giving donations; sale-purchase; grinding of bricks-stones-wood-metals;
conduction of 'Six-Works': "beating, charming, hindering, enmity, vexing & subduing".
Aspirant user of this knowledge must change mode of breathing suitably at the time of initiating
specific desired activity. When left nostril is working, body gets cooled; while right nostril is
working, the body gets heated up. Most of the practicing electional astrologers have observed that
compliance to the dictums of Swar Shaastra is more efficacious than omens.
Books on electional astrology
Books on western electional astrology
• Carmen Astrologorum - (Dorotheus of Sidon, 1st century CE - book V (in Pingree edition of
Arabic translation)
• Peri Katarkhōn - (Maximus - astrologer of 2nd century CE)
• Electional astrology – (Vivian E. Robson)
• Electional astrology – (Joann Hamper)
• Electional astrology : art of timing - (Mountain astrologer)
• Authoritative Text on Electional
• Astrology restored - (William Ramesey)
Classical treatises / books on Vedic / Hindu electional astrology
Following is list of the treatises on Vedic / Hindu / India electional (Muhurt / Muhurtha astrology.
Election has also been dealt in other books but these are exclusive books on the subject. Electional
astrology has also been dealt exhaustively / partly in some of the Samhitas whose list is also
appended. These books are in Sanskrit, but those available in English translation or commentary are
marked as * & in bold letters.
• Adbhuta Sagaar
• Brihannarad
• Brihatdaivygyaranjan
• Brihatjyotisaar
• Daivygyamanoranjan
• Daivygyamanohar Granth
• Ganak Mandan
• Gian Manjari
• Hindu Electional Astrology (in English)
• Jaganmohan Granth
• Jyotiprakash
• Jyotirnibandh
• Jyotish Ratan
• Jyotisha Tattwa
• Jyotishsaar
• Jyotish Chintamani
• Jyotirvidabharnam
• Kaal Khanda
• Kaal Nirnaya Deepika
• Kaal Prakashika *
• Madhaveeyam
• Muhurtarnava
• Muhurt Bhaskar
• Muhurt Chintamani *
• Muhurt Chudamani
• Muhurt Darpaan
• Muhurt Deepak
• Muhurt Deepika
• Muhurt Ganpati
• Muhurt Kalpadrum
• Muhurt Maala
• Muhurt Manjari
• Muhurt Martanda
• Muhurt Muktaavali
• Muhurt Prakash
• Muhurt Saagar
• Muhurt Sangraha
• Muhurt Tattva
• Muhurt Tattvapradeep
• Muhurtarnava
• Muktaavali
• Narpatijacharyaaswarodaya
• Naardeeya
• Nibandh Chudamani
• Poorva Kaalamrit
• Rajmartanda
• Ratan Koosh
• Ratanmaala
• Samarsaar
• Shiv Swarodaya *
• Vaivahaar Pradeep
• Vivah Kautuhal
• Vivah Patal
• Vivah Pradeep
• Vivah Saar
• Vivah Vrindavan
• Vyvahaarochchya
• Yoga Yatra
• Vyvaharsaar
• SAMHITAS : Following is list of Samhitas; treatises on mundane, omens, portents,
electional, meteorology etc.
• Brahmarshi Samhita
• Brihaspati Samhita
• Brihat Samhita *
• Charak Samhita
• Guru Samhita
• Kashyap Samhita
• Lomasha Samhita
• Maanav Samhita
• Naagarjun Samhita
• Narad Samhita
• Shakalya Samhita
• Samaas Samhita
• Samhita Pradeep
• Samhita Sidhhanta
• Satya Samhita
• Sur Samhita
• Vaikhaan Samhita
• Vasist Samhita
Classical treatises / books on Vedic / Hindu Phonetical astrology
• Shiva Swarodaya—by Muktabodhnanda Saraswati
• Swar Yoga—by Muktabodhnanda Saraswati
• Swar Chintamani—by S Kannan
• Hindu Electional Astrology—by V K Shridhar
• Jyotish Me Swar Vigyan Ka Mahatava—by Kedar Dutt Joshi
• Narpatijacharya—by Narpatikavi
• Samarsaar—by Raamchandra
Horary astrology
Horary astrology is an ancient branch of horoscopic astrology by 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. There is disagreement amongst horary astrologers as to whether
to use the location of the person who asks the question - the querent - or the location of the
astrologer. Normally they are in the same place, but in modern times many astrologers work online
and by telephone. These days the querent could be in Australia and send an email with the question
to an astrologer in Europe. The horoscope would in this case be radically different. Many European
practitioners take the location of the querent, but there are strong voices in traditional English
schools who advocate using the location of 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 him.
History
Horary astrology has been practiced for centuries in India known as Prasna Shastra (Sanskrit
prasna = question). It is a branch of Vedic astrology which is still widely used across the Indian
subcontinent. The more advanced form is the Astamangalam Prasna and Deva Prasna methods of
Kerala. The state of Kerala, in India, is famous even today for its traditional use of horary astrology.
The English astrologer William Lilly (1602-81) was the last major horary astrologer, and probably
the best-known horary practitioner in history. His book Christian Astrology is in print and widely
used in the modern day practice of horary astrology. Today, horary astrology is still used much
more in the United Kingdom, with medium popularity remaining in America, Germany, France, and
the other Western European nations. Influential modern practitioners of horary astrology following
Lilly's technique include UK astrologers Olivia Barclay, founder of the Qualifying Horary
Practitioner (QHP), Barbara Dunn, Principal of QHP John Frawley, (runs courses), Deborah
Houlding, Principal of STA, Susan Ward, Principal of a horary diploma course, and American
astrologers J. Lee Lehman, (runs courses), and Christopher Warnock (runs courses).
Approach
Horary astrology has its own strict system. The position of and aspects to the moon are of prime
importance. The person asking the question, or querent, is represented by the ruler of the sign the
first house cusp falls on in the horoscope. Planetary aspects to the house cusps are considered more
important than in other branches of astrology (although it is the planetary rulers of the houses in
question that take precedent in analysis). Other key elements used in horary astrology include the
lunar nodes, the planetary antiscia, and the Arabic parts.
Typically, a horary chart is read by first assigning the thing asked about, the quesited, to a
particular house in the chart. For instance, asking "Where is my lost dog?" would be represented by
the sixth house, as it is the house that governs small animals (traditionally, smaller than a goat). The
house cusp of the sixth house will be in a particular sign, for example Libra. Libra is ruled by
Venus, so Venus is considered the significator of the lost dog. Venus's state in the horoscope (its
dignity, aspects, etc.) will give clues to the animal's location.
Interpretation
Fundamental to horary astrology is the concept of planetary dignity and reception. Dignity comes
in two forms, essential and accidental. Essential refers to the quality of a planet at a particular
degree of the zodiac and its ability to express its true/good nature. For instance, a horoscope is
drawn and Mars is in Scorpio. Using traditional rulerships, Mars here is in its own sign, so it is
considered essentially strong; a well-behaved Mars. Mars in Taurus, on the other hand, is in its
detriment, so is essentially weak. In a horary question where Mars is a significator, Mars's essential
dignity will indicate something of the quality of the quesited. Accidental dignity refers to how the
planet "finds itself". That is, if the [[planet is in a traditionally bad house (6th, 8th, or 12th) in the
chart, if it is retrograde]], aspected by a malefic planet (Saturn or Mars), combust, etc, then it is
considered an accidental debility.
As a metaphor, consider an actor who breaks his leg on opening night; essential good, accidentally
debilitated. The converse is true. A planet in poor essential dignity may have considerable
accidental power. Taking the earlier example of Mars, if Mars was in Scorpio, and in an angular
house in the horary chart (1st, 7th, 10th, 4th) then it is considered accidentally as well as essentially
strong. It has quality, and power to act, to express.
Reception refers to how each planet in a horary question chart "view" or "receive'" each other,
either favourably, unfavourably, or somewhere in between. If Mars is in Taurus, and Venus is in
Scorpio, then each of the planets is in the sign the other planet rules. (Venus is ruler of Taurus,
Mars of Scorpio). This is called mutual reception by rulership, and although each planet is in its
detriment, it nevertheless receives the other planet favourably. In some horary questions, a thorough
understanding of receptions (and the above example skims the surface of this topic) is required to
delineate the interplay of how the various significators view each other what sort of attitudes are
taking place in the area of the question.
Horoscopic astrology
Horoscopic astrology is a form of astrology which uses a horoscope, a visual representation of the
heavens, for a specific moment in time in order to interpret the inherent meaning underlying the
alignment of the planets at that moment. The idea is that the placement of the planets at any given
moment in time reflects the nature of that moment and especially anything which is born then, and
this can be analyzed using the chart and a variety of rules for interpreting the 'language' or symbols
therein.
One of the defining characteristics of this form of astrology that makes it distinct from other
traditions is the computation of the degree of the Eastern horizon rising against the backdrop of the
ecliptic at the specific moment under examination, known as the ascendant. As a general rule, any
system of astrology that does not utilize the ascendant does not fall under the category of
horoscopic astrology, although there are some exceptions.
Overview
Horoscopic astrology is claimed to have developed in the Mediterranean region and specifically
Hellenistic Egypt sometime around the late 2nd or early 1st century BCE1. In ancient Hellenistic
astrology the ascendant demarcated the first celestial house of a chart, and the word for the
ascendant in Greek was horoskopos. This is the word that the term "horoscope" derives from, which
in modern times has come to denote the diagram of the heavens as a whole. While the modern
English term hails from Greece, it is a fact that horoscopic astrology was practiced in ancient India
and Vedic astrology is its oldest surviving form.
Horoscopic astrology can essentially be summed up as the practice of casting astrological charts
that reflect the apparent positions of a variety of celestial bodies and points from the perspective of
the subject at any given moment in time. The most prevalent application of horoscopic astrology is
to use it to analyze the birth charts of individuals in order to read character, psychological traits, and
to some extent destiny. In theory, however, a horoscope can be cast for the beginning of any entity,
including organisations, nations, animals, and even objects (for example ships, cars and airoplanes).
Branches of horoscopic astrology
There are four main branches of horoscopic astrology.
Natal astrology
Main article: Natal astrology
Natal astrology, also known as Genethliacal astrology, is the system of astrology based upon 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 location of a person's birth. Natal astrology can be found both in
Eastern and Western traditions.
Mundane astrology
Main article: Mundane astrology
Mundane Astrology (also known as political astrology) is the application of astrology to world
affairs and world events, taking its name from the Roman word Mundus, meaning "the World".
Mundane astrology is branch of Judicial astrology and is widely believed by astrological historians
to be the most ancient branch of astrology. Many modern and ancient mundane astrologers also
believe correlations exist between geological phenomena (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions,
etc.) and astronomical phenomena (the movement of celestial bodies in relation to the Earth).
Electional astrology
Main article: Electional astrology
Electional Astrology concerns itself with determining the most auspicious moment to begin an
enterprise or undertaking, such as starting a business or founding an organisation. It takes into
account the individual person or persons involved, and the place where the action is to be
performed, to suggest the best time to perform the activity.
Horary astrology
Main article: Horary astrology
Horary astrology is a method by which an astrologer attempts to answer a specific question by
constructing a horoscope for the exact time and place at which the question was asked. The answer
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
him.
Natal astrology
Natal astrology, also known as genethliacal astrology, is the system of astrology based upon 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 location of a person's birth. Natal astrology can be found in the
Indian or Jyotish, Chinese and Western astrological traditions.
In Horoscopic astrology the 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 between them.
Once the horoscope has been constructed the process of interpretation can begin, which involves
building a complete picture of the personality of the subject, or native. Interpretation involves three
main steps - noting the important features of the chart, and the processes of chart weighting and
chart shaping. Chart weighting involves noting the distribution of zodiac signs and houses in the
chart, and the significance of this to the overall personality of the native. Chart shaping involves
assessing the placement of the planets by aspect and position in the chart, and noting any significant
patterns which occur between them.
Important features
The important features of every chart that the astrologer must give special attention to are the
position of the sun and moon by sign and house; the sign on the ascendant, and the planet that rules
that sign, called the ascendant ruler or chart ruler. Also of importance is the first planet to occupy
the first, second or third houses after the ascendant. Called the rising planet it will be particularly
strong in the chart. If no planet occupies the first three houses, then a planet in the twelfth house
close to the ascendant can be taken to be the rising planet. Planets that are in conjunction (right
beside) the primary angles of ascendant, midheaven, descendant or IC (known as angular planets)
must also be especially considered.
Chart weighting
Chart weighting begins by listing the sun, moon and planets, ascendant and midheaven by
categories of sign and house and noting the significant categories which appear. For example, a
large number of planets appearing in fire signs will give importance or 'weight' to fire sign attributes
in the native's personality.
Weighting by sign
Chart weighting by sign lists the zodiac signs by three main categories - by masculine or feminine
signs; by element (fire, earth, air and water) and by quality (cardinal, fixed and mutable). Some
astrologers use all ten or eleven planets in the list and nothing else; while others include the
ascendant and midheaven, but exclude the modern planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto on the
grounds that their influence is felt by whole generations and so their position by sign cannot have
much significance in the individual chart

These are the planets and their astrological glyphs as most commonly used in Western Astrology.
Sign Symbol Element Quality
Aries Fire
Cardina
l
Taurus Earth Fixed
Gemini Air Mutable
Cancer Water
Cardina
l
Leo Fire Fixed
Virgo Earth Mutable
Libra Air
Cardina
l
Scorpio Water Fixed
Sagittariu
s
Fire Mutable
Capricorn Earth
Cardina
l
Aquarius Air Fixed
Pisces Water Mutable
• Masculine (Fire and Air signs): The masculine signs are Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra,
Sagittarius, and Aquarius. A native with these signs predominating will tend towards
extroversion, confidence and assertiveness, and have the ability to solve problems with
courage and enterprise.
• Feminine (Earth and Water signs): The feminine signs are Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio,
Capricorn, and Pisces. A native with these signs predominating will tend towards
introversion, shyness and passivity, and have the ability to nurture, conserve and solve
problems by intuitive means.
• Fire : The fires signs are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. A native with mainly fire signs will be
energetic, enthusiastic and optimistic, with a need to be in the center of the action making
things happen. They can be egotistical, headstrong and sometimes arrogant, but also can be
generous, warm-hearted, and spontaneously kind. Fire subjects are independent and prefer to
have control over their own lives, but they can also be sometimes autocratic. A subject
lacking fire signs will be fearful or over-cautious, pessimistic and shy, and will lack
enthusiasm, confidence and faith in the future. Planets in the 1st, 5th and 9th houses and an
emphasis on cardinal signs in the chart will help to compensate for this lack.
• Earth : The earth signs are Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. A native with mainly earth signs
will be practical and cautious, sensible and capable and will be happier with concrete things
than abstract ideas. They move slowly and carry out their work in a thorough and unhurried
manner. Earth subjects are shrewd and careful and need emotional and material security, and
will put up with quite a lot to get it. They are generous to those they love, but are otherwise
careful not to waste time or money, though there can be a tendency towards meanness. Earth
subjects tend to be shy in social situations, and to be slow to commit in love relationships,
but are serious when they do. A subject lacking earth signs will lack common sense and
practicality and find it difficult to finish anything they start. They may be scatty, unrealistic
and clumsy, hopeless with money and unreliable. Planets in the 2nd, 6th and 10th houses
and an emphasis on fixed signs in the chart will help to compensate for this lack.
• Air : The air signs are Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. A native with mainly air signs will be
an excellent communicator, concerned with ideas and theories of all kinds. They are looking
for answers to life's questions and make good teachers and writers. Air people are more
tense than they appear at first sight and may live on their nerves. They have many friends
and acquaintances but may not be particularly interested in family life. They are interested in
the latest technologies and are able to do a number of things at once. Air subjects are also
very imaginative and quick-witted, but may be sarcastic and rude. A subject lacking air
signs will have little imagination and lightness of touch. They have an over-emphasis on
practicalities and can lack a sense of humour, and be boring company. They can find it
difficult to communicate or to assimilate and explain new ideas. Planets in the 3rd, 7th and
11th houses, and an emphasis on mutable signs in the chart will help to compensate for this
lack.
• Water: The water signs are Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. A native with mainly water signs
will be very emotional and find it hard to look at anything dispassionately. They tend to
respond slowly to questions and need time to grasp a new concept. Water subjects can find it
difficult to explain their feelings, and so can be difficult to live with, but they are also kind
and sympathetic to those they love. They need to give and receive a lot of affection and will
direct it towards family, close friends and animals. A subject lacking water may lack
intuition and be unable to see the needs of others. They may be too full of ideas or too fond
of the material world to consider their own spiritual needs or those of other people. Planets
in the 4th, 8th and 12th houses in the chart will help to compensate for this lack.
• Cardinal : The cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. A native with mainly
cardinal signs will not want to be held under anybody's thumb, and will need to take charge
of their own world. Their attention may be concerned with themselves or others, but
wherever their energies are directed it is difficult to deflect them from their chosen course.
Cardinal signs in a chart will add courage, initiative and self-motivation. Cardinal subjects
are hard to influence because they generally believe they know best. A subject lacking
cardinal signs may feel they are never in control of their own lives, but are manipulated by
people and circumstances beyond their control. They may lack courage and initiative and
may prefer others to make decisions for them. Planets in the 1st, 4th, 7th and 10th houses,
and an emphasis on fire and air signs in the chart will help to compensate for this lack.
• Fixed : The fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. A native with mainly fixed
signs has the strength and endurance to see things through and to uphold the status quo.
They need stable homes, careers and partnerships and prefer the known to uncertainty. Fixed
subjects are loyal and dependable but can be very obstinate. A subject lacking fixed signs
cannot stick with anything or see anything through, and will tend to walk away from
problems. They may be too easily bored or too busy chasing rainbows ever to make
anything substantial happen. Planets in the 2nd, 5th, 8th and 11th houses, or an emphasis on
earth in the chart will help to compensate for this lack.
• Mutable The mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. A native with mainly
mutable signs are adaptable, co-operative and friendly. They can fit into almost any
situation, put up with anything and turn any situation to their advantage. Mutable people can
steer projects through periods of transition and bring them to a successful conclusion.
Although gentle and likeable, mutable subjects seem to have more than their fair share of
problems and can be selfish and ruthless when they feel threatened. These subjects may
devote their lives to helping others, but they can often paradoxically be surprisingly selfish
at the same time. Subjects lacking mutable signs may be unable to adapt to any kind of
change and be particularly unhappy when faced with uncertainty. They need lots of notice
before they will commit themselves to anything, and lack flexibility and adaptability. They
may also hold onto rigid and unchanging views. Planets in the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th houses
will help to compensate for this lack, and water signs in the chart will make up for the lack
of intuition.
Chart signature
Some astrologers summarise the process of weighting by sign through creating what is called the
chart signature. This involves noting which element and quality has the most signs and then
combining them into a zodiac sign which is taken to be the signature sign of the chart. So for
example, if a person has more fire signs than any other element, and more fixed signs than any other
quality, then that person's signature is Leo (the sign which is both fire and fixed).
In some cases there is no clear majority in either element or quality to give a clear signature. In
these cases the ruling planet of the sun is noted for its position in the chart (alternatively, the
ascendant can be added at this stage if it has not already been included). Whatever sign the ruling
planet occupies is then added to the totals for element and quality. So for example, if the Sun is in
Taurus, its ruling planet Venus is noted for its position by sign. If Venus is in, say, Pisces, then an
additional 'casting vote' is given to the element water and quality mutable. This is usually enough to
provide a signature. A 'casting vote' is given in this way on account of the extra importance of the
Sun in the natal chart. The signature sign is regarded by those astrologers who use it as frequently
having an over-riding influence in the natal chart, irrespective of what sign the sun or ascendant
occupies.
Weighting by house
• Angular houses : These are the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th houses. Planets in these houses exert
a strong influence on the subject, and may compensate for a lack of cardinal signs, and
strength, courage and enthusiasm elsewhere in the chart.
• Succedent houses : These are the 2nd, 5th, 8th and 11th houses. These houses are
concerned with possessions and creative pursuits, either by those of the subject alone, or
with others. Planets in these houses may help to compensate for a lack of fixed or earth signs
in the chart.
• Cadent houses : These are the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th houses. Planets in these houses have a
lot to do with the subject developing their own unique talents and aptitudes; and may
compensate for a lack of mutable signs, and general adaptability in the chart.
Chart shaping

The ascendant in this sample chart is marked As and is in the traditional nine o'clock position of the
horoscope
Chart shaping involves examining the placement of the planets in the chart by the aspects they form
and by their positioning in the chart relative to one another. Any significant patterns or 'shapes'
which occur in the chart are then interpreted for their importance to the personality of the native.
Aspect patterns
While the astrologer must note every aspect formed by the planets, aspects can be grouped together
into larger patterns which must be given particular attention in the chart. The main aspect patterns
are as follows:
• Stellium: At least four planets linked together in a series of continuous conjunctions. The
planets will act as if they are all in conjunction with each other, even if not all of them
actually are. This pattern gives a huge emphasis to the sign occupied by the planets,
regardless of the sun sign.
• Grand trine : Three trine aspects together. Indicative of a person at ease with him or herself,
with strong inner harmony, talents and abilities. However it may make a person unable to
cope with any real adversity, and may produce a weak, apathetic and condescending
character.
• Grand cross : Two pairs of opposing planets squared to each other. Often proves to be a
"make or break" pattern; either the person develops unusual strength of character, or feels
crushed by life. Person will have "a cross to bear".
• T-Square : Two planets in opposition squared to a third. The tension typical of the
opposition aspect is aggravated by additional problems introduced by the third planet. Often
an obstructive feature blocking the normal flow of behaviour of the person. Person needs to
develop activities represented by the "missing" arm of the T-square to achieve wholeness.
• Yod : Two qunicunxes together joined by a sextile. It indicates restlessness and instability.
The person gets drawn into the lives of others in ways that are difficult to avoid, with
periodic crises and urgent calls for assistance.
Hemispheres
The houses are grouped into four main categories or hemispheres. Horoscopes appear 'upside
down' in relation to how the compass points usually appear, with the ascendant marking the eastern
horizon traditionally appearing on the left hand side. For this reason the southern hemisphere
appears in the upper part of the horoscope.
• Upper (southern) hemisphere The 7th, 8th, 9th 10th, 11th and 12th houses. A subject with
most of his or her planets in this hemisphere will not be too deeply affected by the actions of
other people. He or she will be able to distance themselves from those around them and from
public events and movements, focusing firmly on their own needs and feelings, or the
general cause of humanity that is important to them. If the planets are grouped in the 8th, 9th
or 12th houses, the subject will have strong spiritual needs and values. Planets grouped in
the 10th house will make the subject ambitious and politically astute; while if they are in the
11th house he or she will be interested in humanitarian causes and education.
• Lower (northern) hemisphere The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th houses. A subject with
most of his or her planets in this part of the chart will be sensitive to the moods and feelings
of others, and may suffer a good deal as a result. The person may try to live though their
family rather than for themselves, and may be too subjective in their thinking. They may
also choose to do most of their thinking and working at home.
• Eastern hemisphere The 10th, 11th, 12th, 1st, 2nd, 3rd houses. A subject who has most of
his or her planets in this hemisphere will be a self starter who chooses their own path
through life and sets their own boundaries. They are not happy being a burden to other
people, or being kept by someone else. They also have the burden themselves of being an
initiator at work and in their personal life, as little is likely to be done for them by others.
When the planets are in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd houses, the subject is likely to be very self
absorbed and convinced that his or her own opinions are the only ones that matter.
• Western hemisphere The 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th houses. A subject with most of
these planets in this hemisphere will need to be very diplomatic in order to keep those
around him on their side. They may be looked after in some way by others, or else spend
their lives supporting and motivating others. When the majority of planets are in the 6th, 7th
and 8th houses he or she will use their energy to fulfil the needs to others. The subject may
bring about a situation of being needed by bringing a number of children into the world to
love and care for.
Jones patterns
The American astrologer Marc Edmund Jones has listed seven significant patterns which also occur
in the chart, based on the positions of the planets relative to one another.
• Bundle : In this pattern the planets are grouped together so that they form a 'bundle' within
the space of 120 degrees, or the equivalent of three signs of the zodiac. This intense
concentration of planets produces a person who is equally intense and unrelenting in pursuit
of personal interests. Perspective and understanding of others is limited, and it is difficult for
this person to share their lives with anyone. The best course of life for such a person is to
enter into enterprises that require deep concentration, persistence and commitment, or to
specialise in one area of expertise.
• Bowl : In this pattern the planets are grouped into a 'bowl' of one hemisphere of 180 degrees,
or the equivalent of six zodiac signs. The pattern will have particular force if all the planets
are contained within one hemisphere. A person with this pattern will be self-contained, and
go in search of enterprises that are meaningful, fulfilling and personally relevant. They tend
to have a ministerial quality that seeks the right kind of career or vocation that will produce
the greatest benefit for themselves and others.
• Bucket : This pattern is similar to the bowl except that one of the planets is in the opposite
hemisphere to all the others. This lone planet, or Singleton, serves as a handle, thus creating
a 'bucket' form. In the bucket pattern is indicated a desire to become associated with activity
in the mainstream of society, so that the person feels they belong. However, what this often
means is that the person expects the world to discover their own unique talents, rather than
them trying to fit in. They will usually direct their efforts to a single purpose, and strive to
achieve objectives rather than act solely for their own self-preservation. The person will
probably behave according to the nature of the Singleton planet that forms the handle of the
pattern. This planet will exercise a greater influence than normal in the chart, and will be an
important part of the dynamic of the person's activities and basic energy.
• Seesaw : In this pattern the planets form two groups on opposite sides of the chart, the
groups no less than sixty degrees or two signs apart. As its name suggests, this produces a
person who behaves like a 'seesaw', with their life following a pattern of two distinctly
contrasting alternatives. The person can find it difficult to integrate these two sharply
different parts of their life, which are often in competition with each other. However,
success produces the increased sophistication and polished, knowing demeanor of a person
who is able to deal with most of life's situations.
• Locomotive : This pattern is produced when all the planets are contained within 240 degrees
or nine signs of the zodiac, so that a whole 120 degrees is completely unoccupied. The
planet that rises clockwise following the empty space will significantly influence the life of
the person with this pattern, no matter what is indicated by the sun sign. It will act as the
'locomotive' of the natal chart, driving the individual to achieve goals through determined
and unrelenting effort, with an exceptional drive and fund of energy at their disposal. Such a
person will often be a loner, waiting for the public to discover the truth of what they have
been saying all along.
• Splay : This type of natal chart is noteworthy because of the presence of at least two, but
usually three pairs (or conjunctions) of planets randomly distributed in a 'splay' shape
around the chart. A person with this pattern will have enormous talent and potential that
needs deliberate attention to be developed into worthwhile skills. The person will be an
individualist, with no desire for a regimented or highly organized way of life, and they will
seek to avoid becoming trapped in routine. However, there is often the difficulty that there is
a lack of relevance between the different skill sets, so that the person may not derive the full
benefit from them. Such a person needs to concentrate on 'getting their act together'.
• Splash : As its name suggests this pattern, or rather lack of pattern, occurs when the planets
are randomly distributed around the chart in a 'splash'. A person with this pattern will have
diversification as their number one asset, with a universal and enriching mental outlook on
life. The person will be eager to share their life and resources as universally as possible,
wherever the need is greatest. However, as with the splay pattern, there is a danger of the
person scattering their energy unproductively.
Arab and Persian astrology
Persian Astrology has its roots in the Zend-Avesta, parts of which are very similar to the Rig Veda.
Much of the ancient cosmology of Persia/Iran has been lost because of the advent of the Koran and
the systematic destruction of Pre-Islamic libraries. Nevertheless the ancient texts in the Zend-
Avesta hold a lot of information of Persian Astrology. Many of the reverences in the Zoroastrian
prayers in the Yasna are made to cosmological energies of the various constellations. Some of the
science of the pre-Islamic Iran did eventually appear again amongst Islamic scientists. Much of the
survival of classical sciences like astronomy, mathematics, geography and philosophy in the
Western world is because it was preserved and used by the Muslim world from about the 8th
Century, when Europe was going through its Dark Ages. Astrology, being linked to astronomy at
this stage, was also one of those disciplines preserved.
The earliest semantic distinction between astronomy and astrology was given by the Persian
astronomer and astrologer Abu Rayhan al-Biruni circa 1000.
Islamic Astronomy
Main articles: Islamic astronomy and List of Arabic star names
Centres of learning in medicine and astronomy/astrology were set up in Baghdad and Damascus,
and the Caliph Al-Mansur of Baghdad established a major observatory and library in the city,
making it the world's astronomical centre. During this time knowledge of astronomy was greatly
increased, and the astrolab was invented by Al Fazari. So much was knowledge increased by the
Arabs that even today a great many star names are Arabic in origin. Here is a short list for some of
the most prominent, with their original meaning:
STAR NAME MEANING
Achernar "River's End"
Aladfar "Claws"
Aldebaran "The Follower"
Alioth "Sheep's Tail"
Altair "The Flying"
Betelgeuse "Central Hand"
Deneb "Tail"
Mizar "Waistband"
Rasolgethi
"Head of the Kneeling
One"
Rigel "Foot of the Great One"
Vega "The Falling"
The meaning of the star names cannot really be understood without reference to the constellation of
which they are a part. Further details of the star names, along with a greater list of others can be
found in the article: List of traditional star names. Some astrologers still include a few of the stars in
their charts today, along with the usual planets. For example, Aldabaran is said to signify
confidence, energy and leadership qualities, while Vega is said to indicate good fortune in worldy
ambitions.
Islamic Astrology
Muslim astrologers defined a new form of astrology called electional astrology that could be used
for all manner of divination in everyday life, such as the discovery of propitious moments for the
undertaking of a journey, or the beginning of a business venture etc. They also were the first to
speak of 'favourable' and 'unfavourable' indications, rather than categorical events.
Albumasur or Abu Ma'shar (805 - 885) was the greatest of the Arab astrologers. His treatise
'Introductoriam in Astronomium' spoke of how 'only by observing the great diversity of planetary
motions can we comprehend the unnumbered varieties of change in this world'. The 'Introductoriam'
was one of the first books to find its way in translation through Spain and into Europe in the Middle
Ages, and was highly influential in the revival of astrology and astronomy there.
Arab Astrology and Herbalism
Muslims also combined the disciplines of medicine and astrology by being linking the curative
properties of herbs with specific zodiac signs and planets. Mars, for instance, was considered hot
and dry and so ruled plants with a hot or pungent taste - like hellebore, tobacco or mustard. These
beliefs were adopted by European herbalists like Culpeper right up until the development of modern
medicine.
Arabic Parts
The Muslims also developed a system called Arabic parts by which the difference between the
ascendant and each planet of the zodiac was calculated. This new position then became a 'part' of
some kind. For example the 'part of fortune' is found by taking the difference between the sun and
the ascendant and adding it to the moon. If the 'part' thus calculated was in the 10th House in Libra,
for instance, it suggested that money could be made from some kind of partnership.
Iranian Astrologers
Iranian Astrology predates Islam and flourished as early as the Achaemenian times. The Bible
makes references to the three wise Magi from the east who are thought to have been Iranian. The
Iranians made significant contribution to astronomy and astrology. Al Khwarizmi was the most
famous of these. He was a great mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and geographer. He is
considered to be the father of algebra and the algorithm , and introduced the concept of the number
zero to the Western world.
The calendar calculated 1000 years ago by Omar Khayyam Neyshabouri, Mathematician,
Astronomer, Poet and Philosopher, is still in effect in Iran as the official Persian calendar. This is
virtually the only calendar in the world which is based on classical horoscope system; means 1st if
Aries is the first day of new year at spring equinox or on March 21, the beginning of Persian new
year or Nowrooz. He is also the inventor of decimal system and believed to be the father of
Algebra.[citation needed]
Another famous Iranians astrologer and astronomer was Qutb al-Din al Shirazi (1236 - 1311). He
wrote critiques of the Almagest, the famous Arabic translation of the work of Ptolemy. The
Almagest was the means by which Ptolemy's work was re-introduced into Europe, as the original
European copies had been lost. He produced two prominent works on astronomy: 'The Limit of
Accomplishment Concerning Knowledge of the Heavens' in 1281 and 'The Royal Present' in 1284,
both of which commented upon and improved on Ptolemy's work, particularly in the field of
planetary motion. Al-Shirazi was also the first person to give the correct scientific explanation for
the formation of a rainbow.
Ulugh Beyg was a fifteenth-century Sultan of Iran and another notable Iranian mathematician and
astronomer. He built an observatory in 1428 and produced the first original star map since Ptolemy,
which corrected the position of many stars, and included many new ones.
Medieval refutations
See also: Islamic astrology
The first semantic distinction between astrology and astronomy was given by the Persian Muslim
astronomer Abu Rayhan al-Biruni in the 11th century, and he later refuted astrology in another
treatise. The study of astrology was also refuted by other medieval Muslim astronomers such as Al-
Farabi (Alpharabius), Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen), Avicenna and Averroes. Their reasons for refuting
astrology were often due to both scientific (the methods used by astrologers being conjectural rather
than empirical) and religious (conflicts with orthodox Islamic scholars) reasons.
Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya (1292-1350), in his Miftah Dar al-SaCadah, used empirical arguments in
astronomy in order to refute the practice of astrology and divination. He recognized that the stars
are much larger than the planets, and thus argued:
"And if you astrologers answer that it is precisely because of this distance and smallness
that their influences are negligible, then why is it that you claim a great influence for the
smallest heavenly body, Mercury? Why is it that you have given an influence to al-Ra's
and al-Dhanab, which are two imaginary points [ascending and descending nodes]?"
Al-Jawziyya also recognized the Milky Way galaxy as "a myriad of tiny stars packed together in the
sphere of the fixed stars" and thus argued that "it is certainly impossible to have knowledge of their
influences."
Modern Developments
Astrology was in favour in the Islamic world when it was associated with the sciences of
astronomy, mathematics and medicine. When in later times it became separated from those
disciplines, it was regarded as linked to superstition and fortune-telling. Modern Islamic views of
astrology are therefore negative for the most part, as fortune-telling is forbidden in the Koran.
Present day Astrologers in Iran have found a great deal of similarities to the Western Astrology.
Iranian months of the year correspond exactly to the horoscope months.
(نیدرورف)Farvardin=Aries
(تشهبیدرا)Ordibehesht=Taurus
(دادرخ)Khordad=Gemini
(ریت)Tir=Cancer
(دادرم)Mordad=Leo
(رویرهش)Shahrivar=Virgo
(رهم)Mehr=Libra
(نابآ)Aban=Scorpio
(رذآ)Azar=Sagittarius
(ید)Day=Capricorn
(نمهب)Bahman=Aquarius
(دنفسا)Esfand=Pisces
Prominent Arab, Jewish, Muslim, and Persian Astrologers
This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy certain standards for
completeness. Revisions and additions are welcome.
• Abraham ibn Ezra
• Abraham Zacuto
• Al-Battani
• Al-Biruni
• Albohali
• Albubather
• Alchabitius
• Al-fadl ibn Naubakht
• 'Ali ibn Ridwan
• Al-Kindī
• Arzachel
• Berossus
• Biblical Magi (the "Three Wise Men")
• Haly Abenragel
• Hypatia of Alexandria
• Ibn Arabi
• Ibn Yunus
• Ibrahim al-Fazari
• Ja'far ibn Muhammad Abu Ma'shar al-Balkhi
• Mashallah
• Muhammad al-Fazari
• Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi
• Naubakht
• Omar Khayyam
• Porphyry
• Sharafeddin Tusi
• Sudines
Early Irish astrology
Early Irish astrology is the obscure astrological system practiced by the ancient Irish. Little is
known about this native system of astrology, as it is only described in a few Old Irish manuscripts,
none of which have been published or fully translated. However, it does seem to have been based
on an indigenous Irish symbol system, and not that of any of the more commonly-known
astrological systems such as Western, Chinese or Vedic astrology.
The phrase "Celtic Astrology" has also been inaccurately used to refer to the "tree calendar"
invented by Robert Graves, which was inspired by his superficial study of the Ogham script. Graves
details the system in his 1946 “work of poetic imagination,” The White Goddess. Though it has
been popularized by some New Age authors, in actuality Graves's "Tree Calendar" has no relation
to any historical Celtic calendar.
Judicial astrology
Judicial astrology is the art of forecasting future events by calculation of the planetary and stellar
bodies and their relationship to the Earth. The term "Judicial astrology" was mainly used in the
Middle Ages and early Renaissance to mean the type of astrology that was considered to be
heretical by the Catholic church, distinguished from the "natural astrology" such as Medical
astrology and Meteorological astrology, which were seen as acceptable because they were a part of
the natural sciences of the time. Today this distinction is largely obsolete.
Description and classical history
In the Middle Ages natural astrology would have been mainly focused on the diagnosis and the
treatment of medical patients. For more information on this, see the article on medical astrology. An
additional use would have been the application of astrology to determine future weather patterns
based on the Aristotelian/Ptolemaic rationale that the planets cause change in the sublunary world
by producing an efflux of elements and qualities. Every other branch was lumped together into the
heading of 'Judicial astrology'. These included natal astrology, mundane astrology, horary
astrology, and electional astrology.
Modern Judicial astrology and skeptical treatment
Today, judicial astrology tends to be an obsolete distinction because between the Middle Ages and
modern times other sciences have arisen and astrology has ceased to be one of the primary
diagnostic tools in medicine and meteorological studies. In the modern world, all forms of astrology
would fall under the broad heading of Judicial astrology because it is no longer one of the natural
sciences, and there is no known causal mechanism to account for any sort of astrological influences
which would be needed for it to regain such status.
Skeptics of astrology opine that if interpreting the celestial influences were actually real it could be
proved by the scientific method.
Branches of Judicial astrology
• Electional astrology
• Natal astrology
• Mundane astrology
• Horary astrology
Judicial astrologers of note
These people were astrologers or are believed to have made important contributions to it[citation
needed]:
• Nostradamus
• Claudius Ptolemy
• Jean-Baptiste Morin
• Porphyry
• Regiomontanus
• Johannes Campanus
• Nicolaus Copernicus
• Tycho Brahe
• Francis Bacon
• John Dee
• William Lilly
• Johann Kepler
• Galileo Galilei
• Nicholas Culpeper
• Vivian Robson
• Dane Rudhyar
• Marc Edmund Jones
Katarchic astrology
Katarchic astrology is the application of horoscopic astrology to determine an auspicious moment
to begin a venture or undertaking, otherwise known as electional astrology, as well as to interpret
the auspiciousness of an inception that has already taken place. The latter application is more
commonly referred to as inceptional astrology in modern times, although in the Hellenistic and
Byzantine traditions the term katarchē was used to refer to both electional astrology as well as what
modern astrologers refer to as inceptional astrology.
Tibetan Astrology
Animals
The animals cycle in an archetypal progression or continuüm:
Hare
Drago
n
Snake Horse Sheep Ape Bird Dog
Pi
g
Mouse
Bul
l
Tige
r
Hare
Dragon
Snake
Horse
Sheep
Ape/Monkey
Bird/Garuda/Rooster
Dog
Pig
Mouse/Rat
Bull/Elephant/Ox
Tiger
Tibetan calendar
Gregorian year Tibetan year Losar* element and animal
2000 2126 February 5 - February 7 male iron dragon
2001 2127 January 24 - January 26
female iron snake (or metal
serpent)
2002 2128 February 12 - February 14 male water horse
2003 2129 February 1 - February 3 female water sheep (or goat)
2004 2130 January 22 - January 24 male wood monkey
2005 2131 February 9 - February 11* female wood bird (or rooster)
2006 2132 January 30 - February 1 male fire dog
2007 2133 February 18 - February 20 female fire pig
2008 2134 February 8 - February 10 male earth rat
2009 2135 January 27 - January 29 female earth ox
* Note: The start date of Losar depends on what time zone one is in. For example, in 2005,
Losar started on February 8 in U.S. time zones and February 9 in Asia time zones. Some
people began celebrating Losar on February 9 in the US.
Vai ūrya dKar-po (White Beryl) ḍ
The names of the chapters of the Vai ūrya dKar-po ḍ (the premier Tibetan text on astrological
divination) are :
• 1. "Aspects of Turtle Divination"
• 2. "Hidden Points"
• 3. "Geomantic Aspects"
• 10. "The Thirty Computational Charts"
• 11. "The Thirteen Charts"
Maya calendrical divination
Maya calendrical divination is a subset of traditional beliefs, rituals and divinatory practices that
are held or performed among various Maya communities in Guatemala and southern Mexico.
Mayan Astrology
Mayan thought and day-to-day activities were both deeply wrought up with astrology during the
height of Mayan civilization. Mayan religion, philosophy, jurisprudence, medicine, agriculture,
hunting, intimate relationships, etc. etc. completely revolve around a 260-day almanac known as the
Chol Qij, (sometimes called Tzolkin) or count of days (see the Mayan calendar article for detailed
information]]. The Chol Qij consists of twenty naguals which can be thought of as archetypes
roughly analogous in significance to the Greek twelve zodiacal signs; except they are considered to
be alive and petitionable. A nagual is preceded by a numerical coefficient ranging from one to
thirteen which modifies its underlying meaning. Thus twenty naguals x 13 numerical coefficients =
260 days. The origin of this numerical system is unknown but some Mayans believe that the
number comes from the fact that 260 days is considered the normal human gestation period.
Chol Qij Glyphs
As in generic, Western astrology, the Chol Qij has many uses: for example, it serves purposes
which are analogous to natal astrology, horary astrology, and electional astrology. As in natal
astrology, a person’s character and destiny are determined by which of the twenty naguals, as
modified by its numerical coefficient, rules the day on which that the person is born. The person’s
nagual is considered to be his or her inseparable companion for life, and predicts the person’s
personality, relationship to the community, and good or ill fortune. The nagual on which a person is
supposedly conceived (counted twelve naguals ahead of the birth nagual) is considered to bear a
secondary influence. Everything which a person does throughout life is conditioned by his or her
nagual; and everyone has a place and a purpose which are determined by that nagual. Mayans
traditionally performed propitiatory rituals on the day of their own nagual (every twenty days; and
especially every 260 days when the birth nagual and coefficient return).
The Chol Qij is also used like horary astrology, to divine for answers to specific questions such as:
Does my husband have another lover? Should I do this business deal? How shall I cure this illness?
What will be the outcome of this journey? Should I marry this person? Where is this lost object?
Divination is carried out by sortilege: a Mayan priest manipulates 260 red tzintè seeds to obtain a
nagual and coefficient which give the answer to the question being asked.
And as in electional astrology, there are propitious and unpropitious days for pursuing every human
activity imaginable: planting, hunting, journeying, marrying, healing, etc.
Additionally, the Chol Qij serves a fourth purpose for which there is no counterpart in western
astrology, namely evocational magic. Mayan ceremonies are usually performed for a particular
purpose: to bring wealth, success in business, to bless newlyweds, to fecundate a sterile woman, etc.
A Mayan priest will recommend which day is propitious for performing a ceremony for the given
purpose. Then the order of the Mayan ceremony follows the order of the twenty naguals, beginning
with the nagual of the day of the ceremony. Each of the twenty naguals is invoked in turn and
petitioned for its particular virtues.
Medical astrology

This old document shows the anciently-held link between the 12 signs of the Zodiac and the various
parts of the body
Medical astrology (traditionally known as Iatromathematics) is an ancient medical system that
associates various parts of the body, diseases, and drugs as under the influence of the sun, moon,
and planets, along with the twelve astrological signs. Each of the astrological signs (along with the
sun, moon, and planets) is associated with different parts of the human body. This has been used to
codify the associations of the signs with the parts of the body as follows:
• Aries - head, face, brain, eyes
• Taurus - throat, neck, thyroid gland, vocal tract
• Gemini - arms, lungs, shoulders, hands, nervous system, brain
• Cancer - chest, breasts, stomach, alimentary canal
• Leo - heart, chest, spine, spinal column, upper back
• Virgo - digestive system, intestines, spleen, nervous system
• Libra - kidneys, skin, lumbar region, buttocks
• Scorpio - reproductive system, sexual organs, bowels, excretory system
• Sagittarius - hips, thighs, liver, sciatic nerve
• Capricorn - knees, joints, skeletal system
• Aquarius - ankles, calves, circulatory system
• Pisces - feet, toes, lymphatic system, adipose tissue
It has been noted that the 12 signs cover the body from head (Aries) to toe (Pisces) because Aries is
the first sign of the zodiac while Pisces is the last. When the Sun passes from Pisces to Aries on or
around March 21, the Vernal equinox occurs, which marks the beginning of a new tropical year.
Many astrologers celebrate their New Year when the Sun transits over this point, which is also
known as the First Point of Aries.

This table, from an 18th century Icelandic manuscript, links astrological dates with the preparation
of medicine.
According to Marcus Manilius (1st century AD) in his epic poem (8000 verses) Astronomica, the
signs of the zodiac preside over the parts of the body as follows:
• Aries -- the head
• Taurus -- the neck and throat
• Gemini -- the lungs, arms, and shoulders
• Cancer -- the chest, breasts, and stomach
• Leo -- the heart and upper back
• Virgo -- the abdomen and digestive system
• Libra -- the kidneys and lumbar region
• Scorpio -- the genitals
• Sagittarius -- the hips and thighs
• Capricorn -- the knees and bones
• Aquarius -- the calves, shins, and ankles
• Pisces -- the feet
For Manilius' associations between body parts and the planets, see Solar system in astrology.
The planets are also associated with certain portions and functions within the body:

Another version of the anatomical-astrological human
• Sun - heart, spine, and general vitality
• Moon - stomach, digestive system, female organs, lymphatic system
• Mercury - brain, central nervous system, thyroid gland, five senses, hands
• Venus - throat, kidneys, thymus gland, sense of touch, ovaries
• Mars - muscles, head, adrenal glands, senses of smell and taste
• Jupiter - liver, thighs, feet, growth, pituitary gland
• Saturn - skin, hair, teeth, bones, the body's defenses, spleen
• Uranus - parathyroid gland, neural activity, aura
• Neptune - pineal gland, psychic healing
• Pluto - pancreas, metabolism, elimination
After examining an individual's natal chart, a medical astrologer gives advice to the client about the
areas of the body in which they are most likely to experience trouble. For instance, an individual
with the Sun, Moon, Ascendant, or many planets in the sign of Aries is presumed to have more
headaches than other people because of the association of Aries with the head. A person with
Taurus strong in the natal chart is predicted to have many sore throats and problems with the voice
because of the Taurean association with that particular part of the body.
Meteorological astrology
Meteorological astrology (or Astrometeorology, from Greek στρον, ἄ astron, "constellation, star";
μετέωρος, metéōros, "high in the sky"; and -λογία, -logia) is the practice of applying the
astrological/astronomical placements of the Sun, Moon, and planets to forecast the weather.
Astrometeorology is thousands of years old and based on astronomical positions that directly affect
the weather on Earth. Ancient classical astrologers created weather forecasting known as
meteorology by noting the positions of stars, planets, the Sun, and Moon. According to their texts,
when planets occupy constellations as seen from the earth, and that are harmonious to one another,
or that are favorable, the earth in general experiences positive weather conditions. But when planets
hold mathematical aspects that are discordant across regions of the earth, the atmosphere responds
and the weather is unseasonable.
For centuries, forecasting advance weather, especially medium and long-range, was applied because
it was the only way to know when to plant crops, navigate the seas and to predict the climate
months in advance in preparation for harsh winter seasons. Meteorological phenomena correlated to
planetary configurations were recorded by the ancient Babylonians in the second century B.C.
Classical astrologers of note such as Claudius Ptolemy constructed a treatise on forecasting weather
via astrological means, but it wasn't until the year 1686 that a large volume written in English was
devoted only to astrometeorology by Dr. J. Goad in his book, Astro-Meteorologica published in
London, England. Goad's volume consisted of principles and rules forecasting weather
astrologically. One of the most famous astrometeorologists was the classical astrologer Johannes
Kepler, who forecast weather in Europe applying astrological principles.
Such practices may have an element of truth in them because the Moon is known to affect
atmospheric tides. Sunspots may affect weather on the Earth in climatological sense (several years)
via changes in solar constant.
Mundane astrology
Mundane astrology is the application of astrology to world affairs and world events, taking its
name from the Latin word Mundus, meaning "the World". Mundane astrology is a branch of
Judicial astrology and is widely believed by astrological historians to be the most ancient branch of
astrology. In the Middle Ages mundane astrology was more commonly known as the study of
Revolutions - meaning the study of the revolutions of the planets in their apparent orbits around the
Earth, as they were then believed to do.
Political astrology is a branch of mundane astrology dealing with politics, the government, and the
politicians/laws governing a particular nation, state, or city. A wider definition of mundane
astrology focuses also on natural and man-made disasters.
There are two major approaches to the study of mundane astrology. One is the focus on national
horoscopes. It is held that certain countries have astrological charts (or horoscopes) just like a
person is said to in astrology. For example, the modern state of India is widely considered to have
come into being at midnight on August 15, 1947. This time gives rise to a national horoscope for
this country, which can be analyzed in terms of the natal potential and the impacts of transiting
planets in the horoscope at any given time. The other approach is the ancient practice of finding
correlations that exist between geological phenomena (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc.)
and astronomical phenomena (the movement of celestial bodies in the Solar System). This approach
is based on the horoscope of the astronomical placements at any given time, without reference to a
national horoscope.
Overview
Mundane astrology had two purposes: one was to look back and explain history, looking for
patterns and a sense of some greater purpose in apparently chaotic events such as the rise and fall of
empires or religions. The other was to predict the future. Some philosophers believed that the world
could be saved from disaster if future troubles could be predicted – and subsequently averted.
Although it was originally developed in ancient Babylon there have been three subsequent major
periods of developments. In 120 AD the Greek astrologer Claudius Ptolemy set down the
fundamentals of mundane astrology in his famous treatise on astrology, the Tetrabiblos. In the ninth
and tenth centuries the astrologers of the Islamic world added many more techniques, particularly
the use of the cycles of Jupiter and Saturn to identify the rise and fall of states and religions. The
twentieth century saw a major proliferation of techniques mainly based on the use of planetary
cycles rather than, as had always been the case the interpretation of planetary positions in
horoscopes or natal charts.
An approach to studying longer-term history through astrology is through the use of "precession of
the equinoxes" indicators, providing a source for the idea of Astrological Ages.
Planets and areas of life

Astronomical symbols/glyphs representing the Sun, Moon, and planets, along with the Earth, in
Western astrology.
Many astrologers have been interested in the area of mundane or political astrology, including the
noted British astrologer Charles Carter who proposed that specific areas of life and politics can be
correlated to each of the planets. In general, the following associations of areas of society with each
of the planets are generally accepted by most astrologers:
• Sun : Supreme authority in the State (the President/Prime Minister/Chancellor). Eclipses
often signify the death or displacement of the head of state. National character and identity,
major events, overall Weltanschauung.
• Moon : The population, the popular mood; national security needs, basic necessities,
women's issues, agriculture.
• Mercury : News media and the Press, literature, all schools leading up to higher education;
the post office and means of communication; political speeches, opinion polls,
transportation.
• Venus : Art -painters, sculptors and musicians, entertainment, celebrities and high society,
fashion, culture, beauty, women, money and wealth; contributes to national happiness.
Victory in war.
• Mars : The armed forces and police; violent crime, war, industrial concerns; when
associated with Uranus may cause explosions, terrorism; with Neptune, treachery. Divisive
elements in society.
• Jupiter : Clergy and churches, religion, judges, law and court system, higher education,
prosperity, publishing, banking, insurance; the 'upper classes'; philanthropic institutions
(especially in association with Neptune).
• Saturn : Property, the system of government, institutions and bureaucracy, economy,
conservatism, infrastructure, law, control
• Uranus : Administration, revolutions, progressive or radical movements, countercultures;
power in its physical sense - electrical and nuclear, new technology, innovation.
• Neptune : The arts, glamor, hope, idealism, covert actions, socialism; hospitals, charitable
institutions; the navy. Under affiction associated with muddle, fraud, crime, scandal;
brewing and alcohol, drugs; chemicals, footwear.
• Pluto : Financial or political power, factions, big business, nuclear energy, mines; criminal
detection, but under affliction the criminal underworld, death, catastrophes, dictators.
• Ceres : Native needs to feel loved and nurtured, the reproductive issues of an adult woman,
pregnancy, family bonds and relationships. Deals with grief, worry, negative emotions and
places of perceived imprisonment.
Houses and Signs
Carter also associated each of the houses and signs with different aspects of politics and the state as
follows:
• 1st House-Aries : The nation as a whole, its self image and how it projects itself to the
world.
• 2nd House-Taurus : The economy
• 3rd House-Gemini : Education; periodical publications; the post office, radio and transport;
communications in general; science.
• 4th House-Cancer : Land and housing; agriculture; the opposition in parliament
• 5th House-Leo : All forms of national pleasure and entertainment; sports, general
amusements; Society, children
• 6th House-Virgo : The 'working classes'; left wing organisations; public health. The armed
forces and civil service.
• 7th House-Libra : Foreign affairs generally; war as well as treaties.
• 8th House-Scorpio : Financial relations with foreign countries; public safety and crime.
• 9th House-Sagittarius : The law; religion; philosophy; and science.
• 10th House-Capricorn : Heads of state; government; national prestige.
• 11th House-Aquarius : Parliament, especially the lower house. Local government.
• 12th House-Pisces : Prisons, hospitals, homes for the aged; philanthropic societies; secret
societies; monasteries and institutional religion.
Mundane Horoscopes
Just as a person has a horoscope cast for the moment of their birth, so too can states and nations
have horoscopes cast for the moment of their beginning. Sometimes the choice of date appears to
be obvious.
In many cases the correct date is not so clear, and in most cases a nation or country has multiple
birth charts. For example, many astrologers take the date of England's horoscope as Christmas Day
1066 - the day when that William the Conqueror had the crown set upon his head. There is also a
chart set for midnight on 1 May 1707 (Old Style), the time of the Union of England and Wales with
Scotland creating Great Britain. The Union then grew again on 1 January 1801 with the Union of
Great Britain and Ireland. A further change took place as the Republic of Ireland left the Union, and
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was created.
Another example of a country/state that has multiple 'birthdays' is France, which regained its
independence after the occupation of the Second World War as the Fourth Republic on 10 October
1946, while the present French system came into being as the Fifth Republic after a referendum
held on 28 September 1958. Similarly in Germany the present state system came into effect with the
enactment of the Basic Law in August 1949, yet it is also considered by most astrologers that a new
state has come into being with German re-unification in October 1990.
In principle, any organisation or object can have a chart cast for the moment of its 'birth'. For
example, the ship Titanic's horoscope is generally cast for noon on 10 April 1910 when the ocean
liner first set sail. The ship's chart showed its ascendant in opposition to Uranus, and Neptune (ruler
of the sea) was squared to the Sun, both aspects indicating the potential for danger. The chart also
contains a 'Void of course Moon', a period in which the Moon does not make any applying major
aspects with any of the planets before it enters the next sign: this is said to be a period in which new
ventures are not likely to succeed.
Horoscopes for the USA
There are many contending dates and times for a national horoscope for the United States of
America, but the primary events considered are on the one hand when the states declared their
independence from Great Britain and on the other when they formed a lasting union.
Declaration of Independence (1776)
Most astrologers view the birth of the USA as having occurred sometime during the day of July 4,
1776, when the Declaration of Independence was adopted . Of the many charts proposed for that
day, the most widely accepted continues to be the Sibly chart, set for 5.10pm on 4 July 1776 in
Philadelphia. This chart was generated using medieval techniques which signified the event, rather
than purporting to represent the actual time. (See Nick Campion's Book of World Horoscopes
p417).
Other dates also configure in this event. The document, formally entitled The unanimous
Declaration of the thirteen United States of America, explained the justifications for separation
from the British crown, and was an expansion of Richard Henry Lee's Resolution (passed by
Congress in July 2), which first proclaimed independence. An engrossed copy of the Declaration
was signed by most of the delegates on August 2.
Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union (1777-1781)
In recent years, some astrologers and historians consider the formation of the country to have
occurred with the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union when the country became legally a
nation-state with its own constitution.
David Solte's chart is based on November 15, 1777, when the Articles were approved by the
Continental Congress to be sent to the states for their ratification. Solte rectified the time as
12.46pm. It bears noting that the Articles had at this time not been ratified by the 13 still sovereign
or independent states.
The SAMVA USA (Perpetual Union) chart is based on the event when Maryland became the 13th
and final state to pass an Act ratifying the Articles on February 2, 1781. The Act provided the
requisite unanimous consent for the formation of a perpetual union of the thirteen states. The chart
was rectified using the techniques of ancient vedic astrology, notably the Systems' Approach,
determining that the signing of the law took place at 5.00pm on that day.
Another chart is based on the formal ratification ceremony of the Articles on March 1, 1781, when
the constitution of the new Confederation entered into force.
Planetary Cycles
In contrast to Mundane horoscopes, which provide individual snapshots of moments of time and
interpretations of the potential developmental possibilities of those snapshots, the study of planetary
cycles provides an overview of real-time historical perspectives. Each planet has a tropical period
(the time it takes to transit the complete tropical Zodiac) from 0 degrees Aries to 0 degrees Aries,
and each of those periods of time reveals a complete cycle of expression on Earth, in keeping with
the key astrological principles of that planet. A related field of study is the Aspect cycle, which
combines the principles of two planets (or more) in aspect, from one conjunction to the next
conjunction. The Aspect cycle provides much additional detail to a single planetary cycle, because
of the "easy" and "difficult" expressions indicated by each aspect, as well as the relative positions of
each aspect within Zodiacal signs, and retrograde motion applying during aspects. Sun/Moon
eclipse cycles are also studied by some astrologers, together with examination of their Zodiacal
positions later, at the Midheaven and Ascendant positions of actual event locations (usually
disasters).
Great year
In the history of astronomy, a Great Year usually referes to one complete precession of the
equinox but may also refer to any real or imagined cycle with astronomical or astrological
significance. The most common Great Year (also known as a Platonic year or Equinoctial cycle)
is the time required for one complete cycle of the precession of the equinoxes, presently about
25,765 years. The Greeks sometimes called the period of time required for the naked eye planets to
realign, a Great Year; this was an important concept in ancient Stoicism.[citation needed]
Astronomical value
The duration of the precession cycle, the time it takes for the equinox to precess 360 degrees
relative to the fixed stars, is often given as 25,920 or 26,000 years. In reality the exact duration
cannot be given, as the rate of precession is changing over time. This speed is currently 243.8
microradians (50.3 arcseconds) per year which would give 25,765 years for one cycle to complete.
The precessional speed is slightly increasing each year, and therefore the cycle period is decreasing.
Numerical simulations of the solar system over a period of millions of years give a period of 257
centuries. but no one is certain of the exact precession rate over long periods of time. Near the turn
of the 20th century astronomer Simon Newcomb invented a "constant" to account for the increasing
annual precession rate. Over the last 100 years this constant has been found to have underestimated
the actual acceleration in the rate.[citation needed]
Early cultures and mythology
The Greeks broke the ascending and descending portions of the Great Year into four ages each
known as the Iron, Bronze, Silver and Golden Ages. The Indian Yuga cycle also breaks each
ascending and descending arc into four periods; the Kali, Dvapara, Treta and Satya yugas. The
Sanskrit scholar Swami Sri Yukteswar puts the length of a Great Year at 24,000 years, composed of
one ascending age of 12,000 years and one descending age of 12,000 years.
According to Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, in their book Hamlet's Mill, there are
over 200 myths or folk stories from over thirty ancient cultures that refer to a Great Year tied to the
movement of the equinox or the motion of the heavens.
Significance in astrology
Most astrologers use a precession rate rounded to 50 arc seconds per year to derive a Great Year
period of 25,920 years, the period required for the equinox to move through all twelve of the classic
zodiacal signs. Some, such as Boris Cristoff prefer to round the age of one sign of the zodiac to
2100 years,[citation needed] which equates to a Great Year duration of 25,200 years.
Astrological Ages
The Astrological Ages provide another astrological technique for examining the correlations
between historical events on a large scale with Ages such as the Age of Aquarius, that are generally
linked to precession of the equinoxes. One complete precessional cycle (Great Year) is
approximately 25,600 years, and the average length of an Astrological Age is approximately 2160
years.
Many astrologers believe that the world is currently on the cusp of the Age of Pisces, passing into
the Age of Aquarius. Archetypes traditionally linked to Pisces include Christianity, salvation and
faith-based religions, slavery, drugs (especially tobacco, but also including all forms of drugs both
legal and illicit), oil, pharmaceuticals, corporations, psychic phenomena, all esoteric subjects and
massive problems that humanity has created for itself. Archetypes associated with Aquarius include
democracy, freedom, technology, electricity, computers, space travel, flight, dictators, freedom
fighters and revolutionaries, excitement and the effects of mental instability upon societies.
Some historical predictions
Before reading this section it should be noted that in modern Mundane Astrology it is a matter of
considerable debate whether the purpose of astrology is elucidation of meaning, or a tool to make
predictions about events. These "noted" predictions are not particularly "noted" at all; many
astrologers will not recognise them.
Throughout history many astrologers have made predictions about the future course of world
events, and these are often remarkable either for their fulfilment, or for the ruin and confusion they
brought upon their authors.
A favourite topic of a minority of astrologers around the world has been the immediate end of the
world. As early as 1186 the Earth had escaped one threatened cataclysm of the astrologers.
This did not prevent Stöffler from predicting a universal deluge for the year 1524 - a year, as it
turned out, distinguished for drought. His aspect of the heavens told him that in that year three
planets would meet in the aqueous sign of Pisces. The prediction was believed far and wide, and
President Aurial, at Toulouse, built himself a Noah's ark - a curious realization, in fact, of Chaucer's
merry invention in the Miller's Tale.
The most famous predictions about European and world affairs were made by the French astrologer
Nostradamus (1503 - 66), however many astrologers dispute whether many of his prophecies were
based on astrology. Nostradamus became famous after the publication in 1555 of his work
Centuries , which was a series of prophecies in cryptic verse. So obscure are the predictions that
they have been interpreted as relating to a great variety of events since, including the French and
English Revolutions, and the Second World War. In 1556 Nostradamus was summoned to the
French court by Catherine de Medici and commissioned to draw up the horoscopes of the royal
children.
According to Francis Bacon in his essay Of Prophesies Nostradamus foretold the death of King
Henry II of France: "When I was in France, I heard from one Dr Pena, that the queen mother, who
was given to curious arts, caused the king, her husband's, nativity to be calculated, under a false
name; and the astrologer (Nostradamus) gave a judgment, that he should be killed in a duel; at
which the queene laughed, thinking her husband to be above challenges and duels; but he was
slaine, upon a course at tilt, the splinters of the staffe of Montgomery going in at his beaver."
Although Nostradamus later fell out of favour with many in the court and was accused of
witchcraft, Catherine continued to support him and patronized him until his death.
Tycho Brahe was from his fifteenth year devoted to astrology, and adjoining his observatory at
Uranienburg the astronomer-royal of Denmark had a laboratory built. We may here notice one very
remarkable prediction of this master of Kepler from the appearance of a comet in 1577 . It
announced, he tells us, that in the north, in Finland, there should be born a prince who should lay
waste Germany and vanish in 1632. Gustavus Adolphus, it is well known, was born in Stockholm,
Sweden, overran Germany, and died in 1632.
Brahe's prophecy did not accurately predict Gustavus Adolphus' birthplace - Brahe predicted this
would be Finland, not Sweden. But the partial fulfillment of the details of this prophecy - namely,
that a prince born in the north would lay waste to Germany and vanish in 1632 - suggests that Brahe
possibly had some basis of reason for his prediction.
Born in Denmark of a noble Swedish family, a politician, as were all his contemporaries of
distinction, Tycho, though no conjuror, appeared to foresee the advent of some great northern hero.
Moreover, he was doubtless well acquainted with a very ancient tradition, that heroes generally
came from the northern frontiers of their native land, where they are hardened and tempered by the
threefold struggle they wage with soil, climate and barbarian neighbours.
The astronomer Kepler , who in his youth made almanacs, and once prophesied a hard winter which
came to pass, made an astrological interpretation of the disappearance of the brilliant star of 1572,
which Tycho had observed.
Theodore Beza thought that this star, which in December 1573 equalled Jupiter in brilliancy,
predicted the second coming of Christ. Astronomers were only then beginning to study variable and
periodic stars, and disturbances in that part of the heavens, which had till then, on the authority of
Aristotle, been regarded as incorruptible, combined with the troubles of the times, must have given
a new stimulus to belief in the signs in heaven.
Montaigne (Essais, lib. i. chap, x.) relates a singular episode in the history of astrology. Charles V
and Francis I, who both bid for the friendship of the infamous Pietro Aretino, surnamed the divine,
both likewise engaged astrologers to fight their battles.
In Italy those who prophesied the ruin of France were sure to be listened to. These prophecies
affected the public funds much as telegrams used to in 1911. "At Rome," Montaigne tells us, "a
large sum of money was lost on the Change by this prognostication of our ruin."
The Marquis of Saluces, notwithstanding his gratitude to Francis I for the many favours he had
received, including his marquisate, of which the brother was despoiled for his benefit, was led in
1536 to betray his country, being scared by the glorious prophecies of the ultimate success of
Charles V which were then rife.
During World War II the British and German governments (among others) hired astrologers to
make predictions about the opposing side . One Swiss astrologer, Karl Ernst Krafft, attracted the
attention of the Nazis due to his accurate predictions.
Mundane Astrology predictions for 2009-2014 period
While many discuss the validity of mundane astrology, many studying the area note many historical
cycles which involve the transit of outer planets through the zodiac and the different aspects they
form. One particular example will be a grand cross that will occur in summer 2010 when Pluto,
Uranus and Jupiter and Saturn and Mars will be at 0-3º Capricorn, Aries and Libra, respectively,
while inner planets transit at 0-3º Cancer. This is assumed by astrologers studying mundane
astrology that it shall be a time with many great challenges and dramatic changes . This aspect
resembles another grand cross that occurred during the 1930s . Mundane astrologers trace back
these cycles to decades and even centuries before, when Uranus transited Aries last time in 1930s
and 1840s, and Pluto transited Capricorn last time in 1760s and 1770s, which were decades of many
revolutions and changes. The cardinal alignment of 2010 is also a continuing square between Pluto
and Uranus, which occurred last time in the 1960s and the 1930s and will occur between 2010 and
2014. Therefore, mundane astrologers predict dramatic changes (economic, social, military,
scientific) to occur again in the years ahead
Nadi astrology
Nadi astrology (nā i jyoti a ḍ ṣ ) is a form of Hindu astrology practised in Tamil Nadu, India. It is
based on the belief that the past, present and the future lives of all humans were foreseen by Hindu
sages in ancient times and written down as Palm Leaf Manuscripts (nā i grantha ḍ ).
History
The texts are written in Vatteluttu, which is an ancient Tamil script. There are different schools of
thought as to the author of these leaves. They were written by a great Tamil sage called Agathiyar
who had divine revelations. This doctrine of astrology was made famous by astrologers around the
Vaitheeswaran Temple in the state of Tamil Nadu and is still practiced around the temple by their
descendants.
These Nadi leaves were initially stored in the premises of Tanjore Saraswati Mahal Library of
Tamilnadu. The British rulers later showed interest in the Nadi leaves concerned with herbs and
medicine, future prediction etc; but ironically left most of the Nadi prediction leaves to their loyal
people. Some leaves got destroyed and the remaining were auctioned during the British rule. These
Nadi leaves were obtained and possessed by the families of astrologers in Vaitheeswaran Temple.
This is an art passed down the years from one generation to the other.
Nadi astrologers say only 40% of souls' future predictions are there in the leaves. They are reported
cases of exact match in the past details and future predictions.
The manuscripts
Ritter (The Secret of Indian Palm Leaf Libraries pp.81-85) describes his experiences of many Nadi
centers he visited in India and the result of Carbon 14 test conducted in the famous "Institute for Ion
Radiation of Physics Department 'placed in Nuclear Research Centre, Rossendorph, Saxen,
Germany. This institute has been responsible to decide the age of ancient paintings and other
documents of national importance in Germany, Thomas Ritter contacted expert C 14 scientists Prof.
Fradrik and Dr. Hanse of the institute. He also confirmed from the experts on Tamil language in
Germany that the matter is in fact Tamil language script. It is about predictions and not some
religious matter.
The Carbon 14 test was performed in 1995 and yielded an age of some 350 years, placing the
manuscript in the 17th century.
Procedure
Usually, the astrologer (better to say a "reader") asks for the thumb impression (right hand for males
and left hand for females). The astrologer (i.e."reader") then searches his repository of leaves for the
seeker's classification of thumb print. Finally, the minimum possible set of matching leaves is
brought. Every leaf corresponds to some individual and hence will bear the birth and kinship details
of its seeker. Then the "Reader" goes on reading the details mentioned on the palm leaf one by one.
e.g. "your (i.e. seker's) name is Ramesh." If it is correct the seeker has to reply yes or no. Suppose if
the name is correct, the reader reads the next detail written on the same leaf, e.g. "your mother's
name is Seeta." Again the seeker has to confirm the same or otherwise. If his/her mother's name is
not Seeta, he/she has to reply just "no". That means the leaf does not belong to him/her. Hence the
reader starts reading another palm leaf. And the procedure continues. So the seeker is asked a series
of questions, based on the verses, so as to find the exact match. These questions are to be answered
yes or no. The exact leaf of the seeker is said to get only "yes" responses from the seeker. If all the
details on the one and the same leaf are 100% correct, then that leaf belongs to the seekar. It is said
that the details such as father/mother's name, seeker's name, name of the wife( if married), details of
children, prefession, Hindu astrology birth chart, present age of the seeker, date of birth of seeker
etc, are found mentioned on the palm leaf. Once the exact leaf is found, the astrology tells the
seeker's name, parents' name, spouse's name and many other details about his future, since they are
all written in the leaf. The future is mentioned in such a way that a folder within a folder, e.g. If the
seeker is not married at the time of reading, in the general chapter, it might have been written that
his marriage will take place at e.g. 27 years of age. If the seeker desires more details regarding his
married life then he has to refer to the seventh chapter which deals with only married life and may
contain name of wife, her background etc etc. The first chapter (kandam) in the leaf has the general
overview of its seeker's life. The kandams that follow this are specific ones like Marriage,
Profession, etc. The list of chapters and details are as follows:
1. It contains a gist of future predictions corresponding to the 12 houses of the horoscope, a general
overview of the seeker's life with age. Is also a general summary of the 11 kandams that follows it:
2. This Kandam is about Family, Education, Eyes, Money and Intuition etc.
3. This Kandam is about Brothers & Sisters, Relationships between them and self.
4. This Kandam is about Mother and Comforts through House, Land and Vehicles.
5. This Kandam is about Children and births, reason for not having any, future lifestyle of children.
6. This Kandam is about troubles and hardships due to Disease, Debts Enemies, Litigations or
Cases.
7. This Kandam is about first Union or Marriage and Status of married life. Also contains hints of
valuable information about the name of the future spouse, horoscope, age of marriage, and some
characteristic features of the spouse etc.
8. This Kandam is about lifespan and Longevity, Accidents and dangers with indication of time and
age during one's lifetime.
9. This Kandam is about Father, Wealth, Visits to holy places, Fortune; Benefit from the preaching's
of Guru and holy people, charitable deeds and social life.
10. This Kandam is about Career, Job, Profession and Business, Good and Bad times in career.
Future predictions about growth, prosperity and losses in one's job or business.
11. This Kandam is about Second or further marriages, Profits in business etc.
12. This Kandam is about Expenditures, Foreign Visits, Next birth and Salvation.
Separate Kandams:
13. Shanti Pariharam: This Kandam is about past life or birth, bad and good deeds and a series of
rituals that can dilute the effect of past bad deeds.
14. Deeksha Kandam: This Kandam is about the methods of preparing the Mantra Raksha, that has
the power to shield the self from evil forces of jealous and envy. Raksha ensures relatively better
rewards for one's efforts and success in deeds.
15. Avushada Kandam: This Kandam is about medicines, prescription suggested to those suffering
from chronic diseases.
Initially, only the first chapter is read to the seeker. If the seeker needs further details on some
particular chapter (like Business, Health, Marriage etc), then the corresponding chapter's verses are
read to him/her. The seeker is also advised rituals which can correct the future mishappenings, there
by leading to a choice.
Mundane astrology
Mundane astrology is the application of astrology to world affairs and world events, taking its
name from the Latin word Mundus, meaning "the World". Mundane astrology is a branch of
Judicial astrology and is widely believed by astrological historians to be the most ancient branch of
astrology. In the Middle Ages mundane astrology was more commonly known as the study of
Revolutions - meaning the study of the revolutions of the planets in their apparent orbits around the
Earth, as they were then believed to do.
Political astrology is a branch of mundane astrology dealing with politics, the government, and the
politicians/laws governing a particular nation, state, or city. A wider definition of mundane
astrology focuses also on natural and man-made disasters.
There are two major approaches to the study of mundane astrology. One is the focus on national
horoscopes. It is held that certain countries have astrological charts (or horoscopes) just like a
person is said to in astrology. For example, the modern state of India is widely considered to have
come into being at midnight on August 15, 1947. This time gives rise to a national horoscope for
this country, which can be analyzed in terms of the natal potential and the impacts of transiting
planets in the horoscope at any given time. The other approach is the ancient practice of finding
correlations that exist between geological phenomena (such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc.)
and astronomical phenomena (the movement of celestial bodies in the Solar System). This approach
is based on the horoscope of the astronomical placements at any given time, without reference to a
national horoscope.
Overview
Mundane astrology had two purposes: one was to look back and explain history, looking for
patterns and a sense of some greater purpose in apparently chaotic events such as the rise and fall of
empires or religions. The other was to predict the future. Some philosophers believed that the world
could be saved from disaster if future troubles could be predicted – and subsequently averted.
Although it was originally developed in ancient Babylon there have been three subsequent major
periods of developments. In 120 AD the Greek astrologer Claudius Ptolemy set down the
fundamentals of mundane astrology in his famous treatise on astrology, the Tetrabiblos. In the ninth
and tenth centuries the astrologers of the Islamic world added many more techniques, particularly
the use of the cycles of Jupiter and Saturn to identify the rise and fall of states and religions. The
twentieth century saw a major proliferation of techniques mainly based on the use of planetary
cycles rather than, as had always been the case the interpretation of planetary positions in
horoscopes or natal charts.
An approach to studying longer-term history through astrology is through the use of "precession of
the equinoxes" indicators, providing a source for the idea of Astrological Ages.
Planets and areas of life

Astronomical symbols/glyphs representing the Sun, Moon, and planets, along with the Earth, in
Western astrology.
Many astrologers have been interested in the area of mundane or political astrology, including the
noted British astrologer Charles Carter who proposed that specific areas of life and politics can be
correlated to each of the planets. In general, the following associations of areas of society with each
of the planets are generally accepted by most astrologers:
• Sun : Supreme authority in the State (the President/Prime Minister/Chancellor). Eclipses
often signify the death or displacement of the head of state. National character and identity,
major events, overall Weltanschauung.
• Moon : The population, the popular mood; national security needs, basic necessities,
women's issues, agriculture.
• Mercury : News media and the Press, literature, all schools leading up to higher education;
the post office and means of communication; political speeches, opinion polls,
transportation.
• Venus : Art -painters, sculptors and musicians, entertainment, celebrities and high society,
fashion, culture, beauty, women, money and wealth; contributes to national happiness.
Victory in war.
• Mars : The armed forces and police; violent crime, war, industrial concerns; when
associated with Uranus may cause explosions, terrorism; with Neptune, treachery. Divisive
elements in society.
• Jupiter : Clergy and churches, religion, judges, law and court system, higher education,
prosperity, publishing, banking, insurance; the 'upper classes'; philanthropic institutions
(especially in association with Neptune).
• Saturn : Property, the system of government, institutions and bureaucracy, economy,
conservatism, infrastructure, law, control
• Uranus : Administration, revolutions, progressive or radical movements, countercultures;
power in its physical sense - electrical and nuclear, new technology, innovation.
• Neptune : The arts, glamor, hope, idealism, covert actions, socialism; hospitals, charitable
institutions; the navy. Under affiction associated with muddle, fraud, crime, scandal;
brewing and alcohol, drugs; chemicals, footwear.
• Pluto : Financial or political power, factions, big business, nuclear energy, mines; criminal
detection, but under affliction the criminal underworld, death, catastrophes, dictators.
• Ceres : Native needs to feel loved and nurtured, the reproductive issues of an adult woman,
pregnancy, family bonds and relationships. Deals with grief, worry, negative emotions and
places of perceived imprisonment.
Houses and Signs
Carter also associated each of the houses and signs with different aspects of politics and the state as
follows:
• 1st House-Aries : The nation as a whole, its self image and how it projects itself to the
world.
• 2nd House-Taurus : The economy
• 3rd House-Gemini : Education; periodical publications; the post office, radio and transport;
communications in general; science.
• 4th House-Cancer : Land and housing; agriculture; the opposition in parliament
• 5th House-Leo : All forms of national pleasure and entertainment; sports, general
amusements; Society, children
• 6th House-Virgo : The 'working classes'; left wing organisations; public health. The armed
forces and civil service.
• 7th House-Libra : Foreign affairs generally; war as well as treaties.
• 8th House-Scorpio : Financial relations with foreign countries; public safety and crime.
• 9th House-Sagittarius : The law; religion; philosophy; and science.
• 10th House-Capricorn : Heads of state; government; national prestige.
• 11th House-Aquarius : Parliament, especially the lower house. Local government.
• 12th House-Pisces : Prisons, hospitals, homes for the aged; philanthropic societies; secret
societies; monasteries and institutional religion.
Mundane Horoscopes
Just as a person has a horoscope cast for the moment of their birth, so too can states and nations
have horoscopes cast for the moment of their beginning. Sometimes the choice of date appears to
be obvious.
In many cases the correct date is not so clear, and in most cases a nation or country has multiple
birth charts. For example, many astrologers take the date of England's horoscope as Christmas Day
1066 - the day when that William the Conqueror had the crown set upon his head. There is also a
chart set for midnight on 1 May 1707 (Old Style), the time of the Union of England and Wales with
Scotland creating Great Britain. The Union then grew again on 1 January 1801 with the Union of
Great Britain and Ireland. A further change took place as the Republic of Ireland left the Union, and
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland was created.
Another example of a country/state that has multiple 'birthdays' is France, which regained its
independence after the occupation of the Second World War as the Fourth Republic on 10 October
1946, while the present French system came into being as the Fifth Republic after a referendum
held on 28 September 1958. Similarly in Germany the present state system came into effect with the
enactment of the Basic Law in August 1949, yet it is also considered by most astrologers that a new
state has come into being with German re-unification in October 1990.
In principle, any organisation or object can have a chart cast for the moment of its 'birth'. For
example, the ship Titanic's horoscope is generally cast for noon on 10 April 1910 when the ocean
liner first set sail. The ship's chart showed its ascendant in opposition to Uranus, and Neptune (ruler
of the sea) was squared to the Sun, both aspects indicating the potential for danger. The chart also
contains a 'Void of course Moon', a period in which the Moon does not make any applying major
aspects with any of the planets before it enters the next sign: this is said to be a period in which new
ventures are not likely to succeed.
Horoscopes for the USA
There are many contending dates and times for a national horoscope for the United States of
America, but the primary events considered are on the one hand when the states declared their
independence from Great Britain and on the other when they formed a lasting union.
Declaration of Independence (1776)
Most astrologers view the birth of the USA as having occurred sometime during the day of July 4,
1776, when the Declaration of Independence was adopted . Of the many charts proposed for that
day, the most widely accepted continues to be the Sibly chart, set for 5.10pm on 4 July 1776 in
Philadelphia. This chart was generated using medieval techniques which signified the event, rather
than purporting to represent the actual time. (See Nick Campion's Book of World Horoscopes
p417).
Other dates also configure in this event. The document, formally entitled The unanimous
Declaration of the thirteen United States of America, explained the justifications for separation
from the British crown, and was an expansion of Richard Henry Lee's Resolution (passed by
Congress in July 2), which first proclaimed independence. An engrossed copy of the Declaration
was signed by most of the delegates on August 2.
Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union (1777-1781)
In recent years, some astrologers and historians consider the formation of the country to have
occurred with the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union when the country became legally a
nation-state with its own constitution.
David Solte's chart is based on November 15, 1777, when the Articles were approved by the
Continental Congress to be sent to the states for their ratification. Solte rectified the time as
12.46pm. It bears noting that the Articles had at this time not been ratified by the 13 still sovereign
or independent states.
The SAMVA USA (Perpetual Union) chart is based on the event when Maryland became the 13th
and final state to pass an Act ratifying the Articles on February 2, 1781. The Act provided the
requisite unanimous consent for the formation of a perpetual union of the thirteen states. The chart
was rectified using the techniques of ancient vedic astrology, notably the Systems' Approach,
determining that the signing of the law took place at 5.00pm on that day.
Another chart is based on the formal ratification ceremony of the Articles on March 1, 1781, when
the constitution of the new Confederation entered into force.
Planetary Cycles
In contrast to Mundane horoscopes, which provide individual snapshots of moments of time and
interpretations of the potential developmental possibilities of those snapshots, the study of planetary
cycles provides an overview of real-time historical perspectives. Each planet has a tropical period
(the time it takes to transit the complete tropical Zodiac) from 0 degrees Aries to 0 degrees Aries,
and each of those periods of time reveals a complete cycle of expression on Earth, in keeping with
the key astrological principles of that planet. A related field of study is the Aspect cycle, which
combines the principles of two planets (or more) in aspect, from one conjunction to the next
conjunction. The Aspect cycle provides much additional detail to a single planetary cycle, because
of the "easy" and "difficult" expressions indicated by each aspect, as well as the relative positions of
each aspect within Zodiacal signs, and retrograde motion applying during aspects. Sun/Moon
eclipse cycles are also studied by some astrologers, together with examination of their Zodiacal
positions later, at the Midheaven and Ascendant positions of actual event locations (usually
disasters).
Astrological Ages
The Astrological Ages provide another astrological technique for examining the correlations
between historical events on a large scale with Ages such as the Age of Aquarius, that are generally
linked to precession of the equinoxes. One complete precessional cycle (Great Year) is
approximately 25,600 years, and the average length of an Astrological Age is approximately 2160
years.
Many astrologers believe that the world is currently on the cusp of the Age of Pisces, passing into
the Age of Aquarius. Archetypes traditionally linked to Pisces include Christianity, salvation and
faith-based religions, slavery, drugs (especially tobacco, but also including all forms of drugs both
legal and illicit), oil, pharmaceuticals, corporations, psychic phenomena, all esoteric subjects and
massive problems that humanity has created for itself. Archetypes associated with Aquarius include
democracy, freedom, technology, electricity, computers, space travel, flight, dictators, freedom
fighters and revolutionaries, excitement and the effects of mental instability upon societies.
Some historical predictions
Before reading this section it should be noted that in modern Mundane Astrology it is a matter of
considerable debate whether the purpose of astrology is elucidation of meaning, or a tool to make
predictions about events. These "noted" predictions are not particularly "noted" at all; many
astrologers will not recognise them.
Throughout history many astrologers have made predictions about the future course of world
events, and these are often remarkable either for their fulfilment, or for the ruin and confusion they
brought upon their authors.
A favourite topic of a minority of astrologers around the world has been the immediate end of the
world. As early as 1186 the Earth had escaped one threatened cataclysm of the astrologers.
This did not prevent Stöffler from predicting a universal deluge for the year 1524 - a year, as it
turned out, distinguished for drought. His aspect of the heavens told him that in that year three
planets would meet in the aqueous sign of Pisces. The prediction was believed far and wide, and
President Aurial, at Toulouse, built himself a Noah's ark - a curious realization, in fact, of Chaucer's
merry invention in the Miller's Tale.
The most famous predictions about European and world affairs were made by the French astrologer
Nostradamus (1503 - 66), however many astrologers dispute whether many of his prophecies were
based on astrology. Nostradamus became famous after the publication in 1555 of his work
Centuries , which was a series of prophecies in cryptic verse. So obscure are the predictions that
they have been interpreted as relating to a great variety of events since, including the French and
English Revolutions, and the Second World War. In 1556 Nostradamus was summoned to the
French court by Catherine de Medici and commissioned to draw up the horoscopes of the royal
children.
According to Francis Bacon in his essay Of Prophesies Nostradamus foretold the death of King
Henry II of France: "When I was in France, I heard from one Dr Pena, that the queen mother, who
was given to curious arts, caused the king, her husband's, nativity to be calculated, under a false
name; and the astrologer (Nostradamus) gave a judgment, that he should be killed in a duel; at
which the queene laughed, thinking her husband to be above challenges and duels; but he was
slaine, upon a course at tilt, the splinters of the staffe of Montgomery going in at his beaver."
Although Nostradamus later fell out of favour with many in the court and was accused of
witchcraft, Catherine continued to support him and patronized him until his death.
Tycho Brahe was from his fifteenth year devoted to astrology, and adjoining his observatory at
Uranienburg the astronomer-royal of Denmark had a laboratory built. We may here notice one very
remarkable prediction of this master of Kepler from the appearance of a comet in 1577 . It
announced, he tells us, that in the north, in Finland, there should be born a prince who should lay
waste Germany and vanish in 1632. Gustavus Adolphus, it is well known, was born in Stockholm,
Sweden, overran Germany, and died in 1632.
Brahe's prophecy did not accurately predict Gustavus Adolphus' birthplace - Brahe predicted this
would be Finland, not Sweden. But the partial fulfillment of the details of this prophecy - namely,
that a prince born in the north would lay waste to Germany and vanish in 1632 - suggests that Brahe
possibly had some basis of reason for his prediction.
Born in Denmark of a noble Swedish family, a politician, as were all his contemporaries of
distinction, Tycho, though no conjuror, appeared to foresee the advent of some great northern hero.
Moreover, he was doubtless well acquainted with a very ancient tradition, that heroes generally
came from the northern frontiers of their native land, where they are hardened and tempered by the
threefold struggle they wage with soil, climate and barbarian neighbours.
The astronomer Kepler , who in his youth made almanacs, and once prophesied a hard winter which
came to pass, made an astrological interpretation of the disappearance of the brilliant star of 1572,
which Tycho had observed.
Theodore Beza thought that this star, which in December 1573 equalled Jupiter in brilliancy,
predicted the second coming of Christ. Astronomers were only then beginning to study variable and
periodic stars, and disturbances in that part of the heavens, which had till then, on the authority of
Aristotle, been regarded as incorruptible, combined with the troubles of the times, must have given
a new stimulus to belief in the signs in heaven.
Montaigne (Essais, lib. i. chap, x.) relates a singular episode in the history of astrology. Charles V
and Francis I, who both bid for the friendship of the infamous Pietro Aretino, surnamed the divine,
both likewise engaged astrologers to fight their battles.
In Italy those who prophesied the ruin of France were sure to be listened to. These prophecies
affected the public funds much as telegrams used to in 1911. "At Rome," Montaigne tells us, "a
large sum of money was lost on the Change by this prognostication of our ruin."
The Marquis of Saluces, notwithstanding his gratitude to Francis I for the many favours he had
received, including his marquisate, of which the brother was despoiled for his benefit, was led in
1536 to betray his country, being scared by the glorious prophecies of the ultimate success of
Charles V which were then rife.
During World War II the British and German governments (among others) hired astrologers to
make predictions about the opposing side . One Swiss astrologer, Karl Ernst Krafft, attracted the
attention of the Nazis due to his accurate predictions.
Mundane Astrology predictions for 2009-2014 period
While many discuss the validity of mundane astrology, many studying the area note many historical
cycles which involve the transit of outer planets through the zodiac and the different aspects they
form. One particular example will be a grand cross that will occur in summer 2010 when Pluto,
Uranus and Jupiter and Saturn and Mars will be at 0-3º Capricorn, Aries and Libra, respectively,
while inner planets transit at 0-3º Cancer. This is assumed by astrologers studying mundane
astrology that it shall be a time with many great challenges and dramatic changes . This aspect
resembles another grand cross that occurred during the 1930s . Mundane astrologers trace back
these cycles to decades and even centuries before, when Uranus transited Aries last time in 1930s
and 1840s, and Pluto transited Capricorn last time in 1760s and 1770s, which were decades of many
revolutions and changes. The cardinal alignment of 2010 is also a continuing square between Pluto
and Uranus, which occurred last time in the 1960s and the 1930s and will occur between 2010 and
2014. Therefore, mundane astrologers predict dramatic changes (economic, social, military,
scientific) to occur again in the years ahead
Cosmobiology
Historically, the term 'Kosmobiologie' was used by the German medical astrologer Friedrich
Feerhow and Swiss statistician Karl Krafft in a more general sense "to designate that branch of
astrology working on scientific foundations and keyed to the natural sciences".
The term 'Cosmobiology' was popularized in English after the translation of the writings of
Reinhold Ebertin, who based a large part of his techniques on the midpoint-astrology work of
Alfred Witte
The term Cosmobiology as most frequently used in the English language, refers to the school of
astrology founded by Ebertin. The main difference between Witte's Hamburg School and Ebertin's
Cosmobiology is that Cosmobiology rejects the hypothetical Trans-Neptunian objects used by the
Hamburg School and practitioners of Uranian astrology. Another difference is the significant
expansion of Cosmobiology into medical astrology, Dr. Ebertin being a physician.
Cosmobiology continued Witte's ultimate primary emphasis on the use of astrological midpoints
along with the following 8th-harmonic aspects in the natal chart, which both Witte and Ebertin
found to be the most potent in terms of personal influence: conjunction (0°), semi-square (45°),
square (90°), sesquiquadrate (135°), and opposition (180°).
In cosmobiological analysis, planets are inserted into a special type of horoscope often referred to as
a 'Cosmogram' (derived from the Uranian 90° dial chart) and delineated.
The primary reference/research text for Cosmobiology was first published in 1940 by the German
astrologer Reinhold Ebertin. The name of the book is The Combination of Stellar Influences. The
original German title is Kombination der Gestirneinflusse. Its foundations were derived largely
from the early versions of the "Regelwerk für Planetenbilder" by Alfred Witte, and then further
built upon by Ebertin and colleagues.
What is noteworthy about both Cosmobiology and Uranian astrology, which has developed along a
different path technically, is their emphasis on critical analysis and testing by observing more
clearly measurable or observable astrological correlations, rather than to simply perpetuate
observations or assumptions written in historical astrological texts, a problem leading to widespread
criticism of mainstream Classical Astrology. For this reason, both Uranian astrology and
Cosmobiology are more likely to qualify as sciences, despite widespread historical biases against
astrology due to the ambiguities of the still widely-used classical form. Some have speculated that
the term "Cosmobiology" was coined specifically to divorce its precepts from the manifold
ambiguities of, and subsequent widespread biases against, Classical Astrology.
Three prominent published Cosmobiological authors in the English language are German-American
cosmobiologist Eleonora Kimmel, American cosmobiologist Aren Ober (formerly Savalan), and
Australian cosmobiologist Doris Greaves, all of whom have published texts in Cosmobiology based
on their own substantial experiences.
Psychological astrology
Psychological rology, Astrological Psychology or Astropsychology is a recent product of the
cross-fertilisation of the fields of astrology with depth psychology, humanistic psychology, and
transpersonal psychology. It uses the horoscope and the archetypes of astrology to inform the
psychological understanding of an individual's psyche.
It owes its origins to the writings of Carl Jung in the 1950s. Jung once said "astrology represents the
summation of the psychological knowledge of antiquity" (1962). He went on to synthesize his own
Analytical psychology theories with those of Western astrology.
Other significant pioneers include Liz Greene and Howard Sasportas who in 1983 founded the
Centre for Psychological Astrology. Bruno Huber & Louise Huber also developed their own
method of astrological psychology, referred to as the Huber Method which links to Roberto
Assagioli's work with psychosynthesis.
When Carl Jung was investigating the symbolic meaning of dreams; he would commonly come
across mythical figures that have been passed down to us from our ancestors.He then noticed a
correlation in the images pictured in ones dreams to the gods that were attached to heavenly figures
mapped out in the stars. From this the g concluded that the heavenly figures in astrology come from
images we make in our minds. Jung felt that it was these mental images that brought about
astrology. He did believe that astrology could teach us about the human mind but on a general level.
Several astrologers as well as psychologists followed up on his claims and found that from
horoscopes they could discover the structure of their character. From this they assumed that a
person’s mental difficulty could be found through the horoscope. This was the start of astrology
making its way and influencing some psychological tactics. Psychological astrology does not
directly believe that a persons everyday life is dictated by the position of the stars. It just shows the
horoscope as a mere tool to help identify a person’s attributes. For example a psychological
astrologer might use a horoscope method to see if the individual possesses specialized abilities
based on their mindset.
It is difficult to verify the tenets of psychological astrology via quantitative research. Astrologers
working in a psycho-diagnostic framework rely upon personal experience to induce how
psychological astrology can provide meaningful information about a persons character. According
to Riemann, “The dispositions visible in the horoscope are then covered up and their unfolding is
blocked by external influences. The horoscope then helps in once again uncovering the buried
dispositions.” It is, Riemann contends, because of this reliance on personal experience and the
likelihood of external influences, that scientific evidence would show that the diagnosis of a
psychological issue most likely couldn’t be made by a horoscope. However, within the
psychological world of study it is found to work with certain empirical and theoretical methods.
[vague] In psychology’s past there have been experiences[vague] in which methods were applied to
patients that called for horoscopes being used as a diagnostic for showing their mental
characteristics. These experiences haven’t been able to show[vague] any testable empirical evidence
that it was in fact the horoscope that found out the mental characteristics of a person and that that
was in fact an actual characteristic of that person.
Jung believed that there are reasons to suspect that heavenly bodies actually effect a person's
development at birth, and that the correlation is acausal and not actually influenced by the planets
and stars themselves. He went on to further state his reasons for believing the mindset of a person
involved in supposedly aucausal phenomena was crucial in whether the correlation even existed.
Psychological astrology is then again brought back to connections through personal experience.
Using Occam's Razor from Carey, rival explanations can be found about why the horoscope may
seem to accurately identify the mental characteristics of an individual, that are more generally
accepted than that of an astrological explanation. When a person is mentally evaluated by a
psychological astrologer and is told their prediction of their mental characteristics they will begin to
associate things they do with what the astrologer is saying, which will give the perception that they
are accurately portraying their attributes. A study done by Shawn Carlson took astrological charts
that were prepared for 83 subjects, based on natal data from his data the results showed that, "Each
subject was given three charts: one chart based on their own natal data, and two charts derived from
natal data of other people. Each subject was asked to identify the chart that most correctly described
him or her. In only 28 of the 83 cases, the subject chose their own chart. This is the exact success
rate expected for random chance. The astrologers predicted that the subjects would select their own
chart more that 50% of the time." In order to balance any bias against astrology it is worth looking
at the recent book, 'Cosmos and Psyche, Intimations of a New World View,' by respected cultural
historian, philosopher, and psychologist Richard Tarnas, which offers new evidence in support of
the astrological worldview.
Evolutionary astrology
Evolutionary astrology is a theory most often applied to the practice of natal astrology which says
that souls evolve over lifetimes and are born with pre-existing experiences and orientations that
affect the native's current incarnation. In the evolutionary astrology paradigm, the natal chart is said
to hold the soul’s intent and life lessons of a person in their present life as well as insight into their
soul’s past incarnations.
History
The history of evolutionary astrology (as a specific term applied to this theory) begins with the
work of Jeffrey Wolf Green and Steven Forrest, whose techniques differ but are complementary and
based on the same theory. They were applying their similar approaches independently in their work,
without knowledge of each other, until an “ethical crisis involving another astrologer” brought them
together in 1997.
The term itself was used much earlier. It was part of the title of a book by Ray Merriman called
Evolutionary Astrology: The Journey of the Soul Through States of Consciousness. Jeff Green &
Steven Forrest popularized the term, which is really just one of many names for the long history of
psychological and spiritual viewpoints applied to astrology by those that came before them. Some
of these people include Madame Blavatsky and others in the Theosophical movement, Alice Bailey,
Dane Rudhyar, Stephen Arroyo and Liz Greene.
Theory
The theory behind evolutionary astrology has been outlined by the primary creators of the system,
Steven Forrest & Jeffrey Wolf Green at http://www.stevenforrest.com/evolutionary.html.
Techniques
Most of the techniques applied in evolutionary astrology are found in natal astrology, but are
applied with the understanding that each planetary placement represents a spectrum of possibilities
of behavior rather than predictable outcomes and behaviors. This idea is shared by other
astrological paradigms such as psychological astrology.
A few techniques of evolutionary astrology
• The extent to which the moon’s nodes are used in the creation of past life metaphors,
including not only the sign and house of the south node of the moon, but also its sign’s
ruling planet, and any aspects to either of the moon’s nodes.
• The extent to which Pluto is used in the understanding of the past life conditioning,
including what is called the “polarity point” of Pluto (the opposite point of Pluto’s location
in a natal chart) and its use to indicate the soul’s intent in the current incarnation.
• The phasal relationship of the aspects in determining the level of progress of the soul in their
efforts to evolve with respect to any particular lesson (represented by the planets of the
aspect involved).
While the application of these techniques vary, all evolutionary astrology practice significantly
hinges on Pluto and the moon’s nodes as the pivotal pieces of the soul’s incarnation story and
current incarnation’s purpose.
Financial astrology
Financial astrology (also known as business astrology, economic astrology, and/or astro-
economics) is the practice of relating the movements of celestial bodies to events in financial
markets. The use of astrology in financial markets is not consistent with standard economic or
financial theory, but might be considered heterodox economics. The scientific community considers
astrology to be a pseudoscience.
Financial astrology is sometimes applied in the following ways:
1. Predicting major economic trends as they relate to certain cycles, specifically on the cycles
of outer planets
2. Helping an investor find the best industry to be in for a particular period of time based on
major planetary configurations
3. Identifying the best stocks to own during a particular time period
4. Identifying the best date and time to buy or sell a stock
5. Correlating the Astrological aspect to the movement of stock market in day trading.
The practice carries the implicit belief that astrology is valid and influences human behavior.
Although astrology is generally regarded in mainstream Western thought as having no logical basis,
advocates of the efficient market hypothesis would also make the same claim with respect to most
forms of technical analysis.
Evangeline Adams was one well known practitioner of financial astrology. In 1929 she predicted
that the stock market would continue to rise in price. On Labor Day, September 2, she told a
reporter for radio station WJZ that "the Dow Jones could climb to heaven." The next day the Dow
Jones reached a record high that was not reached again until November 1954.
Hamburg School of Astrology
The Hamburg School of Astrology originated in Hamburg, Germany, and revolved around the
research and teachings of surveyor/astrologer/amateur astronomer Alfred Witte. The term Hamburg
School of Astrology originated in 1923 at the Second German Astrological Congress in Leipzig,
Germany, where the astronomer/astrologer Dr. Wilhelm Hartmann was a participant.
Early students of Alfred Witte were Friedrich Sieggrün and Ludwig Rudolph. In his search for
Pluto, Witte claimed four planets beyond Pluto, and Sieggrün claimed yet another four. These
bodies are in the Transneptunian regions, where many planetary discoveries are being validated
today. Ludwig Rudolph printed and published Witte's findings, the core of which were published in
the Rulebook for Planetary Pictures (Regelwerk für Planetenbilder) in 1932. An increasing amount
of the research of the Hamburg School revolved around work with astrological midpoints and use of
the extra planets.
Unfortunately, Witte and Rudolph were pursued by the Gestapo as enemies of the Third Reich.
Alfred Witte committed suicide before being sent to a concentration camp, and Ludwig Rudolph
was indeed interned, the Rulebook for Planetary Pictures banned and burned by the Nazis.
Reinhold Ebertin, a (unofficial) student of Hamburg School methods, eliminated the use of the
hypothetical trans-neptunian objects while maintaining the core teachings of the Hamburg School,
renamed them "Cosmobiology" (German: Kosmobiologie), and published them in The Combination
of Stellar Influences in 1940, last updated in English in 1972.
After the fall of the Third Reich, the Hamburg School reconvened, and Ludwig Rudolph, having
survived concentration-camp internment, played the key role in perpetuating the teachings of the
Hamburg School. The Hamburg School astrologer Hermann Lefeldt combined Witte's theories with
more astrological traditions such as the use of astrological houses. However, other Hamburg
practitioners maintained their focus on working only with astrological midpoints , abandoning
traditional practices, including the 12 houses and rulerships; and among these astrologers is former
Hamburg School Vice-President Ruth Brummund, who went on to form the new School of
Uranische Astrology (Uranian astrology) in Germany.
Uranian astrology
Uranian astrology is a relatively recent methodological approach to astrology based on teachings
of German surveyor/astrologer Alfred Witte (1878–1941), founder of the Hamburg School of
Astrology. Witte revived and further developed the use of mathematical midpoints for precise
astrological analysis and prediction. He was also an avid independent student of astronomy. Prior to
1970, elements of psychological astrology in Uranian astrology were sparse; however psychological
astrology is today integrated. Despite Uranian astrology's capacity to delineate and predict
probabilities with precision, its most seasoned practitioners have verified that other psychological,
social, and genetic variables operate in tandem with astrological indicators, and continue to affect
how energies will ultimately manifest. In other words, astrology is not fate, but an indicator of
probabilities modifiable by free-will choice. Thus, foreseen probable events can be altered by free-
will choices, and astrology can be used as an early-warning technique to assist in averting problems.
Uranian astrology has unfortunately at times been attached to organizations which abuse it for
objectives not related to the advancement of Uranian astrology. Uranian astrology lends itself less
readily to being categorized as a form of 'entertainment' than do more impressionistic traditional
popular astrologies.
Explanation

Alfred Witte 1878-1941
Along with extensive midpoint analysis, Uranian Astrology incorporates the use of 16th-harmonic
angles/astrological aspects, singled out for their correlation with dynamic energy manifestations.
These include the conjunction (0°), opposition (180°), square (90°), semi-square (45°), and sesqui-
quadrate (135°), as well as all other multiples of 22.5° angles (67.5, 112.5, 157.5). (See the article
on the astrological aspects for more information)
Early development
In his early writings in the 1920s, Witte experimented with numerous historical astrology
techniques, including the astrological houses, planetary formulae similar to 'Arabic parts', and
planetary rulership systems. His approach to astrology was to verify or deny assumptions by means
of observation rather than rely blindly on astrological traditions. Witte also proposed the existence
of trans-Neptunian objects, which are considered essential to the practice of Uranian astrology. He
truly sought to approach astrology scientifically, but was also a frontier scientist open to exploration
of new ideas.
The Transneptunian objects proposed by Witte and Sieggrün are as follows. Cupido is possibly
what we now classify as a plutino. Recent astronomical discoveries indicate that there are a number
of transneptunian bodies interspersed among these, many with highly eccentric and/or elliptical
orbits, and not necessarily validating or invalidating them until further astronomical research is
conducted. Some Uranian Astrologers (many of whom have insisted on a much more scientific
approach to astrology than do most astrologers) believe that these might possibly be gravitational
centers among asteroidal belts rather than actual planets by definition, but have demonstrated
through research starting with Witte's, around 1920, and continued largely by the Hamburg School
of Astrology and the School of Uranische Astrologie, that their effect on earthly affairs is
substantial.
Transneptunian Objects (TNOs) posited by Witte and Sieggrün
Name OP AU Source Earlier data
Cupido 262.5 41.0
Witte/Neel
y
262.5 estimated by Witte in 1923
Hades 360.6 50.7
Witte/Neel
y
360.66 estimated by Witte in 1924
Zeus 455.6 59.2
Witte/Neel
y
455.6 estimated by Witte
Kronos 521.8 64.8
Witte/Neel
y
521.8 estimated by Witte in 1924
Apollon 589.4 70.4 Neely earlier estimated at 576 by Sieggrün
Admetos 631.7 73.7 Neely earlier estimated at 617 by Sieggrün
Vulcanus 679.0 77.4 Neely earlier estimated at 663 by Sieggrün
Poseidon 765.3 83.5 Neely
earlier estimated at 745 by Sieggrün in
1934
OP=Orbital/Revolutionary Period in years, rounded to first decimal.
AU=Distance from Sun in Astronomical Units, rounded to first decimal.
Note that the values established by Witte were proven to be quite accurate by ongoing research
since the 1920s, while the values posited by Sieggrün required minor adjustments to correlate with
later research results.
World War II
Witte was considered an enemy of the German Third Reich, and committed suicide shortly before
he was supposed to have been interned in a Nazi concentration camp, in 1941. During the Third
Reich, German physician and astrologer Reinhold Ebertin took Witte's core teachings, but rejected
the trans-Neptunian objects because of the controversy over them, and renamed his derivative of
Uranian astrology "Cosmobiology". After World War II, Witte's work was resumed primarily by
the German astrologer Ludwig Rudolph, who had also been interned by the Nazis. Ludwig Rudolph
continued to develop and refine Witte's methods while resisting the efforts of some colleagues,
including Hermann Lefeldt, to re-emphasize traditional astrological methods in order to give his
work more popular appeal.
Mid-20th-century developments
Richard Svehla, an Ohio astrologer, was among the first to translate German materials from the
early experimental years of the Hamburg School of astrology into English, in the 1930s. Later,
Hans Niggemann, a German naval officer and proponent of Hamburg School astrology, who had
immigrated to New York, translated more of the earlier German astrological texts from the 1940s
and 1950s, primarily those of the traditionalist Hermann Lefeldt, and these led to an enthusiasm in
New York and Massachusetts for what American astrologers called Uranian Astrology or the
"Uranian System" at that time. Ilse Schnitzler, in Germany, assisted Hermann Lefeldt in the
laborious task (before computers) of alphabetizing the astrologically-significant historical findings
of Witte and Sieggrün in a book called Lexikon für Planetenbilder (published in 1957) and
Niggemann translated this book and presented it as the Key to Uranian Astrology in the 1960s. Both
books were based on the 1946 edition of Witte/Lefeldt's 'Regelwerk'. Among Niggemann's
contemporary enthusiasts was Charles Emerson. Roger Jacobson's "Language of Uranian
Astrology" reflected quite closely the perspective and methodology presented by Hermann Lefeldt
in his 1962 German text "Methodik der Astrologischen Häuser und Planetenbilder", along with
some original insights by Jacobson. During the 1970s in Germany, a new shift in the Hamburg
School of Astrology, from which Uranian Astrology originated, put more emphasis on critical
testing rather than parroting or perpetuation of historical methods and teachings, and a new
generation of literature appeared, increasingly distinct from the earlier English translations and
derivatives dubbed "Uranian System". A renewed drive for continuation of Alfred Witte's emphasis
on critical contemporary research via sorting, testing, and further prioritization of techniques was
led by Ruth Brummund in Germany. Karl Ambjornson, in San Francisco, produced original
writings conveying techniques based on the more recent research in Germany and the United States
of that time.
Late 20th-century and 21st-century developments
In the 1970s, German astrologer, psychologist, and chemist, Ruth Brummund, a student of Ludwig
Rudolph, began re-formulating a Uranian Astrology methodology based on the more recent
research during the time that she was Vice-President of the Hamburg School of Astrology. Ms
Brummund published a new Regelwerk-Neufassung (translated as Revised Rulebook) in 1979, and
a substantially expanded second edition in 1990. She also published a new Lexikon-Neufassung,
which included the newer findings from Hamburg School research, including psychological
correlates, in 1982 -- and this book has been further updated to include the findings since 1982 in
electronic format (in both German and English) in a Uranian software program published in France,
developed in cooperation with Ms Brummund, and used by her to teach current Uranian methods.
As Hamburg School traditionalists regained organizational control and sought to resurrect the
teachings of Lefeldt, Ms Brummund went on to form the school of Uranische Astrologie in 1993 to
maintain the focus on the more research-proven efficient methods of midpoint analysis, discarding
the unproductive experimental techniques used by Lefeldt-Niggemann. While the term "Uranian
Astrology" has been used by some American astrologers to include the historical teachings
disseminated by Lefeldt and Niggemann (propagated primarily on the Atlantic coast of the United
States and among émigrés from there), many of the Lefeldt-Niggemann methods are considered to
be speculative and functionally obsolete, and no longer a component of Uranian Astrology as
defined by Ms Brummund's German School of Uranische Astrologie, which has gained greater
popularity on the Pacific coast of the United States and in East Asia, particularly in Thailand. One
of the main differences between those defining Uranian Astrology differently is historical
fundamentalism versus ongoing progressive scientific analysis of methods and comparison of
methods for effectiveness. The traditionalists tend to emphasize the immutable truth of historical
texts, while the progressives emphasize that newer references tend to be based on more recent
research, and are thus more likely to be comprehensive, objective, and based on longer experience.
The differences are not unlike those between fundamentalist and progressive scholars or scientists
in other fields.
Recent American variants
One highly popular Uranian Astrology variant in the United States was begun by Emma Belle
Donath and further developed to a much larger degree by Martha Lang Wescott. This approach
integrates extensive use of midpoints involving other small-body asteroids and centaurs along with
transneptunians, and substantial use of techniques from paradigms outside those of the traditions of
German Uranian Astrology, including solar and lunar returns (which Roger Jacobson also
advocated in earlier years). The work and approach of Wescott places significant, but not exclusive,
emphasis on the psychological aspects of astrology, and includes numerous factors in chart analysis.
References in alphabetical order according to author
1. ^ Alfred Witte: Immerwährende Ephemeride, Ludwig Rudolph (Witte-Verlag), Hamburg.
2. ^ Ruth Brummund: Transneptun Ephemeride, Ludwig Rudolph (Witte-Verlag), Hamburg.
3. ^ Alfred Witte: Der Mensche, eine Empfangsstation, Ludwig Rudolph (Witte-Verlag),
Hamburg.
4. ^ Hamburger Hefte (German-language journal 1960-2008), Ludwig Rudolph (Witte-
Verlag), Hamburg.
5. ^ Uranian Institute for Astrological Research: www.uranian-institute.org .
• Ambjornson, Karl: "Delineation of Mundane Events", San Francisco CA USA, 1974: text on
techniques of mundane/political analysis.
• Ambjornson, Karl: "Handbook: the 90 Degree Disc", San Francisco CA USA, 1974:
fundamental explanation of the principles and use of the 90-degree dial/disc.
• Brummund, Ruth: "Brummund Rulebook" (in electronic format), Special Uranian astrology
program, Aureas Software, Paris, France, 1990: current and comprehensive interpretations
for the planetary pictures.
• Brummund, Ruth: Uranische Techniken Hamburger Astrologen, Eigenverlag Ruth
Brummund, Hamburg, Germany, 1994: text of uranian astrology methods which withstood
50 years of testing for comparative validity and functionality.
• Donath, Emma Belle: Asteroids in Midpoints, American Federation of Astrologers, Tempe
AZ USA, 1982: Brief interpretations for planetary pictures involving both the Witte-
Sieggruen transneptunians and the 4 major asteroids.
• Jacobson, Roger: The Language of Uranian Astrology, Uranian Publications, Franksville WI
USA, 1975: textbook of both historical methods and those current as of 1975.
• Schnitzler, Ilse and Lefeldt, Hermann: "Lexikon fur Planetenbilder", (derived from 1946
Regelwerk fur Planetenbilder by Witte-Lefeldt, and translated by Hans Niggemann as "Key
to Uranian Astrology"), Ludwig Rudolph (Witte-Verlag), Hamburg, Germany 1957:
Alphabetical, dictionary-like book of everyday-life functions and situations along with
planetary pictures deemed to be related as of 1957.
• Sherman, Sylvia, and Frank-Manske, Jori: Symphony of the Planets, American School of
Astrology, West Orange NJ USA, ca 1985? (date not indicated in text): Interpretation
keywords for planetary pairs found in astrological charts, including the 8 Witte-Sieggruen
transneptunians.
• Taub, Martha: Uranian Astrology: Tools and Techniques, Uranian Consultants, Washington
DC, 1981: Textbook of uranian astrology methods used by Ms Taub.
• Wescott, Martha Lang: The Orders of Light, Treehouse Mountain, Conway MA USA, 1993:
Textbook of methods used by Ms Wescott along with substantial interpretive text for
pictures involving the 8 Witte-Sieggruen transneptunians, as well as various asteroidal
bodies.
• Witte, Alfred and Lefeldt, Hermann: Regelwerk für Planetenbilder (translated as
"Rule/s/book for Planetary Pictures" by Richard Svehla (included only 4 of Witte's
transneptunian factors, not all 8), later by Hans Niggemann, and then Curt Knupfer), Ludwig
Rudolph (Witte-Verlag), Hamburg, Germany, 1959: The standard reference for uranian
astrology interpretations for many years, current in 1959.
• Witte, Alfred: Der Mensch, (very early German-language articles by Witte and colleagues
dated 1913-1924) Ludwig Rudolph (Witte-Verlag), Hamburg. Germany, 1975: an anthology
of early articles by Alfred Witte and colleagues, many referring to experimental techniques
largely abandoned since that time by both Witte and his students. Primarily a historical
source reference.
Locational astrology
Locational astrology (sometimes referred to as Astrogeography or Locality astrology) is an
umbrella term used to describe various types of astrology at specific locations on the Earth. As a
result, various texts may differ on its precise definition and range of techniques.
Astrogeography / Astro*carto*graphy
Among the most popular are "Astrogeography," developed by Don Neroman in Europe in the
1930s, and later elaborated on by Jim Lewis in the United States. Lewis called his maps
"Astro*carto*graphy" maps, and they were widely publicized in the 1970s and 1980s.
Astrogeography/Astro*carto*graphy maps are highly dependent on accurate birthtimes, with 10
minutes of inaccuracy causing incorrect indication of supposed locational influences.
Geodetic / Fixed Locality astrology
A second type of locational astrology is sometimes called "fixed locality astrology," "locality
astrology," or "astrological geodetics," and its primary early recognized proponents were Sepharial
(Walter Gorn Old) in England, and A.M. Grimm in Germany. Both these systems assume that the
Greenwich Meridian in metropolitan London has a 0° Aries fixed local MC, leaving the various
regions of the globe to correspond with the 12 signs of the zodiac. There are subtle differences
between the system of Sepharial and Grimm which are not noticeable in many classical astrology
methods, but may be noticeable in precision methods such as those of Uranian astrology or
Cosmobiology. The Sepharial system was later popularized by Canadian astrologer Chris McRae,
and American astrologer Joyce Wehrman. The Canadian astrologer L. Edward Johndro also worked
with this method at various points throughout the 1930s and later years, and vacillated between the
starting reference point at Greenwich and one near the greater pyramids of Egypt; there is
controversy over which system he actually decided upon in later years. Geodetic/Fixed Locality
astrology is not fully dependent on an accurate birthtime, and substantial objective locational
information can be derived even if the time of day of a birth or event is unknown.
Other locational astrology methods
Other locational astrology systems include "local space astrology," developed by German astrologer
Friedrich Sieggrün and later popularized in the United States by astrological software developer
Michael Erlewine.
See also
• Astrocartography
Astrocartography
Astrocartography (called "Astrogeography" in Europe in earlier years) is one of several methods
of Locational Astrology, which purports to identify varying life conditions through differences in
location. Developed and popularized by American astrologer Jim Lewis (1941-1995),
astrocartography/astrogeography is a locational astrology system that focuses on elements of the
relocated natal chart, with these factors indicated on a world map such as the "Astro*Carto*graphy
map." Lewis' Astro*Carto*Graphy maps show all locations on the earth where planets were
"Angular" (rising, setting, upper transit, lower transit) at the moment of a person's birth. An
"angular" planet is basically one sitting in a conjunction with the starting house cusps of the 1st,
4th, 7th, and 10th houses, called the "angular houses." With Astrocartography, lines drawn on a
world map show where these factors occur for an individual through relocation.
According to Astro*Carto*Graphy theory, if the person were born at any of these locations, the
corresponding planet would be said to be prominent and influential in the chart. Jim Lewis took this
basic astrological idea one step further by postulating that if a person later travels or visits such an
angular location, the planet would have a similar prominent role in the person's experience of that
location. These maps are widely used to plan for relocation or travel. As such, they are part of a
general branch of astrology known as "relocation astrology". Other techniques used for this purpose
include local space mapping, relocated birth charts, and city incorporation charts.
Lewis created the trademark "Astro*Carto*Graphy" to refer to his map. Other maps like the
Lewis map were soon developed showing additional locational factors Lewis ignored. One example
is the "Astrolocality Map" developed by Astro Computing Services of San Diego, which shows
planetary sextiles, trines, and other aspects rather than conjunctions only. For example, having the
planet Saturn in a "square" to the midheaven (and not just the conjunction as with Lewis), is
considered to be a difficult location. Or having your Venus in "sextile" to the midheaven improves
popularity, etc. The Lewis map ignores these locational aspects. The Kepler Software corporation
sells software that draws "astromaps" having even more user selectable lines, including aspects like
the dodecile and quincunx, or a host of other bodies and their aspects, such as asteroids. The Kepler
maps even allow you to see your new locational Rising Sign. Such maps are often referred to as
"linemaps" in the locational astrology field.
The owners of the Astro*Carto*Graphy trademark hold that the term refers only to their proprietary
map with its angular conjunctions formula. In April 2000 the popular American Locational
Astrologer Julian Lee was sued by Astro Numeric Services, trademark beneficiary, because he
owned and was using the domain www.astrocartogaphy.com. ACS asked the court to take the
domain from Lee and award it to them. Lee won the right to keep it based on the public domain use
of the word, and the fact that the public had regularly called him an "astrocartographer" despite the
fact that he had never referred to himself by the term.
Mr. Lee, who wrote "The Geostela Brownbook" as an elaboration and addendum to the original
Lewis writings, holds that the Lewis "Astro*Carto*Graphy" map only scratched at the surface of
the reality of locational astrology, and that any map approach is flawed as a method for
understanding locational influences. He asserts that in noticing phenomena related to relocated
angular conjunctions, Lewis had only stumbled onto the functionality of the "relocated natal chart."
A Relocated Natal Chart is a chart using the same real birth moment, but drawn for a different
location. Lee claims that the Lewis ACG map is simply an incomplete derivation of the relocated
natal chart, and that accuracy and detail is found by working with actual Relocated Natal Chart as a
whole. Lee goes farther than Lewis, stating that an individual receives the entire Relocated Natal
Chart upon moving, including a new "Rising Sign," financial houses, etc. -- and not just "angular
conjunctions." Lee also states that the new "Relocated Natal Chart" after a relocation becomes one's
primary astrological chart, not just a "secondary" influence as is commonly held. Lee is the first
astrologer to hold that this "relocated natal chart" has primacy over the natal," and the first to hold
that accurate locational analysis requires the study of the whole Relocated Natal.
See also
• Locational Astrology
Sun sign astrology
Sun-sign astrology (also known as newspaper astrology) is the form of astrology most commonly
found in many newspaper and magazine columns. It is a simplified system of astrology which
considers only the position of the Sun, which is said to be placed within one of the twelve zodiac
signs depending on the month of birth. This sign is then called the sun sign or star sign of the
person born that month.
Sun sign astrologers take this basic twelve-fold division and relate all the current movements of all
the planets to each other, using traditional rules to divine meanings for each sign separately.
Paradoxically, because the Moon has the fastest apparent movement of all the heavenly bodies, it is
often used as the main indicator of daily trends for sun sign astrology forecasts.
Despite its vast popularity with the general public (e.g. in the UK over 60% of adults are said to
read their "stars" first on opening a newspaper, a slightly higher proportion in the USA[citation
needed]), there is much argument about the validity of sun sign astrology, particularly amongst
astrologers of different persuasions. The more traditional the astrologer, the more likely they are to
dislike sun sign astrology.
History
Although William Lilly in the 17th century was the first newspaper astrologer (in fact some people
believe that newspapers began as largely-astrological prediction-sheets), sun sign astrology was not
invented until 1930. The astrologer R. H. Naylor was claimed by his newspaper to have predicted
the crash of the R101 airship. This led to pressure on Naylor to come up with a simplified system of
astrology suitable for a newspaper column. After some experimentation, Naylor decided on sun
signs.
Criticisms of sun sign astrology
Owing to the popularity of horoscope columns in many newspapers and magazines, it is often
erroneously believed that sun sign astrology is the whole extent of astrology. Some, perhaps many
Horoscopic astrologers view these predictions as highly generalized and of little value.
For example, each person also has a Moon sign, a Mercury sign, a Venus sign etc, and these do
NOT conform to the above dates, and change greatly from year to year. Sun-sign astrologers are
unable to take these and many other variables into account.
Counter Criticisms
The argument for sun sign astrology holds that everyone and everything is subject to general forces.
For example, a person may plan to walk to the shop the following day, but when they see the
weather (which affects everyone) they may change their mind and drive there instead. In this
example, a general influence has overcome a personal one. Sun sign astrology says that such
generally-applicable factors are also found astrologically.
Sun signs are held to represent certain sub-sections of the population. Research by insurance
companies within their own massive databases is reported to have revealed differences between the
relative safety on the roads of people born at different times of year[citation needed]. The Sunday
Times, September 14, 1997 mentions this research and also the remarkable results of a marketing
company analysing shopping habits by zodiac sign.
The Swiss mathematician and astrologer Gunter Sachs did some extensive research on massive
samples (using nearly a million data sets) and demonstrated striking differences between people of
different zodiac signs. These results were reported in newspapers all over the world, for example
the Daily Mail, November 6, 1997. Link to that report.
Christianity and astrology
Christianity and astrology are seen as incompatible by modern orthodox Christian doctrine.
Additionally, astrology stands juxtaposed against the roots of modern scientific reasoning, which
most modern Christian denominations prefer.[citation needed] Generally, the scientific community
and others educated in the scientific method consider astrology a pseudoscience or superstition
Astrology within the Church
Western church leaders throughout history have at times given different amounts of credibility to
astrological investigations, predictions, and learning. Astrology had small amounts of support in
early Christianity, but support waned during the Dark Ages. Support for it grew again in the West
during the Renaissance. A major Western orthodox witness to this, the Catholic Encyclopedia, says:
In 321 Constantine issued an edict threatening all Chaldeans, Magi, and their followers
with death. Astrology now disappeared for centuries from the Christian parts of Western
Europe.
...[E]arly Christian legend distinguished between astronomy and astrology by ascribing
the introduction of the former to the good angels and to Abraham while the latter was
ascribed to Cham. In particular St. Augustine [...] fought against astrology and sought to
prevent its amalgamation with pure natural science.
Emperors and popes became votaries of astrology—Charles IV and V, and Popes Sixtus
IV, Julius II, Leo X and Paul III. When these rulers lived astrology was, so to say, the
regulator of official life; it is a fact characteristic of the age, that at the papal and
imperial courts ambassadors were not received in audience until the court astrologer had
been consulted. Regiomontanus, the distinguished Bavarian mathematician practised
astrology, which from that time on assumed the character of a bread-winning
profession, and as such was not beneath the dignity of so lofty an intellect as Kepler.
Thus had astrology once more become the foster-mother of all astronomers. In the
judgment of the men of the Renaissance—and this was the age of a Nicholas
Copernicus—the most profound astronomical researches and theories were only
profitable insofar as they aided in the development of astrology. Among the zealous
patrons of the art were the Medici. Catherine de' Medici made astrology popular in
France. She erected an astrological observatory for herself near Paris, and her court
astrologer was the celebrated "magician" Michel de Notredame (Nostradamus) who in
1555 published his principal work on astrology—a work still regarded as authoritative
among the followers of his art. Another well-known man was Lucas Gauricus the court
astrologer of Popes Leo X and Clement VII who published a large number of
astrological treatises.
Subsequently, this source described the eventual disintegration of astrology in popular, educated
Western Christianity due to the perceived superiority of the Copernican system, the rise of
experimental investigation in the natural sciences, and disillusionment of the people abused by the
"pseudo-prophetic wisdom" of this "astrological humbug." However, as the nineteenth century
waned and the twentieth century began, a renewed interest was sparked in "the peasant" and
astrology became quite popular again despite its unscientific mysticism.
Once more astrology fell to the level of a vulgar superstition cutting a sorry figure
among the classes that still had faith in the occult arts. The peasant held fast to his belief
in natural astrology, and to this belief the progress of the art of printing and the spread
of popular education contributed largely. For not only were there disseminated among
the rural poor "farmer's almanacs", which contained information substantiated by the
peasant's own experience, but the printing presses also supplied the peasant with a great
mass of cheap and easily understood books containing much fantastic astrological
nonsense. The remarkable physical discoveries of recent decades in combination with
the growing desire for an elevated philosophico-religious conception of the world and
the intensified sensitiveness of the modern cultured man—all these together have
caused astrology to emerge from its hiding place among paltry superstitions. The
growth of occultistic ideas, which should, perhaps, not be entirely rejected, is
reintroducing astrology into society. [emphasis added]
From this lengthy quote, with the final emphasis made to draw a point, it is obvious that, at the time
of writing, although the Roman Catholic opinion of astrology was not enthusiastic, there was a
small amount of leeway provided to make legitimate use of astrology. Perhaps the intent was to
allow astrology to be studied by scholars, theologians, and members of the clergy. It is clearly not in
support of modern astrology for divination, personal horary predictions, or for supporting
superstitions. At the same time, it does not seem to be anathema to Catholicism (see heterodoxy).
Indeed, the gist of the article seems to be that astrology is merely anathema to modern scientific
reasoning and therefore makes its usefulness in Western Christianity a tenuous one.
Astrology within the Bible
The Biblical Magi – There is one positive account of astrologers in the Bible. In the Gospel of
Matthew, the author records in the second chapter that an unspecified number of magi (or wise
men, as some have translated it) from the East attempt to discover the location of the King of the
Jews, recently born. (The word "magi" here is normally† taken to mean simply "astrologers.") They
begin their search in Jerusalem, and Herod "the king" hears of their inquiries. Herod subsequently
inquires of the Jewish priests and scribes the prophesied location of the birth of the Messiah. The
small town of Bethlehem, a few miles from Jerusalem, is indicated to have been the birthplace.
Given these directions, the Eastern magi find the young Jesus and his mother, Mary. Upon
discovering the child, the magi worship him and present him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and
myrrh.
†The Greek word for "magi" can mean a number of different things, as evidenced by the Book of
Acts' reference to a man named Simon (known as Simon Magus or Simon the Sorcerer). Since
Simon was from Samaria and not the East, the word "magus" in Acts probably refers to sorcery or
divination and not astrology as a profession.
Astrologers from a faraway land visiting the young Jesus is a curious entry into the Christian Bible.
This poses a problem for those against astrology as a profession, since the Matthew account clearly
states that the magi worshiped the young boy. And since Luke's parallel account of the birth records
no one else as having done so, Gentile magi are the first on record to worship Jesus as God.
The Matthew account makes it clear that the magi visit the child because of astrological study.
Matthew describes them following a star to the child's location, indicating that the magi cast
horoscopes to determine the child's location. Their gifts to the child indicate foreknowledge of his
status as king (who is given gold), a priest (who is given frankincense), and one who would die
(who requires myrrh). The fact that they worshiped him as God indicates their confidence in their
astrological observations and predictions.
Furthermore, the magi had little direct knowledge of the approaching time of the King of the Jews.
They had apparently never consulted the prophesies of the Bible concerning the Messiah, and so did
not know his birthplace or where to find him. All indications are that the magi had only a single
source of information concerning Jesus while in their Eastern observatory: the movement of the
planets and the interpretive art of astrology.
Esoteric astrology
Esoteric astrology is a branch of Astrology that focuses on the spiritual evolution of a person or
groups of persons. Mundane (or classical) astrology focuses on the personality, or one's individual
identity. Esoteric astrology focuses on the soul, or one's higher purpose.
Esoteric astrology is based on Alice Bailey's Ageless Wisdom teachings, as relayed by her Tibetan
Master, Djwhal Khul. "The Tibetan Master, Djwhal Khul, has provided a significant foundation for
a more Soul-oriented approach to astrology and to the Life it seeks to symbolize and interpret."
Esoteric astrologers typically base their work on Bailey's five-volume series, Treatise on the Seven
Rays. The third book in the series, Esoteric Astrology, is considered to be the foundation for
esoteric astrologers world wide."
Esoteric astrology's system of planetary rulerships differs from that of conventional astrology,
involves planets not conventionally used, and replaces the house system with a system of crosses
with highly individualized meanings and multiple levels of interpretation. Esoteric astrology
incorporates many layers of study, dovetailing into other levels of astrology and the Seven Rays.
According to Djhwal Khul (Alice Bailey), here are the houses and their planetary rulers.
Personality (Mundane) Soul (Esoteric) House
Aries Mars Mercury First
Taurus Venus Vulcan Second
Gemini Mercury Venus Third
Cancer Moon Neptune Fourth
Leo Sun Sun Fifth
Virgo Ceres Moon Sixth
Libra Venus Uranus Seventh
Scorpio Pluto Mars Eighth
Sagittarius Jupiter Earth Ninth
Capricorn Saturn Saturn Tenth
Aquarius Uranus Jupiter Eleventh
Pisces Neptune Pluto Twelfth
"Esoteric astrology specifically addresses the substructures underlying one's belief systems,
attitudes and life processes; it is thus more concerned with causes (energies and forces) than with
effects (events)."
H.P. Blavatsky (founder of Theosophical Society), Rudolf Steiner, and others have helped to
develop the mystical tradition of esoteric astrology.
Kabbalistic astrology

Kabbalistic astrology (called Mazal or Mazalot ["zodiac," "destiny"] in the Kabbalistic tradition)
is a system of astrology based upon the Hebrew Kabbalah; it is used to interpret and delineate a
person's birth chart, seeking to understand it through a Kabbalistic lens. In Hebrew, astrology was
called hokmat ha-nissayon, "the wisdom of prognostication", in distinction to hokmat ha-hizzayon
(wisdom of star-seeing, or astronomy). Although Kabbalah is part of the mystical Jewish tradition,
its use of astrology does not represent the complete Jewish views of astrology, which have been
both positive and negative, depending on the authority.
The inner structure of the soul is reflected in the Kabbalah Tree of Life. A trestleboard is used to
chart the placements of the various planets and signs of the zodiac.
Most astrologers cast and use a horoscope, which is translated as ‘a view of time’ to depict
planetary placements which serve to influence our daily activities. For example, the square
horoscope was used extensively until the Middle Ages when it was replaced by the circular version
which was more clearly representative of the orbital paths of the celestial bodies that were observed.
Cabalistic astrologers tend to take a slightly different approach because they wish to observe the
planets as they relate to each sephira in the Tree of Life. Therefore, the sign and house placement is
written on the associated node of the trestleboard.
Each sephira points to a specific character trait which helps us to identify exactly where we are in
our evolutionary path to enlightenment. Each sephira in the trestleboard corresponds with a specific
planet and is therefore closely aligned with the celestial art of astrology. The meanings of the ten
sephiroth, to include the eleventh imaginary one, are as follows:-
Jewish views of astrology
In Hebrew, astrology was called hokmat ha-nissayon, "the wisdom of prognostication", in
distinction to hokmat ha-hizzayon (wisdom of star-seeing, or astronomy). While not a Jewish
practice or teaching as such, astrology made its way into the Jewish community, and became
especially predominant in some books of Kabbalah.
In the Bible
Astrology is not specifically mentioned in the Torah, the five books of Moses. There are two
commandments which have been used by some authorities as a basis to forbid the practice.
You shall not practice divination or soothsaying. (Leviticus 19:26, New JPS)
When you enter the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to
imitate the abhorrent practices of the nations. Let no one be found among you who...is
an auger, a soothsayer, a diviner, a sorceror, one casts spells.....For anyone who does
these things is abhorrent to the LORD... (Deuteronomy 18:9-12, New JPS)
These commandments are understood by some rabbinic authorities as forbidding astrology, while
others limit these mitzvot to other forms of soothsaying, and thus view astrology as permissible.
In the Hebrew Bible the prophets scoffed at "star-gazers" (hoverei ha-shamayim) in Book of Isaiah
47:13; Book of Jeremiah 10:2.) Astrologers from Babylon were called Kasdim/Kasdin (Chaldeans)
in the Book of Daniel. In rabbinic literature, the term Chaldeans later was often used as a synonym
with those who practiced astrology.
Some historians hold that astrology slowly made its way into the Jewish community through
syncretism with ancient Hellenistic culture. The Sibylline oracles praise the Jewish nation because it
"does not meditate on the prophecies of the fortune-tellers, magicians, and conjurers, nor practice
Astrology, nor seek the oracles of the Chaldeans in the stars" (iii. 227); although the author of the
Encyclopedia Judaica article on astrology holds that this view is mistaken.
The early historian Josephus censures the people for ignoring what he thought were signs
foreshadowing the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem ("B. J." vi. 5, § 3). There were apparently
no Jewish astrologers either in the land of Israel or in the Jewish community of Babylonia.
In the Apocrypha
In the apocrypha, there are many references to astrology. The Book of Jubilees said that Abraham
overcame the beliefs of astrologers by accepting one God, while the Book of Enoch says that one of
the sins of the Nephilim, the giants in Noah’s time, was astrology.
Rabbinic rejection of astrology
In early classical rabbinic works written in the land of Israel (Jerusalem Talmud and Palestinian
midrash compilations) astrologers are known as astrologos and astrologiyya. In early classical
rabbinic works written in Babylon, astrologers were called kaldiyyim, kalda'ei, and iztagninin.
The Babylonian Talmud (BT), in Sanhedrin 65, suggests that this means that Jews may not consult
an astrologer. Another tractate, BT Pesachim 113b, clearly says that Jews may not consult
astrologers.
Samuel of Babylonia (circa 250 CE) is the only sage in the Talmud who seriously studied astrology,
yet he held that it was not compatible with Judaism. Quoting Deuteronomy 30:12, "The Law is not
in the Heavens", he is reputed to have taught that "Torah can not go together with the art that
studies the heavens" (Midrash Deuteronomy Rabbah 8:6).
A similar remark is made by the Babylonian sage Jose of Hu?al: "We are not permitted to appeal to
the Chaldeans, for it is written (Deut. 18:13), 'You shall be perfect with the Lord your God'" (BT
Pesachim 113b).
R. Johanan, the Palestinian amora, says "there is no mazal (literally "star") for Israel, but only for
the nations [which recognize the validity of astrology.]" This opinion is shared by Rav (BT Shabbat
156a).
Rabbinic literature records that Rabbi Akiva contends against astrological beliefs, e.g., Sifre, Deut.
171; Sifra, Kedoshim, vi.; Sanhedrin 65.
Rabbinic acceptance of astrology

Zodiac in a 6th century synagogue at Beit Alpha, Israel.
However, other statements in the Talmud and in the midrash literature show that many Jews had
some level of admiration for astrology.
Some hold that the stars generally do control the fate of people and nations, but Abraham and his
descendants were elevated by their covenant with God, and thus achieve free will. (Midrash Genesis
Rabbah 44:12, Yal., Jer. 285). A statement in the Tosefta (Kiddushin 5:17) holds that the blessing
bestowed on Abraham is the gift of astrology. Midrash Ecclesiastes Rabbah states that the rulers of
some non-Jewish nations were experts in astrology, and that King Solomon too had expertise in this
realm. (7:23 no. 1)
There is a story in the Talmud according to which God showed to Adam all the future generations,
including their scribes, scholars, and leaders (BT Avodah Zarah 5a). According to this source, the
biblical Patriarch Abraham bore upon his breast an astrological tablet on which the fate of every
man might be read. Thus, kings are said to have congregated before his door in order to seek advice.
An announcement is found to the effect that it is dangerous to drink water on Wednesday and
Friday evenings (Pesachim 112a). Samuel, a physician and astrologer, taught that it was dangerous
to bleed a patient on Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday, because on the last-mentioned day Mars
reigns at the even-numbered hours of the day, when demons have their play. The new moon was
likewise regarded as an unfavorable season for bleeding, as were also the third of the month and the
day preceding a festival (BT Shabbat 129b).
Qualified acceptance; partial skepticism
However, contrary stories are related. It is said that Abraham predicted in these astrological tablets
that he would have no second son, but God said unto him, "Away with your astrology; for Israel
there is no mazal ("luck", literally "planet" or "constellation")!" The birth of his second son, the
patriarch Isaac, then gives lie to the idea that astrology is valid. (BT Shabbat 156a). Midrash
Genesis Rabbah states that Abraham was not an astrologer, but rather a prophet, inasmuch as only
those beneath the stars could be subject to their influence; but that Abraham was above them
(Genesis Rabbah xliv. 12).
In general, many people quoted in the Talmud believed that in theory astrology had merit as some
kind of science, but they were skeptical that astrological signs could be interpreted correctly or in a
practical fashion. Commenting on astrologers in Sotah 12b, the Talmud says of them that "They
gaze and know not at what they gaze at, they ponder and know not what they ponder."
The most popular form of astrological belief was the selection of propitious days. According to this
idea, certain periods of time are regarded as lucky or unlucky. Rabbi Akiba contends against the
belief that the year before the jubilee is exceptionally blessed. The belief is also condemned that no
business should be begun on the new moon, on Friday, or on Sabbath evening (Sifre, Deut. 171;
Sifra, Kedoshim, vi.; Sanh. 65).
Hebrew Calendar Correlation to Zodiac
Please help improve this article or section by expanding it. Further information might
be found on the talk page. (February 2007)
In addition to its display in synagogues from the most ancient, such as Beth Alpha, to relatively
modern, such as the Bialystocker Synagogue in the Lower East Side of New York City, the zodiac
has been shown to correspond to the months of the Hebrew calendar.
For example, the month of Tishrei, beginning sometime during the months of September or October
has the sign Libra, the Scales. The month of Tishrei is the month of Judgment, of Rosh Hashannah
and Yom Kippur where good deeds and bad are weighed against one another.
Further information: Hebrew astronomy#Chronology and the zodiac
In the medieval era
Many rabbis in the Geonic era (after the close of the Talmud, early medieval period) discussed the
varying Talmudic and midrashic views on astrology. One responsa takes a middle view: Otzar
HaGeonim 113, concludes that astrology has some reality, in that the stars give a person certain
inclinations; however each person has the ability to overcome their own inclinations, and thus
maintains free will.
Astrology was practised by some Jews throughout the Middle Ages, both as a professional art and
as a science. Coming from the East, Jews were sometimes looked upon as heirs and successors of
the Chaldeans. For this reason Jews sometimes were regarded by the Occidental world as masters of
Astrology. Their supposed power over destiny on occasion filled the multitudes with awe and fear
(Jassuda Bédarride, Les Juifs en France, pp. 49, 454, note 21; Jacques Basnage, Histoire des Juifs,
iv. 1212; P. Cassel, Juden, in Ersch and Gruber's "Encyc." pp. 16, 17; 52, note 78; 67, notes 50 and
51; 115, 171, 224).
Abraham ibn Ezra was a follower of astrology, which he calls "a sublime science." Besides
translating Mashallah's astrological work Questions and another work of this author on the eclipse
of the moon from the Arabic into Hebrew, he wrote Nativity, Sentences of the Constellations, Reshit
Hokhmah (Beginning of Wisdom), Book of the World, a treatise on the Planets, a treatise on the
Luminaries, and a horoscope. He often refers to astrology in his Bible commentaries. To him
heaven with its constellations is "the book of life," in which man's destiny is written, and against
which there is recourse to God as "the Almighty," who overrules all these influences. These
remarks may be found in his commentary to Psalms 69:29, Genesis 17:9, and to Exodus 6:3, 33:21.)
In the book Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra: Studies in the Writings of a Twelfth-Century Jewish
Polymath (Harvard, 1993, ISBN 0-674-74554-X), the author of a chapter dealing with Ibn Ezra's
astrological views ("Some Astrological Themes in the Thought of Abraham Ibn Ezra") states that:
"The gist of the Jewish attitude toward astrology as formulated by Ibn Ezra has usually been
understood--in general, correctly--as follows. The deity has delegated to the stars the governance of
the sublunar world. Israel [Jews], however, enjoys a special status, which is manifest most
decisively in its possession of the Torah. As long as a Jew is engaged in the study and observance
of the Torah, he is linked to a spiritual realm which is itself superior to the stars. In this way a Jew
may liberate himself from the decrees of the stars" (p.49).
Dunash ibn Tamim (850-956 CE, North Africa), who wrote a commentary on the Kabbalistic work
Sefer Yetzirah, wrote a treatise on astronomy which rejected astrology.
Rabbi Abraham ben David of Posquières, in his critical notes to Maimonides' Mishneh Torah,
Teshuvah, 5:5, asserts the influence of the stars upon destiny, while also contending that by faith in
God man may overcome this influence.
Gersonides believed that astrology was real, and developed a naturalistic, non-supernatural
explanation of how it works. In Philosophies of Judaism, Julius Guttmann explains that for
Gersonides, astrology was:
founded on the metaphysical doctrine of the dependence of all earthly occurrences upon
the heavenly world. The general connection imparted to the prophet by the active
intellect is the general order of the astrological constellation. The constellation under
which a man is born determines his nature and fate, and constellations as well determine
the life span of nations....The active intellect knows the astrological order, from the
most general form of the constellations to their last specification, which in turn contains
all of the conditions of occurrence of a particular event. Thus, when a prophet deals
with the destiny of a particular person or human group, he receives from the active
intellect a knowledge of the order of the constellations, and with sufficient precision to
enable him to predict its fate in full detail..... This astrological determinism has only one
limitation. The free will of man could shatter the course of action ordained for him by
the stars; prophecy could therefore predict the future on the basis of astrological
determination only insofar as the free will of man does not break through the
determined course of things.
Gersonides believed astrology to be a science that predicts events according to set laws of nature
(albeit, a different set than the ones we are used to.) He also believed that a person who has
perfected his thinking could interact with the laws of nature through the active intellect. Gersonides
thus thought of himself as creating a rationalist and non-supernatural theology. In this sense, there is
a similarity between Gersonides and Maimonides.
Nahmanides wrote a responsa stating that while one may not ask an astrologer for a prediction,
astrology itself is real. He states rules that one must ultimately trust in God, and not in any lesser
force. As such, he concludes that one is forbidden to ask an astrologer for a prediction, but one may
act on the words of an astrologer if advice is freely given. Ultimately he holds that while the stars
give a person certain inclinations, people have the ability to overcome their own inclinations, and
thus maintains free will.
Maimonides answered an inquiry concerning astrology, addressed to him from Marseilles. He
responded that man should believe only what can be supported either by rational proof, by the
evidence of the senses, or by trustworthy authority. He affirms that he has studied astrology and that
it does not deserve to be described as a science. The supposition that the fate of a man could be
dependent upon the constellations is ridiculed by him; he argues that such a theory would rob life of
purpose and would make man a slave of destiny.
Isaac ben Joseph ibn Pollegar (14th century, Spain) was a Jewish philosopher who wrote Ezer ha-
Dat ("Support of Faith"), and wrote against the validity of astrology.
In the Tur, an early code of Jewish law, the author brings forth the views of Nahmanides and
Maimonides, and concurs with Nahmanides (Yoreh Deah 179). A later code of Jewish law, the
Shulkhan Arukh avoids contention by stressing the common point: One may not consult an
astrologer; the act is forbidden. Whether or not its author, Yosef Karo, thought that astrology might
have some basis in fact is not mentioned in this work (Yoreh Deah 179:2).
Moshe Chaim Luzzatto
In Derekh Hashem Section II, chapter 7, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto discusses the influence of
stars on humanity and events on earth. There he gives two reasons for the existence of stars and
planets. The first is that stars and planets maintain the existence of all physical things on earth,
acting as the means by which spiritual forces are transmitted to physical entities. The second is that
events on earth are also initiated through planetary and stellar activity. Luzzatto states that each
earthly phenomenon is assigned to a specific star, which controls it. Quoting the Talmudic dictum
in Sanhedrin 156a - "for Israel, there is no mazal ("luck", literally "planet" or "constellation")", he
also states that higher powers (i.e. God or angels) may overcome the influences of this system, and
that they typically do so for Jews.
Luzzatto notes that the laws and rules governing this system of astrological influence are extremely
complex, and not easily ascertainable through direct observation; thus astrologers are rarely able to
predict the future accurately or clearly. The accuracy of their predictions is further reduced by the
aforementioned propensity of Divine providence to intervene and override the system. This,
Luzzatto states, explains the use of the word me'asher ("something") in Isaiah 47:13 ("Now let the
astrologers, stargazers and fortunetellers stand up and tell you something about what will come
upon you"); in Luzzatto's view, this means they can tell you something about the future, but not
everything.
Views in the modern era
Strictures against astrology appear in the official Torah commentary of Conservative Judaism and
on the official website of Reform Judaism, and a number of Conservative and Reform rabbis have
written against the practice.
Commenting on Deuteronomy 18:9-12, Etz Hayim, the official Torah commentary of Conservative
Judaism writes "Hence the use of astrology is prohibited (BT Pesachim 113b)." Similarly, Rabbi
Simchah Roth, a Conservative Masorti rabbi comments negatively on astrology in his "Halakhah
Study Group" session. (Halakhah Study Group, Nov. 18 2003, Bet Midrash Virtuali)
Conservative Rabbi Aaron Kriegel writes:
However, astrology is by and large nothing more than magic. The Torah is very clear
that we are to steer clear of magicians and practitioners of "witchcraft." I'm not talking
about the David Copperfield type of entertainment; I'm referring to those who believe
that their predictions or tricks can have a real influence on the world, and by
implication, can force God to give them what they want. The idea that if only we could
say the right words or take the right actions, God will give us anything we want is
nearly idolatrous. It turns God into nothing more than a tool for us to use when we want
something, rather than the majestic creator of the world. (Ask A Rabbi, Jewish.com,
Internet responsa database)
On the Union for Reform Judaism website Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin derides astrology as "a new-age
trap" even though the study of or belief in 'celestial influences' on Earthly affairs [astrology] is
actually more ancient than Judaism itself:
If you visit a Barnes and Noble superstore, you will see what much of American
religion has become. There are three bookcases for Judaism; three bookcases for general
religion and Christianity; three for general inspiration; two each for Bible, eastern
philosophy, and myth; and nine bookcases for New Age. The New Age menu is diverse,
including spiritualism, astrology, and psychic phenomena; alchemy, tarot, goddess
worship, and Wicca (witchcraft); out-of-body experiences, near-death experiences, and
reincarnation: angels, Satanism, and the occult...
Modern Orthodox rabbis have written against the practice as well, some seeing it as forbidden by
Jewish law. For instance, Rabbi Barry Freundel views astrology as unacceptable, seeing it as
unscientific, and thus unacceptable for Jews who live by Torah U-maddah, which is used as a motto
by modern Orthodox Jews associated with the Rabbinical Council of America and the Union of
Orthodox Congregations.
Orthodox Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald writes:
The Torah tells us in Deuteronomy 18:9, that when the Jewish people enter the land of
Israel, they must not follow the abominable practices of the nations that reside there. It
is strictly prohibited to cause a son or a daughter to pass through the fire, to practice
divination, astrology, or to visit one who reads omens....to follow these practices is an
abomination in G-d's eyes.
It is quite extraordinary that Maimonides...virtually alone in the Middle Ages, rejected
belief in astrology. In a letter to the rabbis of Southern France he distinguishes between
astronomy as a true science and astrology which he deems to be sheer superstition.
Many hundreds of years passed until the Western world came to the same conclusion.
Maimonides boldly declares that in Judaism a person's fate is determined by G-d alone,
not by the stars. (Torah commentary, National Jewish Outreach Program, Parashat
Shoftim 5763-2003)
The Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom (Orthodox) Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, writes:
Wrestling with men: since the days of Abraham, to be a Jew is to be an iconoclast. We
challenge the idols of the age, whatever the idols, whatever the age. Sometimes it meant
wrestling with idolatry, superstition, paganism, magic, astrology, primitive beliefs.
(Covenant and Conversation: Thoughts on the Weekly Parsha, Vayyishlach 5755, Chief
Rabbi of the United Kingdom)
In contrast, Modern Orthodox Rabbi Nachum Amsel writes:
It seems that most of the authorities believe that astrology has some sort of power, but
there is a fine line between believing in this and believing in power other than God,
which is not the Jewish view. Thus, one cannot give credence to any power except God
nor use astrology on a regular basis to guide one's life.
"The Significance of Astrology in Judaism" is an article along these lines from the Orthodox Union.
This article concisely puts this issue into perspective.
In Judaism, Astrology is not regarded as "idol worship," even though the generic name
for "idol worship" is "Avodat Kochavim U'Mazalot," Worship of the Stars and the Signs
of the Zodiac." From the Jewish perspective, the stars are not unrelated to events on
earth. It is not irrelevant whether one was born on Pesach, or Yom Kippur, or Lag
Ba'Omer or on any particular day. Each day is special and has a unique imprint. On the
other hand, if an individual was born under the "sign" of Mars, the Talmud says that he
will have a tendency to spill blood. This tendency can be realized in a number of very
different ways, however, which are subject to an individual's choice. In this case,
options might be a soldier, a surgeon, a murderer, a "shochet," a ritual slaughterer of
animals, or a "mohel," one who performs ritual circumcisions. These options correspond
to a potential hero, a healer, one who violates the "image of G-d," to those who do "holy
work" of different types. There is a principle, "Ayn Mazal L'Yisrael," "Israel's fate is
not determined by the stars." The Jew, raised in his People's traditions and Torah values,
feels the reality of "freedom of choice" in his bones. So deeply ingrained is this
knowledge and feeling, that the Jew rarely has cause to think about astrological factors.
It is the belief that one cannot escape from the grip of the stars that distinguishes
Astrology from "Worship of the Stars and Signs of the Zodiac." It is always possible to
define one's fate, by choosing behavior which is guided by morality and integrity,
within the parameters - intellectual and emotional, physical and spiritual, which a
person is given to work with.
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, known for his rationalist synthesis of modern scientific thinking and
Kabbalah, and creator of a modern translation of Derekh Hashem, echoes the viewpoint of its
author (Moshe Chaim Luzzatto) on astrology. In his translation of and commentary on Sefer
Yetzirah: The Book of Creation, Rabbi Kaplan writes:
In order to understand the significance of the astrological forces, we must first
understand the role of angels in the chain between the Sefirot and the physical world.
The Sefirot are in the universe of Atzilut, and below this is Beriyah, the universe of the
Throne, which serves to allow the Sefirot to interact with the lower worlds. Between
Beriyah and Asiyah is Yetzirah, the world of the angels. ....every one of God's words is
actually an angel. When we speak of "God's word," we are actually speaking of His
interaction with the lower worlds. The force that transverses the spiritual domain is
what we call an angel.
The stars also form an important link in God's providence over the physical world.
Between God and man, there are many levels of interaction, the lowest being those of
the angels and the stars, The Midrash thus teaches, "There is no blade of grass that does
not have a constellation (Mazal) over it, telling it to grow." As the commentators
explain it, God's providence works through the angels, but these angels, in turn, work
through the stars and planets.
However, Rabbi Kaplan also writes that "Faith and trust in God are partners, since one who believes
in an omniscient, omnipotent and benevolent God must also believe that He will provide for His
faithful. Therefore, one should trust in God and not be overly concerned about the
future....Therefore, one should not seek to ascertain the future by fortune telling, astrology or other
superstitions. Concerning this, The Torah commands us, "You must remain totally faithful to God
your Lord" (Deut. 18:13), which some authorities count as a positive commandment." ("The
Handbook of Jewish Thought. Vol. 2, Maznaim Publishing. 1992)
• Belief in God, by Aryeh Kaplan
Astrology and numerology
Some astrologers believe that each number from 0 to 9 is ruled by a celestial body in our solar
system -- the layout below is the most widely accepted system amongst modern astrologers but
there are other conflicting systems as well (such as the kabbalistic system).
• Zero is ruled by the planet Pluto, which gives it many transforming and regenerating
qualities. It has a lot of depth and intensity, which makes it an abstruse number indeed.
• One is ruled by the Sun and the astrological aspect of the conjunction, so this number is very
egocentric, quite often being somewhat of a loner.
• Two is ruled by the Moon and the astrological aspect of the opposition, which means this
number is very co-operative, emotive, and has a great deal of feeling. This number is
associated with relationships in general.
• Three is ruled by Jupiter and the astrological aspect of the trine, and is educated, wise, and
happy. The acquisition or expenditure of money often features prominently in the number.
There is usually a free flow of energy associated with this number, which indicates that both
good and bad come easily to this number. This number is the major benefic, so is considered
lucky to many. Money will come and go easily when three is significant.
• Four is ruled by Sun/Uranus. It is very eccentric and unusual in nature. Where this number is
prominent invention and ingenuity are very important elements to any given situation.
• Five is ruled by the planet Mercury and the astrological aspect of the quincunx. It is very
communicative and witty on a light level. Because this number deals with the concept of
communication, on a negative level deception can also be involved, so it is always best to
double check for the facts. Sometimes an individual must make adjustments in order to fit in
when this number is significant.
• Six is ruled by the planet Venus and the astrological aspect of the sextile. It is a pleasant,
harmonious number that governs the arts and music. Tact and diplomacy figure prominently
with this number, so relationships will be of paramount importance. Six is a minor benefic,
so money will play an important role when this number is significant. There will be a free
flow of energy, which will enable many opportunities for success to come to the individuals
who this number has touched.
• Seven is ruled by the planets Moon/Neptune. It is a very spiritual number that is not limited
by the constraints of the physical world. This is the number of mystics, visionaries, and
seers. Because this number is associated with idealism, depression can easily manifest itself
when our expectations of others and our goals are not met. This number has many surreal, or
unreal, qualities to it.
• Eight is ruled by the planet Saturn. It is a solid and very stable number that has many
limitations that must be transcended. Those individuals who have this number prominent in
their life usually must learn by experience. They quite often have many harsh lessons to
learn, which are quite often the result of a karmic debt they must repay before they can
progress unto their next level of spiritual evolution.
• Nine is ruled by the planet Mars and the astrological aspect of the square. It is forceful and
dominating in an attempt to control the tension that is inherent in this number. It also has a
great deal of stability and is therefore a good number when attempting to build foundations.
When four is prominent, quite often people will need to overcome obstacles before they will
be able to reach their highest potential.
While different from the actual planets themselves, each astrological sign has also long been
associated with a particular number, beginning with Aries which has always been the 1st sign of the
Zodiac and ending with Pisces which has always been the 12th and final astrological sign of the
Natural Zodiac. This layout is as follows:
• 1 -- Aries - (Cardinal Fire)
• 2 -- Taurus - (Fixed Earth)
• 3 -- Gemini - (Mutable Air)
• 4 -- Cancer - (Cardinal Water)
• 5 -- Leo - (Fixed Fire)
• 6 -- Virgo - (Mutable Earth)
• 7 -- Libra - (Cardinal Air)
• 8 -- Scorpio - (Fixed Water)
• 9 -- Sagittarius - (Mutable Fire)
• 10 -- Capricorn - (Cardinal Earth)
• 11 -- Aquarius - (Fixed Air)
• 12 -- Pisces - (Mutable Water)
Cultural influence of astrology
During its long history astrology has had a profound impact on cultures throughout the world,
especially in art, literature and popular customs.
Language and Literature
Influenza, from medieval Latin influentia meaning influence, was so named because doctors once
believed epidemics to be caused by unfavorable planetary and stellar influences. The word
"disaster" comes from Latin dis-aster "unfavorable star" or "bad star". Adjectives "lunatic" (Luna/
Moon), "mercurial" (Mercury), "venereal" (Venus), "martial" (Mars), "jovial" (Jupiter/Jove), and
"saturnine" (Saturn) are all old words used to describe personal qualities said to resemble or be
highly influenced by the astrological characteristics of the planet, some of which are derived from
the attributes of the ancient Roman gods they are named after.
Desire, from the Latin desiderare meaning to "long for, wish for," perhaps from the original sense
"await what the stars will bring," from the phrase de sidere which translates to "from the stars,"
from sidus or sideris meaning "heavenly body, star, constellation".
In the French heur, malheur, heureux, malheureux, are all derived from the Latin augurium; the
expression né sous une mauvaise étoile, born under an evil star, corresponds (with the change of
étoile into astre) to the word malôtru, in Provençal malastrue; and son étoile palit, his star grows
pale, belongs to the same class of illusions.
The Latin ex augurio appears in the Italian sciagura, sciagurato, softened into sciaura, sciaurato,
wretchedness, wretched.
In the case of the expressions bien or mal luné, well or ill mooned, avoir un quartier de lune dans
la tetê, to have the quarter of the Moon in one's head, the German mondsüchtig and the English
moonstruck or lunatic, the fundamental idea lies in the opinions formerly (and in some cases, still)
held about the Moon.
Many writers, notably Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare, used astrological symbolism to
add subtlety and nuance to the description of their characters' motivation(s). For example, in
Shakespeare's King Lear , Gloucester and Edmund represent respectively the old and the new faith.
Also Milton constantly refers to planetary influences. Often, an understanding of astrological
symbolism is needed to fully appreciate such literature. Indeed, many passages in the older English
poets are unintelligible without some knowledge of astrology. More recently, Michael Ward has
proposed that C.S. Lewis, after a lifetime of study in medieval & renaissance literature, infused
each of his 7 Chronicles of Narnia with imagery representing the character of each of the seven pre-
Copernican planetary spheres. For example, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe represents
Jove (Jupiter) with its emphasis on winter overtaken by spring, kingship and queenship, "guilt
forgiven", and mixture of the solemn and the jovial.
Music
The most famous piece of music to be influenced by astrology is undoubtedly the orchestral suite
"The Planets". Written by the British composer Gustav Holst (1874 - 1934), and first performed in
1916, the framework of "The Planets" is based upon the astrological symbolism of the planets. Each
of the seven movements of the suite is based upon a different planet as follows:
• First: Mars, the Bringer of War
• Second: Venus, the Bringer of Peace
• Third: Mercury, the Winged Messenger
• Fourth: Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
• Fifth: Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age
• Sixth: Uranus, the Magician
• Seventh: Neptune, the Mystic
The order of the movements does not follow the order of the planets from the sun. However, in
keeping with its astrological themes, they do reflect the order of the signs of the zodiac by planetary
rule. The composer and Holst specialist Colin Matthews wrote an eighth movement entitled "Pluto,
the Renewer", which was first performed in 2000. However, with Pluto's recent demotion to 'dwarf
planet' status, it can be said that Holst's original work is to be considered as complete as when he
wrote it.
The seven liberal arts
In medieval Europe, a university education was divided into seven distinct areas, each represented
by a particular planet and known as the seven liberal arts.
Dante Alighieri speculated that these arts, which grew into the sciences we know today, fitted the
same structure as the planets. As the arts were seen as operating in ascending order, so were the
planets and so, in decreasing order of planetary speed, grammar was assigned to the Moon, the
quickest moving celestial body, dialectic was assigned to Mercury, rhetoric to Venus, music to the
Sun, arithmetic to Mars, geometry to Jupiter and astrology/astronomy to the slowest moving body,
Saturn.[citation needed]
Psychology and Mythology
Different astrological traditions are dependent on a particular culture's prevailing mythology. These
varied mythologies naturally reflect the cultures they emerge from. Images from these mythological
systems are usually understandable to natives of the culture they are a part of. Most classicists think
that Western astrology is dependent on Greek mythology.
Some modern thinkers, notably Carl Jung, believe in its descriptive powers regarding the mind
without necessarily subscribing to its predictive claims. Jung described astrology in the following
terms: "As we all know, science began with the stars, and mankind discovered in them the
dominants of the unconscious, the 'gods', as well as the curious psychological qualities of the
zodiac: a complete projected theory of human character. Astrology is a primordial experience
similar to alchemy". According to Jung this had a continuing value in European culture right to the
present day: "Whereas in the Church the increasing differentiation of ritual and dogma alienated
consciousness from its natural roots in the unconscious, alchemy and astrology , were ceaselessly
engaged in preserving the bridge to nature, i.e., to the unconscious psyche, from decay. Astrology
led consciousness back again and again to the knowledge of Heimarmene, that is, the dependence of
character and destiny on certain moments in time". Consequently, some regard astrology as a way
of learning about one self and one's motivations. Increasingly, psychologists and historians have
become interested in Jung's theory of the fundamentality and indissolubility of archetypes in the
human mind and their correlation with the symbols of the horoscope.
Astrological symbols
Astrological symbols are images used in various astrological systems to denote relevant objects. A
number of such images are shown below.
Celestial bodies
The glyphs of the planets are usually (but not always) broken down into four common elements: A
circle denoting spirit, a crescent denoting the mind, a cross denoting practical/physical matter and
an arrow denoting action or direction.

These are the astrological glyphs as most commonly used in Western Astrology.
Unicode: ♀ ♂ ☉ ☽ ☿ ♃ ♄ ♅ ♆ ♇ ☊ ☋
Name Symbol Symbol represents Meaning of symbol
Sun Solar symbol (circled dot)
Divine spirit (circle) surrounding seed of
potential
Moon

Crescent Moon Mind or evolving human spirit (crescent)
Mercur
y
Mercury's winged helmet and
caduceus
Mind (crescent) poised over divine spirit (circle)
and matter (cross)
Venus Venus's hand mirror. Divine spirit (circle) over matter (cross)
Earth
Earth; also a Solar symbol
(sun cross)
Earth — the cardinal directions
Mars Mars's shield and spear.
Drive/aim/force (arrow) over divine spirit
(circle)
Ceres
Scythe (handle down),
emblematic of Ceres as
goddess of grain
A stylized sickle, a crescent of receptivity
resting on a cross of matter.
Jupiter Jupiter's thunderbolt or eagle
Mind (crescent) rising above the horizon of
matter (cross)
Saturn Saturn's sickle or scythe
Matter (cross) taking precedence over mind or
human spirit (crescent)
Uranus
H in symbol taken from
discoverer's last name,
Herschel
The circle of spirit and a dominant cross of
matter, in form of an antennae that uses matter
as a way to insight.
derived from a combination
of the Mars and Sun symbols
Astronomical glyph often used astrologically.
Drive/aim/force over a divine spirit (circle)
surrounding seed of potential
Neptun
e
Neptune's trident
Mind or human spirit (crescent) transcending
matter (cross)
Pluto
Modification of Neptune's
astrological symbol
Mind (crescent) transcending matter (cross) to
reach for divine spirit (circle)
PL monogram for Pluto and
Percival Lowell
Astronomical symbol often used astrologically
The signs of the zodiac
Further information: Zodiac and Astrological sign

The symbols used in Western astrology to represent the astrological signs of the Zodiac
Unicode: ♈ ♉ ♊ ♋♌ ♍♎♏♐ ♑♒♓
Name Meaning Symbol Symbol Represents
Aries Ram Face and horns of ram
Taurus Bull Face and horns of bull
Gemini Twins Roman numeral two; also, the pillars of knowledge
Cancer Crab Crab's claws; also, human breasts and/or Ouroboros
Leo Lion Lion's head and mane
Virgo Virgin Arms of maiden holding a sheaf of wheat
Libra Scale Scales; also, the setting Sun
Scorpio Scorpion Legs and tail of scorpion
Sagittariu
s
Archer Bow and arrow of the centaur
Capricorn Sea-goat Pan evading Typhon? (alternate Capricorn symbol not shown)
Aquarius Waterbearer
Ripples of water; also, bolts of lightning; electrically-charged
water
Pisces Fish Two fish tied together yet swimming in opposite directions
Miscellaneous symbols

Astronomical symbols/glyphs representing the three most used asteroidsVesta, Juno,Pallas Athena
and the comet Chiron in Western astrology.
Name Symbol
Symbol
represents
Explanation
Ascendant Angle
The ascendant is the angle rising over the eastern
horizon at a particular moment in time; it is used in the
construction of a horoscope/natal chart (also known as
the "rising sign")
Midheaven Angle
The midheaven is the angle where the ecliptic crosses
the Meridian (line of longitude) in the south on northern
hemisphere (and the point in north in the southern
hemisphere); it is used in the construction of a
horoscope/natal chart (also known as the "medium coeli"
or "zenith")
Ascending
Node
Lunar node
Not all astrologers use the lunar nodes; however, their
usage is very important in Vedic astrology. They are
alternately known as the "Dragon's Head" (Rahu, Caput
Draconis, or Anabibazon) and the "Dragon's Tail"
(Ketu, Cauda Draconis, or Catabibazon). The two
nodes together are most commonly referred to simply as
the nodal axis, the lunar nodes, or the Moon's nodes.
Descending
Node
Lunar node
Not all astrologers use the lunar nodes; however, their
usage is very important in Vedic astrology. They are
alternately known as the "Dragon's Head" (Rahu, Caput
Draconis, or Anabibazon) and the "Dragon's Tail"
(Ketu, Cauda Draconis, or Catabibazon). The two
nodes together are most commonly referred to simply as
the nodal axis, the lunar nodes, or the Moon's nodes.
Conjunction
Astrological
aspect
0°-10° angle/two or more planets in the same sign
Semisextile
Astrological
aspect
30° angle/One sign apart
Semi-square
Astrological
aspect
45° angle (also known as the "octile" or "semiquartile")
Sextile
Astrological
aspect
60° angle/Two signs apart
Quintile
Astrological
aspect
72° angle
Square
Astrological
aspect
90° angle (also known as the "quartile")/Three signs
apart/Same modality
Trine
Astrological
aspect
120° angle/Four signs apart/Same elemental triplicity
Sesquiquadrate
Astrological
aspect
135° angle (also known as the "sesquisquare," "square-
and-a-half," and/or "trioctile")
Biquintile
Astrological
aspect
144° angle
Quincunx
Astrological
aspect
150° angle (also known as the "inconjunct")/Five signs
apart
Opposition Astrological 180° angle/Six signs apart
aspect
Retrograde
motion
Retrograde and
direct motion
Symbol represents the apparent retrograde motion of a
planet in an astrological chart
Comet Comet-s
Different comets often use different symbols, but the
use of comets is not widespread in mainstream astrology
2 Pallas Asteroid
(variant has triangle on top)
Alchemical symbol for sulfur (both variants) Not all
astrologers use the asteroids -- their usage is not very
widespread in mainstream astrology (see Asteroids in
astrology)
3 Juno Asteroid
4 Vesta Asteroid
2060 Chiron Planetoid
Lot of fortune Lot
Glyph for planet Earth rotated 45 degrees.
Also acts as a secondary ascendant
Eris
no symbol yet
defined
Eye of
Providence
(proposed) [if
used]
Hand of Eris
(proposed) [if
used]
(proposed)
used in Poland
Some other meanings are:
The Ascendant/Descendant axis horizontal line is a symbol of Earth, while the vertical (MC/IC)line
is a symbol of God (of course, the Circle representing the whole chart is symbolic of All is God -
the entire Universe, God is Love, God is everlasting, He has no beginning and no end.
Planets in astrology
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 observed to consist of two very
similar components: fixed stars, which remained motionless in relation to each other, and
wandering stars, (in ancient Greek: asteres planetai) which appeared to shift their positions relative
to the fixed stars over the course of the year. To the Greeks and the other earliest astronomers, this
group comprised the five planets visible to the naked eye and excluded the 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.
To ancient astrologers the planets represented the will of the gods and their direct influence upon
human affairs. To modern astrologers the planets represent basic drives or impulses in the human
psyche. These drives express themselves a) with different qualities through the twelve signs of the
zodiac, and b) in different spheres of life through the twelve houses. How the planets manifest
themselves also depends on the aspects (or angles) that they form with each other in the sky as seen
from Earth.
Modern astrologers differ on the source of the planets' power. Some hold that the planets exert their
influence directly through gravitational or some other unknown power. Others hold that the planets
have no direct influence in themselves, but are mirrors of basic organising principles in the
universe. In other words, the basic patterns of the universe repeat themselves everywhere, in fractal-
like fashion, and 'as above so below'. Therefore, the patterns that the planets make in the sky reflect
the ebb and flow of basic human impulses. The planets are also associated, especially in the Chinese
tradition, with the basic forces of nature.
Listed below are the specific meanings and domains associated with the astrological planets since
ancient times, with the main focus on the Western astrological tradition. The planets in Hindu
astrology are known as the Navagraha or 'nine realms'. In Chinese astrology the planets are
associated with the life forces of yin and yang and the five elements, which play an important role
in the Chinese form of geomancy known as Feng Shui. The Hindu and Chinese astrological
traditions are mentioned here, but are discussed in greater detail in their own articles.
Planetary symbolism
Main article: Astrological symbol
This table shows the astrological planets (as distinct from the astronomical) and the Greek and
Roman deities associated with them. In most cases, the English name for planets derives from the
name of a Roman god or goddess. Also of interest is the conflation of the Roman god with a similar
Greek god. In some cases, it's the same deity with two different names.
Planet
Roman
deity
Greek deity Hindu deity
Highest
speed
(geocentric)
connexion
Meaning
(European)
Meaning (Vedic)
Sun
Sol
Apollo
λιος Ἥ (Helios)
πέλλων Ἀ
(Apollon)
स"(Surya) 01°03'00" ancient
Solar incarnation
Golden god of
Prophecy
The Sun God
Son of Aditi and Kashyap
Moon
Luna
Diana
Σελήνη (Selene)
ρτεμις Ἄ (Artemis)
चद(Chandra) 16°30'00" ancient
Moon goddess
Goddess of Hunt
The Moon God
Associated with
impatientness of human
nature.
Always found feathered
on head of Lord Shiv.
Mercury Mercury ρμ ς ( ʽἙ ῆ Hermes) बध(Budha) 02°25'00" ancient Messenger God
A planet god known for
his intelligence.
Venus Venus
φροδίτη Ἀ
(Aphrodite)
शक(Sukra) 01°22'00" ancient
Goddess of
romance
The mentor of Asuras.
Associated with fertility
and enthusiasm.
Always helped demons in
the war against gods.
Earth Terra Γαία (Gaia)
¯थ—˜,धर¬˜,
भम˜(Prithvi)
N/A ancient
Goddess of the
Earth
Goddess of Earth.
Mars Mars ρης ( Ἀ Ares) मगल(Mangal) 00°52'00" ancient God of War
Son of Earth.
This planet is associated
with unluckiness of brides.
Also associated with
strength.
Jupiter Jupiter Ζεύς (Zeus)
गर, बहस¯¬˜
(Guru,Brihasp
ati)
00°15'40" ancient Leader of the Gods
Mentor/Guru /teacher of
gods.
Always helped gods in
war against demons.
Saturn Saturn Κρόνος (Kronos) शत-(Shani) 00°08'48" ancient God of Agriculture God of "Duty". Punishes
the person who does not
do his duty properly.
Toughest test for a person.
Uranus Caelus Ουρανός (Uranos)
—ïसक›, —ïस—
(Vasuki)
00°04'00" modern God of the Sky
A mythological snake king
in Indian puranas.
Neptune Neptune
Ποσειδ ν ῶ
(Poseidon)
—रण(Varuna) 00°02'25" modern God of the Sea
God of rain in Indian
mythology.
Pluto Pluto/Orcus
Πλούτων (Pluton)/
ιδης ( Ἅ Hades)
क बर(Kubera) 00°02'30" modern
God of the
Underworld
God of wealth.
He given loan to lord
Vishnu to search his wife
Lakshmi who quarreld
with latter and left home.
Ceres Ceres
Δημήτηρ (Demete
r)
... 00°30'00" modern
Goddess of the
seasons
...
Pallas
Athena
Minerva θην Ἀ ᾶ (Athena) ... 00°40'30" modern
Goddess of
Brilliance
...
Juno Juno Ήρα (Hera) ... 00°39'00" modern
Queen of the gods
and women
...
Vesta Vesta στία Ἑ (Hestia) ... 00°36'00" modern
Goddess of the
sacred hearth
...
Chiron - (Chiron) ... 00°10'00" modern
Centaur tutor to
many heroes and
master healer
...
History
Treatises on the Ptolemaic planets and their influence on people born "under their reign" appear in
block book form, so-called "planet books" or Planetebücher from about 1460 in southern Germany,
and remain popular throughout the German Renaissance, exerting great iconographical influence far
into the 17th century. A notable early example is the Hausbuch of Wolfegg of ca. 1470. Even
earlier, Hans Talhoffer in a 1459 manuscript includes a treatise on planets and planet-children.
These books usually list a male and a female Titan with each planet, Kronos and Rhea with Saturn,
Eurymedon and Themis with Jupiter, Hyperion and Theia with Sol, Oceanus and Tethys with
Venus, Koios and Metis with Mercury, and Atlas and Phoibe with Luna.
The qualities inherited from the planets by their "children" are as follows: From Saturn, melancholy
and apathy; from Jupiter, hunting; from Mars, soldiering and warfare; from Sol, music and
athleticism; from Venus, amorousness and passion; from Mercury, money and commerce; from
Luna, association with water and travel.
Classical planets

The geocentric Ptolemaic system of the universe depicted by Andreas Cellarius, 1660/61
The seven classical planets are those which can easily be seen with the naked eye and were thus
known to ancient astrologers before the advent of the telescope. They are Sun, Moon, Mercury,
Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn (as mentioned previously, the sun and moon were considered by
the ancients to be planets). Sometimes the sun and moon were referred to as "the lights" or the
"luminaries". Ceres and Uranus can also just be seen with the naked eye, though no ancient culture
appears to have taken note of them. The astrological descriptions attached to the seven classical
planets have been preserved since ancient times. Astrologers call the seven classical planets the
seven personal and social planets, because they are said to represent the basic human drives of
every individual. The personal planets are the Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Venus, while the social, or
transpersonal, planets are Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter and Saturn are often called
"Transpersonal or Transcendant" planets as they represent a transition from the inner personal
planets to the outer modern, impersonal planets. The outer modern planets Uranus, Neptune, and
Pluto are often called the collective or transcendental planets. The following are the characteristics
of each of the seven classical planets.
Sun
Main article: Sun (astrology)

Apollo with his lyre
The Sun ( )is the planetary ruler of Leo and is exalted in Aries (see: Exaltation in astrology). In
Greek and Roman mythology the sun is represented by Apollo, the god of light. The Sun is the star
at the centre of our solar system, around which the Earth and other planets revolve, and which
provides us with heat and light. The portion of the sky (or arc) that the sun travels in every year,
rising and setting in a slightly different place each day, is therefore in reality a reflection of the
Earth's own orbit around the Sun. This arc is larger the further north or south from the equator the
latitude is, giving a more extreme difference in day and night and in the seasons during the year.
The sun travels through the twelve signs of the zodiac on its annual journey, spending about a
month in each. The Sun's position on a person's birthday therefore determines what is usually called
his or her 'star' sign; this makes sense because the sun itself is a star.

The Sun, the star at the center of the Solar System
.
Astrologically the sun is usually thought to represent the conscious ego, the self and its expression,
personal power, pride and authority; leadership qualities; and the principles of creativity,
spontaneity, health and vitality; the life force. The sun also involves creative enterprises that are a
projection of the person, from art and business to having children and parenthood (especially
fatherhood). It also rules the fun side of life from sport and recreation to holidays and social events.
In short, any occasion that 'allows us to shine'. The first-century poet Marcus Manilius in his epic,
8000-verse poem, Astronomica, described the Sun, or Sol, as benign and favorable. In medicine the
sun is associated with the heart, circulatory system and the thymus. It was considered benignly hot
and dry in nature, co-ruled the choleric humour, and symbolised the vital spirits. In modern
astrology, the sun is the ruler of the 5th house. In the tradition, the sun ruled the 4th and 11th houses
- the 4th house of the father/paternal ancestry and the 11th house of goals; it had 'joy' in the 9th
house of philosophy and travel.
The Sun is associated with Sunday. Dante Alighieri associated the Sun with the liberal art of music.
In Chinese astrology, the Sun represents Yang, the active, assertive masculine life principle. In
Indian astrology, the Sun is called Surya and represents the soul, kingship, highly placed persons,
father.[citation needed]
Moon
Main article: Moon (astrology)

Diana and her hunting dog
The Moon ( ) is the ruling planet of Cancer and is exalted in Taurus (see: Exaltation in
astrology). In Roman mythology the Moon is represented by Diana, the hunter goddess. The Moon
is the Earth's companion satellite, though some astrologers believe that it approaches being a planet
in its own right. The Moon is large enough for its gravity to affect the Earth, stabilising its orbit and
producing the regular ebb and flow of the tides. The Moon is familiar to us for its different phases,
waxing and waning in appearance in an unchanging cycle. The Moon orbits the earth in about 28
days, spending a fleeting 2.33 days in each of the signs of the zodiac. The lunar day syncs up with
its orbit around Earth in such a manner that the same side of the moon always faces the Earth and
the other side, known as the "far side of the moon" faces towards space.
Astrologically the moon is associated with a person's emotional make-up, unconscious habits,
rhythms, memories and moods, and their ability to react and adapt to those around them. It is also
associated with the mother, maternal instincts or the urge to nurture, the home, the need for security,
and the past, especially early experiences and childhood. The first-century poet Manilius, described
the Moon or Luna, as melancholic. In medicine the moon is associated with the digestive system,
stomach, breasts, the ovaries and menstruation (which does occur on a monthly cycle), and the
pancreas. Despite Manilius' assignation, the moon is commonly associated with the phlegmatic
humour; it ruled the animal spirits together with Mercury. In modern astrology, the moon is the
ruler of the 4th house; traditionally, it ruled the 7th house, the house of partnership, and had 'joy' in
the 3rd house of neighbours (associated with lunar themes of accommodation, change and the clan).
The Moon is associated with Monday. Dante Alighieri associated Luna with the liberal art of
grammar.

Full Moon
In Chinese astrology, the Moon represents Yin, the passive, receptive feminine life principle. In
Indian astrology, the Moon is called Chandra or Soma and represents the mind, queenship, and
mother. The north lunar node (called Rahu) and the south lunar node (called Ketu) are considered to
be of particular importance, and are given an equal place alongside the seven classical planets as
part of the nine navagraha. Also unique to Indian astrology is the system of 27 (or 28) lunar stations
or 'mansions' called nakshatra which are believed to be of major importance in indicating the life
path of the individual.[citation needed]
Mercury

Mercury by 17th-century Flemish sculptor Artus Quellinus

Budha sculpture, British Museum
Mercury ( ) is the ruling planet of Gemini and Virgo and is exalted in Virgo (one of his houses)
and possibly in Aquarius (see: Exaltation in astrology). In Roman mythology Mercury is the
messenger of the gods, noted for his speed and swiftness. Echoing this, the scorching, airless world
Mercury circles the sun on the fastest orbit of any planet. Mercury takes only 88 days to orbit the
sun, spending about 7.33 days in each sign of the zodiac. Mercury is so close to the sun that only a
brief period exists after the sun has set where it can be seen with the naked eye, before following the
sun beyond the horizon.
Astrologically Mercury represents the principles of communication, mentality, thinking patterns,
rationality and reasoning, and adaptability and variability. Mercury governs schooling and
education; the immediate environment of neighbours, siblings and cousins; transport over short
distances; messages and forms of communication such as post, email and telephone; newspapers,
journalism and writing, information gathering skills, and physical dexterity. The first-century poet
Manilius described Mercury as an inconstant, vivacious, and curious planet. In medicine Mercury is
associated with the nervous system, the brain, the respiratory system, the thyroid and the sense
organs. Traditionally held to be essentially cold and dry, but variable in temperament according to
its placement in the zodiac and any aspects to other planets. It is linked to the animal spirits,
alongside the Moon. Today, Mercury is regarded as the ruler of the 3rd and 6th houses;
traditionally, it ruled the 6th house, and had joy in the 1st house (the house of 'I' or 'we': Mercury
facilitates self-expression here). Mercury is the messenger of the gods in mythology, that's why it is
the messenger in Astrology as it is in Mythology. It is the planet of day-to-day expression and
relationships. Mercury's action is to take things apart and put them back together again. It is an
opportunistic planet, decidedly unemotional and curious.

The planet Mercury
Mercury rules over Wednesday. In Romance languages the word for Wednesday is often similar to
Mercury (mercredi in French and miercoles in Spanish). Dante Alighieri associated Mercury with
the liberal art of dialectic.
In Chinese astrology, Mercury is ruled by the element water which is diplomatic, kind and intuitive.
In Indian astrology, Mercury is called Budha, a word related to Budhi ("intelligence") and
represents communication.[citation needed]
Venus

Venus at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens
Venus ( ) is the ruling planet of Taurus and Libra and is exalted in Pisces (see: Exaltation in
astrology). In Roman mythology, Venus is the goddess of love and beauty, famous for the passions
she could stir among the gods. In the same way, the calm, beautiful surface of white clouds that the
planet Venus presents hides its hot, dense atmosphere and intense volcanic activity! Venus orbits
the sun in 225 days, spending about 18.75 days in each sign of the zodiac. Venus is the second
brightest object in the night sky, the moon being the brightest.
Astrologically Venus is associated with the principles of harmony, beauty, balance, the feelings and
affections, and the urge to sympathize and unite with others. It is involved with the desire for
pleasure, sensuality, personal possessions, comfort and ease. It governs romantic relations, marriage
and business partnerships, sex (the origin of the words 'venery' and 'venereal'), the arts, fashion and
social life. The first-century poet Marcus Manilius,described Venus as generous and fecund, and the
lesser benefic.

The planet Venus
In medicine Venus is associated with the lumbar region, the veins, parathyroids, throat and kidneys.
Venus was thought to be moderately warm and moist, and was associated with the phlegmatic
humour. Venus is the modern ruler of the 2nd and 7th houses, but traditionally ruled the 5th and
12th houses - the 5th house of play and the 12th house of self-undoing! Unsurprisingly, Venus is
said to have 'joy' in the 5th.
Venus is the planet of Friday. In languages deriving from Latin, such as Spanish and French, the
word for Friday often resembles the word Venus (viernes and vendredi respectively). Dante
Alighieri associated Venus with the liberal art of rhetoric.
In Chinese astrology, Venus is associated with the element metal (or gold), which is unyielding,
strong and persistent. In Indian astrology, Venus is known as Shukra and represents wealth,
pleasure and reproduction. In Norse Paganism, the planet is associated to Freyja, the goddess of
love, beauty, and fertility.[citation needed]
Mars

Mars outside the Villa Adriana
Mars ( ) is the ruling planet of Aries and, for many astrologers, Scorpio and is exalted in
Capricorn (see: Exaltation in astrology). Mars is the Roman god of war and bloodshed, whose
symbol is a spear and shield (from which its glyph is derived). Both the soil of Mars and the
hemoglobin of our blood are rich in iron, and because of this they share its distinct deep red color.
Mars orbits the sun in 687 days, spending about 57.25 days in each sign of the zodiac. It is also the
first planet that orbits outside of Earth's orbit making it the first planet that doesn't set along with the
sun.
Astrologically Mars is associated with confidence and self assertion, aggression, sexuality, energy,
strength, ambition, and impulsiveness. Mars governs sports, competitions and physical activities in
general. The first-century poet Manilius, described the planet Mars as ardent, and as the lesser
malefic. In medicine Mars presides over the genitals, the muscular system, the gonads and adrenal
glands; it was held to be hot and excessively dry, and ruled the choleric humour. It was associated
with fever, accidents, trauma, pain and surgery. In modern astrology, Mars is said to rule the 1st and
8th houses; traditionally, however, Mars ruled the 3rd and 10th houses and is said to 'joy' in the 6th
house of servants, chores and ill-health (all of these houses are associated with labour and energy
expenditure: 3rd - schoolchild, 10th - worker, 6th - servant). While Venus tends to the overall
relationship atmosphere, Mars is the passionate impulse and action, the masculine aspect, and this
goes beyond sex into your drive, discipline, will-power and stamina.

The planet Mars.
Before the discovery of Pluto, it was universally considered the ruler of Scorpio. Most modern
astrologers consider Pluto the ruler of Scorpio, but many regard Mars as a co-ruler, while all
traditional astrologers still regard Mars as the only ruler of Scorpio.
Mars is associated with Tuesday, and in Romance languages the word for Tuesday often resembles
Mars (in Spanish, martes and in French, mardi). Dante Alighieri associated Mars with the liberal art
of arithmetic.
In Chinese astrology, Mars is ruled by the element fire, which is passionate, energetic and
adventurous. In Indian astrology, Mars is called Mangala and represents energy, confidence and
ego.[citation needed]
Jupiter

Jupiter and Thetis (1811), Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, huile sur toile, Aix-en-Provence, musée
Granet
Jupiter ( ) is the ruling planet of Sagittarius, and, for many astrologers, also the ruler of Pisces
and is exalted in Cancer (see: Exaltation in astrology). In Roman mythology Jupiter is the ruler of
the gods (having overthrown Saturn) and their guardian and protector, and his symbol is the
thunderbolt. In the same way, the planet Jupiter is the king of the other planets, a giant in size with
spectacular, brightly coloured clouds and intense storms. Astronomers believe that it plays an
important protecting role in using its massive gravity to capture or expel from the solar system
many comets and asteroids that would otherwise threaten Earth and the inner planets. Jupiter takes
11.9 years to orbit the sun, spending almost an earth year (361 days) in each sign of the zodiac.
Astrologically Jupiter is associated with the principles of growth, expansion, prosperity and good
fortune; and a person's inner sense of justice and morality and their ideals and higher goals. Jupiter
governs long distance and foreign travel, higher education, religion and the law. It is also associated
with the urge for freedom and exploration, humanitarian and protecting roles, and with gambling
and merrymaking or 'joviality'. The first-century poet Manilius described Jupiter as temperate and
benign, and the greater benefic. It was regarded as warm and moist in nature, and therefore
favourable to life.

The planet Jupiter
In medicine Jupiter is associated with the liver, pituitary gland and the disposition of fats; it
governed the blood / sanguine humour. In modern times Jupiter is said to be the ruler of the 9th and
12th houses, but traditionally Jupiter was assigned to the 2nd and 9th houses (the house of values
and the house of beliefs, respectively) and had 'joy' in the 11th house of friends and aspirations.
Jupiter is associated with Thursday, and in Romance languages the name for Thursday often comes
from Jupiter (e.g., jeudi in French, jueves in Spanish, and giovedì in Italian). Dante Alighieri
associated Jupiter with the liberal art of geometry.
In Chinese astrology, Jupiter is ruled by the element wood, which is warm, generous and co-
operative. In Indian astrology, Jupiter is known as Guru or Brihaspati and is known as the 'great
teacher'.[citation needed]
Saturn

A 1782 engraving of Shani after Pierre Sonnerat's painting made during India voyage in 1770's

Rubens's Saturn Devouring His Son (1636), Madrid, Prado
See Saturn (mythology) Astrological Beliefs section.
Saturn ( ) is the ruling planet of Capricorn and, traditionally, Aquarius and is exalted in Libra
(see: Exaltation in astrology). In Roman mythology Saturn is the god of agriculture, founder of
civilizations and of social order and conformity. The glyph is most often seen as scythe-like but it is
primarily known as the "crescent below the cross", whereas Jupiter's glyph is the "crescent above
the cross". The famous rings of the planet Saturn that enclose and surround it, reflect this principle
of man's limitations. Saturn takes 29.5 years to orbit the sun, spending about 2.46 years in each sign
of the zodiac.
Astrologically Saturn is associated with the principles of limitation, restrictions, boundaries,
practicality and reality, crystallizing and structures. Saturn governs ambition, career, authority and
hierarchy, and conforming social structures. It concerns a person's sense of duty, discipline and
responsibility, and their physical and emotional endurance during hardships. Saturn is also
considered to represent the part of a person concerned with long-term planning. The Return of
Saturn is said to mark significant events in each person's life. According to the first-century poet
Manilius, Saturn is sad, morose, and cold and is the greater malefic. According to Claudius
Ptolemy, "Saturn is lord of the right ear, the spleen, the bladder, the phlegm, and the bones." Saturn
symbolised processes and things which were dry and extremely cold, and, therefore, inimical to life.
It governed the melancholic humour.
Before the discovery of Uranus, Saturn was universally regarded as the ruling planet of Aquarius.
Many astrologers still use Saturn as the planetary ruler of both Capricorn and Aquarius; in modern
astrology it is accordingly the ruler of the 10th and 11th houses. Traditionally, however, Saturn was
associated with the 1st and 8th houses (1st house = incarnation, 8th house = death; Saturn being the
planet of mortality, and hence, why the Grim Reaper carries a scythe). Saturn is also said to 'joy' in
the 12th house of self-undoing.

The planet Saturn.
Saturn is associated with Saturday, which was named after the deity Saturn. Dante Alighieri
associated Saturn with the liberal art of astronomia (astrology and astronomy).
In Chinese astrology, Saturn is ruled by the element earth, which is patient, hard-working and
reliable. In Indian astrology, Saturn is called Shani or "Sani", and represents career and longevity. It
is also the bringer of bad luck and hardship.[citation needed]
Modern planets
Since the invention of the telescope, Western astrology has incorporated Uranus, Neptune, Ceres,
Pluto and other bodies into its methodology. Indian and Chinese astrologies have tended to retain
the ancient seven-planet system. Meanings have had to be assigned to them by modern astrologers,
usually according to the major events which occurred in the world at the time of their discovery. As
these astrologers are usually Western, the social and historical events they describe have an
inevitable Western emphasis. Astrologers consider the 'extra-Saturnian' planets to be 'impersonal' or
generational planets, meaning their effects are felt more across whole generations of society. Their
effects in individuals depend upon how strongly they feature in that individual's birth-chart. There is
also a great discussion going about what Ceres should rule in astrology. Some western astrologers
hope that within a few years, astrological rulerships will be changed in order to include Ceres. The
following are their characteristics as accepted by most astrologers.
Uranus

Uranus with Terra on a roman mosaic
For some modern Western astrologers, the planet Uranus ( ) is the ruling planet of Aquarius and
is possibly exalted in Scorpio (see: Exaltation in astrology). In Greek mythology Uranus is the
personification of the heavens and the night sky. The planet Uranus is very unusual among the
planets in that it rotates on its side, so that it presents each of its poles to the sun in turn during its
orbit, so that one hemisphere is bathed in light, while the other lies in total darkness. These strange
traits reflect its astrological significance as the breaker of convention.
Uranus takes 84 years to orbit the sun, spending about 7 years in each sign of the zodiac. Uranus
was discovered only in 1781 by Sir William Herschel.
Astrologically modern interpretations associate Uranus with the principles of genius, individuality,
new and unconventional ideas, discoveries, electricity, inventions, and the beginnings of the
industrial revolution. Uranus governs societies, clubs and any group dedicated to humanitarian or
progressive ideals. Uranus, the planet of sudden and unexpected changes, rules freedom and
originality. In society it rules radical ideas and people, as well as revolutionary events that upset
established structures.

The planet Uranus.
Uranus among all planets most governs genius. Historically it was associated with the principles of
the Enlightenment and radical political ideas of equality and freedom, among other things. Around
the period of its discovery in 1781, the idea of democracy and the human rights was prevalent, with
the breakaway of the American colonies from England and a few years later in 1789, the French
revolution.
In art and literature, the discovery of Uranus coincided with the Romantic movement, which
emphasised individuality and freedom of expression. In medicine Uranus is believed to be
particularly associated with the sympathetic nervous system, mental disorders, breakdowns and
hysteria, spasms and cramps. Uranus is considered by modern astrologers to be co-ruler of the 11th
house with Saturn.[citation needed]
Neptune

Angelo Bronzino: Neptune
For many astrologers, Neptune ( ) is the ruling planet of Pisces. In Roman mythology Neptune is
the god of the sea, and the deep, ocean blue colour of the planet Neptune reflects this. Its glyph is
taken directly from Neptune's trident. Neptune takes 165 years to orbit the sun, spending
approximately 14 years (13.75) in each sign of the zodiac. Neptune was discovered in 1846.
Astrologically modern Western astrologers associate the planet Neptune with idealism and
compassion, but also with illusion, confusion and deception; with religions, spirituality and
mysticism, the mass media, creativity in art and music, drugs, extreme sensitivity, fantasy and
imagination, psychic phenomena and altered mental states. Neptune governs hospitals, prisons,
mental institutions, and any place, such as a monastery, that involves a retreat from society. Its
appearance coincided with the discovery of anesthetics and hypnotism . In political terms Neptune
was linked to the rise of nationalist movements throughout Europe in countries like Germany, Italy,
Hungary, Ireland and Serbia, seeking independence for their nations inspired by an idealised past of
legend. It was also linked to the rise of socialism and the beginnings of the welfare state. Neptune
also coincided with the utopian ideals of Communism, when Marx and Engels first published 'The
Communist Manifesto' in 1848.

The planet Neptune
In art, the impressionist movement began a trend away from literal representation, to one based on
the subtle, changing moods of light and colour. In medicine Neptune seems particularly associated
with the thalamus, the spinal canal, and severe or mysterious illnesses and neuroses. Neptune is
considered by modern astrologers to be co-ruler of the 12th house with Jupiter.
Nowadays modern astrologers considers Neptune the ruler of Pisces, but prior to the discovery of
Neptune, Jupiter was the one considered as the ruler of Pisces, even though some modern
astrologers consider Jupiter a co-ruler of Pisces (though some use Neptune as ruler of Pisces
exclusively). Some astrologers do not believe that Neptune rules any particular sign, even though
they may use the planet in interpretation.[citation needed]
Pluto

Bust of Hades. Marble, Roman copy after a Greek original from the 5th century BCE; the black
mantle is a modern addition.
To most modern Western astrologers, Pluto ( ) is the ruling planet of Scorpio. In Roman
mythology Pluto is the god of the underworld and of wealth, hence the coin-and-chalice glyph.
Pluto and its moon Charon form a unique pairing in the solar system because Charon is so massive
relative to Pluto. This means that they revolve in a 'dumbbell' formation around a common point in
space lying between them, permanently locked in a 'power struggle' for dominance. This is
symbolic of the role Pluto has come to represent astrologically. Pluto takes 248 years to orbit the
sun, spending on average approximately 21 years (20.6) in each sign of the zodiac. However,
Pluto's orbit is so eccentric that this can vary dramatically, from 25 years in Cancer (1913 - 1938) to
a mere 12 years in Scorpio (1983 - 1995), when its orbit was actually closer to the sun than
Neptune's. In 2006 Pluto was reclassified by astronomers as a "dwarf planet" and therefore is no
longer considered a planet in astronomy. However, Pluto's "reclassification" has in no way reduced
its astrological significance to astrologers who had previously considered Pluto important and still
do.
Astrologically Pluto is called "the great renewer", and is considered to represent the part of a person
that destroys in order to renew, through bringing buried, but intense, needs and drives to the surface
and expressing them, even at the expense of the existing order. A commonly used keyword for
Pluto is "transformation". It is associated with power and personal mastery and the need to co-
operate and share with another, if each is not to be destroyed. Pluto governs big business and
wealth, mining, surgery and detective work, and any enterprise which involves digging under the
surface to bring the truth to light. Pluto is also associated with the day Tuesday along with Mars.
Pluto is also associated with extreme power and corruption; the discovery of Pluto in 1930
coincided with the rise of fascism and Stalinism in Europe, leading to the Second World War. It
also coincided with the Great Depression and the major proliferation of organized crime in the
United States. Its entry into Cancer in 1913, the sign in which it was later discovered, coincided
with the First World War. It is also associated with nuclear armament, which had its genesis in the
research of the 1930s and 40's. Later on, it gave rise to the polarised nuclear stand off of the Cold
War, with the mass consumer societies of the United States and other democracies facing the
totalitarian state socialism of the USSR. The discovery of Pluto also occurred just after the birth of
modern psycho-analysis, when Freud and Jung began to explore the depths of the unconscious. In
real life events and culture, Pluto has been a major astrological aspect.

The now dwarf planet Pluto.
In art, movements like Cubism and Surrealism began to deconstruct the 'normal' view of the world
and reassemble it in new and sometimes disturbing ways. In medicine Pluto seems to be associated
with regenerative forces in the body involving cell formation and the reproductive system. Pluto is
considered by modern astrologers to be co-ruler of the 8th house with Mars. Many traditional
astrologers do not use Pluto as a ruling planet, but do use the planet for interpretation and predictive
work, obliquely making reference to projections of influences from higher to lower dimensional
spaces.[citation needed]
Ceres

Colossal Statue of Ceres, Vatican Museums, Rome, Italy. Demeter and Ceres sometimes are
identified in art as holding a tuft of grain
Ceres ( ) is the smallest identified dwarf planet in the Solar System. It was discovered on January
1, 1801, by Giuseppe Piazzi, and is named after the Roman goddess Ceres, the goddess of growing
plants, the harvest, and of motherly love. It was thought to be the first asteroid discovered and is the
largest asteroid of all, taking up about 1/3 of the entire mass of the asteroid belt. The classification
of Ceres has changed more than once and has been the subject of some disagreement. Discovered
by Johann Elert Bode, he believed Ceres to be the "missing planet" he had proposed to exist
between Mars and Jupiter, at a distance of 419 million km (2.8 AU) from the Sun. The 2006 debate
surrounding Pluto and what constitutes a planet led to Ceres being considered for reclassification as
a planet, but being in the end renamed with Pluto the first members of the new dwarf planet
category. Ceres was assigned a planetary symbol, and remained listed as a planet in astronomy
books and tables.
In astrology, to get an understanding of the nature of a planet some astrologers analyze the name
given to it. In mythology Ceres is the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Demeter. She is the
goddess of agriculture and when her daughter Proserpina was kidnapped by Pluto in an attempt to
force her to marry him, Ceres became so distraught looking for her daughter that she neglected the
Earth which became cold and most plants died. This was the first autumn and winter season, which
came back every year even after Proserpina had been saved by Mercury because she had eaten a
pomegranate that made her Pluto's wife forever, and he demanded she return to him once a year.
These myths, including the fact that Ceres is the roundest object in the asteroid belt (it resembles the
Moon) signify that in astrology the placement of Ceres in a birth chart is said to show what the
native needs to feel loved and nurtured. The planet is also associated with the reproductive issues of
an adult woman, as well as pregnancy and other major transitions in a woman's life, including the
nine months of gestation time, family bonds and relationships. But the Ceres archetype is not only a
mother. For some astrologers Ceres is the ruling planet of Virgo, and it fix also with the archetype
of a Virgin goddess in anthropology, It reflects independent women who are often unmarried
(According to astrology, Ceres is a single goddess who chose to become a mother without a
husband or partner). As we can see, Ceres is very connected with the Moon, and with the emotional
status. While the moon represents our ideal of "motherhood", Ceres would represent how our real
and nature motherhood should be.. Ceres, as the Goddess who has control over nature's resources
and cycles, may be known also in astrology as the planet of the Environment. Going back to
mythology, an early environmental villain is the figure of Erysichthon, the tearer up of the earth,
who cut down trees in a grove sacred to Ceres-Demeter, for which he was punished by the goddess
with fearful hunger. In this sense Ceres became an emerging archetypal in the social response of
becoming aware of the recent Climate Change, and is entering our collective consciousness as a
need to take care of our natural and irreplaceable resources in the 21st Century.

The dwarf planet Ceres.
Just like the biological agriculture, also sinking the roots in the past, represents a leap towards a
future of search of the natural taste and wholesome and the quality, of ecological responsibility and
knowledge. Several environmentally-based web sites use Ceres as an acronym to portray their
nurturing, protective mandate. To corroborate how Ceres is emerging into our subconscious as an
environmental principle, visit for example www.ceres.org (the Network for Change),
www.ceres.org.au (the Center for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies) or,
www.ceres.ca.gov (the California Environmental Resources Evaluation System). As an indicator
for environmental or community activism, Ceres would represent for some astrologers the wave of
the future. The status of Ceres is unknown at the moment in astrology. The possibility exists that it
isn't involved with any sign, but it has been strongly suggested as the ruler of Virgo or Taurus. For
some modern astrologers it is the ruling planet of Virgo and co-ruler of the 6th house with Mercury,
and for a few others the ruling planet of Taurus and the 2nd house with Venus. In any event, it can
almost definitely be attributed to the Earth element. As in all cases of newer discoveries, for some,
like Vedic astrologers, it will never be used.[citation needed]
Planetary traditions compared
Main article: List of astrological traditions
The three astrological traditions share a large amount of common ground in their conceptions of the
planets. Despite differences in tone and emphasis, the Western and Indian traditions are essentially
similar. This reflects the fact that despite centuries of separate development, they share a common
ancient origin. In addition, despite surface differences, the Chinese conception of the planets also
has a common core with the other traditions.
The Chinese elements have a clear correlation to their Western and Indian counterparts in the case
of fire -Mars; earth -Saturn; and wood -Jupiter combinations. Also, despite the fact that the Chinese
linkage of Mercury with water is alien to Western astrology, this combination too has much in
common with Western and Indian ideas. The qualities associated with the Water-Mercury
combination contains much that is thought to be 'Mercurial' in Western thought (such as intellect
and communication).
The only element where there appears to be a fundamental difference is the metal -Venus
combination, where Western notions of love and romance are entirely absent. The Chinese element
of metal indicates a person who is unyielding and forceful, set in their ways and reserved. The metal
person is also sophisticated and enjoys the good things in life. Yet this Chinese notion of Venus
contains much that is similar to the traits of the fixed-earth sign of Taurus, which is ruled by Venus
in Western astrology. This suggests that the common ground between Western and Chinese ideas of
Venus may be greater than appears at first sight.
Other solar system bodies
See also: Asteroids in astrology, Trans-Neptunian objects
Some asteroids such as Pallas ( ) and Vesta ( ), as well as Ceres can be seen with the naked
eye, but these were not recognized as planetary, and perhaps not even noticed, until the early 1800s.
In the early 1800s, Ceres, Juno ( ) and the other two asteroids mentioned above, were
scientifically recognized as planets. Although asteroids have been known to both astronomers and
astrologers for more than 200 years, they are often ignored by astrologers. The tradition of some
astrologers casting minor planets originates with these asteroids. Since the 1970s, and the discovery
of Chiron ( ), some astrologers have been casting the new "planet", although astronomers
consider it a comet.
In the 21st century several new planet-sized bodies, including Sedna, Quaoar, Haumea and Eris,
have been discovered but not yet incorporated into mainstream astrological predictions, although
some more avant-garde groups attempt to incorporate them.
Comets and novae have been observed and discussed for several thousand years. Comets in
particular were portents of great interest to ancient people and given various astrological
interpretations. Comets are not planets but they are planetary bodies. Both phenomena are rarely
visible to the naked-eye, and are ignored by most modern astrologers.
Asteroids in astrology
Asteroids are used in astrology in a similar way to the planets. Asteroids are planetoids that orbit
the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, and are not to be confused with Centaurs or Trans-Neptunian
Objects. The asteroids are relatively new to astrology, having only been discovered in the 1800s.
However, some of them (especially the largest of them), are believed by some astrologers to
influence human affairs. Still though, they are often ignored within mainstream systems of
astrology, especially in more traditional astrology systems like Vedic astrology or Hellenistic
astrology. Their use has become significant to a few Western astrologers yet still only a minority of
astrologers use the asteroids in chart interpretation.
The Former Planets
Ceres, Pallas Athene, Juno and Vesta (in order of chronology) were counted as planets between
1808-1845, when the smaller asteroids began to be discovered. Astronomically the status of Ceres
has changed again. In a proposed Resolution in 2006, it was suggested as one of the 12 planets in
our Solar System, but in the end was re-classified as a dwarf planet by the International
Astronomical Union. Many astrologers believe that astronomical labels don't hold much weight in
their practice as through history man's definitions and labels have changed, but the astrological
significations of what are considered "astrological planets" (including the Sun, Moon and, for
modern astronomers, Pluto) have not changed.
Ceres
Ceres was the first asteroid discovered and is the largest asteroid of all, taking up about 1/3 of the
entire mass of the asteroid belt . In astrology, to get an understanding of the nature of a planet the
astrologers analyze the name given to it. In mythology Ceres was the Roman equivalent of the
Greek goddess Demeter. She was the goddess of agriculture & when her daughter Persephone was
kidnapped by Pluto in an attempt to force her to marry him, Demeter became so distraught looking
for her daughter that she neglected the Earth which became cold and most plants died. This was the
first autumn and winter season, which came back every year even after Persephone had been saved
by Hermes because she had eaten a pomegranate that made her Pluto's wife forever, and he
demanded she return to him once a year. These myths, including the fact that Ceres is the roundest
asteroid (it resembles the Moon) signify that in astrology the placement of Ceres in a birth chart is
said to show what the native needs to feel loved and nurtured.[original research?]
Pallas Athene
Often simply known as "Pallas," this is the second asteroid discovered & third in size. There are
many Pallases in mythology. Some sources say Pallas was Triton's daughter and Athena's playmate
who was killed and Athena mourned her by changing her name to Pallas & making a wooden statue
of her, which Zeus dropped to the Land of Troy where a temple was built in its honor. Others say
that Pallas was an old god who combined with Athena. In these respects, Pallas can be interpreted
as an indicator of effort. Other astrologers interpret it as an indicator of wisdom, intelligence,
healing (perhaps through effort) as the titan named Pallas was a god of these things. This asteroid,
like Vesta, is also sometimes called an influencer of Virgo.
Juno
This asteroid was the 3rd to be discovered & is 9th in size ranking (1 Ceres, 2 Pallas, 4 Vesta, 10
Hygiea, 511 Davida, 704 Interamnia, 65 Cybele, 52 Europa are considerably bigger and heavier). In
mythology Juno is the Roman equivalent of the Greek Hera. Hera was a very important goddess in
both Greek and Roman culture. She was a wife of Zeus and hailed as the Queen of Gods and Zeus'
main concubine (at least the myths imply that this was what she thought herself). She was the
goddess of marriages, unions, and was also associated with finance and found cows and peacocks to
be sacred. She was also very jealous and aggressive, especially when Zeus was involved with
another woman; she would often kill the children Zeus and the other women or goddesses would
create together, including attempts to kill Hercules & Dionysus -- or the woman herself. For these
reasons, Juno is used in astrology as an indicator of what a native requires to feel satisfied in love or
romance, or what is one needs in order to feel their marriage is successful and satisfying. Because
of Juno's association with relationships, money, cows and jealousy, it also appears to have an
influence of the sign Taurus.
Vesta
This asteroid is second largest in size, fourth to be discovered of which it is the fastest to travel the
zodiac and the last asteroid to be counted as a planet. In mythology Vesta the virgin goddess, the
Roman version of Hestia, though she was of higher importance to the Romans, was regarded as one
of the most important goddesses of all, though ironically she never was depicted in any visual art
(in Greece, some vases with her image however have been found), or at least none of it has ever
been found. She was the goddess of hearth, when a baby was born she was the goddess they would
ask to bless it and protect the home. In every city & home in Rome there was a sacred fire made to
Vesta that was protected & not allowed to go out. Astrologers use Vesta to determine what it is that
that you are devoted to and how your sexuality will develop. Vesta, having been a protective virgin
goddess is said by some to be an influencer of the sign Virgo, this is accepted by many in the
astrological community, but many prefer to instead of calling the influence an outright rulership an
"affinity" or simply do not support this claim. It also seems to bear influence over Scorpio.
Other Asteroids
This is an incomplete list, which may never be able to satisfy certain standards for
completeness. You can help by expanding it with sourced additions.
After the first four asteroids were discovered, there wouldn't be another discovered for 38 years
(Astraea). The first four gained popularity as full-fledged planets, but the rapid development of
telescopes led to new asteroids being frequently discovered in what is now known as the main-belt.
Some astronomers grouped the first 10 asteroids along-side the first four asteroids as planets until
the reclassification that was decided upon after the discovery of Hygiea, the 10th known asteroid.
Hygiea
This asteroid was the 10th discovered and is fourth in size ranking. In mythology Hygeia was the
feminine part and the consort of Asclepios, the Greek god of medicine and a mythological healer
strongly connected to the Solar cult of Apollo. It seems that Hygiea rules the health practices and is
integrated into medical astrology, but in her negative side has something to bring in cases of
depression & anxiety of a higher level than usual. The status of Hygiea is practically unknown at
the moment in western astrology.
Chiron
Chiron is considered the most significant of the "centaur" asteroids. Known as "the wounded
healer", it has associations to traumas and wounds or inadequacies which are incurable, but may be
worked with, on their own terms, and transformed into one's greatest strengths. Some astrologers
believe it should be recognized as the ruler of the sign Virgo.
Hypothetical planets
Some astrologers have hypothesized about the existence of unseen or undiscovered planets. In
1918, the respected astrologer Sepharial proposed the existence of Earth's "Dark Moon" Lilith, and
since then some astrologers have been using it in their charts. The twentieth century German school
of astrology known as Uranian astrology also claimed that many undiscovered planets existed
beyond the orbit of Neptune, giving them names such as Cupido, Hades, Zeus, Kronos, Apollon,
Admetos, Vulcanus and Poseidon, and charting their supposed orbits. These orbits have not
coincided however, with more recent discoveries by astronomers of objects beyond Neptune.
Other astrologers have focused on the theory that in time, all twelve signs of the zodiac will each
have their own ruler, so that another two planets have yet to be discovered, namely the 'true' rulers
of Taurus and Virgo. The names of the planets mentioned in this regard by some are again, Vulcan
(ruler of Virgo) and also Apollo, the Roman god of the sun (ruler of Taurus). Another version of
this theory states that the modern planets discovered so far correspond to the elements known to the
ancients: i.e., Air (Uranus, god of the heavens), Water (Neptune, god of the sea), and Fire (Pluto,
god of the underworld), which leaves the elements earth and Ether (the fifth element of the fiery
upper air). In other words, it is claimed that the two planets to be discovered will be named after an
Earth god or goddess (probable 'true' ruler of Taurus) and after Aether, the Roman and Greek god of
the pure, upper air and stars (probable 'true' ruler of Virgo).

The Thema Mundi
Ruling planets of the astrological signs and houses
Main article: Domicile (astrology)
In Western astrology, the symbolism associated with the planets also relates to the zodiac signs and
houses of the horoscope in their various rulerships. For instance, the description of Mars is
masculine, impulsive, and active. Aries is ruled by Mars and has a similar description, representing
an active, masculine archetype. Similarly, the first house is also ruled by Mars and deals with a
person's physical health and strength, and the manner in which they project themselves.
Table 1: Modern signs, houses and planetary associations
Sign House
Ruling
planet
(ancient)
Ruling planet
(modern)
Exaltation
Other suggested
modern ruler
Aries 1st House Mars Sun
Taurus 2nd House Venus Moon Ceres
Gemini 3rd House Mercury North Node
Cancer 4th House Moon Jupiter
Leo 5th House Sun
Virgo 6th House Mercury Mercury
Pallas/Chiron/
Ceres/Vesta
Libra 7th House Venus Saturn
Scorpio 8th House Mars Pluto
Sagittarius 9th House Jupiter South Node
Capricorn
10th
House
Saturn Mars
Aquarius
11th
House
Saturn Uranus
Pisces
12th
House
Jupiter Neptune Venus
N.B.: The Planets in the table rule the signs on the same row, and the houses do correspond with the
signs on the same row (i.e. Mars rules Aries; Aries and 1st House share some correspondences, e.g.
both can denote the head in medical astrology). However, it is only modern astrology that links the
planets to the houses in this order. The bulk of the tradition assigns planetary rulerships according
to the ancient Chaldean astronomical order of the planets[citation needed] (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars,
Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon; the former order of the planets in distance from Earth geocentrically.):
Table 2: Traditional houses and planetary relationships.
House Traditional Ruling planet Planetary Joy
1st House Saturn Mercury
2nd
House
Jupiter N/A
3rd House Mars Moon
4th House Sun N/A
5th House Venus Venus
6th House Mercury Mars
7th House Moon N/A
8th House Saturn N/A
9th House Jupiter Sun
10th
House
Mars N/A
11th
House
Sun Jupiter
12th
House
Venus Saturn
Zodiac
Zodiac denotes an annual cycle of twelve stations or "signs" along the ecliptic, the apparent path of
the Sun across the heavens, dividing the ecliptic into twelve equal zones of celestial longitude. As
such, the zodiac is a celestial coordinate system, more precisely an ecliptic coordinate system,
taking the ecliptic as the origin of latitude, and the position of the sun at vernal equinox as the
origin of longitude.
It is known to have been in use by the Roman era, based on concepts inherited by Hellenistic
astronomy from Babylonian astronomy of the Chaldean period (mid 1st millennium BC), which in
turn derived from an earlier system of lists of stars along the ecliptic. The construction of the zodiac
is described in Ptolemy's Almagest (2nd century AD).
The term zodiac may also refer to the region of the celestial sphere encompassing the paths of the
Moon and the naked eye planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn), corresponding to the
band of about eight arc degrees above and below the ecliptic. The zodiac of a given planet is the
band which contains the path of that particular body, e.g. the "zodiac of the Moon" is the band of
five degrees above and below the ecliptic. By extension, the "zodiac of the comets" may refer to the
band encompassing most short-period comets
The term zodiac derives from Latin zōdiacus, in turn from the Greek ζωδιακός κύκλος (zōdiakos
kuklos), meaning "circle of animals", derived from ζώδιον (zōdion), the diminutive of ζ ον ( ῶ zōon)
"animal". The name is motivated by the fact that many of the signs of the classical Greek zodiac are
represented as animals (six out of twelve, plus two mythological hybrids).
Although the zodiac remains the basis of the ecliptic coordinate system in use in astronomy besides
the equatorial one, the term and the names of the twelve signs are today mostly associated with
horoscopic astrology.
History
Further information: Babylonian zodiac, History of astronomy, and History of astrology
The division of the ecliptic into the zodiacal signs originates in Babylonian ("Chaldean") astronomy
during the first half of the 1st millennium BC, likely during Median/"Neo-Babylonian" times (7th
century BC), continuing earlier (Bronze Age) systems of lists of stars. Babylonian astronomers at
some point during the early 1st millennium BC divided the ecliptic into twelve equal zones of
celestial longitude to create the first known celestial coordinate system: a coordinate system that
boasts some advantages over modern systems (such as equatorial coordinate system or ecliptic
coordinate system). The Babylonian calendar as it stood in the 7th century BC assigns each month a
constellation, beginning with the position of the Sun at vernal equinox, which at the time was the
Aries constellation ("Age of Aries"), for which reason the first astrological sign is still called
"Aries" even after the vernal equinox has moved away from the Aries constellation. However, a
scientific analysis of the location of the constellations suggest their determination in this region in
the Bronze Age (~2700 BC), thereby suggesting an earlier establishment of the constellations.
The Babylonian zodiac also finds reflection in the Hebrew Bible. The name of the twelve signs are
equivalent to the names in use today, except that the name of the Eagle seems to have been usually
substituted for Scorpio. The arrangement of the twelve tribes of Israel around the Tabernacle
(Numbers 2) corresponded to the order of the Zodiac; and four of the tribes represented the middle
signs of each quarter: Judah was the Lion, Reuben the Man, Ephraim the Bull, and Dan the Eagle.
Thomas Mann in Joseph and His Brothers takes the Blessing of Jacob as attributing characteristics
of a sign of the zodiac to each tribe. The faces of the cherubim, in both Ezekiel and Revelation, are
the middle signs of the four quarters of the Zodiac: the Lion is Leo; the Bull is Taurus; the Man is
Aquarius; and the Eagle is Scorpio.[citation needed]

The 1st century BC Denderah Zodiac (19th-century engraving)
Hellenistic astrology was a syncretism of Babylonian and Egyptian astrology, and it was in
Ptolemaic Egypt where horoscopic astrology first appeared. The Dendera zodiac, a relief dating to
ca. 50 BC, is the first known depiction of the classical zodiac of twelve signs.
Babylonia or Chaldea in the Hellenistic world came to be so identified with astrology that
"Chaldean wisdom" became among Greeks and Romans the synonym of divination through the
planets and stars.
The Hindu zodiac is a direct loan of the Greek system, adopted during the period of intense Indo-
Greek cultural contact during the Seleucid period (2nd to 1st centuries BC).
In Hindu astrology, the individual signs are called 'rāshi. The transmission of the zodiac system to
Hindu astrology predated widespread awareness of the precession of the equinoxes, and the Hindu
system ended up using a sidereal coordinate system, which resulted in the European and the Hindu
zodiacs, even though sharing the same origin in Hellenistic astrology, gradually moving apart over
two millennia that have passed since. The Sanskrit names of the signs are direct translations of the
Greek names (dhanus meaning "bow" rather than "archer", and kumbha meaning "water-pitcher"
rather than "water-carrier").
Particularly important in the development of horoscopic astrology was the astrologer and
astronomer Ptolemy, whose work, the Tetrabiblos laid the basis of the Western astrological
tradition. Under the Greeks and Ptolemy in particular, the planets, Houses, and signs of the zodiac
were rationalized and their function set down in a way that has changed little to the present day.
Ptolemy lived in the 2nd century AD, three centuries after the discovery of the precession of the
equinoxes by Hipparchus around 130 BC, but he ignored the problem, apparently by dropping the
concept of a fixed celestial sphere and adopting what is referred to as a tropical coordinate system
instead.

The zodiac signs as shown in a 16th century woodcut
The High Middle Ages saw a revival of Greco-Roman magic, first in Kabbalism and later continued
in Renaissance magic. This included magical uses of the zodiac, as found e.g. in the Sefer Raziel
HaMalakh.
The zodiacal signs remain in use as the basis of an ecliptic coordinate system, though modern
astronomers tend to use an equatorial coordinate system since Early Modern times. One can see the
use of the sidereal coordinate remained in use throughout the medieval period, e.g. in Hermannus
Contractus in his de mensura astrolabii liber who gives the locations of stars in stereographic
projection for the construction of an astrolabe, There he gives the zodiac coordinate of Antares as
14. Scorpius, equalling a J2000.0 ecliptic longitude of 224° (the 14th degree from the beginning of
Scorpius at 210°).
The twelve signs

The symbols used in Western astrology to represent the astrological signs
Main article: Astrological sign
What follows is a list of the twelve signs of the zodiac (with the ecliptic longitudes of their first
points), where 0° Aries is understood as the vernal equinox, with their Latin, Greek, Sanskrit and
Babylonian names (but note that the Sanskrit and the Babylonian name equivalents denote the
constellations only, not the tropical zodiac signs):
no. symbol long. Latin name
English
translation
Greek
name
Sanskrit
name
Sumero-Babylonian name
1 ♈ 0° Aries The Ram Κριός Me a ṣ
MUL LU
UN.GA "The Agrarian Ḫ
Worker", Dumuzi
2 ♉ 30° Taurus The Bull Ταύρος V abha ṛṣ
MUL
GU
4
.AN.NA "The Steer of
Heaven"
3 ♊ 60° Gemini The Twins Δίδυμοι Mithuna
MUL
MAŠ.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL
"The Great Twins" (Lugalgirra
and Meslamta-ea)
4 ♋ 90° Cancer The Crab Καρκίνος Karka
MUL
AL.LUL "The Crayfish"
5 ♌ 120° Leo The Lion Λέων Si ha ṃ
MUL
UR.GU.LA "The Lion"
6 ♍ 150° Virgo The Virgin Παρθένος Kanyā
MUL
AB.SIN "The Furrow"; "The
Furrow, the goddess Shala's ear
of corn"
7 ♎ 180° Libra The Scales Ζυγός Tula zibanitum "The Scales"
8 ♏ 210° Scorpio
The
Scorpion
Σκoρπιός V ścika ṛ
MUL
GIR.TAB "The Scorpion"
9 ♐ 240° Sagittarius
Centaur
The Archer
Τοξότης Dhanus
MUL
PA.BIL.SAG, Nedu
"soldier"
10 ♑ 270° Capricornus
"Goat-
horned"
(The Sea-
Goat)
Α γόκερως ἰ Makara
MUL
SU UR.MAŠ "The Goat- Ḫ
Fish"
11 ♒ 300° Aquarius
The Water
Carrier
δροχόος Ὑ Kumbha
MUL
GU.LA "The Great One",
later qâ "pitcher"
12 ♓ 330° Pisces The Fishes χθείς Ἰ Mīna
MUL
SIM.MA "The Tail of the Ḫ
Swallow", later DU.NU.NU
"fish-cord"
The zodiacal symbols are Early Modern simplifications of conventional pictorial representations of
the signs, attested since Hellenistic times. The symbols are encoded in Unicode at positions U+2648
to U+2653.
Zodiacal constellations
It is important to distinguish the zodiacal signs from the constellations associated with them, not
only because of their drifting apart due to the precession of equinoxes but also because the physical
constellations by nature of their varying shapes and forms take up varying widths of the ecliptic.
Thus, Virgo takes up fully five times as much ecliptic longitude as Scorpius. The zodiacal signs, on
the other hand, are an abstraction from the physical constellations designed to represent exactly one
twelfth of the full circle each, or the longitude traversed by the Sun in about 30.4 days.
There have always been a number of "parazodiacal" constellations which are also touched by the
paths of the planets. The MUL.APIN lists Orion, Perseus, Auriga and Andromeda. Furthermore,
there are a number of constellations mythologically associated with the zodiacal ones: Piscis
Austrinus, The Southern Fish, is attached to Aquarius. In classical maps it swallows the stream
poured out of Aquarius' pitcher, but perhaps it formerly just swam in it. Aquila, The Eagle, was
possibly associated with the zodiac by virtue of it main star, Altair. Hydra in the Early Bronze Age
marked the celestial equator and was associated with Leo, which is shown standing on the serpent
on the Dendera zodiac. Corvus is the Crow or Raven mysteriously perched on the tail of Hydra. The
MUL.APIN glosses Hydra as "the Snake Ningizzida, lord of the Netherworld". Ningizzida together
with Dumuzi (Aries) and Pabilsag (Sagittarius) governed the household of the queen of the
underworld.
Taking the current constellation boundaries as defined in 1930 by the International Astronomical
Union, the ecliptic itself passes through an additional thirteenth constellation, Ophiuchus, situated
between Scorpius and Sagittarius. This is already recognized in Ptolemy's Almagest.[citation
needed]
Table of dates
The following table compares the Gregorian dates on which the Sun enters
• a sign in the Ptolemaic tropical zodiac;
• a sign in the Hindu sidereal system
• the astronomical constellation of the same name as the sign, with constellation boundaries as
defined in 1930 by the International Astronomical Union.
The theoretical beginning of Aries is the moment of vernal equinox, and all other dates shift
accordingly. The precise Gregorian times and dates vary slightly from year to year as the Gregorian
calendar shifts relative to the tropical year. These variations remain within less than two days'
difference in the recent past and the near future, vernal equinox in UTC always falling either on 20
or 21 of March in the period of 1797 to 2043, falling on 19 March in 1796 the last time and in 2044
the next. In the long term, if the Gregorian calendar isn't reformed, the equinox will move to earlier
dates: it will fall on 18 March for the first time in AD 4092.
Sign Constellation
tropical
zodiac (2009,
UTC)
sidereal zodiac
(Jyotisha)
(2009, UTC)
IAU
constellation
boundaries
(2009)
Solar
stay
Brightest star
Aries
20 March
– 19 April
14 April – 14
May
Aries
18
April – 14 May
25.5
days
Hamal
Taurus
19 April
– 20 May
14 May – 13
June
Taurus
14
May – 21 June
38.2
days
Aldebaran
Gemini
20 May
– 21 June
13 June – 14
July
Gemini
21
June – 20 July
29.3
days
Pollux
Cancer
21 June
– 22 July
14 July – 13
August
Cancer
20
July – 10 August
21.1
days
Al Tarf
Leo
22 July
– 23 August
13 August – 13
September
Leo
10
August – 16
September
36.9
days
Regulus
Virgo
23 August
– 22
September
13 September –
13 October
Virgo
16
September – 31
October
44.5
days
Spica
Libra
22 September
– 23 October
13 October – 12
November
Libra
31
October – 21
November
21.1
days
Zubeneschamal
i
Scorpio
23 October
– 22
November
13 November –
13 December
Scorpius
21
November – 29
November
8.4
days
Antares
n/a n/a n/a Ophiuchus
29
November – 18
December
18.4
days
Rasalhague
Sagittariu
s
22 November 13 December –
12 January
Sagittarius 18 33.6
days
Kaus Australis
– 21
December
December – 20
January
Capricorn
21 December
– 20 January
12 January – 12
February
Capricornus
20
January – 17
February
27.4
days
Deneb Algedi
Aquarius
20 January
– 18 February
12 February –
14 March
Aquarius
17
February – 13
March
23.9
days
Sadalsuud
Pisces
18 February
– 20 March
14 March – 14
April
Pisces
13
March – 19 April
37.7
days
Eta Piscium
Precession of the equinoxes
Further information: Precession of the equinoxes, Epoch (astronomy), Sidereal astrology, Tropical
astrology, Astrological age, and Ayanamsa

path taken by the point of vernal equinox along the ecliptic over the past 6000 years
The zodiac system was developed in Babylonia, some 2,500 years ago, during the "Age of Aries".
At the time, the precession of the equinoxes was unknown, and the system made no allowance for
it. Contemporary use of the coordinate system is presented with the choice of either interpreting the
system as sidereal, with the signs fixed to the stellar background, or as tropical, with the signs fixed
to the point of vernal equinox.
Western astrology takes the tropical approach, while Hindu astrology takes the sidereal one. This
results in the originally unified zodiacal coordinate system drifting apart gradually, with an angular
velocity of about 1.4 degrees per century.
For the tropical zodiac used in Western astronomy and astrology, this means that the tropical sign of
Aries currently lies somewhere within the constellation Pisces ("Age of Pisces"). The choice of
origin for the sidereal coordinate system is known as the ayanamsa, a Sanskrit word.
It is not entirely clear how the Hellenistic astronomers responded to this phenomenon of precession
once it had been discovered by Hipparchus around 130 BC. Today, some read Ptolemy as dropping
the concept of a fixed celestial sphere and adopting what is referred to as a tropical coordinate
system instead: in other words, one fixed to the Earth's seasonal cycle rather than the distant stars.
Some modern Western astrologers, such as Cyril Fagan, have advocated abandoning the tropical
system in favour of a sidereal one.
In modern astronomy
Further information: Epoch (astronomy)
The zodiac is a spherical celestial coordinate system. It designates the ecliptic as its fundamental
plane and the position of the Sun at Vernal equinox as its prime meridian.
In astronomy, the zodiacal constellations are a convenient way of marking the ecliptic (the Sun's
path across the sky) and the path of the moon and planets along the ecliptic. Modern astronomy still
uses tropical coordinates for predicting the positions the Sun, Moon, and planets, except longitude
in the ecliptic coordinate system is numbered from 0° to 360°, not 0° to 30° within each sign.
Longitude within individual signs was still being used as late as 1740 by Jacques Cassini in his
Tables astronomiques.
Unlike the zodiac signs in astrology, which are all thirty degrees in length, the astronomical
constellations vary widely in size. The boundaries of all the constellations in the sky were set by the
International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 1930. This was essentially a mapping exercise to make
the work of astronomers more efficient, and the boundaries of the constellations are not therefore in
any meaningful sense an 'equivalent' to the zodiac signs. Along with the twelve original
constellations, the boundaries of a thirteenth constellation, Ophiuchus (the serpent bearer), were set
by astronomers within the bounds of the zodiac.
Mnemonics for the zodiac
A traditional mnemonic:
The Ram, the Bull, the Heavenly Twins,
And next the Crab, the Lion shines,
The Virgin and the Scales.
The Scorpion, Archer, and the Goat,
The Man who holds the Watering Pot,
And Fish with glittering scales.
A less poetic, but succinct and perhaps more memorable, mnemonic is the following:
The Ramble Twins Crab Liverish;
Scaly Scorpions Are Good Water Fish.
(Ram-Ble = Ram, Bull; Twins = Twins; Crab = Crab; Li-Ver(ish) = Lion, Virgin; Scaly = Scale;
Scorpion = Scorpio; Are = Archer; Good = Goat; Water = Water Bearer; Fish = Fish)
For Filipinos, the following mnemonics would greatly help:
"According to Gabby Concepcion, laging very loving si Sharon Cuneta after performing."
According = Aries To = Taurus Gabby = Gemini Concepcion = Cancer Laging = Leo Very = Virgo
Loving = Libra Si = Scorpio Sharon = Sagittarius Cuneta = Capricorn After = Aquarius Performing
= Pisces
Astrological sign
Astrological signs represent twelve equal segments or divisions of the zodiac. According to
astrology, celestial phenomena reflect or govern human activity on the principle of "as above, so
below", so that the twelve signs are held to represent twelve basic personality types or characteristic
modes of expression.
In Western and Indian astrology, the twelve signs are associated with constellations, while in
Chinese astrology there is no connection with constellations, as it is simply the line of the equator
that is divided into twelve equal segments.
In Western and Asian astrology, the emphasis is on space, and the movement of the sun, moon and
planets in the sky through each of the zodiac signs. In Chinese astrology, by contrast, the emphasis
is on time, with the zodiac operating on cycles of years, months, and hours of the day. A common
feature of all three traditions however, is the significance of the ascendant or rising sign, namely the
zodiac sign that is rising (due to the rotation of the earth) on the eastern horizon at the moment of a
person's birth.
Western zodiac signs
Further information: Western astrology#The twelve signs
The signs affect the energies of each planet in a characteristic way when it enters each sign (though
due consideration will also be given to other conditions within the astrological chart such as the
effect of aspects to other planets, and the house in which each planet falls). Each sign is associated
with one of the classical elements (fire, earth, air, or water) and one of the three qualities or
modalities (cardinal, fixed, or mutable). It is also associated with an area of concern: personal,
social, or universal.
Zodiac symbolism
Main article: Astrological symbols

The symbols used in Western astrology to represent the astrological signs
This table shows the zodiac names in Latin with their English translation. It also shows the element
and quality associated with each sign.
Sign English name Element Quality
Aries The Ram Fire Cardinal
Taurus The Bull Earth Fixed
Gemini The Twins Air Mutable
Cancer The Crab Water Cardinal
Leo The Lion Fire Fixed
Virgo The Virgin Earth Mutable
Libra The Scales Air Cardinal
Scorpio The Scorpion Water Fixed
Sagittarius The Archer Fire Mutable
Capricorn The Sea-goat Earth Cardinal
Aquarius The Water Carrier Air Fixed
Pisces The Two Fish Water Mutable
The twelve signs
In Western astrology the zodiac of twelve sign represents twelve types of personality. The zodiac
traditionally begins with Aries. The following are the twelve zodiac signs in order.
• - Aries (The Ram) (cardinal, fire, personal): In astrology Aries is ruled by the planet
Mars. The tropical duration of Aries is March 21 to April 19.
• - Taurus (The Bull) (fixed, earth, personal): In astrology Taurus is ruled by the planet
Venus and for a few modern astrologers, the dwarf planet Ceres. The tropical duration of
Taurus is April 20 to May 20.
• - Gemini (The Twins) (mutable, air, personal): In astrology Gemini is ruled by the planet
Mercury. The tropical duration of Gemini is May 21 to June 20.
• - Cancer (The Crab) (cardinal, water, personal): In astrology Cancer is ruled by the
Moon. The tropical duration of Cancer is June 21 to July 22.
• - Leo (The Lion) (fixed, fire, social): In astrology Leo is ruled by the Sun. The tropical
duration of Leo is July 23 to August 22.
• - Virgo (The Virgin) (mutable, earth, social): There is some debate in regards to a
modern ruler of this sign with Chiron, Pallas, Vesta and Ceres often considered candidate by
some modern astrologers, but the planet Mercury is typically used as the default by tradition
pending a consensus among modern practitioners; but no one knows if or when this will be.
The tropical duration of Virgo is August 23 to September 22.
• - Libra (The Scales) (cardinal, air, social): In astrology Libra is ruled by the planet
Venus. The tropical duration of Libra is September 23 to October 23.
• - Scorpio (The Scorpion) (fixed, water, social): In astrology Scorpio is ruled by the
planets Mars and Pluto. The tropical duration of Scorpio is October 24 to November 22.
• - Sagittarius (The Archer) (mutable, fire, universal): In astrology Sagittarius is ruled by
the planet Jupiter. The tropical duration of Sagittarius is November 23 to December 21.
• - Capricorn (The Sea-goat) (cardinal, earth, universal): In astrology Capricorn is ruled by
the planet Saturn. The tropical duration of Capricorn is December 22 to January 19.
• - Aquarius (The Water Carrier) (fixed, air, universal): In astrology Aquarius is ruled by
the planets Saturn and Uranus. The tropical duration of Aquarius is January 20 to February
19.
• - Pisces (The Fish) (mutable, water, universal): In astrology Pisces is ruled by the planets
Jupiter and Neptune. The tropical duration of Pisces is February 20 to March 20.
The four elements
Main article: Triplicity
Each sign is associated one of the classical elements (water, fire, earth and air.) Fire and Air signs
are positive or extrovert, masculine signs; while Water and Earth signs are negative, introvert,
feminine signs.
• Fire Signs--Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius-- Fire represents one's desires and creative
energies.
• Earth Signs--Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn-- Earth represents one's material resources,
environment and possessions.
• Air Signs--Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius-- Air represents the intellect and one's ability to
reason and communicate.
• Water Signs--Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces-- Water represents imagination, human feelings
and one's ability to love and sustain.
In various belief systems, four is considered an earthly number, there being four elements. Water,
Air, Fire, and Earth. Three is considered a divine number, and there are three qualities: Cardinal,
Fixed, and Mutable. Three plus four equals seven, a number often signifying the union of heaven
and earth and the deliverance of our people.
Fire (classical element)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Classical Elements
v • d • e
Greek
Air
Water Aether Fire
Earth
Hinduism (Tattva) and
Buddhism (Mahābhūta)

Vayu/Pavan
(Air/Wind)

Ap/Jala (Water) Akasha (Aether/Space) Agni/Tejas (Fire)
Prithvi/Bhumi (Earth)
Japanese (Godai)

Air/Wind (風)

Water (水)
Void/Sky/Heaven
(空)
Fire (火)

Earth (地)

Tibetan (Bön)
Air
Water Space Fire
Earth
Medieval Alchemy
Air
Water Aether Fire
Earth
Sulphur Mercury Salt
Fire has been an important part of many cultures and religions, from pre-history to modern day, and
was vital to the development of civilization. It has been regarded in many different fashions
throughout history.
Greek and Roman Tradition
Fire is one of the four classical elements in ancient Greek philosophy and science. It was commonly
associated with the qualities of energy, assertiveness, and passion. In one Greek myth, Prometheus
stole fire from the gods to protect the otherwise helpless humans, but was punished for this
kindness. The ancient Greeks distinguished the destructive (aidelon) fire, associated with Hades,
from the creative fire, associated with Hephaistos. Goddess Hekate was called Pyrphoros (Fire-
bearing), Pyripnon (Fire-breather), Daidoukhos (Torch-bearer) and Phosphoros (Light-bearer).
Fire was one of many archai proposed by the Pre-socratics, most of whom tried to reduce all things
to a single substance. However, Empedocles of Acragas (c. 495-c. 435 BCE) selected four archai
for his four roots: air, fire, water, and earth. Empedocles’ roots became the four classical elements
of Greek philosophy. Plato (427-347 BCE) took over the four elements of Empedocles. In the
Timaeus, his major cosmological dialogue, the Platonic solid associated with fire is the tetrahedron
which is formed from four equilateral triangles. This makes fire the element with the smallest
number of sides, which Plato regarded as appropriate as the heat of fire feels sharp and stabbing
(like little tetrahedra).
Plato’s student Aristotle (384-322 BCE) developed a different explanation for the elements based
on pairs of qualities. The four elements were arranged concentrically around the center of the
universe to form the sublunary sphere. According to Aristotle, fire is both hot and dry, and occupies
a place between earth and air among the elemental spheres.
In ancient Greek medicine, each of the four humours became associated with an element. Yellow
bile was the humor identified with fire, since both were hot and dry. Other things associated with
fire and yellow bile in ancient and medieval medicine included the season of summer, since it
increased the qualities of heat and aridity; the choleric temperament (of a person dominated by the
yellow bile humour); the masculine; and the eastern point of the compass.

Symbol for fire
In alchemy, the chemical element of sulfur was often associated with fire and its alchemical symbol
and its symbol was an upward-pointing triangle. In alchemic tradition, metals are incubated by fire
in the womb of the Earth and alchemists only accelerate their development.
Indian Tradition
Main article: Agni
Agni is a Hindu and Vedic deity. The word agni is Sanskrit for "fire" (noun), cognate with Latin
ignis (the root of English ignite), Russian ogon (fire), pronounced agon, and ogni, pronounced agni
(fires). Agni has three forms: fire, lightning and the sun.
Agni is one of the most important of the Vedic gods. He is the god of fire and the acceptor of
sacrifices. The sacrifices made to Agni go to the deities because Agni is a messenger from and to
the other gods. He is ever-young, because the fire is re-lit every day, yet he is also immortal. In
Indian tradition Fire is also linked to Surya or the Sun and Mangala or Mars, and with the south-east
direction.
In modern magic
Ceremonial Magic
Fire and the other Greek classical elements were incorporated into the Golden Dawn system despite
being considered obsolete by modern science. Philosophus (4=7) is the elemental grade attributed to
fire; this grade is also attributed to the Qabalistic Sephirah Netzach and the planet Venus. The
elemental weapon of fire is the Wand or Dagger. Each of the elements has several associated
spiritual beings. The archangel of fire is Michael, the angel is Aral, the ruler is Seraph, the king is
Djin, and the fire elementals (following Paracelsus) are called salamanders. Fire is considered to be
active; it is represented by the symbol for Leo, and it is referred to the lower right point of the
pentagram in the Supreme Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram. Many of these associations have since
spread throughout the occult community.
Wicca
In most Wiccan traditions, fire is associated with:
• The South,
• The Summer
• The color red on the physical plane.
• The athame or ceremonial dagger.
• In covens that use the sword, it is often associated with this element.
Other correspondences include blood, candles, the guitar, rubies and incense. Fire represents
energy, inspiration, passion and masculinity. It is sometimes represented in writing by a red
upwards triangle.
In rituals, fire is represented in the forms of burning objects, love spells, baking and lighting candles
or fires.
The manifestations of the element are found in the sun, lightning, fire, volcanoes and lava, and all
forms of light. Cats of all types, especially the lion and tiger, are also thought to personify the
element of fire, as are all predatory creatures, such as the fox.
The astral creatures of fire, known as elementals, are the salamander, phoenix, drake/dragon and,
occasionally, the falcon (Although most associate this animal with air, instead).
Fire's place on the pentagram is the lower right point.
Fire belongs to the suit of Wands in occult or divinatory tarot, although some Wiccans associate it
with the suit of Swords because the athame (ritual knife) is often associated with fire. Fire is
associated with warm colours, like red, orange and yellow, but also colours like black.
Astrological Personalities
People born under the astrological signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are thought to have dominant
fire personalities. Fire personalities are believed to have good leading qualities, and also tend to be
extroverted, rebellious, passionate and enthusiastic; however, they can also be moody, hot-
tempered, snappy, uncontrollable and angry.
Other traditions
Fire represents the creativity and passion that all intellectual and emotional beings have. It is an
active force that has the passion to create and animate things. The element is also very rational and
quick to "flare up" as is the personality of many "fire-children."
Fire in many ancient cultures and myths has been known to purify the land with the flames of
destruction; however, it is also capable of the renewal of life through the warmth and comfort of
those very same flames.
The element of fire shows up in mythological stories all across the world, often in stories related to
the Sun.
In East Asia fire is represented by the Vermilion Bird, known as 朱雀 (Zhū Què) in Chinese,
Suzaku in Japanese and Ju-jak (주작, Hanja:朱雀) in Korean. Fire is represented in the Aztec
religion by a flint; to the Native Americans, a mouse; to the Hindu and Islamic faiths, a lightning
bolt; to the Scythians, an axe, to the Greeks, an apple-bough; and in Christian iconography, a lion.
Earth (classical element)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Classical Elements
v • d • e
Greek
Air
Water Aether Fire
Earth
Hinduism (Tattva) and
Buddhism (Mahābhūta)

Vayu/Pavan
(Air/Wind)

Ap/Jala (Water) Akasha (Aether/Space) Agni/Tejas (Fire)
Prithvi/Bhumi (Earth)
Japanese (Godai)

Air/Wind (風)

Water (水)
Void/Sky/Heaven
(空)
Fire (火)

Earth (地)

Tibetan (Bön)
Air
Water Space Fire
Earth
Medieval Alchemy
Air
Water Aether Fire
Earth
Sulphur Mercury Salt
Earth, home and origin of humanity, has often been worshipped in its own right with its own
unique spiritual tradition.
Greek and Roman tradition
Earth is one of the four classical elements in ancient Greek philosophy and science. It was
commonly associated with qualities of practicality, restraint and materialism. It was also associated
with the physical, sensual aspects of life.
Earth was one of many archai proposed by the Pre-socratics, most of whom tried to reduce all
things to a single substance. However, Empedocles of Acragas (c. 495-c. 435 BCE) selected four
archai for his four roots: air, fire, water, and earth. Empedocles’ roots became the four classical
elements of Greek philosophy. Plato (427-347 BCE) took over the four elements of Empedocles. In
the Timaeus, his major cosmological dialogue, the Platonic solid associated with earth is the cube
which is formed from six square sides. This places earth between fire (four triangular sides) and air
(eight triangular sides). A highly un-spherical solid, these clumsy little cubes cause dirt to crumble
and break when picked up, in stark difference to the smooth flow of water or air.
Plato’s student Aristotle (384-322 BCE) developed a different explanation for the elements based
on pairs of qualities. The four elements were arranged concentrically around the center of the
universe to form the sublunary sphere. According to Aristotle, earth is both cold and dry, and
occupies a place between water and fire among the elemental spheres.
In Classical Greek and Roman myth, various goddesses represented the earth, crops and fertility,
including Ceres, Demeter, and Persephone or Proserpina.
In ancient ancient Greek medicine, each of the four humours became associated with an element.
Black bile was the humor identified with earth, since both were cold and dry. Other things
associated with earth and black bile in ancient and medieval medicine included the season of fall,
since it increased the qualities of cold and aridity; the melancholic temperament (of a person
dominated by the black bile humour); the feminine; and the southern point of the compass.

Symbol for earth
In alchemy, the chemical element of salt was associated with earth and its alchemical symbol was a
downward-pointing triangle, bisected by a horizontal line.
Indian Tradition
Main article: Prithvi
Prithvi (Sanskrit: p thvī ṛ , also p thivī ṛ ) is the Hindu earth and mother goddess. According to one
such tradition, she is the personification of the Earth itself; according to another, its actual mother,
being Prithvi Tattwa, the essence of the element earth.
As Prithvi Mata, or "Mother Earth," she contrasts with Dyaus Pita, "father sky." In the Rigveda,
earth and sky are frequently addressed as a duality, often indicated by the idea of two
complementary "half-shells." In addition, the element Earth is associated with Budha or Mercury,
who represents communication, business, mathematics and other practical matters. Earth is also
associated with the south-west direction.
In Modern Magic
Ceremonial Magic
Earth and the other Greek classical elements were incorporated into the Golden Dawn system
despite being considered obsolete by modern science. Zelator (1=10) is the elemental grade
attributed to earth; this grade is also attributed to the Qabalistic sphere Malkuth. The elemental
weapon of earth is the Pentacle. Each of the elements has several associated spiritual beings. The
archangel of earth is Uriel, the angel is Phorlakh, the ruler is Kerub, the king is Ghob, and the earth
elementals (following Paracelsus) are called gnomes. Earth is considered to be passive; it is
represented by the symbol for Taurus, and it is referred to the lower left point of the pentagram in
the Supreme Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram. Many of these associations have since spread
throughout the occult community.
Wicca
In Wicca, earth is associated with the North (or East in some variations), Winter, and the color
brown (or green in some variations) on the physical plane. It is sometimes represented by its Hindu
tattva (a yellow square), or by a downward pointing triangle with a horizontal line through it, and
may be symbolized by the following: percussion instruments, animal fur, coins, a pentacle, milk, a
heartbeat, jewelry, bones, or a staff. Earth represents strength, abundance, stability and femininity.
In rituals, earth is represented by burying objects in the ground, herbalism, and carving images out
of wood or stone.
The manifestations of the earth element are found in plants, trees, mountains, forests, caves and
gardens. The stag, boar, bull, sow, bear and snake are also thought to personify the element, as are
all burrowing animals, such as the mole or rabbit. The astral creatures of earth, known as
elementals, are the Satyr/Faun, Gnome/Goblin, and Sylvestre/Dryad. Earth’s place on the
pentagram is the lower left point.
Astrological Personalities
People born under the astrological signs of Taurus, Capricorn and Virgo are thought to have
dominant earth personalities. Earth personalities tend to be calm, practical, pragmatic, responsible
and cautious; however, they can also be stubborn, intolerant and inflexible.
Other Traditions
In East Asia, metal is sometimes seen as the equivalent of earth and is represented by the White
Tiger (Chinese constellation), known as 白虎 (Bái Hǔ) in Chinese, Byakko in Japanese and Baekho
(백호, Hanja:白虎) in Korean. Earth is represented in the Aztec religion by a house; to the Hindus,
a lotus; to the Scythians, a plough; to the Greeks, a wheel; and in Christian iconography, by a bull.
Air (classical element)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Classical Elements
v • d • e
Greek
Air
Water Aether Fire
Earth
Hinduism (Tattva) and
Buddhism (Mahābhūta)

Vayu/Pavan
(Air/Wind)

Ap/Jala (Water) Akasha (Aether/Space) Agni/Tejas (Fire)
Prithvi/Bhumi (Earth)
Japanese (Godai)

Air/Wind (風)

Water (水)
Void/Sky/Heaven
(空)
Fire (火)

Earth (地)

Tibetan (Bön)
Air
Water Space Fire
Earth
Medieval Alchemy
Air
Water Aether Fire
Earth
Sulphur Mercury Salt
In traditional cultures, air is often seen as a universal power or pure substance. Its fundamental
importance to life can be seen in words such as aspire, conspire, inspire, perspire, and spirit, all
derived from the Latin spirare ("to breathe").
Greek and Roman Tradition
Air is one of the four classical elements in ancient Greek philosophy and science. According to
Plato, it is associated with the octahedron; air is considered to be both hot and wet. The ancient
Greeks used two words for air: aer meant the dim lower atmosphere, and aether meant the bright
upper atmosphere above the clouds. Plato, for instance writes that "So it is with air: there is the
brightest variety which we call aether, the muddiest which we call mist and darkness, and other
kinds for which we have no name...." Among the early Greek Pre-Socratic philosophers,
Anaximenes (mid-6th century BCE) named air as the arche (first principle of the world). As it
grows warm and rarefied, air becomes fire; as it cools and condenses it becomes water, then earth
and rock. A similar belief was attributed by some ancient sources to Diogenes Apolloniates (late 5th
century BCE), who also linked air with intelligence and soul (psyche), but other sources claim that
his arche was a substance between air and fire. Aristophanes parodied such teachings in his play
The Clouds by putting a prayer to air in the mouth of Socrates.
Air was one of many archai proposed by the Pre-socratics, most of whom tried to reduce all things
to a single substance. However, Empedocles of Acragas (c. 495-c. 435 BCE) selected four archai
for his four roots: air, fire, water, and earth. Ancient and modern opinions differ as to whether he
identified air by the divine name Hera, Aidoneus, or even Zeus. Empedocles’ roots became the four
classical elements of Greek philosophy. Plato (427-347 BCE) took over the four elements of
Empedocles. In the Timaeus, his major cosmological dialogue, the Platonic solid associated with
air is the octahedron which is formed from eight equilateral triangles. This places air between fire
(four triangular sides) and water (twenty triangular sides), which Plato regarded as appropriate
because it is intermediate in its mobility, sharpness, and ability to penetrate. He also said of air that
its minuscule components are so smooth that one can barely feel them.
Plato’s student Aristotle (384-322 BCE) developed a different explanation for the elements based
on pairs of qualities. The four elements were arranged concentrically around the center of the
universe to form the sublunary sphere. According to Aristotle, air is both hot and wet, and occupies
a place between fire and water among the elemental spheres. Aristotle definitively separated air
from aether. For him, aether was an unchanging, almost divine substance that was found only in the
heavens, where it formed celestial spheres.
In ancient Greek medicine, each of the four humours became associated with an element. Blood
was the humor identified with air, since both were hot and wet. Other things associated with air and
blood in ancient and medieval medicine included the season of spring, since it increased the
qualities of heat and moisture; the sanguine temperament (of a person dominated by the blood
humour); hermaphrodite (combining the masculine quality of heat with the feminine quality of
moisture); and the northern point of the compass.

Symbol for air
The alchemical symbol for air is an upward-pointing triangle, bisected by a horizontal line.
Indian Tradition
Main article: Vayu
In Hinduism, Vayu (Sanskrit —ï"), also known as Vāta —ï¬, Pavana ¯—-(meaning the Purifier) ,
or Prāna, is a primary deity, who is the father of Bhima and the spiritual father of Lord Hanuman.
As the words for air (Vāyu) or wind (Pavana) it is one of the Panchamahābhuta the "five great
elements" in Hinduism. The Sanskrit word 'Vāta' literally means "blown", 'Vāyu' "blower", and
'Prāna' "breathing" (viz. the breath of life, cf. the *an- in 'animate').
In Indian tradition the element Air is also linked to Shani or Saturn and the north-west direction.
Chinese Tradition
Air is not one of the traditional five Chinese classical elements. Nevertheless, the ancient Chinese
concept of Qi or chi is believed to be close to that of air. Qi (pronounced [t i ] ɕʰ ˥˩ ; spelled qì in
Mandarin Pinyin romanization and ch'i4 in Wade-Giles) or ki (in Japanese romanization), is a
fundamental concept of traditional Chinese culture. Qi is believed to be part of every living thing
that exists, as a kind of "life force" or "spiritual energy". It is frequently translated as "energy flow",
or literally as "air" or "breath". (For example, "tiānqì", literally "sky breath", is the ordinary Chinese
word for "weather"). In Mandarin Chinese it is pronounced something like "chee" in English, but
the tongue position is different. (See Media:Difficult Sounds.GIF.) The concept of qi is often
reified, however no scientific evidence supports its existence.
The element air also appears as a concept in the Buddhist religion, which has an ancient history in
China.
Some modern occultists equate the Chinese classical element of wood with air.
In Modern Magic
Ceremonial Magic
The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, founded in 1888, incorporates air and the other Greek
classical elements into its teachings. Theoricus (2=9) is the elemental grade attributed to air; this
grade is also attributed to the Moon and the Qabalistic sphere Yesod. The elemental weapon of air
is the dagger, which must be painted yellow with magical names and sigils written upon it in violet.
Each of the elements has several associated spiritual beings. The archangel of air is Raphael, the
angel is Chassan, the ruler is Aral, the king is Paralda, and the air elementals (following Paracelsus)
are called sylphs. Air is considered to be active; it is represented by the Man and the symbol for
Aquarius, and it is referred to the upper left point of the pentagram in the Supreme Invoking Ritual
of the Pentagram. Many of these associations have since spread throughout the occult community.
In the Golden Dawn and many other magical systems, each element is associated with one of the
cardinal points and is placed under the care of guardian Watchtowers. The Watchtowers derive
from the Enochian system of magic founded by Dee. In the Golden Dawn, they are represented by
the Enochian elemental tablets. Air is associated with the east, which is guarded by the First
Watchtower.
Wicca
Air is one of the five elements that appear in many neopagan traditions. Wicca in particular was
influenced by the Golden Dawn system of magic, and Aleister Crowley's mysticism, which was in
turn inspired by the Golden Dawn. Common Wiccan attributions include:
• The cardinal direction of east.
• Yellow , or pastel colors. (Some associate air with green or even a light blue.)
• The wand or the athame.
• Woodwind instruments .
• The suit of Wands or Swords in the Minor Arcana of tarot. Swords are traditionally
associated with Air, and still are in most Tarot decks, however, increasingly decks are being
published with Wands associated with Air and Swords with Fire. This is still a matter of
debate within the esoteric and Wiccan community.
• Mind, intellect, consciousness, study, communication.
• The alchemic notion of Azoth.
• Sunrise, childhood, spring, beginnings.
• Incense .
• Birds , insects, flying creatures.
• Masculine energy.
• Many gods and goddesses, including Aradia, Athena, Hermes, Mercury, Nuit, Shu, Thoth,
Uranus and Zeus.
Astrological Personalities
People born under the astrological signs of Libra, Gemini and Aquarius are thought to have
dominant air personalities. Air personalities tend to be kind, intellectual, communicative, social,
and helpful.
Other Traditions
Enlil was the god of air in ancient Sumer. Shu was the ancient Egyptian god of air and the husband
of Tefnut, goddess of moisture. He became an emblem of strength by virtue of his role in separating
Nut (sky) from Geb (earth). He played a primary role in the Coffin Texts, which were spells
intended to help the deceased reach the realm of the afterlife safely. On the way to the sky, the spirit
had to travel through the air, as one spell indicates: "I have gone up in Shu, I have climbed on the
sunbeams."
In East Asia, "air" is seen as the equivalent of "spirit" or "chi". Air is represented in the Aztec
religion by a snake; to the Scythians, a yoke; to the Hindus and Greeks, a sword[citation needed];
and in Christian iconography, as mankind.
Water (classical element)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Classical Elements
v • d • e
Greek
Air
Water Aether Fire
Earth
Hinduism (Tattva) and
Buddhism (Mahābhūta)

Vayu/Pavan
(Air/Wind)

Ap/Jala (Water) Akasha (Aether/Space) Agni/Tejas (Fire)
Prithvi/Bhumi (Earth)
Japanese (Godai)

Air/Wind (風)

Water (水)
Void/Sky/Heaven
(空)
Fire (火)

Earth (地)

Tibetan (Bön)
Air
Water Space Fire
Earth
Medieval Alchemy
Air
Water Aether Fire
Earth
Sulphur Mercury Salt
Water has been important to all peoples of the earth, and it is rich in spiritual tradition.
Greek and Roman tradition
Water is one of the four classical elements in ancient Greek philosophy and science. It was
commonly associated with the qualities of emotion and intuition.
Water was one of many archai proposed by the Pre-socratics, most of whom tried to reduce all
things to a single substance. However, Empedocles of Acragas (c. 495-c. 435 BC) selected four
archai for his four roots: air, fire, water, and earth. Empedocles’ roots became the four classical
elements of Greek philosophy. Plato (427-347 BC) took over the four elements of Empedocles. In
the Timaeus, his major cosmological dialogue, the Platonic solid associated with water is the
icosahedron which is formed from twenty equilateral triangles. This makes water the element with
the greatest number of sides, which Plato regarded as appropriate because water flows out of one's
hand when picked up, as if it is made of tiny little balls.
Plato’s student Aristotle (384-322 BC) developed a different explanation for the elements based on
pairs of qualities. The four elements were arranged concentrically around the center of the Universe
to form the sublunary sphere. According to Aristotle, water is both cold and wet, and occupies a
place between air and earth among the elemental spheres.
In ancient Greek medicine, each of the four humours became associated with an element. Phlegm
was the humor identified with water, since both were cold and wet. Other things associated with
water and phlegm in ancient and medieval medicine included the season of Winter, since it
increased the qualities of cold and moisture; the phlegmatic temperament (of a person dominated by
the phlegm humour); the feminine; the brain; and the western point of the compass.

Symbol for water
In alchemy, the chemical element of mercury was often associated with water and its alchemical
symbol was a downward-pointing triangle.
Indian Tradition
Main article: Ap (water)
Ap (áp-) is the Vedic Sanskrit term for "water", in Classical Sanskrit occurring only in the pluralis
not an element.v, āpas (sometimes re-analysed as a thematic singular, āpa-), whence Hindi āp. The
term is from PIE h
x
ap "water".
In Hindu philosophy, the term refers to water as an element, one of the Panchamahabhuta, or
"five great elements". In Hinduism, it is also the name of the deva, a personification of water, (one
of the Vasus in most later Puranic lists). The element Water is also associated with Chandra or the
Moon, and Shukra or Venus, who represent feelings, intuition and imagination. Water is also linked
to the north east direction.
In Modern Magic
Ceremonial Magic
Water and the other Greek classical elements were incorporated into the Golden Dawn system
despite being considered obsolete by modern science. Practicus (3=8) is the elemental grade
attributed to water; this grade is also attributed to the Qabalistic sphere Hod and the planet Mercury.
The elemental weapon of water is the cup. Each of the elements has several associated spiritual
beings. The archangel of water is Gabriel, the angel is Taliahad, the ruler is Tharsis, the king is
Nichsa, and the water elementals (following Paracelsus) are called Undines. Earth (Water) is
considered to be passive; it is represented by the eagle, and it is referred to the upper right point of
the pentagram in the Supreme Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram. Many of these associations have
since spread throughout the occult community.
Wicca
In Wiccan tradition, water is associated with the West, autumn, and the color blue on the physical
plane. It is sometimes represented by a white crescent, a downward pointing triangle, the chalice,
the bell, shells, sapphires, lapis lazuli, tears, and the cauldron. Water represents emotions, wisdom,
the soul, and femininity. In rituals, it is represented in the forms of pouring water over objects, brew
making, healing spells, ritual bathing, and tossing objects into bodies of water.
The manifestations of the element of water are rivers, oceans, lakes, wells, fog, all drinks, and the
rain. Animals, especially the dolphin, seal, turtle, frog, and all types of fish, are also thought to
personify the element of water. The astral creatures of water, known as elementals, are the Ondine/
Mermaid, Oreade/Naiad, and Sea Serpent/Dragon. Water’s place on the pentagram is the upper
right point.
Astrological Personalities
People born under the astrological signs of Scorpio, Cancer and Pisces being one of the two drawn
elements meaning it is part of two of the classical elements are thought to have dominant water
personalities. Water personalities tend to be emotional, deep, nurturing, sympathetic, empathetic,
imaginative and intuitive; however, they can also be sentimental, over-sensitive, escapistic and
irrational.
The Three Qualities
The Qualities assign the Signs into Quadruplicities, three groups of four. They are occasionally
referred to as crosses because each quality forms a cross when drawn across the zodiac. Christian
astrology relates the three qualities to the three aspects of God in the trinity.
• Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) are associated with initiation and
creativity.
• Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) are associated with focus, powerful
concentration, individuality and determination.
• Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) are associated with resourcefulness,
holism and adaptability.
Additional classifications
This section needs additional citations for verification.
Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
(March 2009)
While knowing the element and quality of a sign is sufficient to define it, several other
groupings[citation needed] can be used for those interested in better understanding their symbolism.
The most common is a sequential cycle detailed below.[citation needed] Although most commonly
used to define planets, it is valid for signs as well. This cycle has been used as a metaphorical
descriptor of the process of birth, development, and death, of humans, societies, or even humanity.
• Personal Signs - Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer - are principally aware of and
concerned with the self.
• Interpersonal Signs - Leo, Virgo, Libra, and Scorpio - are principally aware of and
concerned with others, and sociality.
• Transpersonal Signs - Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces - are principally aware of
and concerned with humanity.
Planetary rulerships

The symbols used in Western astrology to represent the astrological planets
In traditional Western astrology, each sign is ruled by one and only one of the seven visible planets
(note that in astrology, the Sun and Moon are termed The Lights by astrologers, while the other
bodies are called planets, which literally means wanderers, i.e. wandering stars as opposed to the
fixed stars). The traditional rulerships are as follows: Aries (Mars), Taurus (Venus), Gemini
(Mercury), Cancer (Moon), Leo (Sun), Virgo (Mercury), Libra (Venus), Scorpio (Pluto), Sagittarius
(Jupiter), Capricorn (Saturn), Aquarius (Uranus), Pisces (Neptune).
Many modern, psychologically-oriented astrologers believe that Uranus is the ruler or co-ruler of
Aquarius instead of Saturn, Neptune is the ruler or co-ruler of Pisces instead of Jupiter, and that
Pluto is the ruler or co-ruler of Scorpio instead of Mars (with other modern astrologers claiming
that Pluto rules Aries and not Mars). Some other astrologers believe that the dwarf planet Chiron
may be the ruler of Virgo, while other group of modern astrologers acclaim that Ceres is the ruler of
Taurus instead. Traditional astrology adheres to the rulerships system listed in the paragraph above,
and the debate continues between those who consider the newly discovered planets as rulers or co-
rulers of certain signs and those that do not.
Alternatively, some astrologers use the former planets Pallas, Vesta, Juno and Hygiea in their
delineations and rulerships, for example Vesta to Taurus and Pallas to Virgo.
Some astrologers do not even use the astrological signs at all (mostly Cosmobiologists and Uranian
Astrologers/Hamburg School); therefore they do not take into account planetary rulerships and the
essential dignities when interpreting an astrological chart.
Dignity and detriment, exaltation and fall
A traditional belief of astrology is the idea that the sun, moon and planets are more powerful and
effective in some signs than others, because the basic nature of both is held to be in harmony. By
contrast, the sun, moon and planets are held to find some signs to be weak or difficult to operate in
because their natures are thought to be in conflict . The most important of these categories are
Dignity, Detriment, Exaltation and Fall.
• Dignity and Detriment : A planet is strengthened or dignified if it falls within the sign that
it rules. In other words it is said to exercise Rulership of the sign. For example, the Moon in
Cancer is considered "strong" (well-dignified). Seventeenth century astrologer William Lilly
compared rulership to a king on his throne, with considerable dignity. If a planet is in the
sign opposite that which it rules (or is dignified), it is said to be weakened or in Detriment,
for example the moon in Capricorn.
In traditional astrology, other levels of Dignity are recognised in addition to Rulership. These are
known as Exaltation (see below), Triplicity , Terms or bounds, and Face or Decan , which together
are known as describing a planet's Essential dignity, the quality or ability to give of one's true
nature. Contemporary traditional astrologers like John Frawley or J Lee Lehman explain further on
the concept of Essential Dignity.
• Exaltation and Fall : In addition, a planet is also strengthened when it is in its sign of
Exaltation. In traditional horary astrology, Exaltation denotes a level of dignity somewhat
exaggerated compared to rulership. Exaltation was considered to give the planet (or what it
signified in a horary chart) dignity, with the metaphor of an honoured guest - who is the
centre of attention but the extent of their ability to act is limited. Examples of planets in their
Exaltation are: Saturn (Libra), Sun (Aries), Venus (Pisces), Moon (Taurus), Mercury (Virgo,
although some disagree to this classification), Mars (Capricorn), Jupiter (Cancer). A planet
in the opposite sign of its Exaltation is said to be in its Fall (e.g. Moon in Scorpio), and thus
weakened, perhaps seemingly more so than Detriment. The Planet in fall is passively
rejected or ignored by the sign that it's in. It can be likened to a mayor of a rival city trying
to make suggestions to the hosting mayor for how he should run his city: The host mayor
finds it difficult to trust him and can't see how his input could have relevancy to his city. The
people of the city feel the same as their ruler. The result is impasse and failure on behalf of
both mayors and the city.
In addition to Essential dignity, the traditional astrologer considers Accidental dignity of planets.
This is placement by house in the chart under examination. Accidental dignity describes the planet's
"ability to act". So we might have, for example, Moon in Cancer, dignified by rulership, is placed in
the 12th house it would have little scope to express its good nature. The 12th is a cadent house as
are the 3rd, 6th and 9th and planets in these houses are considered weak or afflicted. On the other
hand, Moon in the 1st, 4th, 7th or 10th would be more able to act as these are Angular houses.
Planets in Succedent houses of the chart (2nd, 5th, 8th, 11th) are generally considered to be of
medium ability to act. Besides Accidental Dignity, there are a range of Accidental Debilities, such
as retrogradation, Under the Sun's Beams, Combust, and so forth.
Planetary dignity
Symbol Zodiac sign Domicile Exile Exaltation Fall
Aries Mars Venus Sun Saturn
Taurus
Venus
(ancient);
Ceres
(modern)
Pluto Moon Uranus
Gemini Mercury Jupiter North node South node
Cancer Moon Saturn Jupiter Mars
Leo Sun Uranus Neptune Mercury
Virgo Mercury Neptune Mercury Venus
Libra Venus Mars Saturn Sun
Scorpio
Mars (ancient);
Pluto (modern)
Ceres Uranus Moon
Sagittarius Jupiter Mercury South node North node
Capricorn Saturn Moon Mars Jupiter
Aquarius
Saturn
(ancient);
Uranus
(modern)
Sun Mercury Neptune
Pisces
Jupiter
(ancient);
Neptune
(modern)
Mercury Venus Mercury
Jyotish or Indian zodiac signs
Jyotish astrology recognises twelve zodiac signs, or Rashis:
Number Sanskrit Name Western/Greek Name
Tattva
(Element)
Quality
Ruling
Planet
1 Me a ṣ "ram" Aries (Κριός "ram") Tejas (Fire) Cara (Movable) Mars
2 V abha ṛṣ "bull" Taurus (Ταύρος "bull")
Prithivi
(Earth)
Sthira (Fixed) Venus
3
Mithuna
"twins"
Gemini (Δίδυμοι "twins") Vayu (Air)
Dvisvabhava
(Dual)
Mercury
4 Karka "crab" Cancer (Καρκίνος "crab") Jala (Water) Cara (Movable) Moon
5 Si ha ṃ "lion" Leo (Λέων "lion") Tejas (Fire) Sthira (Fixed) Sun
6 Kanyā "girl"
Virgo (Παρθένος
"virgin")
Prithivi
(Earth)
Dvisvabhava
(Dual)
Mercury
7 Tula "balance" Libra (Ζυγός "balance") Vayu (Air) Cara (Movable) Venus
8
V ścika ṛ
"scorpion"
Scorpio (Σκoρπιός
"scorpion")
Jala (Water) Sthira (Fixed) Mars
9 Dhanus "bow"
Sagittarius (Τοξότης
"archer")
Tejas (Fire)
Dvisvabhava
(Dual)
Jupiter
10
Makara "sea-
monster"
Capricorn (Α γόκερως ἰ
"goat-horned")
Prithivi
(Earth)
Cara (Movable) Saturn
11
Kumbha
"pitcher"
Aquarius ( δροχόος Ὑ
"water-pourer")
Vayu (Air) Sthira (Fixed) Saturn
12 Mīna "fish" Pisces ( χθείς "fish") Ἰ Jala (Water)
Dvisvabhava
(Dual)
Jupiter
Nakshatras
Main article: Nakshatra
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The twelve signs of the zodiac are not given the same prominence in Indian astrology that they are
in the Western tradition. Instead the emphasis is on the system of 27 (or 28) nakshatras or lunar
mansions, which have been used in Indian astrology since Vedic times. The nakshatras consist of
equal divisions of the moon's path along the ecliptic and function in a similar way to the signs of the
zodiac in that they represent different personality types. It is considered that the position of the
moon in a particular nakshatra at the time of person's birth will give a strong indication of that
individual's character and of the kind of path they will follow throughout life.
Chinese zodiac signs
Main article: Chinese zodiac
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citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed. (March 2009)
Unlike the Western or Indian zodiacs, the Chinese zodiac signs are not derived from constellations,
and are not assigned to sections of the ecliptic. Instead, Chinese astrological signs operate on cycles
of years, lunar months, and two-hour periods of the day (also known as shichen). A particular
feature of the Chinese zodiac is its operation in a sixty year cycle in combination with the five
elements of Chinese astrology (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water).
Zodiac symbolism
The following table shows the twelve signs and their attributes.
Sign Yin/Yang Direction Season Fixed Element Trine
Rat Yang North Winter Water 1st
Ox Yin North; North-East Winter Water 2nd
Tiger Yang East; North-East Spring Wood 3rd
Rabbit Yin East Spring Wood 4th
Dragon Yang East; South-East Spring Wood 1st
Snake Yin South; South-East Summer Fire 2nd
Horse Yang South Summer Fire 3rd
Sheep Yin South; South-West Summer Fire 4th
Monke
y
Yang West; South-West Autumn Metal 1st
Rooster Yin West Autumn Metal 2nd
Dog Yang West; North-West Autumn Metal 3rd
Pig Yin North; North-West Winter Water 4th
The twelve signs

Chart showing the 24 cardinal directions and the symbols of the sign associated with them.
In Chinese astrology the zodiac of twelve animal sign represents twelve different types of
personality. The zodiac traditionally begins with the sign of the Rat, and there are many stories
about the Origins of the Chinese Zodiac which explain why this is so. When the twelve zodiac signs
are part of the sixty year calendar in combination with the five elements, they are traditionally
called the twelve earthly branches. The following are the twelve zodiac signs in order.
1. 子 Rat (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Water): Rat years include 1900, 1912, 1924, 1936,
1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008. The month of the Rat is Dec 7 - Jan 5, and the hours of
the Rat are 11pm - 1am.
2. 丑 Ox (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Water): Ox years include 1901, 1913, 1925, 1937,
1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009. The month of the Ox is Jan 6 - Feb 3, and the hours of
the Ox are 1am - 3am.
3. 寅 Tiger (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Wood): Tiger years include 1902, 1914, 1926,
1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998. The month of the Tiger is Feb 4 - Mar 5, and the hours
of the Tiger are 3am - 5am.
4. 卯 Rabbit (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Wood): Rabbit Years include 1903, 1915, 1927,
1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999. The month of the Rabbit is Mar 6 - Apr 4, and the
hours of the Rabbit are 5am - 7am.
5. 辰 Dragon (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Wood): Dragon years include 1904, 1916, 1928,
1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000. The month of the Dragon is Apr 5 - May 4, and the
hours of the Dragon are 7am - 9am.
6. 巳 Snake (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Fire): Snake years include 1905, 1917, 1929,
1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001. The month of the Snake is May 5 - Jun 5, and the
hours of the Snake are 9am - 11am.
7. 午 Horse (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Fire): Horse years include 1906, 1918, 1930,
1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002. The month of the Horse is Jun 6 - Jul 6, and the hours
of the Horse are 11am - 1pm.
8. 未 Sheep (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Fire): Sheep years include 1907, 1919, 1931, 1943,
1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003. The month of the Sheep is Jul 7 - Aug 7, and the hours of the
Sheep are 1pm - 3pm.
9. 申 Monkey (Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Metal): Monkey years include 1908, 1920,
1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004. The month of the Monkey is Aug 8 - Sep 7, and
the hours of the Monkey are 3pm - 5pm.
10.酉 Rooster (Yin, 2nd Trine, Fixed Element Metal): Rooster years include 1909, 1921, 1933,
1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005. The month of the Rooster is Sep 8 - Oct 7 and the
hours of the Rooster are 5pm - 7pm.
11.戌 Dog (Yang, 3rd Trine, Fixed Element Metal): Dog years include 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946,
1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006. The month of the Dog is Oct 8 - Nov 7, and the hours of the
Dog are 7pm - 9pm.
12.亥 Pig (Yin, 4th Trine, Fixed Element Water): Pig years include 1911, 1923, 1935, 1947,
1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007. The month of the Pig is Nov 8 - Dec 6, and the hours of the
Pig are 9pm - 11pm.
The four trines
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citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed. (March 2009)
The twelve animal signs are also broken into four categories of three signs each, known as trines
• The First Trine
The first trine consists of the Rat, Dragon, and Monkey. These three signs are intense and
powerful individuals, capable of great good or great evil.
• The Second Trine
The second trine consists of the Ox, Snake, and Rooster. These three soul mates conquer life
through endurance, application, and slow accumulation of energy.
• The Third Trine
The third trine consists of the Tiger, Horse, and Dog. These three signs seek one another, and are
like-minded in their pursuit of humanitarian causes.
• The Fourth Trine
The fourth trine consists of the Rabbit, Sheep and Pig. The quest for these three signs is the
aesthetic and beautiful in life.
The five elements
The elements differ in Chinese astrology from their Western counterparts: Air is not one of the
elements as defined by the Chinese. Instead, Wood and Metal are elements alongside Earth, Fire
and Water. In addition, the elements also govern various aspects of one's personality, and are
assigned to various other things such as directions (North, South, East and West), colours, seasons
and planets. The characteristics of the five elements are as follows:
• Metal : The metal person is rigid and resolute in expression and intense, with strong feelings.
The direction associated with Metal is West, and the season is autumn, which makes it the
fixed element for the animal signs Monkey, Rooster and Dog.
• Water : The water person is a good communicator and persuader, intuitive and sympathetic
to others and good at conveying feelings and emotions. The direction associated with Water
is North, and the season is winter, which makes it the fixed element for the animal signs Pig,
Rat and Ox.
• Wood : The wood person has high morals, is self confident, expansive and co-operative,
with wide and varied interests. The direction associated with Wood is East, and the season is
spring, which makes it the fixed element for the animal signs Tiger, Rabbit and Dragon.
• Fire : The fire person has leadership qualities, and is decisive, self confident, positive and
assertive. The direction associated with Fire is South, and the season is summer, which
makes it the fixed element for the animal signs Snake, Horse and Sheep.
• Earth : The earth person is functional, practical, solid, reliable, organized and methodical.
The direction associated with Earth is the Centre. Some Chinese astrologers associate Earth
with late summer.
The five elements operate together with the twelve animal signs in a sixty year calendar. The five
elements appear in the calendar in both their yin and yang forms and are known as the ten heavenly
stems. When trying to calculate the relevant year of the cycle in relation to the Western calendar, an
easy rule to follow is that years that end in an even number are yang, those that end with an odd
number are yin. The cycle proceeds as follows:
• If the year ends in 0 it is Yang Metal.
• If the year ends in 1 it is Yin Metal.
• If the year ends in 2 it is Yang Water.
• If the year ends in 3 it is Yin Water.
• If the year ends in 4 it is Yang Wood.
• If the year ends in 5 it is Yin Wood.
• If the year ends in 6 it is Yang Fire.
• If the year ends in 7 it is Yin Fire.
• If the year ends in 8 it is Yang Earth.
• If the year ends in 9 it is Yin Earth.
Astrology and the classical elements
Astrology has used the concept of classical elements from antiquity up until the present. In Western
astrology and Indian astrology four elements are used, namely Fire, Earth, Air and Water.
Western astrology
Main article: Triplicity
In Western tropical astrology, there are always 12 astrological signs; thus, each of the four elements
is associated with 3 signs of the Zodiac which are always located exactly 120 degrees away from
each other along the ecliptic and said to be in trine with one another. Most modern astrologers use
the four classical elements extensively, (also known as triplicities) and indeed it is still viewed as a
critical part of interpreting the astrological chart.
Beginning with the first sign Aries which is a Fire sign, the next in line Taurus is Earth, then to
Gemini which is Air, and finally to Cancer which is Water. This cycle continues on twice more and
ends with the twelfth and final astrological sign, Pisces. The elemental rulerships for the twelve
astrological signs of the zodiac (according to Marcus Manilius) are summarised as follows:
• Fire — 1 - Aries; 5 - Leo; 9 - Sagittarius - hot, dry, ardent
• Earth — 2 - Taurus; 6 - Virgo; 10 - Capricorn - heavy, cold, dry
• Air — 3 - Gemini; 7 - Libra; 11 - Aquarius - light, hot, wet
• Water — 4 - Cancer; 8 - Scorpio; 12 - Pisces - wet, soft, cold
Elements in classical astrology
Triplicity rulerships
In traditional astrology, each triplicity has several planetary rulers, which change with conditions of
sect – that is, whether the chart is a day chart or a night chart. Triplicity rulerships are a very
important essential dignity – one of the several factors used by traditional astrologers to weigh the
strength, effectiveness and integrity of each planet in a chart.
Triplicty rulerships (using the "Dorothean system") are as follows:
Triplicity Rulerships
Triplicity Day Ruler Night Ruler Participating Ruler
Fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) Sun Jupiter Saturn
Earth (Taurus, Virgo,
Capricorn)
Venus Moon Mars
Air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) Saturn Mercury Jupiter
Water* (Cancer, Scorpio,
Pisces)
Venus* Mars Moon
* (Ptolemy later modified the rulerships of Water triplicity, making Mars the ruler of the water
triplicity for both day and night charts--and William Lilly concurred.)
"Participating" rulers were not used after the Hellenistic period.
Triplicities by season
In ancient astrology, triplicities were more of a seasonal nature, so a season was given the qualities
of an element, which means the signs associated with that season would be allocated to that
element. The seasonal elements of ancient astrology are as follows:
• Spring - Earth - Aries, Taurus, Gemini
• Summer - Fire - Cancer, Leo, Virgo
• Autumn - Air - Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius
• Winter - Water - Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces
These associations are not given any great importance in modern astrology, although they are
prominent in modern Western neopaganism, druidism and wicca
Elements in modern astrology
In modern astrology each of the elements are associated with different personality types. The
following table summarizes their characteristics as follows:
Element Horoscope Description Misused...
Fire Aries, Leo,
Sagittarius
These signs are fiery, bright, ardent,
enthusiastic, leaders, confident,
proud, spontaneous, self-sufficient,
They can be very arrogant, self-
centered, bossy, and forceful; and
hungers for attention. These signs
and romantic.
don't have time to sympathize and
comfort others; they have no
patience for emotionalism or
heaviness. They also tend to take
credit for things that others have also
taken part in.
Earth
Taurus,
Virgo,
Capricorn
These signs are practical, stable,
consistent, rigid, determined,
dependable, patient, conservative,
and sensual. They love material
comforts and have good recuperative
powers.
They can be stubborn and very harsh,
as well as possessive, jealous, and
nearsighted.
Air
Gemini,
Libra,
Aquarius
These signs can talk and
communicate well; they tend to be
intellectual, and they are able to
handle abstract reasoning. They are
logical, objective, talkative, social,
spontaneous, flexible, cautious,
idealistic, and unprejudiced.
They can be cold, superficial, and
impractical. These signs fear
something new and hunger for
freedom. They can also be very
insensitive to other people's
emotions.
Water
Cancer,
Scorpio,
Pisces
These signs are feeling, sustaining,
and receptive. They are emotional,
intuitive, responsive, sensitive,
psychic,deep, kind, and caring. They
tend to be susceptible to mood
swings, and it takes a while to get to
know them. They are also nurturing
and base many actions they take on
sense.
They can be self-protective and like
to spoil themselves. If their emotions
become too strong, these signs can
become addicted to drugs, alcohol,
food, or anything that keeps them
from being overloaded. Along with
their empathy, also comes a tendency
to actually absorb the emotions of
others.
Indian astrology
Main article: Jyotisha
Indian astrology shares the same system as Western astrology of linking zodiac signs to elements.
The following table gives the correspondences:
Numbe
r
Sanskrit Name Western/Greek Name
Tattva
(Element)
Quality
Ruling
Planet
1 Me a ṣ "ram" Aries (Κριός "ram") Tejas (Fire) Cara (Movable) Mars
2 V abha ṛṣ "bull" Taurus (Ταύρος "bull")
Prithivi
(Earth)
Sthira (Fixed) Venus
3 Mithuna "twins" Gemini (Δίδυμοι "twins") Vayu (Air)
Dvisvabhava
(Dual)
Mercury
4 Karka "crab" Cancer (Καρκίνος "crab") Jala (Water) Cara (Movable) Moon
5 Si ha ṃ "lion" Leo (Λέων "lion") Tejas (Fire) Sthira (Fixed) Sun
6 Kanyā "girl"
Virgo (Παρθένος
"virgin")
Prithivi
(Earth)
Dvisvabhava
(Dual)
Mercury
7 Tula "balance" Libra (Ζυγός "balance") Vayu (Air) Cara (Movable) Venus
8 V ścika ṛ Scorpio (Σκoρπιός Jala (Water) Sthira (Fixed) Mars
"scorpion" "scorpion")
9 Dhanus "bow"
Sagittarius (Τοξότης
"archer")
Tejas (Fire)
Dvisvabhava
(Dual)
Jupiter
10
Makara "sea-
monster"
Capricorn (Α γόκερως ἰ
"goat-horned")
Prithivi
(Earth)
Cara (Movable) Saturn
11
Kumbha
"pitcher"
Aquarius ( δροχόος Ὑ
"water-pourer")
Vayu (Air) Sthira (Fixed) Saturn
12 Mīna "fish" Pisces ( χθείς "fish") Ἰ Jala (Water)
Dvisvabhava
(Dual)
Jupiter
In addition, in Vedic thought each of the five planets are linked to an element (with ether as the
fifth). It was said in the Veda that everything emanated from the one basic vibration of "Om" or
"Aum." From "Om" the five elemental vibrations emerged representing the five different tattwas (or
elements). The five planets represent these five vibrations – Jupiter for Ether, Saturn for Air, Mars
for Fire, Mercury for Earth, and Venus for Water.
Chinese astrology
Main article: Wu Xing
In many traditional Chinese theory field, matters and its developmental movement stage can be
classified into the Wu Xing. They are Tree, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Note that the Wu Xing
are chiefly an ancient mnemonic device for systems with 5 stages, rather than the notion of different
kinds of material. For further information, see Wu Xing.
Horoscope
In astrology, a horoscope is a chart or diagram representing the positions of the Sun, Moon,
planets, the astrological aspects, and sensitive angles at the time of an event, such as the moment of
a person's birth. The word horoscope is derived from Greek words meaning "a look at the hours"
(horoskopos, pl. horoskopoi, or "marker(s) of the hour.") Other commonly used names for the
horoscope in English include astrological chart, astro-chart, celestial map, sky-map, star-chart,
cosmogram, vitasphere, radical chart, radix, chart wheel, or simply chart. It is used as a method
of divination regarding events relating to the point in time it represents and forms the basis of the
horoscopic traditions of astrology.
In common usage, horoscope often refers to an astrologer's interpretation, usually through a system
of Sun sign astrology or based on calendar significance of an event, as in Chinese astrology. In
particular, many newspapers and magazines carry predictive columns based on celestial influences
in relation to the zodiacal placement of the Sun on the day of a person's birth, identifying the
individual's Sun sign or "star sign." This system is distinct from horoscopes as traditionally
employed, as only the zodiacal placement of the Sun is considered in interpretation. While this
modern usage is perhaps the most popular in the colloquial lexicon, this article will focus primarily
on the traditional concept.
Introduction
The horoscope serves as a stylized map of the heavens over a specific location at a particular
moment in time. In most applications the perspective is geocentric (heliocentric astrology being one
exception). The positions of the actual planets (including Sun and Moon) are placed in the chart,
along with those of purely calculated factors such as the lunar nodes, the house cusps including the
midheaven and the ascendant, zodiac signs, fixed stars and the lots. Angular relationships between
the planets themselves and other points, called aspects, are typically determined. Which elements
are used or emphasized over others varies by traditions.
Etymology
The word Latin horoscopus, ultimately from Greek ρόσκοπος "nativity, horoscope", literally ὡ
"observer of the hour [of birth]", from ρα "time, hour" and σκόπος "observer, watcher". In ὥ Middle
English texts from the 11th century, the word appears in the Latin form, and is anglicized to
horoscope in Early Modern English. The noun horoscopy for "casting of horoscopes" has been in
use since the 17th century (OED). In Greek, ρόσκοπος in the sense of " ὡ ascendant" and ροσκοπία ὡ
"observation of the ascendant" is in use since Ptolemy (Tetrabiblos 33, 75).
Concepts in Western Astrology
Main article: Western astrology
• The native is the time and place of the event (a birth, for example) being charted, and is
considered to be at the centre of the celestial sphere.
• The celestial sphere is a sphere of arbitrary radius upon which the items appearing on the
regard to their distance from the native.
• The plane of the equator is the plane of the earth's equator projected into space.
• The plane of the ecliptic is defined by the orbits of the earth and the sun. For practical
purposes the plane of the equator and the plane of the ecliptic maintain a constant inclination
to each other of approximately 23.5°.
• The plane of the horizon is centred on the native, and is tangential to the earth at that point.
In a sphere whose radius is infinitely large, this plane may be treated as nearly equivalent to
the parallel plane with its centre at the earth's center. This greatly simplifies the geometry of
the horoscope, but does not take into account that the native is in motion. Some writers on
astrology have thus considered the effects of parallax, but most would agree that (apart from
that of the moon) they are relatively minor[citation needed].
Angles
• There are four primary angles in the horoscope (though the cusps of the houses are often
included as important angles by some astrologers). The ascendant is the eastern point where
the ecliptic and horizon intersect; the ascendant is generally considered the most important
and personalized angle (along with the midheaven) in the horoscope by the vast majority of
astrologers and the placement of its ruler, called the chart ruler is considered to be greatly
important. Its opposite point in the west is the descendant. In creating a horoscope the
ascendant is traditionally placed as the left-hand side point of the chart. During the course of
a day, because of the Earth's rotation, the entire circle of the ecliptic will pass through the
ascendant and will be advanced by about 1°. This provides us with the term rising sign,
which is the sign of the zodiac that was rising in the point on the ecliptic that is furthest
above the plane of the horizon (not to be confused with zenith, which is normal to the
horizon and so directly above the horoscope location). Its opposite point is known as the
imum coeli (not to be confused with nadir, which is the opposite point of the zenith on the
reverse side of the horizon). For events occurring where the planes of the ecliptic and the
horizon coincide, the limiting position for these points is located 90° from the ascendant.
The zodiac

The astrological symbols/glyphs used in Western astrology to represent the astrological signs
(Zodiac)
Main article: zodiac
• The zodiac refers to the 16° wide band on the celestial sphere containing the signs. It is
centered on the ecliptic,occurs at the exact moment that the Sun crosses the celestial equator
and enters the zodiac sign of Aries. Astrologers in India and some Western astrologers use
the more ancient sidereal zodiac, which corresponds to the ancient position of the
constellations as they were viewed thousands of years ago. Many people are confused
regarding the difference between the sidereal constellations and the tropical zodiac signs.
Because of a "wobble" in the earth's axis of rotation over a period of about 26,000 years (this
26,000 year period is often called a "great year"), the point at which the vernal equinox
advances in the sky rate is approximately 0 deg, 0 min, 50.23 seconds a year. Precession of
the equinoxes thus occurs at a rate of roughly 5 arc minutes of a degree every 6 years.
Sidereal and so the signs relate to the seasons and not the stars. It is also important to note
that some astrologers don't use the signs of the zodiac at all, focusing more instead on the
astrological aspects and other features of the horoscope.
• The sun sign is the sign of the zodiac in which the sun is located for the native. This is the
single astrological fact familiar to most people. If an event occurs at sunrise the ascendant
and sun sign will be the same; other rising signs can then be estimated at approximately two
hour intervals from there.
• A cusp is the boundary between two signs or houses. For some the cusp includes a small
portion of the two signs or houses under consideration.
Houses
• The houses are a series of twelve divisions of the plane of the ecliptic. Astrologers have
devised many systems of calculating these house divisions. In the case of the equal house
system the ecliptic is divided into twelve equal houses of 30° each. The first house begins at
the ascendant and the others are numbered counterclockwise from that point. The first six
are therefore below the horizon, and the other six are above. The positions of these houses
remains fixed relative to the native. The signs and planets all move through the twelve
houses during the course of a day, and the planets move through the signs over the course of
months or years.
Construction of a horoscope in Western Astrology
To create a horoscope, an astrologer first has to ascertain the exact time and place of the subject's
birth, or the initiation of an event. The local standard time (adjusting for any daylight saving time or
war time) is then converted into Greenwich Mean Time or Universal Time at that same instant. The
astrologer then has to convert this into the local sidereal time at birth in order to be able to calculate
the ascendant and midheaven. The astrologer will next consult a set of tables called an ephemeris,
which lists the location of the sun, moon and planets for a particular year, date and sidereal time,
with respect to the northern hemisphere vernal equinox or the fixed stars (depending on which
astrological system is being used). The astrologer then adds or subtracts the difference between the
longitude of Greenwich and the longitude of the place in question to determine the true local mean
time (LMT) at the place of birth to show where planets would be visible above the horizon at the
precise time and place in question. Planets hidden from view beneath the earth are also shown in the
horoscope.
The horoscope 12 sectors around the circle of the ecliptic, starting from the eastern horizon with the
ascendant or rising sign. These 12 sectors are called the houses and numerous systems for
calculating these divisions exist. Tables of houses have been published since the 19th Century to
make this otherwise demanding task easier..
Houses
Main article: House (astrology)
The chart thus begins with a framework of 12 houses. Upon this the signs of the zodiac are
superimposed. In the equal house system the cusp between any two houses will fall at the same
degree for each of the at 12° of Leo, the second house will begin at 12° of Virgo, the third at 12°
Libra, and so on. In house systems that take into consideration the effects of the angle of
intersection between the planes of the horizon and the ecliptic, the calculations are more
complicated. For these calculations it is essential to know the latitude of the event. Tables are
available for these calculations, but they are now commonly calculated by computer. Most
astrology computer programs allow the user to choose from a variety of house systems.

The astrological symbols/glyphs used in Western astrology to represent the planets in astrology
Placements of the planets
Main article: Planets in astrology
Having established the relative positions of the signs in the houses, the astrologer positions the sun,
moon, and planets at their rightful celestial longitudes. Some astrologers also take note of minor
planetary bodies, fixed stars, asteroids (for example, Chiron) and other mathematically calculated
points and angles such as the vertex, equatorial ascendant, etc. Many astrologers also use what are
commonly referred to as Arabic parts (or Greek Lots), the most common of which is the Part of
Fortune (Pars Fortunae).
Aspects
To complete the horoscope the astrologer will consider the aspects or relative angles between pairs
of planets. More exact aspects are considered more important. The difference between the exact
aspect and the actual aspect is called the orb. Those generally recognized by the astrological
community are Conjunction (0°), Opposition (180°), Square (90°), Trine (120°), Sextile (60°),
Semi-Square (45°), Sesqisquare (135°), and Quincunx (150°). Understandably these aspects are
more significant when they are exact, but they are considered to function within an orb of
influence, the size of which varies according to the importance of each aspect. Thus conjunctions
are believed to operate with a larger orb than sextiles. Most modern astrologers use an orb of 8° or
less for aspects involving the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter and smaller orbs for the other points. Some
astrologers, such as practitioners of Cosmobiology, and Uranian astrology, use minor aspects (15°,
22.5°, 67.5°, 72°, 75°, 105°, 112.5°, 157.5°, 165°) with much narrower orbs.
Ascendant
Longitude is necessary in order to determine the position of the Ascendant because horoscopes use
local time. Having constructed the horoscope, the astrologer can begin the task of interpreting the
chart. This interpretation depends upon which branch of horoscopic astrology is being used.
Horoscopes in Eastern Cultures
In Chinese astrology, horoscopes are based on the symbolism of the Chinese zodiac, a system of
elements and animals associated with each year according to a sexagenary cycle. However, these
horoscopes, as well as the characteristics assigned on the basis of the year one was born, are
considered amusing rather than accurate predictors. Chinese horoscopes often appear in horoscope
sections in newspapers and magazine alongside Western horoscopes.
Natal chart
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Not to be confused with Conception chart.

This natal chart, appearing in Ebenezer Sibly's Astrology (1806), was drawn for the speculated birth
date of Jesus Christ, midnight, December 25, year 45 in the Julian calendar.
In natal astrology, a natal chart is a horoscope/astrological chart drawn for the exact time of an
individual's birth at a particular place on Earth for the purposes of gaining information about the
individual. Commonly used alternate names for the natal chart include birth chart, natus, nativity,
radix, and genethliac chart, among others.
In addition to the date of birth, an accurate birth time (the first breath is generally agreed upon as
the exact time when the chart should be calculated) and a location are essential when calculating a
natal chart so that the primary chart angles may be calculated with the greatest possible accuracy.
These include the ascendant (or "rising sign"), imum coeli, descendant, and the midheaven.
Example

These are the astrological symbols/glyphs as most commonly used in Western Astrology

The symbols used in Western astrology to represent the astrological signs (Zodiac)
The picture to the above-right is a modern example of a natal chart as a modern Western astrologer
would most likely view it (though there are variants depending on the specific astrological tradition
that the astrologer follows and/or their personal preferences). The design, along with the
symbols/glyphs used in the chart, can vary widely; some choose to include the Zodiac wheel, while
some do not. Also, charts do not have to be round -- following the Hellenistic/Roman, medieval
and/or Vedic styles, they can be square as well.
The astrological aspects (such as conjunctions or oppositions, among others) are delineated in the
center of the chart. The twelve signs of the Zodiac are located at the outer portion of the chart
wheel; similarly, twelve segments of arc form astrological houses which are said to have
significance for different areas of life. There are many different systems for calculating the houses.
The sample chart uses a quadrant house system of house division whereby the angles of the chart
divide the chart into four quadrants with three houses within each quadrant, and in which the houses
usually include portions of more than one astrological sign. Each quadrant has an angular house,
which includes one of the angles of the chart; a succedent house follows this, with a cadent house at
the end of the quadrant.
Place and time of birth
Because the Sun, Moon, planets, and primary angles in the sky are constantly in motion relative to
the earth, as each second passes the natal chart/astrological chart is changing (albeit slowly) and a
new chart is created for every moment at each location. A natal chart is extremely personal and
unique, depending on the specific date, exact time, and precise location of the birth. Even the birth
charts of a pair of twins are often slightly different due to the fact that one of the twins is usually
born a few minutes apart from the other (see also: astro-twin).
The time of birth can usually be found on the birth certificate in many countries. In some instances,
however, the birth times are rounded off by the nurse or doctor that is present to the nearest half or
quarter-hour, thus rendering the time only approximately correct. Because of this fairly common
practice, the parents should always remember to note the exact time of the child's first breath and
not rely on the time given on the birth certificate in the event that they ever plan on having a
precisely accurate natal chart calculated for their child. An accurate time of birth is virtually useless
if the exact location of birth is not known.
Most charts are geocentric, that is based on the Earth. However, there is no reason in theory why a
chart cannot be created for another planet. Some astrologers use Heliocentric - Sun centered - charts
which only require an accurate time as the location would be the Sun. These are theoretical
constructions and have a different interpretation to geocentric natal charts. Charts based on other
planets would need all the points recalculating from that point of view; for example, "Jovocentric"
would be a Jupiter centered view.
Erecting the natal chart
Main article: Horoscope
Once the astrologer has ascertained the exact time and place of the subject's birth, the local standard
time (adjusting for any daylight saving time or war time) is then converted into Greenwich Mean
Time or Universal Time at that same instant. The astrologer then has to convert this into the local
sidereal time at birth in order to be able to calculate the ascendant and midheaven. The astrologer
will next consult a set of tables called an ephemeris, which lists the location of the sun, moon and
planets for a particular year, date and sidereal time, with respect to the northern hemisphere vernal
equinox or the fixed stars (depending on which astrological system is being used). The astrologer
then adds or subtracts the difference between the longitude of Greenwich and the longitude of the
place in question to determine the true local mean time (LMT) at the place of birth to show where
planets would be visible above the horizon at the precise time and place in question. Planets hidden
from view beneath the earth are also shown in the horoscope.

Natal chart for Martin Luther, also appearing in Sibly's Astrology.
The horoscope is then divided into 12 sectors around the circle of the ecliptic, starting from the
eastern horizon with the ascendant or rising sign. These 12 sectors are called the houses and
numerous systems for calculating these divisions exist. Tables of houses have been published since
the 19th Century to make this otherwise demanding task easier.
Placements of the planets
Having established the relative positions of the signs in the houses, the astrologer positions the sun,
moon, and planets at their rightful celestial longitudes. Some astrologers also take note of minor
planetary bodies, fixed stars, asteroids (for example, Chiron) and other mathematically calculated
points and angles such as the vertex, equatorial ascendant, etc. Many astrologers also use what are
commonly referred to as Arabic parts (or Greek Lots), the most common of which is the Part of
Fortune (Pars Fortuna).
Aspects
Main article: Astrological aspects
To complete the horoscope the astrologer will consider the aspects or relative angles between pairs
of planets. Certain aspects are considered more important than others. Those generally recognized
by the astrological community are Conjunction (0°), Opposition (180°), Square (90°), Trine
(120°), Sextile (60°), Semi-Square (45°), Sesqisquare (135°), and Quincunx (150°).
Understandably these aspects are more significant when they are exact, but they are considered to
function within an orb of influence, the size of which varies according to the importance of each
aspect. Thus conjunctions are believed to operate with a larger orb than sextiles. Most modern
astrologers use an orb of 8° or less for aspects involving the Sun, Moon, and Jupiter and smaller
orbs for the other points. Some astrologers, such as practitioners of Cosmobiology, and Uranian
astrology, use minor aspects (15°, 22.5°, 67.5°, 72°, 75°, 105°, 112.5°,
Interpretation
Main article: Natal astrology
Once the natal chart has been constructed the process of interpretation can begin. This is a branch of
astrology known as natal astrology , which involves building a complete picture of the personality
of the subject, or native. Interpretation involves two main steps - chart weighting and chart shaping.
Chart weighting involves noting the distribution of zodiac signs and houses in the chart, and the
significance of this to the overall personality of the native. Signs are assessed by element (Fire,
Earth, Air, and Water) and by quality (Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable). Houses are assessed by the
significance of Angular, Succedent and Cadent houses.
Chart shaping involves assessing the placement of the planets by aspect and position in the chart,
and noting any significant patterns which occur between them. This involves noting significant
aspect patterns (or groups of aspects), which may appear in the chart and any other patterns , such
as Jones patterns.
The solar chart
The solar chart is a natal chart erected when the date of birth is known, but not the time of day. The
position of the sun at midnight or noon is taken as the time of birth, and the position of the sun,
moon and planets plotted in the chart for that time. This leads to a fairly accurate picture of their
position (with the exception of the moon) , as most of the planets do not move much in the course
of one day. The aspects between each of the planets (except the moon) can therefore be plotted with
a high degree of confidence. The sun's position is taken as the ascendant of the chart and equal sized
houses of 30 degrees each are used; or alternatively, the sunrise chart can be used, with the sun's
position at sunrise at the latitude in question taken as the ascendant.
Although the solar chart is deficient in that it cannot show the ascendant, midheaven or the houses
with any accuracy, it can neverthelss provide a fairly accurate profile of a person's character from
examining the position of the planets alone.
Rectification
In the practice of astrology, one deals with conceptions, births, and deaths of persons and corporate
entities such as countries, companies, and colleges. In the case of a person it is clear what is meant
by a conception, a birth, and a death. But with a corporate entity these three phases are not so clear.
In fact, they are quite controversial. For example, it is not clear if it is meaningful to speak about the
conception of a college v. its birth. Perhaps its conception, if it had one, would be when some
person had the idea to found a college. Then perhaps its birth was when it was incorporated legally.
But one has also to deal with the first day of its classes, when it came into existence performing its
intended function of education. If that were the case, then maybe its incorporation would have been
its conception, and the idea to have a college would be a conception of the conception. And in the
case of a country the issue is even more complex; one may point, for example, to many different
dates at which the United States could be considered to have started.
But whichever entity one is dealing with - a person or a corporate entity - and whichever life phase
one is dealing with - a conception, a birth, or a death - the problem always arises as to what is the
accurate time at which one of these life cycle phases commenced.
All these life cycle events occur in the flow of historic time. To compute a geocentric chart (the
chart drawn from the vantage point of a place on the earth) one needs to know the date and also the
time at that place. In the case of a person, one generally knows the birth date, but the time may
come in the one of three categories of decreasing accuracy: from a birth record, from the memory of
the parents, or from the mere recording of the date (whereby taking noon, one will be off by up to
12 hours either side). a given event occurring in the flow of historic time is known (or is
considered) to be of significance. Usually this is the birth of a person, but it could also be the birth
of a corporate entity such as a country or a college or a company. If one is dealing with the birth of
a person, then the event is known to be significant. But if one is dealing with an event that is
thought to be the birth of a country or a college or a company Such a moment is called an , which
we would call an event, considered to be of significance. Rectification - from the verb 'to rectify'
meaning 'to correct' - is the process whereby a more accurate time for the coming into existence of
an astrological chart is determined starting from a less accurate time for the coming into being of
that astrological chart.
Panchangam

Panchaanga in Kannada
A panchangam (Sanskrit pañcā gam ṅ ) is a Hindu astrological almanac (or calendar), which
follows traditional Indian cosmology, and presents important astronomical data in tabulated form. It
is sometimes spelled Pancanga or Panchanga. It is pronounced Panchanga. It is widely used for
astrology Jyotisha (Jyoti a ṣ ).
Panchangas are published in India by many learned authors, societies, academies, and universities.
Different publications differ only minutely, at least for a casual or un-trained reader. They forecast
celestial phenomena such as solar eclipses, forecast weather (rain, dryspells) as well as more
mundane occurrences.
The study of Panchangas involves understanding Rasi phala, the impact of the signs of the zodiac
on the individual. Astrologers consult the Panchangam to set auspicious dates for weddings,
corporate mergers, and other worldly activities as per religion. Also see Hindu Calendar.
The actual casting of a Panchanga involves elaborate mathematical work involving high level of
spherical geometry and sound understanding of astronomical phenomena, such as sidereal
movements of heavenly bodies. However, in practice the tabulation is done on the basis of short-cut
formulations as propounded by ancient Vedic sages and scholars.
A typical Panchanga may state tabulations of positions of Sun, Moon, and other planets for every
day of the year on a fixed place (longitude, latitude) and time of day (in 24-hour format IST). The
users calculate the remaining data using the their relative difference from this fixed place and time.
There are several panchangas that contain information for more than one year. There is one
Vishvavijaya Panchanga that is for 100 years.
The theories propounded in the two scriptures, Surya Siddhanta and Grahalaghava formed the basis
for the plethora of calendars or Panchangas in the past in different regions of the country - a
culturally complex system.
The Grahalaghava was compiled some 600 years ago and Surya Siddhanta was available ages
before that. But these had become outdated and did not tally with actual astronomical events and
did not tally with each other also. Hence, a committee was appointed by the Government of India
with experts in the field drawn from various parts of the country who were involved with
preparation of Panchanga in local languages to draw up a reliable Panchanga in which the
mathematical calculations provides the positions of grahas (the planets) and nakshatras
(constellations) in the sky as they are observed.
Thus, the Government of India has prepared the National Panchanga or the Indian national calendar
in 1957 (was proposed by Saha and Lahiri in 1952), which is used in predictive astrology. The
Lahiris Ephemeris published annually is the most widely used English almanac in Vedic astrology
apart from the many Panchangas published in local languages, which are mostly based on the
National Panchanga.
Etymology
Accuracy of attributes depending upon Moon's motions were considered most crucial for the
reliability of a panchānga, because Moon is fastest among all heavenly entities shown in traditional
panchāngas. Tithi, Nakshatra, Rāśi, Yoga, and Karana depend upon Moon's motions, which are five
in number. Panchānga is a Sanskrit word, literally meaning "having five limbs". If these five
limbs,i.e., five attributes depending upon Moon, are accurate, an almanac is held to be reliable,
because other elements are not so difficult to compute due to their slow rates of change. There are
three popular meanings of the term panchānga. 1. (noun) (Vedic astrology) meaning "five
attributes" of the day. These are:
• Tithi - Ending Moment (EM) of elongation of the Moon, the lunar day , the angular
relationship between Sun and Moon ( True Moon minus True Sun). One Tithi equals 12
degree difference between Moon and Sun.
• Nakshatra - EM of asterism of the day, that is, the stellar mansion in which Moon is located
for an observer on Earth. One Nakshatra equals 13 degrees:20 minutes. There are 27
Nakshatra in 360 degrees.
• Yoga - EM of the angular relationship between Sun and Moon( True Moon plus True Sun).
One Yoga equals 13 degrees:20 minutes. There are 27 Yogas in 360 degrees.
• Karana - EM of half of a Tithi. One Kara a ṇ equals 6 degree difference between Moon and
Sun.
• Var weekday the seven Week days.
Monier-Williams gives "solar day" instead of Rāśi as the fifth limb. Some people enumerate Vār
(days of the week) instead. But Vār or solar days do not involve intricate computations, unlike EM
of Rāśi, but in the Hindu system the above said five elements only constitute the five limbs of the
Panchangam
2. (noun) An almanac that contains the astronomical / astrological daily details also came to be
called a panchānga because of the importance of five attributes shown above.
3. Panchānga-pūjan is a part of Ganesh-Ambika-pūjan. This meaning is not related to almanacs.
In Vedic Astrology, the basic tenet of astrology was integrated with celestial events and thus was
born various branches of Vedic Astrology and the Panchanga. In simple terms, “ Panchanga” means
the Day, Nakshatra (Star), Thithi, Yoga and Karana every day. It is a mirror of the sky. The
document used as Panchanga has evolved over the last 5000 years. The theories propounded in the
two scriptures, Surya Siddhanta and Grahalaghava formed the basis for the plethora of calendars or
Panchangas in the past in different regions of the country - a culturally complex system.
The five Angas or parts of Panchanga are elaborated in the following pargraphs but before that the
composition of the Samvatsara OR Years (60 Years cycle), Varsha or Year and Masa or month are
first explained, as these important calendar events are part of every Panchanga. All the components
of Panchanga are relevant in Predictive Astrology, Prasna Shastra (electional astrology), etc.
All followers and practitioners of Vedic astrology must necessarily know how to read a Panchanga
and in this context it is necessary to know the Terminology used in the Panchanga for different time
slots of the Day. Panchangas are also published in English as Ephemeris - The Lahiris Ephemeris is
most widely used, which gives all the details as contained in a traditional Panchanga published in
Sanskrit or Hindi and all the regional languages of the country.
There are several forms of reckoning the Varsha or Year based on Solar Entry (Solar Ingress),
Lunar entry, Jupiter entry in a sign or the Julian calendar of starting the year from the first of
January, but the most widely accepted practice in India is the Samvatsara, a 60 years cycle based on
Solar entry. Each zodiacal sign is represented by 5 years starting from Pramadi and the Sixty years
are equally distributed in successive order among the 12 signs (Rasis) starting from Mesha (Aries)
and ending in Meena (Pisces).
Varsha or the year in astrological parlance is the solar calendar of year and months, which starts
with Sun entering Aries (Mesha Rasi) and completing a full circle of the 12 zodiacal signs in a
period of 12 months. The reckoning is done in a cycle of 60 years as explained above.
There are two kinds of Lunar months followed in India - the New Moon ending called the Amanta
or Sukladi system and the Full Moon ending (covering one Full Moon to the next) called the
Purnimanta system. But it is the lunar months Full Moon reckoned), which are reckoned in
predictive astrology, and each represents the name of the star on Full moon day of the Solar months.
The twelve Lunar months starting from Chaitra along with the names of the Solar months are given
below.
No. Lunar Month Solar Month
1 Chitta Chaitra
2 Visaka Vyshaka
3 Jyeshta Jyeshta
4 Poorvashada Ashada
5 Sravana Shravana
6 Poorvabhadra Bhadrapadha
7 Aswini Aswija
8 Kartika Kartika
9 Mrigashira Margashira
10 Pushyami Pushya
11 Makha Magha
12 Uttaraphalguni Phalguna
In VedIc astrology, the basic tenets of astrology were integrated with celestial events with Vara or
Week day and thus was born the Muhurtha Astrology or Electional Astrology.
Thithi or Lunar day is an important concept in Hindu Astrology. It means lunation. There are thirty
Thithis in a Lunar month distributed in the 360 degrees of the Zodiac and each Thithi is completed
when the longitude of the Moon gains exactly 12 degrees or its multiple on that of the Sun. By
name there are only 15 thithis repeating in the two half’s of the month – Shukla 1 to Shukla 15
(known as Poornima or Full Moon) and Krishna 1 to 15 (known as Amavasya or New Moon). In
astrological parlance Thithi has great significance in the fact that each Thithi from 1 to 14 in both
Pakshas has what are called Daghda rasis or Burnt Rasis – two rasis for each Thithi except
Chaturdasiwhich has four Daghda rasis. But New Moon and Full Moon have no Dagdha Rasis. The
Thithis are divided into five groups as under.
1. Nanda (Ananda or Joyous) thithi - Prathipada (1st), Shasti (6th) and Ekadashi (11th);
2. Bhadra (Arogya or Mangala or Healthy) thithis on – Dwitiya (2nd), Saptami (7th) and
Dwadashi (12th);
3. Jaya (Victory) Thithi –Tuesday- Tritiya (3rd), Ashtami (8th ) and Trtayodashi (13th);
4. Rikktha (Loss or Nashta) Thitihis – saturdayChathurthi (4th) Navami (9th) and Chaturfasi
(14th);
5. Poorna (Sampoorna - Full Moon or New Moon) Thithis –Thursday Panchami (5th),
Dashami (10th) and Amavasya (New Moon) or Poornima.
A unique Vedic system is followed in Muhurtha Astrology, Horary Astrology and predictive
astrology, which envisages grouping of Nakshtaras (Stars) into nine sub-groups. Each sub-group
covers three stars and has a specific name of ‘Tara’ proceeded by a word defining benefic or
malefic nature. These are found to be extremely useful in Vedic Astrology which is widely
practiced in India. The nine Taras (Stars)by their individual names are elaborated below.
1. Janma (Birth) Tara – The Janma (birth star) Nakshatra, the 10th from Janma nakshatra also
known as Karna nakshatra and the 19th from Janma nakshatra known as Adhana nakshatra
constitute this Tara.
2. Sampat Tara – The 2nd the 11th and the 20th Nakshatras counted from Janma nakshatra
constitute this Tara.
3. Vipat Tara – The 3rd, the 12th and the 21st stars counted from Janma nakshatra constitute
this Tara.
4. Kshema Tara – The 4th, the 13th and the 22nd Nakshatras counted from the janama
nakshatra constitute this Tara.
5. Pratyak Tara – The 5t, the 14th, and the 23rd nakshatras from Janma nakshatra constitutes
this Tara.
6. Sadhaka Tara – The 6th, the 15th, and the 24th nakshatras from Janma nakshatra constitutes
this tara.
7. Nidhana Tara – The 7th, the 16th , and the 25th nakshatras from the Janma nakshatra
constitutes this tara.
8. Mitra Tara – The 8th, the 17th and the 26th nakshatras from Janma nakshatra constitute this
tara.
9. Ati or Parama Mitra Tara – The 9th, the 18th and the 27th nakshatras from Janma nakshatra
constitutes this tara.
Usage of Panchangam
The basic purpose of Hindu Panchangam is to check various Hindu festivals & and auspicious time
(election- Muhurta). In Hindu system of election various element of Panchangam constitute
auspicious / inauspicious moments (Yogas) by combination of weekday-Tithi, weekday-
constellation, weekdays-Tithis-constellations. In addition individual weekdays, Tithis,
constellations, Yoga and Karanas have been prescribed for specific activities which fructify during
their currency.
For selecting an auspicious moment Panchangam Shuddhi (purified-time) is fundamental. In
addition favourable transits, purified ascendant, absence of malefic yogas, favourable Dasha (Hindu
progression), name of doer, propitiations, incantation of Mantras, place of activity, social customs,
omens, mode of breathing are also examined.electional astrology
Ephemeris
An ephemeris (plural: ephemerides; from the Greek word φήμερος ἐ ephemeros "daily") is a table
of values that gives the positions of astronomical objects in the sky at a given time or times.
Different kinds are used for astronomy and astrology. Even though this was also one of the first
applications of mechanical computers, an ephemeris will still often be a simple printed table.
The position is given to astronomers in a spherical polar coordinate system of right ascension and
declination or to astrologer in longitude along the zodiacal ecliptic, and sometimes declination.
Astrological positions may be given for either noon or midnight.
An astronomical ephemeris may also provide data on astronomical phenomena of interest to
astrologers and astronomers such as eclipses, apparent retrogradation/planetary stations, planetary
ingresses, sidereal time, positions for the Mean and True nodes of the moon, the phases of the
Moon, and sometimes even the position(s) of Chiron, and other minor celestial bodies. Astrologers
also use other ephemerides that include tables of imaginary celestial bodies,[citation needed] such
as Lilith, a term they use variously for the apogee of the Moon or the second focus of the Moon's
orbit. Some ephemerides also contain a monthly aspectarian, while others often include the
declination of the planets as well as their longitudes, right ascensions or Cartesian coordinates.
History
• Vedic Period , India (2nd millennium BCE) - Panchanga tables based on Jyotisha.
• 12th century — the Tables of Toledo, based largely on Arabic Zij sources, were edited by
Gerard of Cremona to form the standard European ephemeris until the Alfonsine tables
• 13th century — the Zij-i Ilkhani, or Ilkhanic Tables, were compiled in Persia
• 13th century — the Alfonsine tables were compiled in Spain to correct anomalies in the
Tables of Toledo, remaining the standard European ephemeris until the Prutenic Tables
almost 300 years later
• 1408 Chinese Ephemeris Table [copy in Pepysian Library, Cambridge, UK (refer book
'1434')Chinese tables believed known to Regiomontanus.]
• 1504 — While shipwrecked on the island of Jamaica, Christopher Columbus successfully
predicted a lunar eclipse for the natives, using the Ephemeris of the German astronomer
Regiomontanus
• 1551 — the Prutenic Tables of Erasmus Reinhold were published, based on Copernicus's
theories
• 1554 — Johannes Stadius published a well-known work known as Ephemerides novae at
auctae that attempted to give accurate planetary positions. The effort was not entirely
successful, and there were, for example, periodic errors in Stadius’ Mercury positions of up
to ten degrees.
• 1627 — the Rudolphine Tables of Johannes Kepler became the new standard
Scientific ephemeris
For scientific uses, a modern planetary ephemeris comprises software that generates positions of the
planets and often of their satellites, or of asteroids or comets at virtually any time desired by the
user. Often there is an option to find the velocities of the bodies of interest, as well.
Typically, such ephemerides cover several centuries, past and future; the future ones can be covered
because celestial mechanics is an accurate theory. Nevertheless, there are secular phenomena,
factors that cannot adequately be considered by ephemerides. The biggest uncertainties on planetary
positions are due to the perturbations of numerous asteroids, most of whose masses are poorly
known, rendering their effect uncertain. Therefore, despite efforts to overcome these uncertainties,
the JPL has to revise its published ephemerides at intervals of 20 years.
Solar system ephemerides are essential for the navigation of spacecraft and for all kinds of space
observations of the planets, their natural satellites, stars and galaxies.
Scientific ephemerides for sky observers mostly contain the position of the mentioned celestial
body in right ascension and declination, because these coordinates are the most often used on star
maps and telescopes. The equinox of the coordinate system must be given. It is in nearly all cases
either the actual equinox (the equinox valid for that moment, often referred to as "of date" or
"current"), or that of the one of the "standard" equinoxes, typically J2000.0, B1950.0, or J1900. Star
maps are almost always in one of the standard equinoxes.
Scientific ephemerides often contain further useful data about the moon, planet, asteroid, or comet
beyond the pure coordinates in the sky, such as elongation to the sun, brightness, distance, velocity,
apparent diameter in the sky, phase angle, times of rise, transit, and set, etc. Ephemerides of the
planet Saturn also sometimes contain the apparent inclination of its ring.
An ephemeris is usually only correct for a particular location on the Earth. In many cases the
differences are too small to matter, but for nearby asteroids or the Moon they can be quite
important.
GPS navigation satellites transmit electronic ephemeris data consisting of health and exact location
data that GPS receivers then use (together with the signal's elapsed travel time to the receiver) to
calculate their own location on Earth using trilateration.
Astrological ephemeris
The majority of astrologers study tropical astrology, involving planetary positions referenced to the
vernal (spring) equinox position along the ecliptic (the equinox being the nexus of Earth's rotational
plane and Earth's orbital plane around the Sun). They use exactly the same referential frame of the
astronomers, except for astrologers who study sidereal astrology (Indian Astrology) and use a
different ephemerids, based on the constellations.
Though astrology is and always has been geocentric, heliocentric astrology is an emerging field; for
this purpose a standard ephemeris cannot be utilized, and because of this specialized heliocentric
ephemerids must be calculated and used instead of the default geocentric ephemerides that are used
in standard Western astrology to construct the astrological chart/natal chart.
Arabian Parts
In astrology, the Arabian/Arabic parts or lots are constructed points based on mathematical
calculations of three horoscopic entities such as planets or angles. The distance between two of the
points is added to the position of the third (very often the ascendant) to derive the location of the
lot.
History
The lots are a very ancient astrological technique which can be traced back to pre-Hellenistic
sources. Their origin is obscure; they could originally be Babylonian, Ancient Egyptian, Magian,
Persian or Hermetic, but by the time of Dorotheus of Sidon in the first century A.D. (and probably
earlier) they had become an established tenet of Hellenistic astrological practice.
One of the best informational sources for the lots is the Introduction to astrology by fourth-century
astrologer Paulus Alexandrinus and the Commentary on this work by sixth-century philosopher
Olympiodorus the Younger. Paulus used a dozen or so major lots for almost every aspect of his
analysis. The most important of these were the Lot of Fortune (or Part of Fortune) and its
complement, the Lot of Spirit.
After the fall of the Roman Empire, all of the classical legacy, including astrology, fell to the
Abbasid Arabs and Persians. Islamic astrologers translated sources from Greek and produced many
of their own astrologers who wrote a considerable amount in Arabic on astrology. Although it is not
clear whether the number of lots began to proliferate in late Antiquity or whether it was purely the
product of the fascination the Arabs had for them, Arabic manuscripts show an explosion in the
number of lots that were used over the next several centuries. The inordinate increase is noted by
the Arab commentators themselves. In The Abbreviation of the Introduction to Astrology, Persian
astrologer Abu Ma'Shar (787-886) describes no less than 55 lots, although it's clear that these are
only the ones he considers significant. This count does not even include all of the lots of Paulus.
Beginning in the tenth century, many Arab manuscripts were translated into Latin, becoming the
means by which Classical astrology found its way back to Europe. Medieval astrologers, most
notably the major 13th-century Italian, Guido Bonatti, a contemporary of Dante, assumed it was the
Arabs who originated the concept of the lots, and hence they came eventually to be called the
"Arabic parts".
By the time of William Lilly, only the Lot of Fortune continued to be used by astrologers, although
in a manner that would be considered strange by ancient practitioners. Lilly's methods with what he
called "Fortuna" have continued in modern astrology, although rarely used and usually
misunderstood. The Lot of Fortune mainly appears today in horary practice.
Calculating the Lot of Fortune
Lilly's Part of Fortune (or Pars Fortunae) is calculated as Ascendant + Moon - Sun. That is, the
degrees of distance (going in the direction of the signs) between the Sun and the Moon is calculated
and then that same distance is measured from the point of the ascendant.
The same procedure was used by the Arabs and by Hellenistic astrologers to calculate the Lot of
Fortune but there were two major differences:
• The location of the lot varied considerably in charts where the Sun was above the horizon
(that is, a daytime chart, or one of diurnal sect) or below the horizon (a nighttime chart, or
one of nocturnal sect). The day charts follow Lilly's procedure; nighttime charts reverse the
direction in which the measurement is taken between the Sun and Moon, so that the
astrologer measures from the Moon to the Sun (again, going in the direction of the signs) to
get this arc. As with day charts, the arc is then measured from the ascendant to get the lot.
The two formulas are, therefore:
• Day chart: Ascendant + Moon - Sun
• Night chart: Ascendant - Moon + Sun
• Interpretatively, the Lot of Fortune was used to represent the body, fortune, and health. It
was also used in place of the ascendant thereby changing the house-numbering, to find out
more about these factors. Lilly and his contemporaries used the Lot of Fortune as a simple
indicator of material well-being and, in horary charts, a marker of success.
The Lot of Spirit
If the Lot of Fortune deals with material well-being, the body, fortune and health. The Lot of Spirit
represents the initiative taken by that person, or what use is made of what is given.
The Lot of Spirit is the reverse of the Lot of Fortune, giving the following formulas:
• Day chart: Ascendant - Moon + Sun
• Night chart: Ascendant + Moon - Sun
The Hermetic lots
The Hermetic lots are the lots that were used by Hellenistic astrologers such as Vettius Valens and
Paulus Alexandrinus. These formulas can be found in Paulus (see reference below).
Astronomical objects proposed in religion,
astrology and ufology
For scientifically accepted hypothetical astronomical objects in the Solar System, see List of
hypothetical Solar System objects.
For science-based hypothetical extrasolar planets, see List of unconfirmed extrasolar planets.
For fictional planets, see Planets in science fiction.
There are a number of planets or moons whose existence is not supported by scientific evidence, but
which are occasionally believed to exist by astrologers, pseudoscientists, conspiracy theorists, or
certain religious groups.
Planets proposed by Zecharia Sitchin
Main article: Zecharia Sitchin
For "Nibiru" as relates to the 2012 Doomsday prediction, see Nibiru collision
In recent years, the work of Zecharia Sitchin has garnered much attention among ufologists, ancient
astronaut theorists and conspiracy theorists. He claims to have uncovered, through his own
retranslations of Sumerian texts, evidence that the human race was visited by a group of
extraterrestrials from a distant planet in our own Solar System. Part of his theory lies in an
astronomical interpretation of the Babylonian creation myth, the Enuma Elish, in which he replaces
the names of gods with hypothetical planets. However, since the principal evidence for Sitchin's
claims lies in his own personally derived etymologies and not on any scholarly agreed
interpretations (including scholars among the Sumerians themselves), his theories remain at most
pseudoscience to the vast majority, if not the totality, of academics.
Sitchin's theory proposes the planets Tiamat and Nibiru. Tiamat supposedly existed between Mars
and Jupiter. He postulated that it was a thriving world in a much differently shaped solar system,
with jungles and oceans, whose orbit was disrupted by the arrival of a large planet or very small star
(less than twenty times the size of Jupiter) which passed through the solar system between 65
million and four billion years ago. The new orbits caused Tiamat to collide with one of the moons
of this object, which is known as Nibiru. The debris from this collision are thought by the theory's
proponents to have variously formed the asteroid belt, the moon, and the current incarnation of the
planet Earth.
To the Babylonians, Nibiru was the celestial body or region sometimes associated with the god
Marduk. The word is Akkadian and the meaning is uncertain. Because of this, the hypothetical
planet Nibiru is sometimes also referred to as Marduk. Sitchin hypothesizes it as a planet in a highly
elliptic orbit around the Sun, with a perihelion passage some 3,600 years ago and assumed orbital
period of about 3,750 years; he also claims it was the home of a technologically advanced human-
like alien race, the Anunnaki, who apparently visited Earth in search of gold. These beings
eventually created humanity by genetically crossing theselves with primates, and thus became the
first gods.
Beginning in 1995, websites such as ZetaTalk have identified Nibiru or "Planet X" as a large brown
dwarf currently within our planetary system, soon to pass relatively close to Earth. Sitchin disagrees
with the timing of passage.
Sitchin also postulates that Pluto began life as Gaga, a satellite of Saturn which, due to gravitational
disruption caused by Nibiru's passing, was flung into orbit beyond Neptune.
Planets proposed by Joseph Smith
Main articles: Book of Abraham, Kolob, and Mormon cosmology
Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, claimed to reveal
knowledge of a number of extrasolar objects through his examination of ancient religious
documents. Of principal importance was Kolob, the star or planet "nearest the throne of God".
Planets proposed by L. Ron Hubbard
L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, proposed as part of his religious cosmology a Galactic
Confederacy which consisted of 26 stars and 76 planets including Earth, which was then known as
"Teegeeack". One planet in the Scientology doctrine is known as Helatrobus.
Hercolubus
New Age author V.M. Rabolu claims in Hercolubus or Red Planet that Barnard's star is actually a
planet known to the ancients as Hercolubus, which purportedly came dangerously close to earth in
the past, destroying Atlantis. Rabolu claims that Hercolubus will come close to earth again. He also
claims that humanity will only be saved by means of mantras and "astral unfolding". "Nibiru
collision" proponent Nancy Leider has used Rabolu's ideas to bolster her claims.
Barnard's star has been directly measured to be 5.98 ± 0.003 light years from Earth (35.15 trillion
miles). At that distance, it would need to be travelling at ten thousand miles a second (an
appreciable fraction of the speed of light) to reach Earth in less than a century. While it is
approaching Earth, Barnard's Star will not make its closest approach to the Sun until around 11,700
AD, when it will approach to within some 3.8 light-years. This is only slightly closer than the
closest star to the Sun (Proxima Centauri) lies today.
Lilith
Main article: Lilith (hypothetical moon)
In 1918, astrologer Walter Gornold, also known as "Sepharial," claimed to have confirmed the
existence of a second moon. He named it Lilith and affirmed that it was indeed invisible for most of
the time but claimed to have viewed it as it crossed the sun.
In modern Western astrology, Lilith is not an actual moon, but is a blank focus of the ellipse
described by the moon's orbit (the other focus occupied by the Earth). The moon's hypothetical
apogee point (the point at which it is furthest in its orbit from the Earth), is known as the "Dark
Moon" Lilith. It is said to signify instinctive and emotional intelligence in astrological charts.
Rizq
An extrasolar planet in a trinary star system believed by the followers of the Nuwaubian doctrine
espoused by self-described contactee Dwight York to have been the homeworld of the Anunaqi
Eloheem, who came to Earth and played a role in the creation of humans.
Serpo
Main articles: Betty and Barney Hill, Zeta Reticuli in ufology, Project Serpo, and Greys
Some ufologists believe, based on the testimony of Betty and Barney Hill, one of the first recorded
cases of alleged alien abduction, that the alien civilization known as the Greys derive from a planet
orbiting the binary star Zeta Reticuli. Bob Lazar has claimed that the crashed UFO found at Area 51
is from that system. In 2005, ufologist Victor Martinez claimed to have unearthed evidence that the
alien from the Roswell UFO crash of 1947 was eventually peacefully repatriated, which led to
establishment of diplomatic relations with this planet, which was nicknamed Serpo.
Ummo
Main article: Ummo
A planet believed by a number of UFO enthusiasts to be the place of origin for the Ummites,
supposedly a group of extraterrestrials who composed a series of documents detailing their mission
to study Earth's culture.
Classical planets in Western alchemy
Alchemy in the Western World and other locations where it was widely practiced was (and in many
cases still is) allied and intertwined with traditional Babylonian-Greek style astrology; in numerous
ways they were built to complement each other in the search for hidden knowledge (knowledge that
is not common i.e. the occult). Astrology has used the concept of classical elements from antiquity
up until the present day today. Most modern astrologers use the four classical elements extensively,
and indeed it is still viewed as a critical part of interpreting the astrological chart.
Planets and metals

A table of alchemical symbols from Basil Valentine’s The Last Will and Testament, 1670 ce.
Traditionally, each of the seven "planets" in the solar system as known to the ancients was
associated with, held dominion over, and "ruled" a certain metal (see also astrology and the
classical elements).
The list of rulership is as follows:
• The Sun rules Gold ( )
• The Moon, Silver ( )
• Mercury , Quicksilver/Mercury ( )
• Venus , Copper ( )
• Mars , Iron ( )
• Jupiter , Tin ( )
• Saturn , Lead ( )
One interpretation of the alchemic planetary symbols considers the nature of spirit, mind and
material in order of precedence. The circle in each symbol represents spirit, the semi-circle or
crescent represents mind and the cross or arrow represents the physical, material nature. Therefore
Venus is spirit above matter, just as the goddess Venus represents beauty and aesthetic over
utilitarian means. Whereas Mars is matter above spirit, as martial function and necessity precedes
tranquility. Jupiter is mind controlling material, as the king of the gods over the earth, and Saturn is
material controlling mind, the encroachment of time over the works of men. Mercury is mind above
spirit over material; the intellectual inter-actions and conveyances of abstractions and ideals over
the objects of being. The sun is pure spirit and the moon is pure mind. Earth is material and spirit in
equal parts. One of the two modern symbols for Pluto used this interpretation, and was thus spirit
above mind over material; presumably the hereafter terminating the affluence of men over the earth.
As other solar system bodies including Uranus, Neptune, and the former planets Ceres, Pallas, Juno,
Vesta, Pluto and the centaurs were not discovered until relatively recently, there is no classical or
traditional basis for these associations as there is for the ancient planets and metals. The metals
were named after the planets instead of the metals dominating the planets.
Astrological age
An astrological age is a time period in astrology which is believed by some to parallel major
changes in the Earth's inhabitants' development, particularly relating to culture, society and politics.
There are twelve astrological ages corresponding to the twelve zodiacal signs in astrology. At the
completion of one cycle of twelve astrological ages, the cycle repeats itself. Astrological ages occur
because of a phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes. One complete period of this
precession is called a Great Year or Platonic Year of about 25,860 years.
There are two broad approaches about the effects upon the world due to the astrological ages. Some
astrologers believe the changes upon Earth are caused and marked by the influences of the given
astrological sign, associated with the Age, while other astrologers do not follow the causative model
and believe it is a matter of synchronicity.
Many astrologers believe that the Age of Aquarius has arrived recently or will arrive in the near
future. On the other hand, some believe that the Age of Aquarius arrived up to five centuries ago, or
will not start until six centuries from now. Despite all references provided by various sources,
astrologers cannot agree upon exact dates for the beginning or ending of the ages.
Various ages are described below, such as the Age of Aquarius.
Overview
There are three broad perspectives on the astrological ages:
1. Archeoastronomers are interested in the ages because some researchers believe that ancient
civilizations often depicted cultural references to the ages. Archeoastronomers in general do
not `believe' in astrology, but study the cultural traditions of societies that did refer
extensively to astrology.
2. Astrologers have been interested in relating world history to the astrological ages since the
late 19th century, however most astrologers study horoscopes not astrological ages.
3. The general public has become aware of the ages, or the Age of Aquarius at least, since it
was publicised in the musical Hair. A number of unsubstantiated urban myths circulate
about the astrological ages in various media.
Contentious aspects of the astrological ages
Definitive details on the astrological ages are lacking and consequently most details and urban
myths available about the astrological ages are contentious and disputed. The eminent 20th century
British astrologer, Charles Carter, stated that
"It is probable that there is no branch of Astrology upon which more nonsense has been
poured forth than the doctrine of the precession of the equinoxes'" (Precession of the
equinoxes is the root astronomical cause of the astrological ages)
In 2000 Neil Spencer in his book "True as the Stars Above" expressed a similar opinion about the
astrological ages. Spencer singles out the astrological ages as being "fuzzy", "speculative" and least
defined area of astrological lore. Therefore a note of caution, claims about the astrological ages
such as the Age of Aquarius should be taken with some scepticism, especially the urban myths
widely propagated about the Age of Aquarius.
Ray Grasse states in "Signs of the Times - Unlocking the Symbolic Language of World Events" that
"There is considerable dispute over the exact starting and ending times for the different Great
Ages."
Consensus approach to the astrological ages
Though so many issues are contentious or disputed, there are two aspects of the astrological ages
that have virtually unanimous consensus. Firstly that the astrological ages are linked to precession
of the equinoxes. Secondly that due to the nature of the precession of the equinoxes, the progression
of the ages proceeds in reverse direction through the zodiacal signs. Normally during the course of
the astrological year, commencing around 21 March at the vernal equinox , the Sun moves through
the zodiacal signs commencing with Aries, then Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra,
Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and finally Pisces. After Pisces the Sun enters Aries and
commences the cycle all over again. However, the astrological ages proceed in the reverse
direction. Therefore after the Age of Pisces, the next age is the Age of Aquarius, followed by the
Age of Capricorn, and so on.
There is a third aspect of the astrological ages that has very wide consensus amongst astrologers.
Though astrologers cannot agree upon the year, century or millennium for the start of any age, they
generally agree upon the core historical events associated with the recent Ages since the start of the
Holocene Epoch. For example the Age of Leo with massive global warming that resulted in the
deglaciation of Earth at the end of the last Ice Age, Age of Cancer with domestication and the
Biblical Flood (most likely a by-product of rising sea level from deglaciation), the Age of Gemini is
associated with the invention of writing, the Age of Taurus with Ancient Egypt and its massive
pyramids, the Aries age with the Iron Age and the Age of Pisces with Christianity. Astrologers
claim that each zodiacal sign has associated archetypes often referred to traditionally as rulerships.
For example Gemini rules the hands, dexterity and communication and draws upon all these
archetypes to produce the first written word in the Age of Gemini, specifically in Sumer
(Mesopotamia).
Are ages equal or of variable lengths based on the zodiacal constellations?
It is difficult to say which is the most popular method to divide the Great Year into twelve
astrological ages. There are two popular methods. One method is to divide the Great Year into
twelve astrological ages of approximately equal lengths of around 2160 years per age based on the
vernal equinox moving through the sidereal zodiac. Another method is to significantly vary the
duration of each astrological age based on the passage of the vernal equinox measured against the
actual zodiacal constellations. Each of those twelve sections of the Great Year can be called either
an astrological age, Precessional Age or a Great Month, the latter term more common in older texts.
One issue with the variable length age method based on the zodiacal constellations is that many of
these zodiacal constellations overlap. For example by 2700 the vernal point will have moved into
the constellation of Aquarius, but due to the overlapping stars from the constellation of Pisces, the
vernal point will also continue to point towards the constellation of Pisces. This overlap is a
problem if this literal approach to the zodiacal constellations is adopted.
Based on the astronomical division of the irregular constellations the Austrian astronomer Professor
Hermann Haupt examined the question of when the Age of Aquarius begins in an article published
in 1992 by the Austrian Academy of Science: with the German title Der Beginn des
Wassermannzeitalters, eine astronomische Frage? (The Start of the Aquarian Age, an Astronomical
Question?, (see below The Age of Aquarius).
Age cusps - are they real or imagined?
Many astrologers consider the entrance into a new astrological age is not a single moment of time
but a process commonly referred to as `the cusp' by which one age initiates its influences, in a
slowly increasing way, before the end of the previous age. For example Ray Grasse states that an
astrological age neither begins at an exact day or year. However there is no consensus on this point
and there is no evidence of cusps in other branches of astrology except in the domain of urban
myth. Basically those that follow the cusp approach believe that there is a merging of influence
between each adjoining ages. Many astrologers believe that the world is currently on the cusp of the
Pisces and Aquarian ages explaining why so many developments in the world today can be aligned
to Pisces (i.e. continuing strong religious influences especially from Christianity) and Aquarius
(traditional archetypes associated with Aquarius include electricity, computers, and democracy). A
few astrologers consider the last ca. 10 degrees of a given age (ca. 720 years) as the time period
during which the new age starts to make visible its influences, also called "orb of influence". In
Nicholas Campion's The Book of World Horoscopes there are six pages listing researchers and their
proposed dates for the start of the Age of Aquarius indicating that many researchers believe that
each age commences at an exact date.
Robert Hand adds another point of view about cusps in that the stars of the constellation of Pisces
overlap the stars of the constellation of Aquarius. Technically the vernal equinox enters the
constellation of Aquarius in 2691 but does not leave the constellation of Pisces until 2817.
Therefore between 2691 and 2817 the vernal equinox is pointing towards both the constellation of
Pisces and the constellation of Aquarius. This approach has no effect upon those astrologers that
utilize twelve equal sized ages based on the sidereal zodiac.
Albert Amao, PH.D. states that the transition period between any two ages is based on one degrees
either side of the point of intersection of two adjoining zodiacal constellations. As one degree is
approximately 72 years, Amao has a transition period between ages of 144 years.
Other opinions on the astrological ages
Though many approaches to the ages are conflicting, many different schools of thought have an
established momentum but are generally not upheld by the majority of astrologers.
Ages exactly 2,000 years each
Many astrologers find ages too erratic based on either the vernal point moving through the
randomly sized zodiacal constellations or sidereal zodiac and instead round all astrological ages to
exactly 2000 years each. In this approach the ages are usually neatly aligned so that the Aries age is
found from 2000 BC to 1 AD, Pisces age 1 AD to 2000 AD, the Aquarian age 2000 AD - 4000 AD
and so on. This approach is not consistent with the precession of the equinoxes. Based on
precession of the equinoxes there is a one degree shift approximately every 72 years; therefore a 30
degree movement requires 2160 years to complete.
Binary ages involving the opposite sign
There is also an established school of thought that believe each age's influences is also
complemented by the opposite sign to the sign ruling the astrological age. For example, the Age of
Pisces (the Fish), vernal equinox, is complemented by its opposite astrological sign of Virgo (the
Virgin); for this reason a few researchers refer to the Piscean age the "Age of Pisces-Virgo."
Adopting this approach the Age of Aquarius would become the Age of Aquarius-Leo. (see The
astrological ages based on Esoteric Christian and Gnostic Esoteric Teachings in the #New,
alternative, and fringe theories section below). Ray Grasse also claims that each sign of the zodiac
is part of a polarity involving the opposite sign.
Mayan Long Count Calendar & Precession
William Sullivan in The Secret of the Incas contends that there is a direct connection between the
history of the Inca's Empire and precession of the equinoxes. John Major Jenkins in Maya
Cosmogenesis 2012 believes that the Mayan Long Count Calendar is based on precession of the
equinoxes and solstices. Jenkins believes that the Maya related precession of the winter solstice
sunrise against the Milky Way - an event which is currently developing and supposedly
instrumental in mankind's spiritual renewal.
Calculation aspects

Precessional movement as seen from 'outside' the celestial sphere. The rotation axis of the Earth
describes over a period of about 25800 years a small circle (blue) among the stars, centred around
the ecliptic northpole (blue E) and with an angular radius of about 23.4°: the angle known as the
obliquity of the ecliptic. The orange axis was the Earth's rotation axis 5000 years ago when it
pointed to the star Thuban. The yellow axis, pointing to Polaris is the situation now. Note that when
the celestial sphere is seen from outside constellations appear in mirror image. Also note that the
daily rotation of the Earth around its axis is opposite to the precessional rotation. When the polar
axis precesses from one direction to another, then the equatorial plane of the Earth (indicated with
the circular grid around the equator) and the associated celestial equator will move too. Where the
celestial equator intersects the ecliptic (red line) there are the equinoxes. As seen from the drawing,
the orange grid, 5000 years ago one intersection of equator and ecliptic, the vernal equinox was
close to the star Aldebaran of Taurus. By now (the yellow grid) it has shifted (red arrow) to
somewhere in the constellation of Pisces. Note that this is an astronomical description of the
precessional movement and the vernal equinox position in a given constellation may not imply the
astrological meaning of an Age carrying the same name, as they (ages and constellations) only have
an exact alignment in the "first point of Aries", meaning once in each ca. 25800 (Great Sidereal
Year).
The Earth, in addition to its diurnal (daily) rotation upon its axis, and annular rotation around the
Sun, incurs a precessional motion involving a slow periodic shift of the axis itself: approximately
one degree every 72 years. This motion, which is caused mostly by the Moon's gravity, gives rise to
the precession of the equinoxes in which the Sun's position on the ecliptic at the time of the vernal
equinox, measured against the background of fixed stars, gradually changes with time.
In graphical terms, the Earth behaves like a spinning top, and tops tend to wobble as they spin. The
spin of the Earth is its daily (diurnal) rotation. The spinning Earth slowly wobbles over a period
slightly less than 26,000 years. From our perspective on Earth, the stars are ever so slightly
`moving' from West to East at the rate of one degree approximately every 72 years. One degree is
about twice the diameter of the Sun or Moon as viewed from Earth. The easiest way to notice this
slow movement of the stars is at any fixed time each year. The most common fixed time is at the
vernal equinox around 21 March each year.
In astrology, an astrological age has usually been defined by the constellation or superimposed
sidereal zodiac in which the Sun actually appears at the vernal equinox. This is the method that
Hipparchus appears to have applied around 127 BCE when he calculated precession. Since each
sign of the zodiac is composed of 30 degrees, each astrological age might be thought to last about
72 (years) × 30 (degrees) = about 2160 years. This means the Sun crosses the equator at the vernal
equinox moving backwards against the fixed stars from one year to the next at the rate of one
degree in seventy-two years, one constellation (on average) in about 2160 years, and the whole
twelve signs in about 25,920 years, sometimes called a Platonic Year. However the length of the
ages are decreasing with time as the rate of precession is increasing. Therefore no two ages are of
equal length.
First point of Aries alignment - the fiducial point
Approximately every 26,000 years the zodiacal constellations, the associated sidereal zodiac and the
tropical zodiac used by western astrologers basically align. Technically this is when the tropical and
sidereal "first point in Aries" (Aries 0°) coincided. This alignment is often called the fiducial point,
and if the fiducial point could be found, fairly exact timeframes of all the astrological ages could be
accurately determined (if the method used to determine the astrological ages is based on the equal-
sized 30 degrees per age and do not correspond to the exact constellation configuration in the sky).
However this fiducial point is difficult to determine because while there is no ambiguity about the
tropical zodiac used by western astrologers, the same cannot be said of the sidereal zodiac used by
Vedic astrologers. Vedic astrologers do not have unanimity on the exact location in space of their
sidereal zodiac. This is due to the fact that the sidereal zodiac is superimposed upon the irregular
zodiacal constellation, and there are no unambiguous boundaries of the zodiacal constellations.
Modern day astronomers have defined boundaries, but this is a recent development by astronomers
who are divorced from astrology, and cannot be assumed to be correct from the astrological
perspective. While most astronomers and some astrologers agree that the fiducial point occurred in
or around the 3rd to 5th centuries AD, there is no consensus on any exact date or tight timeframe
within these three centuries. A number of dates are proposed by various astronomers and even
wider timeframes by astrologers. (For an alternative approach to calibrating precession, see
Alternative Approach to Calibrating Precession in New, alternative, and fringe theories section
below).
As an example of a typical contemporary approach to precession, in Max Heindel's astrology
writings, it is described that last time the starting-point of the sidereal zodiac agreed with the
tropical zodiac occurred in 498. A year after these points were in exact agreement, the Sun crossed
the equator about fifty seconds of space into the constellation Pisces. The year following it was one
minute and forty seconds into Pisces, and so it has been creeping backwards ever since, until at the
present time the Sun crosses the equator in about nine degrees in the constellation Pisces. Based on
this approach, it will thus be about 600 years before it actually crosses the celestial equator in the
constellation Aquarius. However this is only one of many approaches and so this must remain
speculation at this point of time.
Past ages
The Age of Leo (The Leonian Age)
Symbol for Leo:
• the vernal equinox (northern hemisphere) is occurring in Leo;
Timeframes
• Zodiacal 30 degrees:
• Common interpretation: ca. 10,500 BC to 8000 BC.
• Sacred Sites' interpretation: ca. 10,970 BC to 8810 BC:
• Constellation boundary year: (not calculated).
Overview "The Golden Age"
Historical similarities
The major event at this time was an ancient global warming to such a massive extent that it led to
the deglaciation of what now constitutes much of the modern inhabitable world. The deglaciation
ultimately caused a 300 foot (90 m) rise in the sea level. The sign Leo is a Fire sign and is
traditionally ruled by the Sun in astrology, and it is entirely appropriate that in an Age ruled by the
Sun, that the warmth of the Sun melted the glaciers that covered much of North America and
Europe. Leo is also related to any kind of light source, and the carved stone oil lamp was invented
during this time (Oil lamps existed previously, but this type was the first proper continuously-
burning lamp.).
Religious Similarities Some researchers believe that the Great Sphinx was constructed in the Age
of Leo. (See #New, alternative, and fringe theories.)
The Age of Cancer (The Cancerian Age)
Symbol for Cancer:
The zodiacal signs:
• the vernal equinox (northern hemisphere) is occurring in Cancer;
Timeframes
• Zodiacal 30 degrees:
• Heindel -Rosicrucian based interpretation: began in ca. 8126 BC and ended in ca. 5970
BC (the orb of influence started in ca. 8846 BC)
• Neil Mann interpretation: began in ca. 8600 BC and ended in ca. 6450 BC.
• Constellation boundary year:
• Shephard Simpson interpretation:
Overview "The Age of the Great Mother." Cancer is ruled by the Moon, and is associated with the
process of bearing, birthing, nurturing, and protecting.
Historical similarities The Neolithic Revolution, including the beginning of civilisation, with
domestication of farm animals including pigs, goats & even bees. Some nomadic people settled
down to living in permanent dwellings. For example, the city of Jericho, believed constructed
during this age, was protected by a wall 12-17 ft (4 to 5 m) high & 5 ft (1.5 m) thick. (Cancer is
always associated with 'protection' by utilizing an external barrier). There is also evidence of
massive loss of coastal regions by the rising sea level following deglaciation of many areas on
Earth. This loss of land caused the forced relocation of people to higher ground. Cancer's list of
archetypes always include anything to do with the home (including houses, place of residence,
migration).
Evidence of widespread use of boats(maritime vessels of all types are ruled by Cancer).
Rise of pottery (a protective vessel conforming to one of Cancer's archetypes).
Religious similarities Widespread evidence of the mother goddess in the Near East (the `mother'
archetype in all shapes and forms is always related to the sign Cancer).
The Age of Gemini (The Geminian Age)
Symbol for Gemini:
The zodiacal signs:
• the vernal equinox (northern hemisphere) is occurring in Gemini;
Timeframes
• Zodiacal 30 degrees:
• Heindel-Rosicrucian based interpretation: began in ca. 5970 BC and ended in ca. 3814
BC (the orb of influence started in ca. 6690 BC)
• Neil Mann interpretation: began in ca. 6450 BC and ended in ca. 4300 BC.
• Constellation boundary year: (not calculated).
• Shephard Simpson interpretation: (none).
Overview "The Age of Communication, Trade and the Twins"
Historical similarities During this age writing developed, and trade started to accelerate. This
corresponds to the symbols the Gemini constellation represents. The constellation can be seen as
two people holding hands (thought to be twins), believed by some to be symbolic for trade and
communication of peoples. Regardless of the lore associated with the constellation of Gemini, both
writing (including literature, newspapers, journals, magazines and works of fiction) and trade
(including merchants) are traditional archetypes belonging to the sign of Gemini.
The wheel, although having been used earlier as potter's wheels, was used for the first time for
transportation purposes around the 5th millennium BC. Most forms of local transportation (horse
and cart, bicycles, suburban trains, trams, cars, motorcycles, walking, roads, freeways etc) are
archetypes associated with the sign of Gemini.
Religious similarities Multiple gods, such as the pantheon of gods in Ancient Greek literature, are
believed to have appeared in this Gemini age probably in Sumer (Mesopotamia). (Gemini not only
is associated with the archetype of `twins' and `duality' but also 'multiplicity')
The Age of Taurus (The Taurean Age)
Symbol for Taurus:
The zodiacal signs:
• the vernal equinox (northern hemisphere) is occurring in Taurus;
Timeframes
• Zodiacal 30 degrees:
• Heindel-Rosicrucian based interpretation: began in ca. 3814 BC and ended in ca. 1658
BC (the orb of influence started in ca. 4534 BC)
• Neil Mann interpretation: began in ca. 4300 BC and ended in ca. 2150 BC.
• Constellation boundary year:
• Shephard Simpson interpretation: began ca. 4525 BC to ca. 1875 BC
Overview "The Age of Earth, Agriculture and the Bull"
Historical similarities Bull worshiping cults began to form in Assyria, Egypt, and Crete which
relates to Taurus symbolizing the bull. Main article: Bull (mythology)
This age is notable for the building of the pyramids, during the Old Kingdom of Egypt and the
Middle Kingdom of Egypt. They personify structure, solidity, stability and attempts at eternity,
keywords of Taurus. The completed Great Pyramid of Khufu, clad in smooth pure white limestone,
must have been a sight of dazzling beauty in the sunlight. Beauty is another keyword of Taurus.
Taurus is associated with the metal copper, and bronze (an alloy of copper and tin) was for the first
time smelted and worked into bronze swords during the early phase of this era.
Papyrus was invented during this time, enabling improved writing techniques. It could be
manufactured into very long strips that could be rolled (but not yet folded) into scrolls or rolls for
efficient storage and handling. (The Taurus glyph invokes the image of the partially-unrolled
scroll).
Traits of Taurus such as 'stubbornness' and 'strength' but at the same time 'sensuality' may be
attributed to civilizations such as Ancient Egypt's.
Religious similarities
• Ankh: thoracic vertebra of a bull - Egyptian symbol of life
• Worship of Apis, the bull-deity (see also Bull (mythology)), the most important of all the
sacred animals in Egypt, said to be instituted during the Second Dynasty of the Early
Dynastic Period of Egypt and worshipped in the Memphis region until the New Kingdom
(16th century BC).
• When Moses was said to have descended from the mountain with the ten commandments in
this time, his followers were worshipping a golden bull calf.
The Age of Aries (The Arian Age)
Symbol for Aries:
The zodiacal signs:
• the vernal equinox (northern hemisphere) is occurring in Aries;
Timeframes
• Zodiacal 30 degrees:
• Heindel-Rosicrucian based interpretation: began in ca. 1658 BC and ended in ca. AD
498
• Neil Mann interpretation: began in ca. 2150 BCE and ended in ca. AD 1.
• Constellation boundary year:
• Shephard Simpson interpretation: began ca. 1875 BC to ca. 100 BC
Overview "The Age of War, Fire and the Ram"
Historical similarities Aries represents a Fire symbol as well as bold actions, a lot of these
behaviors can be seen during any age. However, the themes emphasised during this age relate to
courage, initiative, war & adventure. Nations during this age such as the expanding empires of
China, Persia, Greece and Rome, are often cited as examples of the archetypes of Aries in action.
Also the Aries constellation shows a ram running. This could correspond with the sacrifice of
Abraham's Ram. While the number of names containing the sound of the ram during this period is
noted: Ra (Sun God), Ram, Rama, Brahman, Brahma, Abram, Abraham, Amon Ra, and Ramesses
I.[dubious – discuss] The battering ram was employed by the Assyrians, Greeks and Romans with
great success during this time.[dubious – discuss] (The symbol of Mars, the planetary ruler of Aries,
evokes this interpretation.)
Aries is associated with the metal iron, and iron ore was for the first time smelted and worked into
iron swords in Anatolia during the early phase of this era, replacing the heavier, softer-metalled,
duller-edged bronze swords of the previous Taurus Age.
Traits of Aries such as 'initiative' may suggest the explosion of originality in the development of
social aspects, sciences and arts in regions such as Ancient Greece but at the same time traits such
as 'Impulsivity' may be attributed to the various Wars of the time.
Religious similarities The Age of Aries ushered in efforts to replace polytheism with monotheism.
The earliest known attempt was by the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten, who, in about 1350 BC,
decreed the Sun God Aten to be the supreme deity, apparently in reaction to his earlier lack of
inclusion in religious rites by his family. After his death, however, power reverted to the original
polytheistic priests, who re-established the old religion. Speculation (including that of Freud) has it
that later, during the reign of Ramesses II, Moses was influenced by rumour of Akhenaten's
revolutionary idea, and grasped the idea of a single supreme God, Who especially favoured His
people, as an inspirational mechanism that best suited his people held in bondage. The symbol of
Aries can be seen as representing the power of multiple gods streaming down into a single god-
head.
Moses (born circa 16th–13th Century BC; 7 Adar 2368 - 7 Adar 2488 in the Hebrew calendar), an
early Biblical Hebrew religious leader, lawgiver, prophet, and military leader, condemns his own
people upon finding them worshiping a 'golden calf' (a symbol of the previous Age of Taurus and of
the worship of the bull deity) after coming down Mount Sinai. These events may have occurred
during the Age of Aries (see also Dating the Exodus overview).
See also:
• Mithraism
• The Mithraic Question and Precession
The Age of Pisces (The Piscean Age)
Symbol of Pisces:
The zodiacal signs:
• the vernal equinox (northern hemisphere) is occurring in Pisces;
The Age of Pisces is technically the current age and astronomers and some astrologers believe it
will remain so for approximately another 600 years. (*Others believes that it will remain until about
2150 (C.E.) and enter the age of Aquarius.*) At that time, the vernal equinox point will no longer
be facing Pisces, but moved into the constellation of Aquarius, thus beginning the Age of Aquarius.
However there are many astrologers who believe that the Age of Aquarius has already arrived or
will arrive soon.
Timeframes
• Zodiacal 30 degrees:
• Heindel-Rosicrucian based interpretation: began in AD 498 (year understood as
marking the "first point of Aries" alignment, Aries 0º, and the subsequent entrance in
Pisces) and ends in ca. AD 2654 (the orb of influence started in ca. 222/220s BC).
Note: in this case, Aries 0° coincides with the Fall of Rome and subsequent "chaos"
which gave origin to the Middle Ages (late 5th century); the orb of influence (10th
degree of Aries) coincides with the pre-Second Punic War times (218-202 BC) and the
earliest period that some of the Dead Sea Scrolls were written (200s; within the 72 years
of the 10th degree).
• Neil Mann interpretation: began in ca. AD 1 and ends in ca. AD 2150.
• Constellation boundary year:
• Shephard Simpson interpretation: began ca. 100/90 BC and ends ca. AD 2680.
Overview
"The Age of Monotheism, Spirituality, and the Fish"
Popular culture references
"Age of Pisces" is also a song by 26 from his album "The Messiah," but is more a critique of the
New Age Movement and the song "Aquarius" than a discussion of the Age of Pisces in general.
Historical similarities
The Age of Pisces is characterized by the rise of many religions such as Christianity, Islam and
Buddhism due to "spiritual" nature of Pisces and its ability to go beyond the boundaries of the
physical world. The Age of Pisces is mainly marked by the continuous research of mankind about
the truth hidden behind what's perceived by five senses. The New Age Movement "celebrating" The
Age of Aquarius is claimed by some to be a characteristic of The Age of Pisces.
Traits of Pisces such as being "gentle" and artistically able but at the same time "impractical" may
hint to the dominance of European empires on the world.
The Age of Aquarius (The Aquarian age)
Main article: Age of Aquarius
Symbol for Aquarius:
The zodiacal signs:
• the vernal equinox (northern hemisphere) is occurring in Aquarius;
Timeframes In 1928, at the Conference of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in Leiden,
the Netherlands, the edges of the 88 official constellations became defined in astronomical terms.
The edge established between Pisces and Aquarius locates the beginning of the Aquarian Age
around the year 2600.
The Austrian astronomer, Professor Hermann Haupt, examined the question of when the Age of
Aquarius begins in an article published in 1992 by the Austrian Academy of Science: with the
German title Der Beginn des Wassermannzeitalters, eine astronomische Frage? (The Start of the
Aquarian Age, an Astronomical Question?). Based on the boundaries accepted by IAU in 1928,
Haupt's article investigates the start of the Age of Aquarius by calculating the entry of the spring
equinox point over the parallel cycle (d = - 4°) between the constellations Pisces and Aquarius and
reaches, using the usual formula of precession (Gliese, 1982), the year 2595. However Haupt
concludes:
"Though it cannot be expected that astrologers will follow the official boundaries of the
constellations, there will be an attempt to calculate the entry of the spring equinox point into
the constellation of Aquarius." ...
"As briefly has been shown, the results and methods of astrology in many areas, such as
concerning the Aquarian age, are controversial on their own and cannot be called scientific
because of the many esoteric elements."
• Zodiacal 30 degrees:
• Heindel-Rosicrucian based interpretation: begins in ca. AD 2654 (the orb of influence
started in ca. 1934/1930s).
• Elsa M. Glover interpretation: ca. AD 2638.
• Neil Mann interpretation: begins AD 2150.
• Dane Rudhyar was one of the most important astrologers of the 20th century. His
many influential books helped reconcile astrology with modern psychology and free it
from the deterministic trappings of the past. According to his interpretation, the Age of
Aquarius will begin in AD 2062.
• Nicholas Campion in "The Book of World Horoscopes" indicates that he has collected
over 90 dates provided by researchers for the start of the Age of Aquarius and these
dates have a range of over 2,000 years commencing in the 15th century AD. The range
of dates for the possible start of the Aquarian age range from 1447 to 3621.
• Constellation boundary year:
• Shephard Simpson interpretation: begins in ca. AD 2680.
• Hermann Haupt interpretation begins in ca. AD 2595.
Overview "The Age of Freedom, Technology (especially electricity), and the Water Bearer"
There is an expectation that the Aquarian age will usher in a period of group consciousness. Marcia
Moore and Mark Douglas claim that the lighting up of the earth artificially by electricity is a sign of
the Age of Aquarius. Furthermore they see the appearance of dictators, self expression and the
rising influence of the entertainment industry are linked to the Aquarian age by its opposite sign
Leo.
Popular culture In popular culture, the expression "Age of Aquarius" usually refers to the heyday
of the hippie and New Age movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
This New Age phenomenon is seen by some astrologers to be marked by the conjunction of the
planet Uranus, ruler of the sign Aquarius, and the coming age, with Pluto, ruler of the masses,
bringing radical change, in the 1960s. However, as the song relates, it is only considered by
astrologers as the "dawning" or "cusp" of the Age, with the full strength of the Age not occurring
until some time in the future.
The 1967 successful musical Hair, with its opening song "Aquarius" and the memorable line "This
is the dawning of the age of Aquarius," brought the Aquarian Age concept to the attention of a huge
worldwide audience.
Historical Similarity: Current/Projected
Traits of Aquarius such as being 'humanitarian' but at the same time 'unemotional' may indicate to
the emergence of active intergovernmental organisations and global solidarity movements.
• See also Age of Aquarius
The sub-periods of ages
Many research astrologers believe that the astrological ages can be divided into smaller sections
along the lines of `wheels within wheels’. The most common method is to divide each astrological
ages into twelve sub-periods. There are two common ways of undertaking this process and two
ways of applying these sub-periods. Furthermore some astrologers divide the ages in different ways.
For example Lcdr David Williams employs a decanate sub-division whereby each age is divided
into three equal sections. Robert Hand developed another approach entirely whereby the
conjunction of the moving vernal point with specific stars within the zodiacal constellations
provides an extra flavour to the corresponding historical events based on the nature of the star
involved. However Robert Hand believes that the moving Capricorn solstice point (around 20
December) near the modern New Year provides greater correlation to historical events compared to
the vernal equinox. Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet used a variety of sub-periods including decans, but
Patrizia advocated that the ninefold division of each sign was the most powerful and influential sub-
division. The ninefold division (termed 'navamsa') of the zodiacal signs is also the most popular
sign sub-division system emloyed by Vedic astrologers. Vedic astrologers also apply their nakshatra
star asterisms in place of the twelve zodiacal constellations. There are 27 nakshatras of 13 degrees
20 minutes each, thus the average length of a 'nakshatra' age is 960 years.
Aries to Pisces sub-periods
The most popular method of sub-dividing astrological ages is to divide each age equally into twelve
sub-periods with the first sub-period Aries, followed by Taurus, Gemini and so on until the last sub-
division, Pisces. Charles Carter was an early advocate of this approach. Technically this approach is
based on the twelfth harmonic of the zodiacal signs.
Dwadasamsa sub-periods
The alternative approach is to apply a method commonly used in Vedic astrology but with long
antecedents also in western astrology. This method also divides each astrological age into twelve
sub-periods but the first sub-period for each sign is the same as the sign itself, then with the
following sub-periods in natural order. For example the twelve dwadasamsa of Aquarius are
Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus and so on until the last dwadasamsa – Capricorn. Technically this
approach is based on attributes of both the twelfth and thirteenth harmonics of the zodiacal signs
and can be considered to be halfway between the 12th and 13th harmonics.
Sub-period direction (forward or retrograde?)
There are two ways of applying the above sub-periods to the astrological ages.
• Natural Order - The most common way is to arrange the sub-periods so that they go forward
in the natural order. Therefore if the Aries to Pisces method is adopted for example in the
Aquarian age, the first sub-period is Aries, followed by Taurus, Gemini and so on until the
last sub-division – Pisces. This is the approach made by Charles Carter. If the dwadasamsa
sub-period is adopted they also progress in the natural order of the signs. For example the
twelve dwadasamsa of Aquarius are Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus and so on until the last
dwadasamsa – Capricorn.
• Geometric Order (Retrograde) - The other approach is to arrange the sub-periods
geometrically and reverse the direction of the sub-periods in line with the retrograde order of
the astrological ages. For example if applying the Aries to Pisces method, the first sub-
period of any astrological age is Pisces, followed by Aquarius, Capricorn and so on until the
last sub-period – Aries. Charles Carter indicated there was some merit to this approach. If
applying the dwadasamsa sub-period system geometrically for example the first sub-period
in the Aquarian age is Capricorn, followed by Sagittarius, Scorpio and so on until the last
sub-period – Aquarius. This approach is adopted by Terry MacKinnell, Patrizia Norelli-
Bachelet and Lcdr David Williams applied his [decans] (threefold division) geometrically
thus supporting this approach.
New, alternative, and fringe theories
Due to the lack of consensus of almost all aspects of the astrological ages, except for the
astrological ages relationship to precession of the equinoxes and the retrograde order of the
astrological ages, there are more alternative, esoteric, innovative, fringe and newly expressed ideas
about the astrological ages probably than any other branch of astrology. For this reason, most ideas
and theories of the astrological ages appear in this section if they have not established credibility in
the wider astrological community or amongst archeoastronomers.
The inclusion of any theory, approach or concept of the astrological ages in this section in no way
indicates or suggests that they are incorrect or wrong (partially of fully), but they have not yet
received widespread acceptance. In addition, the inclusion of any fringe approach in this section
does not grant the approach any validity by their inclusion in this topic.
Ages based on Esoteric Christian and Gnostic Esoteric teachings
The Age of Leo-Aquarius marks the end of the Atlantean Epoch. The Atlanteans are said to have
inhabited the basins covered by a dense, drenching fog (i.e. what is currently know as the Atlantic
oceanic basin) which condensed into rain and flooded the basis of the Earth (recorded in all major
cultures as the myth of the Great Flood).
The Age of Cancer-Capricorn marks the beginning of the Aryan Epoch. The Aryans are said to
have been driven by the flood from the mists, which had enveloped Atlantis and condensed into
rain, to the hilltops [the goat climbs the mountains] where they are now living. For the first time
having a clear atmosphere in which the Rainbow, at the beginning of a new Epoch, marks a New
Covenant made with the pioneers.
This Age also relates to mankind's recapitulation of the early third of the Atlantean period (a period
which was intensely watery as the whole earth was covered by a dense, drenching fog. The
Niebelung, or "Children of the Mist," lived then in the basins of the Earth).
The Age of Gemini-Sagittarius relates to the infant humanity recapitulation of the middle third of
the Atlantean period (at that time the atmosphere had already cleared to a considerable extent, and
the faculties of the spirit had become more focused in its physical instrument).
The Age of Taurus-Scorpio relates to mankind's recapitulation of the late third of the Atlantean
period.
The Age of Aquarius-Leo According to the Esoteric Christian-Gnostic tradition, Essenian and later
Rosicrucian, the proximity and entrance in the Age of Aquarius - occurring after the present Age of
Pisces (or age ruled by the "Sword") - will bring to the majority of human beings the discovery, true
living and real knowledge of the inner and deeper Christian teachings which the Christ spoke of in
Matthew 13:11 and Luke 8:10. This age is regarded as an intermediary preparation toward the
Christ in the etheric plane, the New Galilee: the "new heavens and a new earth" to come in a future
not identified time. For Rosicrucians, in the Aquarian age at hand, it is expected a great spiritual
Teacher will come ("is coming"), through the school (working as herald of this age), in order "to
give the Christian Religion impetus in a new direction".
Mark 14:13 (also Luke 22:10) states "And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto
them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him.".
The disciples do so and follow him to the place where Jesus was to hold the Last Supper. Therefore,
this could be interpreted as meaning that Jesus (who represents the age of Pisces) will "die" when
the "man bearing a pitcher of water" appears, an apparent allusion to the coming age of Aquarius.
Alternative Approach to Calibrating Precession
Terry MacKinnell has developed an alternative approach to calibrating precession of the equinoxes
for the purposes of determining the Astrological Age. His major point of departure from the
traditional modern approach is how he applies the vernal equinox to the zodiacal constellations.
Instead of referring to the position of the Sun at the vernal equinox (a ‘modern’ mathematical
technique developed by the Greeks in the late 1st millennium BCE), he refers to the heliacal rising
constellation on the day of the vernal equinox. This approach is based on the ancient approach to
astronomical observations (the same ancient period that also saw the invention of the zodiacal
constellations) prior to the development of mathematical astronomy by the ancient Greeks in the 1st
millennium BCE. All ancient astronomical observations were based on visual techniques. Of all the
key techniques used in ancient times, the most common in Babylon (most likely the source of
astrology) and most other ancient cultures were based on phenomena that occurred close to the
eastern or western horizons. MacKinnell claims that it is incongruent to use a ‘modern’
mathematical approach to the much older constellations that were first described well before these
mathematical approaches were invented.
The heliacal rising constellation at the vernal equinox is based on the last zodiacal constellation
rising above the Eastern Horizon just before dawn and before the light of the approaching Sun
obliterates the stars on the eastern horizon. Currently at the vernal equinox the constellation of
Aquarius has been the heliacal rising constellation for some centuries. The stars disappear about one
hour before dawn depending upon magnitude, latitude and date. This one hour represents
approximately 15 degrees difference compared to the contemporary method based on the position
of the Sun amongst the zodiacal constellations. Each age is composed of 30 degrees. Therefore 15
degrees represents about half an age or about 1080 years. Therefore based on the heliacal rising
method, the Age of Aquarius arrived about 1,080 years early than the modern system. John H
Rogers in part one of his paper Origins of the ancient constellations also states that using the
ancient heliacal rising method compared to the (modern) solar method produces a result that is
approximately 1,000 in advance.
Using MacKinnell’s approach, the Astrological Ages arrive about half an age earlier compared to
the common contemporary approach to calibrating precession based on ‘modern’ mathematical
techniques. Therefore Terry MacKinnell has the Aquarian age arriving in the 15th century CE while
most astrologers have the Age of Aquarius arriving in the 27th century, almost 700 years in the
future.
Orb of influence
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removed. (March 2008)
The entrance into a new astrological age is not considered to be a single moment of time but a
process by which one age initiates its influences, in a slowly increasing way, before the end of the
previous age. Due to this reason, some astrologers consider the last ca. 12 degrees of a given age,
noted specially from the 10th degree (ca. 720 years) onward, as the time period during which the
new age starts to make visible its influences, also called "orb of influence". The orb of influence
should not be confused with the "decanate", although they often describe the same section of
zodiac. The orb is the distance from any point or planetary aspect in the zodiac through which the
influence operates, similar to a margin of error or uncertainty. A decanate is a band of any sign of
the zodiac, which is overlaid by the influence of the next sequential sign of the same element. For
example, the 1st decanate of Libra (0 to 10 degrees) is Libra overlaying Libra, the 2nd decanate of
Libra is Aquarius overlaying Libra, and the 3rd decanate of Libra is Gemini overlaying Libra. The
decanate process shows how each sign grows gradually towards a more progressed expression
along its 30 degree length, whereas the orb involves, in this case, the gradual fading from one sign
into the next sign.
From this viewpoint, the orb of influence (10th degree of Pisces entered in the 1930s) coincides
with the discovery of Pluto, technological advancements including nuclear fission, the invention of
radar, the invention of SSB and FM in radio transmission, the first television broadcasts with a
modern level of definition (1936), computers and other digital equipment (binary high and low
levels) and the Internet; but also with the times of Great Depression in the economic and social of
worldwide structures.
The 9th degree occurs in the 2000s decade which has been dominated by several wide-ranging
topics, including the explosion in telecommunications through the spread of instant
communications through broadband Internet and email and mobile phones, the development of
internet commerce and social networking websites, which have given people the opportunity to
easily keep in touch with others from anywhere around the globe; computers continue to advance
rapidly and to be applied to the majority of the areas of human activity and other technological
equipment as digital cameras, digital data storage, and digital audio players became widespread; the
international trade and a growing concern over energy supplies as well as concerns with
international terrorism and war, an escalation of the social issues of the 1990s, the debate over
global warming and the recent world's financial and economical crisis.
Ages are believed by some to affect mankind. For Aquarius (also called "the Water bearer"), it is
reported we have already been feeling influences - titled orb of influence (the last ten degrees
backwards of the Age of Pisces) - in the accelerated individual, social, cultural, scientific and
technological development and globalization through the 20th century. This view is consistent with
the popular notion of the New Age movement that regards current times as the "dawning of the
Aquarian Age".
Popular culture
• The movie Aquarian Age, released in Japan in 2008. Directed by Hidetaka Tahara and
starring Dori Sakurada, Rakuto Tochihara, Takuya Uehara, Keita Kimura, Toshikiyo Fujii,
Nao Nagasawa, Go Ayano and Masami Horiuchi. This movie is based on the Japan's most
popular domestic trading card game, the characters from the female-oriented Juvenile Orion
spinoff. The story focuses on several high school boys who discover that they inherited
latent genetic traits from among other things, wings that sprout out of their backs. They soon
find themselves caught in a millennia-old war, with each representing one of several
different factions.
• Aquarian Age (アクエリアンエイジ, Akuerian Eiji?) is a Japanese collectible trading card
game similar to Magic: The Gathering. It is marketed and produced by Broccoli, which
produces games and Anime-related goods.
• The 1967 rock musical Hair featured the song "Age of Aquarius" (composed by Galt
MacDermot, James Rado and Gerome Ragni), which spoke of the coming age; a recording
of the song by The Fifth Dimension was a top-ten pop hit in 1969.
Age of Aquarius
In astrology, the Age of Aquarius is one of the twelve astrological ages. According to astrologers,
it is either the next age to come, or else it is the current age. Each astrological age is approximately
2,150 years long, on average, but there are various methods that can make ages much longer and
shorter depending upon the technique used. Unlike sun-sign astrology where the first sign is Aries,
followed by Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius
and Pisces whereupon the cycle returns to Aries and through the zodiacal signs again, the
astrological ages proceed in the opposite direction or order. Therefore the age before the Age of
Aquarius is the Age of Pisces. Following the Age of Aquarius will be the Age of Capricorn, then
the Age of Sagittarius and so on.
Overview
According to different astrologers' calculations, approximated dates for entering the Age of
Aquarius range from 1447 AD (Terry MacKinnell) to 3621 (John Addey). The start date for the
Aquarian age is somewhat contentious and there is little uniform agreement upon the date or
process leading from the previous Pisces age to the Aquarian age (or between any two ages).
Nicholas Campion in "The Book of World Horoscopes" lists various references from mainly
astrological sources for the start of the Age of Aquarius. The following is taken from Campion's
book and lists the century and the number of people who claim that the Aquarian age commences in
that century:
Century Claims
15th century 1
16th century 0
17th century 3
18th century 4
19th century 5
20th century 29
21st century 7
22nd century 6
23rd century 2
24th century 12
25th century 8
26th century 7
27th century 7
28th century 6
29th century 1
30th century 0
31st century 1
32nd century 0
33rd century 1
34th century 0
35th century 0
36th century 1
37th century 1
Astrological ages exist as a result of precession of the equinoxes. The stars and constellations
appear to slowly rotate around the Earth independent of the diurnal and annual movements of the
Earth on its own axis and around the Sun. This slow movement takes slightly less than 26,000 years
to complete one cycle. Traditionally this rotation is calibrated for the purposes of the astrological
ages by the location of the sun in one of the twelve zodiacal constellations at the moment of the
northern hemisphere Vernal Equinox around the 21st of March each year. Approximately every
2,160 years the sun's position at the time of the Vernal Equinox will have moved into a new
zodiacal constellation. However zodiacal constellations are not uniform in size and so some
astrologers believe that the corresponding ages should also vary in time - this however is a
contentious issue amongst astrologers.
In 1929, the International Astronomical Union defined the edges of the 88 official constellations.
The edge established between Pisces and Aquarius technically locates the beginning of the
Aquarian Age around the year 2600. Many astrologers dispute this approach because of the varying
sizes of the zodiacal constellations and overlap between the zodiacal constellations.
Astrological meaning of the Age of Aquarius
Ages are believed by some astrologers to affect mankind while other astrologers believe the ages
correlate to the rise and fall of mighty civilizations and cultural tendencies. Aquarius traditionally
"rules" electricity, computers, flight, democracy, freedom, humanitarianism, idealists,
modernization, rebels and rebellion, mental diseases, nervous disorders, and astrology. Other
keywords and ideas believed associated with Aquarius are nonconformity, philanthropy, veracity,
perseverance, mankind and irresolution. The appearance or elevation in status of many of these
Aquarian developments over the last few centuries is considered by many astrologers to indicate the
proximity of the Aquarian age. There is no uniform agreement about the relationship of these recent
Aquarian developments and the Age of Aquarius. Some astrologers believe that the influence of a
new age is experienced before it arrives because of a cuspal effect or Orb of Influence. Other
astrologers believe the appearance of Aquarian developments indicate the actual arrival of the Age
of Aquarius.
David Williams
LCDR David Williams claims that the Age of Aquarius arrived about 1844, with the harbinger of
the Siyyid `Alí Mu ammad (1819–1850), also known as the ḥ Báb, founder of Bábism. Williams
adopts a sub-period approach to the ages whereby each age is divided into three decans. The three
age-decans of the Aquarian Age in chronological order are Libra, Gemini and Aquarius. Williams
states that the world is currently in the Libran decan of the Age of Aquarius which is why the world
has been so affected by wars (due to Libra) and revolutions (due to Aquarius). He relates ideologies
such as Socialism, Communism and Fascism to the arrival of the Age of Aquarius. While Williams
acknowledges the massive influx of technology associated with Aquarius, he bemoans the creation
of a race of morons willing to sit down and be spoon-fed from their TVs. Finally, Williams debunks
the notion that some new world leader, teacher, or Messiah will arrive and instantly fix all the ills of
the world.
Though he acknowledges great progress since the Aquarian Age arrived about 1844, the world will
have to wait for the Aquarian decan of the Aquarian Age before the true fellowship of humankind is
experienced in the world. (According to Williams’s calculations, the Aquarian decan of the Age of
Aquarius will arrive in about 3284, lasting until about 4004).
Marcia Moore and Mark Douglas
Marcia Moore and Mark Douglas promoted the view that though no one knows when the Aquarian
Age begins, the American Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, and the discovery of electricity are
all attributable to the Aquarian Age. Moore and Douglas make a number of predictions about the
trends that they believe will develop in the Aquarian Age. These include people becoming more
impersonal (detached), yet more altrusitic and humane. Developments involving flight and space
travel will result in decentralization. Inner cities will shrink and burgeoning outer suburbs and
industrial areas will reduce congestion.
Vera Reid
Vera Reid takes a common position expressed by many astrologers and New Agers about the Age
of Aquarius. Reid sees the Age of Aquarius as that time when humankind takes control of the Earth
and its own destiny as its rightful heritage. As such, humankind will become the "Son of God". Reid
believed that the keyword for Aquarius is 'enlightenment'. The destiny of humankind in the Age of
Aquarius is the revelation of truth and the expansion of consciousness.
Reid also believed that the many crises the world is experiencing are attributable to the waning days
of the Age of Pisces meeting the incoming tide of Aquarius, with the transition between ages lasting
approximately 280 years. Reid also promoted the idea that some people will experience mental
enlightenement in advance of others and therefore be recognized as the new leaders in the world.
Robert Zoller
Robert Zoller, a leading proponent of medieval astrology was awarded the renowned Regulus
Award for research and innovation in 2002. Zoller’s bleak predictions for the Age of Aquarius
suggest that the Pisces world where religion is the opiate of the masses will be replaced in the
Aquarian Age by a world ruled by secretive power-hungry elites seeking absolute power over
others. Families will dissolve completely, or family ties will be hidden. Zoller also believes that
knowledge in the Aquarian Age will only be valued for its ability to win wars; scientists may even
be able to precipitate earthquakes for military means, and the danger in the Aquarian Age is that
knowledge and science will be abused, not industry and trade. Zoller sees the Aquarian Age as a
Dark Age wherein religion will be seen as offensive.
Albert Amao, Ph.D.
Amao states that the transition period between any two ages is based on two degrees' leeway at the
point of intersection of two adjoining zodiacal constellations. Based on this transitional structure,
Amao has the Age of Aquarius commencing in 1948 with the transitional period from the Pisces
age to Aquarian age covering the period 1876 to 2020. Amao follows the causative approach to the
ages and believes that the energy from the arriving constellation of Aquarius is actually creating the
changes on Earth that many astrologers associate with the Age of Aquarius. The key characteristics
of the Aquarian age according to Amao are: science; disbelief in God; knowledge and reason;
freedom and equality, equality of the sexes and of religion; space exploration, supremacy of the
USA over the former Pisces supremacy of Europe; and finally revelation of the Mystery.
Amao also states that the Mayan Long Count calendar, that has an end-date of December 21, 2012,
is associated with precession of the equinoxes and therefore can provide an important demarcation
for the Age of Aquarius. Another technique used by Amao is the longterm conjunction cycle of the
planets Saturn and Jupiter that will have a conjunction of these two planets at the very beginning of
the sign Aquarius in 2020. Combined with the closing transition date of 2020 derived from the one
degree cusp method, Amao is fully convinced that we lie at the threshold of the Aquarian age.
Neil Spencer
Neil Spencer provides another sobering overview of the Age of Aquarius stating that the rise of
scientific rationalism combined with the fall of religious influence is possibly an indication of the
Age of Aquarius. The growth in demands of human rights since the 1780s, though remaining
unfulfilled, is another indication of Aquarius. Spencer points to the exponential growth of
technology, especially of computers and the Internet, plus the growth in flight and space travel as
examples of the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.
Spencer also questions the New Age utopian view of the Age of Aquarius with the modern
astrological perspective that each sign is different but equal. Possible negative examples of
Aquarius include dumbed-down media and consumerism and rapacious international corporations.
Finally, Spencer states that nuclear power must be a manifestation of the Aquarian Age and
comments on the parallel between the 25,000 years it takes for uranium to decay with the 26,000
cycle of the astrological ages. No isotopes of uranium have a half-life of 25,000 years though,
naturally occurring forms have half-lives of 4.46 billion years(U-238), 700 million years(U-235),
and 245,000 years(U-234).
Louis McNeice
Louis McNeice reports that Rupert Gleadow saw the Age of Aquarius ruled by the planet Uranus
and thus in the Age of Aquarius the attributes of Uranus such as inventions, machines, worldwide
organizations, international collaboration, and the fellowship of humankind would spread. McNeice
also states that Ingrid Lind believes the Age of Aquarius has already arrived and the recent
appearance of modern ideas and inventions supports this assertion.
McNeice also reports that Gleadow believed that the recent conflicts in the world (presumerably the
20th century) correlate to the conflict between Saturn, ancient ruler of Aquarius and Uranus,
modern ruler of Aquarius. Gleadow states that Saturn represents control, restrictions, and slavery,
while Uranus represents culture, civilization, and intelligence. Though Gleadow viewed Uranus as a
good planet, the famous astrologer Raphael believed Uranus to be evil and truly malefic.
Ray Grasse
Ray Grasse provides a guide to the Aquarian Age analogous to a travel guide for someone entering
a foreign land. Grasse suggests that if you want help navigating through the Aquarian Age, you
should leave room for silence in your life; create a center in your life (preferably involving a
connection to the Absolute); and resist the deadening of your world, so instead of filling up your
life with manufactured goods or artificiality, bring living organic things into your life. Furthermore,
you need to maintain a compassionate heart; be involved in a network or group; become more self-
reliant; avoid being hypnotized by the "group trance"; and take control of your everyday attitudes
(i.e., do not depend upon external events for your inner fulfilment). This last point is relevant, as
Grasse states, "How do we know if the Age of Aquarius will be 'a utopia or an Orwellian
nightmare?'".
Terry MacKinnell
Terry MacKinnell states that the Age of Aquarius arrived between 1433 and 1441 CE. Mackinnell
adopts a number of innovative approaches to the astrological ages. One key point is that in the
Aquarian Age, the most powerful sign is Pisces from the momentum of the previous Pisces age.
Nevertheless, emergent historical developments since the 15th century are oriented to Aquarius.
Aquarius is considered a "modern" sign, and Mackinnell claims that modernity is the Age of
Aquarius. Furthermore, many historians claim that the modern world developed from the 15th
century onwards, in support of the Aquarian Age having arrived in the 15th century.
MacKinnell also claims that the USA is the current age's empire (the American empire) similar to
the former empires of ancient Rome, ancient Egypt, and Mesopotamia in their respective ages.
Esoteric Christian tradition
According to the Esoteric Christian tradition, Essenian and later Rosicrucian, the proximity and
entrance in the Age of Aquarius - occurring after the present Age of Pisces (or age ruled by the
"Sword") - will bring to the majority of human beings the discovery, true living and real knowledge
of the inner and deeper Christian teachings which the Christ spoke of in Matthew 13:11 and Luke
8:10. This age is regarded as an intermediary preparation toward the Christ in the etheric plane, the
New Galilee: the "new heavens and a new earth" to come in a future not identified time. In the
Aquarian age at hand it is expected a great spiritual Teacher to come ("is coming"), through the
school which works as herald of this age, in order "to give the Christian Religion impetus in a new
direction". Others[citation needed] who do not herald the idea of a physical spiritual teacher in
contrast to the AntiChrist believe that the Spiritual Teacher will truly be themselves, and that Christ
will manifest himself within those who seek these Inner Teachings.
Common cultural associations
The expression Age of Aquarius usually refers in popular culture to the heyday of the hippie and
New Age movements of the 1960s and 1970s. The New Age movement is more accurately a
phenomenon and yet seen by many as the harbinger of this future changeover of values associated
with the arrival or imminent arrival of the Age of Aquarius.
The New Age phenomenon is seen by some astrologers as marked by the conjunction of the planet
Uranus, ruler of the sign Aquarius, and the coming age, with Pluto, ruler of the masses, bringing
radical change in the 1960s. However, as the song relates, it is only considered by astrologers to be
the dawning of the age, but the song does announce the actual start of the age and within the first
lines. "When the Moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars. Then peace will guide
the planets, and love will steer the stars." This alignment occurred on February 14, 2009 –
Valentine's Day. However, according to Neil Spencer, this is `astrological gibberish' as Jupiter
aligns with Mars several times a year and the Moon is in the 7th House for about two hours every
day. Though the lines of this song are merely poetic licence, many people take them as a literal
truth.
Although more rock than New Age in genre, the 1967 musical Hair, with its opening song
"Aquarius" and the memorable line "This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius," brought the
Aquarian Age concept to the attention of audiences worldwide.
Burmese Zodiac
The Burmese (also known as Myanmar) Zodiac was formed in Myanmar (formerly known as
Burma) by monks . The monks created this zodiac to keep the world under a keen understanding of
the cosmic world. They incorporated their zodiac knowledge from the skies and the animal
kingdom. This ancient branch of astrology was called "Mahabote". Mahabote means "little vessel"
or "little key". The meaning is believed to be a branch off from the larger Hindu Astrological
System. Myanmar astrology is based on the number eight for cosmic balance, and resonates at a
frequency of divine equilibrium. It's believed that the number eight reflects the harmony in energy,
which keeps away any sort of balance.
Burmese Astrological System
The essential elements of Eight in Myanmar:
• Eight Planetary Energies
• Eight Days of the Week
• Eight Cardinal Directions
• Eight Burmese Zodiac Animal Signs
Burmese Zodiac Signs
Burmese Sign
Day of Week Born
On
Ruling
Planet
Ruling
Direction
Garuda (mythical bird, Hindu/Buddhist
bird deity)
Sunday Sun Northeast
Tiger Monday Moon East
Lion Tuesday Mars Southeast
Elephant (with tusks) Wednesday Morning Mercury South
Elephant (no tusks)
Wednesday
Afternoon
Rahu Northwest
Rat Thursday Jupiter West
Guinea Pig Friday Venus North
Dragon Saturday Saturn Southwest
• The Burmese Zodiac is based on the day you were born.
House (astrology)
Most horoscopic traditions of astrology systems divide the horoscope into a number (usually
twelve) of houses whose positions depend on time and location rather than on date. The houses of
the horoscope represent different spheres of life, described in terms of physical surroundings as well
as personal life experiences. In delineation the placement of a planet or zodiac sign in a house will
determine to a large degree the area of life in which it acts, and the goals and activities on which its
drive or impulse will be focused.
Description

This 18th century Icelandic manuscript drawing shows the twelve astrological houses with signs for
the locations of the planets, the Sun, and the Moon.
The houses are divisions of the ecliptic plane (the path of the sun across the sky) as seen from the
earth at the time and place of the horoscope in question. They are numbered counter-clockwise from
the position of the eastern horizon (the cusp of the first house) at the time of the subject being
charted. Houses one through six are below the horizon, while houses seven through twelve are
above the horizon.
There are a range of approaches to calculating these divisions and different opinions among
astrologers over which house system is most accurate. To calculate the houses, it is necessary to
know the exact time, date, and location. In natal astrology, some astrologers will use a birth time set
for noon or sunrise if the actual time of birth is unknown. An accurate interpretation of such a chart,
however, cannot be expected.
The Twelve Houses
The Babylonians were the first to set out the twelve houses used today by the majority of
astrologers. The houses were numbered from the east downward under the horizon, and represented
areas of life on the following pattern with their areas of influence.
These are their traditional Latin names of the twelve houses, with their translations and other
associated influences. This represents the basic outline of the houses as they are still understood
today.
House Sign
Latin
motto
Translation
Modern title of
house
Interpretation
1st Aries Vita Life House of Self
Physical appearance, traits and
characteristics. First impressions.
General outlook into the world. Ego.
Beginnings and initiatives.
2nd Taurus Lucrum Wealth House of Value
Material and immaterial things of
certain value. Money. Belongings,
property, acquisitions. Cultivation
and growth. Substance. Self-Worth.
3rd Gemini Fratres Brothers
House of
Communications
Lower education and childhood
environment. Mental facilities.
Siblings. Neighborhood matters.
Short, local travel and
transportations.
4th Cancer Genitor Parents
House of Home
and Family
Ancestry, heritage, roots. Early
foundation and environment. Mother
or mothers as figure. The caretaker
of the household. Cyclic end of
matters.
5th Leo Nati Children
House of
Pleasure
Recreational and leisure activities.
Things which makes for enjoyment
and entertainment. Games and
gambling. Children. Love affairs
and sex. Creative self-expression.
6th Virgo Valetudo Health House of Health
Routine tasks and duties. Skills or
training acquired. Jobs and
Employments. Health and overall
well-being. Service performed for
others. Caretaking. Pets and small
domestic animals.
7th Libra Uxor Spouse
House of
Partnerships
Close, confidante-like relationships.
Marriage and business partners.
Agreements and treaties. Matters
dealing with diplomatic relations of
all kinds, including open (known)
enemies. Attraction to qualities we
admire from the other partner.
8th Scorpio Mors Death
House of Death
and Sex
Cycles of Deaths And Rebirth.
Sexual relationships and deeply
committed relationships of all kinds.
Joint funds, finances. Other person's
resource. Occult, psychic and taboo
matters. Regeneration. Self-
transformation.
9th Sagittarius Iter Journeys
House of
Philosophy
Foreign travel and foreign countries.
Culture. Long distance travels and
journeys. Religion. Law and ethics.
Higher education. Knowledge.
Experience through expansion.
10th Capricorn Regnum Kingdom
House of Social
Status
Ambitions. Motivations. Career.
Status in society. Government.
Authority. Father or father figure.
The breadwinner of the household.
One's public appearance/impression
at large(audience).
11th Aquarius Benefacta Friendship
House of
Friendships
Friends and acquaintances of like-
minded attitudes. Groups, clubs and
societies. Higher associations.
Benefits and fortunes from career.
One's hopes and wishes.
12th Pisces Carcer Prison
House of Self-
Undoing
Mysticism. Places of seclusion such
as hospitals, prisons and institutions,
including self-imposed
imprisonments. Things which are
not apparent to self, yet clearly seen
by others. Elusive, clandestine,
secretive or unbeknownst matters.
Retreat, reflection and self-sacrifice.
Unconscious/subconscious.
Unknown enemies.
1st House (Aries) : Also known as the Ascendant or Rising Sign.
4th House (Cancer): Also known as Imum Coeli.
7th House (Libra): Also known as the Descendent.
10th House (Capricorn): Also known as Medium Coeli.
Many modern astrologers assume that the houses relate to their corresponding signs, i.e. that the
first house has a natural affinity with the first sign, Aries, and so on. However, the discovery of a
document called the Thema Mundi, or chart of the world, by Project Hindsight, suggests something
different. In the chart of the world, the sign Cancer is on the ascendant, Leo is on the 2nd house, and
so on. The Thema Mundi is the chart that is considered the key to the Helenistic system of
astrology, from which much of modern astrology is derived, though at times inaccurately.
Quadrants, Modality and Triplicities
In quadrant systems houses are classified as Angular, Succedent and Cadent. The house
themselves are respectively ruled by signs according to the astrological modality: Cardinal, Fixed,
and Mutable.
Angular Succedent Cadent
1st House (Aries) 2nd House (Taurus) 3rd House (Gemini)
4th House (Cancer) 5th House (Leo) 6th House (Virgo)
7th House (Libra) 8th House (Scorpio) 9th House (Sagittarius)
10th House (Capricorn)
11th House
(Aquarius)
12th House (Pisces)
Angular houses are points of initiation and represent action. The signs ruling angular houses are all
Cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. Succedent houses are points of purpose and
represent stabilization. The signs ruling Succedent houses are all Fixed: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and
Aquarius. And finally, Cadent houses are points of transition and they represent change and
adaptation. Cadent houses are ruled by Mutable Signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.
Furthermore, the houses are also grouped together by Triplicity: When one of the four elements
(fire, earth, air, and water) in which the zodiac sign that rules the house is placed. There are three
zodiac signs that fall within one of these four elements, hence their respective moniker, "The
Triplicities".
The Fire Triplicity The Earth Triplicity The Air Triplicity The Water Triplicity
1st House (Aries) 2nd House (Taurus) 3rd House (Gemini) 4th House (Cancer)
5th House (Leo) 6th House (Virgo) 7th House (Libra) 8th House (Scorpio)
9th House (Sagittarius)
10th House
(Capricorn)
11th House
(Aquarius)
12th House (Pisces)
In old astrological writings (e.g. William Lilly), house could also be used as a synonym for
domicile or rulership, as in the sentence "The Moon has its house in Cancer" meaning that Cancer is
ruled by the Moon. It may be helpful to think of a ruling planet, in this case the Moon, as the
"owner of the 4th House", and the sign, e.g.Cancer, as the CEO or landlord who runs the house. In
an individual horoscope, whatever sign occupies any given house can be thought of as the house's
tenant. [See section heading Rulership below.]
In Indian astrology, the twelve houses are called Bhava and have meanings very similar to their
Western counterparts.
Systems of House Division

In this natal chart, the twelve houses are numbered close to the central circle containing the colored
aspect lines; this particular horoscope uses the Topocentric House System (see below for more
details)
There are many systems of house division. In most the ecliptic is divided into houses and the
ascendant (eastern horizon) marks the cusp, or beginning, of the first house, and the descendant
(western horizon) marks the cusp of the seventh house. Many systems of house division called
quadrant house systems also use the midheaven (medium coeli) as the cusp of the tenth house and
the nadir (imum coeli) as the cusp of the fourth house. Some house systems divide the celestial
equator and the prime vertical instead of the ecliptic.
The earliest systems (whole sign and equal house) linked the houses to the signs of the zodiac. The
equal house system defines houses as 30-degree sectors of the ecliptic, so that the cusp of each
house falls on the same degree of each zodiac sign. One outcome of this is that a varying angle
occurs between the ascendant and midheaven in higher latitudes. Attempts to reconcile the concept
of "quadrants" with the varying angle between midheaven and ascendant lead to more complicated
house systems. These became more relevant as astrology spread from subtropical regions to higher
latitudes.
Goals for a house system include ease of computation; agreement with the "quadrant" concept
(ascendant on the first house cusp, nadir on the fourth, descendant on the seventh, and midheaven
on the tenth); defined and meaningful behaviour in the polar regions; acceptable handling of
heavenly bodies of high latitude (a distinct problem from high-latitude locations on the Earth's
surface); and symbolic value. It is impossible for any system to satisfy all the criteria completely, so
each one represents a different compromise. The extremely popular Placidus and Koch systems, in
particular, can generate undefined results in the polar circles. Research and debate on the merits of
different house systems is ongoing.
Early Forms of House Division
The earliest forms of house division were those that link with, or run parallel to, the signs of the
zodiac along the ecliptic. Proponents of the equal house system claim that it is more accurate and
less distorting in higher latitudes (especially above 60 degrees) than the Placidean and other
quadrant house systems.
Whole sign
In the whole sign house system, sometimes referred to as the 'Sign-House system', the houses are
30° each. The ascendant designates the rising sign, and the first house begins at zero degrees of the
zodiac sign in which the ascendant falls, regardless of how early or late in that sign the ascendant is.
The next sign after the ascending sign then becomes the 2nd house, the sign after that the 3rd house,
and so on. In other words, each house is wholly filled by one sign. This was the main system used
in the Hellenistic tradition of astrology, and is also used in Indian astrology, as well as in some early
traditions of Medieval astrology. It is thought to be the oldest system of house division.
The Whole Sign system was originally developed in the Hellenistic tradition of astrology sometime
around the 1st or 2nd century BCE, and from there it was passed to the Indian and early Medieval
traditions of astrology. At some point in the Medieval period, probably around the 10th century,
whole sign houses fell into disuse in the western tradition, and by the 20th century the system was
completely unknown in the western astrological community, although was continually used in India
all the way into the present time. Beginning in the 1980s and 1990's the system was rediscovered
and reintroduced into western astrology. The distinction between equal houses and whole sign
houses lies in the fact that in whole sign houses the cusp of the 1st house is the beginning of the
sign that contains the ascendant, while in equal houses the degree of the ascendant is itself the cusp
of the 1st house.
Equal House
In the equal house system the ecliptic is also divided into twelve divisions of 30 degrees, although
the houses are measured out in 30 degree increments starting from the degree of the ascendant. It
begins with the ascendant, which acts as the 'cusp' or starting point of the 1st house, then the second
house begins exactly 30 degrees later in zodiacal order, then the third house begins exactly 30
degrees later in zodiacal order from the 2nd house, and so on.
The MC in Whole Sign & Equal House Systems
In the whole sign and equal house systems the Medium Coeli (Midheaven), the highest point in the
chart, does not act as the cusp or starting point of the 10th house. Instead the MC moves around the
top half of the chart, and can land anywhere in the 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, depending on the
latitude. The MC retains its commonly agreed significations, but it doesn't act as the starting
point of the 10th house, therefore in Equal house it adds extra definition and meaning to MC
and the cusps involved, but always MC is same in interpretations as other house systems.
This is also the more common criticism of the whole sign and equal house method as it concerns the
location of the Medium Coeli (Midheaven), the highest point in the chart. In the equal house
system, the ascendant/descendant and midheaven/nadir axes can vary from being perpendicular to
each other (from approx. +-5 deg at most at equator to approx. +-15 degrees at Alexandria to +-90
degrees at polar circle). As a result, equal houses counted from the ascendant cannot in general
place the midheaven on the tenth house cusp, where many feel it would be symbolically desirable.
Since this point is associated with ambition, career, and public image, the argument is that the
Midheaven, therefore, must be the cusp of the similar tenth house. It has also been linked by
extension with Capricorn (the tenth sign of the zodiac). Because the Whole Sign and Equal House
system do take the Midheaven into account, but relies on the location of the Ascendant, it can be
found anywhere between the 8th and 11th houses.
Quadrant House Systems
Quadrant house systems divide the houses so that they agree with the "quadrant" concept (ascendant
on the first house cusp, nadir on the fourth, descendant on the seventh, and midheaven on the tenth).
Porphyry
Each quadrant of the ecliptic is divided into three equal parts between the four angles. This is the
oldest system of quadrant style house division. Although it is attributed to Porphyry of Tyros, this
system was first described by the 2nd century astrologer Vettius Valens, in the 3rd book of his
astrological compendium known as The Anthology.
Alchabitius
The predecessor system to the Placidus, which largely replaced the Porphyry . The difference with
Placidus is that the time that it takes the ascendant to reach the meridian is divided equally into
three parts. The Alchabitius house system was very popular in Europe before the introduction of the
Regiomontanus system. Alchabitius (or Alcabitius ), was a 10th century Arabian astrologer (died
967).
Regiomontanus
The celestial equator is divided into twelve, and these divisions are projected on to the ecliptic
along great circles that take in the north and south points on the horizon. Named after the German
astronomer and astrologer Johann Müller of Königsberg. The Regiomontanus system was later
largely replaced by the Placidus system.
Meridian
Similar to Regiomontanus, except that the east point is taken as the ascendant.
Placidus
This is the most commonly used house system in modern Western astrology. The Placidus system is
based on a division of time rather than space. The times taken for each degree of the ecliptic to rise
from the nadir to the ascendant, and from the ascendant to the midheaven, are trisected to determine
the cusps of houses 2, 3, 11, and 12. The cusps of houses 8, 9, 5 and 6 are opposite these. The
Placidus system is sometimes not defined beyond polar circles (latitudes greater than 66°N or
66°S), because certain degrees are circumpolar (never touch the horizon), and planets falling in
them cannot be assigned to houses without extending the system. This is the main weakness of the
Placidean system according to its critics, which often cite the exceptional house proportions in the
higher latitudes.
It is thought the Placidus system was first mentioned about 13th century in Arab literature, but the
first confirmed publication was in 1602 by Giovanni Antonii Magini (1555-1617) in his book
"Tabulae Primi Mobilis, quas Directionem Vulgo Dicunt". Later it was popularized by Catholic
Church as an argument for Ptolemy's geocentric theory of the Solar System, in the campaign against
the heliocentric theory. Placidus, a professor of mathematics, was named as its author to give it
credibility to his contemporaries. Placidus remains the most popular system among English-
speaking astrologers
Campanus
The prime vertical (the great circle taking in the zenith and east point on the horizon) is divided into
twelve, and these divisions are projected on to the ecliptic along great circles that take in the north
and south points on the horizon. It is named after Johannes Campanus.
Koch
A rather more complicated version of the Placidus system, built on equal increments of Right
Ascension for each quadrant. The Koch system was developed by the German astrologer Walter
Koch (1895-1970) and is defined only for latitudes between 66°N and 66°S. This system is popular
among research astrologers in the U.S. and among German speakers, but in Central Europe lost
some popularity to the Krusiński house system.
Topocentric
This is a recent system, invented in Argentina, that its creators claim has been determined
empirically, i.e. by observing events in people's lives and assessing the geometry of a house system
that would fit. The house cusps are always within a degree of those given in the Placidus system.
The geometry is somewhat complicated and the reader is referred to this site for an explanation. The
topocentric system can also be described as an approximation algorithm for the Placidus system.
Neo-Porphyry
The Neo-Porphyry system of house division is similar to Porphyry houses except that instead of
each quadrant being divided into three equal sized houses, the middle house in each quadrant is
compressed or expanded based on the whether the quadrant covers less than or greater than 90
degrees. In other words, houses are smooth around the zodiac with the difference in quadrant sizes
being spread in a continuous sinusoidal manner from expanded to compressed houses. Neo-
Porphyry houses were invented and first published by Walter Pullen in his astrology program
Astrolog in 1994.
Krusinski
A recently published (1995) house system, based on a great circle passing through the ascendant
and zenith. This circle is divided into 12 equal parts (1st cusp is ascendent, 10th cusp is zenith),
then the resulting points are projected to the ecliptic through meridian circles.
The house tables for this system were published in 1995 in Poland. This house system is also
known under the name Amphora in the Czech Republic, after it was proposed there by Milan Píša
after the study of Manilius's "Astronomica" under this name ("Konstelace č. 22" in: "AMPHORA -
nový systém astrologických domů" (1997) and in the booklet "Amphora - algoritmy nového
systému domů" (1998)).
Rulership
In Hellenistic, Vedic, Medieval and Renaissance astrology each house is ruled by the planet that
rules the sign on its cusp. For example, if a person has the sign Aries on the cusp of their 7th house,
then the planet Mars is said to "rule" their 7th house. This means that when a planet is allotted a
house, its nature comes to have some bearing on that specific topic in the person's life, and that
planet is said to be very important for events specifically pertaining to that topic. The placement of
this planet in the chart will have at least as much influence on the chart as the planets within the
house. In traditional Western & Hindu astrology, each sign is ruled by one of the 7 visible planets
(note that in astrology, the Sun and Moon are considered planets, which literally means wanderers,
i.e. wandering stars, as opposed to the fixed stars of the constellations).
In addition, some modern astrologers who follow the X=Y=Z or Planet=Sign=House doctrine,
which was first taught by Alan Leo in the early part of the 20th century, believe that certain houses
are also "ruled" by, or have an affinity with, the planet which rules the corresponding zodiacal sign.
For instance, Mars is ruler of the 1st house because Aries is the first sign, Mercury rules or has an
affinity with the 3rd house because Gemini is the 3rd sign, etc. This is sometimes referred to as
"natural rulership", as opposed to the former which is sometimes called "accidental rulership".
Rationale Behind Twelve Houses
Babylonians started observing natural phenomena connected with ascending and culminating of the
heavenly bodies. This evolved into 12 division system of houses before the discovery of the
ecliptic. Later (around V c. bce) ecliptic was discovered (Schmidt&Hand "On the invariance of
tropical Zodiac" and "Early house divisions in the Hellenistic era"). At the beginning this early
zodiac it has no sign divisions, and only 18 bright stars were used as markers to measure planet
positions.[citation needed] Later in Alexandria astrologers introduced the twelve signs to fit the
number and probably meanings of the houses, and named constellations after them. Nowadays,
practising astrologers use a 12 house division. Most theoreticians attribute 8 fold division for
misinterpretation of old texts only, but one theoretician Patrice Guinard has argued, contrary to that
prevailing opinion, that there is a basis for an 8 house division. One prominent astrologer, Marc
Penfield, uses 8 houses - dividing each quadrant using the same technique as in Koch & Placidus.
Michel Gauquelin divided Placidus houses into 36 (instead of 12) "decans" and marked beginning
of the 36th "decan" (the first before ascendant) as the starting point.
Equinox
An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor
towards the Sun, the Sun being vertically above a point on the Equator. The term equinox can also
be used in a broader sense, meaning the date when such a passage happens. The name "equinox" is
derived from the Latin aequus (equal) and nox (night), because around the equinox, the night and
day are approximately equally long. It may be better understood to mean that latitudes +L and -L
north and south of the equator experience nights of equal length.
The word is also used for the same event happening on other planets and in setting up a celestial
coordinate system; see equinox (celestial coordinates).
At an equinox, the Sun is at one of two opposite points on the celestial sphere where the celestial
equator (i.e. declination 0) and ecliptic intersect. These points of intersection are called equinoctial
points: the vernal point and the autumnal point. By extension, the term equinox may denote an
equinoctial point.
An equinox happens each year at two specific moments in time (rather than two whole days), when
there is a location on the Earth's Equator where the centre of the Sun can be observed to be
vertically overhead, occurring around March 20/21 and September 22/23 each year.
Names
• Vernal equinox and autumnal equinox: these classical names are direct derivatives of
Latin (ver = spring and autumnus = autumn).
• March equinox and September equinox: a usage becoming the preferred standard by
technical writers choosing to avoid Northern Hemisphere bias (implied by assuming that
March is in the springtime and September is autumnal—true for those in the Northern
Hemisphere but exactly opposite in the Southern Hemisphere).
• Northward equinox and southward equinox: names referring to the apparent motion of
the Sun at the times of the equinox.
• Vernal point and autumnal point are the points on the celestial sphere where the Sun is
located on the vernal equinox and autumnal equinox respectively (again, the seasonal
attribution is that of the Northern Hemisphere).
• First point (or cusp) of Aries and first point of Libra are archaic names used by
navigators and astrologers. Navigational ephemeris tables record the geographic position of
the First Point of Aries as the reference for position of navigational stars. Due to the
precession of the equinoxes, the astrological signs where these equinoxes are located no
longer correspond with the actual constellations once ascribed to them.
Length of equinoctial day and night
On a day of the equinox, the centre of the Sun spends a roughly equal amount of time above and
below the horizon at every location on the Earth, night and day being of roughly the same length.
The word equinox derives from the Latin words aequus (equal) and nox (night); in reality, the day is
longer than the night at an equinox. Commonly, the day is defined as the period when sunlight
reaches the ground in the absence of local obstacles. From the Earth, the Sun appears as a disc
rather than a single point of light, so when the centre of the Sun is below the horizon, its upper edge
is visible. Furthermore, the atmosphere refracts light, so even when the upper limb of the Sun is
below the horizon, its rays reach over the horizon to the ground. In sunrise/sunset tables, the
assumed semidiameter (apparent radius) of the Sun is 16 minutes of arc and the atmospheric
refraction is assumed to be 34 minutes of arc. Their combination means that when the upper limb of
Sun is on the visible horizon, its centre is 50 minutes of arc below the geometric horizon, which is
the intersection with the celestial sphere of a horizontal plane through the eye of the observer. These
cumulative effects make the day about 14 minutes longer than the night at the Equator and longer
still towards the Poles. The real equality of day and night only happens in places far enough from
the equator to have a seasonal difference in day length of at least 7 minutes, actually occurring a
few days towards the winter side of each equinox.
The date at which the time between sunset and sunrise crosses 12 hours , is known as the equilux.
Because sunset and sunrise times vary with an observer's geographic location (longitude and
latitude), the equilux likewise depends on location and does not exist for locations sufficiently close
to the equator. The equinox, however, is a precise moment in time which is common to all
observers on Earth.
Heliocentric view of the seasons
The Earth's seasons are caused by the rotation axis of the Earth not being perpendicular to its orbital
plane. The Earth's axis is tilted at an angle of approximately 23.44° from the orbital plane; this tilt is
called the axial tilt. As a consequence, for half of the year (i.e. from around March 20 to around
September 22), the northern hemisphere tips toward the Sun, with the maximum around June 21,
while for the other half of the year, the southern hemisphere has this honour, with the maximum
around December 21. The two instants when the Sun is directly overhead at the Equator are the
equinoxes. Also at that moment, both the North and South Poles of the Earth are just on the
terminator and day and night are divided equally between the hemispheres.
The table above gives the dates and times of equinoxes and solstices over several years. A few
remarks can be made about the equinoxes:
• Because the Sun is a spherical (rather than a single-point) source of light, the actual crossing
of the Sun over the Equator takes approximately 33 hours.
• At the equinoxes, the rate of change for the length of daylight and night-time is the greatest.
At the Poles, the equinox marks the start of the transition from 24 hours of nighttime to 24
hours of daylight. High in the Arctic Circle, Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway has an
additional 15 minutes more daylight every day around the time of the Spring equinox,
whereas in Singapore (which is virtually on the Equator), the amount of daylight each day
varies by just seconds.
• It is 94 days from the June solstice to the September equinox, but only 89 days from the
December Solstice to the March equinox. The seasons are not of equal length, because of the
variable speed of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun.
• The instances of the equinoxes are not fixed, but fall about six hours later every year,
amounting to one full day in four years. They are reset by the occurrence of a leap year. The
Gregorian calendar is designed to follow the seasons as accurately as is practical, which is
good, but not absolutely perfect. Also see: Gregorian calendar#Calendar seasonal error.
• Smaller irregularities in the times are caused by perturbations of the Moon and the other
planets.
• Currently, the most common equinox and solstice dates are March 20, June 21, September
22 and December 21; the four-year average will slowly shift to earlier times in coming
years. This shift is a full day in about 70 years (compensated mainly by the century "leap
year" rules of the Gregorian calendar). This also means that in many years of the twentieth
century, the dates of March 21, June 22, September 23 and December 22 were much more
common, so older books teach (and older people may still remember) these dates.
• Note that the times are given in UTC (roughly speaking, the time at Greenwich, ignoring
British Summer Time). People living farther to the east (Asia and Australia), whose local
times are in advance, will see the seasons apparently start later; for example, in Tonga
(UTC+13), an equinox occurred on September 24, 1999, a date which will not crop up again
until 2103. On the other hand, people living far to the west (America) whose clocks run
behind UTC may experience an equinox as early as March 19.
Geocentric view of the seasons
In the half year centred on the June solstice, the Sun rises and sets towards the north, which means
longer days with shorter nights for the Northern Hemisphere and shorter days with longer nights for
the Southern Hemisphere. In the half year centred on the December solstice, the Sun rises and sets
towards the south and the durations of day and night are reversed.
Also on the day of an equinox, the Sun rises everywhere on Earth (except the Poles) at 06:00 in the
morning and sets at 18:00 in the evening (local time). These times are not exact for several reasons,
one being that the Sun is much larger in diameter than the Earth that more than half of the Earth
could be in sunlight at any one time (due to unparallel rays creating tangent points beyond an equal-
day-night line); other reasons are as follows:
• Most places on Earth use a time zone which is unequal to the local time, differing by up to
an hour or even two hours, if daylight saving time (summer time) is included. In that case,
the Sun could rise at 08:00 and set at 20:00, but there would still be 12 hours of daylight.
• Even those people fortunate enough to have their time zone equal to the local time will not
see sunrise and sunset at 06:00 and 18:00 respectively. This is due to the variable speed of
the Earth in its orbit, and is described as the equation of time. It has different values for the
March and September equinoxes (+8 and −8 minutes respectively).
• Sunrise and sunset are commonly defined for the upper limb of the solar disk, rather than its
centre. The upper limb is already up for at least one minute before the centre appears, and
likewise, the upper limb sets one minute later than the centre of the solar disk. Due to
atmospheric refraction, the Sun, when near the horizon, appears a little more than its own
diameter above the position than where it is in reality. This makes sunrise more than another
two minutes earlier and sunset the equal amount later. These two effects add up to almost
seven minutes, making the equinox day 12hrs 7min long and the night only 11hrs 53min. In
addition to that, the night includes twilight. When dawn and dusk are added to the daytime
instead, the day would be almost 13 hours.
• The above numbers are only true for the tropics. For moderate latitudes, this discrepancy
increases (for example, 12 minutes in London) and closer to the Poles it gets very large. Up
to about 100 km from both Poles, the Sun is up for a full 24 hours on an equinox day.
• Height of the horizon on both the sunrise and sunset sides changes the day's length. Going
up into the mountains will lengthen the day, while standing in a valley with hilltops on the
east and the west can shorten the day significantly. This is why settlements in east-west
running valleys are more favourable (daylight-wise) than north-south running valleys.
Day arcs of the Sun
Some of the above statements can be made clearer when picturing the day arc (i.e. the path the Sun
tracks along the celestial dome in its diurnal movement). The pictures show this for every hour on
equinox day. In addition, some 'ghost' suns are also indicated below the horizon, up to 18° down.
The Sun in this area still causes twilight. The pictures can be used for both Northern and Southern
hemispheres. The observer is supposed to sit near the tree on the island in the middle of the ocean;
the green arrows give cardinal directions.
• On the northern hemisphere, north is to the left, the Sun rises in the east (far arrow),
culminates in the south (right arrow) while moving to the right and setting in the west (near
arrow).
• On the southern hemisphere, south is to the left, the Sun rises in the east (near arrow),
culminates in the north (right arrow) while moving to the left and setting in the west (far
arrow).
The following special cases are depicted:
• The day arc on the Equator, passing through the zenith, has almost no shadows at high noon.
• The day arc on 20° latitude: the Sun culminates at 70° altitude and also its daily path at
sunrise and sunset occurs at a steep 70° angle to the horizon. Twilight is still about one hour.
• The day arc on 50° latitude: twilight is almost two hours now.
• The day arc on 70° latitude: the Sun culminates at no more than 20° altitude and its daily
path at sunrise and sunset is at a shallow 20° angle to the horizon. Twilight is more than four
hours; in fact, there is barely any night.
• The day arc at the Pole: if it were not for atmospheric refraction, the Sun would be on the
horizon all the time.
Celestial co-ordinate systems
The vernal point (vernal equinox) — the one the Sun passes in March on its way from south to
north — is used as the origin of some celestial coordinate systems:
• in the ecliptic coordinate system, the vernal point is the origin of the ecliptic longitude;
• in the equatorial coordinate system, the vernal point is the origin of the right ascension.
Because of the precession of the Earth's axis, the position of the vernal point changes over time and
as a consequence, both the Equatorial and the ecliptic co-ordinate systems change over time.
Therefore, when specifying celestial co-ordinates for an object, one has to specify at what time the
vernal point (and also the celestial equatorial) are taken. That reference time is also called equinox.
The autumnal equinox is at ecliptic longitude 180° and at right ascension 12h.
The upper culmination of the vernal point is considered the start of the sidereal day for the observer.
The hour angle of the vernal point is, by definition, the observer's sidereal time.
For western tropical astrology, the same thing holds true; the vernal equinox is the first point (i.e.
the start) of the sign of Aries. In this system, it is of no significance that the fixed stars and equinox
shift compared to each other due to the precession of the equinoxes.
Cultural aspects of the equinox

Bas-relief in Persepolis - a symbol Iranian/Persian Nowruz - on the day of a spring equinox, the
power of an eternally fighting bull (personifying the Earth) and that of a lion (personifying the Sun),
are equal

Chichen Itza pyramid during the spring equinox - Kukulkan, the famous descent of the snake
• The Persian new year, Nowruz, is held annually on the vernal equinox, as the beginning of
spring.
• The September equinox marks the first day of Mehr or Libra in the Persian calendar. It is
one of the Iranian festivals called Jashne Mihragan, or the festival of sharing or love in
Zoroastrianism.
• Sham El Nessim was an ancient Egyptian holiday which can be traced back as far as 2700
B.C. It is still one of the public holidays in Egypt. Sometime during Egypt's Christian period
(c. 200-639) the date moved to Easter Monday, but before then it coincided with the vernal
equinox.
• The Jewish Passover usually falls on the first full moon after the Northern Hemisphere
vernal equinox, although occasionally (7 times every 19 years) it will occur on the second
full moon.
• The Christian churches calculate Easter as the first Sunday after the first full moon on or
after the March equinox. The official church definition for the equinox is March 21;
however, as the Eastern Orthodox Churches use the older Julian calendar, while the Western
Churches use the Gregorian calendar, both of which designate March 21 as the equinox, the
actual date of Easter differs. The earliest possible Easter date in any year is therefore March
22 on each calendar. The latest possible Easter date in any year is April 25.
• The March equinox marks the first day of various calendars including the Iranian calendar
and the Bahá'í calendar. The Persian (Iranian) festival of Nowruz is celebrated then.
According to the ancient Persian mythology Jamshid, the mythological king of Persia,
ascended to the throne on this day and each year this is commemorated with festivities for
two weeks. These festivities recall the story of creation and the ancient cosmology of Iranian
and Persian people. It is also a holiday for Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, India, Turkey, Zanzibar,
Albania, and various countries of Central Asia, as well as among the Kurds. As well as
being a Zoroastrian holiday, it is also a holy day for adherents of the Bahá'í Faith and the
Nizari Ismaili Muslims.
• The traditional East Asian calendars divide a year into 24 solar terms (節氣, literally
"climatic segments"), and the vernal equinox (Chūnfēn, Chinese and Japanese: 春分;
Korean: 춘분; Vietnamese: Xuân phân) and the autumnal equinox (Qiūfēn, Chinese and
Japanese: 秋分; Korean: 추분; Vietnamese: Thu phân) mark the middle of the spring and
autumn seasons, respectively. In this context, the Chinese character 分 means "(equal)
division" (within a season).
• In Japan, (March) Vernal Equinox Day (春分の日 Shunbun no hi) is an official national
holiday, and is spent visiting family graves and holding family reunions. Similarly, in
September, there is an Autumnal Equinox Day (秋分の日 Shūbun no hi).
• In Korea, Chuseok is a major harvest festival and a three-day holiday celebrated around the
Autumn Equinox.
• The Mid-Autumn Festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, oftentimes
near the autumnal equinox day, and is an official holiday in China and in many countries
with a significant Chinese minority. As the lunar calendar is not synchronous with the
Gregorian calendar, this date could be anywhere from mid-September to early October.
• Tamil and Bengali New Years follow the Hindu zodiac and are celebrated according to the
sidereal vernal equinox (April 14). The former is celebrated in the South Indian state of
Tamil Nadu, and the latter in Bangladesh and the East Indian state of West Bengal.
• Andhra Pradesh , Karnataka and Maharastra people celebrate new year ugadi set by
Satavahana on the first morning after first new moon from March equinox. Also the
calculations of the great Indian Mathematician Bhaskaracharya proclaim the Ugadi day as
the beginning of the New Year, New month and New day.
• In many Arab countries, Mother's Day is celebrated on the March equinox.
• The traditional harvest festival in the United Kingdom was celebrated on the Sunday of the
full moon closest to the September equinox.
Modern innovations:
• The September equinox was "New Year's Day" in the French Republican Calendar, which
was in use from 1793 to 1805. The French First Republic was proclaimed and the French
monarchy was abolished on September 21, 1792, making the following day (the equinox day
that year) the first day of the "Republican Era" in France. The start of every year was to be
determined by astronomical calculation, (that is: following the real Sun and not the mean
Sun as all other calendars).
• World Storytelling Day is a global celebration of the art of oral storytelling, celebrated every
year on the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere, the first day of autumn equinox in
the southern.
• World Citizen Day occurs on the March equinox.
• In Annapolis, Maryland, USA, boatyard employees and sailboat owners celebrate the spring
equinox with the Burning Of The Socks festival. Traditionally, the boating community
wears socks only during the winter. These are burned at the approach of warmer weather,
which brings more customers and work to the area. Officially, nobody then wears socks
until the next equinox.
• Kerala , a state of India celebrates the celestial vernal equinox as their New year around April
14. It is known as 'Vishu' meaning equal in Sanskrit.
• Earth Day was initially celebrated on March 21, 1970, the equinox day. It is currently
celebrated in various countries on April 22.
• Wiccans and many other Neopagans hold religious celebrations of "Ostara" on the spring
equinox, and "Mabon" on the autumnal equinox.
Myths, fables and facts
• One effect of equinoctial periods is the temporary disruption of communications satellites.
For all geostationary satellites, there are a few days near the equinox when the sun goes
directly behind the satellite relative to Earth (i.e. within the beamwidth of the groundstation
antenna) for a short period each day. The Sun's immense power and broad radiation
spectrum overload the Earth station's reception circuits with noise and, depending on
antenna size and other factors, temporarily disrupt or degrade the circuit. The duration of
those effects varies but can range from a few minutes to an hour. (For a given frequency
band, a larger antenna has a narrower beamwidth, hence experiences shorter duration "Sun
outage" windows).
• A modern folk-notion[clarification needed] claims that on the March equinox day (some
may also include the September equinox day rather than leaving it out), one can balance an
egg on its point. However, one can balance an egg on its point any day of the year...if one
has enough patience.
• Although the word equinox is often understood to mean "equal [day and] night," as is noted
elsewhere, this is not strictly true. For most locations on earth, there are two distinct
identifiable days per year when the length of day and night are closest to being equal; those
days are commonly referred to as the "equiluxes" to distinguish them from the equinoxes.
Equinoxes are points in time, but equiluxes are days. By convention, equiluxes are the days
where sunrise and sunset are closest to being exactly 12 hours apart. This way, you can refer
to a single date as being the equilux, when in reality, it spans from sunset on one day to
sunset the next, or sunrise on one to sunrise the next.
• What is true about the equinoxes is that two observers at the same distance north and south
of the equator will experience nights of equal length.
• The equilux counts times when some direct sunlight could be visible, rather than all hours of
usable daylight (which is any time when there is enough natural light to do outdoor activities
without needing artificial light). This is due to twilight; a particular type of twilight which is
officially defined as civil twilight. This amount of twilight can result in more than 12 hours
of usable daylight up to a few weeks before the spring equinox, and up to a few weeks after
the fall equinox.
• In a contrary vein, the daylight which is useful for illuminating houses and buildings during
the daytime and is needed to produce the full psychological benefit of daylight, is shorter
than the nominal time between sunrise and sunset. So in that sense, "useful" daylight is
present for 12 hours only after the vernal equinox and before the autumnal equinox, because
the intensity of light near sunrise and sunset, even with the sun slightly above the horizon, is
considerably less than when the sun is high in the sky.
• It is perhaps valuable for people in the Americas and Asia to know that the equinoxes listed
as occurring on March 21, which occurred frequently in the 20th century and which will
occur occasionally in the 21st century, are presented as such using UTC, which is at least
four hours in advance of any clock in the Americas and as much as twelve hours behind
Asian clocks. Thus, there will be no spring equinox later than March 20 in the Americas in
the coming century.
Solstice
A solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice each year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is
most inclined toward or away from the Sun, causing the Sun's apparent position in the sky to reach
its northernmost or southernmost extreme. The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere
(to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the apparent
movement of the Sun's path north or south comes to a stop before reversing direction.
The term solstice can also be used in a wider sense, as the date (day) when this occurs. The
solstices, together with the equinoxes, are connected with the seasons. In some cultures they are
considered to start or separate the seasons while in others they fall in the middle. The English
expressions "midwinter" (winter solstice) and "midsummer" (summer solstice) may derive from a
tradition according to which there were only two seasons: winter and summer.
Definitions and frames of reference
Of the many ways in which solstice can be defined, one of the most common (and perhaps most
easily understood) is by the astronomical phenomenon for which it is named, which is readily
observable by anyone on Earth: a "sun-standing." This modern scientific word descends from a
Latin scientific word in use in the late Roman republic of the 1st century BC: solstitium. Pliny uses
it a number of times in his Natural History with the same meaning that it has today. It contains two
Latin-language segments, sol, "sun", and -stitium, "stoppage." The Romans used "standing" to refer
to a component of the relative velocity of the Sun as it is observed in the sky. Relative velocity is
the motion of an object from the point of view of an observer in a frame of reference. From a fixed
position on the ground, the sun appears to orbit around the Earth.
To an observer in inertial space, the Earth is seen to rotate about an axis and revolve around the Sun
in an elliptical path with the Sun at one focus. The Earth's axis is tilted with respect to the plane of
the Earth's orbit and this axis maintains a position that changes little with respect to the background
of stars. An observer on Earth therefore sees a solar path that is the result of both rotation and
revolution.
The component of the Sun's motion seen by an earthbound observer caused by the revolution of the
tilted axis, which, keeping the same angle in space, is oriented toward or away from the Sun, is an
observed diurnal increment (and lateral offset) of the elevation of the Sun at noon for roughly six
months and observed daily decrement for the remaining six months. At maximum or minimum
elevation the relative motion at 90° to the horizon stops and changes direction by 180°. The
maximum is the summer solstice and the minimum is the winter solstice. The path of the Sun, or
ecliptic, sweeps north and south between the northern and southern hemispheres. The days are
longer around the summer solstice and shorter around the winter solstice. When the Sun's path
crosses the equator the days and nights are of equal length; this is known as an equinox. There are
two solstices and two equinoxes.
Heliocentric view of the seasons
Illumination of Earth
by Sun at the northern
solstice.
Illumination of Earth
by Sun at the southern
solstice.
Diagram of the Earth's
seasons as seen from the
north. Far right: southern
solstice
Diagram of the Earth's
seasons as seen from the
south. Far left: northern
solstice
The cause of the seasons is that the Earth's axis of rotation is not perpendicular to its orbital plane
(the flat plane made through the center of mass (barycenter) of the solar system (near or within the
Sun) and the successive locations of Earth during the year), but currently makes an angle of about
23.44° (called the "obliquity of the ecliptic"), and that the axis keeps its orientation with respect to
inertial space. As a consequence, for half the year (from around 20 March to 22 September) the
northern hemisphere is inclined toward the Sun, with the maximum around 21 June, while for the
other half year the southern hemisphere has this distinction, with the maximum around 21
December. The two moments when the inclination of Earth's rotational axis has maximum effect are
the solstices.
The table at the top of the article gives the instances of equinoxes and solstices over several years.
Refer to the equinox article for some remarks.
At the northern solstice the subsolar point reaches to 23.44° north, known as the tropic of Cancer.
Likewise at the southern solstice the same thing happens for latitude 23.44° south, known as the
tropic of Capricorn. The sub-solar point will cross every latitude between these two extremes
exactly twice per year.
Also during the northern solstice places situated at latitude 66.56° north, known as the Arctic Circle
will see the Sun just on the horizon during midnight, and all places north of it will see the Sun
above horizon for 24 hours. That is the midnight sun or midsummer-night sun or polar day. On the
other hand, places at latitude 66.56° south, known as the Antarctic Circle will see the Sun just on
the horizon during midday, and all places south of it will not see the Sun above horizon at any time
of the day. That is the polar night. During the southern solstice the effects on both hemispheres are
just the opposite.

Two images showing the amount of reflected sunlight at southern and northern summer solstices
respectively (watts / m²).
At the temperate latitudes, during summer the Sun remains longer and higher above the horizon,
while in winter it remains shorter and lower. This is the cause of summer heat and winter cold.
Further information: effect of sun angle on climate
The seasons are not caused by the varying distance of Earth from the Sun due to the orbital
eccentricity of the Earth's orbit. This variation does make a contribution, but is small compared with
the effects of exposure because of Earth's tilt. Currently the Earth reaches perihelion at the
beginning of January - the beginning of the northern winter and the southern summer. However,
although, the Earth is at its closest to the Sun and therefore receiving more heat, the whole planet is
not in summer. Although it is true that the northern winter is somewhat warmer than the southern
winter, the placement of the continents may also play an important factor. In the same way, during
aphelion at the beginning of July, the Sun is farther away, but that still leaves the northern summer
and southern winter as they are with only minor effects.
Due to Milankovitch cycles, the Earth's axial tilt and orbital eccentricity will change over thousands
of years. Thus in 10,000 years one would find that Earth's northern winter occurs at aphelion and its
northern summer at perihelion. The severity of seasonal change—the average temperature
difference between summer and winter in location—will also change over time because the Earth's
axial tilt fluctuates between 22.1 and 24.5 degrees.
Geocentric view of the seasons

Day arcs at 0° latitude, equator

Day arcs at 20° latitude

Day arcs at 50° latitude

Day arcs at 70° latitude

Day arcs at 90° latitude, pole
The explanation given in the previous section is useful for observers in outer space. They would see
how the Earth revolves around the Sun and how the distribution of sunlight on the planet would
change over the year. To observers on Earth, it is also useful to see how the Sun seems to revolve
around them. These pictures show such a perspective as follows. They show the day arcs of the
Sun, the paths the Sun tracks along the celestial dome in its diurnal movement. The pictures show
this for every hour on both solstice days. The longer arc is always the summer track and the shorter
one the winter track. The two tracks are at a distance of 46.88° (2 × 23.44°) away from each other.
In addition, some 'ghost' suns are indicated below the horizon, as much as 18° down. The Sun in
this area causes twilight. The pictures can be used for both the northern and southern hemispheres.
The observer is supposed to sit near the tree on the island in the middle of the ocean. The green
arrows give the cardinal directions.
• On the northern hemisphere the north is to the left, the Sun rises in the east (far arrow),
culminates in the south (to the right) while moving to the right and sets in the west (near
arrow). Both rise and set positions are displaced towards the north in summer, and towards
the south for the winter track.
• On the southern hemisphere the south is to the left, the Sun rises in the east (near arrow),
culminates in the north (to the right) while moving to the left and sets in the west (far
arrow). Both rise and set positions are displaced towards the south in summer, and towards
the north for the winter track.
The following special cases are depicted.
• On the equator the Sun is not overhead every day, as some people think. In fact that happens
only on two days of the year, the equinoxes. The solstices are the dates that the Sun stays
farthest away from the zenith, only reaching an altitude of 66.56° either to the north or the
south. The only thing special about the equator is that all days of the year, solstices included,
have roughly the same length of about 12 hours, so that it makes no sense to talk about
summer and winter. Instead, tropical areas often have wet and dry seasons.
• The day arcs at 20° latitude. The Sun culminates at 46.56° altitude in winter and 93.44°
altitude in summer. In this case an angle larger than 90° means that the culmination takes
place at an altitude of 86.56° in the opposite cardinal direction. For example in the southern
hemisphere, the Sun remains in the north during winter, but can reach over the zenith to the
south in midsummer. Summer days are longer than winter days, but the difference is no
more than two or three hours. The daily path of the Sun is steep at the horizon the whole
year round, resulting in a twilight of only about one hour.
• The day arcs at 50° latitude. The winter Sun does not rise more than 16.56° above the
horizon at midday, and 63.44° in summer above the same horizon direction. The difference
in the length of the day between summer and winter is striking - slightly less than 8 hours at
midwinter, to slightly more than 16 hours in midsummer. Likewise is the difference in
direction of sunrise and sunset. Also note the different steepness of the daily path of the Sun
above the horizon in summer and winter. It is much shallower in winter. Therefore not only
is the Sun not reaching as high, it also seems not to be in a hurry to do so. But conversely
this means that in summer the Sun is not in a hurry to dip deeply below the horizon at night.
At this latitude at midnight the summer sun is only 16.56° below the horizon, which means
that astronomical twilight continues the whole night. This phenomenon is known as the grey
nights, nights when it does not get dark enough for astronomers to do their observations.
Above 60° latitude the Sun would be even closer to the horizon, only 6.56° away from it.
Then civil twilight continues the whole night. This phenomenon is known as the white
nights. And above 66.56° latitude, of course, one would get the midnight sun.
• The day arcs at 70° latitude. At local noon the winter Sun culminates at −3.44°, and the
summer Sun at 43.44°. Said another way, during the winter the Sun does not rise above the
horizon, it is the polar night. There will be still a strong twilight though. At local midnight
the summer Sun culminates at 3.44°, said another way, it does not set, it is the polar day.
• The day arcs at the pole. At the time of the summer or winter solstices, the Sun is 23.44°
degrees above or below the horizon respectively, irrespective of time of day. Whilst the Sun
is up (during summer months) it will circle around the whole sky, appearing to stay at same
angle from the horizon, therefore the concept of day or night is meaningless. The angle of
elevation will gradually change on an annual cycle, with the Sun reaching its highest point at
the summer Solstice, and rising or setting at the Equinox, with extended periods of twilight
lasting several days after the autumn equinox and before the spring equinox.
Cultural aspects
Ancient Greek names and concepts
The concept of the solstices was embedded in ancient Greek celestial navigation. As soon as they
discovered that the Earth is spherical they devised the concept of the celestial sphere, an imaginary
spherical surface rotating with the heavenly bodies (ouranioi) fixed in it (the modern one does not
rotate, but the stars in it do). As long as no assumptions are made concerning the distances of those
bodies from Earth or from each other, the sphere can be accepted as real and is in fact still in use.
The stars move across the inner surface of the celestial sphere along the circumferences of circles in
parallel planes perpendicular to the Earth's axis extended indefinitely into the heavens and
intersecting the celestial sphere in a celestial pole. The Sun and the planets do not move in these
parallel paths but along another circle, the ecliptic, whose plane is at an angle, the obliquity of the
ecliptic, to the axis, bringing the Sun and planets across the paths of and in among the stars.*
Cleomedes states:
The band of the Zodiac (zōdiakos kuklos, "zodiacal circle") is at an oblique angle
(loksos) because it is positioned between the tropical circles and equinoctial circle
touching each of the tropical circles at one point … This Zodiac has a determinable
width (set at 8° today) … that is why it is described by three circles: the central one is
called "heliacal" (hēliakos, "of the sun").
The term heliacal circle is used for the ecliptic, which is in the center of the zodiacal circle,
conceived as a band including the noted constellations named on mythical themes. Other authors
use Zodiac to mean ecliptic, which first appears in a gloss of unknown author in a passage of
Cleomedes where he is explaining that the Moon is in the zodiacal circle as well and periodically
crosses the path of the Sun. As some of these crossings represent eclipses of the Moon, the path of
the Sun is given a synonym, the ekleiptikos (kuklos) from ekleipsis, "eclipse."
English names
The two solstices can be distinguished by different pairs of names, depending on which feature one
wants to stress.
• Summer solstice and winter solstice are the most common names. However, these can be
ambiguous since seasons of the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere are opposites,
and the summer solstice of one hemisphere is the winter solstice of the other. These are also
known as the 'longest' or 'shortest' days of the year.
• Northern solstice and southern solstice indicate the direction of the Sun's apparent
movement. The northern solstice is in June on Earth, when the Sun is directly over the
Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere, and the southern solstice is in December,
when the Sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere.
• June solstice and December solstice are an alternative to the more common "summer" and
"winter" terms, but without the ambiguity as to which hemisphere is the context. They are
still not universal, however, as not all people use a solar-based calendar where the solstices
occur every year in the same month (as they do not in the Islamic Calendar and Hebrew
calendar, for example), and the names are not useful for other planets (Mars, for example),
even though these planets do have seasons.
• First point of Cancer and first point of Capricorn. One disadvantage of these names is
that, due to the precession of the equinoxes, the astrological signs where these solstices are
located no longer correspond with the actual constellations.
• Taurus solstice and Sagittarius solstice are names that indicate in which constellations the
two solstices are currently located. These terms are not widely used, though, and until
December 1989 the first solstice was in Gemini, according to official IAU boundaries.
• The Latin names Hibernal solstice (winter), and Aestival solstice (summer) are sometimes
used.
Solstice terms in East Asia
Main articles: Xiazhi and Dongzhi
The traditional East Asian calendars divide a year into 24 solar terms (節氣). Xiàzhì (pīnyīn) or
Geshi (rōmaji) (Chinese and Japanese: 夏至; Korean: 하지(Haji); Vietnamese: Hạ chí; literally:
"summer's extreme") is the 10
th
solar term, and marks the summer solstice. It begins when the Sun
reaches the celestial longitude of 90° (around June 21) and ends when the Sun reaches the longitude
of 105° (around July 7). Xiàzhì more often refers in particular to the day when the Sun is exactly at
the celestial longitude of 90°.
Dōngzhì (pīnyīn) or Tōji (rōmaji) (Chinese and Japanese: 冬至; Korean: 동지(Dongji); Vietnamese:
Đông chí; literally: "winter's extreme") is the 22
nd
solar term, and marks the winter solstice. It
begins when the Sun reaches the celestial longitude of 270° (around December 22 ) and ends when
the Sun reaches the longitude of 285° (around January 5). Dōngzhì more often refers in particular to
the day when the Sun is exactly at the celestial longitude of 270°.
The solstices (as well as the equinoxes) mark the middle of the seasons in East Asian calendars.
Here, the Chinese character 至 means "extreme", so the terms for the solstices directly signify the
summits of summer and winter, a linkage that may not be immediately obvious in Western
languages.
Solstice celebrations
The term solstice can also be used in a wider sense, as the date (day) that such a passage happens.
The solstices, together with the equinoxes, are connected with the seasons. In some languages they
are considered to start or separate the seasons; in others they are considered to be center points (in
English, in the Northern hemisphere, for example, the period around the June solstice is known as
midsummer, and Midsummer's Day is 24 June, about three days after the solstice itself). Similarly
25 December is the start of the Christmas celebration, which was a pagan festival in pre-Christian
times, and is the day the Sun begins to return to the northern hemisphere.
Many cultures celebrate various combinations of the winter and summer solstices, the equinoxes,
and the midpoints between them, leading to various holidays arising around these events. For the
December solstice, Christmas is the most popular holiday to have arisen. In addition, Yalda,
Saturnalia, Karachun, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Yule (see winter solstice for more) are also
celebrated around this time. For the June solstice, Christian cultures celebrate the feast of St. John
from June 23 to June 24 (see St. John's Eve, Ivan Kupala Day, Midsummer), while Neopagans
observe Midsummer. For the vernal (spring) equinox, several spring-time festivals are celebrated,
such as the observance in Judaism of Passover. The autumnal equinox has also given rise to various
holidays, such as the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. At the midpoints between these four solar events,
cross-quarter days are celebrated.
In many cultures the solstices and equinoxes traditionally determine the midpoint of the seasons,
which can be seen in the celebrations called midsummer and midwinter. Along this vein, the
Japanese celebrate the start of each season with an occurrence known as Setsubun. The cumulative
cooling and warming that result from the tilt of the planet become most pronounced after the
solstices.
In the Hindu calendar, two sidereal solstices are named Uttarayana and Dakshinayana. The former
occurs around January 14 each year, while the latter occurs around July 14 each year. These mark
the movement of the Sun along a sidereally fixed zodiac (precession is ignored) into Mesha, a
zodiacal sign which corresponded with Aries about 285, and into Tula, the opposite zodiacal sign
which corresponded with Libra about 285.
Solstice determination
Unlike the equinox, the solstice time is not easy to determine. The changes in Solar declination
become smaller as the sun gets closer to its maximum/minimum declination. The days before and
after the solstice, the declination speed is less than 30 arcseconds/day which is less than 1/60th of
the angular size of the sun, or the equivalent to just 2 seconds of right ascension.
This difference is hardly detectable with indirect viewing based devices like sextant equipped with a
vernier, and impossible with more traditional tools like a gnomon or an astrolabe. It is also hard to
detect the changes on sunrise/sunset azimuth due to the atmospheric refraction .changes. Those
accuracy issues render impossible to determine the solstice day based on observations made within
the 3 (or even 5) days surrounding the solstice, without the use of more complex tools.
Ptolomy used an approximation method based on interpolation, which is still used by some
amateurs. This method consists on recording the declination angle at noon during some days before
and after the solstice, trying to find two separate days with the same declination. When those two
days are found, the halfway time between both noons is estimated solstice time. An interval of 45
days has been postulated, as the best one to achieve up to a quarter-day precision, in the solstice
determination.
Ecliptic
The ecliptic is the apparent path that the Sun traces out in the sky during the year. As it appears to
move in the sky in relation to the stars, the apparent path aligns with the planets throughout the
course of the year. More accurately, it is the intersection of a spherical surface, the celestial sphere,
with the ecliptic plane, which is the geometric plane containing the mean orbit of the Earth around
the Sun. The ecliptic plane should be distinguished from the invariable plane of the solar system,
which is perpendicular to the vector sum of the angular momenta of all planetary orbital planes, to
which Jupiter is the main contributor. The present ecliptic plane is inclined to the invariable plane
by about 1.5°.
The name ecliptic is derived from being the place where eclipses occur.
Ecliptic and equator
As the rotation axis of the Earth is not perpendicular to its orbital plane, the equatorial plane is not
parallel to the ecliptic plane, but makes an angle of about 23°26' which is known as the obliquity of
the ecliptic. The intersections of the equatorial and ecliptic planes with the celestial dome are great
circles known as the celestial equator and the ecliptic respectively. The intersection line of the two
planes results in two diametrically opposite intersection points, known as the equinoxes. The
equinox which the Sun passes from south to north is known as the vernal equinox or first point of
Aries. Ecliptic longitude, usually indicated with the letter λ, is measured from this point on 0° to
360° towards the east. Ecliptic latitude, usually indicated with the letter β is measured +90° to the
north or -90° to the south. The same intersection point also defines the origin of the equatorial
coordinate system, named right ascension measured from 0 to 24 hours also to the east and usually
indicated with α or R.A., and declination, usually indicated with δ also measured +90° to the north
or -90° to the south. Simple rotation formulas allow a conversion from α,δ to λ,β and back (see:
ecliptic coordinate system).
Ecliptic and stars
The ecliptic serves as the center of a region called the zodiac which constitutes a band of 9° on
either side. Traditionally, this region is divided into 12 signs of 30° longitude each. By tradition,
these signs are named after 12 of the 13 constellations straddling the ecliptic. The zodiac signs are
very important to many astrologers. Modern astronomers typically use other coordinate systems
today (see below).
The position of the vernal equinox is not fixed among the stars but due to the lunisolar precession
slowly shifting westwards over the ecliptic with a speed of 1° per 72 years. A much smaller
north/southwards shift can also be discerned, (the planetary precession, along the instantaneous
equator, which results in a rotation of the ecliptic plane). Said otherwise, the stars shift eastwards
(increase their longitude) measured with respect to the equinoxes — in other words, as measured in
ecliptic coordinates and (often) also in equatorial coordinates.
Using the current official IAU constellation boundaries — and taking into account the variable
precession speed and the rotation of the ecliptic — the equinoxes shift through the constellations in
the Astronomical Julian calendar years (in which the year 0 = 1 BC, -1 = 2 BC, etc.) as follows:
• The March equinox passed from Taurus into Aries in year -1865, passed into Pisces in year -
67, will pass into Aquarius in year 2597, will pass into Capricornus in year 4312. It passed
along (but not into) a 'corner' of Cetus on 0°10' distance in year 1489.
• The June solstice passed from Leo into Cancer in year -1458, passed into Gemini in year
-10, passed into Taurus in December year 1989, will pass into Aries in year 4609.
• The September equinox passed from Libra into Virgo in year -729, will pass into Leo in year
2439.
• The December solstice passed from Capricornus into Sagittarius in year -130, will pass into
Ophiuchus in year 2269, and will pass into Scorpius in year 3597.
Ecliptic and Sun
UTC date and time of solstices and equinoxes
year
Equinox
Mar
Solstice
June
Equinox
Sept
Solstice
Dec
day time day time day time day time
2004 20 06:49 21 00:57 22 16:30 21 12:42
2005 20 12:33 21 06:46 22 22:23 21 18:35
2006 20 18:26 21 12:26 23 04:03 22 00:22
2007 21 00:07 21 18:06 23 09:51 22 06:08
2008 20 05:48 20 23:59 22 15:44 21 12:04
2009 20 11:44 21 05:45 22 21:18 21 17:47
2010 20 17:32 21 11:28 23 03:09 21 23:38
2011 20 23:21 21 17:16 23 09:04 22 05:30
2012 20 05:14 20 23:09 22 14:49 21 11:11
2013 20 11:02 21 05:04 22 20:44 21 17:11
2014 20 16:57 21 10:51 23 02:29 21 23:03
2015 20 22:45 21 16:38 23 08:20 22 04:48
2016 20 04:30 20 22:34 22 14:21 21 10:44
2017 20 10:28 21 04:24 22 20:02 21 16:28
Due to perturbing influences on the Earth's orbit by the other planets, the true Sun is not always
exactly on the ecliptic, but may be some arcseconds north or south of it. It is therefore the centre of
the mean Sun which outlines its path. As the Earth takes one year to make one complete revolution
around the Sun, the apparent position of the Sun also takes the same length of time to make a
complete circuit of the whole ecliptic. With slightly more than 365 days in the year, the Sun moves
almost 1° eastwards every day (direction of increasing longitude). This annual motion should not be
confused with the daily motion of the Sun (and the stars, the whole celestial sphere for that matter)
towards the west along the equator every 24 hours. In fact, where the stars need about 23h56m for
one such rotation to complete the sidereal day, the Sun, which has shifted 1° eastwards during that
time needs 4 minutes extra to complete its circle, making the solar day just 24 hours.
Because the distance between Sun and Earth varies slightly around the year, the speed with which
the Sun moves around the ecliptic is also variable. For example, within one year, the Sun is north of
the equator for about 186.40 days and south of the equator for about 178.24 days.
The mean Sun crosses the equator around 20 March at the time of the vernal equinox when its
declination, right ascension, and ecliptic longitude are all zero. (The ecliptic latitude is always zero.)
The March equinox marks the onset of spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the
southern. The actual date and time varies from year to year because of the occurrence of leap years.
It also shifts slowly over the centuries due to imperfections in the Gregorian calendar.
Ecliptic longitude 90°, at right ascension 6 hours and a northern declination equal to the obliquity of
the ecliptic (23.44°), is reached around 21 June. This is the June solstice or summer solstice in the
northern hemisphere and winter solstice in the southern hemisphere. It is also the first point of
Cancer and directly overhead on Earth on the tropic of Cancer so named because the Sun turns
around in declination. Ecliptic longitude 180°, right ascension 12 hours is reached around 22
September and marks the second equinox or first point of Libra. Due to perturbations to the Earth
orbit, the moment the real Sun passes the equator might be several minutes earlier or later. The
southern most declination of the sun is reached at ecliptic longitude 270°, right ascension 18 hours
at the first point of the sign of Capricorn around 21 December.
In any case it must be stressed that although these traditional signs (in western tropical astrology)
have given their names to the solstices and equinoxes, in reality, (as from the list in the previous
chapter) the cardinal points are currently situated in the constellations of Pisces, Taurus, Virgo and
Sagittarius respectively, due to the precession of the equinoxes.
Ecliptic and planets
Most planets go in orbits around the sun which are almost in the same plane as the Earth's orbital
plane, differing by a few degrees at most. As such they always appear close to the ecliptic when
seen in the sky. Mercury with an orbital inclination of 7° is an exception. Pluto, at 17°, was
previously the exception until it was reclassified a dwarf planet, but other bodies in the Solar
System have even greater orbital inclinations (e.g. Eris at 44° and Pallas at 34°). Interestingly, the
Earth has the most inclined orbit of all eight major planets relative to the Sun's equator, with the
giant planets close behind.
Inclination
Name
Inclination
to ecliptic (°)
Inclination
to Sun's equator (°)
Inclination
to Invariable plane (°)
Terrestrials
Mercury 7.01 3.38 6.34
Venus 3.39 3.86 2.19
Earth 0.00 7.155 1.57
Mars 1.85 5.65 1.67
Gas giants
Jupiter 1.31 6.09 0.32
Saturn 2.49 5.51 0.93
Uranus 0.77 6.48 1.02
Neptune 1.77 6.43 0.72
The intersection line of the ecliptical plane and another planet's orbital plane is called the nodal line
of that planet, and the nodal line's intersection points on the celestial sphere are the ascending node
(where the planet crosses the ecliptic from south to north) and the diametrically opposite descending
node. Only when an inferior planet passes through one of its nodes can a transit over the Sun take
place. Transits, especially for Venus, are quite rare, because the Earth's orbit is more inclined than
those of the inner two planets.
Inclination and nodal lines, as almost all other orbital elements, change slowly over the centuries
due to perturbations from the other planets.
Ecliptic and Moon
The orbit of the Moon is inclined by about 5° on the ecliptic. Its nodal line is not fixed either, but
regresses (moves towards the west) over a full circle every 18.6 years. This is the cause of nutation
and lunar standstill. The moon crosses the ecliptic about twice per month. If this happens during
new moon a solar eclipse occurs, during full moon a lunar eclipse. This was the way the ancients
could trace the ecliptic along the sky; they marked the places where eclipses could occur.
Ecliptic and star coordinates
Up to the 17th century in Europe, starmaps and positions in star catalogues were always given in
ecliptical coordinates, though in China, astronomers employed an equatorial system in their
catalogues. It was not until astronomers started to use telescopes to measure star positions that
equatorial coordinates came into use, which occurred so exclusively that nowadays ecliptical
coordinates are no longer used. Nonetheless, this change is not always desirable, as a planetary
conjunction would be much more illustratively described by ecliptic coordinates rather than
equatorial.
Also see zodiacal coordinates.
Celestial equator
The celestial equator is a great circle on the imaginary celestial sphere, in the same plane as the
Earth's equator. In other words, it is a projection of the terrestrial equator out into space. As result of
the Earth's axial tilt, the celestial equator is inclined by ~23.5° with respect to the ecliptic plane.
An observer standing on the Earth's equator visualizes the celestial equator as a semicircle passing
directly overhead through the zenith. As the observer moves north (or south), the celestial equator
tilts towards the southern (or northern) horizon. The celestial equator is defined to be infinitely
distant (since it is on the celestial sphere); thus the observer always sees the ends of the semicircle
disappear over the horizon exactly due east and due west, regardless of the observer's position on
Earth. (At the poles, though, the celestial equator would be parallel to the horizon.)
Celestial objects near the celestial equator are visible worldwide, but they culminate the highest in
the sky in the tropics. The celestial equator passes through these constellations:
• Pisces
• Cetus
• Taurus
• Eridanus
• Orion
• Monoceros
• Canis
Minor
• Hydra
• Sextans
• Leo
• Virgo
• Serpens
• Ophiuchus
• Aquila
• Aquarius
Precession (astronomy)
In astronomy, precession refers to a gravity-induced slow but continuous change in an astronomical
body's rotational axis or orbital path. In particular, it refers to the gradual shift in the orientation of
the Earth's axis of rotation, which, like a wobbling top, traces out a conical shape in a cycle of
approximately 26,000 years (called a Great or Platonic year in astrology). The term "precession"
typically refers only to this largest secular motion; other changes in the alignment of Earth's axis —
nutation and polar motion — are much smaller in magnitude.
Earth's precession was historically called precession of the equinoxes because the equinoxes
moved westward along the ecliptic relative to the fixed stars, opposite to the motion of the Sun
along the ecliptic. This term is still used in non-technical discussions, that is, when detailed
mathematics are absent. Historically, Hipparchus is credited with discovering precession of the
equinoxes. The exact dates of his life are not known, but astronomical observations attributed to
him by Ptolemy date from 147 BC to 127 BC.
With improvements in the ability to calculate the gravitational force between planets during the first
half of the 19th century, it was recognized that the ecliptic itself moved slightly, which was named
planetary precession as early as 1863 while the dominant component was named lunisolar
precession. Their combination was named general precession instead of precession of the
equinoxes. Lunisolar precession is caused by the gravitational forces of the Moon and Sun on
Earth's equatorial bulge, causing Earth's axis to move with respect to inertial space. Planetary
precession (actually an advance) is due to the small angle between the gravitational force of the
other planets on Earth and its orbital plane (the ecliptic), causing the plane of the ecliptic to shift
slightly relative to inertial space. Lunisolar precession is about 500 times larger than planetary
precession. In addition to the Moon and Sun, the other planets also cause a small movement of
Earth's axis in inertial space, making the contrast in the terms lunisolar versus planetary misleading,
so in 2006 the International Astronomical Union recommended that the dominant component be
renamed the precession of the equator and the minor component be renamed precession of the
ecliptic, but their combination is still named general precession. Anomalistic precession, also an
advance, refers to the rotational movement through inertial space of the apsides of a celestial body's
orbit.
Effects
The precession of the Earth's axis has a number of observable effects. First, the positions of the
south and north celestial poles appear to move in circles against the space-fixed backdrop of stars,
completing one circuit in 25,771.5 years (2000 rate). Thus, while today the star Polaris lies
approximately at the north celestial pole, this will change over time, and other stars will become the
"north star". As the celestial poles shift, there is a corresponding gradual shift in the apparent
orientation of the whole star field, as viewed from a particular position on Earth.
Secondly, the position of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun at the solstices, equinoxes, or other
time defined relative to the seasons, slowly changes. For example, suppose that the Earth's orbital
position is marked at the summer solstice, when the Earth's axial tilt is pointing directly towards the
Sun. One full orbit later, when the Sun has returned to the same apparent position relative to the
background stars, the Earth's axial tilt is not now directly towards the Sun: because of the effects of
precession, it is a little way "beyond" this. In other words, the solstice occurred a little earlier in the
orbit. Thus, the tropical year, measuring the cycle of seasons (for example, the time from solstice to
solstice, or equinox to equinox), is about 20 minutes shorter than the sidereal year, which is
measured by the Sun's apparent position relative to the stars. Note that 20 minutes per year is
approximately equivalent to one year per 25,771.5 years, so after one full cycle of 25,771.5 years
the positions of the seasons relative to the orbit are "back where they started". (In actuality, other
effects also slowly change the shape and orientation of the Earth's orbit, and these, in combination
with precession, create various cycles of differing periods; see also Milankovitch cycles. The
magnitude of the Earth's tilt, as opposed to merely its orientation, also changes slowly over time,
but this effect is not attributed directly to precession.)
For identical reasons, the apparent position of the Sun relative to the backdrop of the stars at some
seasonally fixed time, say the vernal equinox, slowly regresses a full 360° through all twelve
traditional constellations of the zodiac, at the rate of about 50.3 seconds of arc per year
(approximately 360 degrees divided by 25,771.5), or 1 degree every 71.6 years.
For further details, see Changing pole stars and Polar shift and equinoxes shift, below.
History
Hipparchus
Though there is still-controversial evidence that Aristarchus of Samos possessed distinct values for
the sidereal and tropical years as early as ca. 280 BC, the discovery of precession is usually
attributed to Hipparchus of Rhodes or Nicaea, a Greek astronomer. According to Ptolemy's
Almagest, Hipparchus measured the longitude of Spica and other bright stars. Comparing his
measurements with data from his predecessors, Timocharis and Aristillus, he concluded that Spica
had moved 2° relative to the autumnal equinox. He also compared the lengths of the tropical year
(the time it takes the Sun to return to an equinox) and the sidereal year (the time it takes the Sun to
return to a fixed star), and found a slight discrepancy. Hipparchus concluded that the equinoxes
were moving ("precessing") through the zodiac, and that the rate of precession was not less than 1°
in a century, ie, approximately a full cycle in 36000 years.
Virtually all Hipparchus' writings are lost, including his work on precession. They are mentioned by
Ptolemy, who explains precession as the rotation of the celestial sphere around a motionless Earth.
It is reasonable to assume that Hipparchus, like Ptolemy, thought of precession in geocentric terms
as a motion of the heavens.
Ptolemy
The first astronomer known to have continued Hipparchus' work on precession is Ptolemy in the
2nd century. Ptolemy measured the longitudes of Regulus, Spica, and other bright stars with a
variation of Hipparchus' lunar method that did not require eclipses. Before sunset, he measured the
longitudinal arc separating the Moon from the Sun. Then, after sunset, he measured the arc from the
Moon to the star. He used Hipparchus' model to calculate the Sun's longitude, and made corrections
for the Moon's motion and its parallax (Evans 1998, pp. 251-255). Ptolemy compared his own
observations with those made by Hipparchus, Menelaus of Alexandria, Timocharis, and Agrippa.
He found that between Hipparchus' time and his own (about 265 years), the stars had moved 2°40',
or 1° in 100 years (36" per year; the rate accepted today is about 50" per year or 1° in 72 years). He
also confirmed that precession affected all fixed stars, not just those near the ecliptic, and his cycle
had same period of 36000 years as found by Hipparchus.
Indian views
Main article: Ayanamsa
A twelfth century text by Bhāskar-II says: "sampāt revolves negatively 30000 times in a Kalpa of
4320 million years according to Suryasiddhanta, while Munjāla and others say ayana moves
forward 199669 in a Kalpa, and one should combine the two, before ascertaining declension,
ascensional difference, etc." Lancelot Wilkinson translated the last of these three verses in a too
concise manner to convey the full meaning, and skipped the portion combine the two which the
modern Hindi commentary has brought to the fore. According to the Hindi commentary, the final
value of period of precession should be obtained by combining +199669 revolutions of ayana with
−30000 revolutions of sampaat to get +169669 per Kalpa, i.e. one revolution in 25461 years, which
is near the modern value of 25771 years.
Moreover, Munjāla's value gives a period of 21636 years for ayana's motion, which is the modern
value of precession when anomalistic precession is also taken into account. The latter has a period
of 136000 years now, but Bhāskar-II gives its value at 144000 years (30000 in a Kalpa), calling it
sampāt. Bhāskar-II did not give any name of the final term after combining the negative sampāt
with the positive ayana. But the value he gave indicates that by ayana he meant precession on
account of the combined influence of orbital and anomalistic precessions, and by sampāt he meant
the anomalistic period, but defined it as equinox. his language is a bit confused, which he clarified
in his own Vāsanābhāshya commentary Siddhānta Shiromani by saying that Suryasiddhanta was
not available and he was writing on the basis of hearsay. Bhāskar-II did not give his own opinion,
he merely cited Suryasiddhanta, Munjāla and unnamed "others".
Extant Suryasiddhanta supports the notion of trepidation within a range of ±27° at the rate of 54"
per year according to traditional commentators, but Burgess opined that the original meaning must
have been of a cyclical motion, for which he quoted the Suryasiddhanta mentioned by Bhāskar-II.
Other ancient authors
Most ancient authors did not mention precession and perhaps did not know of it. Besides Ptolemy,
the list includes Proclus, who rejected precession, and Theon of Alexandria, a commentator on
Ptolemy in the 4th century, who accepted Ptolemy's explanation. Theon also reports an alternate
theory:
According to certain opinions ancient astrologers believe that from a certain epoch the
solstitial signs have a motion of 8° in the order of the signs, after which they go back the
same amount. . . . (Dreyer 1958, p. 204)
Instead of proceeding through the entire sequence of the zodiac, the equinoxes "trepidated" back
and forth over an arc of 8°. The theory of trepidation is presented by Theon as an alternative to
precession.
Yu Xi (fourth century CE) was the first Chinese astronomer to mention precession. He estimated
the rate of precession as 1° in 50 years (Pannekoek 1961, p. 92).
Middle Ages onwards
In the Middle Ages, Islamic and Latin Christian astronomers treated "trepidation" as a motion of the
fixed stars to be added to precession. This theory is commonly attributed to the Arab astronomer
Thabit ibn Qurra, but the attribution has been contested in modern times. Nicolaus Copernicus
published a different account of trepidation in De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (1543). This
work makes the first definite reference to precession as the result of a motion of the Earth's axis.
Copernicus characterized precession as the third motion of the earth.
Over a century later precession was explained in Isaac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principia
Mathematica (1687) to be a consequence of gravitation (Evans 1998, p. 246). However, Newton's
original precession equations did not work and were revised considerably by Jean le Rond
d'Alembert and subsequent scientists.
Alternative discovery theories
Babylonians
Various claims have been made that other cultures discovered precession independent of
Hipparchus. At one point it was suggested that the Babylonians may have known about precession.
According to al-Battani, Chaldean astronomers had distinguished the tropical and sidereal year (the
value of precession is equivalent to the difference between the tropical and sidereal years). He
stated that they had, around 330 BC, an estimation for the length of the sidereal year to be S
K
=
365 days 6 hours 11 min (= 365.258 days) with an error of (about) 2 min. It was claimed by P.
Schnabel in 1923 that Kidinnu theorized about precession in 315 BC (Neugebauer, O. "The Alleged
Babylonian Discovery of the Precession of the Equinoxes," Journal of the American Oriental
Society, Vol. 70, No. 1. (Jan. - Mar., 1950), pp. 1–8.) Neugebauer's work on this issue in the 1950s
superseded Schnabel's (and earlier, Kugler's) theory of a Babylonian discoverer of precession.
Ancient Egyptians
Similar claims have been made that precession was known in Ancient Egypt prior to the time of
Hipparchus, but these remain controversial. Some buildings in the Karnak temple complex, for
instance, were allegedly oriented towards the point on the horizon where certain stars rose or set at
key times of the year. A few centuries later, when precession made the orientations obsolete, the
temples would be rebuilt. Note however that the observation that a stellar alignment has grown
wrong does not necessarily mean that the Egyptians understood that the stars moved across the sky
at the rate of about one degree per 72 years. Nonetheless, they kept accurate calendars and if they
recorded the date of the temple reconstructions it would be a fairly simple matter to plot the rough
precession rate. The Dendera Zodiac, a star-map from the Hathor temple at Dendera from a late
(Ptolemaic) age, supposedly records precession of the equinoxes (Tompkins 1971). In any case, if
the ancient Egyptians knew of precession, their knowledge is not recorded in surviving
astronomical texts.
Michael Rice wrote in his Egypt's Legacy, "Whether or not the ancients knew of the mechanics of
the Precession before its definition by Hipparchos the Bithynian in the second century BC is
uncertain, but as dedicated watchers of the night sky they could not fail to be aware of its effects."
(p. 128) Rice believes that "the Precession is fundamental to an understanding of what powered the
development of Egypt" (p. 10), to the extent that "in a sense Egypt as a nation-state and the king of
Egypt as a living god are the products of the realisation by the Egyptians of the astronomical
changes effected by the immense apparent movement of the heavenly bodies which the Precession
implies." (p. 56) Following Carl Gustav Jung, Rice says that "the evidence that the most refined
astronomical observation was practised in Egypt in the third millennium BC (and probably even
before that date) is clear from the precision with which the Pyramids at Giza are aligned to the
cardinal points, a precision which could only have been achieved by their alignment with the stars.
This fact alone makes Jung's belief in the Egyptians' knowledge of the Precession a good deal less
speculative than once it seemed." (p. 31) The Egyptians also, says Rice, were "to alter the
orientation of a temple when the star on whose position it had originally been set moved its position
as a consequence of the Precession, something which seems to have happened several times during
the New Kingdom." (p. 170) see also Royal Arch and the Precession of the Equinoxes
The notion that an ancient Egyptian priestly elite tracked the precessional cycle over many
thousands of years plays a central role in the theories expounded by Robert Bauval and Graham
Hancock in their 1996 book Keeper of Genesis. The authors claim that the ancient Egyptians'
monumental building projects functioned as a map of the heavens, and that associated rituals were
an elaborate earthly acting-out of celestial events. In particular, the rituals symbolised the "turning
back" of the precessional cycle to a remote ancestral time known as Zep Tepi ("first time") which,
the authors calculate, dates to around 10,500 BC.
Mayans
According to some sources the presence of numbers representing whole multiples of the sidereal
year and other whole multiples of the sun over tens of thousands of years within the Maya Dresden
Codex suggest evidence for the observation and recording of the precession of the equinoxes over
thousands of years of careful observation.
Other cultures
Identifying alignments of monuments with solar, lunar, and stellar phenomena is a major part of
archaeoastronomy. Stonehenge is the most famous of many megalithic structures that indicate the
direction of celestial objects at rising or setting. Precession complicates the attempt to find stellar
alignments, especially for very old sites. Many archaeological sites cannot be dated exactly, making
it difficult or impossible to know whether a proposed alignment would have worked when the site
was founded.
Hipparchus' discovery
Hipparchus gave an account of his discovery in On the Displacement of the Solsticial and
Equinoctial Points (described in Almagest III.1 and VII.2). He measured the ecliptic longitude of
the star Spica during lunar eclipses and found that it was about 6° west of the autumnal equinox. By
comparing his own measurements with those of Timocharis of Alexandria (a contemporary of
Euclid who worked with Aristillus early in the 3rd century BC), he found that Spica's longitude had
decreased by about 2° in about 150 years. He also noticed this motion in other stars. He speculated
that only the stars near the zodiac shifted over time. Ptolemy called this his "first hypothesis"
(Almagest VII.1), but did not report any later hypothesis Hipparchus might have devised.
Hipparchus apparently limited his speculations because he had only a few older observations, which
were not very reliable.
Why did Hipparchus need a lunar eclipse to measure the position of a star? The equinoctial points
are not marked in the sky, so he needed the Moon as a reference point. Hipparchus had already
developed a way to calculate the longitude of the Sun at any moment. A lunar eclipse happens
during Full moon, when the Moon is in opposition. At the midpoint of the eclipse, the Moon is
precisely 180° from the Sun. Hipparchus is thought to have measured the longitudinal arc
separating Spica from the Moon. To this value, he added the calculated longitude of the Sun, plus
180° for the longitude of the Moon. He did the same procedure with Timocharis' data (Evans 1998,
p. 251). Observations like these eclipses, incidentally, are the main source of data about when
Hipparchus worked, since other biographical information about him is minimal. The lunar eclipses
he observed, for instance, took place on April 21, 146 BC, and March 21, 135 BC (Toomer 1984, p.
135 n. 14).
Hipparchus also studied precession in On the Length of the Year. Two kinds of year are relevant to
understanding his work. The tropical year is the length of time that the Sun, as viewed from the
Earth, takes to return to the same position along the ecliptic (its path among the stars on the celestial
sphere). The sidereal year is the length of time that the Sun takes to return to the same position with
respect to the stars of the celestial sphere. Precession causes the stars to change their longitude
slightly each year, so the sidereal year is longer than the tropical year. Using observations of the
equinoxes and solstices, Hipparchus found that the length of the tropical year was 365+1/4−1/300
days, or 365.24667 days (Evans 1998, p. 209). Comparing this with the length of the sidereal year,
he calculated that the rate of precession was not less than 1° in a century. From this information, it
is possible to calculate that his value for the sidereal year was 365+1/4+1/144 days (Toomer 1978,
p. 218). By giving a minimum rate he may have been allowing for errors in observation.
To approximate his tropical year Hipparchus created his own lunisolar calendar by modifying those
of Meton and Callippus in On Intercalary Months and Days (now lost), as described by Ptolemy in
the Almagest III.1 (Toomer 1984, p. 139). The Babylonian calendar used a cycle of 235 lunar
months in 19 years since 499 BC (with only three exceptions before 380 BC), but it did not use a
specified number of days. The Metonic cycle (432 BC) assigned 6,940 days to these 19 years
producing an average year of 365+1/4+1/76 or 365.26316 days. The Callippic cycle (330 BC)
dropped one day from four Metonic cycles (76 years) for an average year of 365+1/4 or 365.25
days. Hipparchus dropped one more day from four Callipic cycles (304 years), creating the
Hipparchic cycle with an average year of 365+1/4−1/304 or 365.24671 days, which was close to his
tropical year of 365+1/4−1/300 or 365.24667 days. The three Greek cycles were never used to
regulate any civil calendar—they only appear in the Almagest in an astronomical context.
We find Hipparchus mathematical signatures in the Antikythera Mechanism, an ancient
astronomical computer of the 2nd CBC. The mechanism is based on a solar year, the Metonic
Cycle, which is the period the Moon reappears in the same star in the sky with the same phase (full
Moon appears at the same position in the sky approximately in 19 years), theCallipic cycle (which
is four Metonic cycles and more accurate), the Saros cycle and the Exeligmos cycles (three Saros
cycles for the accurate eclipse prediction). The study of the Antikythera Mechanism proves that the
ancients have been using very accurate calendars based on all the aspects of solar and lunar motion
in the sky. In fact the Lunar Mechanism which is part of the Antikythera Mechanism depicts the
motion of the Moon and its phase, for a given time, using a train of four gears with a pin and slot
device which gives a variable lunar velocity that is very close to the second law of Kepler, i.e. it
takes into account the fast motion of the Moon at perigee and slower motion at apogee. This
discovery proves that Hipparchus mathematics were much more advanced than Ptolemy describes
in his books, as it is evident that he developed a good approximation of Kepler΄s second law.
Mithraic question
Mithraism was a mystery religion or school based on the worship of the god Mithras. Many
underground temples were built in the Roman Empire from about the 1st century BCE to the 5th
century CE. Understanding Mithraism has been made difficult by the near-total lack of written
descriptions or scripture; the teachings must be reconstructed from iconography found in mithraea
(a mithraeum was a cave or underground meeting place that often contained bas reliefs of Mithras,
the zodiac and associated symbols). Until the 1970s most scholars followed Franz Cumont in
identifying Mithras with the Persian god Mithra. Cumont's thesis was re-examined in 1971, and
Mithras is now believed to be a syncretic deity only slightly influenced by Persian religion.
Mithraism is now recognized as having pronounced astrological elements, but the details are
debated. One scholar of Mithraism, David Ulansey, has interpreted Mithras (Mithras Sol Invictus -
the unconquerable sun) as a second sun or star that is responsible for precession. He suggests the
cult may have been inspired by Hipparchus' discovery of precession. Part of his analysis is based on
the tauroctony an image of Mithras sacrificing a bull, found in most of the temples. According to
Ulansey, the tauroctony is a star chart. Mithras is a second sun or hyper-cosmic sun and or a
constellation Perseus, and the bull is Taurus, a constellation of the zodiac. In an earlier astrological
age, the vernal equinox had taken place when the Sun was in Taurus. The tauroctony, by this
reasoning, commemorated Mithras-Perseus ending the "Age of Taurus" (about 2000 BC based on
the Vernal Equinox - or about 11,500 BC based on the Autumnal Equinox).
The iconography also contains two torch bearing boys (Cautes and Cautopates) on each side of the
zodiac. Ulansey, and Walter Cruttenden in his book Lost Star of Myth and Time, interpret these to
mean ages of growth and decay, or enlightenment and darkness; primal elements of the cosmic
progression. Thus Mithraism is thought to have something to do with the changing ages within the
precession cycle or Great Year (Plato's term for one complete precession of the equinox).
Changing pole stars

Precession of Earth's axis around the north ecliptical pole

Precession of Earth's axis around the south ecliptical pole
A consequence of the precession is a changing pole star. Currently Polaris is extremely well-suited
to mark the position of the north celestial pole, as Polaris is a moderately bright star with a visual
magnitude of 2.1 (variable), and it is located within a half degree of the pole.
On the other hand, Thuban in the constellation Draco, which was the pole star in 3000 BC, is much
less conspicuous at magnitude 3.67 (one-fifth as bright as Polaris); today it is invisible in light-
polluted urban skies.
The brilliant Vega in the constellation Lyra is often touted as the best north star (it fulfilled that role
around 12000 BC and will do so again around the year AD 14000), however it never comes closer
than 5° to the pole.
When Polaris becomes the north star again around 27800 AD, due to its proper motion it then will
be farther away from the pole than it is now, while in 23600 BC it came closer to the pole.
It is more difficult to find the south celestial pole in the sky at this moment, as that area is a
particularly bland portion of the sky, and the nominal south pole star is Sigma Octantis, which with
magnitude 5.5 is barely visible to the naked eye even under ideal conditions. That will change from
the eightieth to the ninetieth centuries, however, when the south celestial pole travels through the
False Cross.
This situation also is seen on a star map. The orientation of the south pole is moving toward the
Southern Cross constellation. For the last 2,000 years or so, the Southern Cross has nicely pointed
to the south pole. By consequence, the constellation is no longer visible from subtropical northern
latitudes, as it was in the time of the ancient Greeks.
Polar shift and equinoxes shift

Precessional movement as seen from 'outside' the celestial sphere

Same picture as above, but now from (near) Earth perspective
The figures to the right attempt to explain the relation between the precession of the Earth's axis and
the shift in the equinoxes. These figures show the position of the Earth's axis on the celestial sphere,
a fictitious sphere which places the stars according to their position as seen from Earth, regardless
of their actual distance. The first image shows the celestial sphere from the outside, with the
constellations in mirror image. The second figure shows the perspective of a near-Earth position as
seen through a very wide angle lens (from which the apparent distortion arises).
The rotation axis of the Earth describes, over a period of 25,700 years, a small circle (blue) among
the stars, centered on the ecliptic north pole (the blue E) and with an angular radius of about 23.4°,
an angle known as the obliquity of the ecliptic. The direction of precession is opposite to the daily
rotation of the Earth on its axis. The orange axis was the Earth's rotation axis 5,000 years ago, when
it pointed to the star Thuban. The yellow axis, pointing to Polaris, marks the axis now.
The equinoxes occur where the celestial equator intersects the ecliptic (red line), that is, where the
Earth's axis is perpendicular to the line connecting the centers of the Sun and Earth. (Note that the
term "equinox" here refers to a point on the celestial sphere so defined, rather than the moment in
time when the Sun is overhead at the Equator, though the two meanings are related.) When the axis
precesses from one orientation to another, the equatorial plane of the Earth (indicated by the
circular grid around the equator) moves. The celestial equator is just the Earth's equator projected
onto the celestial sphere, so it moves as the Earth's equatorial plane moves, and the intersection with
the ecliptic moves with it. The positions of the poles and equator on Earth do not change, only the
orientation of the Earth against the fixed stars.
As seen from the orange grid, 5,000 years ago, the vernal equinox was close to the star Aldebaran
of Taurus. Now, as seen from the yellow grid, it has shifted (indicated by the red arrow) to
somewhere in the constellation of Pisces.
Still pictures like these are only first approximations as they do not take into account the variable
speed of the precession, the variable obliquity of the ecliptic, the planetary precession (which is a
slow rotation of the ecliptic plane itself, presently around an axis located on the plane, with
longitude 174°.8764) and the proper motions of the stars.

Diagram showing the westward shift of the vernal equinox among the stars over the past six
millennia
Cause
The precession of the equinoxes is caused by the gravitational forces of the Sun and the Moon, and
to a lesser extent other bodies, on the Earth.
In popular science books, precession is often explained with the example of a spinning top. In both
cases, the applied force is due to gravity. For a spinning top, this force tends to be almost parallel to
the rotation axis. For the Earth, however, the applied forces of the Sun and the Moon are nearly
perpendicular to the axis of rotation.
The Earth is not a perfect sphere but an oblate spheroid, with an equatorial diameter about 43
kilometers larger than its polar diameter. Because of the earth's axial tilt, during most of the year the
half of this bulge that is closest to the Sun is off-center, either to the north or to the south, and the
far half is off-center on the opposite side. The gravitational pull on the closer half is stronger, since
gravity decreases with distance, so this creates a small torque on the Earth as the Sun pulls harder
on one side of the Earth than the other. The axis of this torque is roughly perpendicular to the axis
of the Earth's rotation so the axis of rotation precesses. If the Earth were a perfect sphere, there
would be no precession.

The precession as a consequence of the torque exerted on Earth by differential gravitation.
The figure to the right explains how this process works. The Earth is given as a perfect sphere with
the mass of the bulge approximated by a blue torus around its equator. The green arrows indicate
the gravitational forces from the Sun on some extreme points. These tangential forces create a
torque (orange), and this torque, added to the rotation (magenta), shifts the rotational axis to a
slightly new position (yellow). Over time, the axis precesses along the white circle, which is
centered around the ecliptic pole.
This average torque is always in the same direction, perpendicular to the direction in which the
rotation axis is tilted away from the ecliptic pole, so that it does not change the axial tilt itself. The
magnitude of the torque from the sun (or the moon) varies with the gravitational object's alignment
with the earth's spin axis and approaches zero when it is orthogonal.
Although the above explanation involved the Sun, the same explanation holds true for any object
moving around the Earth, along or close to the ecliptic, notably, the Moon. The combined action of
the Sun and the Moon is called the lunisolar precession. In addition to the steady progressive
motion (resulting in a full circle in about 25,700 years) the Sun and Moon also cause small periodic
variations, due to their changing positions. These oscillations, in both precessional speed and axial
tilt, are known as the nutation. The most important term has a period of 18.6 years and an amplitude
of less than 20 seconds of arc.
In addition to lunisolar precession, the actions of the other planets of the solar system cause the
whole ecliptic to rotate slowly around an axis which has an ecliptic longitude of about 174°
measured on the instantaneous ecliptic. This so-called planetary precession shift amounts to a
rotation of the ecliptic plane of 0.47 seconds of arc per year (more than a hundred times smaller
than lunisolar precession). The sum of the two precessions is known as the general precession.
Equations

Tidal force on Earth due to the Sun, Moon, or a planet
The tidal force on Earth due a perturbing body (Sun, Moon or planet) is the result of the inverse-
square law of gravity, whereby the gravitational force of the perturbing body on the side of Earth
nearest it is greater than the gravitational force on the far side. If the gravitational force of the
perturbing body at the center of Earth (equal to the centrifugal force) is subtracted from the
gravitational force of the perturbing body everywhere on the surface of Earth, only the tidal force
remains. For precession, this tidal force takes the form of two forces which only act on the
equatorial bulge outside of a pole-to-pole sphere. This couple can be decomposed into two pairs of
components, one pair parallel to Earth's equatorial plane toward and away from the perturbing body
which cancel each other, and another pair parallel to Earth's rotational axis, both toward the ecliptic
plane. The latter pair of forces creates the following torque vector on Earth's equatorial bulge:

where
Gm = standard gravitational parameter of the perturbing body
r = geocentric distance to the perturbing body
C = moment of inertia around Earth's axis of rotation
A = moment of inertia around any equatorial diameter of Earth
C−A = moment of inertia of Earth's equatorial bulge (C>A)
δ = declination of the perturbing body (north or south of equator)
α = right ascension of the perturbing body (east from vernal equinox)
The three unit vectors of the torque at the center of the Earth (top to bottom) are x on a line within
the ecliptic plane (the intersection of Earth's equatorial plane with the ecliptic plane) directed
toward the vernal equinox, y on a line in the ecliptic plane directed toward the summer solstice (90°
east of x), and z on a line directed toward the north pole of the ecliptic.
The value of the three sinusoidal terms in the direction of x (sinδ cosδ sinα) for the Sun is a sine
squared waveform varying from zero at the equinoxes (0°, 180°) to 0.36495 at the solstices (90°,
270°). The value in the direction of y (sinδ cosδ (−cosα)) for the Sun is a sine wave varying from
zero at the four equinoxes and solstices to ±0.19364 (slightly more than half of the sine squared
peak) halfway between each equinox and solstice with peaks slightly skewed toward the equinoxes
(43.37°(−), 136.63°(+), 223.37°(−), 316.63°(+)). Both solar waveforms have about the same peak-
to-peak amplitude and the same period, half of a revolution or half of a year. The value in the
direction of z is zero.
The average torque of the sine wave in the direction of y is zero for the Sun or Moon, so this
component of the torque does not affect precession. The average torque of the sine squared
waveform in the direction of x for the Sun or Moon is:

where
a = semimajor axis of Earth's (Sun's) orbit or Moon's orbit
e = eccentricity of Earth's (Sun's) orbit or Moon's orbit
and 1/2 accounts for the average of the sine squared waveform, a
3
(1 − e
2
)
3 / 2
accounts for the
average distance cubed of the Sun or Moon from Earth over the entire elliptical orbit, and
(the angle between the equatorial plane and the ecliptic plane) is the maximum value of
δ for the Sun and the average maximum value for the Moon over an entire 18.6 year cycle.
Precession is:

where ω is Earth's angular velocity and Cω is Earth's angular momentum. Thus the first order
component of precession due to the Sun is:

whereas that due to the Moon is:

where i is the angle between the plane of the Moon's orbit and the ecliptic plane. In these two
equations, the Sun's parameters are within square brackets labled S, the Moon's parameters are
within square brackets labled L, and the Earth's parameters are within square brackets labled E. The
term (1 − 1.5sin
2
i) accounts for the inclination of the Moon's orbit relative to the ecliptic. The term
(C−A)/C is Earth's dynamical ellipticity or flattening, which is adjusted to the observed precession
because Earth's internal structure is not known with sufficient detail. If Earth were homogeneous
the term would equal its third eccentricity squared,

where a is the equatorial radius (6378137 m) and c is the polar radius (6356752 m), so e''
²=0.003358481.
Applicable parameters for J2000.0 rounded to seven significant digits (excluding leading 1) are:
Sun Moon Earth
Gm=1.3271244 × 10
20
m³/s² Gm=4.902799 × 10
12
m³/s²
(C−A)/C=0.003273763
a=1.4959802 × 10
11
m a=3.833978 × 10
8
m ω=7.292115 × 10
−5
rad/s
e=0.016708634 e=0.05554553 =23.43928°
i= 5.156690°
which yield

S
/dt = 2.450183 × 10
−12
/s

L
/dt = 5.334529 × 10
−12
/s
both of which must be converted to "/a (arcseconds/annum) by the number of arcseconds in 2π
radians (1.296 × 10
6
"/2π) and the number of seconds in one annum (a Julian year) (3.15576 × 10
7
s/
a):

S
/dt = 15.948788"/a vs 15.948870"/a from Williams

L
/dt = 34.723638"/a vs 34.457698"/a from Williams
The solar equation is a good representation of precession due the Sun because Earth's orbit is close
to an ellipse, being only slightly perturbed by the other planets. The lunar equation is not as good a
representation of precession due to the Moon because its orbit is greatly distorted by the Sun.
Values
Simon Newcomb's calculation at the end of the nineteenth century for general precession (known as
p) in longitude gave a value of 5,025.64 arcseconds per tropical century, and was the generally
accepted value until artificial satellites delivered more accurate observations and electronic
computers allowed more elaborate models to be calculated. Lieske developed an updated theory in
1976, where p equals 5,029.0966 arcseconds per Julian century. Modern techniques such as VLBI
and LLR allowed further refinements, and the International Astronomical Union adopted a new
constant value in 2000, and new computation methods and polynomial expressions in 2003 and
2006; the accumulated precession is:
p
A
= 5,028.796195×T + 1.1054348×T² + higher order terms,
in arcseconds per Julian century, with T, the time in Julian centuries (that is, 36,525 days) since the
epoch of 2000.
The rate of precession is the derivative of that:
p = 5,028.796195 + 2.2108696×T + higher order terms
The constant term of this speed corresponds to one full precession circle in 25,772 years.
The precession rate is not a constant, but is (at the moment) slowly increasing over time, as
indicated by the linear (and higher order) terms in T. In any case it must be stressed that this
formula is only valid over a limited time period. It is clear that if T gets large enough (far in the
future or far in the past), the T² term will dominate and p will go to very large values. In reality,
more elaborate calculations on the numerical model of solar system show that the precessional
constants have a period of about 41,000 years, the same as the obliquity of the ecliptic. Note that
the constants mentioned here are the linear and all higher terms of the formula above, not the
precession itself. That is,
p = A + BT + CT² + …
is an approximation of
p = A + Bsin (2πT/P), where P is the 410-century period.
Theoretical models may calculate the proper constants (coefficients) corresponding to the higher
powers of T, but since it is impossible for a (finite) polynomial to match a periodic function over all
numbers, the error in all such approximations will grow without bound as T increases. In that
respect, the International Astronomical Union chose the best-developed available theory. For up to
a few centuries in the past and the future, all formulas do not diverge very much. For up to a few
thousand years in the past and the future, most agree to some accuracy. For eras farther out,
discrepancies become too large — the exact rate and period of precession may not be computed,
even for a single whole precession period.
The precession of Earth's axis is a very slow effect, but at the level of accuracy at which
astronomers work, it does need to be taken into account on a daily basis. Note that although the
precession and the tilt of Earth's axis (the obliquity of the ecliptic) are calculated from the same
theory and thus, are related to each other, the two movements act independently of each other,
moving in mutually perpendicular directions.
Over longer time periods, that is, millions of years, it appears that precession is quasiperiodic at
around 25,700 years; however, it will not remain so. According to Ward, when, in about 1,500
million years, the distance of the Moon, which is continuously increasing from tidal effects, has
increased from the current 60.3 to approximately 66.5 Earth radii, resonances from planetary effects
will push precession to 49,000 years at first, and then, when the Moon reaches 68 Earth radii in
about 2,000 million years, to 69,000 years. This will be associated with wild swings in the obliquity
of the ecliptic as well. Ward, however, used the abnormally large modern value for tidal dissipation.
Using the 620-million year average provided by tidal rhythmites of about half the modern value,
these resonances will not be reached until about 3,000 and 4,000 million years, respectively. Long
before that time (about 2,100 million years from now), due to the increasing luminosity of the Sun,
the oceans of the Earth will have boiled away, which will alter tidal effects significantly.
Anomalistic precession

Effects of axial precession on the seasons
Because of gravitational perturbations by the other planets, the shape and orientation of Earth's orbit
are not fixed with respect to space, but its apsides (that is, perihelion and aphelion) slowly advance
with respect to a fixed frame of reference (i.e. the Earth's argument of periapsis slowly increases).
Therefore the anomalistic year is slightly longer than the sidereal year. It takes about 112,000 years
for the ellipse to revolve once relative to the fixed stars.
Because the anomalistic year is longer than the sidereal year while the tropical year (which
calendars attempt to track) is shorter due to the precession of Earth's rotational axis, the two forms
of 'precession' add. It takes about 21,000 years for the ellipse to revolve once relative to the vernal
equinox, that is, for the perihelion to return to the same date (given a calendar that tracks the
seasons perfectly). The dates of perihelion and of aphelion advance each year on this cycle, an
average of 1 day every 58 years.
This interaction between the anomalistic and tropical cycle is important in the long-term climate
variations on Earth, called the Milankovitch cycles. An equivalent is also known on Mars.
The figure illustrates the effects of precession on the northern hemisphere seasons, relative to
perihelion and aphelion. Notice that the areas swept during a specific season changes through time.
Orbital mechanics require that the length of the seasons be proportional to the swept areas of the
seasonal quadrants, so when the orbital eccentricity is extreme, the seasons on the far side of the
orbit may be substantially longer in duration.
Astrological progression
Astrological progressions are one of the main means used in Horoscopic astrology to forecast
future trends and developments (the other means is transits, which are simply the ongoing
movements of the planets across the sky). As its name implies, astrological progression involves a
method of progressing the Horoscope forward from the moment of the birth or beginning of the
subject into the future, and is most usually done for the birth or natal chart of a particular individual.
There are two main forms of progression: Secondary progression or 'a-day-for-a-year' progression ;
and Solar arc progression or 'a-degree-for-a-year' progression. In both systems, the planets,
Ascendant , and Midheaven are all seen to have changed position in the progressed chart, and these
changes are noted. Particular attention is paid to changes of zodiac signs and houses , and to the
angles or aspects the progressed planets form with the original natal chart.
Predictive astrology
Astrological progression is a part of what is usually called predictive astrology, the claim of
astrology to predict or forecast future trends and developments. Most astrologers nowadays regard
the term 'prediction' as something of a misnomer, as modern astrology does not claim to directly
predict future events as such. Instead it is claimed that an astrological pattern with regard to the
future can correspond with any one of a variety of possibilities. What is in fact foretold is the trend
of circumstances and the nature of the individual's reaction to the situation In other words,
progressed and transiting movements of the planets indicate phases in the individual's life when the
potential shown in the natal chart will be given opportunities for development, whether through
favourable or unfavourable circumstances
In addition all modern astrologers stress the role of free will. It is asserted that astrology does not
reveal fate or patterns which are 'written in stone', rather it reveals a person's strengths and
weakness, talents and opportunities. The horoscope does not determine the future, but shows the
possible paths that lie ahead so that the individual can choose between them. Modern astrologers
argue that no planetary aspect brings a fate that cannot be counteracted in some way and some
benefit derived from it - what actual events happen are largely dependent upon the freedom of
choice of the individual. The role of the astrologer is to create self-knowledge and awareness of the
movement of the planets and their meaning, so as to give the individual an improved ability to make
reasoned and sensible life choices. In short, no modern astrologer would try to predict actual future
events, or claim that the future was mapped out and determined.
Secondary progressions
Also called A-day-for-a-year progression , Major progression and Secondary direction. This
progression involves moving the natal chart forward one day for each year of a person's life. So for
example, a person born on April 2 1982 would have a progressed chart for 2007 drawn up based on
the position of the planets on April 27 1982 (ie. 25 days for 25 years). The patterns formed 25 days
after the person's birth are considered to be symbolic of the person's 25th year of life, and indicate
potential tendencies and trends for the year. Secondary progressions are considered by the majority
of astrologers to be the most important form of progression.
Solar arc progressions
Also called A-degree-for-a-year progression, and Solar arc direction. This form of progression
involves the whole natal chart being moved forward one degree for each year. So, for 2007, a
person born on April 2 1982 would have a progressed chart drawn up based on the position of the
planets moved forward 25 degrees from their position on that birth date (it is important to note that
this creates a chart of planetary positions that never existed in real life). The name 'solar arc
progression' derives from the fact that the sun moves about one degree a day, so the rest of the
planets in this method are in a sense 'made to follow' the sun. In other words, the planets are made
to move the same distance as was travelled by the sun in secondary progression. Those astrologers
who use solar arc progression usually regard it as an additional source of information, to be used in
combination with secondary progression .
Other progression methods
A variety of other methods of progression have also been used. They include the following:
• Minor progression - one lunar month after birth equals one year of life
• Tertiary progression - one day after birth equals one lunar month of life
• Converse progression - one day before birth equals one year of life, (and so on backwards
in time).
• Ascendant arc progression - planets are moved the same distance as the secondary
progressed ascendant
• Symbolic arc progression - planets are moved an arbitrary number of degrees a year eg. 3
degrees for each year, 5 degrees and so on.
Interpretation
Interpretation of progressions is usually fairly similar to the interpretation of transits . In general
however, progressions primarily involve psychological developments from within the individual
(often of course stimulated by exterior events), while transits involve developments in the life
circumstances outside the individual's control.
The most important point to remember with progressions is that the pattern of the natal chart always
determines their value. So, for example if the sun and Mars are in a difficult aspect in the natal
chart, a positive or easy aspect between progressed Mars and the natal sun will not produce the
same expected benefit. Also, if planets are not aspected in the natal chart, progressed aspects will in
general not have the same effect. In short each person carries the pattern of the natal chart with
them all their lives, and the progressed and transiting movements of the planets indicate when the
potential in the natal chart will be given opportunities for development.
Progressions are usually only important for the inner personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus,
and Mars) as the progressed outer planets will have moved only an insignificant distance. However,
the personal planets do make aspects to the transpersonal and outer planets. Significant events in the
motion of a slow moving body, such as a station retrograde or direct by progression, are also
considered significant by many astrologers who use progressions.
Progressed planets' aspects
The main significance of progressed planets is when they form aspects with planets in the natal
chart. Progressed aspects are usually limited to an orb of one degree either side of the natal planet.
The following is a brief description of the effect of progressed aspects:
• Progressed Sun: A period of major importance. Psychologically, and through correlative
circumstances, the time will be ripe for important adjustments, organising and integrating of
the whole life pattern, as directed by the planet involved in aspect with the sun.
• Progressed Moon: A period of about one month's duration, in which affairs and
psychological features associated with the planet will be emphasised and activated. The
progressed moon often acts as a 'trigger' to activate patterns already set by other progressed
planets
• Progressed Mercury: Usually indicates changes and necessary readjustments, increased
mental activity, travel, and literary matters of above average importance.
• Progressed Venus: Period of much importance as regards emotional, personal and creative
interests. Can mean marriage, falling in love - or out of love, inspired creative work, birth of
a child, or an emphasis on money matters.
• Progressed Mars: Period of increased activity, conflict, enterprise. Energy must be
controlled, and impulsive action avoided. Subject is more accident prone. Can be an ideal
time for taking the initiative, or tackling work that has piled up.
Progressed Angles
Unless the time of birth is very accurately known, progressing the ascendant and midheaven can be
disregarded. Aspects formed by the progressed ascendant suggest significant developments in self-
centred interests, personal ambitions and health. Progressed midheaven suggests developments in
career and business interests.
Retrograde motion
The retrograde motion of a planet is its apparent backward motion through the sky caused by the
earth travelling past a slower moving outer planet, or when the earth is itself passed by a faster
moving inner planet. For secondary progression or the day-for-a-year method, retrograde motion
means that progressing a planet forward one day in time leads to the planet's moving 'backwards' in
the chart in an anti-clockwise fashion. In astrology this backward movement was traditionally
thought to be unlucky or inauspicious, as it went against the 'natural' order of movement (or 'direct
movement' as it is known), and a planet which was retrograde at the time of birth was considered a
weak spot in the natal chart.
Most modern astrologers do consider the retrograde movement of a planet to be indicative of stress
or difficulty, although this is usually mentioned only with regard to transiting planets. For example,
the retrograde movement of Mercury is commonly thought to signify difficulties in communication,
such as post or emails going astray, verbal misunderstandings, and travel delays and frustrations.
Some astrologers however, do not regard the change from direct to retrograde motion as
automatically being one to repression and limitation (nor the reverse sudden release). Rather a
change in either direction of movement is regarded by them as simply indicating a shift in a person's
handling of that part of their life In fact, many astrologers do not consider retrograde movement to
be of any particular significance, especially given that the outer planets are retrograde for over 40%
of the time. The full implications, if any, of retrograde motion in progressed planets appears to
remain relatively little understood.
Astrological transit
Astrological transits are one of the main means used in horoscopic astrology to forecast future
trends and developments (the other means used is astrological progression , which progresses the
horoscope forward in time according to set methods). As its name implies, astrological transits
involve a method of interpreting the ongoing movement of the planets as they transit the horoscope.
This is most often done for the birth or Natal Chart of a particular individual. Particular attention is
paid to changes of sign, or house, and to the aspects or angles the transiting planets make with the
natal chart.
A particularly important transit is the planetary return. This occurs when a transiting planet returns
to the same point in the sky that it occupied at the moment of a person's birth. What this means is
that the planet has completed a whole circuit of the sky, and signifies that a new cycle in the
person's life is beginning. The most significant returns are those of the outer planets Jupiter and
Saturn. The Jupiter return occurs approximately every 12 years and heralds a new phase of growth
and development. The Saturn return occurs approximately every 30 years, and heralds a new phase
in the aging process when new realities and responsibilities must be faced.
Predictive astrology
Astrological transits are a part of what is usually called predictive astrology, the claim of astrology
to predict or forecast future trends and developments. Most astrologers nowadays regard the term
'prediction' as something of a misnomer, as modern astrology does not claim to directly predict
future events as such. Instead it is claimed that an astrological pattern with regard to the future can
correspond with any one of a variety of possibilities. What is in fact foretold is the trend of
circumstances and the nature of the individual's reaction to the situation. In other words, progressed
and transiting movements of the planets indicate phases in the individual's life when the potential
shown in the natal chart will be given opportunities for development, whether through favourable or
unfavourable circumstances.
In addition all modern astrologers stress the role of free will. It is asserted that astrology does not
reveal fate or patterns which are 'written in stone', rather it reveals a person's strengths and
weakness, talents and opportunities. The horoscope does not determine the future, but shows the
possible paths that lie ahead so that the individual can choose between them. Modern astrologers
argue that no planetary aspect brings a fate that cannot be counteracted in some way and some
benefit derived from it - what actual events happen are largely dependent upon the freedom of
choice of the individual. The role of the astrologer is to create self-knowledge and awareness of the
movement of the planets and their meaning, so as to give the individual an improved ability to make
reasoned and sensible life choices. In short, no modern astrologer would try to predict actual future
events, or claim that the future was mapped out and determined.
Sceptics of astrology argue in response that stressing the role of vague, general trends and
developments allows astrologers to avoid making verifiable predictions; and gives them the ability
to attach significance to any number of arbitrary and unrelated events in a way that suits their
purpose.
Interpretation
Interpretation of transits is usually fairly similar to the interpretation of progressions . In general
however, transits primarily involve developments in the life circumstances outside the individual's
control, while progressions involve psychological developments from within the individual.
The most important point to remember with transits is that the pattern of the natal chart always
determines their value. So, for example if the sun and Jupiter are in a difficult aspect in the natal
chart, a positive or easy aspect between transiting Jupiter and the natal sun will not produce the
same expected benefit. Also, if planets are not aspected in the natal chart, transiting aspects will in
general not have the same effect. In short each person carries the pattern of the natal chart with
them all their lives, and the progressed and transiting movements of the planets indicate when the
potential in the natal chart will be given opportunties for development.
Transits of the personal planets- Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars are usually not considered
as important because they move so quickly through the zodiac. The transits of the slower moving
planets - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, are more powerful and noticeable, especially
when they hit a personal planet or cardinal point.
Transiting planets' aspects
The main significance of transiting planets is when they form aspects with planets in the natal chart.
Transiting aspects are usually limited to an orb of one degree either side of the natal planet. The
following is a brief description of the effect of transiting aspects:
Inner planets
Transits of the inner planets (including sun and moon) are generally not considered by astrologers
to be of major importance, as they are of such short duration, and so have a limited effect. Most
astrologers would not chart these transits on an ongoing basis as they occur so frequently and are so
fleeting in their operation. The following are their main characteristics:
• Transiting Sun is at its peak for about two days and has an effect on health, energy and
willpower in the area of life indicated by the natal planet, sign and house being transited.
Greater creativity, activity and open expression.
• Transiting Moon lasts a few hours at most and effects mainly moods and feelings, not
always consciously, according to the planet, sign and house being transited.
• Transiting Mercury is at its peak for only a day or two. A useful time for helping with
backlogs of correspondence, making short journeys or visits. Thought patterns and focus
will be altered positively or negatively depending on the nature of the aspect and aspected
planet. A good time to write letters, e-mail, make phone calls and generally communicate
with others. Combined with Venus, a Mercury transit can indicate entertaining, or perhaps
giving a talk or lecture. Mercury transits to natal sun and ascendent indicate a good time for
making minor changes - buying, selling and exchanging things.
• Transiting Venus is at its peak for about two days, and usually indicates enjoyment in your
social life and feelings of love. Social behavior will be altered. Sometimes the influence is
financial through receiving gifts or money. Transits to the sun and ascendant indicate a good
time to buy new clothes or to beautify yourself, and transits to the moon a good time to
beautify the home and buy new household goods. Transits to Mercury and Jupiter indicate a
good time to entertain, and transits to its own place and to the midheaven, a good time to be
entertained. Transits to Neptune are a good time to go to the cinema or theater, while Uranus
transits are favorable for taking chances in romance!
• Transiting Mars energizes the areas of life related to the natal planet being effected. The
person will be more energetic and be able to work harder than usual. But Mars can also
promote tension and anger, so there is a need to watch the temper during a Mars transit,
especially for transits with the moon. Plan to keep busy during a Mars transit so as to have
an outlet for this excessive energy. There is also a need to take extra precautions against
rushing and accidents. Be on especial guard when Mars transits the sun or the ascendant.
Outer planets
The transits of the outer planets are considered to be the most important by astrologers, as their
effects can last for up to several years. The following are their main characteristics
• Transiting Jupiter Lasts some months and presents opportunities in the area of life
involved by the aspected planet. Period of expansion and exceptional opportunities for
achieving success in business, receiving benefits, good favour. Travelling, knowledge and
new experiences are possible. Difficult aspects may lead to serious misjudgments,
exaggerated, extravagant behaviour and sheer bad luck.
• Transiting Saturn Period of limitation, restriction, possible ill-health, depleted energy,
losses, depressive moods, death, lack of cooperation, general misfortune. Respect and social
status will be affected. Yet can also be a useful time for wise long-term planning, conserving
energy, building up resources, study, serious contemplation of life and self. Patience will be
needed as this is not a time to push ahead with plans and affairs, and forcing matters will not
do much good. It is better to accept that this aspect will slow down the rhythm of life in the
house or planet involved, showing which lessons of discipline and structure must be learned.
A time to consolidate and prepare for more go-ahead indications in the chart.
• Transiting Uranus Period of unplanned, sudden drastic upheavals and changes can be
expected. Dramatic turn to circumstances, with a new way of life opening. Possible period
of inspiration, originality, creativeness, unconventional and rebellious behaviour. Greater
desire for individuality, invention, expression and freedom, and new relationships are
possible.
• Transiting Neptune Peculiar, strange, confusing and chaotic happenings likely, but also
great creativity and inspiration. Neptune dissolves ideas and emotions in the house or planet
which is aspected. Diffusion and idealization tends to occur and a tendency to fall into
illusions or dreams. Spiritualization of the arena of life involved occurs , artistic practices,
theater, spiritual or religious experiences are possible at this time. Difficult aspects may
stimulate neurotic, escapist, suicidal and mentally disturbed tendencies. Victimization,
delusions, misunderstandings or saviour roles are possible at this time, and over-
involvement with alcohol, drugs.
• Transiting Pluto Period of major transformation in the life-pattern. Often the end of a
'chapter of experience' for the start of another, due to eruptive developments that have
'brewing up' under the surface for some time. Pluto will transform, renew and revolutionize
the ideas or emotions in the house or the planet which is aspected. Deep psychological
changes occur, cycles of either symbolic or real death and rebirth, obsessions, fateful
encounters, power urges, power struggles and sexual issues. Old issues from past come to
surface. Pluto exposes these issues so that their nature may be understand and the subject
work to change them.
Retrograde motion
The retrograde motion of a planet is its apparent backward motion through the sky caused by the
Earth travelling past a slower-moving outer planet, or when the Earth is itself passed by a faster-
moving inner planet. The outer planets are retrograde for over 40% of the time. In astrology, this
backward movement was traditionally thought to be unlucky or inauspicious, as it went against the
'natural' order of movement (or 'direct movement' as it is known).
Most modern astrologers consider the retrograde movement of a planet to be malefic, indicative of
stress or difficulty. For example, the retrograde movement of Mercury is commonly thought to
signify difficulties in communication, such as post or emails going astray, verbal
misunderstandings, and travel delays and frustrations. Some astrologers however, do not regard the
change from direct to retrograde motion as automatically being one to repression and limitation (nor
the reverse sudden release). Rather a change in either direction of movement is regarded by them as
simply indicating a shift in a person's handling of that part of their life.
A transiting planet may pass over a particular spot in a natal chart and then turn retrograde, passing
over the same spot again before it then goes 'direct' again, passing over the spot for a third time.
This can bring a prolonged period of change into the person's life.
Planetary returns
The planetary return in astrology is when the transiting planet returns to the precise position it was
in at the moment of a person's birth. Symbolically this means that the planet is beginning a new
cycle in a person's life. Returns apply also to the sun and moon - an astrologer would say that a
person's birthday is technically their 'solar return'; for it marks the day when the sun returns to the
same position in the zodiac as on a person's original birthday. The most important returns are those
of the outer planets Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. Half-returns (when the planet reaches the halfway
point in its journey) are also important, especially in the case of Uranus, as many people may not
live long enough to see or get the full benefit of its full return of 84 years.
Jupiter returns
Jupiter returns occur every twelve years or so, and indicate a new phase of growth and development
in life. The first Jupiter return, at around age twelve, concerns the move into adolescence and
puberty; while the second return at around age 24 concerns the first real moves into the adult world.
The year of a Jupiter return will usually be a good one, with prizes won and grants awarded. Writers
are often first published in this year, and sports people achieve their first important goals. Foreign
travel and higher study are often indicated. The Jupiter return is the ideal time to push forward and
be assertive, as efforts will usually be well rewarded.
Saturn returns
Saturn returns occur approximately every thirty years and indicate a phase in the aging process
when new realities and responsibilities must be faced. The first Saturn return occurs at around age
thirty and concerns the time when the first real responsibilities are felt. Many people will make a
serious commitment at this time, perhaps to (or from a) marriage, starting a family or buying a
home. It is also a time when many assess relationships that have failed and realise that it is time to
end them. As regards work, many will reassess their career and question their progress to date. This
can be a good time to change direction and retrain, even at the cost of a lower salary for a while.
The second return occurs at around age sixty and concerns the time when people reassess the next
phase of their lives. Many people begin to consider retiring from full time work and developing
interests that have been neglected because of career and children. It is also the first time that many
have to face the reality of approaching old age. It is important to have a constructive, practical
attitude at this time, and not simply regard oneself as being 'on the scrapheap', as for most people
there are still many good years ahead. The Saturn return is often a difficult and challenging time,
but decisions taken and changes made usually work out well in the long term if they are sensible
and followed thru with.
Uranus returns
Uranus takes about 84 years to complete a full return. However, one of its most important
influences is felt when it reaches the half way stage in its journey, at around age 42. The Uranus
half-return is the origin of what for many people is the 'mid-life crisis'. Women, especially those
with children growing up and leaving home, may feel that life has passed them by. A lot of women
also begin the pre-menopause stage at this time, and many men experience the 'male menopause'.
Permanent and successful long-term relationships may be unsettled or disrupted by casual flirtations
and affairs. The Uranus half-return can be stressful and tense, but also energising. It is the ideal time
for people to break out of routine lifestyles that they have been stuck in for years, and develop new
interests.
The full Uranus return takes place around age 84, and if the person is reasonably well and fit, it can
herald a new and lively interest in life. For example, many creative people have completed great
works after the age of 84 - Verdi composed his opera Falstaff, and Picasso painted many of his
finest paintings late in life.
Astrological aspect
In astrology, an aspect is an angle the planets make to each other in the horoscope, and also to the
ascendant, midheaven, descendant and nadir. The aspects are measured by the angular distance
along the ecliptic in degrees and minutes of celestial longitude between two points, as viewed from
the earth. They indicate focal points in the horoscope where the energies involved are given extra
emphasis. The astrological aspects are said to influence affairs on Earth according to millennia of
astrological tradition.
As an example, if an astrologer creates a horoscope showing the apparent positions of the heavenly
bodies at the times of a person's birth (a natal chart), and the apparent distance between Mars and
Venus is 92°, 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 is a 90° aspect). The more exact that an aspect is, the
more important it is said to be according to astrological precedent and tradition. The difference
between the exact aspect and the actual aspect is called the orb.
Approach
To the ancients, certain aspects and certain planets were either good (benefic) or bad (malefic).
Modern usage is different, with less emphasis placed on simple divisions.
Modern approaches to astrological aspects, grounded more on current research rather than historical
references, are more in alignment with research on astrological harmonics, of which John Addey
was a major proponent in England (and which Johannes Kepler set forth in his book Harmonice
Mundi in 1619). In routine practice, the German schools of Uranian astrology and its derivative
Cosmobiology have taken a wholly empirical approach to the aspects, largely divorced from
traditional assumptions, and based on extensive research. In the process, they have come to
conclusions different from traditional astrologers about the power and effect of the various types of
aspects. Among the Uranians, the term 'aspect' is even sometimes avoided, to divorce traditional
beliefs from current observations.
The research of Françoise and Michel Gauquelin on the significance of planetary configuration in
the astrological chart showed strong signs that the semisquare and sesquiquadrate, "minor" aspects
according historical assumptions, might in fact be relatively "major". Many of these valuable
realizations have been lost in a recent wave of return to traditional astrological beliefs.
A list of traditional aspects below presents their angular values and a recommended orb for each
aspect -- the orbs are subject of controversy even today.
With the introduction of the manifold midpoints used in Cosmobiology and the many "formula"
points of Uranian/Hamburg Astrology, most modern Astrologers, now, use much narrower orbs for
aspects than what were common prior 1970.

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 (blue)
Major aspects
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The traditional major aspects are sometimes called Ptolemaic aspects since they were defined and
used by Ptolemy in the 1st Century, AD. These aspects are the conjunction (approx. 0-10°), sextile
(60°), square (90°), trine (120°), and opposition (180°). It is important to note that different
astrologers and separate astrological systems/traditional utilize differing orbs (the degree of
separation between exactitude) when calculating and using the aspects, though almost all use a
larger orb for a conjunction when compared to the other aspects. The major aspects are those that
can be used to divide 360 evenly and are divisible by 10 (with the exception of the semi-sextile).
Conjunction
See also Cazimi, Combust
A conjunction (abrv. Con) is an angle of approximately 0-10°. An orb of approximately 10° is
usually considered a conjunction, however if neither the Sun or Moon is involved, some consider
the conjunction to be a separation (orb) of only about 0±08°. This is said to be the most powerful
aspect, intensifying the effects of the involved planets mutually — and being a major point in the
chart. The planets will act together to outside stimulus and act on each other. The essential feature
of a conjunction is that each planet brings out a characteristic in accord with its own nature out of
the other planet. This may probably be difficult to achieve without the aid of the other planet. This
process, however, will also cause each planet involved to lose some of its true characteristics. For
example, a person with a conjunction of Mercury and the Moon will find it easy to talk (Mercury)
about his or her feelings (Moon) and rationalize them. However, due to their intellectual approach
to emotions, it follows that their feelings also lose some depth, therefore, these people cannot
handle heavy emotional demands. On the other hand, the involvement of the emotions (Moon) in
the rational thinking process (Mercury) makes it easy for the person to think and communicate with
sensitivity and consideration. This ability can, however, take away some of the objectivity
(Mercury) from the thinking process due to biases from loyalties, emotional attachments, and so on
(Moon).
Whether the union is to be regarded as "positive" or "negative" depends upon what planets are
involved: Venus, Jupiter and the Sun, in any possible combination, is considered the most
favourable scenario (and all three actually met on November 9–10, 1970, for example), while the
most unfavourable configurations involve Mars, Saturn, and/or the Moon (with all three conjoining
on March 10 in that same year). If the planets are under stress from other configurations, then the
conjunction will be said to intensify the stress. When a planet is in very close conjunction to the Sun
it is referred to as cazimi; when a planet is moderately close to Sun, it is said to be combust. The
Sun and Moon are in conjunction monthly during the New Moon.
Sextile — intermediate major/minor aspect
A sextile (abrv. SXt or Sex) is an angle of 60° (1/6 of the 360° ecliptic, or 1/2 of a trine [120°]). A
separation (orb) of 60±04° is considered a sextile. The sextile has been traditionally said to be
similar in influence to the trine, but of less significance. It indicates ease of communication between
the two elements involved, with compatibility and harmony between them, but only provides
opportunity, requiring effort to gain its benefits. See information on the semisextile below.
Square
A square (abrv. SQr or Squ) is an angle of 90° (1/4 of the 360° ecliptic, or 1/2 of an opposition
[180°]). An orb of somewhere between 5° and 10° is usually allowed. As with the trine and the
sextile, in the square, it is usually the outer or superior planet that has an effect on the inner or
inferior one. Basically, the square's energy is similar to that of a trine but it is intensified to such an
extent that the energy is said to be stressful. For example, Mercury Square Saturn indicates
practicality and prudence with thoughts and communication, concentrating on practical matters. It is
also indicative of caution in planning and other mental tasks. However, the square between those
planets indicates mental restraint, excessive censoring of communication and overemphasis on
trivial details. It also indicates pessimism and a stilted and fearful approach to life. The square is
said to indicate strain, tension, frustration, inhibitions, disruption and inner conflict. However, it can
become a source of energy and activation to a person determined to overcome limitations,
presenting challenges to achievement and an opportunity to develop strength of character. See the
information on the semisquare and sesquiquadrate below. The square is also sometimes known as
the quartile.
Trine
"Trine" redirects here. For the video game, see Trine (video game).
A trine (abrv. Tri) is an angle of 120° (1/3 of the 360° ecliptic). A separation (orb) of 120±04° is
considered a trine. The trine indicates harmony, and ease of expression, with the two elements
reinforcing each other. The trine is a source of artistic and creative talent, which is innate. The trine
has been traditionally assumed to be extremely beneficial, providing ease even if undeserved, but it
can be a 'line of least resistance' to a person of weak character. Too many trines are said to make a
person weak and unable to cope with adversity. Complacency can also prove to be a problem. Due
to the harmony bestowed by the trine, the person may not feel the need to develop the gifts given by
this aspect, thus it follows that the person has no need to satisfy a need and supply what is lacking
because it is already satisfied from the time of his or her birth.
Opposition
An opposition (abrv. Opp) is an angle of 180° (1/2 of the 360° ecliptic). An orb of somewhere
between 5° and 10° is usually allowed. Oppositions are said to be the second most powerful aspect.
It resembles the conjunction although the difference between them is that the opposition tends to be
more exhalted as it is not unifying like the conjunction but instead exhalted. So the fact that the
opposition creates a dynamic and exhalted energy between the planets involved isn't as clearly
negative as for instance the square, but it can be indicative of tension, conflict or confrontation, due
to the polarity between the two signs involved if not channeled constructively. If channeled
constructively however the individual may use it as a creative and energetic power source. The Sun
and Moon are in opposition monthly during the full moon.
Minor aspects
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adding citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and
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The traditional minor aspects, introduced by the famed astronomer/astrologer Johannes Kepler in
the 16th Century AD, were long considered to be of relatively secondary importance, although
many modern astrologers are not in agreement with this. These included the quincunx (150°),
semisquare (45°), sesquiquadrate (135°), semisextile (30°), quintile (72°), and biquintile (144°).
More progressive research-oriented schools like Cosmobiology or Uranian astrology (Hamburg
School of Astrology) consider the semisquare and sesquiquadrate to be relatively "major" aspects
while the traditional sextile (60°) and trine (120°) are thought to be relatively "minor" in influence
— this based on current research rather than historical documents or beliefs. Astrologers using
Cosmobiology and Uranian/Hamburg Astrology work with many more minor aspects than were
used prior to 1970, i.e. multiples of 15° (15°, 75°, 105°, & 165°) and multiples of 22.5° (22.5°,
67.5°, 112.5°, & 157.5°).
The sextile and quincunx are considered as the 'border' aspects in-between major and minor ones.
Most of the astrologers consider the sextile (60°) as major aspect, while quite a noticeable group
uses the quincunx aspect (150°) as major, only a very small minority considers the semi-sextile
(30°) as a major aspect. All major aspects, along with these three 'border' aspects, are called the
'Ptolemaic aspects'.
Quincunx — intermediate major/minor aspect
The quincunx (or inconjunct, abrv. Inc) is an angle of 150°, which is five-twelfths of the
360° ecliptic. A separation of 150±2° is considered a quincunx. The quincunx is said to be of
moderate but somewhat unpredictable influence, bringing strain. It indicates difficulty and stress,
due to incompatible elements being forced together. It can mean an area of self neglect in a person's
life (especially health), or obligations being forced on a person. This aspect is also sometimes called
the inconjunct, though this usage is technically incorrect.
Semi-square
The semi-square (abrv. SSq) is an angle of 45° (1/2 of a square [90°]). A separation of
45±2° is considered a semisquare. This aspect is considered a weaker version of the square and
indicates somewhat difficult circumstance. It is sometimes known as the octile or semiquartile.
Sesquiquadrate
The sesquiquadrate (abrv. Ses) is an angle of 135° (a square [90°] + a semisquare [45°]). A
separation of 135±2° is considered a sesquiquadrate; it indicates somewhat stressful conditions. it is
considered similar in influence to the semisquare. The sesquiquadrate is sometimes called a
sesquisquare, square-and-a-half, quartile-and-a-half, and/or trioctile.
Semi-sextile
The semi-sextile (abrv. SSx) is an angle of 30° (1/2 of a sextile [60°]). A separation of
30±2° is considered a semisextile. This aspect signifies a weak strain connected with making
decisions, and indicates an area of life where a conscious effort to be positive will have to be made.
Alternate names include confinis and inconjunct.
Quintile
The quintile (abrv. QNt or Qui) is an angle of 72°, i.e. the angle for a regular pentagon. A
separation of 72±2° is considered a quintile. This aspect is considered somewhat similar to a
semisextile (moderately beneficial), but effort is not needed to reap its benefits. Indicates talent and
vaguely fortunate circumstances.
Biquintile
The biquintile (abrv. BQt or BQn) is an angle of 144° (a quintile [72°] x 2 = 144°). A
separation of 144±2° is considered a biquintile. This is considered similar to a quintile.
Ternary aspects
Additional aspects used, though not commonly, in astrology.
7th-harmonic aspects
These aspects are based on the division of the circle of the zodiac by seven.
Septile
The septile (abrv. Sep) is an angle of 51.428571°, or approximately 51°25'43", one-seventh of the
circle of the zodiac. It is supposed to be aspected to have irrational relations between its constituent
components but confer the hidden underlying nature and deeper destiny of them .
Biseptile
The biseptile (abrv. BSp) is an angle of 102.857143°, or approximately 102°51'26", 2/7 of the
zodiac circle. This aspect is considered the externalized septile.
Triseptile
The triseptile (abrv. TSp) is an angle of 154.285714°, or approximately 154°17'09", 3/7 of the
zodiac circle.
9th-harmonic aspects
These aspects are based on the division of the circle of the zodiac by nine.
Novile
The novile (abrv. Nov), also known as a nonagon, is an angle of 40°, one-ninth of the circle of the
zodiac. The novile is said to represent a constriction between the aspects that can be unlocked and
used as a catalyst to self-enhancement.
Binovile
The binovile (abrv. BNv) is an angle of 80°.
Quadnovile
The quadnovile (abrv. QNv), also known as a quadrinovile, is an angle of 160°.
10th-harmonic aspects
These aspects are based on the division of the circle of the zodiac by ten and are related to the 5th-
harmonic aspects (the quintile and biquintile).
Semi-quintile
The semiquintile (abrv. SQn), also known as a decile, is an angle of 36°, one-tenth of the circle of
the zodiac. This aspect is said to impart ability to help others .
Sesquiquintile
The sesquiquintile, or tridecile, is an angle of 108°, which is supposed to confer a social creativity
or the need for withdrawal and introspection needed for external originality. This aspect is also
known as the quintile-and-a-half.
Semi-decile
The semi-decile (abrv. SD), or vigintile, is an angle of 18°, one-twentieth of the circle of the zodiac,
or half a decile.
11th-harmonic aspects
These aspects are based on the division of the circle of the zodiac by eleven.
Undecim
The undecim (abrv. Und), also known as the undecimal, is one-eleventh of the zodiac circle or an
angle of 32.727272° (32°43'38"); in addition there are the biundecim (aka biundecimal, 65.454545°,
or 65°27'16"), the triundecim (aka triundecimal, 98.181816°, or 98°10'55"), the quadriundecim (aka
quadriundecimal, 130.90909°, or 130°54'33") and the quinqueundecim (aka quinqueundecimal,
163.636363°, or 163°38'11"), representing, respectively, two-elevenths, three-elevenths, four-
elevenths, and five-elevenths of the zodiac circle. The undecim is said to be associated with social
consciousness and the ability to reach beyond oneself for help.
14th-harmonic aspects
These aspects are based on the division of the zodiac by fourteen and are related to the 7th-
harmonic aspects (septile, biseptile and triseptile). They are said to have a sense of empowerment
about them arising from the correct use of structure.
Semiseptile
The semiseptile (which has also been called quattuordecimal, from the Latin word for fourteen,
quattuordecim) is an angle of 25.714286° (or, in degree-minute-second format, 25°42'51"), one-
fourteenth of the circle of the zodiac, or half a septile. It is said to have to do with giving up what
one has completed in order to move on to the next cycle of activity.
Tresemiseptile
The tresemiseptile, also known as the sesquiseptile, is an angle of 77.142858° (77°08'34"), three-
fourteenths of the circle of the zodiac.
Quinsemiseptile
The quinsemiseptile is an angle of 128.57143° (128°34'17"), , five-fourteenths of the circle of the
zodiac.
16th-harmonic aspects
These aspects are based on the division of the circle of the zodiac by sixteen and are related to the
8th-harmonic aspects (semisquare and sesquiquadrate). All are considered "hard" or "stress"
aspects. Many Uranian astrologers use only the semioctile and its multiple aspects, including the
sesquioctile, quasquiquadrate (112.5°, or 112°30'), and septemsedecimal (157.5°, or 157°30')
claiming that they are not "minor."
Semioctile
The semioctile is an angle of 22.5° (22°30'), one-sixteenth of the circle of the zodiac.
Sesquioctile
The sesquioctile is an angle of 67.5° (67°30'), or three-sixteenths of the zodiac circle, or a
semisquare (octile) and a half.
24th-harmonic aspects
These aspects are based on the division of the circle of the zodiac by twenty-four. Some Hamburg
School astrologers consider multiples of the quattuorvigintile, including the squile, squine, and
quindecile, aspects.
Quattuorvigintile
The quattuorvigintile is an angle of 15°, one-24th of the zodiac circle.
Squile
The squile is an angle of 75°, 5/24 of the zodiac circle, considered a hybrid between a square and a
sextile.
Squine
The squine is an angle of 105°, 7/24 of the zodiac circle, considered a hybrid between a square and
a trine.
Quindecile
The quindecile (also known as the johndro or contraquindecile) is an angle of 165°. It is supposed
to be associated with an unrelenting headstrong determination, with disruption and upheaval.
Declinations
The parallel and antiparallel (or contraparallel) are two other aspects, which refer to degrees of
declination above or below the ecliptic. They are considered strong influences, though not much
research has gone into studying these particular aspects.
• Parallel: same degree± 1-degree 12-minutes of arc. This is similar to a conjunction, but
usually provides benefits.
• Contraparallel: opposite degree± 1-degree 12-minute of arc. Said to be similar to the
opposition, but weaker.
Katarche
Katarche is an ancient Greek word meaning a "beginning" or "inception."
One of the older applications of the term was within the context of religious rituals to refer to the
moment when the sacrifice was first offered, or when the beginning or inception of the sacrifice
took place. (See Homer, Odyssey, chapter III.)
The main application of the term "katarche" in the Hellenistic and Roman period was to the branch
of astrology now called electional astrology, or the art of choosing an auspicious time to begin a
venture or an enterprise. Also included in this practice were techniques for analyzing an astrological
chart drawn up for the beginning moment of an event that had already taken place, in order to
foretell the likely success of a venture, or the timing of its development.
Recently, in the late 20th century, some astrologers began to extend the use of the word katarche to
interrogations or horary astrology, where a chart is cast for the moment that a question is posed to
an astrologer. According to this modern interpretation there is a fluid connection between the
notions of electional and horary astrology. This view, which is primarily advocated by Geoffrey
Cornelius, is that the origins of the concept and core meaning of the term katarche lie in the ritual,
sacrificial and divinitory connotations of the term, and that the later application of the term in the
Hellenistic and Roman periods strictly to elections and inceptions were a result of some sort of
decay in the understanding of the term.
Horizon
The horizon (Ancient Greek ρίζων ὁ ὁ , /ho horídzôn/, from ρίζειν ὁ , "to limit") is the apparent line
that separates earth from sky.
It is the line that divides all visible directions into two categories: those that intersect the Earth's
surface, and those that do not. At many locations, the true horizon is obscured by trees, buildings,
mountains, etc.,and the resulting intersection of earth and sky is called the visible horizon. When
looking at a sea from a shore, the part of the sea closest to the horizon is called the offing.
Appearance and usage
Historically, the distance to the visible horizon at sea has been extremely important as it represented
the maximum range of communication and vision before the development of the radio and the
telegraph. Even today, when flying an aircraft under Visual Flight Rules, a technique called attitude
flying is used to control the aircraft, where the pilot uses the visual relationship between the
aircraft's nose and the horizon to control the aircraft. A pilot can also retain his or her spatial
orientation by referring to the horizon.
In many contexts, especially perspective drawing, the curvature of the earth is typically disregarded
and the horizon is considered the theoretical line to which points on any horizontal plane converge
(when projected onto the picture plane) as their distance from the observer increases. For observers
near the ground the difference between this geometrical horizon (which assumes a perfectly flat,
infinite ground plane) and the true horizon (which assumes a spherical Earth surface) is typically
imperceptibly small.
In astronomy the horizon is the horizontal plane through (the eyes of) the observer. It is the
fundamental plane of the horizontal coordinate system, the locus of points that have an altitude of
zero degrees. While similar in ways to the geometrical horizon, in this context a horizon may be
considered to be a plane in space, rather than a line on a picture plane.heyy
Distance to the horizon

Three types of horizon.

Approximate formulas
In SI units, the straight line of sight distance d in kilometers to the true horizon on earth is
approximately
where h is the height above ground or sea level (in meters) of the eye of the observer. Examples:
• For an observer standing on the ground with h = 1.70 m (average eye-level height), the
horizon is at a distance of 4.7 km.
• For an observer standing on a hill or tower of 100 m in height, the horizon is at a distance of
36 km.
For Imperial units, 13 is replaced by 1.5, h is in feet and d is in miles. Thus:
Examples:
• For observers on the ground with eye-level at h = 5 ft 7 in (5.583 ft), the horizon is at a
distance of 2.89 miles.
• For observers standing on a hill or tower 100 ft in height, the horizon is at a distance of
12.25 miles.
These formulas may be used when h is much smaller than the radius of the Earth (6371 km),
including all views from any mountaintops, airplanes, or high-altitude balloons. The metric formula
is accurate to about 1%; the imperial one is more accurate still.
More exact formula
A more exact formula for distance from the viewpoint to the horizon, applicable even for satellites,
is

where R is the radius of the Earth (R and h must be in the same units). This formula follows directly
from the Pythagorean Theorem (a right triangle can be drawn with vertices at the center of the
Earth, your eyes, and the point on the horizon. If h is in meters, h < < R and R is about 6378 km,
then the distance in kilometers will be approximately .
This formula is not exact since it assume a constant earth radius.
Another relationship involves the arc length distance s along the curved surface of the Earth to the
bottom of object:

Solving for s gives the formula

The distances d and s are nearly the same when the height of the object is negligible compared to
the radius (that is, h<<R).
Optical adjustments and objects above the horizon
To compute the height of an object visible above the horizon, compute the distance-to-horizon for a
hypothetical observer on top of that object, and add it to the real observer's distance-to-horizon. For
example, standing on the ground with h = 1.70 m, the horizon is 4.65 km away. For a tower with a
height of 100 m, the horizon distance is 35.7 km. Thus an observer on a beach can see the tower as
long as it is not more than 40.35 km away. Conversely, if an observer on a boat (h = 1.7 m) can just
see the tops of trees on a nearby shore (h = 10 m), they are probably about 16 km away.
Note that the actual visual horizon is slightly farther away than the calculated visual horizon, due to
the atmospheric refraction of light rays. This effect can be taken into account by using a "virtual
radius" that is typically about 20% larger than the true radius of the Earth.
Curvature of the horizon
From a point above the surface the horizon appears slightly bent. There is a basic geometrical
relationship between this visual curvature κ, the altitude and the Earth's radius. It is

The curvature is the reciprocal of the curvature angular radius in radians. A curvature of 1 appears
as a circle of an angular radius of 45° corresponding to an altitude of approximately 2640 km above
the Earth's surface. At an altitude of 10 km (33,000 ft, the typical cruising altitude of an airliner) the
mathematical curvature of the horizon is about 0.056, the same curvature of the rim of circle with a
radius of 10 m that is viewed from 56 cm. However, the apparent curvature is less than that due to
refraction of light in the atmosphere and because the horizon is often masked by high cloud layers
that reduce the altitude above the visual surface.
Descendant (astrology)

The descendant is directly across from the ascendant (As) in the chart, in the three o'clock position
In astrology, the descendant is the point directly opposite, or 180 degrees away from the ascendant.
The descendant forms the cusp of the seventh house of the horoscope and refers to partners or
relationships. The descendant is ruled by the seventh sign of the zodiac, Libra, and its ruler planet,
Venus. The sign the seventh house is in is, for astrologers, the sign of people you are the most
attracted by, you easily get along well with and you are most likely to start a love relationship with,
if backed up by other zodiacal aspects.
Nadir

Diagram showing the relationship between the Zenith, the Nadir, and different types of Horizon.
Note how the Nadir is opposite the Zenith.
The nadir (from Arabic ريظن nathir, "opposite") is the direction pointing directly below a
particular location (perpendicular, orthogonal). Since the concept of being below is itself somewhat
vague, scientists define the nadir in more rigorous terms. Specifically, in astronomy, geophysics and
related sciences (e.g., meteorology), the nadir at a given point is the local vertical direction pointing
in the direction of the force of gravity at that location. The direction opposite of the nadir is the
zenith.
Nadir also refers to the downward-facing viewing geometry of an orbiting satellite, such as is
employed during remote sensing of the atmosphere, as well as when an astronaut faces the Earth
while performing an EVA.

This diagram depicts a satellite observing backscattered sunlight in the nadir viewing geometry.
The word is also used figuratively to mean the lowest point of a person's spirits.
Zenith
For other uses, see Zenith (disambiguation).

Diagram showing the relationship between the Zenith, the Nadir, and different types of Horizon.
Note that the Zenith is opposite the Nadir.
In general terms, the zenith is the direction pointing directly "above" a particular location
(perpendicular, orthogonal). The concept of "above" is more specifically defined in astronomy,
geophysics and related sciences (e.g., meteorology) as the vertical direction opposite to the force of
gravity at a given location. The opposite direction, i.e. the direction of the gravitational force is
called the nadir. The term zenith is also used to represent the highest point reached by a celestial
body during its apparent orbit around a given point of observation. This sense of the word is often
used to describe the location of the Sun, but it is only technically accurate for one latitude at a time
and impossible for latitudes outside the tropics.
Strictly speaking, the zenith is only approximately contained in the local meridian plane because the
latter is defined in terms of the rotational characteristics of the celestial body, not in terms of its
gravitational field. The two coincide only for a perfectly rotationally symmetric body. On Earth, the
axis of rotation is not fixed with respect to the planet (for example due to constant displacements of
its fluid components) so that the local vertical direction, as defined by the gravity field, is itself
changing direction in time (for instance due to lunar and solar tides).
Origin
The word zenith derives from the inaccurate reading of the Arabic word Zeenath as samt ('beauty of
the direction/path'), pronounced sent, by scribes in the Middle Ages (during the 14th century), in the
expression samt arrâs ('path above the head'). The Arabic word for Zenith is Zawâl, meaning
"decline", that is, when the sun ceases to rise and starts to decline.
Relevance and Use

Only between the tropics is it possible for the Sun to be at the zenith.
The zenith is used in the following scientific contexts:
• It serves as the direction of reference for measuring the zenith angle, which is the angular
distance between a direction of interest (e.g., a star) and the local zenith, relative to the point
for which the zenith is defined.
• It defines one of the axes of the horizontal coordinate system in astronomy.
Lunar node
"Dragon's Tail" redirects here. For the Dragon's Tail stretch of road in North Carolina, see Deals
Gap, North Carolina.

The lunar nodes are the points where the moon's path in the sky crosses the ecliptic, the sun's path
in the sky
The lunar nodes are the orbital nodes of the Moon, that is, the points where the orbit of the Moon
crosses the ecliptic (which is the apparent path of the Sun across the heavens against the
background stars). The ascending node is where the moon crosses to the north of the ecliptic. The
descending node is where it crosses to the south.
Eclipses occur only near the lunar nodes: Solar eclipses occur when the passage of the Moon
through a node coincides with the new moon; lunar eclipses occur when it coincides with the full
moon. The Moon's distance to the nodes will be less than about 1.5°.
The lunar nodes precess rather quickly around the ecliptic, completing a revolution (called a
draconitic or nodical period, the period of nutation) in 6793.5 days or 18.5996 years (note that this
is not the saros eclipse cycle).
Names and symbols
The nodes are called by different names in different areas of the world.
Since the ascending node is the point of intersection between the ecliptic and the plane of the lunar
orbit where the Moon is ascending from the South to the North, it is sometimes called the North
node. In ancient European texts, it is referred to as the dragon's head (Caput Draconis, or
Anabibazon). The symbol of the ascending node is , the astronomical and astrological symbol for
the Dragon's head. Similarly the descending node is the point where the Moon is descending from
North to South, and is sometimes referred to as South node. It is also known as the dragon's tail
(Cauda Draconis, or Catabibazon), and its symbol is the inversion of that of the ascending node:
. Note that the so-called North node may in fact lie South of the South node in the course of the
nodal cycle.
In Hindu astronomy, the ascending node is called Rahu and the descending node is called Ketu.
Extreme declinations
The lunar orbit is inclined by about 5 degrees on the ecliptic: hence the Moon can be up to about 5
degrees North of the ecliptic, and as much South of the ecliptic. The ecliptic is inclined by about
23.4° on the celestial equator, the plane that is perpendicular to the rotation axis of the Earth. As a
consequence, once during the 18.6-year nodal period, when the ascending node of the Moon's orbit
coincides with the vernal equinox, then the Moon reaches extreme northern and southern
declinations. Then it also has its extreme northern and southern azimuth points of rising and setting
on the horizon; its extreme lowest and highest altitude when crossing the meridian; and potentially
extreme late first sightings of the new moon. Furthermore, occultations by the Moon of the bright
star group the Pleiades, which are over 4° North of the ecliptic, occur during a comparatively brief
period once every nodal period.
Astrological significance
The lunar nodes are of major astrological significance in Vedic astrology, and are considered to a
limited degree in Western astrology. Usually only the north node is marked in horoscopes, as the
south node is by definition always located at the opposite point in the astrological chart. In Vedic
Astrology, the north node is called Rahu and the south node Ketu, and both are marked in the chart.
Their significance can vary widely between approaches. In general, the north node is viewed a point
of opportunity for growth and development and self help, while the south node is thought to
represent karmic repression or tendencies that restrict growth. The north node carries the positive
and beneficial tone of Jupiter, while the south node expresses the restrictions and obstacles of
Saturn. Another view is that the north node represents positive objectives and the south node
denotes the easy way out with little opportunity for growth. The two nodes together are most
commonly referred to simply as the nodal axis, the lunar nodes, or the moon's nodes.
In Vedic astrology, Rahu (north node) is considered to be similar to Saturn, and Ketu similar to
Mars. Rahu signified materialism and desires, whereas Ketu signifies obstacles in the material
realm but spiritual tendencies.
However when in conjunction with other planets both Rahu and Ketu are known to give malefic
results in material life e.g Conjuction of Rahu or Ketu with Venus is bad for marrital life,
conjunction with moon is harmful for health of a native or his/her mother and /or mental wellbeing
of either of them.
Prime vertical
In astronomy and astrology, the prime vertical is the vertical circle passing east and west through
the zenith, and intersecting the horizon in its east and west points.
Angle (astrology)
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The angles are the four Cardinal points of an astrological chart: the Ascendant, the Midheaven, the
Descendant and the Imum Coeli.
The astrological chart is a schematic representation of the sky at any given moment of time,
projected upon the ecliptic--or the apparent path of the Sun as seen from the Earth--which forms the
circle in which the chart is enclosed. The longitudinal positions of the planets are plotted onto this
circle, because the planets (except Pluto) and many stars, lie very close to the Sun's path in celestial
latitude.
How this map of the sky is seen from the Earth is determined by where the horizon is at the time for
which the chart is cast. The horizon forms the boundary between what can be seen, or the visible
sky, and sky which exists on the opposite side of the earth, which exists at the same time and space,
but cannot be seen.
The line of the horizon cuts across the circle of the chart horizontally, and forms the most important
angle of the chart: the Ascendant, or the exact place where the Sun's path crosses the horizon in the
East. It is at this point that all planets and many stars appears to rise up out of what cannot be seen
and become apparent to the observer. This is because the Earth's daily rotation reveals sky objects
from East to West, and makes them appear to be moving from the eastern horizon across the sky to
the western horizon, where they disappear again to the observer, dipping down again to the unseen
sky. The western horizon, where the Sun's path meets the horizon in the West, is called the
Descendant.
The other very important angle of the chart is the Midheaven (also called the M.C. for the Latin
Medium coeli, or "middle of the sky.") The Midheaven represents the highest point in the sky
reached by the Sun, or its culmination, as it crosses from one horizon to the other--the noon point in
a chart which is plotted for dawn. At the Earth's equator, it is the point on the ecliptic which is
directly overhead from the observer; as the observer moves north or south from the Equator, the
midheaven appears to withdraw, so that from points north of the equator, the noon point of the Sun
appears lies in the southern sky, and south of the equator, it appears in the northern sky.
The point opposite the Midheaven, which is in the unseen sky, and would be the midnight point in a
chart cast for dawn, is the anticulmination of the Sun, or the Imum Coeli, which is Latin for the
"bottom of the sky." This is the last of the four angles.
The angles are crucial to the understanding of the meaning of the sky map to the individual or event
for which it was cast. There are no more individual points in chart. Much has been made by
astrologers (deriving from the Theosophical tradition that is closely linked to much of modern
astrological practice) of the quality of "coming into being" that they represent, as they represent
going from the unseen to the seen. Since Theosophical astrology was tied to the idea of manifesting
from the spiritual to the bodily form, the angles have come to symbolize this connection. However,
even if this theory is discounted, as Bernadette Brady has noted, to all ancient peoples, the horizon
was the place where the gods came into contact with the earth and became available to human
supplication. Without this connection, the spiritual realm and the world had nothing to do with one
another, and for that reason, astrology, which seeks to communicate between the two spheres, must
use this place of connection to derive significance for the world from the sky.
For delineation of each of the angles, see:
• Ascendant
• Accidental Ascendant
• Equatorial Ascendant
• Midheaven
• Descendant
• Imum Coeli
• Angular house
• Succedent house
• Cadent house
Ascendant

The ascendant in this example is marked As and is usually in the nine o'clock position of the
horoscope
The ascendant ( or As), 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. According to astrological theory,
celestial phenomena reflect or determine human activity on the principle of 'as above so below'.
Thus astrologers believe that the ascendant signifies a person's awakening consciousness, in the
same way that the Sun's appearance on the eastern horizon signifies the dawn of a new day.
Because the ascendant is specific to a particular time and place, it signifies the individual
environment and conditioning that a person receives during their upbringing, and also the
circumstances of their childhood. For this reason, the ascendant is also concerned with how a
person has learned to present him or herself to the world, especially in public and in impersonal
situations. In some circumstances, it can therefore function as a shield or mask to guard a person's
real nature - in other words the 'defense mechanism' every person has to cope with unfamiliar or
uncomfortable situations. The ascendant also has a strong bearing on a person's physical appearance
and overall health.
The Ascendant is thus considered to be of great significance in all schools of astrology because it in
effect serves as the filter through which everything in a horoscope- including the Sun and Moon- is
expressed. Most astrologers believe that the Rising Sign exerts an influence equal to or more
powerful than the Sun and Moon. In Jyotish, the ascendant is without question the most individual
and defining element in the chart.
Relation to the first house
Astronomically, the ascendant of a given geographic location at a particular point in time is the
angle on the zodiac which is ascending over the Eastern horizon.{It is also defined as the point of
intersection of the ecliptic (the Sun's path) with the eastern horizon of the location}. There are
exactly 30 degrees per astrological sign, and because 12 multiplied by 30° equals 360° which is the
span of the ecliptic, all twelve signs rise and fall during the course of one 24-hour day. This exact
rising degree forms the first house cusp {midpoint - BHAVA MADHYA of the first house (or)
LAGNA in Vedic Astrology} of a horoscope and is therefore said to be of great significance in the
interpretation.
Since the ascendant usually forms the cusp of the first house in a modern horoscope many
astrologers believe that it naturally corresponds to Aries, the first astrological sign of the zodiac, but
these assumptions were not always made. Ancient astrologers used whole-sign house systems
almost exclusively, which meant that each house of the chart began at 0 degrees of each sign. The
first house was the one in which the point of the ascendant fell, but the ascendant itself did not form
the boundary of the house.
Secondly, the concept of each house having a correspondence to a zodiacal sign, which is
sometimes called natural houses or the natural zodiac, is a modern one. In the original formulations
of astrology, Mars, which rules Aries, the first sign, actually was most at home and most powerful
in the sixth house, not the first. Some astrologers, nowadays, think that the ascendant could
correspond to other signs besides Aries.
Calculation
where A = local sidereal time in degrees
E = inclination of Earth's equatorial plane to the ecliptic or obliquity of the ecliptic. For values
referred to the standard equinox J2000.0 use 23.4392911°, for J1950.0 use 23.4457889°.
L = local latitude (Southern latitudes are negative, Northern positive)
Long and short ascension
Because the Earth's axis (see axial tilt) is tilted relative to the ecliptic, the twelve signs do not take
the same amount of time to cross the eastern horizon. At the equator, there is very little difference
(Pisces, Aries, Virgo and Libra take slightly less time than the other signs) but as one moves from
the equator, larger and larger differences emerge.
In the northern hemisphere, the signs of Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus and Gemini take much less
time than the theoretical two hours to cross the eastern horizon, whilst the signs of Cancer, Leo,
Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius take much longer than two hours to do so. For example, at the
latitude of Paris, France:
• Pisces, Aries and Gemini take only about fifty-five minutes to cross the eastern horizon (this
is referred to as the length of ascension or simply as the sign's ascension)
• Aquarius and Taurus have an ascension of only about seventy minutes
• Cancer and Sagittarius have an ascension of around two and a half hours
• Leo, Virgo, Libra and Scorpio have ascensions of around two hours and forty-five minutes
At higher latitudes, these differences become even more marked. At the latitude of St. Petersburg,
Russia:
• Pisces and Aries ascend in only thirty minutes
• Aquarius and Taurus ascend in only forty-five minutes
• Capricorn and Gemini ascend in an hour and a half
• actually individual degrees near Sagittarius or Cancer ascend twice as slowly as
those near Aquarius or Taurus
• Sagittarius and Cancer ascend in two hours and forty minutes
• Leo, Virgo, Libra and Scorpio take as much as three hours and fifteen minutes to ascend
Astrologers consider the differences between the rate at which the signs ascend to be of importance.
In many house systems, houses can become very large when they cover Aquarius, Pisces, Aries and
Taurus because these signs are seen to be much smaller from the perspective of a northern
hemisphere observer.
Some astrologers, such as Richard Nolle, consider the preponderance of Ascendants in signs from
Cancer through Sagittarius (known as the western signs) to be symbolic of the highly relationship-
oriented character inherent in a complex or civilized society as found today in the northern
hemisphere but never developed in equatorial or south temperate latitudes where eastern (Capricorn
through Gemini), individual-oriented Ascendants are equally or more common (Richard Nolle,
Chiron: New Planet in the Horoscope, pages 78 to 82).
In the southern hemisphere, long and short ascension are reversed. For instance, at the latitude of
Concepción, Chile:
• Pisces and Aries ascend in two hours twenty minutes
• Aquarius and Taurus ascend in two and a half hours (see note about ascension in low
latitudes above)
• Capricorn and Gemini ascend in two hours twenty minutes
• Sagittarius and Cancer ascend in almost exactly two hours
• Scorpio and Leo ascend in about ninety minutes
• Libra and Virgo ascend in about seventy-five minutes
Ascendant in Polar Regions
As we move closer to the polar regions the time lengths of long and short ascensions become more
extreme.
At the Arctic circle at 66.56° north, at local sidereal time 18h 00m 00s, when 0° Capricorn is on the
midheaven the ecliptic become flush with the horizon with the ascendant effectively subsumed into
the horizon circle in it entirety. That is, the intersection of the ecliptic with the horizon that defines
the ascendant ceases to exist, eliminating all houses at that instant. There are no signs that are rising
or setting. There is no ascendant or descendant. The spherical geometry that generates them fails
and "zeros" them out of existence.
In the instant after this, as diurnal motion continues, the ecliptic “lifts” from the horizon and the
ascendant resumes its identity providing space for the resumption of the intermediate houses.
As we move beyond the Arctic Circle most house systems break down and are inoperable for parts
of the day. Ever-increasing sections of the ecliptic remain permanently below and above the horizon
and can not be ascendants. For example, at 75° latitude Sagittarius, Capricorn and parts of Scorpio
and Aquarius are permanently below the horizon while Gemini, Cancer and parts of Taurus and Leo
and are permanently above the horizon. These can never be ascendants.
Furthermore the ascendant exhibits other strange behaviour. At latitude 75 at sidereal time 21h 20m
00s the midheaven and ascendant merge and become conjunct confounding their separate
definitions! In this instance all intermediate houses are zeroed out except for house 12 and 6. In the
instant after this the ascendant crosses over the meridian to the west and instantaneously becomes
the descendant, but with its degrees rising instead of setting , while the descendant crosses the
meridian to the east and becomes an ascendant with its degree setting rather than rising. That is the
ascendant is goes retrograde! This continues until the ascendant once again crosses the meridian
whereupon they flip back resuming their conventional identities – until local sidereal time 2h 25m
00s when the situation flips again with all houses but 1 and 7 “zeroed” out.
As we reach the north pole itself more of the ecliptic is unavailable for rising and setting until at the
precise position of the north geographic pole half of the zodiac - Aries to Virgo - is permanently
above the horizon while the other half - Libra to Pisces are permanently below the horizon. That is,
the first degrees of Aries and Libra permanently ride around on the horizon due to diurnal motion -
never rising nor setting. At the north pole there can be no midheaven. Every direction away from
you is south, so every direction is a midheaven rending the midheaven meaningless by definition.
Polar astrology raises questions about the validity or nature of houses in general and personality
delineations are limited by which sign can rise and rulerships become almost impossible to apply.
Effects of Polar Astrology
There are more than 4 million people living in the Arctic region of which 12% are of indigenous
birth (have charts). So the problem for astrology is not trivial. Many of them will have houses
missing or no houses in the their charts. Yet they must live lives that accommodate the matters
ascribed to astrological houses such as "finances", "relationships", "health" etc that can be missing
in their horoscopes. Ascendants of births in this region can be characterized by the proportion of
ascendants that only can rise. This furthermore restricts personalty delineations.
Murmansk at 68.97° north is in this astrological problem zone. With a population of 300,000 and
annual birth rate of 9.8/1000 there is a substantial portion of the population that falls into the zone
of missing houses and rising signs.
On the other hand one could dispense with houses or even signs all together. As with the method of
Cosmobiology, signs and houses are either ignored or relegated as incidental. Along with planets,
their mutual aspects and aspects to the ascendant and midheaven, as well as their midpoints there
are still plenty of factors that incorporates a unique moment of birth for a comprehensive
delineation while avoiding the polar “crash” of classical house systems and signs.
It's obvious that the familiar house systems of classical astrology were invented in the non-problem
mid latitudes in an era when population centres were more parochial. The house-system inventors
were mathematically competent astrologers and they must have been aware of the polar problem but
likely considered it irrelevant as they may have never had to cast a polar chart.
Effects of the Ascendant
There are a couple of factors that influence how strong or weak a force in the chart the ascendant
may be. Firstly, it is generally believed that the closer towards the beginning of the sign the
ascendant falls, the stronger it will be. This is because most of the first house will fall into that sign.
If the ascendant falls late in a sign, most of the first house will fall into the following sign, and thus
weaken the effect of the ascendant's power. In addition the ascendant is thought to be stronger in
influence when the sun is in a weak position in the chart. For example, it is traditionally believed
that the sun is in a weaker position when it is placed at the bottom of the chart, near the immum
coeli or IC. This is because the sun was literally on the other side of the earth when the subject was
born, hidden from view. The sun may also be weaker in influence if it is unaspected, in other words
if it forms no strong aspects or connections to the other planets.
Another factor concerning the effect of the ascendant is the theory that people become more like
their sun sign after around 30 years old, as they grow older and more confident and thus have less
of a need to present a public face to others. It is also theorised that when the progressed ascendant
moves into the following sign, it weakens the influence of the natal ascendant.
Planets and the ascendant
Planets can assume added importance in the birth chart due to their relationship to the ascendant.
The planet that rules the astrological sign of the ascendant is called the chart ruler, and is said to be
of particular importance. So for example, if the ascendant sign is Libra, Venus will be the chart
ruler, and so 'set the tone' for the chart in many ways. In addition, the planet nearest the ascendant in
the first house is usually called the rising planet and has a particular importance in the chart.
However, if a planet in the twelfth house is very close (within one or two degrees) to the ascendant,
then it can be taken to be the rising planet instead. If a planet is actually in conjunction with the
ascendant it then becomes vitally important in its effect on the personality, to the extent of being
almost as important as the sun in some cases. Finally, any planets in the first house will always have
an added emphasis to them.
Ascendants in the zodiac signs
The effect of the ascendant varies according to the zodiac sign in which it is placed.
Ascendant fire signs
The fire signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are noted for their energy, enthusiasm and optimism.
When a fire sign is on the ascendant the outer manner is friendly, uncritical and non-hostile, which
makes such people good mixers and public relations executives. They typically send out friendly,
but professionally competent signals which draw out a friendly and rather respectful response from
others. Aries rising gives out a well-organized, slightly military bearing which makes them fit for
any kind of military or civil service organization. Leo rising subjects have a dignified and rather
formal manner which inspires confidence; while Sagittarius risers have a cheerful, pleasant and
rather witty outer manner which suits all kinds of teaching, training and public speaking situations.
Ascendant earth signs
The earth signs of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are noted for their practicality and security. When
an earth sign is on the ascendant the outer manner is shy, serious and cautious. Taurus risers are the
most sociable of the three and are often musical or artistic. Virgo risers look for mental stimulation
in others, while Capricorn risers enjoy both work and social pursuits. People with these ascendants
send out signals which are pleasant and tactful suggesting that they prefer to form part of a team - at
least to begin with - than to push themselves immediately to the front.
Ascendant air signs
The air signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius are noted for their communication skills. When an air
sign is on the ascendant the subject is friendly and sociable, but also independent and somewhat
detached. The Gemini riser is constantly busy, fully engaged in a kind of juggling act, with at least a
dozen activities on the go at any one time. The Libra riser occupies him or herself with business
schemes which often need the aid of a more earthy partner to make them come into fruition. The
Aquarius riser makes wonderful plans for himself and others and may even carry some of them out.
Those with ascendant air signs can sometimes appear arrogant and offensive if threatened or caught
off guard, but will rush to the aid of anyone who is genuinely in need. They send out rather
superior, macho or businesslike signals which command the respect of others.
Ascendant water signs
The water signs of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are noted for their emotion, intuition and feeling.
When a water sign is on the ascendant the subject will hide their true feelings and have a strong
need to protect themselves from the world around them. What you see is often not what you get
with water ascendants. In other words, the signals they send out are consciously or unconsciously
chosen for effect. Cancerians appear chatty and helpful and they do well in any situation that
requires tact. Scorpio risers can use many different forms of camouflage with people they do not
know, one of their favourites being offensiveness and an off-putting manner. Pisces risers appear
soft, gentle, self-sacrificing and sometimes even helpless, but this is misleading, as they will fight
strongly for what they think is right.
Accidental ascendant
In Horary astrology, an accidental ascendant is determined according to the time and date of the
question that is being asked, and the querent's is rotated to the point where the Ascendant of the
native's horoscope becomes the sign and degree of the Ascendant of the question. This enables the
astrologer to answer the question and predict trends by combining the influences of the horoscope
for both the native and the question. The accidental Ascendent was used by Evangeline Adams in
her horary interpretative technique.
Equatorial ascendant
In astrology, the Equatorial Ascendant, or the East Point, is the sign and degree rising over the
Eastern Horizon at the Earth's equator at any given time. It is the point where the Earth's equator
intersects the ecliptic.
Midheaven
According to modern astrologers, the Midheaven ( ) or Medium Coeli is the zenith of a path in
the sky traced by the point of intersection between the ecliptic and the Meridian (a line of longitude)
of a certain terrestrial location. Although the actual point of intersection moves back towards the
horizon (to the south in the northern hemisphere) with the Earth's rotation, the Midheaven is fixed
as the highest point in the horizon any planet can reach at that location.
According to Ptolemy, the Medium Coeli is the point which is upper square from ascendant, eg.
zenith by modern astronomy vocabulary.
Calculation
tan B = tan(A).sec(w)
where B = midheaven,
A = local sidereal time in degrees,
w = inclination of Earth's equatorial plane to the ecliptic or obliquity of the ecliptic. For values
referred to the standard equinox J2000.0 use 23.4392911°, for J1950.0 use 23.4457889°.
In astrology
The Midheaven is one of the most important angles in the birth chart. It traditionally indicates
career, status, aim in life, aspirations, public reputation, and our life goal.
In the Alcabitius, Placidus, Koch, Campanus, Regiomontanus, Meridian and Krusinski house
system, the local meridian passing through Midheaven forms the cusp of the 10th house. In the
equal house system Midheaven can be found in the 9th, 10th or 11th house. The other end of this
axis, 'beneath' the earth, is the point known as the IC or Imum Coeli.
Whilst the Midheaven is traditionally thought of as indicating a goal in terms of career or working
life, it is not confined to this type of goal, and can indicate very personal or spiritual goals as well.
The individual will identify with and admire the qualities of the astrological sign on the Midheaven.
The sign on the cusp of the Midheaven quite often indicates what kind of career, vocation, or
reputation in life the native will pursue. It also reflects how an individual reacts to stressful
situations.
The Midheaven quite often refers to a parent, quite often the mother, but sometimes the father. The
other parent is sometimes represented by the angle at the opposite end, the Imum Coeli, or IC.
Combinations of Ascendant and Midheaven signs
Because of the obliquity of the Earth's axis relative to the ecliptic, away from the equator some
signs take much longer to cross the eastern horizon than do others. In the northern hemisphere, the
signs from Cancer through Sagittarius take longer to ascend than the signs from Capricorn through
Gemini, whilst in the southern hemisphere the reverse is the case.
However, the Midheaven sign for a given sidereal time will remain the same regardless of the
latitude of the location for which the chart is cast. This means that, for different latitudes, a different
sign can be ascending for the same Midheaven sign. For equatorial latitudes, the sign on the
Midheaven will generally be three signs before the sign on the Ascendant, but at very high latitudes
this can vary between one sign before and five signs before the sign on the Ascendant. The greatest
separations between Ascendant and Midheaven occur when short ascension signs (Aquarius, Pisces,
Aries) are on the Midheaven, and the smallest when long ascension signs (Virgo, Libra, Scorpio)
are on the Midheaven.
Ascendant
sign
Midheaven signs for
middle northern latitudes
Midheaven signs for high
northern latitudes
Midheaven signs for
southern latitudes
Aries Capricorn Capricorn Capricorn, Aquarius
Taurus Capricorn, Aquarius Capricorn Aquarius, Pisces
Gemini Aquarius, Pisces Capricorn, Aquarius Pisces, Aries
Cancer Pisces, Aries Aquarius, Pisces Aries, Taurus
Leo Aries, Taurus Pisces, Aries, Taurus Taurus, Gemini
Virgo Taurus, Gemini Taurus, Gemini Gemini
Libra Cancer, Leo Cancer, Leo Cancer
Scorpio Leo, Virgo Leo, Virgo, Libra Cancer, Leo
Sagittarius Virgo, Libra Libra, Scorpio Leo, Virgo
Capricorn Libra, Scorpio Scorpio, Sagittarius Virgo, Libra
Aquarius Scorpio, Sagittarius Sagittarius Libra, Scorpio
Pisces Sagittarius Sagittarius Scorpio, Sagittarius
Imum coeli
In astrology, the Imum Coeli (Latin for "bottom of the sky"), IC, is the point in space where the
ecliptic crosses the meridian in the north, exactly opposite the Midheaven. It marks the fourth house
cusp in most house systems (this is reversed in the southern hemisphere).
Astrological significance
The Imum Coeli is said to refer to our roots and also to the least conscious part of ourselves. It
symbolizes foundations, beginnings in life, what may have been experienced through parental
inheritance and homeland influences, need for security and relationships with the home and family
life. It also may describe the circumstances that we will encounter at the end of our lives. Because
this house was the most distant point possible from the visible part of the horoscope, Hellenistic
astrologers considered the IC to be the home of the underworld, or Hades.
In many cases the IC refers to a parent — traditionally, the father. Modern astrologers may use the
IC as a significator for the mother, or for both parents. There is no consensus in modern usage for
which parent is best represented by the IC. The point is moot for Hellenistic astrologers who
considered the fourth house the house of the father, but did not use the Imum Coeli as the cusp of
the fourth house.
Using the natural houses system (see cadent houses) and modern quadrant house systems in which
the IC is the cusp of the fourth house, some modern astrologers see a correspondence between the
fourth house and the astrological sign Cancer. However, traditional astrologers, using whole-sign
houses, never made this connection.
In whole-sign house systems the signs and houses have the same boundaries; hence the Imum Coeli
can actually appear in the third house, the fourth house or fifth house; in cases of extreme terrestrial
latitude, it may even fall in the second or sixth houses.
Descendant (astrology)
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The descendant is directly across from the ascendant (As) in the chart, in the three o'clock position
In astrology, the descendant is the point directly opposite, or 180 degrees away from the ascendant.
The descendant forms the cusp of the seventh house of the horoscope and refers to partners or
relationships. The descendant is ruled by the seventh sign of the zodiac, Libra, and its ruler planet,
Venus. The sign the seventh house is in is, for astrologers, the sign of people you are the most
attracted by, you easily get along well with and you are most likely to start a love relationship with,
if backed up by other zodiacal aspects.
Angular house
In astrology, an angular house, or cardinal house, is one of four cardinal houses of the horoscope,
which are the houses in which the angles of the chart (the Ascendant, the Midheaven, the Imum
Coeli and the Descendant) are found. The angular houses of the horoscope are considered to be the
most ardent, or forceful, and are considered to have the greatest impact in the chart. The influential
17th-century astrology William Lilly states simply: "Planets in angles do more foribly show their
effects." Angular houses rule those critical things in our life, such as our appearance and how we
behave, our family life, our married life or partnerships, and our career.
First house
The first house, of which the cusp is often (but not always) the Ascendant, signifies the person in
the chart, his or her personality, and his or her behaviour. Quite often, the Ascendant can
overshadow a person's Sun sign. For example, a person who has Leo on the cusp of his or her first
house and Virgo as his or her Sun sign can be quite dynamic and dramatic, but the fastidious,
efficient, self-effacing part of him- or herself will not be readily apparent until people are able to
pierce through the persona and see the real person.
Fourth house
The fourth house, of which the cusp is often (but not always) the Imum Coeli, signifies a person's
home, security, family, and those things in early life that served as a foundation for them.
Sometimes the fourth house also is connected with endings, such as a person's end of life. This
house is affiliated often with our parents. For the ancients, it was the House of the Father, but in
modern charts, it tends to have a more general parental significance.
Seventh house
The seventh house, of which the cusp is often (but not always) the Descendant, shows the type of
mate the native is likely to be attracted to and all partnerships in general. For Hellenistic
astrologers, the seventh house was in general a fortunate one, especially for benefics, but there are
some difficulties which may arise from these placements because the house is "the Setting Place" or
the place where the Sun falls.
Tenth house
The tenth house, of which is often (but not always) the cusp is also the Midheaven, refers to our
careers, vocations, creative output, and how we would like the world to see us. For Ptolemy, it also
was the house where our children's impact can be seen.
Succedent house
Succedent house is an astrological term for the houses that follow (i.e., succeed) the angular houses
in an Astrological chart. “Succedent” derives from the Latin succedens meaning "subsequent" or
"succeeding". Since the angular houses are the first, fourth, seventh and tenth houses, the succedent
houses are the second, fifth, eight and eleventh houses.
Succedent houses
Because the angular houses are the most powerful places in the chart (Lilly says "Planets in angles
do more forcibly show their effects"), succedent houses—which are less powerful than the angular
but more powerful than the cadent houses—also have a quality of appertaining to the angular
houses, much as a representative or underling of a powerful person. In this way, the second house,
for example, which succeeds the first house of the body and personality, tends to signify the things
that belong to the person. In a similar fashion, the eighth house, which follows the seventh house of
the partner or spouse or “other person,” represents the belongings of the other person or partner.
Succedent houses, as a whole, have a stable, unchanging, fixed quality, deriving from their central
position in each quadrant of the chart.
Although at least one succedent house has a decidedly malefic (or unfortunate) connotation (the
eighth house), and one is rather weak (the second), on the whole, these are productive houses in
which matters normally take root and flourish, such as possessions (the second house) or children
(the fifth house.)
Second house
The second house signifies the possessions of the person or event for which the chart was cast. This
meaning has persisted unchanged for several thousand years. Although some modern astrologers
(those using the idea of "natural houses," which is explained more fully in cadent house) perceive a
correspondence of the second house with the sign Taurus, traditional astrologers did not make such
a connection. To Hellenistic astrologers, the second house was the "Gate of Hades," referring to the
fact that the second house leads the way to the houses that lie beneath the horizon of the chart (that
is, the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth houses.) This may account for the house's somewhat
weak reputation, although it is not considered specifically malefic. No planet has any particular
dignity here.
Fifth house
The fifth house has signified children for several thousand years. As with the second, that primary
connotation has continued into the present day. Modern astrologers sometimes also connect this
house with sexual relationships and also with artistic, as well as biological, creativity. For the
ancients, this was the "House of Good Fortune," and quite a positive and beneficial one. For that
reason, ancient and medieval astrologers believed the fortunate planet Venus "joyed" in the fifth
house--that is, that she was particularly dignified, or powerful here. However, as Crane says, "in
spite of this house being the joy of Venus, pleasures and sensual enjoyments were not emphasized
until later" than the Hellenistic era. For some twentieth-century practitioners, the fifth house
corresponds by the idea of "natural houses" to Leo, but there is no intimation of the Sun's influence
here in the traditional literature.
Eighth house
The eighth is the one unfortunate house in the succedent group. This connotation derives from the
lack of relationship of the eighth house with the house of the Ascendant. Because there is no
astrological aspect with the Ascendant, the eighth house cannot "see" the Ascendant from its
position. For this reason it has a rather tenuous relationship with the health and power of the first
house. Therefore, it was called "Idle," a term reflecting its relative lack of active power within the
circle of the houses. It was from this that its traditional connection with Death was established,
since the first house is the house of health and vitality. Indeed, modern astrologers--and also Lilly --
often call the eighth the "House of Death." Not all connections with death are negative; the eighth is
also the house of inheritances resulting from death. Also, according to Paulus Alexandrinus, it
"show[s] those who profit from deadly motives."
Some modern astrologers see elements of spirituality here, since the survival of the soul is
connected with death as well. Furthermore, some make a connection of the eighth house with sex--
probably from a hypothetical connection to Scorpio by "natural houses." No planet "joys" in the
eighth house.
Eleventh house
The ancients called the eleventh house the "House of Good Spirit" or "Good Divinity," and it was
considered a very beneficial place in the chart. The primary meaning of this house, too, has
survived more or less intact into the twenty-first century: a house of hopes, aspirations and
expectations, a place for the fulfilling of desires--and in a very worldly way. Worldly eminence and
material abundance are denoted by this house, and the most beneficial planet in the zodiac, Jupiter,
has his joy here.
Modern astrology has lost some of the sense of material success and money that this house
originally signified (Jupiter was the ancient planet of money), but it is still considered a house of
wishes and hopes. In addition, modern astrologers perceive the eleventh to be a house of clubs and
associations, of groups of people working together--and also a house denoting friendships.
Traditionally, since the eleventh appertains to the tenth and the tenth was the house of the king, the
eleventh has denoted the king's advisers, his council and allies.
For some modern astrologers, the eleventh house is connected to the sign Aquarius by "natural
house" affinities, but since Saturn is the traditional ruler of Aquarius and it would make little sense
for Saturn to be comfortable in Jupiter's house (and vice versa), this association did not exist in
astrology until more recent times.
Cadent house
In astrology, a cadent house is the last house of each quadrant of the zodiac. A quadrant begins
with an angular house, (the house in which a chart angle lies) proceeds to a succedent house and
ends with a cadent house. There are four quadrants in an astrological chart, providing four angular
houses, four succedent houses and four cadent houses.
The Greeks called the cadent houses apoklima, which literally means "falling" or "decline," because
the houses were seen to be falling away from the strength of the angular houses, which were
considered the be most influential because of their perpendicular and oppositive relationships to the
Ascendant. The word apoklima also carries a denotation of degeneration and decline. Our English
word "cadent" comes from the Latin translation of apoklima and is the source of our word "cadet,"
which originally meant a lesser branch of the family, or the younger son.
Cadent houses are therefore usually considered by astrologers as less fertile and productive places
by their nature than either angular or succedent houses, and the planets located in them are seen as
generally less powerful and comfortable. This view of cadency is universally found in ancient
sources. For example, Paulus Alexandrinus says of cadent houses: "stars [ed: i.e., planets] found in
these zoidia [ed: i.e., houses] (2, 6, 8 and 12) become inharmonious. And sometimes they bring
about hostile conditions, sometimes separations and banishments...". (However, there are conditions
when a planet in a cadent house can be brought up to its full strength, for example, by a reasonably
close trine to a benefic planet, such as Jupiter).
The notion of cadent houses as weak and ineffective also persists in medieval and Renaissance
astrologers such as Guido Bonatti and William Lilly, who labeled cadent houses "poor and of little
efficacy."
The four cadent houses
The four cadent houses are as follows:-
• The third house of the horoscope governs our siblings, letters and messengers, our
neighbourhood, and short trips. Modern astrologers have also connected it our ability to
communicate and to intellectualise.
• The sixth house of the horoscope refers to illness, and also to our duties and responsibilities,
and the most routine aspects of work. The sixth is the house of servants, and so may also
refer to our service to others, but also to slavery, or that which we are obliged to do but do
not necessarily want to do. It has been connected by Lilly to smaller domestic animals as
well, "and the profit and loss got thereby."
• The ninth house of the horoscope governs our higher cognition, religious beliefs, and level
of awareness. It is also the house of higher education and philosophy and is connected with
long journeys far from home. Some modern astrologers also give it an association with the
law.
• The twelfth house of the horoscope governs troubles, self-undoing, secret enemies, and
imprisonment (for example in asylums or penitentiaries), as well as larger domestic animals,
such as draught animals. Theosophists such as Annie Besant influenced astrologers such as
Isabel Hickey to connect this house to karma from past lives.
Natural houses
In the twentieth century, a concept called "natural houses" was popular, in which it was argued that
each of the twelve houses of the astrological chart corresponds to a sign of the zodiac: the first
house corresponds to Aries, the second to Taurus, and so forth, continuing through the chart until
the twelfth house, which is linked to Pisces.
Employing "natural houses," the third house would correspond to Gemini, the sixth house to Virgo,
the ninth house to Sagittarius and the twelfth house to Pisces, and adherents of the notion borrow
archetypal concepts from the signs and apply them to the corresponding houses.
The idea of numerological correspondences goes back at least as far as Pythagoras and surely was
instrumental in the interpretation by ancient astrologers of the angular relationships each house has
with the others, and especially with the Ascendant. This may account for similarities between the
idea of Gemini and the idea of the third house. But the "natural houses" doctrine stretches these
similarities to point which seriously distorts the original concepts. Hardly any of these zodiacal
correspondences result in the same characteristics or dignities observed by earlier astrologers.
Furthermore, using "natural houses," cadent signs are seen to be very flexible and adaptive and
correspond with the mutable signs of the zodiac. But this obscures the essentially weak and
unfavorable nature of these houses. Planets positioned in them lack influence, and may even
become malefic--that is, they may have an unfortunate effect.
Third house
Ancient astrologers had a very different view of the third house than a correspondence to Gemini
would imply. The house's primary significance was for siblings--a meaning it retains today. But
Gemini has no such meaning. For another thing, the third house was the "House of the Moon
Goddess" rather than having any correspondence with Mercury, the ruler of Gemini. The Moon
"rejoiced" in the third house--that is, it was very dignified if positioned there. The house was also
the place of religious cults, particularly unconventional ones (possibly what we would now call the
"occult") and had nothing to do with writing or speaking. It is true, however, that the Moon was
much more involved in the ancient concept of the mind--particularly with memory.
The third house also had some connotation for travel but Crane postulates that this derived more
from the fact that it opposed the ninth house, the house of the Sun, which had the major connotation
for travel.
Sixth house
Ancient astrologers had a very dim view of the sixth house, which is called "the house of bad
fortune." Valens makes a clear connection between this house and thieves, beggars, foot soldiers
and slaves. The house has always had a connection with sickness, and hence with suffering. One
reason for this is because it is in a very weak angle to the house of the Ascendant, which is
considered the house of life, vitality and health. The relationship of the sixth house to the Ascendant
is one of aversion, that is, it cannot "see" the Ascendant from a point 150 degrees away.
Because of this weakness, the sixth house has also been connected with servitude and slavery, and it
is for this reason, perhaps, that it has become associated with the most routine and arduous of work,
and the sense of the workplace as an obligation to which people must report every day to do the
work of others. This is the not by any means the house of vocation, or even of the professions.
Animals, too, are considered to be the servants of man, and possibly the animals connected here are
smaller because the sixth is the lesser of the two houses of misfortune.
The planet Mars rejoices in the sixth house. He is dignified when located in this house. Mars is
considered a malefic planet, whose influence is often unfortunate and aggressive. Mars' joy in the
sixth may have to do with his long connection with fevers and acute illness, but it is also true that
Mars is the "lesser infortune" (Saturn is the "greater") and hence joys in the lesser house of
misfortune.
Ninth house
A very different view obtains for the Ninth house, which was called "the house of the Sun God" by
ancient astrologers. This house has always been connected established orthodox religion and with
journeys (which were often undertaken for educational purposes in ancient times.) The Sun rejoices
here, and the Sun in late Hellenistic religions was regarded as the eye of God. Valens calls this
house the "pre-Midheaven," and gives it considerable influence. Both benefic and malefic planets
are strengthened here.
Medieval astrologers connect it with the Church and clerics, long sea voyages, books, learning,
philosophy and dreams. This connection with dreams is quite ancient, and references to the ninth
house in this capacity can be found in Firmicus and in Paulus Alexandrinus.
Twelfth house
Western astrologers have always regarded the twelfth house as a very unfortunate place. Hellenistic
astrologers called it "the house of Evil Spirit" and its reputation did not improve with the Arabs or
with medieval astrologers. However, Saturn the "greater malefic," does rejoice here--which means
he has considerable dignity--and Valens says that Saturn in this place will bring considerable
influence for honorable behavior. Paulus claims that an otherwise strong Saturn located here will
bring success over enemies and joy in work.
Firmicus connects this house with slaves, enemies and defects, and Valens connects it with
destitution and beggary. The connection with very bad luck and material privation is almost
universally found with the twelfth, as are enemies.
It is from the medieval astrologers that the connection of the twelfth house with imprisonment
derives; the idea is probably Arab in origin.
Modern astrologers have brought a spiritual aspect to the twelfth house that was wholly absent in
the earlier tradition. This may have its origins in the Theosophical revival of present-day astrology,
which had some Hindu influence. In Jyotish (Hindu astrology), the twelfth house is very
unfortunate, but is also connected with sexual activity and with spirituality. Hindu astrology is
closely connected to the Hindu religion, in which material attachments of all kinds--which are
certainly the enemy of all twelfth-house significations--are considered to be a bar to spiritual
progress. Much has been made of this suggested affinity by some modern astrologers, especially
those influenced by the 19th-century Theosophy movement, such as Annie Besant and Alice Bailey.
Cusp (astrology)
In astrology, a cusp (from the Latin for spear or point) is the imaginary line that separates a pair of
consecutive signs in the zodiac or houses in the horoscope.
Because the solar disc has a diameter of approximately half a degree, it is possible for the Sun to
straddle the cusp as it moves across the sky. When this occurs at the moment of birth such a person
is said to be "born on the cusp" and some believe that their life is influenced by the characteristics
of both signs. For example, if an individual was born when the Sun (by convention the point at the
centre of the Solar disc) was located at 29 degrees, 50 minutes Gemini, then one might say that he
was born on the cusp of Gemini and Cancer. Much of the Solar disc was actually in Cancer even
though the centre was in Gemini.
Although the term "cusp" is universally used for the boundaries of signs, not all astrologers agree
that an object can ever be included in more than one sign. Many consider relevant only the location
of the Sun's centre, which must be entirely in one sign, and would describe the natal Sun in the
example as simply being in Gemini. If late degrees of Gemini have a Cancer-like character, they
would describe that as simply the nature of that part of Gemini rather than some influence spilling
over from the next sign.
On the other hand, astrologers who consider objects "on the cusp" to be meaningfully different from
objects entirely in one sign may apply such a description even when no part of the object crosses the
boundary. That point of view may consider the Sun to be "on the cusp" even when its centre is as
much as two degrees away from the sign boundary. They may also call other objects (much less
than half a degree in diameter) "on the cusp" despite no part of the object being in the adjacent sign.
Their claim is that the influence of the cusp gets weaker but does not suddenly disappear as the
object gets further from the cusp.
A similar debate applies to cusps between houses.
Cusps
Aries/Taurus
The Aries/Taurus Cusp is approximately from dates April 19 to April 24. Individuals born during
this time period may be referred to as a "Taurares". The Arian/Taurean is thought to be humorous,
sensitive, money-oriented, nice, active, dynamic, talented, quiet, sensual, strong, opinionated, bold,
flirtatious, sexual, eloquent, stable, dependable, helpful, practical, hard-working, extrovert, patient,
athletic, aggressive, perseverance, and initiative. The Arian/Taurean is prone to aloof, quarrelsome,
trouble-maker, phony, stubborn, hyper-sensitive, jealous, high-strung, moody, changeability, fickle,
and head strong. Also known as the Cusp of Power.
Taurus/Gemini
The Taurus/Gemini is approximately from dates May 19 to May 24. The term for the
Taurus/Gemini is Gemininus (Sometimes Taureminie). The Taurean/Gemini is thought to be
sensual, great imagination, expressive, see both sides of a situation, energetic, adaptable, multi-
tasker, reliable, conversionalists, charming, intelligent, leaders, broad-minded, hard-working,
introvert, honest, shy, helpful, youthful, light-hearted, practical, mature, tolerant, gentle, quiet,
versatile, laid-back, dependable, stable, and persevered. The Taurean/Gemini is prone to be
scattered, fickle, dual, changeable, restless, blunt, wear-them-selves-out, over-indulgent, nervous,
high-strung, and reluctant to confront fears and insecurities. Also called the Cusp of Energy (Secret
Language Series by Gary Goldschneider)
Gemini/Cancer
The Gemini/Cancer Cusp is approximately from dates June 19 to June 24. The term for
Gemini/Cancer is Cancimini. The Gemini/Cancerian is thought to be affectionate, seductive,
opinionated, nice, cheerful, caring, thoughtful, playful, loving, graceful, understanding, sociable,
funny, intelligent, pure, humorous, assertive, extrovert, friendly, bubbly, honest, attractive,
confident, a good leader, spontaneous, sexual, flirtatious, fearless, and loyal. The Gemini/Cancerian
is prone to be rebellious, jealous, detached, self-centered, duality, a chatterbox, annoyed, clumsy,
blunt, boastful, restless, random, aggressive, extreme, inconsistent, careless, devious, demanding,
manipulative, fickle, unreliable, insincere, immature and calculating. Also called the Cusp of
Magic.
Cancer/Leo
The Cancer/Leo Cusp is approximately from dates July 19 to July 24. May sometimes be referred to
as "Leoncer". The Leoncer is thought to be sensitive, introvert, ambitious, proud, creative,
flamboyant, nurturing, traditional, strong, expressive, organized, inspiring, intuitive, cheerful, self-
assured, practical, realistic, romantic, social, dependent, passionate, generous, and emotional. The
Cancerian/Leo is prone to hyper-sensitivity, boastfulness, being self-centered, quarrelsome,
demanding, having dependency issues, and touchiness. Also known as the Cusp of Oscillation.
Leo/Virgo
The Leo/Virgo Cusp is approximately from dates August 19 to August 28. The Leo/Virgo is
thought to ambivert, ambitious, artistic, flamboyant, creative, logical, practi