Astrology As a Form of Divination
Astrology is the method of using the alignment of the stars and planets to determine a person’s character or future. Eastern astrology, in particular, uses past events to accurately predict what will happen in the future. It does this by using a person’s birth chart – or horoscope – to analyze a person’s character and psychological traits to map out their destiny.
Astrology is an Ancient Divination System
Astrology is the oldest, and arguably the most popular, pseudoscience and is used to give us a deeper understanding of our own nature. Astrologers are starting to integrate some psychological techniques into their work, as the last 30 years have seen astrologers develop more counseling skills. Astrology is regarded as Magical Thinking, putting it in the same category as creationism and alternative medicine. This puts it at odds with the scientific community, as it contradicts scientific reasoning and puts the practitioner in opposition to traditions formed during The Enlightenment.
Is Astrology Pseudoscience?
Astrology is regarded as a pseudoscience because it can’t be proven using the scientific method. Simply put, astrology is the study of the correlation between the astronomical position of the planets in relation to the Earth as it relates to events that happen on Earth. Astrologers believe that the position of the sun, moon, and planets at the time of a person’s birth has a direct effect on that person’s character. It mixes science, art and craft in a wonderful blend that is always dynamic, as an astrologer can never learn everything about the craft.
Learning About Astrology
Getting a full scope on astrology would require a comprehensive bibliography full of plenty of different sources, but it is possible to get a basic knowledge of it by visiting the public library or a bookstore. Reading up on astrology is important in understanding it, as misunderstanding of the pseudoscience can make people think that it is evil or immoral. Some feel that the stars were made for calendar keeping and for showing God’s glory, not to predict the future or read behavior. To truly judge astrology, one must become familiar with it, read up on it, and study it instead of relying on stereotypical, uneducated views on the subject.
To understand the pseudoscience of astrology, one must consider the science of astronomy, which is the study of the movements of heavenly bodies. Astrology is the study of the behavioral and real-world effects of that movement. Ancient astronomers assumed a division of the universe, where the superior, immutable bodies of the celestial world came to rule over the terrestrial or sub-lunar sphere, factoring into the mortality and change.
This relationship is why astrology was considered a science in earlier generations instead of the pseudoscience that it is considered now. But astrology isn’t about analyzing this relationship to make money – it also answers other questions. Vocational astrology is using these answers to help others and guide them in finding what they are meant to do.
Astrologers believe that the positions of certain celestial bodies influence or correlate with a person’s behavioral traits. In the past, astrologers would note the position of celestial objects and chart their movements. One didn’t need to know astrology to do this. In some ways astrology is similar to theology, but the main difference is that astrology uses celestial beings such as stars to predict behavior, while theology uses religious deities such as God.
The practitioner in Shamanic Astrology is trained in the knowledge of the night sky, and the sacred rhythms, cycles and motions of the stars and planets. Astrology is an art form that can result in quick sketches of individuals or more complex portraits of individuals, groups, corporations, etc. Because of the inexact nature of astrology – which comes from the fact that ancient astrologers were not aware of the procession and shifting of constellations and didn’t factor them into their early writings or teachings – astrology is seen as spiritual, even religious, in some cultures. That’s why shamans are given the status of a religious leader in many societies.
Western astrology is based off of the astrology used by the Greeks at the peak of their culture thousands of years ago, which was based off the ideas of the Babylonians. This astrology, which is known as judicial astrology or genethlialic astrology, most resembles the astrology that is used in the Western world today. It seems as if this type of astrology is easier to digest than a horoscope’s predictions because the predicted fortunes are more individualized in Western astrology, instead of being vague and global like most horoscope predictions.
Another form of astrology is Sun-sign astrology. While entertaining, Sun-sign astrology is relatively simplistic and marginally useful. Started in ancient Babylon, it’s a very superficial version of a science that dates back thousands of years. It is far more useful to use stars and planets as the base of one’s astrological findings than to rely solely on one solitary star such as the sun for any insight on behavior and events.
Holistic astrology interprets a horoscope so that all aspects of the human experience are considered. Holistic astrology looks into aspects of a person’s life such as career and financial prospects and social needs. This school of astrology is why astrology is often considered as the “Science of Indications.” This type of astrology reveals the timing of trends and certain influences. For some, holistic astrology is not the traditional astrology, though.
Astrology is based on the birth charts of an individual, as the position of the sun, moon and stars are plotted on a Zodiac at the time of birth. It isn’t something that is easy to get in to. Traditionalists in the field say it takes one transit of Saturn, or 30 years, to get proficient in astrology. Vedic astrology is part of a holistic, integrated knowledge system and its effects and how it can be bolstered by operating in tune with its “sister” science. Vedic astrology not only identifies the effects of certain astrological positions, but also works with other sciences to provide “remedies” to those effects.
Astrology isn’t necessarily a trick or a hustle like it is portrayed in many quarters. Instead, it’s a real science of the human experience which allows for the constant variations of human behavior, which is something that can’t be categorized neatly into a simple or absolute formula. However, there is a lot of hostility toward astrology from scientists and non-scientists alike.
Perhaps that hostility comes from the fact that astrology competes with other sciences for attention and patronage. That hostility might die down a bit once these scientists realize that astrology is not necessarily meant to disagree with them, but to be an alternative to people who want a different approach. Astrology won’t guarantee prediction results over the results that come from mere chance, but many customers find that astrology is satisfying; that their horoscope does a good job of describing what they are feeling, and that their astrologer gives them good, sound advice.
Astrology is often seen as entertainment, a harmless way to “look at the stars” and figure out what’s going to happen next. Because of this, it is often ignored or seen as a hustle. Even when customers become satisfied and heap praise on their astrologer or their astrology reason, skeptics are not convinced. They feel that happy customers in an inexact science such as astrology are more likely to provide anecdotal evidence of its success and overlook abject failures that come from the astrological process. They reason that people who turn to astrology are biased toward seeing it work, therefore are going to build up its successes while ignoring its downfalls.