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Astrology, By Witchipedia

What is Astrology & its Significance in Different Cultures

Updated on:

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Written by: Dawn Black (Witchipedia)

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Reviewed by: Tina Caro

Astrology is the art and science of predicting certain events and patterns based on the observation of planetary movements and relationships and the study of how these movements and relationships affect terrestrial world events and the health, moods, relationships, and personalities of individuals.

Predictions are made by observing the relative positions of the moon, sun, and planets to one another and their perceived locations in the sky as observed from Earth. It is important to note that while modern Astronomy calculates planetary position from the solar center of the Universe, Astrology uses the ancient geocentric model to make calculations.

Once a single study, Western Astrology, and Astronomy separated into two different disciplines in the 17th century CE.

Astrology was originally developed 3000 years BCE in various places throughout the world as a calendar system that allowed its practitioners to assist in the planning of important occasions as well as to predict weather patterns, seasonal changes, tides and important celestial events such as eclipses. In almost every culture that used it, it grew to become a part of religious, oracular, magical and medical traditions.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

Western astrology, rooted in ancient Greece, classifies individuals into 12 zodiac signs based on their birthdate, influencing personality traits and life paths.

Hindu astrology, or Vedic astrology, incorporates 27 constellations called nakshatras, providing detailed insights into a person’s life, including career, relationships, and health.

Chinese astrology relies on a 12-year cycle of animal signs and five elements, shaping one’s destiny and compatibility with others based on their birth year.

Astrology’s significance in different cultures illustrates the universal human fascination with the cosmos, offering diverse insights and tools for self-discovery, magic, and personal growth.

Western Astrology

Most known to the Western world, the Western system of astrology has its roots in ancient Greece and Persia and has grown and evolved over the years. Early astrologers observed countless fixed stars and 5 wandering stars (asteres planetai in ancient Greek) in the night sky. These wandering stars are now known as planets and the original five plus the sun and the moon are referred to as the classical planets.

Modern scholars through the use of telescopes, have swelled the number or planets to 9, though that number still varies. These wandering stars, as well as the celestial lights – the sun and the moon, change position in the sky in a predictable pattern, wandering through the 12 houses of the zodiac and the 12 Signs of the Zodiac.

The 12 houses represent phases of life while the twelve signs of the zodiac each carry distinct qualities that impact the world when they are dominant. The relationship between the planets, that is, how they line up and the angles they form, as they pass through these signs and houses, further influences interpretation.

Ancient astrologers and some modern astrologers believe that the positions of the planets allowed them a glimpse into the minds of the Gods to better understand the Gods’ plans and wishes so best to please them and avoid their wrath. Most modern astrologers believe that the planets simply represent basic human drives, psychological impulses, and archetypes.

Western Astrology in Magic(k)

Magical practitioners often use western astrology to determine the timing of their magical workings and spells. Usually, the moon’s location is looked at to make these determinations.

Each sign of the zodiac is considered to be influential in certain areas of the human experience and this influence can add strength to a spell, or even mundane efforts toward associated goals.

The moon in each sign adds its own influence, the new and waxing moon supporting work to increase or manifest while the waning moon supports work to decrease and banish.

Many consider the full moon the most powerful and supporting of all magical efforts.

Hindu Astrology

The planets in Hindu astrology are known as the Navagraha or ‘nine realms’.

Chinese Astrology

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 Feng Shui.

About Morningbird (Witchipedia's Founder)

I am a homesteading hearth witch who grew up along the shores of the Hudson River and has lived among the Great Lakes for the past 20 years. Together with my musical husband and youngest child, I steward a one-acre mini homestead with herb, vegetable and flower gardens, chickens, ducks, geese and rabbits, and areas reserved for native plants and wildlife. 

I have three children; two are grown, and I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years.

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