Astrology has been around since the beginning of recorded human history and has always had its believers and its detractors. But throughout time, astrology has fascinated everyone and guided many. Admit it. Even if you don’t believe in astrology, reading your horoscope is one of your guilty pleasures, isn’t it?
Astrology’s basic tenet is that the positions and movements of the planets, stars, and constellations of the observable universe make a difference in the lives of human beings. This, in turn, comes from the creation stories of virtually every culture that hold that originally the earth and the sky were one. Consequently, once they broke apart, the sky continued to affect events on Earth. Or as the maxim goes, “As Above, So Below.”
Who are You?
When you ask yourself questions such as “Who am I?,” “Why am I here?,” and “What’s the purpose of my life?” you are not alone. Billions of people have asked these same questions for thousands of years. Astrology purports to answer those questions based on the exact position of the heavenly objects at the precise moment of your birth. These star patterns were never exactly the same before you were born, nor were they or will they ever be the same again. All of this makes you a thoroughly unique individual.
Some people view astrology as a belief system, and for those who make no decisions whatsoever without checking their horoscopes or getting an astrological reading, it probably is. For the rest of us, however, astrology serves as just one more way to think about ourselves, become more aware of our strengths and our shortcomings, and help us maneuver our way through life.
The Zodiac is perhaps the most widely recognized feature of astrology. The word Zodiac means Wheel of Life, and this wheel revolves through the earthly year, dividing it into 12 more or less equal segments analogous to, but different than, calendar months. Each segment, zodiac sign, has its own name, dates, symbol, an element as follows:
- Aries (March 21 – April 19) – Ram – fire
- Taurus (April 20 – May 20) – Bull – earth
- Gemini (May 21 – June 20) – Twins – air
- Cancer(June 21 – July 22) – Crab – water
- Leo (July 23 – August 22) – Lion – fire
- Virgo (August 23 – September 22) – Wheat Goddess – earth
- Libra (September 23 – October 22) – Scales – air
- Scorpio (October 23 – November 21) – Scorpion – water
- Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21) – Archer – fire
- Capricorn (December 22 – January 19) – Sea Goat – earth
- Aquarius (January 20 – February 18) – Water Bearer – air
- Pisces (February 19 – March 20) – Fish Twins – water
By the way, you have probably noticed that the Zodiac year always begins with Aries, even though its dates, March 21 through April 19, are nowhere close to the beginning of the calendar year. Why is this so? Well, think about it. When does Spring officially begin each year? On March 21, the date of the vernal equinox. Well before the advent of the Gregorian calendar in 1582 which we still use today, the ancients viewed Spring as the beginning of each year. And what does Spring represent? The beginning of a new life. Hence astrology, which is all about you and your life, begins with Aries.
As you might expect, astrology assigns personal characteristics to people born under each astrological sign. See if you recognize yourself in the following:
- Aries: highly energetic and creative, low impulse control
- Taurus: solution seekers, decision makers, decisive
- Gemini: freedom lovers; open thinkers, sometimes bossy
- Cancer: emotional, sensitive, full of love
- Leo: egocentric, decisive, forthright, tend to believe their way is the right way and/or the only way
- Virgo: perfectionists, lovers of permanence, animals, books, and nature, can be obsessive
- Libra: creative, friendly, tolerant, sympathetic, loyal
- Scorpio: passionate, loyal, honest, sometimes stubborn
- Sagittarius: idealistic, optimistic, generous, good sense of humor
- Capricorn: strong, steadfast, goal-oriented, stable
- Aquarius: independent, humanitarian, moral, sometimes uncompromising
- Pisces: friendly, adaptable, can be self-doubting
For most women, the main lure of astrology is that of helping to improve their dating choices or improve their love lives with the partner they have already chosen. But admit it, guys. You often use astrology for these purposes, too.
You may have noticed in the first Zodiac list above that certain signs share the same element. Specifically:
- Fire sign: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
- Earth sign: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
- Air sign: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
- Water sign: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
In general, like attracts and works best with like. In other words, whatever your Zodiac sign, you likely will be most compatible with others who share your element. On the other hand, opposites also attract and often make for remarkably vibrant relationships. So, for instance, if you’re an Aries, you may find that a Virgo or a Libra is your perfect match.
It’s no wonder astrology continues to fascinate us, whether or not we actually believe in it. Remember, astrology is not fortune telling. Nor does it hold that your date, time and place of birth sets in stone who you become as an adult. Rather, astrology fully acknowledges that you have free will. You choose what you do and how you do it. Astrology merely gives you a roadmap by which to go when making those choices. Think of astrology as the GPS system for your life. You don’t have to activate it, but when you do, you stand a better chance of getting where you want to go without having to deal with all the obstacles and hazards you might otherwise encounter.