It is more than an “obsession”
What is astrology used for?
It is one thing to religiously check the dos and don’ts for the day on your astrology-based smartphone apps first thing in the morning, it is another to truly understand the mechanics of this age-old discipline. Yes, astrology, however tempting it may be to disregard it as millennial or gen z claptrap, has been around since time immemorial. Although it is more rooted in divination, that does not take away from its credibility as a properly studied discipline or the fact that it was centuries ago. In fact, astrology is regarded as a pseudo-scientific practice.
Through the ages, astrology at times has been dismissed as exaggerated mumbo-jumbo however it has always garnered lots of genuine interest. It has seen a revival in recent times, enjoying a sudden surge of popularity thanks to the internet and social media, however, to make sense of this on and off fascination with astrology, two basic questions come to mind; How do we define astrology, and what are its origins?
Astrology is defined as “the study of the movements and relative positions of the planets interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world.” It was a complex and elaborate system that originated in Babylon around two and a half millennia ago. We have, since the beginning of time, looked to the stars and other celestial bodies as symbols and forms of divination, seeking guidance in everyday affairs. The stars and planets were regarded as representatives of the divine or supernatural, controlling mortal lives. From bad weather to illnesses to disastrous natural occurrences such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, all were attributed to the impulse and wrath of gods. Good harvests, an unexpected inheritance of wealth, and winning wars were viewed as blessings from the divine.
Astrology that we know today comes to us from the Greek democratisation of Babylonian astrology, that is, they developed the idea that the planets influence each individual. To be specific, they believed that the arrangement of the Sun, Moon, and the planets at the time of birth affected an individual’s personality. The concept of horoscope and zodiac comes from this, the essence of modern-day astrology.
What is Astrology used for?
Recent interest in astrology has shown us two things; we are intrigued by the concept behind it and we desire to find out more about ourselves. Despite sceptics calling it out for its unreliability, something is comforting in knowing how your day, week, or month will pan out. Applications such as Co-Star and TimePassages have made it convenient/accessible and all the more engaging, allowing for personalization and a very detailed account of your birth chart.
We’re curious creatures, always on the quest to know more about the world and ourselves. We’re also narrative creatures, interpreting what our lives mean and putting together our past, present, and future. When we can’t find meaning anywhere else, astrology helps quench our thirst for meaning.
How does astrology benefit us?
One of the most common reasons why people are drawn to astrology is how it gives one a sense of self-awareness; we learn more about our strengths and weaknesses. For example, CoStar tells you whether there is power or trouble in or with your routine, social life, sex and love, and spirituality. It allows for self-discovery, adds to our sense of individuality, and its ruminative nature aids self-reflection.
Our world is inherently uncertain, and although we can never accurately predict the future, astrology does, to some extent, give us some certainty, some direction. We also tend to become better at analysing our choices or making the best of what we will have in store.
Perhaps the most appealing benefit of astrology is that it helps us understand our relationships better. Compatibility charts and tests are not only fun but also help us see who we are better friends with or who would most likely be a good romantic partner based on their nature, behaviour, and interests.
An intriguing benefit of astrology is how it can support our health and healing. Ayurveda, the science of wellness and healing that originated in India, utilises astrology as an important tool for sustaining good health. It is principled on the idea that the human body accurately mirrors the body of the solar system therefore the placement of each of the planets is connected with different parts of the human body; This allows us to know when we may be vulnerable to a disease or what may have, for example, triggered a certain allergy.
Now into the nitty-gritty!
The crux of modern-day astrology, the 12 zodiac signs that everyone is familiar with, comes from the Greek revolutionization of Babylonian astrology.
So, how did these zodiac signs get their names? Each zodiac sign is named after a constellation and the dates are based on the relationship between how they are arranged in the sky and the sun.
It is important to know what the sun and the moon and each planet of the 8 planets in our solar system represent as their movements influence various aspects of our life; for example, the planet Venus represents desire and relationships and Jupiter represents luck and abundance.
What is a birth chart and what does it signify?
Each one of us has been assigned a birth or natal chart; it is a personalised map or drawing of the sky at the time of our birth, depicting the position of the planets and stars at the exact moment of our birth. It is important to know what the sun, moon and each of the eight planets in our solar system represent as their movements influence various aspects of our life. Let us look at what each of these symbolises:
Represents the ‘who’ aspect of our personality and is directly related to our astrological sign which will vary depending on the position of the sun at the moment of our birth
In astrology, the moon symbolizes our emotions and the inner world; the ‘what’ aspect of ourselves.
Where the moon is representative of the emotional world, mercury represents the world of logic and rationality. It also looks at ‘communication’ as one of the most fundamental aspects of our life.
You may have already guessed what this planet represents! Venus represents love, relationships, and beauty.
Named after the warrior god in Roman mythology, this planet is responsible for all the passion, determination, and motivation in our lives.
Planet of wisdom and luck, it represents knowledge, growth, and abundance.
Saturn, also known as the grandfather planet, symbolizes order, hierarchy, and rules and regulations.
This rather unusual planet, the first celestial body to be discovered by a telescope, rightfully represents technology, innovation, and rebellion.
Synonymous with vastness and depth, named after the Roman god of the sea, Neptune represents all that is unknown and hidden. It also represents the spiritual aspect of our lives.
Although the smallest of the planets, Pluto symbolizes power, destruction, and rebirth.
Which zodiac sign are you?
Find out HERE.
Finally, astrology reminds us of our sacred connectivity with all of cosmos as it brings together the stars and the planets to weave an intricate, wonderful pattern of life for you, leading you onward and upward in your spiritual journey. Will you take a leap of faith?
Love & Blessings…hygëia
Journol by Hygeia
Jessy Deans is a copywriter with a strong appetite for thought-provoking stories, travel and anything covered in white chocolate. With a background working in the fast-paced television industry, she has learnt the importance of self-care and downtime and believes there’s no such thing as too many candles. She is passionate and committed to her lifelong search for the perfect meal and subscribes to the doctrine that ‘if you can’t love yourself, how are you going to love somebody else’ (Ru Paul).