Popular Systems of Astrology and the Basic Ideas behind Them
Astrology literally means the study of celestial bodies which include the sun, moon, and the planets. These astrological bodies are studied and analyzed based on their positions and movements to predict the major events in the life of a person. The celestial movements are not only used for predicting the future but also to explain about the past life of a person. . There are several systems of astrology used throughout the world and each has some differences from the others.
The origin of astrology is believed to have begun in the third millennium BC. In the beginning, astrology and astronomy were one. However, later astronomy became firm on science alone whereas astrology was based on just theories and not through experiments and proofs like science can provide.
Astrological progressions and the astrological transits are the two primary means used to predict the future. Astrological progression is the horoscope progressed right from one’s birth and continuous movement forward. On the other hand, astrological transit interprets the movement of the planets and their impact on the life of a person right from their birth through their future life. Though astrologers are believed to predict the future based on the movements of the celestial bodies, now they do not mention the actual events.
There are different cultural systems of astrology which have some similarities but they differ in certain methods followed by each group. Indian astrology, Western astrology, and the Chinese astrology are the major astrological traditions. Indian astrology, which is now known as Vedic astrology, is believed to use 27 nakshatras or the lunar mansion and the dasha system which is the planetary periods. However, Western astrology is mostly popular in the Western countries. Vedic astrology and Chinese astrology are very popular even in the Western countries.
Western astrology is largely horoscopic, that is, it is a form of divination based on the construction of a horoscope for an exact moment, such as a person’s birth, in which various cosmic bodies are said to have an influence. Astrology in western popular culture is often reduced to sun sign astrology, which considers only the individual’s date of birth (i.e. the “position of the Sun” at that date).
Vedic astrology (also known as Hindu astrology, Indian astrology, Jyotish or Jyotisha) is the ancient Indian system of astronomy and astrology. It has three branches, Siddhanta, Samhita, and Hora; each dealing with different aspects of life such as Indian Astronomy, Mundane astrology, and Predictive Astrology, respectively. Mundane astrology concerns predicting important events related to countries such as war, earthquakes, political events, finances, house and construction matters (Vāstu Shāstra), animals, momentous events, omens, and such. The foundation of Hindu or Vedic astrology is the notion of bandhu of the Vedas<, (scriptures), which is the connection between the microcosm and the macrocosm. Chinese astrology has developed greatly. It is also used in Vedic astrology as well as in Western astrology. Indian astrology uses the twelve zodiac signs for understanding the personality of a person and also for future prediction. However, Chinese astrology divides the zodiac signs by the celestial equator. Each zodiac sign has a period of one year and is associated with each element like wood, metal, fire, earth and water used as Chinese cosmology for a 60 years cycle. The zodiac signs are also associated with an animal. Several Asian countries use Chinese astrology. Though multitudes of people use the help of the various systems of astrology, doubt still remains whether astrology can predict the future or not. To an extent, it can be predicted. However, astrologers cannot prove it. On the other hand, astronomers think it as superstition rather than an actual science. The studies on astrology by the experts say that it can predict the future but it may not be the exact events. When astrology is learnt, understood, and based on accurate calculations of the aspects and movements of the planets, it can provide correct information. Depending on where in the world you live usually one of the various systems of astrology will be used. Adventurous persons may want to try one of the other popular methods of astrology to see if there are any significant differences. For example someone in the United States would normally have a reading using Western Astrology. However it might be wise to get a reading using, for example, Vedic Astrology, which is claimed to be more accurate, especially if the person giving your astrological reading is experienced and proficient.
The study and practice of astrology had begun since ancient times and out of many forms, Nadi jyotisam is considered by many to give better results based on study of the past life. There is a different and time consuming procedure used in this method of astrology. Originating over 2000 years ago it is based on the premise that the present and the future lives of all human beings were predicted by Hindu sages in these Nadi Shastra during early periods and written down as Nadi Grantha (Palm Leaf Manuscripts). The characteristics, family history, and professions of a great number of people are thereby predicted and protected on these leaves.
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