The Astrology Dictionary
The Astrology Dictionary
Astrology doesn't see a human being simply as an individual that is shaped only by his genetic heritage and his environment. The astrological approach goes way beyond these factors, considering the constellations within the solar system at the time of birth as the key determinant for the character and the patterns of a person. Consequently, the birth chart is the basis for assigning an individual to a specific zodiac sign and for drawing a complex picture of his true nature. All the astrological terms and definitions used in here are compiled in the Astrology Dictionary, which offers detailed explanations about both meaning and history of these concepts and the significance of the horoscope itself.
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The meaning of astrology
Astrology can be defined as the interpretation of astronomical phenomena and stellar constellations with regard to their correlation to the conditions and events on earth. Astrologers in European countries and in the USA apply mostly the concepts of Western astrology, but also other approaches like the Chinese and the Indian astrology, just to mention the most important ones, have become quite popular in the Western hemisphere. Western astrology traces back to pre-Christian times in Babylonia and the ancient Egypt. However, the Western Astrology as it is understood today is rooted in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, which due to its history has always had a strong Hellenistic imprint. In those days, astrology appeared on the sidelines of astronomy and mathematics as some kind of auxiliary science for observing the stars and recording the changes with the help of mathematical calculations, but without interpreting any of the phenomena. Considering its historically close connection with these two sciences through the millennia, even today astrology is generally seen as a parascience rather than a merely esoteric practice.
The evolution of astrology
Especially on European soil, zodiac signs in astrology have had a rather changeful history. During the times of the Roman Empire, when Christianity had become the state religion, everything revolving around astrology was fought against, pushed aside, banned and persecuted. As a consequence, astrology could only be practiced behind closed doors and thus became more and more a secret knowledge. It wasn't until the late Middle Ages when the image of astrology experienced a change for the better. During the time of renaissance until its end in the 17th century, astrology even proceeded to being acknowledged as a science. With the dawn of the modern era and the age of Enlightenment, the acceptance of astrology started to vanish once again, which was the case especially among intellectual circles, who denied it any plausibility and dismissed it as superstitious belief and bogus. The reputation of astrology didn't recover from this negative judgment until the beginning of the 20th century. With the beginning of the New Age movement in the 1960s, astrology returned to be seen as a valuable asset to the personal evolution of every individual and its popularity has remained unbroken ever since.
The concepts of astrology
Astrology is based on the primary notion that there is a connection between the movements and the positions of the stars and the events on earth and that a person's life is intrinsically linked to these events. Hence, zodiac signs in astrology claim to shed a light on this very complex interrelation for a better understanding of the big picture and of one's own life. In the early days of the Greek culture, astrologers followed the assumption “As above, so below”, and vice versa, which is basically a purely religious concept, as at that time fixed stars and planets were seen as gods who held the fate of mankind in their hands and had full control over the lives of all human beings. This notion inevitably changed with the time until celestial bodies were simply seen as elements of the cosmos whose impact on the events on earth appeared to be comparably transcendent. Today's astrologers basically have four different ways of interpreting astrological assertions: the esoteric approach, the symbolic approach, the concept of astrology as an empirical science and as an influencing hypothesis. However, from an academic point of view, astrology in its historic form is seen as a protoscience, which refers to a science in a pre-scientific state.
Astrological assertions based on the horoscope
Especially in the Western astrology, all assertions and conclusions are based on the horoscope, which traces the positions of celestial objects with reference to the specific place and the time of birth of a person. Initially these positions were only being observed, later on they were mathematically recorded and calculated. The basic elements of the Western horoscope are the zodiac signs in astrology, the houses and the planets. The zodiac band is divided in twelve equal sections or parts, each of which is assigned to a different zodiac sign. One of the most important astrological tools for describing the personality traits of an individual is the birth horoscope.