Human beings have always needed help making big decisions and gaining personal insight. Many early civilizations relied on elders to provide these services. Eventually, these civilizations developed scientific systems that helped them predict the future.
The science of astrology has changed throughout history, but it remains an important part of how many people make sense of themselves and the world around them.
A Quick History of Astrology
Many historians believe that several civilizations, including the Mayans and Chinese, developed independent systems of astrology. Each of these systems used the stars and planets to predict the future and gain insight to an individual’s personality.
The astrology most commonly used today comes from Hellenistic astrology that developed during the fourth century by blending concepts from Babylonian and Egyptian scientists. This system played crucial roles throughout history in politics, wars, and science.
Attitudes toward Hellenistic astrology shifted some during the Enlightenment, but people still turned to the stars when they needed help that other sciences could not offer.
Different Types of Astrology Systems
When most people think of astrology, they think of Hellenistic astrology. It is certainly today’s predominant system. Some astrologers, however, use systems developed by other civilizations. These systems include:
- Hindu astrology, which is based on teachings from the Vedanga Jyotisha
- Chinese astrology, which largely focuses on yin and yang and various celestial systems
- Thai astrology, which uses the Thai lunar calendar to make predictions
Each of these systems have their strengths. Most people today, however, find that Modern Hellenistic astrology speaks to them best.
Hellenistic Astrological Systems
Most modern astrology experts believe use a system of 12 zodiac signs. People born under these signs tend to have certain characteristics. Even laypersons can gain minor insights by learning about their astrological signs.
The current system of signs include:
- Aries (March 21 – April 19)
- Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
- Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
- Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
- Leo (July 23 – August 22)
- Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
- Libra (September 23 – October 22)
- Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
- Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
- Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
- Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
- Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
Using Astrology in the Modern World
Some teachings from astrology are relatively simple to understand. Scorpios, for instance, are known for their purposeful, unyielding personalities. Knowing this can help people born between October 23 and November 21 keep a careful eye on their actions so that they can become more flexible with themselves and others.
Astrology as a science, however, is a complex study that applies astrological charts and mathematics to ancient wisdom. Astrologists often devote themselves to years of study before they can master this science.
To get the most from astrology, most people need to speak with experienced professionals who know how to calculate complex numbers and interpret results so that they can have meaningful effects on someone’s life.