What is Astrology

Astrology is a field of science that predicts the future of an individual in relation to the astronomical phenomenon that takes place. The history of astrology dates back to the earlier days of human history, when the pre pagan religions are said to have attached utmost importance to the astronomical phenomenon. However, at present, three major systems of astrology that are in vogue are Indian, Chinese and the Western astrology. The word, ‘astrology’ derives its origin from the Latin term, ‘astrologia’, that means account of the stars. It is to be noted that the life on earth was correlated with the stars since the olden days of man’s history and this continues to be the case even today with many systems of astrology.

Indian astrology is the most widely accepted form of astrology all over Asia. Its deep connection with the Vedas and clear cut explanation that it provides based on the Vedas makes it the most popular form of astrology. There are minor differences between the Indian astrology and the form that is in vogue in the western world. The main difference between these two forms of astrology lies in the fact that Indian astrology mainly depends on siderial zodiac, wherein the zodiac signs are assigned with respect to the inclination and the position of the constellations in the sky. Thus, this leads to a difference of 23 degrees between the two systems in the point where the astronomical year starts. In Indian astrology, 12 zodiac signs, 9 planets and 10 houses are used to make predictions and these form the base of the entire system. The 12 zodiac signs are  Mesa (Aries), Vrisabha ( Taurus), Mithuna(Gemini), Karkata ( Cancer),simha(Leo), kanya( Virgo),Tula (Libra), Vraschika( Scorpio), Dhanus( Sagittarius), Makara (Capricorn), Kumbha ( Aquarius) and Mina (Pisces).

Another ancient form of astrology is the Chinese astrology that has been in practice since the times of Zhou dynasty in China (1046 BC). Unlike the other forms of astrology, Chinese astrology makes use of animal signs to make predictions with regard to the future of the person and his behavior. The 12 animal signs used are Rat, Snake, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Rooster, Dragon, Dog, Horse, Goat, Monkey and Pig. There is close resemblance between the Chinese astrology and the Vietnamese astrology in the concepts used.

All the above mentioned systems of astrology attach utmost importance to the position of the constellations in the sky and predict the future of the entities on Earth depending on their relative position. One would be surprised to know that the importance associated with astrology in India is so much that it has been included as a subject in the curriculum in Indian universities.

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