What is Astrology Part One

The practice of astrology is almost as old as humanity itself. Since time immemorial, every major culture has developed a unique and sophisticated system of astrology which reflects a meaningful relationship between ourselves and the wider cosmos in which we live. The form of astrology that we in the Western world are familiar with has been evolving for at least 6000 years.

Whilst its exact origins are shrouded in mystery, we know that its roots lie in ancient Babylon, and were then further refined by Greek, Arabic and Renaissance thinkers. Through careful observation, and a willingness to accept that all life forms are subtly interconnected, astrology has matured throughout the millennia to become the rich and complex system/s that we recognize today. Knowing what astrology is, and where it has come from, can be highly beneficial as we navigate our journey through life.

Hardly any astrologers today would argue that the planets make you do or be anything. We know that reality is complex, adaptive and multivalent, and so can scarcely be explained using a basic cause-and-effect model. The idea that astrology puts forward is that there is some kind of connected pattern between the structure of the human psyche and the structure of the cosmos or solar system. No one knows how or why it works, but astrologers have been observing – for at least 6000 years – that when the planets are in certain relationships to each other, or us here on Earth, this then tends to correspond with certain states or changes within individuals, and collectives.

This idea is based largely on observation. Over time, astrology has built up a vast library of knowledge through studying planetary movements. Because many people who practice astrology have taken the time to learn the principles, they understand how this system works. They have tested astrological theories on themselves, as well as on the people that they know, and are content to say – “YES, this makes sense for me and most of the people I come in contact with.” Yet how it works is still open for speculation. What can be said for sure is that thousands of intelligent and sophisticated people throughout history have noticed that astrology, when applied to the lives of individuals, works. Their observations and recorded information form the body of knowledge which astrologers draw upon. By studying the correlations between people, events and the positions of the planets in the sky, astrologers have built up a complex system of knowledge that is profound and highly specific. (continued next post)

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