Astrology has been a subject which has attracted both interest and scorn over the years. While many of us read the printed horoscopes in newspapers and magazines, that is the tip of a very large and truly ancient iceberg.
The History of Astrology
There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that humanity has been fascinated by the stars since our earliest beginnings. Anyone who has been to an area free of modern light pollution at night will understand the awe-inspiring nature of this fascination. There are written records that show people were using the positions of the stars to determine the patterns of things on Earth during the time of the Sumerians (about 2000 BC).
Today, millions of people use astrology around the world, and there are thousands of resources that a budding astrologer can use to help them on their journey – including this one! Astrology is a tool that you can use very effectively to expand your understanding of yourself, and of the world that we all share.
Contrary to the opinions of some, astrology is not a belief system, nor a religion. It is not associated with any sort of therapy. It is instead a highly specialized language. It takes time and dedication to learn, in the same way that learning any foreign language will take time and dedication to learn.
What Astrology is Not
One thing that it is very important to understand before you begin your study of astrology is that it is not a way of foretelling the future. I know that this will probably come as a disappointment, but it is probably the single most important thing for any astrologer to understand – no matter how much popular culture might say otherwise.
Your astrological chart may well indicate that you are experiencing a positive time to increase your resources, or that you need to take extra care in high risk situations, but the exact circumstances and outcome are not determined by your chart. You can certainly use astrology to help you to make the best choice out of those in front of you, but you have to make the decisions yourself. If you choose to stay in bed all day, no amount of good luck appearing in your chart is going to land you your dream job!
One other habit of people who are influenced more by the popular culture idea of astrology than any actual study of the craft is to blame the planets for your life situation. It does make a really convenient scapegoat, but it is a very lazy way of looking at life.
What Astrology Is
Astrology helps you to become better acquainted with yourself, and more importantly, your inner nature. It can help you to reach a profound understanding of your needs, hopes and desires, which in turn can help you to lead a more satisfying life. In many ways, learning about your personal astrological chart is a self-confirming experience. It adds to your sense of self confidence, and so can positively influence your success in life.
In addition to exploring your potential, strengths, and liabilities, you can use astrological information to help you to determine the best times to act. Astrology offers exceptional insights into timing. Techniques have been developed which can indicate specific areas of opportunity or crisis, and which can illuminate avenues of better choices. You can also use astrological information to help you determine the best time to begin or end different ventures, and whether or not you should expand or stay closely focused.
There are many branches of astrology which reach into all levels of life experience, and there are professional astrologers working in all of these fields. Astrologers are frequently also counsellors who focus on personal growth, relationships, crisis intervention, or any of a number of other areas.
I hope this has given you a clearer understanding of what astrology is and is not, and that you are now eager to begin your own exploration of this truly ancient art.