Astrology is found in all the higher more advanced civilizations throughout history. It has historical depth and has survived despite rigorous persecution and was sought out by royalty as well as the church. Until the eighteenth century it was taught in all major European universities. Some of the most intelligent men in history have studied and practiced astrology, including Ben Franklin, (who selected the inauguration date of Washington), Sir Francis Bacon, Shakespeare, Kepler, Carl Jung, Sir Issac Newton, Sir Walter Scott, Dante, Goethe, Milton, Nostradamus, Ptolemy, Ralph Waldo Emerson and D. H. Lawrence--and Ronald Reagan, Calvin Coolidge, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt who also consulted astrologers before making major political decisions. With the invention of the computer, we are about to enter the golden age of astrology. A consultant no longer has to spend tedious hours doing calculations, but instead can focus on better interpretations for the client's benefit.
Today we observe natural laws at work whether they are in the skies, or through the microscope. The first astronomers were astrologers. Early man learned to observe the sky in order to determine the seasons, and he could do this by observing the rotation of the Big Dipper. The first calendar made was a simple stick in the ground and when the sun's shadow was traced in 365 ¼ days, the circle/cycle was repeated. The movement of all the planetary bodies is in essence one big clock. Easter is determined each year after the Sun has entered Aries and is the first Sunday after the spring equinox.
Astrologers will tell you that planets do not cause things to happen, but planetary aspects are signals of likely events, times or occurrences. For example, when the clock shows 12:00 noon, that is the same time the sun is at its highest point in the sky and also the hottest time of the day with the most solar energy. Our clock tells us this accurate point of time each day. Likewise astrological rhythms of the sky have also been observed to foretell of wars and unrest, new kings and important births, as well as weather and possible natural disasters. The wise men who found the Christ child were astrologers, ("magi" is an old Greek word meaning astrologer.) Today, especially in the West, astrology looks at personality development with conscious and sub-conscious behavior-- and helps you to understand yourself through self-awareness.
Let's look at the closest celestial body first, the Sun. Our bodies and circadian rhythms are in harmony with its rising and setting. Solar light wake us up to a conscious life of work and accomplishment--and the setting of the Sun signals our bodies to slow down and rest. Our bodies need several hours of low light to convert serotonin to melatonin so we can sleep. So it is quite obvious how the Sun makes us active. In a zodiac chart it represents our conscious mind and ego and the will to achieve in the material world.
Then there is the Moon, the changing night-light that governs the tides and water systems on our planet--which includes our bodies since we are about 75% water. The Moon represents our emotional nature and feelings that change from day to day. We know that the Moon affects the ocean tides in a regular 28 day rhythm, and this matches a woman's menses. Statistics also show that there is more post-operative bleeding during a full moon, more bar room brawls, crime and problems in asylums. The term "lunatic" came from the observation that unbalanced individuals would get worse during certain lunar cycles. Traditional farmers would plant by the Moon and purchased Farmer's Almanacs like Bibles with the Moon cycles charted for each month. If a farmer used the New Moon cycle, he found that it was the most auspicious time to plant new seedlings, as the combined gravitational pull of the Sun and the Moon (being on one side of the earth) would pull up the water table in the earth's surface. This effect would mean there was more moisture available for young seedlings in the soil, and less loss of crops (and hence more money). So the farmer who used astrology could increase his earnings. So just by observing the two closest planetary bodies, we see many instances of how their energy and gravity do affect our lives.
Then, let's take a look at Mars, the red planet. Ancient man noticed that whenever the red planet came in close proximity to the earth, often strife would break out. Thus it gained the reputation as the planet of war. French psychologist Michel Gauquelin scientifically charted the zodiac positions of athletes and found that a huge percentage had Mars either in the ninth or twelfth house position. (This is Mars just past the ascendant or the sky zenith/ noon point) and he published these results. Many tried to refute his claims, but most acknowledged his thorough research findings. Traditionally Mars is often seen as a planet prominent in the charts of military leaders, soldiers, crusaders, surgeons and politicians.
Then there is Venus that makes a beautiful five-pointed flower pattern every eight years around the earth; incorporating the golden ratio which is the math proportion to how we see beauty. Venus has always been associated with love and beauty and mathematically we can now see the golden ratio in its orbit. Astrologer Paul Westran did a very exhaustive study of the aspects between the Sun and Venus in love affairs with an explanation of why romances can wax and wane. He especially noted that relationships blossomed with the trine or conjunct degree in a natal chart (synastry) or with a progressed Venus or Sun. Venus traditionally figures very prominently in the charts of poets, artists, musicians, writers, models, beautiful women and many celebrities.
The twenty year conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn are used for calculating major events, monitoring the stock market and Feng Shui cycles. We receive radio signals from the Jupiter all the time, and depending on its position, the strength of these electro-magnetic waves will change and they affect the behavior of our Sun. Every twenty year period heralds a different pattern for the stock market, either bull or bear. W.D. Gann became famous as a stock market trader because he was able to figure out how and when certain commodity trading would peak and tunnel. He became a millionaire based on his astrological observations and trades; and accurately predicted the stock market crash of October 1929, Black Tuesday, to the day-- and some say to the hour.
The Myers-Briggs type indicator is the most popular personality inventory used in the world today. It is based on Carl Jung's research into personality and astrology. They describe four basic types and each person has one dominant function: thinking, feeling, sensation or intuition. These polar qualities need to be balanced in the individual for greatest performance-- and this is the kind of analysis we commonly do in astrology.
This is just the beginning of a vast ocean of information that is ours to understand and use for our benefit. Astronomy (measurement of the stars) grew out of astrology (knowledge of the stars) and science separated the physical observations from the psychological--with how cosmic bodies can affect our emotional and mental states. An astrological chart can show natural talents, personality traits, challenges and proclivities a person's life is most likely to take. Isn't it better to be aware of these tendencies so you can minimize possible undermining behaviors? Astrology is the map of your life, and you can get to your destination faster if you know all the roads available to you. The road you ultimately choose is up to you.
(c) 2013 Lynda Lee Abdo is an advanced certified Feng Shui consultant and astrologer and author of "Heal Your Home". She is also an accomplished artist and has previously been a commercial designer for more than 25 years winning national recognition for many years in "Who's Who". Visit her website for further information and consultation services... www.fengshui2bliss.com