Issues in Astrology
by Ajibola Aries
The main thrust of astrology is that there is a connection between what happens across the universe, and what happens in human experience.This position has been a subject of misunderstanding by a lot of people, many of who have choosen to simply dismiss Astrology as a bunch of superstition.
However, as you go through the following attempt by me to explain the science of Astrology, I am optimistic that the very least I can acheive is to remove most of the doubts you have, and encourage you to begin to proceed on the path of correcting whatever misconceptions you may have about Astrology.
Perhaps, I may convince you.
Basically, Astrology posits that when a massive body, such as a star or planet, changes position in the universe, it produces an effect that ripples across space. Astrology says each human's personality and behaviour are influenced by the positions and interactions of massive solar bodies. The effect is particularly influential at the moment of an individual's birth. However, the effects are ongoing and different every day according to the positions of celestial bodies.
Most astrologers have sought, among other ways, a simple scientific way to buttress their argument that human life and behaviour is influenced by the actions and positions of celestial bodies. For example, it has been found that the moon and its position influences the waves of the sea and the levels of tides, in ways not unconnected with the earlier mentioned 'effects that ripple accross space'.
The human body is made up of aproximately 70% of water. Astrologers argue that if the moon's position and movements can influence such large body of water as the waves of the ocean and tide levels, its influence on the much smaller amount of water in the human body, including, by extension, the person whose body is the repository of such water, will be even more profound. In connection to this, a poster nicknamed Blasterman in a Nairaland forum thread on Astrology said, 'The sea which is the most matter on earth is controlled or affected by celestial bodies so also is man. Believe it or not but man is affected by celestial bodies, the degree or the factor of control is unknown as motivation and desire is also a factor in daily life'
Arguments in favour of Astrology goes on to point out that other celestial bodies, such as the sun and the planets, give out similar, unseen vibrations and emissions that influence human life on earth. Furthermore, it comes as a matter of simple observation that most human beings tend to be more active and lively on full moon nights - even when they are not aware that the moon is full - than on those nights that are pitch dark. Likewise, farmers that plant their crops at the beginning of the moon appearance have been observed to yield more harvest than those who plant at other moon stages. Astrologers do not rule out the influence of the moon in these phenomena.
They have also pointed out the fact that results and descriptions of human character analysis done through astrological methodology always fall largely in line with the actual characteristics of that person. For example, astrology describes people born under Aries[March 21-April 20] as people that are energetic, enthusiastic, impulsive, self-centered, sensitive and domineering. In real life, people born between March 21 and April 20 have been found to possess these characteristics more often than not, and to a larger extent, than members of other signs. Sceptics of Astrology miss the point if they suggest that any or other persons can exhibit these characteristics; Astrology is however right in this respect, in as much as these particular people can be distinguished for these characteristics.
Further, astrologers have been known over the centuries to have made predictions of events with amazing accuracy, using astrological methodologies. Nostradamus was known to have accurately predicted the rise and fall of Napoleon, the First and Second world wars, the founding of the United States of America, the assasinations of Abraham Lincon and John F.Kennedy, the terror of the atomic bomb, the 1979 Iranian Revolution, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, etc. Many other astrologers have made similar accurate predictions.The argument then goes that for such accurate predictions to have been credited to astrologers, there must be something evidently truthful and realistic about astrology.
Thousands of people also continue to give testimonies of how the advice and councellings of astrologers have been useful to their lives.
Astrology does not claim that it's method of enquiry explains every event and every behavioural features of human beings to the exclusion of other approaches to the explanation and analysis of behaviour ands events. Thus, while it is true that astrologers insist that astrological factors play very important determinant roles in human behavioural characateristics and experiences, they also do not claim that the analysis of psychologists which, for example, also attribute human behaviour to environment and past experiences, do not count. So if one Aries fails to show some characteristics peculiar to Aries as ihe/she should show, it does not imply that astrological readings are inaccurate or faulty; it may only imply the consequence of an interplay of various factors that determine human behaviour.
So while an Aries behaviour is shapened by the position of the celestial bodies at the moment of his birth, it is also true that his behaviour will also be affected by his experiences and environment. This will explain why the behaviour of all Aries cannot be 100% the same. For example, two persons were born on April 15th, 1975. One of them was born by well-to-do, affectionate parents and grew up in a posh area such as Victoria Garden City. The other was born by uncaring and disaffectionate parents into abject poverty and grew up in a thickly dirty slum. Differences in the conditions of their birth and upbringing will definitely effect same variations in the development of their personalities, leading to the uniqueness of both individuals. Astrology's position is that all these notwithstanding, there are still many important personality traits that align with the zodiacal characteristics of Aries that these two individuals will commonly exhibit under all circumstances. For example, in varying degrees [due to other factors mentioned above] both of them will be energetic, impulsive, volatile, self-centered and enthusiastic for and capable of, leadership. Astrology does not claim that members of other signs cannot exhibit these traits, but its position is that with with people born under the Aries sign, these are personality traits that are outstanding with them and consistent with them more than members of other signs, especially those signs that are not Fire Signs.
Is Astrology a religion? The answer is simply no.The attitude of many sceptics of Astrology, especially those belonging to orthodox religions, often implies that they tend to confuse Astrology with religion. This attitude is understandable-though not quite justifiable- for the simple reason that Astrology performs a few functions that orthodox religion performs, such as spiritual guidance and councelling. Moreover, some professional astrologers have effectively turned to mystics - and actually perform rituals to address certain existencial problems and have been producing results. Yet Astrologers have never labelled the discipline as a religion -and it is never formally classified as a religion, and Astrology continues to be lacking in certain crucial characteristics of religion such as a defined object of worship, defined mode of worship, an organised system or institution of proselitysation and evangelism, scriptural revelation, etc.This has left Astrology in its own unique, important position that puts it in no mission to rival religion.
And it is important to note that a very large body of believers in Astrology are members of orthodox religions.
Astrology inclines more to the characteristics of science for the simple reason that it employs scientific approaches such as the use of data, the use of more or less complex mathematical calculations, defined procedures of experimentations, to arrive at results. The paperwork of a typical professional astrologer looks in no way like a piece from an art gallery or what is meant to win souls for God. Yet a scientist might jump to a conclusion that it is a thing he can easily familiarise with, with minimal efforts.
In my analysis on Astrology, I am consistent in pointing out the fact that the two major aspects of astrology are CHARACTER ANALYSIS and PREDICTIONS. The former is the more intellectual and is largely responsible for the ability of Astrology to attract attention and patronage from a wide range of intellectually inclined people even across religions. However, many religious people have reservations for the latter aspect despite the enviable records of the accuracy of astrological predictions and the reputation of astrological counsels. It is this reservation that has, in the minds of such people, overshadowed the overall essence and merits of astrology. For example, many Muslim literatures have so much expanded the interpretation of ‘Shirk’(association of partners with God) to also cover the prediction aspect of astrology, as they sought to juxtapose it with sorcery. Christianity does not appear to disagree with this position in as much as the prediction aspect of astrology is concerned. At this point, astrology appears to be in conflict with orthodox religion as religious practitioners perceive it, rightly or wrongly, to have strayed into a territory where they expect religion to hold sway.
It is partly because the prediction aspect of astrology is controversial that I am not going to be making emphasis on it.
However, it is also a fact that the reservations some people have about the prediction aspect of astrology is a product of religious prejudice brought about by extremist mentality. Still, there are those who have never bothered to launch an impartial and thorough intellectual enquiry and research into Astrology and have therefore remained quite ignorant, but who still go ahead to make judgements about Astrology. I have repeatedly made the observation that people who are sceptical about Astrology are usually the ones who have never been ready to exert their efforts to research into it.
What is unfortunate is not the fact that some people have reservations about one aspect or the other of astrology, but their failure to draw a line between the different aspects of astrology and derive knowledge and practical benefits from aspects they find most attractive.
RULES OF COMPATIBILITY AND ZODIAC CLASSIFICATIONS.
The first and most important thing to be noted in this respect is that the element of each sign matters. The element of a sign is the fundamental character and emotional make-up of that sign. The entire zodiac signs are all categorized into four groups of elements.
Elements have to do with different personality types. Members of the same element are usually compatible with one another.
The following categorizations are chiefly based on modern astrology:
- Aries, Leo and Sagittarius belong to the Fire element. Basic characteristics: people born under these element signs are fiery, bright, enthusiastic, ardent, confident, proud, spontaneous, self-sufficient, romantic, quick to anger, quick to forgive and make natural leaders. They can also be very arrogant, self-centered, bossy, forceful and attention-craving.
- Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn belong to the Earth element. Basic characteristics: people born under these sign elements are practical, consistent, determined, stable, rigid, dependable, patient, sensual and conservative. They are also known for their love for material comforts and strong recuperative powers. On the negative side, they ar capable of being dull and too materialistic.
- Gemini, Libra and Aquarius belong to the Air element. Basic charateristics: people born under these sign elements are known for their communicative ability. They have strong intellectual inclinations and are cery competent in abstract reasoning. These people are talkative, logical, social, idealistic, flexible , objective and unprejudiced. They operate mainly (and strongly) in the realm of ideas. They are freedom lovers. However, they can be unemotional, cold, impractical and superficial.
- Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio belong to the Water element. Basic characteristics: people born under these signs are receptive, intuitive, emotional, sensitive, sympathetic, psychic, imaginative, and deep. They are often difficult to understudy, and are highly prone to mood swings. The tendency is high to be self-protective and they are also prone to food, drug, alcohol or sex addiction if their charcteristically intense emotions grow unchecked. However, these people are very good at reading and understanding others and flowing with their emotional undercurrents.
At this point, the issue of compatibility comes in.
Relationship between members of the same element, and relationship among members of different elements, reflects the basic characteristics all those elements in physical life. Fire radiates light and brightens the environment, but can also heat up the environment and burn. This characteristic is reflected in the strong aura and personality projection of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius who are powerful people whose aura is strongly felt wherever they go, either for good or for bad. The nature of air is such that it can flow into any space and it has cooling effect. Such is reflected in the nature of members of the Air signs who can socially fit in anywhere; are strong lovers of freedom, communication and free interaction. Members of the air signs are the only groups in the zodiac who are very compatible with themselves and are simultaneously of very high compatibility with members of all other groups. This can be explained by the keywords associated with each Air sign: Gemini- communication; Libra- balance; Aquarius –fairness.
These two examples of Fire and Air signs may suffice for the explanation of compatibility:
Members of a particular element group are usually compatible with each other and are compatible with members of one or two other element group. The Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) stand out in this respect as they are the only group both highly compatible will themselves and also with all other element groups. The elementary explanation for this phenomenon is this: the element, Fire can scorch the earth, evaporates water but is rather helped to burn by the presence of air (no fire without air but fire can burn without water and earth); water and earth element can extinguish fire but are cooled by the presence of air. Thus, in terms of ability to fit in in social settings, the Air signs are the all-rounders; they are the most credible arbiters as they do not suffer from most of the compatibility limitations of other element groups. This is further explained thus:
Fire signs are compatible with themselves and with Air signs but can only ‘manage’ Earth and Water signs; Earth signs are compatible with themselves and with Air and Water signs but not with fire signs; Water signs are compatible with themselves and with Air and Earth signs but can only ‘manage’ Fire signs; Air signs are compatible with themselves and also blend well (at least to a larger extent) with all other signs.
There is another important classification into which the twelve zodiac signs are divided. This is called QUALITIES. The qualities place the signs into Quadruplicities; three groups of four, sometimes called Crosses because each quality forms a cross when it is drawn across the zodiac. Christian Astrology relates the three qualities to the three aspects of God in the Trinity. The three qualities are the Cardinal, Fixed and Mutable signs.
CARDINAL SIGNS: ARIES, CANCER, LIBRA, CAPRICORN. These signs are associated with initiative and creativity. People with lots of cardinal qualities in their personality will be good organisers, spontaneous, restless and generally make good leaders.
FIXED SIGNS: TAURUS, LEO, SCORPIO, AQUARIUS. These signs are associated determination, focus, individuality and are known to be conservative, stable, loyal, rather inflexible in their approach, persevering, solid and purposeful.
MUTABLE SIGNS: GEMINI, VIRGO, SAGITTARIUS, PISCES. Members of these signs are known for their adaptability, resourcefulness and holism. They are also known to be flexible, good at service to others, have multiple talents, talkative and forward looking.
Sun signs (also referred to as Star signs) represent the sign of the Zodiac the Sun was in at a person's birth. In Astrology, the Sun rules will-power and ego[the sun is the ruling planet of the sign,Leo]. Each person's Sun Sign reflects the direction and focus of their life. The Sign influences how a person born under it approaches life, and how he or she accomplishes things. It is symbolic of the personality. Sun signs affect honesty, integrity and the ability to command respect and authority. All of these determine a person's ability to in turn, react with and influence others. Horoscope readings use the Sun sign and the position of the planets to predict what may happen in the future. Weekly horoscopes take a general picture of a Sun sign and use the position of the celestial bodies to make predictions on what the future holds for individuals born under that sign.While a person's Sun sign determines their general characteristics, behaviour and how they react with others, their personal life flow is determined by a chart reading.
New article published: In Fairness To Astrology
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