Astrology is a universal metaphysical science that is practiced throughout the world. Different cultures have their own astrology systems which offer people deep insight into themselves. The following is an overview of some of the most well-known astrological systems throughout the world.
Astrology Beyond Borders
When considering astrology, it is important to look beyond the current system that we personally use and know. There are several astrology systems both current and ancient that have been used throughout time to help individuals understand more about themselves and their current life experiences. In general, some of the main astrology systems include Western astrology, Vedic astrology, and Chinese astrology. It should be noted that these aren’t the only astrology systems that have ever existed. There are other systems that were once used that have since become obsolete.
In Western astrology, there is a focus on the 12 planetary bodies. They include the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto. The position of these particular planetary bodies within the zodiac chart as well as the study of the aspects or interplay between the various planetary bodies within the chart are the basis of astrological chart interpretations. Also, within Western astrology, there are 12 planetary bodies, and as a result, there are twelve houses within the natal chart.
It is important to note that with Western astrology, the 12 planetary bodies are aligned with 12 the applicable 12 zodiac signs which detail specific personality traits. These zodiac signs are also constellations within the solar system. Within Western astrology, there are also various ways in which horoscopes are derived. This results in a variety of systems that are used to create and interpret astrological charts. Some of these systems include Koch, Placidus, Equal, and Whole signs.
Jyotishya (Vedic) Astrology
Vedic astrology is another well-known form of astrology both in the east and the west. This type of astrology is also known as Jyotish astrology which means “the science of light.” It is rooted in India’s ancient system of knowledge known as The Vedas. Vedic astrology is believed to be a guidance system to help individuals who are unsure of their paths in life. In alignment with the Hindu teachings, there is the belief that life is based on growth and that growth and an individual’s life experiences are a direct result of karma which is that every thought and action ultimately has a reaction. Thus, with Vedic astrology, the planetary systems are directly related to a person’s Karma.
It is important to note that Vedic astrology is ultimately focused on helping the individual achieve Moksha or liberation from the act of reincarnation. In order to achieve this, there’s a focus on identifying karma within the birth chart and then resolving it. Some resolutions for karma include performing specific rituals and prayer.
One of the major differences between Western and Vedic astrology is the use of specific planets. In fact, in Vedic astrology, the planetary bodies aren’t even called planets. Instead, they are called grahas which loosely means an entity that has the power to seize or take hold. This is similar to the way in which planetary energies “take hold” and/or influence human behavior…”as above, so below.” The nine grahas in Vedic astrology are the sun, moon, mars, mercury, venus, Saturn, and the north and south nodes. Vedic astrology does not use the outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto that are found in Western astrology. Another important feature of Vedic astrology is that it is based on precession so that horoscopes are calculated using an updated ecliptic path making it more accurate than Western astrology.
Chinese astrology has been around for more than 2,000 years and has a rich history that is actually based on zoology which is why the Chinese zodiac features animals. Similar to Western astrology, there are 12 animal signs which include the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. One of the interesting features of Chinese astrology is that the zodiac seasons last for an entire year in comparison to the monthly or 4-week cycles of Western astrology. Similar to the Western zodiac sign symbols, the animal signs of Chinese astrology are relegated to specific characteristics. In fact, in China, these particular animal signs are believed to influence everything from personality to marriage. Just like with Western astrology there are specific zodiac signs and animal signs that are more compatible than others.
Other Astrology Systems Across the World
There are various other astrological systems that have been used around the world that are either outdated and/or obsolete. These particular astrology systems were usually based in specific regions of the world. For example, modern-day Western astrology has its roots in Babylonian astrology which was created in 1894 BC. Then there is Egyptian astrology which is based on 12 Egyptian goddesses. Egyptian astrology used the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt applied to specific time periods to help individuals understand more about themselves. Mayan astrology is perhaps one of the most interesting because it is based on the Sacred Round also known as the Tzolkin calendar. In Mayan astrology, there are 20 birth glyphs, and this form of astrology used a “life tree” which is similar to the Western astrological natal birth chart to provide insight and divination to individuals.
In all, it is interesting to explore the many different systems of astrology from around the world. Although these systems are different in some ways, there always appear to be similarities between each of the astrological systems which allow individuals to use planetary energy to help them understand more about themselves.