Astrology is often accused of disrespecting the fact that the positions of the constellations have “moved” and that they are behind where astrologers who work with the tropical zodiac claim them to be.
While it is true that, due to the Earth’s wobble on its axis, the Zodiac appears to move in an anticlockwise direction by one degree in around 70 years, it doesn’t really do so. Scientifically and astrologically, this apparent occurrence is known as the Precession of the Equinoxes.
Due to the tilt of the Earth’s axis and the wobble it creates, there is a continual shift in the way the heavens appear from Earth. The constellations seem to move position, so that our solar system planets are aligned to a slightly different backdrop of stars. This effect is known as the Precession of the Equinoxes, and is a cycle which takes around 25-26,000 earth years to complete.
Astrology accounts for the Precession phenomenon by creating 12 great ages of around two thousand years each. Astrologers believe we are now in a transition period between the Age of Pisces and the Age of Aquarius.
It is very important to realise that the Zodiac is not a logical concept, it is part of a symbolic language which has been used through the Ages to help us interpret Life’s mysteries. It is difficult to prove Astrology “works” in scientific terms, because its nature is not pragmatic, it is philosophical.
Astrologers who practice Vedic principles do work with the precession shift. They calculate their horoscopes according to the Sidereal Zodiac, which follows the apparent changes in the Earth’s position relative to the star groups on which the zodiac signs are based.
But most Western astrologers base their calculations on the constant, never-changing Tropical Zodiac. Why? Simply because it seems to work, and also perhaps because it provides a sense of eternal, unchanging structure against which to interpret the confusing, chaotic, ever-changing world we live in.
The 12 Zodiac Star Groups, or Signs, have their own well defined characteristics. Although we can trace meanings of the Zodiac Signs back to Egyptian times and beyond, no one knows their true origins, many of which could be pre-historic.
It is probably true to say that the style of astrology currently practiced in the west is strongly influenced by the ancient Greek philosophers including Pythagoras, Plato and Ptolemy. Their observations of the geometric designs and reoccurring cycles created by the planets as they moved across the sky led them to perceive a divine order in the heavens around earth. They recognised mathematical patterns that were far too regular, harmonious and predictable to be dismissed as accidental, random or chaotic. The numerical sequence 3, 6, 9 & 12 which underpins the astrology we still practise today seemed of particular significance to them.
The Astrological interpretations which have been assigned to Zodiac Signs and Planets are often linked to iconic, legendary characters in ancient mythology. Planet Jupiter is personified in the Greek god Zeus, Planet Venus in beautiful goddess Aphrodite, Planet Saturn in Cronos god of time. Chiron is named for the wise Centaur in Greek mythology who sacrificed his own wellbeing in order to help and heal others and Ceres is embodied in the mother goddess of fertility and harvests.
Famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung recognised the reoccurring themes shared by myth, astrology, the tarot and other forms of divination. Many western astrologers draw on his works to help define, describe and analyse energies within a birth chart.
© Pauline Gerosa Astrology Oracle 2021 Images & Text