Future So Bright

Introduction To Western Astrology

Article posted on December 19, 2012 and it has been read by 17950 people

What is Western astrology? What is the meaning of Zodiac Signs, Houses, Aspects, Decanates, Dignities and planetary positions? Read on to know more about the basics of Western or Tropical Astrology.


Angelina was suddenly facing some problems and when she could not find out how to come out of it or the cause of it, she came across an advertisement in newspaper. It was about a famous astrologer visiting her city the next week and so she called their number and booked an appointment. The day came for her to visit the astrologer and he listened to her problems leisurely. Then he noted her birth date, time and location and told her to revisit him a week later.


Three days later, when she checked her e-mail, she was surprised to see mail from him and found her horoscopes, birth charts and few tables, all enclosed in a single PDF file. She took a printout of it and met him on the date he had previously told. While on the way to meet him, she read the terms in the printout and was baffled. There were Houses, Aspects, Decanates, Dignities and planets. She knew of the Zodiac signs, from the everyday predictions in newspapers. But the rest of the terms were totally new to her.


As soon as she entered his office, he read her predictions and cause of the problems and few solutions for it. She was happy about it, but her mind could not rest. She was eager to know how those unknown terms influence her life. She started a conversation with him, which was recorded as below:


Western Astrology HousesAngelina: “If you could excuse me, can you explain to me what Houses are? I have heard of Houses, well you know, which we live in. But what are these Astrology Houses described in these sheets.”


Astrologer: “Yes ma’am. We are using Western Astrology and so let me explain to you on its basis. Houses are nothing but divisions in the ecliptic plane. If you look at the sky, you can confirm that the sun, moon and the planets move within a zone across the sky and this is called the ecliptic. The whole of Astrology is derived from this ecliptic plane and various heavenly bodies that occupy it.


There are twelve houses in Western Astrology and each one occupies nearly 30 degrees in the ecliptic plane. Houses are taken in reverse order to the motion of sun, the first house is at the eastern horizon (Ascendant Sign), fourth house is at the nadir (Imum Coeli), seventh house is at the western horizon (Descendant Sign) and tenth house is at the zenith (Medium Coeli).


The houses are thought to be in sync with the twelve zodiac signs, because both have the same twelve divisions and equal angles. But it varies for every person. The zodiac sign that is at the eastern horizon during a person’s birth is the first house. For example, the sign Sagittarius is at the first house during your birth. The planet that rules that sign during your birth time is said to the ruler of the house.


Each house has a unique influence in your life, like first house stands for your life, while tenth house for your career. These houses are classified based on the elements associated with the zodiac signs in it.


In the past astrology, the houses are divided based on whole sign and equal house systems. But now, many new systems of divisions have evolved such as Meridian, Placidus, Koch and Krusinski being the latest.”


Astrology PlanetsAngelina: “That’s a good explanation. Ok, I have heard about planets in astrology? What are they? The eight planets as we know?”


Astrologer: “Western astrology differs from the astronomy in the view of planets. For example, we have taken Sun and Moon as planets. Previously, astrologers recognized only seven planets – Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. But now, we have added Ceres, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto to it. Still, many astrologers stick to the classical seven planet model.


You might have known that the Zodiac sign where the Sun resides when you took birth is your sun sign and the astrology predictions you read in dailies is derived based on your sun or star sign. We believe that these planets have an influence on the person and are their energy flow regulators. When you hear about planets, you might need to hear about aspects.”


Angelina nodded her head.


Astrologer: “Suppose Venus is at the eastern horizon of the sky and Mars is somewhat above the head. Now the angle between them on a horoscope would be 90 degrees. This angular difference between planets on a horoscope is called Planetary Aspects. The five different types of aspects are Conjunction, Trine, Square, Opposition and Sextile. Aspects decide about the developmental changes in the lives of people.”


Angelina smiled and asked: “Ok. What are Decanates?”


Astrologer: “The word Decan stands for ten and the reason it got its name was that the ancient astrologers divided each Zodiac sign into three divisions of ten degrees each. Decans were 36 groups of stars that arose everyday on the eastern horizon and rise of each decan were marked as a decanal hour for ancient Egyptians. Each group of star occupies 10 degrees in the sky and they rise from the horizon for 10 days. So the cycle of 36 groups rising for every 10 days counted to 360 days.”


Angelina intervened: “Ok, what about Dignities?”


Astrology Planets And SignsAstrologer: “There are two types of Dignities – Essential Dignity and Accidental Dignity. Essential dignity is the power of the planet for its Zodiacal position. Accidental dignity is the power obtained by the planets from other sources other than Zodiac positions. Essential dignity deals with the nature of the planets, while Accidental dignity signifies the power of the planet.”


Angelina: “Well, you forgot one important thing. The Zodiac signs.”


Astrologer: “Yes, Yes. Like Houses, the Zodiac signs are twelve equal divisions of the ecliptic plane. The twelve zodiac signs are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Each zodiac sign has an associated symbol and occupies 30 degrees of the sky, with Aries being the first sign. Every Zodiac sign has a ruling Lord and their influence can be felt throughout the Zodiac sign.”


Angelina thought of getting up and was about to thank him, but Astrologer continued: “Western Astrology, the one that we practice, was derived from Greco-Roman astrology, which in turn was from Babylonian astrology. Our system is around horoscopes and birth charts, and so plotting of charts is totally important. Now you have your horoscope and your birth chart. So, if you want to read your future, it’s easy. Thanks for visiting and letting me share my knowledge in Western Astrology with you.”


Angelina: “Thank you so much, Sir. Understanding the science behind astrology readings is one of the best ways of understanding this vast subject.”


Different astrological predictions available today make this subject fascinating like never before.





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