Western Astrology. Astrology Notions (I).


Astrology has existed in practically all cultures, since the contemplation of the night sky was undoubtedly one of the first religious impressions. The perception of the movement or not of the stars, of their seasonal changes, motivates the thought that they are "aware" or at least they are linked to the development of time and space. From there to embodying his presence in heaven, his influence and his knowledge of the past and the future was a slight step, and they motivate his study to try to deduce how human events will evolve. Even from an academic point of view, anthropology, astronomy, history, art, religious sciences, psychology, sociology and many other disciplines can find a very interesting field of study and almost devoid of criticism due to generalization and general despotism towards this practice.

Most of astrology is based on astronomical issues and not just esoteric. A good astrologer knows the position and real characteristics of the stars and planets, to which he adds the esoteric tradition about the elements that govern, the festures assigned to each sign, etc., considering that the stars influence people's lives, and even animals and things, assuming that everything in the universe is interrelated. Astrology and astronomy were linked in antiquity, and this is not due to ignorance, but to a complex belief system in which, in addition, the human being had a much more direct and close relationship with nature, in which it is understood that everything suffers or creates affectation, in the idea that universal energies move and manifest. The mathematical and physical sciences were necessary for the establishment of time, of cycles, of knowledge of the movement of the stars, but it was not understood that this could not be governed perhaps by a destiny, a divinity, or that the stars themselves had a kind of "own life" and higher knowledge. That the stars, in short, influence the lives of men or know all their vital development, since, within this idea of ​​cycles, everything that has happened is about to be repeated or recognized.

It is not, therefore, a practice totally alien to any other scientific discipline or created on a fictitious basis, if we consider that all belief has its origin in a real perception from which a specific interpretation can be deduced. On the other hand, astronomy in its beginnings did not bother to discuss the astral influence, and astrology was based on astronomical concepts to be able to carry out its calculations with precision. In other words, astrology is correct in the position of the stars and mathematical concepts, and another thing is that each one decides or not to accept what is said to mean by ancestral tradition. Among these astronomical concepts, it is necessary to understand the idea of ​​the celestial sphere, whose center would be the Earth, the astronomical horizon, understood as the plane of any "circle" that has the Earth at its center within this sphere, and that the celestial rotation is really a perception, since it is the planet that rotates on its axis.

Moved by our ethnocentric vision, astrology is generally associated with the twelve zodiac signs from the astrological-astronomical study inherited by Western culture, influenced by the Renaissance and medieval vision of Arab studies, which partly drank from Roman culture. and Hellenistic, which in turn applied a filter to Egyptian and Chaldean astrology. But after all, Western astrology, with its pros and cons, has positioned itself as one of the best known and most practiced, although also for this reason one of the most mistreated.

-Western astrology. The twelve signs of the Zodiac.

In Western astrology, the annual ecliptic of the sun is studied and divided, in its apparent journey through the sky, crossing twelve constellations, into twelve equal fragments of 30 degrees each, which may or may not coincide with the complete constellation to which it is related. These divisions give rise to the signs of the zodiac, which do not have the constellation other than by origin, there is no pure and perfect identification of sign-constellation. In fact, at present, due to the equinoctial precession, the period established for each sign actually occupies only one third of the initial assigned constellation, since it has shifted about 24 degrees. However, perhaps by tradition, the astrological study has not adapted the new constellations, so a western astrologer can take into account, or not, the influence of the stars that are actually in the elliptical, but never assign or create a new zodiac sign. This is because the twelve signs are linked to a mathematical and non-realistic question of the celestial sphere; to a time and space of the sky, and not to the total movement, because it is taken from the so-called tropical zodiac. Some astrologers divide each zodiac strip into three parts of approximately ten days, which are called decans, and each of which has, by tradition, particular influences.

The assignment of a zodiac sign is based on the position of the sun at the time of birth, so the western signs are solar, something interesting considering that since ancient times most of the calendars and calculations were established with the moon . When the cusp takes place, the moment in which the sun changes sign, an average of between two and five days elapse, giving rise to the eternal doubt of the signs of those born on those days, and that astrologers can calculate correctly . They also generally consider that in such cases the born can show characteristics of the two signs.
The assignment of a zodiac sign is based on the position of the sun at the time of birth, so the western signs are solar, something interesting considering that since ancient times most of the calendars and calculations were established with the moon . When the cusp takes place, the moment in which the sun changes sign, an average of between two and five days elapse, giving rise to the eternal doubt of the signs of those born on those days, and that astrologers can calculate correctly . They also generally consider that in such cases the born can show characteristics of the two signs.

In the ecliptic or near it there are also planets, with the exception of Pluto, counted or not according to the opinion about its planetary status. In traditional Western astrology, although all influences are taken into account, the main planets have been those stars treated as such in Antiquity: Mercury, in intellectual capacity; Venus, in the amatory capacity; Mars, in defensive capacity; Jupiter, in the leadership capacity, and Saturn, in the moralistic capacity, also counting on the Sun, the self and the Moon, the emotional capacity. The later associations of the remaining planets are immersed in deep disputes, due to the semi-impossibility of assigning elements or divinities to them. Such associations are usually to Uranus the creative capacity, to Neptune the spiritual capacity and to Pluto, if it is counted, the capacity for metamorphosis. The planets simultaneously rule different zodiacal signs with which they share a "personality", but they change over time and many astrologers barely take them into account, preferring to analyze them when they intervene in their respective zodiacal houses.

The zodiac signs, over time, have been applied specific psychological characteristics, practically becoming personality archetypes that almost everyone has heard at some time: Aries, stubborn but responsible; Taurus, demanding but loyal; Geminis, changeable and loving; Cancer, relatives and workers; Leo, impulsive but attentive; Virgo, retailer and delivered; Libra, thoughtful and pragmatic; Scorpio, passionate but vengeful; Sagittarius, intelligent but clueless; Capricorn, ambitious and methodical; Aquarius, affectionate but difficult; Pisces, sincere and suffering. All these are some of the numerous characteristics that are usually applied to them and that, despite the fact that they vary according to the school, they usually coincide.

Part of these personalities come not only from the myths or legends attributed, but also from the Elements, which in Western culture, since Empedocles (S.V BC) are four: Earth, Air, Fire and Water, from which all was formed. The elements were also associated with an act or vital issue: Earth is physical, stable, so its signs (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn) will share, from an astrological point of view, this type of resistant energy; Air, the invisible, the mental, will make its signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) variable but sensible individuals, with fixed ideas; Fire symbolizes action, radical change, and this is how its signs (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) would be defined, they will be very active but without much analysis; and Water, the emotional, the change that can be fluid or uncontrolled, whose signs (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces), following this behavioral pattern, will be carried away by emotions, but they will also adapt to changes.

These elements, in turn, would exert their force depending on whether the signs are fixed, cardinal, or mutable. The fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius) are those who are in the middle of a seasonal period, and for this reason they are considered calm but stubborn people, unwilling to change once they are in a stable and sensible situation. , but who like wide panoramas for the development of any action. The so-called cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) are those that take place right at the beginning of a seasonal period, and are governed by people with initiative, although with a leadership capacity that can turn into tyranny. Finally, the mutable signs (Geminis, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) are those that close the seasonal period. This situation, from an astrological point of view, makes those born under these signs changeable but also adapt to changes, flexible. The differences between all of these will be marked by many other issues, including the elements already mentioned.

The ascendant and the descendant, that is, the sign that rises on the eastern horizon and the one that hides in the West at the moment of birth, will speak respectively about the internal relationship of people, personality and spirituality - However, it is said of the ascendant that, in addition to health, also defines the physical appearance; and the person's external relationship with others, in which he admires qualities that he believes he lacks, but which also help define part of the synastry, that is, compatibility with other people.

The influence of the ascendant will be based both on the corresponding sign and on the planets close to the I House of the Zodiac. It is generally calculated using the time of birth, the date, which determines the zodiac sign, and the element, calculating which would be the sign that was at the highest point at that moment. The descendant will be on the opposite side, in the VII Zodiacal House. However, ascending or descending cannot be guessed reflecting, since the degrees of the ecliptic may not coincide.

The Celestial or Zodiacal Houses are each one of the divisions of the ecliptic, previously mentioned (and already seen in other articles). By tradition, each House is associated with a field of action related to the characteristics of the zodiac sign that corresponds to it. House I, with Aries, refers to the consultant, to the self, to the internal and spiritual part of the person, but also to their character and physical appearance. House II, with Taurus, talks about material possessions, earnings and retentions. House III, with Gemini, speaks of the environment of the individual, of travel and exchanges, also at an interrelational level. House IV, with Cancer, also speaks of heritage, but more understood as a family home. House V, with Leo, speaks of childhood and fun, as well as creativity and energy. House VI, with Virgo, is identified with work and responsibilities, but also with issues of order and health. House VII, of Libra, speaks of marriage and close relationships, both friendship and enmity. House VIII, of Scorpio, speaks of death, the end of things, but therefore also restarting and regeneration, as well as sexual passion. House IX, of Sagittarius, is related to close relationships, but on an intellectual, spiritual, religious level, "higher" knowledge. House X, of Capricorn, talks about family and relationships in general, work, studies, reputation and also the individual's independence from their own environment. House XI, of Aquarius, is related to carrying out projects, balanced psychological issues. House XII, with Pisces, is the one of blessings and curses, of abstract and mystical issues, but also of occult things in general.

The synastry between signs will be based on the linked or contrary relationship of the elements of the zodiac signs, in the ascendant and the descendant, by Houses I and VII, which are identified with the Self and the end, in this case, the fate. On the other hand, also the planets that fall in these Houses, and in the intermediate ones, whose scopes were described above. The planets that are in those Houses will influence in the following way, guided, to a certain extent, by the partly mythological and folkloric tradition. The Sun, as a paternal and protective figure, and the Moon, as a maternal and flexible figure. Mercury will be more mental, intellectual; Venus speaks of loving dependence, of necessity. Mars is aggressive and impulsive. Jupiter is self-confidence, firmness, character; Saturn is stability, time, tranquility; Uranus is freedom, open-mindedness. Neptune influences the idealization of the couple, while Pluto is the opposite, until it reaches a bit controlling point.

The distance between the planets is called Aspect, as well as the angles they create if we draw lines between them. There will be open and harmonic angles and other acute and unstable ones, which will define the situation both at the time of birth, thus indicating vital development, and in a specific consultation on specific dates, although it is usually more common in the Natal Chart. There are several aspects: the planetary conjunction is when several planets are in the same zodiac sign, they become dominant in the situation, actions and personality. The opposition, when there are more than 180 degrees, is negative, a projection of our personality from which we can learn. If the circle is divided into three parts of 120 degrees, then we speak of a trine, a graceful aspect of good luck, balance and comfort. If the celestial circle is divided into four equal parts, with 90 degree angles, then we speak of squareness and they speak of conflicts and difficult situations. The sextile, 60 degrees, the quintile, 72 degrees, the biquintile, 144 degrees, the semisextile, 30 degrees, the semisquare, 45 degrees, and the quincunx, 150 degrees, etc. They are minor aspects that speak of small achievements.

On the other hand, there is the so-called planetary typology, which identifies solar, lunar, Mercurian, Venusian, Martian, Jupiterian and Saturnian people. A posteriori, Uranian, Neptunian and Plutonian were also included. They bring together a personality-planet association that is not always balanced with the supposedly predominant signs, so they are often more of a morphopsychological study. However, despite being quite recent and not being so linked to the subject we are dealing with, it still has many characteristics drawn from mythological and astrological personality patterns.

The last mentioned are responsible for the existence of zodiacal correspondences with a specific part of the body and/or health, colors, metals, animals and plants, along with other varied factors, whose origin is lost in tradition... although after having Once we have reviewed the elementary, planetary, etc. concepts, we will be able to easily identify many of these relationships.
And not only in these correspondences, but in a great majority of the esoteric sciences, of which astrology is the mother, specifically of the mancies, for which reason its influence can be traced with great ease and almost insistence. However, for this introductory article, it has been preferred not to delve too deeply into them or astrology itself, since its complexity without this prior knowledge can lead, as often happens, to the idea of ​​random invention.

Pietro Viktor Carracedo Ahumada - pietrocarracedo@gmail.com


- Cornelius, G. Manual de los cielos y sus mitos, BLUME, 2005
- Tester, J. Historia de la astrología occidental, S. XXI, México, 1990
- Tondriau, J. Diccionario de las ciencias ocultas, EDAF, 1985

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