Astrology is often a controversial topic, with a great many followers and believers but also many skeptics. This is an art that is based on the foretelling of a person’s future or gaining information on a person’s personality through examination of stars, the sun, the moon, planets, comets and other bodies associated with astronomy. Many people believe very strongly in astrology, and in some cases base their lives around it. A magazine survey carried out several years ago showed that nearly 50% of Americans believed in astrology, although obviously not all of these based their daily lives around it.
Skeptics on the other hand believe that astrology is nonsense that makes people look for certain things in their lives in order to make the reading a true one. Many magazines and newspapers have a ‘stars’ section based on readings for each astrological sign. Skeptics believe that many people read these and then look for events and situations that match the reading.
Astrology comes under several types, which can be described as below:
This form of astrology is also known as natural astrology, and was first developed in Babylon. It was quite different to the astrology with which we are all familiar today. Rather than being based on predictions, this type of astrology was used as a means of offering advice to high powered people, such as rulers. It was also used to offer predictions, not based on a particular person, but on events and situations that could affect the nation as a whole.
Horary / Electional Astrology
These were types of astrology commonly used during the Renaissance. During this period, astrology enjoyed a far higher degree of popularity, although the skeptics were still around and the church was in disapproval. This type of astrology was again different to the type of astrology we are all familiar with today. When using this type of astrology, people were looking for answers to specific questions, both simple and complex. From where to find lost property to questions about their own future, people looked to this type of astrology for answers and advice. Answers were calculated based upon the time that the person thought of the question rather than using a birth (natal) chart.
Developed by the Greeks and based on some of the fundamental ideas developed in Babylon, this type of astrology is also known as ‘judicial’ or ‘genethlialic’. This is the form of astrology that most of us are familiar with today, whether or not we are believers or skeptics. This type of astrology uses planets, stars, and other astronomical bodies as well as natal (birth) charts to make predictions. The movement and arrangements of planets and stars are used in conjunction with when a person was born to determine what their astrological sign is and to predict their future.
It is estimated that around 25% of the world's population believes in astrology, some more strongly than others. This is a huge following, and many of these believers take astrology very seriously. Every year, millions of people tune in to watch documentaries on astrology, and millions of astrology books fly off the shelves, reflecting the interest – and sometimes obsession – that this subject can create.
And it’s not just the average Joe that has an interest or belief in astrology. President Ronald Reagan was a regular astrology user when he was in office, and was known to attend consultations to obtain information. Many celebrities are fans of astrology, adding to this ‘craze’, ‘obsession’, or ‘interest’ depending on how you view this art.