What are Horoscopes?
Each of us has seen a page in the magazine or running line on TV devoted to horoscopes. Moreover, every second person reads them when he or she comes across a daily, weekly, or any other type of horoscope. It is enough to remember several forecasts of Naylor based on stars published in the New York Times. They rocked the whole country and made thousands of people believe in horoscopes. But what are horoscopes by the way? Who composes them? Should they be trusted? You will agree that these questions interest many people but all those complicated explanations kill any desire to learn the details.
Look: this article will explain the notion of horoscopes, their origin, and constituent parts and why people need them in simple and easy to understand words.
In this article:
How to define a horoscope?
There are several definitions of this term but most of them come to one conclusion: it is a chart or a diagram created in accordance with the planetary, Moon, and Sun positions on the date, place, and time of person’s birth. You may wonder that several people can be born on one day, but the location and time of birth play their significant role too and these features make every person’s horoscope so unique.
Despite the fact that people got accustomed to the term ‘horoscope’, this chart is also known as a natal, astrological, sky map and chart, cosmogram as well as have several more similar titles to remember. However, what is this chart needed for if we can’t interpret it? It is exactly the thing astrologers have done for ages. Though astrology is regarded to be a pseudo-science that has no scientific confirmation based on studies, there are still too many coincidences with divinations made on star basis. Since astrology has several major directions like Chinese, Sun sign, Hindu and others, horoscopes can be interpreted in different ways.
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Where do horoscopes come from
The word ‘horoscope’ has come to us from ancient Greece and is translated as ‘view of hour’. If to compare this meaning with a modern explanation of the term, there is some sense because horoscopes are written taking into account the birth time and date.
The first information about them dates back to 2,400 years B.C. – the time of Babylonians who later spread it to Greece and Egypt. People followed the changes in stars and planets, noticed constellations and predicted weather changes, natural disasters, or other significant events thanks to them. However, the first detailed descriptions of zodiac signs, celestial bodies, and planets were created by Greek scholars.
Information about horoscopes has been provided in many written works that confirm the significance of astrology as a science, but the word ‘horoscope’ began to be associated with casting and divination made on their basis only in the 17th century.
Who invented horoscopes
Early horoscopes referred most to nature and weather was invented by Babylonians. They were drawing charts dividing the sky into 12 parts that were later described by Greek and manned after constellations. The first natal horoscopes that were used to predict people’s destiny have also appeared around 1,500 years ago. Both Roman and Greek scientists created horoscopes for kings and emperors and it has become a foundation for further development of astrology as a science.
What are horoscopes based on
The astrological chart looks like a map that depicts the Earth surrounded by a zodiacal circle. Its top is taken by the Sun when it is at the highest position during the day while both eastern and western horizons are on right and left sides. When an astrologer develops a chart, he checks the position of all celestial bodies at a specific time measured from the position of the Sun in spring equinox. He makes necessary calculations on this basis and consults an astronomical ephemeris. This is a table that lists the locations of the celestial bodies and constellations at any given time and it helps to make up a chart.
Thanks to modern software and tools this process has become automated and now a computer performs all the mathematician calculations – it is enough to enter the birth details.
When a person is reading an article with horoscopes explained, it may be difficult to understand it because of multiple concepts they have. Moreover, they have special names that may sound traditional for astrologers but strange for ordinary people. Therefore, it is time to take a closer look at the concepts used in Western horoscopes.
It is important to remember that horoscopes are interpreted on the basis of:
- The place of every planet in the zodiac signs, every planet in the houses, and the place of primary angles;
- Aspects (angles formed by planets in relation to each other and the primary angles);
- Deduced astronomical entities position, etc.
It allows people who are not connected with astrology to find out that the basic horoscope concepts look as follows.
The most familiar thing in the horoscope is Zodiac or a celestial sphere with 12 divisions each of which is associated with some animal constellations. It is represented as a circle of 360° divided into sections 30° each. Its middle line is the Sun, while each of the sections is taken by the traditional Zodiac signs: from Aries to Pisces.
Astrologers can use two types of zodiac: sidereal and tropical. The first one represents actual constellation positions, while the second one is called movable and based on seasonal changes. Tropical Zodiac is changing because of so-called Earth wobbling, and people born at the beginning of April and considered Aries by sidereal zodiac can have an absolutely different sign by tropical one, because the Sun position on the date and time of his birth can be in the constellation of Pisces.
It is not a coincidence that every horoscope is also divided into 12 houses by astrologers. They explain these houses to be 12 different life spheres or activities. It often happens that every house is associated with a respective Zodiac sign, but not all astrologers agree with this fact.
There are 4 primary angles astrologers distinguish in horoscopes. They are:
- The Ascendant (known as a rising point). It is determined by the intersection of the horizon and the ecliptic and is usually depicted at a 9 o’clock position in the chart. It is the most significant angle that speaks about the awakening consciousness of every person in his childhood and upbringing.
- The descendant is opposite to the first angle that explains how a person builds relationships with other people and who can attract him.
- The midheaven (known as medium Coeli). It is the ecliptic point located the far there from the horizon plane. It indicates a person’s career opportunities, life status and goals, aspirations, etc.
- The Imum Coeli is the opposite angle to the previous one. It reflects possible circumstances at the initial and final stage of a person’s life, his parents and domestic life.
Being angles of planets in relation to each other each aspect has an orb (around 10°) and the more exact angle there is, the more powerful this aspect is. Each of the aspects indicates certain features characteristic of a person.
- Conjunction – strong emphasis of planets;
- Opposition – conflicts, tension and confrontations;
- Trine – harmony and simplicity of expression;
- Square – stress, frustration and inner conflict;
- Sextile – ease of communication and harmony;
- Quincunx – difficulty and stress;
- Semisextile – an area of life to focus on;
- Semisquare – hard circumstances;
- Sesquiquadrate – stressful conditions;
- Quintile and Biquintile – talent and fortune;
- Retrograde – possible weaknesses.
When astrologer decides to make a horoscope, the first thing he asks is the date, year, time and place of birth. He converts the time told by a person into Greenwich Mean Time (because of different time belts) and later into sidereal time to make calculations of angles. The next step will be looking through ephemeris tables and learning where the Sun, Moon, planets were located at this very time. He distributes all 12 houses throughout the chart and applies the location of planets. When the process is completed, an astrologer evaluates relative angles between them and interprets these results. Since there are several horoscope branches, interpretation may differ depending on the choice.
What are horoscopes used for
The modern definition of horoscopes says that they are used to provide information about the present and to predict what is going to happen in the future. In fact, they can describe what kind of person you are and suppose how you will behave in one or another situation. There are people who face inner contradictions and horoscope can explain possible reasons for that. As a result, an astrologer can give advice to such people to prevent possible situations and physical states, attract another person, or achieve a certain goal. Horoscopes can share very valuable information about a person he has never been aware of. They can tell how he feels about some things, what talents he has, what makes him angry or happy, what is better to learn, etc.
How are horoscopes predicted
As you might have understood, a horoscope is a complex chart that includes a lot of different aspects. However, the main thing required for a horoscope is the exact time of a person’s birth. Only this information can help to determine the exact location of celestial bodies, their relation to each other and make up a detailed chart that is interpreted by an astrologer. Every planet, house, the angle has already been described by our ancestors, so modern astrologers use this knowledge to interpret natal charts.
Horoscopes have been created for centuries and what is interesting, the process remained almost the same as it used to be thousands of years ago. The only thing that has changed is the fact that modern charts are usually created on computers and mobile devices and all the calculations are made by them too. It prevents possible mistakes and speeds up the process significantly. As a result, the only thing left is to interpret your personal chart.