Their influences, however, are very real, even if they are mostly on a subconcious or collective level. Times are-a-changing, though. We are now at a point in history where immortality is within easy reach and where our collective conciousness is readying us for these longer and more meaningful cycles. From Uranus to Ceres to Neptune to Pluto to Chiron to Charon to the Kuiper belt to the explosion of all those new trans-Neptunians now being discovered, and our newly-formed definition of "planet" , the minor planets are taking on a new significance -for both astronomers and astrologers.
With so many of them, which should we consider, and just how powerful or influential are they in the horoscope?
This is determined largely with time and observation on the part of astrologers. Minor planets, just like the minor gods, have a definite influence in the horoscope and in our lives, albeit less so than the major planets. They focus on details or specifics in the chart. In the cosmic scheme, they are the links or mediators between humanity and the Gods. The major planets or Gods, on the other hand, deal more with major or general themes and issues. They can be likened to kings or presidents, whereas the minor planets can be likened to their immediate subordinates.
Another analogy is continents versus countries, states, and cities. This implies that there are also different levels of minor planets, which is so.
While size is an important factor it is not always a clear indication of a planet's level. Russia and the Vatican, for example, are both countries and exercise great power, but they are vastly different in size. Pluto, for example, may be tiny in comparison with the other main planets, but it exercises power beyond its size and is recognized as a major planet by most astrologers. A final analogy can be made with major and minor chakras or enegy centers in the body.
There are twelve major chakras and perhaps minor ones. The minor ones can be further subdivided by tens, hundreds, or one thousand to arrive at that magical number of ,, the number of elect souls who, according to the bible, are to supposedly rule over the "normal" masses of humanity. Of all the minor bodies, Ceres, Pallas, Juno, Vesta and Chiron are the most popular among astrologers. Here is a brief description of these bodies. Ceres is the largest of the inner asteroid bodies between Mars and Jupiter, measuring some ?
It was considered a full-fledged planet when discovered on Jan. This assumes that there is a link between events on earth and in the sky and as such is a discipline which is taken very seriously by some, and derided by others. According to Chinese astrological thought, a person's destiny can be determined a number of complex factors including the position of the major planets, sun, moon and comets in the sky at the exact hour of a person's birth and the year in which they were born.
In China each year is associated with one of twelve animals and one of the five elements, making a sixty-year cycle. An accurate astrological prediction is a complex process, although it is by no means scientific, and is regarded very seriously by some people. A Chinese almanac dating from c. Many Chinese households will regularly consult an almanac or calendar based on the lunar year that provides a set of guidelines to promote or advise against certain tasks or events being undertaken on certain days.
Claims for the origins of this book go back over years to BC, from which date it is said to have been in constant publication. Originally produced solely by the imperial palace whose supposed link to the Heavens offered the ultimate authority on all matters celestial, the almanac is now freely published, but a certain ritual still surrounds its use. In its handling, clean hands and a degree of reverence are required. Old almanacs must be disposed of by burning, either at a temple or with care by each family, in order to release their powers back to Heaven and the almanac must always be stored with respect and never placed on the floor or beneath a table.
Despite the lighthearted treatment of astrological suppositions surrounding the zodiac, the respect afforded to the almanac reveals the ongoing belief afforded to the more complex arts of astronomy and divination and their importance in Chinese society.
Detail of almanac showing the zodiac animals Or. Some of the more popular and better-known elements of Chinese astrology are the superstitions relating to the Chinese year signs.
The Chinese zodiac animals make up a twelve-year cycle used for dating the years based on a lunar system. In the lunar calendar the beginning of the year falls somewhere between late January and early February of the solar calendar.
The Chinese have adopted the solar calendar since , but the lunar calendar is still used for festive occasions such as the Chinese New Year and many Chinese calendars will print both the solar and the lunar dates. The twelve animals that appear on the Chinese zodiac calendar — a rat, ox, tiger, rabbit or hare , dragon, snake, horse, sheep or goat , monkey, rooster, dog and pig — are the topic of countless legends embedded in Chinese mythology. The same zodiac animals are also used in many neighbouring cultures to China. You can read more about the mythology surrounding the zodiac animals by visiting our Astrology and Myths page.
In Chinese folklore horoscopes have developed around the animal signs, much like monthly horoscopes have been developed for the different moon signs Pisces, Aries, Capricorn etc.
The signs are all allocated different qualities and attributes and horoscopes derived from these are largely regarded as light-hearted fun. The simple characteristics of the animals themselves and the relationships they suggest are enduringly popular and well known and are commonly displayed in a wheel, representing the cyclical nature of the calendar. The cycle always begins with the rat and ends with the pig and should be read in a clockwise direction:.
Find your birth year in the chart below to discover your Chinese zodiac animal and read on to see if you have the typical characteristics of your sign:.
Looking at the Zodiac wheel, the three animals which are most evenly spaced from one another are generally considered to be the best matches: Rat, Dragon and Monkey; Ox, Snake and Rooster; Tiger and Horse and Dog; Rabbit, Sheep and Pig. The signs that are opposite each other in the Zodiac Circle chart are thought to be poor matches. Many ancient cultures regarded the planets and stars as representatives or symbols of the gods or other supernatural forces that controlled their lives. For them, the study of the heavens was not an abstract subject; it was connected directly to the life-and-death necessity of understanding the actions of the gods and currying favor with them.
Before the time of our scientific perspectives, everything that happened in nature—from the weather, to diseases and accidents, to celestial surprises such as eclipses or new comets—was thought to be an expression of the whims or displeasure of the gods. Any signs that helped people understand what these gods had in mind were considered extremely important. Most ancient cultures associated these seven objects with various supernatural rulers in their pantheon and kept track of them for religious reasons.
Even in the comparatively sophisticated Greece of antiquity, the planets had the names of gods and were credited with having the same powers and influences as the gods whose names they bore. From such ideas was born the ancient system called astrology , still practiced by some people today, in which the positions of these bodies among the stars of the zodiac are thought to hold the key to understanding what we can expect from life. Astrology began in Babylonia about two and half millennia ago. The Babylonians, believing the planets and their motions influenced the fortunes of kings and nations, used their knowledge of astronomy to guide their rulers.
When the Babylonian culture was absorbed by the Greeks, astrology gradually came to influence the entire Western world and eventually spread to Asia as well. By the 2nd century BCE the Greeks democratized astrology by developing the idea that the planets influence every individual. Natal astrology reached its peak with Ptolemy years later. Each sign was named after a constellation in the sky through which the Sun, Moon, and planets were seen to pass—the sign of Virgo after the constellation of Virgo, for example.
Figure 1: Zodiac Signs. The signs of the zodiac are shown in a medieval woodcut. However, more than years have passed since the signs received their names from the constellations.
Because of precession, the constellations of the zodiac slide westward along the ecliptic, going once around the sky in about 26, years. In most forms of astrology, however, the signs have remained assigned to the dates of the year they had when astrology was first set up. This means that the astrological signs and the real constellations are out of step; the sign of Aries, for example, now occupies the constellation of Pisces.
I always wondered what comets mean to astrologers. In my twenty years of Comets in Astrology - Possible meanings of these celestial events. The astrological significance of comets has been the subject of much study, but so far It is presumed that comets presage history-making events; but operating .
When you look up your sun sign in a newspaper astrology column, the name of the sign associated with your birthday is no longer the name of the constellation in which the Sun was actually located when you were born. To know that constellation, you must look for the sign before the one that includes your birthday. A complete horoscope shows the location of not only the Sun, but also the Moon and each planet in the sky by indicating its position in the appropriate sign of the zodiac.
However, as the celestial sphere turns owing to the rotation of Earth , the entire zodiac moves across the sky to the west, completing a circuit of the heavens each day. There are more or less standardized rules for the interpretation of the horoscope, most of which at least in Western schools of astrology are derived from the Tetrabiblos of Ptolemy.
The detailed interpretation of a horoscope is a very complicated business, and there are many schools of astrological thought on how it should be done. Astrologers today use the same basic principles laid down by Ptolemy nearly years ago.