Astrology comes from two Greek words – ‘Astra’, meaning ‘star’, and ‘Logos’, meaning ‘logic/reason’. It is the study of the movement of the stars and the planets and the influence they have on our daily lives.
The Science of Time
Astrology is, in essence, a science of time. Every moment has its own quality, meaning, or significance. When a child is born at a particular moment in time, it imbibes this quality.
A horoscope or birth chart is basically a diagram of the planets in the sky at the moment of a person’s birth. It is also a roadmap for a human’s journey through time on earth. Making a horoscope involves a great deal of astronomical calculations. There are certain rules to interpret a horoscope. The birth chart has different combinations of planets, which indicate personality traits and various aspects of life.
At the same time, astrology does not say that we are pawns of fate. There is room for free will. Our actions create karma, and astrology illuminates our karma. Our karma is what decides our fate. So, one cannot hold only the planets and stars responsible for our fate. They merely reflect our karmic journey through many lifetimes. This idea is the basis of Vedic or Indian astrology.
Horoscope and Human Life
Like the twelve zodiacs of the sky, there are twelve houses in a horoscope. The horoscope is a map of the sky that shows the planetary positions at a certain time (time of birth) at a certain place. It is a chart of twelve boxes or Bhavas, also called “houses”.
Significance of Horoscope
The horoscope indicates the good and bad events in one’s life based on the planetary positions at birth. It holds a lot of information about our lives, from birth to death. It can tell what kind of person we are, our physical features, and also many things about our parents, siblings, spouse, children, etc. It can answer questions related to education, marriage, favorable and unfavorable periods of life, career, money, health, etc. Horoscopes play an important role in marriage. Through Horoscope Matching, the astrologer can predict if the marriage will be successful or not.
Traditional Vedic astrology does not mention the present method of predictive astrology, which is based on the twelve houses of the birth chart. But the Atharva branch of Indian astrology talks about the core elements of this method. According to it, the 27 constellations or Nakshatras of the Zodiac are divided into 9 parts. Each part is again divided into 3 constellations. Of these, the first constellation is the Janma Nakshatra or birth constellation, the tenth constellation is Karma Nakshatra or the profession constellation, and the 19th constellation is the “adhan” nakshatra. If adhan nakshatra is weak during transit, the person will have no place to reside and constantly keeps changing his residence.
In predictive astrology, the positive and negative effects of planets and constellations on humans are analyzed.
The Role of Horoscopes in Astrology
The purpose of life is spiritual growth, say Hindu scriptures. The catalyst for this growth is karma. Karma is based on the idea that every thought and action has a corresponding reaction.
As per the Vedas, a person’s karma has a direct relation to the position of the planets and stars. Hence, astrology interprets our karma by analyzing the planetary positions in the horoscope.
Vedic astrology is called jyotish, meaning “the science of light.” It is called the eye of the Vedas, as it provides guidance to people who feel lost or confused in life.
Astrology is also used to determine the success of an endeavor, like a new business, marriage, moving into a new home, etc. In ancient times, it was even used to predict the outcomes of battles or decisions of governments. Kings employed astrologers who were able to give them good insight and advice on how to rule their kingdoms.
As per the Vedas, two things decide our future - destiny and free will. While destiny is made up of all the situations we face in life, free will is our reaction to them as thought or action. Our reaction creates more karma which will determine the kind of situations we will face in the future. Thus, our destiny is not created by the planets and stars but by our free will.
Our horoscope indicates the karma we are born with. This karma will be reflected in the events that happen in our present life. By looking at our horoscope, the astrologer makes predictions about our life. If our karma has been good, we will have a good life in this birth. If it is bad, we will face problems in life. By knowing what awaits us, we can be better prepared, and we can also try to rectify the bad karma by performing remedies as suggested by the astrologer. However, the best remedy is to do as much good karma as possible in this life so that we can attain Moksha or, at the very least, ensure a better life in our next birth.
There is more to Vedic astrology than mere predictions about the events in our life. Vedic astrology is all about spiritual evolution. This is what makes it different from Western astrology.