Most people strongly deny reading astrological predictions, or even glancing at horoscopes in newspapers or magazines. But it seems that many of them may be less sceptical than they claim! Thanks to the internet, astrology is currently experiencing a revival. New social media profiles with memes addressed to millennials are constantly popping up, and online traffic for astrology sites is increasing exponentially, boosting an already lucrative business.
AN ANCIENT SCIENCE
People have always looked to the sky for answers. In fact, the study of astrology preceded many other scientific and humanistic disciplines. The first astrological system was created by the Babylonians around 1500 B.C. A number of key philosophical concepts were later added by the Ancient Greeks. This form of knowledge was also explored by the Arabs, the Persians and the Hindus, among others, and these various traditions have informed modern astrology.
In the Middle Ages, there was no distinction between astronomy and astrology. Nevertheless, in today’s collective imagination, astrology is associated with witches, fortune tellers and all things superstitious. Many say that it is not a science, and that predicting the future based on one’s date of birth is a sham. Yet many royal families relied on their own astrological advisors. And Carl Jung’s theories of the psyche were heavily influenced by astrology.
THE BIRTH CHART
Even if you are not an astrology enthusiast, you probably know what your sign of the zodiac – your Sun sign – is. You may even be aware of your ascendent and your Moon sign. This information can be found on our birth chart, which is a representation of the alignment of the planets at the time of our birth. Contrary to what many people think, this chart does not determine our future, but simply shows the possibilities and challenges we will face in life.
Like psychology, astrology is not a forecast, in fact, but a description of a set of personality characteristics that can open up new possibilities and help us live a more conscious life. This is especially important in these stressful times, when most of us feel insecure about the future and want to be more self-aware.
A CONVENIENT TOOL
Astrology is much more than a simple balm, however. The banker J. P. Morgan once said that millionaires don’t need astrologers, but billionaires do! Astrology is used in many areas, such as recruiting staff or making financial investments. Some claim we can be influenced in a negative way by predictions, but modern astrology is not fatalistic; it is, in fact, very much like meteorology: it can warn us about what is going to happen in the sky, although we are always free to choose how to live.