Astrology Basics

So What is Astrology? Astrology is the study of the position of planets, stars and general celestial bodies and how they may affect human behavior and events. It is a Greek word meaning "science of the stars". Astrology is considered both an art and a science.  Many feel that it's best use is as a general guide to events and human behavior and not as an absolute. The study of Astrology is at least 5,000 years old and many cultures and civilizations have put their own spin on it.

What is a Horoscope?

The word horoscope comes from the Greek word "horoskopos" meaning literally "hour watcher". A horoscope is basically an exact diagram and interpretation of the zodiac at a given point in time. A natal or birth chart horoscope is the same thing except the point in time is the moment of birth. Many astrologers believe that the birth chart is by far the most accurate horoscope possible.

What are the Zodiac signs?

Zodiac signs, sun signs, horoscope signs, birth signs anda astrological signs all refer to the same thing. They are the twelve periods in a year named after the twelve constellations (groups of stars) that the sun passes through each year.  The word Zodiac comes from the Greek word "Zodiakos". It means "circle of animals".  So, each constellation was named and these names are the names of the 12 sun signs. The sun passes through each constellation (sign) for one month of the year.

What is a cusp?

A cusp is simply the beginning of a new sign. If you are born at the very beginning or end of a sign, you are "born on the cusp". People born on the cusp usually have characteristics of both signs and should also consult a chart to make sure they are born under the sign they believe they are.

What are the Houses?

The Houses in Astrology refer to 12 aspects or categories of life. They are:

First House: The House of Self. The most important house in Astrology.

Second House: The House of Money and Possessions.

Third House: The House of Communications.

Fourth House: The House of Home.

Fifth House: The House of Creativity and Sex.

Sixth House: The House of Service and of Health.

Seventh House: The House of Partnership and Marriage.

Eighth House: The House of Death and Regeneration.

Ninth House: The House of Mental Exploration and Long distance Travel.

Tenth House: The House of Career and Public Standing.

Eleventh House: The House of Friends and of Hopes and Wishes.

Twelfth House: The House of Secrets, Sorrows and Self Un-Doing.

The Houses are associated with the Sun Signs. The sign associated with a house is called the "natural ruler". Aries, the first sign of the Zodiac, is the natural ruler of the First House and Taurus is the natural ruler of the second house and Gemini is the natural ruler of the Third House and so on. The Houses are divided into groups of three and four. The houses play an important part in determining a persons birth chart horoscope. Astrologers will look to see what planets are in your houses. This can give specific information about you.

What Are Decanates?

Decanates refers to the 3 divisions in a sun sign. The word Decanate comes from the Greek word "Dekanoi" which means "ten days apart". Your decanate will depend on your birth date within your sign and which of the three 10 day blocks you fall in. The decanate offers a further specificity of your personality traits within your sign. So, there are 12 signs, each divided into three 10 day periods. They are called first decanate, second decanate and third decanate.

What is a psychic?

A Psychic is said to be someone with a special ability or gift to see the future or past, communicate with spirits, read minds (through telepathy) or effect matter somehow. Specific supernatural abilities will vary from psychic to psychic.  Psychic readings are similar to horoscope readings done by astrologers except the reading is not based on the stars but on the Psychic's feelings and impressions. Some psychics will use use tarot cards to help perform their readings.

What are Tarot Cards?

Tarot cards refer to a deck of 78 cards that are used for readings and divination. Not everyone agrees on the exact origin of the Tarot. They were first used to play a game called Tarocchi hundreds of years ago. The deck of tarot cards includes 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana. Arcana means secret. In tarot card readings, the 22 major arcana cards are very important. Tarot readings can be performed by psychics or astrologers. Some psychic readings are performed with the help of tarot cards.

What kinds of psychics are there?

"Psychic" is often used as a blanket term for people who are said to have supernatural abilities. Here are some terms you may hear that describe people who are said to have specific supernatural abilities or describe actual psychic abilities.

Clairvoyant - Is someone who is said to be able to see the future or the past. This person is said to have second sight. They have precognitions (see the future) and retrocognitions (see the past).  

ESP - ESP stands for Extra Sensory Perception. This is the term that describes the ability that most Psychics are said to have. It is the ability to get information from a sixth sense. This is the sense that is supposedly used during a psychic reading.

Mental Telepathy - This term refers to the ability to read people's thoughts through ESP. Also called distance feeling.

Psychokinesis - The ability to move objects with the mind. Also called Telekinesis.

Parapsychology - The study of paranormal phenomena. Parapsychologists study psychics and test their abilities in addition to investigating unusual phenomena that can't easily be explained.  

Empath - This term refers to people who are very sensitive to emotional energies.

Related Info

Horoscopes Guide 2005 - All rights reserved. Ivan Simurina