What is Astrology

What is Astrology

Astrology or Jyotish science is a very age-old form of science rooting from ancient India. It is The name is derived from the Sanskrit word Jyoti meaning light and ish meaning God. Hence, Jyotish is translated as ‘light of God’. Jyotish is the Vedic science of Astrology and Astronomy and it is the science of the luminaries.

Astrology is a system that involves the study of heavenly bodies and their movements. The word ‘Astron’ means the star and ‘Logos’ is science. Astrology is thus the science that enquires into the celestial entities like the stars and planets.

These bodies are believed to exercise a strong influence on our lives, and hence, this study is undertaken for knowing about our lives in general and also about what providence has in store for us in future, in particular. This ancient scientific study is more than 5000 years old, the efficacy of which has been highlighted by great scholars like Aryabhatta, Varaha Mihira,, etc. who were well versed in the study of both, astronomy and astrology. This system of Indian astrology is also known as Vedic Astrology.

Astrology and Astronomy were often indistinguishable before the modern era, with the desire for predictive and divinatory knowledge one of the primary motivating factors for astronomical observation. Astronomy began to diverge from astrology after a period of gradual separation from the renaissance up until the 18th century. Eventually, astronomy distinguished itself as the scientific study of astronomical objects and phenomena without regard to the supposed astrological meaning of these phenomena.

A common belief held by astrologers is that the positions of certain celestial bodies either influence or correlate with human affairs. Most astrological traditions are based on the relative positions and movements of various real or construed celestial bodies and on the construction of implied or calculated celestial patterns as seen at the time and place of the event being studied.

These are chiefly the astrological planets, dwarf planets, the asteroids, the stars, the lunar nodes, Arabic parts, and hypothetical planets. The frame of reference for such apparent positions is defined by the tropical or sidereal zodiac of twelve signs on one hand, and by the local horizon (ascendant-descendant axis) and midheaven-Imum Coeli axis on the other. This latter (local) frame is typically further divided into the twelve astrological houses. Furthermore, the astrological aspects are used to determine the geometric/angular relationship(s) between the various celestial bodies and angles in the horoscope.

It is essential science which deals with the past, present, and future of the people. Astrology has been in use for a long time to know about the future and to overcome present or future hurdles. According to Indian astrology, at the time of birth of a child its birth chart is prepared. A birth chart is basically the paper on which the position of planets in the twelve houses is noted. It is made by taking into consideration the date and the time of birth. The position of the planets is said to influence the life of the individual throughout his/her lifetime.

Astrology works with the following elements


It refers to the group of stars or constellations through which the moon passes at a certain time. The nakshatra is used to analyze the position of planets at a given time.


The Grahas refer to the heavenly bodies or the planets and stars which have a visible impact on the daily affairs of people. There are typically nine grahas or planets, namely are Surya (Sun), Chandra (Moon), Mangala (Mars), Budha (Mercury), Brihaspati (Jupiter), Shukra (Venus), Shani (Saturn), and the lunar nodes Rahu and Ketu.


Just like the 12 zodiac signs, there are 12 rashi in Indian astrology. There include Mesha (Aries), Vrishabha (Taurus), Mothuna (Gemini), Karka (Cancer), Simha (Leo), Kanya (Virgo), Tula (Libra), Vrischika (Scorpio), Dhanus (Sagittarius), Makara (Capricorn), Kumbha (Aquarius), and Meena (Pisces). Among them, the most essential is the Lagna Rashi for any individual as it is the present eastern horizon in the time of the birth of the child.


The birth chart is divided into twelve parts which are called bhava or house. Each of these houses represents different parts of life and its position is determined by the place and time of birth. The placement of the planets in these houses determine the influence of the house on the life of the individual. The houses accordingly to Vedic astrology are Lagna, Dhana, Parakrama, Suhrda, Suta, Roga, Karma, Mrityu, Bhagya, Aya, and Vyaya.

Astrology can help to resolve life problems

Astrology has had a profound influence over the past few thousand years on Western and Eastern cultures. In the Middle Ages, when the educated of the time believed in astrology, the system of heavenly spheres and bodies was believed to reflect on the system of knowledge and the world itself below.

In India, Jyotish is still commonly used to aid in important decisions in life. In Hindu culture, newborns are traditionally named based on their Jyotish charts, and Jyotish concepts are pervasive in the organization of the calendar and holidays as well as in many areas of life. Astrology is perceived to be vital in Indian culture, in making decisions made about marriage, opening a new business, and moving into a new home.

Astrology has been governing the lives of people for a very long time. It has been used extensively for making life happier and peaceful by the removal of all the hurdles. It is believed that there are checks for all dangers and afflictions that are foretold by astrological predictions, but that this can be provided only by divine interventions. People seek such help from Gods through the performance of remedial measures, and it is these observances that make Indian astrology unique and different from the systems practiced in other parts of the world.

These remedies will usually be in the form of special worships, poojas, visiting of some temples or holy places, taking a holy dip in sacred waters, undertaking austerities, performing rituals like yagnya, etc., chanting of hymns, installation and worship of Yantras, the spiritually empowered contraptions, and wearing of ornaments like rings or necklaces made of gemstones that are meant specifically for appeasing a particular planet.

So, for those of us who believe that forces greater than ourselves guide our lives, astrology is one place that could provide answers, direction, and meaning.

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.
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