The majority of astrological traditions is based on the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies and the construction of calculated or perceived celestial patterns relating to the location and time of an event.
A reference frame for the positions of astrological planets, stars, lunar nodes and so on is defined through the sidereal, or tropical zodiac containing twelve signs, as well as the local horizon (descendant, midheaven axis and ascendant). Twelve astrological houses define the local frame and astrological aspects determine the angular or geometric relationship between the celestial bodies and the angles contained in the horoscope.

In Western tradition, predictive astrology uses two main methods, namely astrological transits and progressions. In astrological transit, the significance of planet's movements through space and horoscope is interpreted. In astrologigal progression, the horoscope is moved forward in time in accordance with set methods.
In the past, celestial objects were closely observed and their movements charted. Modern astrologers transform data which is provided by astronomers into sets of tables, the ephemerides. These show changing positions of celestial bodies within the zodiac over time.

Many traditions share features which are similar, due to a passing on of various beliefs and dctrines between carying cultures. Others, having developed isolated, may share some of the features but are based on very different doctrines. As a rule, modern astrologers tend to follow Chinese, Hindu or Western tradition, or a combination of some or all of them.

In the 20th Century, contact between traditions has become easier, and thus closer and some have taken advantage of this by allowing Western astrology to diversify in many ways. Among some, much of recent tradition has made way for other approaches, such as an approach from a psychological angle, or a greater emphasis placed on midpoints. Others may now include point- or star based as well as constellational astrology. Throughout history, many changes and developments have taken place, and many traditions are no longer used. However, quite a few of them, in particular Babylonian, Arab, Persian, Egyptian, Hellenistic (Classical antiquity), Hindu and Mayan astrologies, are still regarded as a point of interest as well as important, useful resources by many.

Today, most Westen astrologers tend to focus on general developments and trends, rather than forecasting actual events. They may use their skills to help and advise a person by giving an insight into a particular situation, the individual/ s involved and the general direction in which the situation is heading. Personal birth charts give an insight into a person's likely character traits and best possible matches both in career choice and relationships.

Although it has never been scientifically proven, it has been used and valued as an effective tool for guidance throughout many cultures and among millions of individuals for many thousands of years. Changes and new developments may well have ocurred over time, as is the case with all things, but it is still as useful and reliable a source of information and insight as it was a thousand years ago.

Author's Bio: 

Rachel Ann writes for the psychic & metaphysical arena and is a reiki master.

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