Planets Align

I dragged myself out of bed this morning at 5 a.m. to see the 5-planet alignment of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. An event that only happens about every 18 years. My understanding was that they could best be seen a half hour before sunrise. Brad’s understanding was they would be best seen 45 minutes before sunrise. I’m not a morning person at all and so stuck with my understanding, thinking that 15 minutes wouldn’t make that much of a difference. I was able to see Venus, Mars, and Jupiter but it turns out that those 15 minutes were significant, with the sky brightening and clouds rolling through, and so while I didn’t see all five planets aligned, Brad did. Nevertheless, what I was able to see was pretty cool.

It got me to thinking, why is Astronomy seemingly respected by all while Astrology is seen by many (most) as “wu wu”? Most people close to me know I’m interested in Astrology. I love knowing someone’s birthday or their sun sign. Through much reading and studying over the years, I’ve learned that our sun sign alone only tells a fraction of what can be known about an individual through the planets and stars. Knowing where all the planets were positioned at one’s birth, can tell us so much more. And knowing how the planets are expected to move helps predict future events or “themes” in an individual’s life. If I ever talk about Astrology to someone, I find I almost always preface it with “I don’t know if you believe in any of this, but…” Why do I do this? I did a little Google research on the differences (and similarities) of Astronomy and Astrology and here’s a thumbnail sketch of what I learned:

Astronomy vs Astrology:

  • Astronomy is the study of the universe beyond the earth, including the planets, stars, galaxies and other celestial bodies.
  • Astrology, while also related to celestial bodies, is a study more centered on their effect on people living on earth. Predictions are made about individuals’ futures based on the movements and alignment of planets and stars.
  • Both can be traced back many many centuries and for a long time were used interchangeably. Astronomy is one of the oldest sciences in existence. First observances were thought to be made by ancient cultures including the Babylonians and Egyptians. These studies were often used for religious purposes and for predictions of events such as floods. Astrology also goes way back with predictions thought to have been made by Babylonians around 8th or 7th centuries BCE including outcomes of battles or about the fertility of crops. (pretty similar)
  • During the Middle Ages Astrology experienced a decline in popularity due to the rise of Christianity. However, it made a comeback during the Renaissance.
  • The two studies separated more permanently in the 17th century, Astrology being rejected as a science.
  • Both seek to understand the universe and our place in it. Seems maybe Astrology has a more predictive aspect.

I’m not trying to sell anyone on Astrology. I do personally believe there’s a lot of accuracy to what I’ve studied and learned about it over the years and there is a lot of science to it. My take-away from this today is that I’m going to try to stop qualifying my interest in it when I talk about it.

My wish for all of you today is that the stars will align in your favor!

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