Yasmin Boland is read by millions of people each week via her astrology and New Age columns in publications including the Sunday Telegraph, Closer, Red, Cleo and Yahoo! Australia and New Zealand. She’s the author of several books, published in Australia, Canada, India, Portugal and the UK. Her next book Angel Astrology 101, co-authored with Doreen Virtue, will be published in February 2014.


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Dawn Fairchild has been practicing holistic medicine and spiritual healing for 14 years. She is a devotee of the Sacred Feminine and a seasoned aromatherapy and Ayurveda practitioner. She also enjoys horoscope writing, and has been featured on Oranum.

Alternative Horoscopes: Beyond Greece and China by Dawn Fairchild.

We all have at least a passing familiarity with Astrology. Even those who ordinarily wouldn’t even glance over a newspaper horoscope can usually tell you their Greek and Chinese Zodiac signs. But how many of us are aware that there are at least three and a half different horoscope zodiacs? Or are aware of the fact that the Greek Zodiac isn’t originally Greek?

Greek Astrology

Greek (or Western) Astrology is the one most familiar to Westerners. You would think this is a subject that we can gloss over and move on to a lesser known Astrology. However, this is something we need to re-examine, because it was not originally Greek. It was Babylonian.

The origin of “Greek” Astrology was created in Babylon nearly 4,000 years ago. There, scholars of the Babylonian Empire began using the movement of the stars to track the passage of time. While this early development was intended for calendric purposes only, it was their observations which gave us the concept of dividing the sky into twelve different Zodiacal periods based on the positions of twelve constellations.

It wasn’t until about 200 B.C. that the use of the Babylonian calendar for astrology became a regular occurrence. This too was not originally Greek, but started in Greek-ruled Egypt. Egypt had a tradition of observing the sun and moon and correspond this with birth dates in order to learn something of the influences on people’s lives. When these were added to the Babylonian observations of the constellations and stars, the result was the natal astrology we know today.

However, the story of the “Greek” Zodiac doesn’t end there. It then moves on in two directions, neither of them Greek either. First, it moved to Rome. In the 2nd century A.D. a Roman citizen named Ptolemy, writing in Greek, became the first person to formally write down extensive knowledge explaining the workings of astrology. This work is still considered to be essential reading for any aspiring astrologer.
The second direction it moved was India. Following that path takes us to the” half” in our three and a half astrologies.

Vedic Astrology

For a time India, just like Egypt, fell under Greek rule. Along with their soldiers, the Greeks brought the Greco-Egyption astrological practices with them. The native Hindu people took this concept and adapted it to their own beliefs. Around 200 A.D. the Hindu took the original twelve Zodiac signs and renamed them for key body parts, subdivided them to accommodate 27 key stars and nine planets important to Hindu beliefs, then interpreted this using 16 chapters of the Vedanga. The end result was something far different from the original “Greek” astrology to almost count as its own system, and thus my reference to it as the half.

Chinese Astrology

Given that the Chinese Zodiac has twelve divisions, many usually assume that it is also based off a Greek import. This is incorrect. Chinese Astrology developed wholly independently and predated “Greek” astrology, though the “Greek” Zodiac came first.
Chinese Astrology developed around 1000 B.C. Unlike the Western Zodiac, the division into twelve signs was based on the twelve year orbit of Jupiter, forming a confusing coincidence. This twelve year cycle is combined with the five Chinese elements (Earth, Fire, Water, Wood, and Metal) as represented by the planets (Saturn, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus) to form 60 year cycles. Combining these with birth dates and Yin-Yang principles, the Chinese astrology added Confucian orderliness to the understanding of our lives.

Mesoamerican Astrology

The final of our three and a half original astrologies comes from Mesoamerica. This often overlooked astrological system originated with the Maya as Mayan Horoscopes.
The Mayan calendar is quite different from ours. To begin with, the Mayans divided the calendar into twenty months, each with its own Zodiac symbol, and cycles lasting thirteen days. The combination of these cycles resulted in to a 260 day cycle called a Tzolkin. This was then combined with the length of a 365 day year to form a 52 year long Haab. This calendar is what formed Mayan beliefs regarding the astrological significance of dates. It was a misinterpretation of this calendar that gave us the recent “End Of The World” in 2012.

When the Mayan civilization died out and was replaced by the Aztecs, the Aztecs supplemented the original twenty Mayan signs with a set of their own. It was this astrological accounting that was first reported by Westerners after the Spanish arrival in Central America, and which led to “cracking” the Mayan calendar.

So now we know a little more about our astrological roots. The next time that you are at a party and someone asks you “what’s your sign” you can now impress them with your extensive knowledge of not only what your sign is, but how it came to be your sign.

Dawn Fairchild has been practicing holistic medicine and spiritual healing for 14 years. She is a devotee of the Sacred Feminine and a seasoned aromatherapy and Ayurveda practitioner. She also enjoys horoscope writing, and has been featured on Oranum.

Thought for the day

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Feng Shui question

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True Success

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Michael and Estelle

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Sunday February 17 – Moon Meditation: “I am relaxing…”

Moon in Taurus: As the Moon moves through Taurus, we can all relax a little. Taurus is the sign ruled by Venus, the planet of pleasure. And, since it’s the weekend, hey, how’s about a little pleasure all round? It’s a great day to share with friends and family and, in particular, to share good times with friends and family because if there is one thing Taurus loves to do it’s eat! *insert smiley* Your Relationship Horoscope – Special Deal – 3 reports for the price of 2 – click here.

Saturday February 16 – Moon Meditation: “I am getting somewhere…”

Moon in Taurus: It’s all about being constructive now, as the Moon moves through down-to-Earth Taurus and we all resonate with the Mars/Pluto link which peaked in the same hours of the morning. If you have a ton of things you need to do next week, this is the day to sit down quietly with a pen and make a note of them all. It’s the way to get things done! Click here to instantly download Cosmic Kisses: a tale of self-discovery, mystical adventure and love.

Friday February 15 – Moon Meditation: “I am turning the corner…”

Moon into Taurus Aries: There is a powerful link between Mars and Pluto forming so it’s very much a time to put effort into changing something that needs to change. We are talking about change from the inside out that has to be done in all integrity. If you’re serious about getting somewhere, the work needs to be done. End of story. Your Destiny Revealed Horoscope Package – 6 Reports for the price of 4: please click here.

Thursday February 14 – Moon Meditation: “I am loving love.…”

Moon in Aries: So, here we are at Valentine’s Day. You might be wondering about the outlook! Overall, conditions are relatively pleasant and smooth as the Moon moves through spontaneous Aries and links to Venus this afternoon, hopefully firing up many Romeos and Juliets with wonderful ideas about how to spend tonight. If you’re sexy, but single and looking for love, this is a great day to decide what you want from your love life in the future. For singles wanting to find love, may I humbly recommend my book, Cosmic Love – it’s all about drawing love to you!

Wednesday February 13 – Moon Meditation: “I am starting over! …”

Moon into Aries: The Moon moves back into Aries today and we are back at the start of the lunar cycle. The Aries Archangel is Ariel – if you have something you want to start in your life, talk to Ariel today. Ariel has a very fresh and sprightly energy and loves us to get outdoors, so once again, if there is a pressing issue in your life which you want help with, get outdoors, get some fresh air and ask Ariel to stay with you during the coming lunar cycle so you can deal with your issue. What sort of lover are you? click here for a sexy horoscope report.

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