Astrology vs. Astromancy by Spyder Kuntz
POSTED: 18 November 2000
People today are eager to discover what their future holds. With so much uncertainty in today's world, it's no wonder that 1 out of 4 people turn to astrology to find what path their life is taking and for guidance during difficult times and tough decisions. We don't know what to do or what the outcome of a situation will be; therefore, we'd rather believe that something inanimate, such as tarot cards or the stars, knows the future rather than deal with the uncertainty of the unknown. Tarot, palm reading and star guidance are all classified under the term "astrology." This is often confused with "astronomy," when in fact neither of these terms are correct.
Astronomy is the scientific study of stars, planets and cosmic forces. Composition, distance from earth, temperature and orbit are studied by astronomers for purely scientific data. This data determines patterns in the physical components of composition and orbit (i.e. judging by a comet's previous orbits, astronomers can predict if it will hit a planet or when it will be visible from earth).
Astrology is the study of these astronomical forces and how they effect people, animals, and the earth itself. Phases of the moon are proven to have an effect on humans, with full moons having the strongest effect. This is called cosmobiology. However, moon phases also have a distinct effect on plant growth. Before the concept of time, Indians and Native Americans used the moon phases and cosmic patterns to determine when the best time to plant their gardens would be.
Astrology was once part of astronomy, with astrology being the practical use of the data given by astronomers. Several hundred years ago, the 2 fields split. Studies have shown that now days, those who practice astronomy know very little about astrology, and vice versa. Astronomers consider astrology a superstitious myth, using todays definition of the word, when in fact, the 2 sciences coincide more than one might think. Astrology is not, and was never meant to be, a device for fortune telling.
So what is the correct term to use for palm reading, tarot, and the idea that the stars tell the future? Little known today, astromancy is the belief that an individual's destiny can be determined by reading a star chart. Horoscopes play into this by telling what members of a specific zodialogical sign should be doing or what is going to happen to them. Astromancy uses astrologic and astronomic principals to add validity to the practice, and therefore gets lumped into the astrologic classification.
Astrology can only predict trends and probabilities, usually promoting the idea that the person has the ability to change their path. Astromancy enforces these predictions as destiny or fate, unchangeable by will or action.