Basics Of Astrology

1. Origins in Greek Mythology

Astrology is deeply rooted in Greek Mythology which the Romans later adopted and renamed. Many of these legends are connected to the rulership of the planets, which is an important element in astrology. Many of the Sun Signs also derived a set of traits that are connected to the Gods and their representations.

The Titans were among the legions of early deities featured in Greek Mythology, who preceded the Olympians. There were twelve Titans from their first literary appearence in Hesoid, Theogony. Titans were associated with various primal concepts such as Ocean (Oceanus), Earth (Gaia), Sun (Helios), Moon (Selene), Memory (Mnemosyne) and Natural Law.

The first twelve were born by Gaia (Earth) to Uranus (Sky), governed by Cronus (or Kronos, Saturn) who overthrew his father to become the ruler. The six male Titans (Titanes) were Oceanus, Hyperion, Coeus, Cronus, Crius, Lapetus, while their consorts (Titanides) were Tethys, Theia, Phoebe, Rhea, Mnemosyne, Themis, respectively.

The Titans were in turn overthrown by Zeus, son of Cronus and Rhea. The legend goes that Cronus swallowed all his children for fear of history repeating itself, but at last, he was deceived by Rhea who gave him a wrapped stone in place of Zeus. The Olympians were much more closely tied to modern Astrology, with many of the planets named after them, assigned to their rulership. They were Zeus (Jupiter), Hera (Juno), Poisedon (Neptune), Demeter (Ceres), Hestia (Vesta), Hephaestus (Vulcan); with second generation Olympians Ares (Mars), Aphrodite (Venus), Hermes (Mercury), Artemis (Diana or Moon), Apollo and Athena (Minerva).

Here is a list of Gods associated with the Planets and Signs:

Gods Planets Signs
Uranus Uranus Aquarius
Zeus Jupiter Sagittarius
Poisedon Neptune Pisces
Ares Mars Aries, Scorpio
Aphrodite Venus Taurus, Libra
Hermes Mercury Gemini, Virgo
Artemis Moon Cancer
Hera Juno None
Demeter Ceres None
Hestia Vesta None
Athena Pallas None

2. Classical Elements in Astrology

The foundation of Western Astrology lies in the four classical elements, Fire, Earth, Air and Water. The use of Classical elements were widely adopted in European, Chinese, Hindu, Japanese mythologies, with variations, forming the basis of many astrological studies.

The Greek Classical Elements (Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Aether) date from pre-Socratic times and persisted into the Middle Ages and Renaissance, deeply influencing European thought and culture. The Greek Five Elements were sometimes associated with the Five Platonic Solids. They were considered basic building blocks of matter, which form our daily lives, similar to the modern scientific elements (Solids, Liquid, Gas).

The Chinese Classical Elements (五行 wu3 xing2) are Earth, Water, Fire, Metal and Wood. They are thought to represent various energies and the flow of energy (气 qi4) in the external environment and internal human body. They serve as the basis of thought for Taoism, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese Geomancy (风水 feng1 shui3).

The Hindu Classical Elements, known as Five Great Elements, are Earth (hindu: bhumi), Water (ap or jala), Fire (agni or tejas), Air (marut or pavan) and Aether (akasha). Hindus believe that Aether is the fundamental element, which God used to create the other four elements, and that each element is less subtle than the next. Hindus also adopted the concept that the human body is made up of the five elements.

The Japanese Elements were known as The Great Five (japanese: Go-dai), adopted from the Chinese Classical Elements (五行 j: Go-gyo). They were Earth (地 chi) , Water (水 sui), Fire (火 ka), Wind (风 fuu) and Void (空 kuu). Earth represents the material, Water represents the fluid and formless, Fire represents energy, drive and passion, Wind represents movement and intellect, Void represents the immaterial or the Buddhist concept of nothingness.*

*Note: A good example of Go-dai in pop culture would be CLAMP's X 1999, which uses the elements heavily.

2.1 Element Fire

Greek Gods Association Planets
Prometheus (Titan, 2nd gen) Cunning, Wisdom None
Hades, (Olympian, 1st gen) Underworld, Destruction Pluto
Hephaestus (Olympian, 2nd gen) Metallurgy, Craftsmanship, Creation None
Hecate (Olympian, 2nd gen) Childbirth, Nurturing, Creation None
Ares (Olympian, 2nd gen) War, Bloodshed, Destruction Mars

In Wiccan religion, Fire is associated with the South, Red, Summer, Ceremonial Dagger and the Sword.

In Eastern astrology, Fire is associated with South, Red, Summer and the Chinese Red Phoenix (朱雀 j: Suzaku; k: Ju-Jak).

2.2 Element Earth

Greek Gods Association Planets
Demeter (Olympian, 1st gen) Mother Earth, Nurturer, Marriage Ceres
Persephone (Olympian, 2nd gen) Daughter and Wife, Underworld None

In Wiccan religion, Earth is associated with the North, Brown, Green, Winter, Jewels, Coins, Percussion and Animal Fur.

In Eastern astrology, Earth is associated with North, Black, Winter and the Chinese Tortoise Totem (玄武 j: Genbu; k: Hyun-woo).

2.3 Element Air

Greek Gods Association Planets
Hera (Olympian, 1st gen) Matriarchy, Marriage Juno
Hades (Olympian, 1st gen) Underworld, Destruction Pluto
Zeus (Olympian, 1st gen) Ruler, Sky, Thunder, Eagle None
Ganyemede (Mortal) Beauty, Immortality Constellation Aquarius

In Wiccan religion, Air is associated with the East, Yellow, Pastels, Spring, Wand, Woodwind instruments and Incense.

In Eastern astrology, Air is associated with the East, Blue, Spring and the Chinese Green Dragon (青龙 j: Seiryuu, k: Chung-Ryong).

2.4 Element Water

Greek Gods Association Planets
Poseidon (Olympians, 1st gen) Sea Neptune

In Wiccan religion, Water is associated with the West, Blue, Autumn, Chalice, Bells and Cauldron.

In Eastern astrology, Water is associated with the West, White, Autumn, Chinese White Tiger (白虎 j: Byakko; k: Baek-hu).

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