Astrology

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Astrology is a group of systems, traditions, and beliefs which hold that the relative positions of celestial bodies and related details can provide information about personality, human affairs and other "earthly" matters. A practitioner of astrology is called an astrologer. Astrologers generally believe that the movements and positions of celestial bodies can inform them about events experienced on a human scale or that predictions can be made from them.[1][2] Many astrologers see astrology as being a purely symbolic language whereas others see the movements and positions of celestial bodies as influencing human and mundane affairs, either causally or otherwise.[3][4]Despite differences in definitions, a common assumption of astrologers is that celestial placements can aid in the interpretation of past and present events, and in the prediction of the future.

Astrology is considered a pseudoscience or superstition by the scientific community, which sees a lack of statistically significant astrological predictions, while psychology explains much of the continued faith in astrology as a matter of cognitive biases.[5][6][7][8] In 2006 the U.S. National Science Board published a statement which said it considers belief in ten survey items, astrology among them, to be "pseudoscientific".[9]

Numerous traditions and applications employing astrological concepts have arisen since its earliest recorded beginnings in the 3rd millennium BC. Astrology has played an important role in the shaping of culture, early astronomy, the Vedas,[10] and various disciplines throughout history. In fact, astrology and astronomy were often regarded as synonyms before the modern era, with the desire for predictive and divinatory knowledge one of the motivating factors for astronomical observation. Astronomy began to diverge from astrology after a period of gradual separation from the Renaissance up until the 18th century. Eventually, astronomy distinguished itself as the empirical study of astronomical objects and phenomena, without regard to the terrestrial implications of astrology.

The word "astrology" comes from the Latin term astrologia ("astronomy"),[11] which in turn derives from the Greek noun αστρολογία: ἄστρον, astron ("constellation" or "star") and -λογία, -logia ("the study of"). The word "starcraft" has also traditionally been used to mean astrology.

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