An ancient art, astrology is the practice of predicting the future of not just a person, but of any matter, or situation by studying the relative positions of celestial bodies. Each culture has its own set of rules and traditions regarding the practice of astrology. The belief that celestial bodies and their movements affect life on earth is the basis of astrology, and before the modern era began, astronomy was often used interchangeably with astrology. This soon changed, as astrology took on a more divine form, and soon unique symbols were created for representing the various elements in play.
This is where the zodiac system, consisting of twelve symbols comes into the picture. The positions and effects of the celestial bodies were drawn up using this system, and each culture developed its unique approach to this practice, though the basic principles remained the same. The three main traditions or variations of astrology in practice today are Western astrology, Vedic astrology and Chinese astrology. Apart from these, many other traditions existed such as Egyptian astrology, Mayan astrology, Arab astrology and Babylonian astrology. These are not found in common practice today.
Before you can become an astrologer, as a person who practices astrology is known, you will have to decide which tradition you are most comfortable with. This depends a lot on your own beliefs and your inclinations. To decide, you need to do thorough research on all the forms and understand the basic difference, and choose one you are most comfortable with.
Western and Vedic Astrology
Western and Vedic astrology both deal with the creation of horoscopes, though Western astrology follows the tropical zodiac, and Vedic the sidereal zodiac. Chinese astrology is the most different, wherein the twelve signs of the zodiac represent the twelve double-hours of the day, instead of celestial bodies. The zodiac, whether tropical or sidereal, consist of twelve basic signs, which are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Virgo, Leo, Aquarius, Cancer, Pisces, Sagittarius, Scorpio, Capricorn and Libra. Understanding basic astronomy is important to be a good astrologer. A lot of deep study is required to become a successful astrologer. Whichever tradition you choose to adopt, an understanding of other traditions will only help. An inquisitive mind and the will to learn will definitely help.