Well, we all know the ancient navigators thought the world was flat, and yet they got into those ships of theirs anyway. How did they steer? Remember, this is before radar and sonar and cell phones (which is probably why it took Odysseus so long to return home after the Trojan War).
You guessed it again: They steered by the stars. Ancient astrologers drew maps of the sky, and, just as we notice the Sun rising and setting in slightly different places at different times of year, those maps showed where certain constellations would be at certain times of year. This was called celestial navigation: Those ancient ship captains could just point toward Orion and sail toward Cairo (or wherever it was they wanted to go). And while celestial navigation, the most ancient way to plot a course, can be limited by the weather (you can't see the stars if it's cloudy, after all), it is still used today.
But the stars were used for more than navigation: They also were used to help determine when to sow and when to reap, and they reminded people when to celebrate various holidays. The ancient people noticed that there was a regularity to the movements of the planets, and that everything from the seasons to social needs could be predicted by those patterns.
Astrology is a symbolic system from which we can learn the interconnection between external reality and internal reality. Like the smart people we've learned about, we can use astrology as a map for our own route through life. Like those ancient sailors, we, too, can learn to steer by the stars!
Natal astrology involves the creation of your birth chart based on the position of the planets at the time and place that you were born. It creates a map unique to you and your true self.
Your ascendant is your rising sign, the sign that was rising over the horizon at the moment of your birth. Your rising sign represents the "you" that the outside world perceives, as well as personality traits and needs, and your physical characteristics. Your descendant is the cusp of your seventh house, and represents how you channel your energies through partnerships and relationships.
It's popular to assume that astrology is the same as fate. Not so! Astrology shows potentials, just as a map can show you possible routes. But to think of astrology as an absolute is a big mistake. Instead of looking to astrology for answers, look at it for choices. You provide the answers—you pick the route you want to take.
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