Zodiac, Horoscope, And Orientalism Term Paper
The Orient is an essential part of Western culture and civilization. Orientalism demonstrated and implied its essence ideologically and culturally through different ways in colonial techniques, colonial governments, policies, imagery, scholarship, terminologies and sustaining organizations. However, interpretations of America towards the Orient is rather less dense even if a more abstemious and more pragmatic consciousness regarding the “Oriental” was brought by some recent Indochinese, Korean and Japanese explorations. Furthermore, the immensely extended American economic and political function in the Middle East constructs enormous assertions on Oriental understanding.
This paper tackles Orientalism about Asian religion using the western viewpoint. The paper aims to explain how people using Orientalism view zodiac and horoscope in Asian religions.
Zodiac and Horoscope in Western Contexts
Astrology is deemed by the western people as the art of star-counting. It is also the art of foreseeing the future and divination using the stars. It is different from astronomy since it is not a science but a practice or an art. The usage of the term art suggests the possibility of machination and trick. Since predictions do not possess strong foundation, so as astrology. It has confused calculations and assumption is predominant against knowledge. The Greeks, Central Asia, India and Iran used astrological doctrines of different symbols of the Zodiac, astrological ‘houses’ and heavenly bodies.
The zodiac is an invented “belt” in the sky composed of twelve astrological symbols drawn as mythological signs that depicts animals and humans. The mythological symbols belonged to the zodiac are placed on top of real constellations or star clusters. These signs are present regardless of the real locations of the constellations they represent. The twelve signs of zodiac are also called sun signs. Astrologers classify the symbols based on psychological types. The zodiac houses match up to all areas of life. The zodiac depicts imaginary houses with the planets travelling through t hem to signify and influence life.
On the other hand, the horoscope is considered to be the map of the heavens. Using the horoscope, astrologers plot the locations of signs, houses and planets. Astrologers interpret several multifaceted rules from the horoscope and every astrologer can give a different reading. The reading is called delineation as a technical term which is an explanation from combining several astrological principles. When the entire chart is completely analyzed, it is called synthesis. Every Zodiac sign is ruled by every planet. For instance, Venus rules Libra and Taurus; and Mercury rules Virgo and Gemini. Signs, planets and houses are interrelated with each other.
Orientalism is very indistinguishable and broad because it suggests the dominant executive outlook of European colonialism from the nineteenth up to the early twentieth century. Even though Orientalism does not live on, it stays academically in the course of its principles and arguments concerning the Orient along with the Oriental.
Orientalism as a discussion cannot interpret the extremely methodical discipline through which the western culture has administered and created the Orient sociologically, scientifically, imaginatively, politically, ideologically and militarily throughout the era after the Enlightenment. The consideration and act forced by Orientalism regarding the Orient put it in an authoritative situation that serve as a restraint that must be taken into account because Orientalism is simply not a liberated subject matter of deliberation or accomplishment. This does not mean that Orientalism alone can decide about anything to describe the Orient. However, the Orient is an entire system of interests unavoidably made to stand on whichever occurrence as the strange entity “the Orient” is concerned.
How Orientalism View Zodiac and Horoscope in A Wrong Way
Zodiac and horoscope are closely related to spiritism as supported by some evidences. This belief states that astrology is manipulated by spiritistic power. If indeed this statement is true, then accepting astrology, zodiac and horoscope in the society is a way to allow the influence of the spirit world to humans. In history, astrology is linked to the spirit worlds and pagan gods. Since astrology accepts the presence of supernatural spiritual beings that are considered as Gods. Spiritistic phenomenon has been related to worshipping and contacting gods and accepting polytheism.
Zodiac and horoscopes also promotes spiritism because of the following reasons. They use human mediums to channel astrology books which denote the interests of the spirits. The spiritistic societies also promote astrology including the Sabian Assembly, The Church of Light, Rosicrucian Fellowship, Theosophical Society and The White Eagle.
The falsity of horoscopes and zodiac as a science can be emphasized by having a single astrological question. Using this question, astrologers treated it differently and sometimes in opposing manner. There is also module based mathematical operations required for the computation of horoscopes. The zodiac defines much incomprehensibility including the stars as to where astrologers refer their visions, and clepsydras or water-clocks for which they measure time. If predictions of horoscopes and the Zodiac are algorithms which allows the possibility to know the fate of a born individual through the location of the planets at a certain point in time or if they can determine if a particular moment is good for some activity, then the astrologers set up an aspect of randomness. The application of algorithm at this point can be insignificant and unconnected to reality.
Astrology exists as a division of science alongside with astronomy in Central Asia and other Muslim regions. Though the Muslim Qur’an stated that it is forbidden to know the future, astrology still gained immense interest. It was common for Islamic leaders to direct their judgments and proceedings alongside with astrology. Astrology can be based on mathematical and measurements theory; it cal also based on irrational and magical that is not sustained by any mathematical computation.
In India, Hindu devotion is related to a known divinatory practice called jyotish- India’s system of divination. Jyotish means “light” of the heavenly bodies. This practice examines the effects of heavenly lights in people’s lives. The four and foremost aim of life is achieved through the assistance of jyotish. These goals are the moksha (freedom), kāma (earthly pleasures or love), (obtaining riches) and dharma (religious and social responsibility).
The Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains and many religions in different countries other than India also practiced Jyotish. Outside India, Jyotish is at times called the “Hindu astrology”. It is a development of Hinduism, and is an inherent element of India’s spiritual and cultural understanding. Jyotish remains as essential part to the Indian lives just like the pilgrimages, religious ceremonies, rituals and prayers.
Jyotish’s association to science cannot be undervalued because the basis of it relies in the meticulous understanding of ganita (astronomical calculations) and gola (globular astronomy). Horoscope computations have various sytems.
The tropical zodiac is used by Western astrologers and the sidereal zodiac is used by Eastern astrologers. The tropical and sidereal zodiacs are the major zodiacal measurement divisions. However, calculations are severely objective in terms of astronomical information even though there are two different systems. Mathematical calculations of multifaceted astronomical data can be done through the use of computers. The basic astrological programs are now accessible through the computers. Nevertheless, the computations do not give one with the right perceptive of the astrological chart. Interpretation of the Zodiac does not only involve technical calculations. The interpretation is the most complex part of jyotish astrology.
Horoscope and Zodiac has been practiced inside all foremost religious tradition in the Orient. The belief in astrological principles continues to flourish today contained by the borders of esoteric spirituality on top of the milieu of traditional religions. The paper represents the study divinatory system, astrology, horoscope and the Zodiac and its associations with the wider extent of religious life along with Orientalism both in the past and in the present. Astrology and Orientalism are generally enormous fields that need further research in terms of anthropological and textual. Zodiac and horoscope are important parts in the history of Orientalism and thus, more effort is needed to illuminate other aspects of this essential and enthralling issue.
Iskender-Mochiri, I . History of Civilizations of Western Asia. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural, 2007.
Plamadjala, Natalija. The role of devotion in jyotish astrological system. Iowa: University of Iowa, 2010.
Said, Edward W. Orientalism. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd, 1978.
Weldon, John. Astrology, Horoscopes, the Zodiac and their Dangers. Harvest House, 1999.
Please remember that this paper is open-access and other students can use it too.
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