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Horoscope

In astrology, a horoscope is a chart or diagram representing the positions of the planets and other celestial bodies at the time of an event such as a person's birth. The term horoscope is derived from Greek words meaning, "a look at the hours."

This article discusses one set of techniques used in western astrology. Although there is a common underlying stratum of concepts, no single set of techniques is used by all practitioners of western astrology. Practitioners of chinese astrology or vedic astrology will use techniques that vary even more from these.

Opinions about the validity of astrology, or its classification as a pseudoscience are considered in the head article on astrology.

Using an ephemeris and a table of houses an astrologer calculates relative positions of the sun, the moon, and the planets for specific time and place in order to erect a horoscope. This diagram, called a chart is a stylized map of the heavens. The sun or the earth is placed in the centre (depending on whether the ephemeris was heliocentric or geocentric) with the remaining elements around the outside: the planets, the lunar nodes, the ascendant and midheaven[?], and the houses[?]. Then the angles between the planets are designated. These angles are the astrological aspects. Different systems of tri-secting arcs produce houses of different size. The calculation of a horoscope is a complex but purely technical skill normally carried out by computer software.

See also: How to cast a horoscope



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