Know your stars: How to beat Mercury in retrograde
MANILA, Philippines - Dr. Nick Campion, the world’s first professor of Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at the University of Wales, asserts that at the heart of all cultures is humankind's penchant for the night sky.
Civilizations in the West and in the East use basic astrological timings or symbolisms, whether they recognize it or not.
Christians celebrate the birth of Christ a few days after the Winter Solstice. Buddhists commemorate the Wesak festival — the birth of Buddha — on the full moon of May. According to Dr. William H. Scott, Pre-colonial Filipinos considered the full moon significant because that is when a Diwata (fairy) would come and attend to their needs.
Astrology rests on the basic premise that our lives follow the cycles of the heavens and heavenly bodies, primarily those of the sun, moon and the 5 visible planets against the backdrop of fixed stars.
Ramadan and the spirit of purification
Ramadan, which begins on the new moon of the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, has an astrological correlation.
This period roughly falls under the month of Leo, which is ruled by the sun and its purifying fire. It may not be coincidental that the root word of Ramadan is "ramida" which means intense heat.
Our Muslim brothers refrain from eating, drinking, smoking or having sex during Ramadan. They do this to make themselves worthy of God. Fasting makes us conscious of the fact that we do not live by bread alone, but with the “fire” of the spirit.
This message applies to everyone regardless of religion.
Eid Al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, is now a national holiday in the Philippines, indicating our commitment to recognize the contributions of the Arabs and Muslims in our culture and history.
The rise of Arabic astrologers
Astrologers around the world owe a lot to medieval Arabic astrologers.
After the fall of Rome, knowledge was brought to the East. The flourishing of the Islamic empire was further enriched by the translation of Greek knowledge. Among those translated was the collected astrological wisdom from Alexandria.
The Arabs mastered Greek astrology and improved it further with an infusion of Persian and Indian influences, incorporating Arab scientific and mathematical innovations. Arabic astrologers developed horary astrology (a system of astrology that answers specific questions), perfected electional astrology (the astrology of auspicious timing) and popularized historical astrology (the astrology of historical cycles and the rise and fall of kingdoms).
The foundations of Baghdad
Aside from their books (that are being translated by scholars like Dr. Benjamin Dykes) another of the Arabic astrologers' lasting legacies is Baghdad itself.
In the 8th century, Caliph Al-Mansur tasked a group of astrologers to determine the most auspicious time to build a new city that was intended to become a seat of knowledge.
This was electional astrology at its best. With the construction of the library called “The House of Wisdom,” Baghdad became the world’s center of education and culture for 5 centuries.
Medieval Astrology, according to Dr. Dykes, began in Baghdad with the Arabic Astrologer Masha ‘Allah bin Athari, who belonged to this group.
Avoid major activities during Mercury retrograde
Electional astrology is a pro-active kind of astrology enabling us to choose a better time to begin activities in order to have better results.
This can be applied not just in creating new cities but in signing government contracts and treaties and implementing big projects. Companies and individuals can also benefit from it.
One basic electional astrology concept is to avoid activities associated with weak planets.
From July 15 to August 8, Mercury, the universal significator of trade and communication, is weak due to retrograde or backward motion. However, this retrograde is not so bad since Mercury is aided by lucky Jupiter in Mercury’s own sign.
During the infamous Mercury retrograde period, the general advice is to refrain from beginning major projects or buying expensive items. The keyword here is “major.”
This warning, which is diminished in strength for now, is more applicable to those who have ascendant signs in Gemini, Virgo and Sagittarius. The ascendant or rising sign is the zodiac sign on the eastern horizon at the time of one's birth. Its moves one sign every two hours making it the most important or personalizing factor in the astrological chart.
If you don’t know your ascendant sign, find out the exact time and place of your birth and go here: http://alabe.com/freechart/. - Rappler.com
Resti H. Santiago believes that astrology is an integral part of Philippine culture. He has been trained in the field by some of the world's top medieval or traditional astrologers: Robert Zoller, Graeme Tobyn, Chris Brennan, Gary Price. He is currently studying Astro-meteorology under Dr. Lee Lehman.