“Astrology is the purest occult science,” says Manish Kumar Arora, an India-based astrologer, numerologist and tarot reader. “Initially one has to learn and master the skills, permutations and combinations of 12 zodiac signs along with the nine main planets.”Such skills, he says, are enhanced by those blessed with “a gift from the universe or divine energies”.
Good astrologers are inherently “good humans with good hearts”. They must lack greed, be hard working and intelligent and speak purely. “They must have good Mercury and Jupiter in their chart,” continues Manish, “and their aura must be positive. With the grace of the universe, my clients have praised these gifts of mine.”
Since his teenage days, Manish admits that he’s felt drawn to “know more about human behaviour” and why different people react so differently to particular situations. “I began to analyse the placement of the stars in the horoscope and how the various planetary periods affect these actions,” he says. “It increased my curiosity and I began to read the books of eminent astrologers. By the age of 27, I realised that the time had come to delve deep into the ocean of astrology, to perfectly master it.”
Can you talk us through the process of your readings?
“I have my unique method of calculating monthly predications, including the fundamentals of KP astrology, tarot reading, numerology, and the sun’s reading—the sun remains in one sign for one month. From a combination of these, I write monthly Zodiac predictions. Yes, there are millions of people in each sign, and summarising their fates in around a hundred words is a challenging task. Predictions are done to instil in readers a sense of positivity. Face to face interactions are more precise, offering personalised predictions.”
Does astrology differ between the hemispheres?
“For both Vedic and KP astrology, the time, place and date of birth are needed to analyse horoscopes. Every astrology chart or horoscope is prepared according to the latitude and longitude of the birthplace also, so the basics and fundamental principles remain the same for both the northern and southern hemispheres.”
Manish’s work is widely sought after—he writes for 35 publications internationally (including Verve).One thing, he says, that his readers all have in common is that they “appreciate good and sincere work”, and in return,he feels blessed to receive “love of people from all over the world”. “They have appreciated my zodiac predictions month after month which has further pushed me to work with even greater zeal and enthusiasm,” says the astrologer. “It is a gigantic task and I have to be on my toes constantly. It drives me to excel in each and every month for every magazine for which I write so that I am able to meet the expectations of my esteemed readers.”
I finish up by asking why Manish believes it important that people become aware of what their future holds.
“Astrology can serve as a guiding tool,” he says. “And with proper guidance, one can ascertain what lies ahead. By knowing in advance, one can plan whether it is a good time to invest, whether it be in business, a new job, higher education or a marriage. If one must cross a river and can know in advance where the water is deeper, then they will sail their boat accordingly.”
Astrology through the Ages
Sten Odenwald, director of Citizen Science at the NASA Space Science Education Consortium tells Time that ancient cave drawings indicate that early humans believed that “animals and things can be imbued with some kind of spirit form that then has an influence on you”.
Elites of Ancient China would search the skies for signs such as eclipses or sunspots, but they believed any omens would only be relevant to their emperor.
The Ancient Egyptians were among the first to map classical constellations such as Scorpius, Aquarius and Orion. Their farmers used the skies as a calendar, learning that the rise of certain stars were the sign of the Nile’s annual flooding.
The 12 familiar signs of the zodiac such as Gemini, Taurus and Leo, are generally attributed to the Ancient Greeks, but it was the Babylonians around 1,500 BC that first christened a dozen constellations with names like the Great Twins and The Lion. Much of this was later adopted by the Greeks.
It wasn’t until the late 17th century, with the dawn of the Age of Enlightenment, that astrology—the search for signs directed by the movement of the stars and planets—and astronomy—the scientific study of such celestial objects—were considered properly separate.
A 2009 Harris poll found that while 26 percent of Americans believe in astrology (a similar figure to other Western nations, and just ahead of belief in witches: 23 percent), nearly a third believe in UFOs, 40 percent believe in creationism, and slightly more believe in ghosts.
Around nine out of 10 people know their star sign.
A poll conducted in conjunction with Astrology.com found a third of female believers checked their stars before job interviews, embarking on new relationships and buying lottery tickets.
A 2013 study by the Journal of Consumer Research concluded that people who read negative horoscopes were more likely to act impulsively or self-indulgently soon after.
A 2014 survey by the National Science Foundation revealed more than half of millennials believe astrology to be a science.