Astrology, in spite of what its detractors say, is recognized as a respectable endeavor. This is why at the start of the new year, some of us consult astrologers for guidance and forecasts. Astrology offers interpretive insights and puts events in a certain perspective. It is an interesting art, to say the least.
The year 2011, if we are to consult the Chinese calendar is the Year of the Rabbit. Chinese astrologers base their calculations on the moon or lunar years, believing that the moon has a certain influence on human affairs.
Chinese astrology follows a cycle of 12 years. Each year of the cycle is represented by an animal which is believed to have an influence on the lives, destiny and fate of those born in that particular year.
The animals assigned to represent each year were chosen when Buddha summoned all the beasts before him one New Year with the promise of a reward if they obeyed. Only 12 animals turned up and to each of them Buddha offered a year which was to bear its name. Thus the years ran, and still run, in the order which the animals arrived.The first to arrive was the Rat, followed by the Ox, then by the Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
So what does 2011 hold for us? Following are some forecasts: "People will acknowledge that persuasion is better than force. Diplomacy, international relations and politics will take center stage. People will be more discreet and make reasonable concessions. Law and order will be lax, rules and regulations will not be rigidly enforced. Lifestyles will be languid and leisurely. People will be busy enjoying themselves. They will take things easy and be less inclined to face unpleasant realities."
For cynics, this is pure baloney. But for centuries, millions of Chinese built their lives around the forecasts of their particular horoscope. Of course, there will be individual differences, practitioners will tell us. Some of these are the opposing factors and other influences warring with the individual's destiny -- the kind of life into which he is born, the financial status of his family and other things.
The more practical (and the less jaded) among us will argue that your life is what you make it and you are the master of your own fate. Still, some of us look to astrological forecasts. Why? Because, sometimes, these forecasts reveal several facets in our personality which lead us to an exciting path of self-discovery.