Difference between Zodiac and Astrology

Key difference: A zodiac sign can be defined as the particular segment of space in the ecliptic that the sun occupies during a person’s birth. Astrology is the study of planetary positions and alignment of celestial bodies as having an influence on a person’s behavior and/or his/her future.

 Zodiac is a form of western astrology, where the movement of the sun at the time of a person’s birth brings forth revelations about his/her physical traits, characteristics, state of mind, etc. To understand the zodiac signs conversantly, one has to first know what zodiac is, and the way it functions. In simple terminology, zodiac can be defined as a circular path comprising of twelve 30 degree segments, known as the various signs of zodiac. This circular path is also known as the ecliptic, the path that the sun takes to revolve around an imaginary sphere around earth, known as the celestial sphere. The point where the sun begins its 360 degree journey is at zero degrees, or the vernal equinox. The vernal equinox also marks the beginning of the first sign of zodiac, which is the Aries. As the sun moves along the ecliptic, it passes the various signs of zodiac, occupying each for a while, in order to pass through it completely. A Person born in a time that is the same as the duration of sun’s occupation of a particular sign, will fall under that specific sign of zodiac. Consequently, his/her traits, habits, behavior, etc. will be determined by this movement of the sun, which is what the zodiac signs are all about.

The zodiac is also called as the circle of life, which is why the signs of zodiac carry the names and depictions of living beings such as animals and humans. The twelve signs of zodiac are as follows:

S. No.

Latin names

English Translation

1

Aries

The Ram

2

Taurus

The Bull

3

Gemini

The Twins

4

Cancer

The Crab

5

Leo

The Lion

6

Virgo

The Maiden

7

Libra

The Scales

8

Scorpio

The Scorpion

9

Sagittarius

The (Centaur) Archer

10

Capricorn

Goat-horned (The Sea-Goat)

11

Aquarius

The Water-Bearer

12

Pisces

The Fishes

 The word astrology has its roots in the Greek language, in which it means “account of the stars”. Dating back to the 2nd millennium BCE at least, astrology aims at determining the relationship between the astronomical phenomena and worldly occurrences. In simpler terms, astrology is the study of heavenly bodies and their various alignments with respect to the happenings in a person’s life. Prediction of the happenings in a person’s life according to the interpretation of the planetary adjustments forms the core of astrology. From this perspective, astrology can be understood as a calculative analysis about a person’s life. This is because for an astrologer to make a prediction about a person, he/she must first calculate the heavenly alignment of various celestial bodies such as the sun, the moon, stars, etc. at a particular point of time in future. Reasons like these have led to astrology being refutes as an academic and theoretical subject. The lack of a bona fide explanation corroborating the relationship between the astronomical and terrestrial happenings has hampered astrology’s reputation in the eyes of science, thus leading to its rejection as an authentic medium. However, astrology continues to be practiced and sourced by people all over the world. In fact, many great libertarians such as Dante Alighieri, Geoffrey Chaucer, Christopher Marlowe, and William Shakespeare have referenced astrology in their works.

Comparison between Zodiac Sign and Astrology:

 

Zodiac Sign

Astrology

Meaning

A zodiac sign can be defined as the particular segment of space in the ecliptic that the sun occupies during a person’s birth.

Astrology is the study of planetary positions and alignment of celestial bodies as having an influence on a person’s behavior and/or his/her future.

Affiliation

Zodiac is an element of astrology.

Astrology comprises of elements such as sun sign, moon sign, horoscope, etc. to predict about a person’s life.

Scope

Limited

Vast

Basis of prediction

The movement of the sun.

Wide range of alignments and positions of planets, stars, and other celestial bodies.

Revelations

Qualities of a person, his/her habits, behavior, actions etc.

Forecasting a person’s future, establishing relation with past events, determining his/her existential nature, etc.

Branches

N/A

Western, modern, vedic, etc.

Time of origin

1st millennium BC

2nd millennium BCE

Image Courtesy: ancientzoanphotos.blogspot.com, reevedicastroadvice.wordpress.com

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