In astrology, a horoscope is a chart plotting the geocentric positions of the planets and other celestial bodies in relation to earth. They are charted in relation to a specific place and time of an event, such as someone’s birth.
The word “horoscope” is derived from the Greek word “horoskopos” (pl. “horoskopoi”) which literally means “a look at the hours.” In everyday conversation, “horoscope” can also refer to an astrologer’s interpretation of the astrological diagram.
If an astrologer were to look at someone’s horoscope in relation to their birth, they would look at a chart of the positions of the sun, moon, planets, and stars relative to the person’s birthplace on earth. In other words, the horoscope would show where everything in the universe was in relation to everything else when the person was born.
The first horoscope is thought to be from 409 B.C. From there its popularity spread to the East along with the Roman conquerors and then spread to Western Europe, where it was regarded as a science.
The diagram displays the sun or the earth in the center. If the sun is in the center, the table is called heliocentric, and if the earth is the center it is called geocentric. The rest of the planets and stars are plotted outside of this center. Besides planets, lunar nodes, the ascendant and midheaven, and the houses are plotted on this chart.
Other names for a horoscope include natal chart, natus, birth chart, astrological chart, celestial map, sky-map, nativity, cosmogram, star-chart, Vitasphere, radical chart, radix, and soulprint. Some people simply refer to a horoscope as a chart.
People nowadays use horoscopes for entertainment or foretelling purposes, referring to daily horoscope readings related to their respective signs. The twelve astrological signs that people are placed under depending on their date of birth are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.