stargazing: the journey begins
I've begun looking into astronomy and astrology, and the various ways in which mankind has mapped the cosmos throughout history.
It's fascinating how Eastern and Western civilizations have mapped out constellations and interpreted the stars in their own unique ways, even as they gaze upon the same universe. An example of this would be the differences in the zodiac systems of the Chinese versus that of the Western world. The Chinese zodiac has a 12-year cycle, each year representing a unique animal (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig), and its subsequent characteristics. Whereas the Western zodiac system has a 12-month cycle (ie the year is divided into 12 sections), the divisions each having a corresponding constellation sign (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces).
Personally, I'm amazed at how elaborate these systems can get, and how they were formed in the first place! As I begin my stargazing journey and attempt to identify constellations of my own, I can't help but marvel at the tales that have come out of mankind interpreting light emitted by giant bodies of gas billions of light years away.
Fun fact: I'm a Rat and a Sagittarius. What's your zodiac sign?