Astrologers' warning sends people flocking to temples

Astrologers' warning sends people flocking to temples

Huge crowds such as these at Wat Trai Mit Witthayaram in Bangkok’s Samphanthawong district  were seeking blessings and hoping to ward off bad luck – because the influence of Uranus was set to bring bad luck to the country, according according to astrologers. (Photos by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)
Huge crowds such as these at Wat Trai Mit Witthayaram in Bangkok’s Samphanthawong district were seeking blessings and hoping to ward off bad luck – because the influence of Uranus was set to bring bad luck to the country, according according to astrologers. (Photos by Wichan Charoenkiatpakul)

Astrological predictions that the planet Uranus' movement would bring unexpected changes sent crowds of people flocking to make merit and pay their respects at the City Pillar Shrine and temples in Bangkok Sunday.

Astrology has many followers around the world, not just here in Thailand. There are many varieties, however, and for some, the planet Uranus is of special interest. The reason is that for part of the year it appears to move in one direction; then it stops and goes backwards ("retrograde motion"). Thus, for astrologers, Uranus is a planet that likes to shock us. If you want to know why Uranus behaves like it does, you'll need to a different science: astronomy. (More at the end of this story)

Crowds gather for good fortune

POST REPORTERS

Crowds of people flocked to make merit and pay their respects at the City Pillar Shrine and temples in Bangkok Sunday seeking good fortune, and causing heavy traffic congestion in and around Sanam Luang.

The gathering followed astrological predictions that the planet Uranus' movement would bring unexpected changes to the country.

Astrologers had cited Sunday as the day Uranus entered the Taurus zodiac sign for the first time in 84 years. Bangkok was established on April 21, 1782, with Taurus as the capital's zodiac sign, according to astrologers.

They said the influence of Uranus' transit would a cause a major change in the country and its occupants, no matter which zodiac sign they were born under.

This influence would last as long as seven years, they said.

Astrologers advised people to make merit and pay their respects at the City Pillar Shrine, which is regarded as "the pillar of triumph", in order to avoid bad luck.

This prompted crowds to visit the shrine at Sanam Luang near the Grand Palace, causing heavy gridlock on Ratchadamnoen Road and adjoining roads.

Worshippers at Wat Trai Mit Witthayaram were hoping to seek blessings and ward off bad luck.

Several temples in Bangkok were also full of crowds seeking to make merit and seeking prosperity and protection from bad fortune.

Phra Prommangalacharn, assistant abbot of Wat Trai Mit Witthayaram in Bangkok's Samphanthawong district, said the temple held a mass prayer session and invited well-known monks nationwide.

Here's more on retrograde motion using Earth and Mars as examples. One key idea is "vantage point" – the location of where you are compared to what you are looking at. Thus astrology on Mars would be quite different from what it is here on Earth. 

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Vocabulary

  • abbot (noun): the head monk at a temple - เจ้าอาวาส
  • adjoining (adj): next to and connected to - มีเขตแดนติดกัน
  • advise: to tell somebody what you think they should do in a particular situation - แนะนำ, แจ้ง
  • astrologer: someone who studies the movements and positions of the sun, moon, planets and stars and describes the expected effect that they believe these have on the character and behaviour of humans - โหราจารย์, โหร, นักโหราศาสตร์
  • astrology: the study of the movements and positions of the sun, moon, planets and stars, and the skill of describing the expected effect that these are believed to have on the character and behaviour of humans - โหราศาสตร์
  • astronomy: the scientific study of the stars, planets, and other objects in the universe - ดาราศาสตร์
  • avoid: to stay away from a place; to try to prevent something from happening - หลีกเลี่ยง
  • backwards: towards a place or position that is behind; towards a worse state - ถอยหลัง, สู่อดีต,ล้าหลัง
  • behave: to do things in a particular way - ประพฤติตัว
  • capital: the most important town or city of a country, usually where the central government operates from - เมืองหลวง
  • cited: mentioned as an example, explanation or proof of something else - อ้าง, กล่าวอ้าง
  • congestion: a situation in which a place is crowded with people, vehicles, or in this case, airplane flights - ความแน่นขนัด, ความแออัด
  • establish: to start a company or organization that will likely continue for a long time - สถาปนา, ก่อตั้ง, จัดตั้ง
  • flock: to go somewhere in large numbers; to gather together in large numbers - แห่กันไป
  • fortune: luck - โชค
  • gridlock: a situation in which it is impossible to make progress - ติดขัด, แออัด, รถติด
  • influence: the power to have an effect on people or things - อิทธิพล
  • invite: to ask somebody to come to an event - เชิญ
  • location: where someone or something is - ที่ตั้ง,ทำเล
  • make merit: to do good things according to religious beliefs - ทำบุญ
  • mass: large amounts or numbers - ปริมาณมาก จำนวนมาก
  • motion: movement - การเคลื่อนไหว
  • nationwide: throughout a whole country - ทั่วทั้งประเทศ
  • occupant (noun): a person who lives in a particular place; a person who is in a vehicle, seat, etc. at a particular time - ผู้ครอบครอง
  • pay their respects (verb): to show deep admiration for someone/something - แสดงความเคารพ, ถวายสักการะ
  • pillar: a strong column made of stone, metal or wood which supports part of a building or structure - เสาหลัก
  • planet: a large round object in space that moves around a star (such as the sun) and receives light from it - ดาวเคราะห์
  • prayer (noun): making a request or paying respect when practicing a religion - การสวดมนต์
  • prediction: a statement about what you think will happen in the future - คำพยากรณ์,คำทำนาย,การพยากรณ์
  • prompted (verb): caused - กระตุ้น, ก่อให้เกิด
  • prosperity: the situation of being successful and having a lot of money - ความมั่งคั่ง
  • protection: the act of protecting somebody/something; the state of being protected - การอารักขา, การปกป้อง
  • retrograde (adj): moving backward; making a situation worse or returning to how something was in the past - ถอยหลัง, ล้าหลัง,
  • session (noun): a period of time that is spent doing a particular activity -
  • shock: to surprise, or frighten someone - ทำให้ตกใจ, ทำให้สั่นสะเทือน
  • shrine: a place for worship which is holy because of a connection with a holy person or object - สถานที่บูชา
  • transit: the act of moving from one place to another - การเดินทางผ่าน
  • triumph: a great victory or success - ชัยชนะครั้งใหญ่
  • unexpected (adj): surprising way because you were not expecting it - ไม่คาดฝัน, น่าประหลาดใจ
  • Uranus (noun): the planet in the solar system that is 7th in order of distance from the sun - ดาวมฤตยู, ดาวยูเรนัส, ดาวเคราะห์ลำดับที่ 7 ของระบบสุริยะจักรวาล
  • variety (noun): many different types of things or people - ความหลากหลาย
  • zodiac sign: one of the twelve signs of the zodiac - ราสี
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