History of Astrology
In the ancient world, humans lived mostly under an open sky. The heavens performed miracles not easily understood—thunder, lightening, meteors, sun, moon, and stars. People in those long ago times sensed something beyond the physical lights in the sky, they sensed the spiritual energy radiating from them and considered them to be divine sources of power. In ancient Sumeria, for example, the symbol for divinity is a star.
Even though it isn’t true, it appears to us Earthlings, that the sun, moon, planets, and stars revolve around our planet. And, that is what most people believed until recent times. Ancient humans observed the planets moving in a predictable pattern in front of a backdrop of stars that moved more slowly or remained stationary. The Greek, Sumerian and Babylonian priests and priestesses systematically gave the planets names of various deities according to each one’s unique energy essence. Each god had dominion over a particular area of human life. The vibratory energy of each god was matched with the vibratory energy of each known planet.
Oddly, astrology seems to have sprung up all over the known world at about the same time, and the planets were all given basically the same influential characteristics in each civilization. Mercury in the Americas had the same “powers” as it did in China or Babylonia. Each planet, regardless of what civilization named it, was known for identical or similar influences. For example in all civilizations who used astrology, Mercury was the god of communication, quick thinking, wise, and calculating; Mars ruled cutting, blood, war, anger; Jupiter was expansive, large—king of the gods.
The form of astrology we know today can be traced back to Egypt around 4200 BC. Specific astrological records are known from around the 7th century BC. Until around 300 years ago, anatomy, astronomy, and astrology were the same science. Events, as well as health were foretold or analyzed according to the planets.
The Chaldeans were the first to create an astrological chart. They devised the first mathematical calculations of the planets in relation to a specific band (ecliptic) in the heavens. They devised the ephemerid, which is a table showing the movements of the planets. The earliest known ephemerid dates from the mid 7th century during the reign of Assyrian King Assurbanipal.
The Chaldeans mapped the twelve constellations the planets regularly pass in front of. They noted that every two hours, the constellations would shift in the sky about 30° (1/12th of a complete circle). The Chaldeans also divided the heavens into twelve other segments, called Houses. Houses represent areas of life and are influenced according to which planets are passing through them and according to their relationships with each other. The angle between them would determine the nature of their influence. Most astrology of the ancient civilized world was concerned with large-scale events such as war, natural disaster, and the rise and fall of kings. Personal astrology came later.
When Ptolemy died in AD 180, astrology in Europe began to decline, probably because knowledge of how to make celestial observations and calculations was lost with his death. And, when Imperial Rome crumbled, astrology slid into a corrupt superstition.
When Christians gained power in Europe, they knew astrology only from this decadent state, so it was denounced as evil. Astrology was attacked, along with all other Pagan beliefs, as evil and the devil. Perhaps early church fathers were ignorant of, or ignored astrological references in their own New Testament, especially in The Book of Revelations, and the Magi in St. Luke.
Astrology could have been lost entirely if it had not been for the Arabs of North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean from the 8th century AD. The Caliph al-Mansur of Baghdad founded an important observatory and library. Damascus also held a major center for learning which included astrology.
The Arabs devised a system of astrology that would predict auspicious times for things in everyday life such as journeys, weddings, celebrations, and such. This method was later incorporated into Western astrology.
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From the Team of the Psychic Intuition Center