Where did astrology really come from?

Astrology originated in Babylon far back in ancient times, with Babylonians developing their own form of horoscopes about 2, 400 years ago. Then, about 2 or 100 years ago, astrology spread to the eastern Mediterranean, becoming popular in Egypt, which at that time was under the control of a dynasty of Greek kings. Astrology, divination that consists of interpreting the influence of stars and planets on earthly affairs and human destinies. In ancient times it was inseparable from astronomy.

Astrology entered Islamic culture as part of the Greek tradition and returned to European culture through learning Arabic during the Middle Ages. According to Greek tradition, the heavens are divided according to the 12 constellations of the zodiac, and bright stars rising at intervals exert a spiritual influence on human affairs. Astrology was also important in ancient China, and in imperial times it became standard practice to have a horoscope for every newborn child and at all decisive moments in life. Although the Copernican system shattered the geocentric worldview required by astrology, interest in astrology has continued until modern times and astrological signs are still widely believed to influence personality.

Horoscopic astrology initially appeared in Hellenistic Egypt. The oldest Greek content that uses the Babylonian division of the zodiac into twelve indications of thirty equivalent degrees each is the Anaphorus of Hipsicles of Alexandria in 190 BC. The famous Dendera zodiac, a sculpture of the ceiling of the pronaos of a house of prayer dedicated to Osiris in the sanctuary of Hathor in Dendera, containing images of Taurus and Libra dating back to 50 BC, is the oldest known representation of the zodiac of twelve signs in the old-fashioned way. The Sumerians of Mesopotamia, a historic region of Western Asia, were the first to begin to observe the movements of planets and stars.

Around 3000 BC, they recorded and identified prominent constellations and patterns. Within Mesopotamia, the Babylonians (also known as the Chaldeans) became the first great astronomers. Continuing the research of the Sumerians, the Babylonians created the first wheel of the zodiac. Advances in mathematics helped astrologers develop more accurate and sophisticated charts, and astronomy was even studied at many renowned European universities, including Cambridge (1225-50).

This interpretation leaves too much room for maneuver for astrology to simply sound like affirmations of what people want to hear about themselves and think about the world. Astrology was enthusiastically taken up by Islamic scholars after the collapse of Alexandria at the hands of the Arabs in the 7th century and the founding of the Abbasid empire in the 8th century. Among the peoples of Western Eurasia, the earliest evidence of astrology dates back to the third millennium BC, with roots in the calendaric systems used to predict seasonal changes and interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Astrology is the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world.

Astrological readings were once done using old-fashioned calculations and diagrams based on an individual's birth time. Over time, astrologers have created simple but modern implications for each of the planets. But over the past 20 years, traditional astrological texts have been translated into modern languages for the first time. It is simply a method for predicting earthly and human events based on the location of the sun, moon and planets within astrological constellations.

Particularly important in the development of horoscopic astrology was the Greco-Roman astrologer and astronomer Ptolemy, who lived in Alexandria during Roman Egypt. People who claim that astrology (as practiced in its current form) is based on thousands of years of tradition are wrong. For example, the seventeenth-century revolutionary astronomer Johannes Kepler, who studied the movement of planets, was considered at that time an astrologer. Astrology became a fundamental part of culture in the Middle Ages, and was practiced by doctors, astronomers and mathematicians.

While astrology in the East flourished following the rupture of the Roman world, with Indian, Persian and Islamic influences coming together and undergoing intellectual revision through active investment in translation projects, Western astrology in the same period had become “fragmented and unsophisticated. . .

Damian Pestano
Damian Pestano

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