A Brief History of Astronomy and Astrology


A Brief History of Astronomy and Astrology

Astronomy is concerned with the observation of the motions of heavenly bodies, and reduces to mathematical order these observations. Astrology is the study of the effects the movements of these celestial bodies have on human affairs. By indicates of prolonged observation, the ancient astronomers have been capable to predict the recurrence of cosmic phenomena, and astrologers started to forecast the earthly events which coincided with these.

Astronomy is possibly as old as man’s conception of time itself. In the beginning, astronomy was largely applied to predict climate patterns and the most propitious time for sowing and planting crops.
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Later, these orbs of moving light the planets, have been believed to be gods, and the subsequent quest for divine knowledge was in all probability the starting of astrology.

Ancient Origins

Astronomy-astrology is said to have originated with the Chaldeans, in Babylon, Mesopotamia, (now Iraq) around the fourth millennium BC. It was practiced in the temples, exactly where it was blended with religious components. Later, it spread to Egypt, and about the third millennium BC was acquiring employed by rulers to predict the fate of nations: war or peace, famine or a lot.

The Chinese had been also skilled astronomers, and are believed to have independently begun to use sorts of prediction, along with the Maya of Central America and the peoples of ancient India. Some authorities believe that Chinese astronomy may perhaps well extend as far back as 5000 BC.

Recent researches into the Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza recommend that observation of heavenly bodies could have even a lot more distant origins. There is startling new proof that the principal Giza monuments kind an precise terrestrial “map” of the 3 stars of Orion’s belt as these constellations appeared in ten,500 BC.

Greek and Roman Instances

A great deal later, appropriate following the death of Alexander The Terrific, astrology started to influence Greek life, as Greeks and Orientals mingled in the kingdoms of the Seleucids and Ptolemy. It became an increasingly critical portion of Greek and Roman life. The Stoic philosophers secularized this ancient art: Hippocrates, the “father of medicine” taught astrology to his students so that they could choose the crucial days in an illness and the poet Hesiod, who lived in the 8th century BC, wrote in his extended poem “Performs and Days” that the positions of the planets and stars have to have to be utilized to predict propitious instances at which to commence points. Astrology reached its zenith in imperial instances, was applied by people of every single social strata, and in truth, was a part of just about each branch of ancient culture.
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About the 2nd century A. D. Ptolemy, a Greek scientist, wrote a colossal operate on astrology, which is divided into two components: The Almagest and The Tetrabiblos: The Almagest bargains with the movement of the Sun, Moon, and planets the Tetrabiblos with the interpretation of these movements as they influence man and human events. These books are maybe the most comprehensive written records of ancient astronomy and astrology that have remained to us, and are a compilation of functions from prior centuries.

The Middle Ages

The tradition of Greek, Arabic and Medieval astrology which was inseparable from the parallel tradition of alchemy, believed that Man responds to certain indefinable energies or vibrations of the Sun, Moon and planets, and words nonetheless made use of now to define distinctive human qualities, such as mercurial, saturnine, lunatic, venereal, jovial, martial, came from the astrological-alchemical schools of the 13th to the 17th centuries, remaining a tribute to the operate of these situations.

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Astrology for centuries was produced use of by kings, emperors, popes, scientists, physicians, the bourgeoisie and the poor alike, and with each other with astronomy was taught in the schools and universities of the planet. But, as with most things, it was destined to reach an interval in the affairs of males, and toward the close of the sixteenth century in Europe, astrology was losing ground even even though in England it continued to flourish through most of the 17th century.

The reasons for the decline in astrology are varied. A new scientific age was dawning and with it an excessive demand for technical explanation-nearly every little thing not scientifically provable or rationally explicable was rejected, such as astrology. The vast distance of the planets involving every single single other was found, and folks now began to say that these distances have been too great for any influences to attain earth. Also, the realization that the sun, and not the earth, was at the center of the solar system somehow added to the devaluation of astrology-even although Sir Isaac Newton, and other folks, pointed out that astrology is about the relationship amongst planets, and could consequently be valid no matter which heavenly physique was at the center of the system.

To add to all of this, an escalating quantity of “quacks” appeared out to make fast funds, mingling with the genuine astrologers, which could not have helped matters-and though it is precise that there have typically been consultant astrologers and their consumers-in Europe and in America, astrology for a lengthy period seemed to lie dormant, and was applied for smaller far more than the publication of Almanacs for predicting the weather.

The Twentieth Century

It was the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that started the present revival of interest in Astrology. Considerably of this is owed to the outstanding Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Gustave Jung, who made use of astrology in his research and wrote on the topic extensively, awakening at the identical time the interest of other scientists.

The English astrologer Alan Leo, and Russian, Madame Blavatsky did considerably for the resurgence of astrology in England and Germany. There had been other folks, as effectively, such as the American, Dane Rudhyar, who came to astrology by implies of studies in music and philosophy, and wrote a crucial perform referred to as “The Planetarization of Consciousness” in 1970. In this way astrology was revived in America, in France, and in Holland. Associations and schools for specialist astrologers have been founded in America and in Britain, and these days astrology is again practiced in virtually each and each and every nation of the planet.

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