By Sandra Weaver
Astrology history started when our ancient ancestors studied the sky and noticed it changed over time. They realized that each planet behaved differently and caused different character traits when they were dominant. Tendencies or certain situations appeared to repeat when a particular planet was dominant.
But astrology's history didn't evolve from just one place. It was prevalent in the Middle East and Europe, India, China, East Asia, and Mesoamerica. Each one had their own unique form of astrology. From these centers, the growth of astrology spread to the rest of the world.
Our ancient ancestors surmised their very lives were in some mysterious way governed by what happened in the night sky. The changes in the cosmos are caused by precession of the equinoxes, and the gravitational pull from other planets. Precession is caused by the earth's wobbly axis of rotation.
Each planet in our solar system, as recorded by astrology history, was the dwelling place of a known god, which was created through observation. Some were gentle and nurturing, while others were wrathful. Ancient stargazers realized that some stars moved and others were stationary. The wandering stars were actually planets in our solar system.
Astrology has suffered an on again, off again, existence throughout astrology's history
Oddly enough, astrology's sorted past was predicted by astrology itself. Thousands of people over astrology's history have died trying to keep it alive. Somehow it has endured and is gaining in popularity. Most people know their astrology sign and have read about the personality traits of their birth sign.
Deep inside, we all question our very existence
There has to be more to life than birth, struggle, and death. Astrology history represents our ancestor's attempt to find this greater meaning. This questioning spurred their curiosity and search for a connection to the rest of the universe. Virtually, every ancient culture believed in something greater than them. They all looked to the heavens for answers to the greater meaning of life on earth.
Charting the seasons through stargazing was one of the earliest forms of astrology history to be found. Astrology-priest-scientists of early Mesopotamia needed accurate records of the cosmos in order to perform rituals, and time planting and harvesting. The charting of astrology's history were the answer.
All religions including Christianity use aspects of astrology history in their teachings. Jesus was resurrected on the Spring Equinox, which was celebrated long before he existed. Christmas falls at the time of the Winter Equinox.
Where did astrology have its beginnings?
Astrology shows its earliest beginnings in Mesopotamia, now modern day Iraq, in the third millennium BC. Mesopotamia is one of the birthplaces of civilization, and Babylonia is a direct offshoot of Sumerian or Mesopotamian culture. So much importance was placed on astrology that a man's formal education included the study of the heavens.
Astrology history was one of two chief means for the priest to figure out the will or intent of the gods. Inspecting the liver of a sacrificial animal for omens was the other. These ancient priests believed that the sacrificed animal's liver was the seat of its soul. It identified or reflected the mind or will of the gods to send a message to them.
Babylonian boundary stones contained the earliest forms of writing called cuneiform. These stones have given us the bulk of our knowledge about Babylonian law, medicine, religion, poetry, astronomy and astrology. It was the job of Babylonian astrology-priest-scientists to scan the sky and the earth to alert the rulers of any possible bad omens. This picture is of King Ashurbanipal of Assyria
The mysteries of the night sky began to take shape and meaning
The constellations of the zodiac are made up of 36 of the brightest stars. The ancient luminaries visualized constellations of these stars taking shape in the sky as a lion (Leo), a scorpion (Scorpio), a goat with a fish tail (Capricorn), and a hippocentaur (Sagittarius). The personalities of the constellations came about based on observation, intuition, and most likely the character traits of the shapes envisioned.
A series of 68 tablets dating back to 1600 BC, the old way of Anu, explained Babylonian's astrology history. The information gleaned from these tablets is used even today to show the path of the zodiac.
The twelve zodiac symbols didn't all come about in Babylonia. According to astrology history, the twelve zodiac symbols are a group effort between Mesopotamia, Greece, Babylonia and Egypt. The entire earth is affected by the changing cycles of the universe throughout astrology history.
Personalizing astrology caused its popularity to spread
Astrology history shows that a birthday horoscope was not conceived of until the end of the Chaldean empire in 626 to 539 BC. At this time an individual's birth date became a suitable method of devising their fate. The personal horoscope came into being so that each child on a given day didn't have the same future. Astrology history shows that this individualizing was based on the degree of the ecliptic rising above the eastern horizon at the exact moment of birth.
"If a child is born when Venus rises, his life will be calm and pleasurable; wherever he goes he will be loved; his days shall be long. If a child is born when Jupiter is rising and Mars is setting, he will have happiness, and will see the downfall of his enemy." But,"If a child is born when Mars is rising and Jupiter setting, later on the hand of his enemy will take him captive." The Encyclopedia of Astrology, Sandra Shulman
The Greeks developed astrology to a great extent, to where it is today.
The Greeks saw the twenty-four hour day as a microcosm of a year. They divided it into "twelve houses" that gave a separate and detailed meaning, which has virtually stayed the same today. Adjustments are made to a personal horoscope through the houses, which are fixed. Houses are based on where the person was born. This served to individualize a person's chart even more.
Astrology's history records show our ancestors believed certain planets ruled each sign. This greatly influenced their characteristics. The moon governs the sign Cancer. The sun affects Leo. Both are the warmest months, and these are the two closest planets and stars.
Each planet had its own character traits, which the person was either affected and controlled by, or they used the energy for the greater purpose and transcended its effects.
It was the Greeks that divided the zodiac into Quadruplicities namely the three different crosses:
Mutable Cross: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces
Fixed Cross: Leo, Scorpio, Taurus and Aquarius
Cardinal Cross: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn
The different crosses represent the soul's journey back to its spiritual beginnings. A closer look shows that each cross contains a sign from one of the four seasons.
The Triplicities are associated with the four elements of the earth:
Fire: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Earth: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Air: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Water: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
The Greeks took the astrology history of the Babylonians and expanded it. They accomplished this through observation, philosophy, mathematics, and a deep inner knowing. When Egypt entered the astrology arena along with the Greeks, they took astrology far beyond its Babylonian beginnings.
Beside the remains of Hermes, the Greek patron deity of medicine, a tablet with this inscription was discovered:
"It is true, without falsehood, certain and very real,
That that which is on high is that which is below,
And that which is below is as that which is on high,
In order that the miracle of Unity may be very perpetual."
So what does this statement mean? Our ancient ancestors truly believed that what happened in the cosmos in the night sky, happened on the earth below. They reflected each other.
As above...So below.
By the second century BC, astrology and the reading of the stars had spread to Rome
Astrology history shows by Roman times Egypt had evolved as the foremost center for the study of astrology around the third century BC. But Egyptian astrology is actually a combination of Greek and Babylonian beliefs. Hermes and the Egyptian Thoth are counterparts. Both are the patron deities of medicine. This was the beginning of medical astrology.
Astrology readings by the Chadleans was banned in Rome not long before Jesus. It was sent underground, which only served to make it more popular. With different Roman rulers, astrology history went back and forth till it got to the point of frenzy as Rome was falling. Everyone wanted to know what the future held.
Christianity makes attempts to demonize astrology to bring an end to astrology's history
It's interesting that the Old Testament talks very little about astrology and astrology history, other than to advise people against it. The Kabbala was the most famous Jewish writings to affect astrology. It shared the beliefs of Pythagoras and Aristotle on planetary correspondence. Twelve of the thirty-two Paths are given zodiacal and planetary connections. The zodiac represented stages the human souls had to travel to gain realization.
An astrological reading caused King Nimrod to order all newborn baby boys killed. Nimrod's astrologers saw in the heavens that a newly born child would eventually destroy the supremacy of their religion. That child was Abraham. His mother hid him in a cave to save his life.
Much confusion, denouncing, and demonizing of astrology history occurred during the time of St. Augustine in earlier Christianity. He never outright banned it though. Plato attempted to reconcile the rift growing between Christianity and astrology by saying: "The active cause is the soul, the inspirations of the great animating spirit." His theory was that God was the supreme influence and the stars didn't "cause" events on earth. They merely reflected what happened on earth.
Pictured is Anatomical Man - 15th century image from the "Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry," showing believed relations between areas of the body and the zodiacal signs
Astrology made a comeback in Europe in about the eleventh and twelfth centuries
After a period of falling out of favor, astrology history peaks the interest of the masses again. Once this happened astrology was divided into agriculture, alchemy, the science of images, the science of mirrors, illusion or magic, and necromancy.
Gaurice, an astrologer had warned Henry II of France to avoid single combat during his forty-first year because of a possible head injury that would kill or mane him. He shrugged it off, but Catherine his wife did not. She talked to Nostradamus about the prediction. Nostradamus confirmed the possibilities. Three years later Henry was accidentally slain through the eye.
Dr. John Dee (1527-1608) was one of the most renowned astrologers in his day. He was imprisoned when he prophesied against Mary Tudor's reign as queen. Instead he said her sister Elizabeth would be queen. Elizabeth did in fact become queen, granting Dees release from prison, most likely for his favorable prediction.
In 1610 Galileo discovered four new planets, which were actually Jupiter's satellites or moons. The invention of the telescope helped Galileo sight these moons. Uranus was discovered in 1718. At first astrologers were dismayed by these new arrivals, but eventually they declared Uranus the ruler of Aquarius.
In 1846 astrology history took another turn. Neptune came on the scene, which astrologers connected with Pisces. Later, in 1930 Pluto was discovered. Astrologers connected it with Aries.
By the late eighteenth century, astrology history shows astrology was suspect and falling out of favor again. Many lives changed drastically, because of negative astrology predictions. The demonizing of astrology helped dispel astrological predictions as nonsense...especially if unfavorable.
During the nineteenth century, Kabbalistic numerology, medieval magic and astrology managed to become mixed up together. Astrology was already based on precise mathematics, and its reputation really didn't need to be connected with magic.
It was in the nineteenth century that astrology history took a different turn. Astrology was no longer something a person had to "see" an astrologer to get a reading. Now anyone could read their own stars in a number of publications. They could even create their own birth charts.
One who published such a manual for public use was Zadkiel (real name, Richard James Morrison). He achieved a fair amount of success with circulation of about 200,000 with his publication "Grammar of Astrology." Zadkiel was a crystal-gazer, which was the source of many of his predictions. His track record was not great, but when he did hit on one, his circulation would rise again.
Morrison was a member of the Mercurii, which was the first astrological society established since the seventh century.
It was also about this time that a blending of biblical symbolism and the mysticism of regular astrology occurred. In fact Frances Rolleston, the publisher of "Mazzaroth" wrote about the zodiacal references in the Bible. This showed how astrology's history had penetrated even there.
Karl Anderson, mentioned in his publication "Astrology of the Old Testament", about the mystical fusion of astrology and Freemasonry. He also linked the zodiac with the Twelve Tribes of Israel.
Helena Blavatsky brought astrology to a level of respectability in 1875
Madame Blavatsky did not ignore the new planets, but incorporated them. She refined the idea that each zodiacal sign had a separate planetary ruler. Astrology history became acceptable and respected in England because of her concepts. Through the use of precise mathematical calculations her methods assessed the human character rather than predicted the future.
Another Theosophical astrologer Will Allen (known as Alan Leo), believed, "that every man derives his will power from a planetary sphere of influences which he uses or abuses. Through this sphere he can overcome evil tendencies, and control his animal nature.
Astrology history teaches that "Character is Destiny, also that the Wise Man rules his Stars, while the fool obeys them."
How astrology influenced the two world wars
Astrology flourished during the First World War, with everyone anxious to know what the future would bring. Dr. W. Gorn-Old, known as Sepharial made this prediction in 1915, "an Aquarian Age of a liberated humanity...marked by beneficent (sympathetic and considerate) Communism. The millennium would occur in 2449, but before that there was to be "the great climacteric (a period in life marked by change), which lasts from 1991 to 1997, and which ensanguines (covers with blood through battle), the whole of the East..."
The period of change did escalate during his time period, and continues even through the Great Cycle change, and the beginning of the Age of Aquarius. Hopefully, we can avoid the last part of his prediction, even if his time period has past.
Astrology history takes a leap in the twentieth century
We've come a long way in astrology history. People were once burned at the stake for their astrological beliefs. But, astrology was slow to take hold in North America. It was astrologist Evangeline Adams who won a court case where she was charged with fortune telling. She defended herself and impressed the judge by reading his son's horoscope correctly with only his birth date. The judge made this statement,"The defendant raises astrology to the dignity of an exact science." The case was dismissed.
Adams had many famous clients including Enrico Caruso, Mary Pickford, and J.P. Morgan. She gave Morgan financial advice based on the stars. Even today, many people go to astrologers for financial and personal advice. In 1928 the American Federation of Astrologers was founded. Its formation was to disassociate astrology from magic, in an effort to make it totally reputable.
In the 30s astrology gained popularity when Margaret Rose, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York had her birth date published with her astrology reading. It was during the Second World War thought that astrology history ran ramped. Many predictions were false, but that didn't stem the tide of interest. Even the government took astrology seriously enough to employ Captain Louis de Wohl, an astrologer. His predictions were not the most accurate though.
Astrology was used on both sides of the war.
During times of distress and war people gravitate to the occult for answers. The best-known astrologer, Elisbeth Ebertein, in 1923 predicted that Hitler's chart was associated with political disruptions, even though she had only his date of birth and not the time. At the close of 1923, the year she predicted it would happen, Hitler was associated with an attempted Putsch and imprisoned.
A secret meeting by the German Gestapo revealed that Germanys and Hitler's astrology charts did not show favorable results. Astrologers did everything they could to glean more positive results from the charts. Hitler banned astrology and astrology history labeling it nonsense, and imprisoned German astrologers. But, Himmler and a few other higher-level commanders still practiced astrology in secret to try and foretell the direction of their cause.
Astrology and it's psychological connection
Carl Jung, the most famous psychologist examined the relationship between astrology and psychology in the 1950s. He determined that the predictions and the actual events were synchronicity.
In the final event Jung decided there wasn't a causal connection between what happened to a person and stars billions of light years away. He made this statement: "If astrologers had concentrated more on statistics to justify scientifically the accuracy of their forecasts, they would have found out long ago that their pronouncements rest on unstable predictions."
The "Takata effect" was the result of research by Professor Takata in Japan.
He discovered that a person is a "living sundial". When he investigated flocculation in the blood and discovered it was affected by not only the sun's cycles, but also its rising, setting and eruptions on the suns surface.
Frank Brown went a step further when he isolated in a controlled environment a variety of plants and creatures. He controlled every aspect of the environment and determined that the biological or "internal clock" of these living organisms could not function by themselves, because their rhythm appeared to be set in motion by the solar or lunar day, or even the relationship of the two. His conclusion was that cosmic events did affect living organisms.
The Faculty of Astrological Studies was established in London in 1948. It was a three-year course at that time. This legitimized astrology even more.
Astrology and astrology history have traveled a rocky road indeed. It is one of the oldest surviving belief systems in the world. What's more, it's increasing in popularity.
Computerized horoscopes have brought astrology to a new level of accuracy. But, what it lacks is the personal touch. A lot of astrology deals with the intuitive, especially with the acceleration of our souls journey with the now New Age. The way to gain this insight is to have a professional astrologist or attuned person do your chart.
Esoteric astrology, is based on a fair amount of intuition. It also requires first learning the spiritual level of a person through their rays. This form of astrology has escalated in popularity before and since December 21, 2012.
The Age of Aquarius is upon us and is considered by attuned astrologers to be a time of unprecedented spiritual awakening. This phenomenon only helps to ignite the fire under astrology and cause people to want to delve even deeper into astrology history. It will also peak interest in personal as well as country astrology charts.
The Encyclopedia of Astrology, Sandra Shulman
The Secret Doctrine, Helena Blavatsky
Esoteric Astrology, Alice Bailey
A Day in the Life of a God, The Enlil Institute, Dover DE
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