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A Concise History of Astrology

Thousands of years ago when human civilization began developing, ancient people lived under the open sky. For them, natural phenomena like storms, thunders, meteors, the Sun and other stars were heavenly miracles. This is why they had a much profound understanding of the world, of nature, and of the universe. They could feel far beyond the physical and the material, sensing the spiritual energy radiating from within them.

If we didn’t know what we currently do about the universe and how all the planets are placed in it, then even we would believe that the Sun, the Moon, all the other planets, and the stars have a circular motion with Earth as its center. Ancient people studied the planetary movements and observed the existence of a predictable pattern which had a canvas of stars as background. Sumerians, Greeks, and Babylonians named the planets after their deities depending on the unique energy they had. Thus a connection was created between each god’s power to influence a certain life area and the energy of each known planet.

What is quite interesting is that astrology seems to have appeared all over the world around the same time. Furthermore, each planet known to ancient people received the same energetic and influential characteristics in different civilizations. For example, Mercury ruled communication, of wise, quick thinking; Mars was the god of war, bloodshed, and anger; Jupiter presided over all the other gods, being seen as a king-like figure.

Astrology as we know it today dates back to around 4200 B.C. in Egypt. Real written records kept by astrologers are estimated to have appeared in the 7th century B.C. It was from astrology that astronomy developed, and it may come as a surprise to know that even anatomy is connected with these other two sciences. By reading a natal chart, one could know virtually anything about one’s life. The first birth chart was made by the Chaldeans, who were also the first to create mathematical calculations of the planets and their position in relation to the ecliptic.

The Chaldeans observed that there were twelve constellations in front of which the planets passed regularly. They then divided the heavens into twelve other sections which we nowadays call Houses. The latter ones are correlated with various life areas and are influenced by the movements of the celestial bodies. At first, astrologers used all this knowledge in order to find out more about wars, natural disasters, and the succession of the kings – it was only much later that using astrology for personal issues became a popular practice.

After taking over Europe and holding most of the power on the continent, Christians denounced astrology as evil. This led to associating astrology with the devil, Pagan rituals, and other such erroneous and superstitious beliefs. Hadn’t it been for the Arabs in the Northern part of Africa and in the Eastern Mediterranean lands, astrology would have completely disappeared. In order to promote the study of the heavens, the Caliph al-Mansur of Baghdad founded both an observatory and a library. Also, there was a learning center in Damascus which offered the possibility to study astrology. The Arabs created a different system of astrology, one which could predict everyday life events, such as weddings, journeys, and celebrations. This system was later on included into Western astrology.

From here, things kept developing, astrology-related knowledge grew with every decade and century, until it eventually reached the stage in which it is today. But the history of astrology doesn’t end here, for as long as there are people on this planet, more and more discoveries will be made.

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