May 1. 2016

History of astrology

Ancient Babylon – place where it all started

History of astrology

Astrology has been there with us for thousands of years. To trace its roots, we need to go back to ancient Babylonia. There it was practiced by the priests to predict the will of the gods. From Babylonia, astrology was adopted by the Greeks. They trusted the stars and the oracles to forecast the future. In India they were also exploring astrology at this time between 5000 and 3000 BC. They manage to develop some of the signs we use today.

Egypt and China

It was the Egyptians who first used astrology to foretell the character of a person based on their date of birth – according to discoveries in Egypt dating as far back as 4300 BC. The Chinese also developed a system of astrology around 2800 BC. It has evolved very differently than western astrology (more in the article Chinese horoscope).

In this period of time astrology became an important part of the culture of many ancient peoples. For example the Roman ruler Augustus made coins adorned with his astrological sign of Capricorn.

Middle East

The Arabs and Persians followed the Greek teachings in astrology as well as other sciences like mathematics and medicine, although many of the Persian and Muslim astronomers refused astrology for scientific and religious reasons.

The decline and revival of Astrology

Astrology began to decline in popularity after Rome fell. Christianity claimed it was the work of the devil. So as the Church grew in power, they took up the practice of astrology for their own uses. Then by the time the Renaissance was in full swing, astrology had gained favor once again. During the 17th century when the Age of Enlightenment began to take hold with its scientific accomplishments, astrology and astronomy became two different disciplines for the first time.

Astrology these days

Astrology remained quietly in the background until a revival of interest in it at the beginning of the 20th century. During the last century, astrology became popular through several astrology magazines and books. The New Age movement began in the 1960s and "70s, and it brought astrology right along with it. Today, it is not surprising to find out that an international leader is consulting the stars. While some still refuse to believe in its predictions, just as many take it very seriously.