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Astrology / History

  • A Brief History of Astrology - The science of astrology originated in Bharat, also known as "India," and has been practiced continuously for more than 8,000 years. Records of astrological knowledge are to be found in the history of all nations and among the relics of all civilizations, past and present.

  • The Origins of Astrology - To all astrologers and astronomers before the 17th century A.D. the terms "astrology" and "astronomy" were often interchangeable, although sometimes the emphasis applied to each was different. Astronomy was considered more mathematical and astrology more philosophical, but in general the practitioner of one was also a practitioner of the other. Thus the twin sciences share a common origin sometimes before the advent of recorded history in the third and fourth millennia B.C.

  • Mesopotamia - Mesopotamia, the land of the Tigris - Euphrates river valley, now Iraq, was long considered by historians the "cradle" of civilization. Although we now know that Mesopotamian civilization was predated in world history by several earlier cultures, this particular civilization is of great importance to us for it spawned the Semitic culture of Palestine, and hence is responsible for the Judeao-Christian tradition.

  • Ancient Greek - Ancient Greek civilization extends back to the heroic period recorded by Homer in the Iliad and the Odyssey, and which flourished between about 1800 and 1100 B.C. This "Golden Age" of Greece went into decline under the impact of the "Dorian" invasions from the north, after 1,000 B.C. and it is only with the second wave of Greek civilization, that of "Classical" Greece, that astrology arrived in the Greek peninsular.

  • Egyptian Astrology - The belief that the Egyptians originated astrology is an ancient one and was propagated by the ancient Greeks, who should have known better. The Roman Diodorus, writing around 59 B.C. alleged that the Egyptians had invented astrology, and that the Babylonians were Egyptian colonists who had taken astrology to Mesopotamia.

  • Indian Astrology - There is a perpetual debate concerning the antiquity of Indian astrology between those who claim that it evolved several thousand years B.C. and those who claim that all astronomy and astrology was imported into India as a result of contact with the Greeks after the invasions of Alexander (4th c B.C.).

  • Chinese Astrology - There has been virtually no research in the west on the history of Chinese astrology, perhaps because Europeans have always been far more interested in the alternative, and highly intriguing divinatory tool, the Book of Changes, or I Ching. The fact that this oracular system should have evolved indicates the extent to which China provided fertile ground for the development of astrology, but Chinese astrology never achieved either the complexity and sophistication, or the dominance as a method of divination, that it did in the west.

  • Astrology in the Roman World 200 B.C.-500 A.D. - Divination had long been a part of the Italian life and religion before the importation of astrology to Rome in the 2nd century B.C. When the Romans discovered astrology some 1,400 years after the Venus Tablet of Amisaduqa, they took to it wholeheartedly and incorporated it into every aspect of their lives from religion to politics to day-to-day affairs. Astrology appealed to the masses on the level of fortune telling, and it is perhaps in Rome that astrology first developed its "fair-ground fortune teller" side, as distinct from its religious and mystical uses. Astrology appealed to the priests as the perfect addition to the worship of planetary deities, and it accorded well with the philosophy of the intellectuals, already impressed by the fatalist Stoicism with its belief in ever-recurrent cycles.

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