Try to imagine life thousands of years ago… no electricity, gas or level of understanding of the world around us that we have today.
We would have been dependent on the Sun to provide warmth and light and would have awaited its’ return each morning after it had mysteriously disappeared each evening.
While the Sun had disappeared and taken its’ light and warmth with it, the Moon would have provided at least some vision on most nights. Obviously, a moonless night would be very dark whereas a night with a Full Moon would at least give some night vision.
If we were still reliant on the Sun for warmth/light and the Moon for night vision then we would probably find the changes and activities associated with the Sun and Moon much more prominent in our lives right now.
After a period of time the Moon’s cycle would have become apparent… New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon, Third Quarter and then to New Moon again. I know that if I noticed this pattern with the Moon, that I would want to find out whether or not other celestial objects followed a cycle too.
During the process of following the movement of the planets, records were kept by the astronomer/astrologers (these fields didn’t become individual ones until the late 17th century). Eventually it was discovered that the position of the planets seemed to relate to activities here on earth. Welcome to the birth of astrology!
Of course the astrology that began thousands of years ago was not what we have now. It went through a process of development and fine-tuning. In a broad sense astrology went through three stages of development: the first stage where planetary positions/movements were related to events on earth; the second stage where the zodiac is used; and the third stage where personal charts made an appearance.
Stage One: How it All Began… (I think!)
The earliest known practice of astrology, the origin of western astrology, is evident in the Mesopotamian region during the Sumerian civilization (3000 BC), also known as the Old Babylonian period. This consisted of observations of stars and the planets, but not the use of houses or the zodiac.
Stage Two: Welcome to the Zodiac!
From Stage One where the movement of the planets were noted in relation to each other, it looks as though astronomer/astrologers from about 630 to 450 BC began to divide the ecliptic into twelve zodiac signs of 30 degrees each. It is thought that this system was developed by the Late Babylonians.
The next stage of astrological development involved the use of the personal horoscope. The oldest birth chart that has been professionally dated is one written in cuneiform for April 29, 410 BC. The zodiac positions recorded in the horoscopes that have survived these periods are closer to the sidereal astrology rather than the tropical.
The history of astrology is actually quite interesting. Astrology has been a major part of many cultures going back to pre-historic times. Some of the history of astrology is masked in controversy and mystery, because astrology was used before tools were developed to see planets that cannot be seen without the naked eye.
Astrology made its first appearance in pre-historic times. Maps of the heavens were found on cave walls, much the same as other cave drawings. These are the most controversial and mysterious of all evidences of the history of astrology. These cave dwellers could not possibly have had the tools necessary to see the planets. How did they know where they were?
The next appearance of astrology was in ancient Mesopotamia and other ancient cultures. These cultures also had extensive astrology charts that cannot be explained. However, the study of astrology was likely passed to Greece through trade with these ancient civilizations.
Astrology in Greece expanded to the form that we recognize in the western world today. Astrology was a daily part of life in Greece, and the Roman Empire to follow. The names of the planets, the constellations, and the sun and moon signs are all named for Roman deities and other names.
Greek and Roman scholars were often guaranteed positions in the court of the current king or emperor. Their knowledge of the stars was regarded as a necessary part of royal decisions, battle planning, and other aspects of royal life. However, astrology experts of these times often found their lives ending abruptly when the current government did not like what they had to say.
For these and other reasons the art of astrology was lost. However, it made a nice come back in Western Europe during the time of the Renaissance. Astrology was once more a revered art form, and those who studied astrology were thought to be some of the greatest minds of the period. However, when the age of enlightenment ended, astrology once more became an obscure and little discussed topic.
In the late eighteen hundreds astrology once more came to light. A few brave souls formed a foundation for the study of astrology. The interest in the study of the stars became wide spread throughout Western Europe, and spread to America in the early nineteen hundreds.
In the 1930’s, the art of astrology became very common place. In the middle of that decade, Gerald Gardner formed the religion now known as Gardnerian Wicca. Wicca, like pagan religions before it, focused on astrology for the use of divination. Astrology was also brought to popularity in America through the publication of American Astrology, a magazine credited for the first horoscopes.
Astrology became a form of entertainment for many in America as horoscopes became commonly found in major newspapers and other popular print media. However, astrology as an art has once again begun to fade in the Western world. Christian groups still rile against the study of the stars, and many “reasonable” people refuse to see any truth in the astrological predictions. Still, astrology remains a popular study in many cultures today.
Thank you for stopping by our post on The History of Astrology. We hope that you enjoyed it. Please check back with us as we add new articles, blogs and videos daily!
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About The Author: Rose, a proud member of Universal Psychic Guild, has been actively involved in astrology for the last twenty years. She also practices dream interpretation and psychic readings.
Article Source: http://www.earticlesonline.com/Article/History-of-Astrology–Overview/192767