If astrology has always been a subject of fascination for you, in this article we track it down to its earliest begins to today and give you a glance into the future of astrology. Let’s get started with this brief history of astrology.
So, is astrology real? Of course. Where did it begin? While there is no evidence of interpretation of astrology, there is hard evidence that people were watching the sky and making records about what’s going on up there from a very long time ago. According to Wikipedia, 25,000 years ago, people were writing down their notes from the skies on bones and cave walls.
Omens Astrology: The First Type of Astrology
The first astrology are omens. In times when people were not very familiar with how the planets and the stars are connected with our lives, they used omens to predict events. For example, if Venus comes close to Scorpios, winds which are not good will blow. According to Francesca Rochberg, a researcher of history of science with a focus on Babylonian astronomy and astrology, there is a connection between divine and human that can help us predict the future.
After this kind of Omen astrology, Hellenistic astrology appears to be the first kind of astrology as we know it, or at least the closest to the astrology we know. It first appeared around 500 BC and the year 1 the omens were reframed in a new paradigm and complex astrological rules were created. The astrology today or the Western astrology has actually developed really quickly and it is widely believed that it was invented in a very short period of time.
According to Robert Hand, a renowned American astrologer, the whole apparatus of horoscopic astrology was in place by 1 C.E., probably even several centuries earlier. In studies of Greek writers, Robert and other astrologers have discovered that our predecessors have been dealing with a later era of astrology. Vettius Valens was one of those writers, who actually have traveled through Egypt looking for masters of the old traditions, which is quite similar to modern Americans going to India to study astrology and other sacred fields. Unlike other Greek writers who studies from books, Valens is believed to have studied from living teachers of the old traditions.
During the period of around 500 BC, some of the world’s greatest thinkers of all time were born and made some great accomplishments. Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle and Euclic are only some of the many Greek philosophers and thinkers, but they cover it perfectly how this period was pure of abstract ideas, out-of-the-world thinking, mathematical breakthroughs, and more.
Moving Away from Greece and Towards Arabian Countries
During the medieval period of around 500 to 1500, the astrology started to move away from Greece and towards Arabian countries. The Arabic influence during the medieval ages was huge for astrology, as a consequence to the illiteracy among the masses of people. Around the 1200s, the Europe started to understand and work on astrology as a field of study.
After the renaissance period, Kepler played a big role. He integrates mathematics with the physical world as he discovered the law of motion. This is the first time that pure mathematics has been seen as a basis for the real world, which was perceived as a big revolution by the people.
With this discovery and other scientific discoveries, especially the work of Newton, science has advanced in the 1700s. This period was a winning period for the astrology and after that it had a dry period which lasted until the 1900s. The so-called dry period ended with the help of Alan Leo’s discoveries, a famous British astrologer. Followed by the period of scientific backing up of astrology as a field of study came the diversification of astrology. This happened in the 1990s, when people were discovering different types of astrology with different types of zodiac signs, systems, beliefs, etc.
Influential Astrologers: Representatives of Different Traditions
Although there are many people who can be mentioned in this article rightfully deserved, these are some notable representatives of different traditions and time periods who played a crucial part in the development of astrology. One of the oldest on this list is Claudius Ptolemy. He is responsible for extremely important foundations of astrology. Another one from this period is Vettius Valens who also contributed largely to the astrology.
In about 750 – 800, the Jewish astrologer Marsha Allah, who is believed to be way ahead of his time, made some huge contributions due to the fact that he had different traditions. Abu Ma’shar appeared in the 800s as well and he is considered the founder of Islamic astrology. Al Biruni is often described as a pure genius and he operated in the period about 1000. He also worked in many other areas than astrology.
Heading to the Renaissance period, the name Marcilius Ficino comes up. Why? Not because he wrote a lot of astrology ideas, but because he influenced astrology more philosophically and intellectually than anyone before. Jerome Cardan operated in the 1500s and he represents an example of a technological astrologer, since he was a mathematician and astrologer.
In this period, John Dee also made his contributions to astrology. He was also technologically backed up, a mathematician, geographer and occultist focused on astrology. We should not overlook Jean-Baptiste Morin, a French mathematician, astronomer and astrologer who have offered extensive writings on astrology in the 1600s.
Alan Leo, who we mentioned above, operated in the 1900s and is known for reviving the tradition among the scientific kinds of astrology. During the period of 1960 to 1990, we have Reinhold Ebertin, John Addey, Michel Gauquelin, Dane Rudhyar, Liz Greene, Noel Tyl, Stephen Arroyo, Rob Hand and Steven Forrest as some of the most influential astrologers who contributed to the astrology as we know it today. Of course, there are plenty of other astrologers who deserve some credit, but an article wouldn’t cover the list.
Types of Astrology
As expected, the history of horoscopes, systems and zodiac signs has resulted in appearance of various systems of astrology. Vedic astrology or Hellenistic astrology is based on lord systems, or dasas as it stands in Vedic astrology. This kind of astrology and most modern types of astrology emphasize the importance of rulers of zodiac signs. If compared to Western or Chinese astrology, for example, you can easily conclude that no two astrological systems are completely different from one another. Most astrological systems use hybrid systems, taking the best of both worlds.
Future of Astrology
After this quick overview of the history of zodiac signs and astrology systems, we can conclude that this modern life is dominated by the evidence-based approach to understanding. Science is the strongest modern religion these days and has a huge impact on everything we do. The way we travel, the way we work, the way we heal, it’s easy to see how dependant are we on the engineering marvels of the modern scientific world.
Knowledge and information are democratic, which makes it easier to know what is correct and what isn’t. You don’t have to be holly or enlightened, you only need to know how to conduct research on the Internet. Although people tend to find a way around it and manipulate the systems to make money (for example), in theory, we are gifted with knowledge, we can find evidence and theorize almost everything.
So, where is astrology gonna be in the future? We will only need to be guessing and speculating, because it’s very controversial and quite unpredictable. In an age that is very scientific and evidence based, we can expect astrologers to use more convenience sampling, extreme case sampling, data mining, pilot studies and hypothesis tests. This is much more important than certification programs or counseling skills so it can make astrology more compatible with the modern culture.