The History of Astrology
Since the dawn of man he has strived to make sense out of nature and the mystery of our existence. It wasn’t long before man turned to star gazing in search for answers.
Some studies by scholars place the beginning of Astrology as far back as 50,000 years. It is believed that Cro-Magnon Shamans noticed the recurring patterns of the night sky and began documenting this by making notches on bones to mark the passing of the seasons.
A 30,000 year old plaque detailing a moon chart was discovered in a cave in France. Stonehenge was erected 4,000 years ago and is shown to mark the progression of the moon and sun.
More recently, in relative terms is a 3,000 year old man-made site in Louisiana, USA called Privy Point which is an arrangement of six concentric octagons that was constructed by Native Americans.
These examples are not limited to one part of the world or a single culture, because stone calendar wheels have been found on Mayan, Incan, and Aztec sites as well. It may be impossible to tell whether or not these cultures practiced the art of astrology it is interesting to note that throughout human history man has been drawn to the stars.
The first known astrological charts where developed by the Sumerians seven thousand years ago and it is believed those charts were used for agricultural purposes. Astrology spread thought the Middle East, and by 2400 BC most royal courts had astrologers.
The Babylonians divided up the night sky into twelve sections and began observing the effects of the stars and planets on people. In 420 BC these principles were used to chart the lives of individuals.
In 330 BC Alexander the Great brought astrology to Greece from his Middle East conquest. We get the word “astrology” and “zodiac” from the Greek. The Greeks furthered the study of astrology by tracking the movement of the planets every day of the week and from this point created horoscopes based on the hour and location of a person’s birth.
The development of Astrology stopped with the end of Rome’s power in the Western world, and it wasn’t until 760 AD that a Ptolemy’s manuscript was discovered in a Persian monastery that the study continued. The Arab world was taken with astrology and began spreading it once again to the Western world.
Unlike other occult studies the Christians accepted astrology since it was validated in scripture. Some believe that the Three Wise Men were astrologers lead by the Star of Bethlehem. Several popes also used astrology for guidance.
Probably the most well-known astrologer was Nostradamus who claimed his known writings are based the divine essence though astrological revelations.
Along the way the study of astrology suffered many critics and setbacks. In the sixteenth century the practice of astrology was banned, and in the eighteenth century it was believed that astrology was based on incomplete data after the discovery of Uranus and Neptune.
Astrology became more acceptable in the nineteenth century when several US Presidents received consultation from astrologers including John Tyler, Woodrow Wilson, Warren Harding, and Ronald Regan.
It is common knowledge that Hitler and his staff were believers in astrology, but a lesser known fact is that WWII allies used astrologers to interpret Hitler’s horoscope, in an attempt to predict his military moves.
Hollywood was possible the biggest factor in making astrology more main stream. Many Hollywood stars received astrological consultation and had personal astrologers. The acceptance of astrology by famous Hollywood actors and actresses lead to a trend of people seeking out astrological consultation.
Astrology continues to be very popular today and it is reported that 30% of Americans believe in Astrology, and 75% of people read their horoscopes on a daily basis. One study indicates that there are approximately 200,000 full and part time astrologers in the United States.