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Astronomy in Astrology

The role of astronomy in astrology is integral, forming the foundation upon which astrological theories are built. While astrology and astronomy have distinct objectives today, their historical development is deeply intertwined. Astrology can even be considered an early form of astronomy, as ancient civilisations sought to make sense of celestial phenomena.

Astrology emerged from the human desire to understand the cosmos and its impact on life on Earth. Ancient civilisations kept meticulous records of celestial phenomena, such as the movement of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars. These astronomical observations became the basis for astrological interpretations, with celestial events seen as omens or predictors of earthly happenings.

The Babylonians, pioneers of astrology, were also skilled astronomers. They developed a complex system to predict planetary movements and eclipses, which informed their astrological practices. Similarly, the Mayans, known for their advanced astronomical knowledge, created precise calendars that interlinked celestial cycles with astrological significance.

The Greeks made significant contributions to both astronomy and astrology. Figures like Ptolemy, a renowned Greek astronomer and astrologer, exemplify this dual role. His astronomical work, the Almagest, was foundational in the field, while his astrological treatise, the Tetrabiblos, greatly influenced the development of Western astrology.

However, with the advent of the Scientific Revolution, astronomy and astrology began to diverge. Astronomy evolved into a rigorous empirical science, focusing on the physical characteristics and behaviors of celestial bodies. Astrology, on the other hand, remained rooted in symbolic interpretation, focusing on the perceived influence of celestial bodies on human affairs.

The role of astronomy in astrology is foundational, having provided the empirical observations that underpin astrological interpretations. While the two disciplines have diverged in modern times, their historical interconnection underscores the significant role celestial observation has played in human attempts to understand the cosmos and its influence on earthly life.

Further Reading