What Is Astrology
For the last few decades, Astrology has been synonymous with sun sign forecasts in magazines and newspapers, as a form of entertainment. Even the majority of modern astrology books have focused only on the sun and often presented cartoonish presentations of the signs qualities such as; Pisces are dreamy and waste hours of their life looking for their car keys, Libras struggle with making decisions and Geminis talk none stop. However this somewhat fun, but overly reductionist approach to astrology, has led to the majority of the West forgetting that astrology is the oldest science in the world. One can only imagine the dedication and brilliance of the mathematical minds thousands of years ago, that spent their time observing the night sky and over time identified and plotted the movement of the luminaries and inner planets.
Astrology is thousands of years old and first appeared in Greece around 4BC. Spreading through Europe and the Middle East, astrology was considered the science of the soul and studied by some of the greatest minds including Hippocrates, Galen, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, Nostradamus, and Sir Isaac Newton, and is evident in the birth of astronomy, mathematics, physics and medicine. Evidence of how intricately astrology was layered throughout both science and the culture can still be seen by the complex symbology drawn from their myth and archetype system, the planets named after the gods, the days of the week named after the planets (Saturnday, Sunday, Moonday, ) and our months after the seasons. Astrology started to loose credibility and was tossed out of main stream as superstition, or at the very least a pseudo-science at the end of the17th Century.
The discovery at the heart of the separation between astrology and astronomy was the theory Copernicus put forth in 1543 of the heliocentric model; a sun centred universe. Prior to this, early observations of the night sky had naturally led them to believe for thousands of years that the earth was at the centre, and that the planets travelled around the earth. The warm, life giving Sun, was revered and central to the Western astrology system and the entire system is built around the seasons, or the position of the Sun throughout the year. In this way, the four right angles of the chart represent the Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, Autumn Equinox and Winter Solstice. This is worth noting when considering arguments put forth regarding astrology and the constellations today. Whilst Western astrology named and uses twelve of the many constellations identified as part of its system, it is not a constellation based model.