Astrology History
  A pseudoscience claiming divination by the positions of the planets and sun and moon

The study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies and their supposed influence on human affairs.

The art of interpreting the meanings of connections between the movements of heavenly bodies and happenings on Earth. Astrology deals with the discretionary state of mind as well as with hard facts. Some branches of astrology are; Electional, Esoteric, Horary, Medical and Mundane.

The “science of the celestial bodies,” Astrology may be considered to have been the first true science, and is a sort of transcendental metaphysics. A form of divination based on the ancient adage, “As above, so below...
                              The History of Astrology across the Globe

                                     This brief survey of astrological history is comprised of five periods:


                            •Babylonian Astrology and Its History   •History of Medieval Astrology

                                                 •Astrology in the Renaissance & Enlightenment

                                                               •History of Ancient Greek Astrology   

                                                                          •Modern Astrology



                                                 Babylonian Astrology and Its History

Every history of astrology must necessarily begin with the Babylonians, who are commonly thought to have invented astrology. The Babylonians left us one of the earliest overtly astrological documents, the Enuma Anu Enlil. This document may date as far back as 1600 B.C., and it enumerates astronomical omens and their interpretation.

The focus of Babylonian Astrology was to predict events that affected the entire nation and its cities, whether it was war, famine, or meteorological events. The fate of the King was also a major concern. Astrologers employed by the King were expected to explain astronomical omens, and advise the King accordingly.

It is thought that in about 400 B.C., the Babylonians started working out the mathematical means of predicting astronomical events. This information was quickly disseminated throughout the Middle East and India. Information was recorded on clay tablets, which was particularly helpful as the Babylonians started working with individual natal horoscopes.



                                                  History of Ancient Greek Astrology

Historically, the Greeks have been credited as the inventors of horoscopic astrology, which is the notion of representing the horoscope of a moment as a chart of the heavens at that moment. Horoscopic astrology was used for the natal horoscopes of individuals, as well as those of questions or actions, or horary Astrology and electional astrology, respectively.

The Greeks added many concepts to Babylonian Astrology, such as the notion of sect, and the related concept of signs being male or female.

Since the Romans looked to Greece for all matters cultural and scientific, they adopted Greek Astrology about 100 B.C. This is how we know that Caesar Augustus had the Moon in Capricorn, as Augustus was a great believer in the truthfulness of astrology.

The Romans did not introduce very many innovations to Greek Astrology, but they documented it very well, such as the famous Astronomica by the poet Marcus Manilius. This is a comprehensive work covering many aspects of astrology.

Another important Roman-era work is by Dorotheus of Sidon, who composed a five book poem about astrology. This is a handbook, which just happens to be in verse. The concept of Triplicities, that is, that each sign is ruled by three planets, the day ruler, the night ruler and the participating ruler, comes from Dorotheus’s book. 

Perhaps the most influential astrological writer of this era was Claudius Ptolemy, who wrote the famous Tetrabiblos, a kind of summary of the Greek Astrology of his day. This book is filled with various observations and aphorisms, and abbreviated methods of astrological prediction in various fields.


Finally, there is equally important Vettius Valens, who, unlike Ptolemy, was a practicing astrologer. He fills in many of the gaps left in Ptolemy's work, and includes over a hundred horoscopes in his book, titled Anthology.



                                                        History of Medieval Astrology

Much of the history of medieval astrology is actually the history of Arabian astrology, as the newly prosperous and victorious Islamic empire actively assimilated many of the Greek astrological works.

A very important astrologer in the eighth century was the Persian Zoroastrian Naubakht. He was one of the two astrologers to elect the horoscope for the founding of the city of Baghdad. You can view Baghdad's horoscope here, and read about its meaning. It is a fascinating glimpse into top-notch electional astrology.

There was a great deal of cultural exchange between the Muslim lands and India, which had its own thriving and ancient system of astrology. There was some amount of cultural and knowledge exchange between the two astrological systems, most notably the use of what we today call "Arabic numerals," which are in fact Indian symbols for the numbers.

Perhaps the most famous Arab astrologer was Masha’allah, who lived at the end of the eighth century and early 9th-century A.D. several of his books survive today, and he wrote on many mundane astrological topics, such as the great conjunctions, eclipses, and annual solar revolutions. He taught several other influential astrologers, including Abu Ali al-Khayyat, who wrote the judgment of Nativity's, an important book on natal astrology available today.

The most prolific of the Arabic astrologers was Abu Ma’shar, who, like many of the other Arabic writers, focused on mundane topics, such as the great conjunctions. Some other very important astrologers are Al Biruni, whose book is available today, as well as Abraham Ben Ezra, whose work has been translated in the last decade or so into English.

As the Islamic empire receded somewhat in influence, we see the Europeans taking over much of astrological practice from them. One of the most important European medieval astrologers was Guido Bonatti, who wrote an extensive and lengthy work on astrology, A Book of Introduction to the Judgments of the Stars. Bonatti was particularly renowned for his skill as a horary astrologer.



                                            Astrology in the Renaissance and Enlightenment

As the medieval era gave way to the Renaissance, and later to the Enlightenment, a new kind of astrologer began to appear. These astrologers were just as interested in the mathematical aspect of astrology, and in precise calculation, as in the interpretation of horoscopes. Many are more renowned today as mathematicians and astronomers than as astrologers. However, they likely would not have made the distinction between their astronomical and astrological pursuits.

It was during the end of the Renaissance that astrology in the West began its long decline; the Age of Enlightenment declared astrology corrupt and superstitious, and the art no longer attracted the finest minds of the time.

Many new means of dividing the houses were invented during this period, including the Regiomontanian method from 1490, and the Placidian method, which is most popular today. The concept of secondary progressions (secondary because they were considered to be supplemental to primary directions) was invented by Kepler, a court astrologer to Rudolph II.

One of the most extensive works surviving from this period is the opus of Morinus (Jean Baptiste Morin de Villefranche), a 17th century astrologer and doctor, working for several crowned heads of Europe. Many astrologers today, especially those on the Continent, follow Morinus’s methods.

The most readily available works from this time is Christian Astrology by William Lilly, a 17th century English astrologer. Lilly was perhaps the greatest post-medieval practitioner of horary astrology. He published a best-selling annual astrological almanac, and predicted the Great Fire of London. His equal and rival on the Royalist side (Lilly was pro-Parliament in the English Civil War) was John Gadbury, who was well known in his own right for his annual almanac and collection of notable horoscopes.



                                                                    Modern Astrology

When Uranus was discovered in 1785, a new era in astrology was slowly beginning. With the departure from the classical astrological cosmology in which only the seven traditional planets existed, many astrologers began using Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in their astrological interpretations. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, astrology enthusiasts such as Alan Leo and other Theosophists began to move away from astrology as a predictive art, and began adapting it to psychological interpretation. This approach was unprecedented historically, as ancient astrologers focused much more on what the future held as opposed to the contents of a person's soul. However, with the parallel cultural interest in psychotherapy and psychology, this modern version of astrology found immediate understanding and acceptance among 20th-century astrologers.

Some notable 20th century astrologers include Vivian Robson, who wrote several important books, such as Electional Astrology, and The Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology. While these books do not rival more traditional, older sources, they are some of the best writing on astrology from the 20th century. Evangeline Adams, perhaps the best-known American astrologer, practiced in Boston and New York City, and wrote more popular astrological books such as Astrology: Your Place in the Sun.

Some of the astrologers re-adopting and rediscovering traditional astrological methods include Olivia Barclay, a big proponent of horary astrology as explicated by William Lilly, Robert Hand, Robert Zoller (a medievalist), and John Frawley, a student of Olivia Barclay.

In recent years, however, there has been a strong "traditional" movement back to astrology as it was practiced before the 20th century.
Signs Of The Zodiac
Zodiac denotes an annual cycle of twelve stations or "signs" along the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun across the heavens, dividing the ecliptic into twelve equal zones of celestial longitude. As such, the zodiac is a celestial coordinate system, more precisely an ecliptic coordinate system, taking the ecliptic as the origin of latitude, and the position of the sun at vernal equinox as the origin of longitude.

It is known to have been in use by the Roman era, based on concepts inherited by Hellenistic astronomy from Babylonian astronomy of the Chaldean period (mid 1st millennium BC), which in turn derived from an earlier system of lists of stars along the ecliptic.[1] The construction of the zodiac is described in Ptolemy's Almagest (2nd century AD).

The term zodiac may also refer to the region of the celestial sphere encompassing the paths of the Moon and the naked eye planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn), corresponding to the band of about eight arc degrees above and below the ecliptic. The zodiac of a given planet is the band which contains the path of that particular body, e.g. the "zodiac of the Moon" is the band of five degrees above and below the ecliptic. By extension, the "zodiac of the comets" may refer to the band encompassing most short-period comets [2]

The term zodiac derives from Latin zōdiacus, in turn from the Greek zdiakos kuklos), meaning "circle of animals", derived from (zdion), the diminutive of (zon) "animal". The name is motivated by the fact that many of the signs of the classical Greek zodiac are represented as animals (six out of twelve, plus two mythological hybrids).

Although the zodiac remains the basis of the ecliptic coordinate system in use in astronomy besides the equatorial one, the term and the names of the twelve signs are today mostly associated with horoscopic astrology.
Zodiacal Constellations
It is important to distinguish the zodiacal signs from the constellations associated with them, not only because of their drifting apart due to the precession of equinoxes but also because the physical constellations by nature of their varying shapes and forms take up varying widths of the ecliptic. Thus, Virgo takes up fully five times as much ecliptic longitude as Scorpius. The zodiacal signs, on the other hand, are an abstraction from the physical constellations designed to represent exactly one twelfth of the full circle each, or the longitude traversed by the Sun in about 30.4 days.[13]

There have always been a number of "parazodiacal" constellations which are also touched by the paths of the planets. The MUL.APIN lists Orion, Perseus, Auriga and Andromeda. Furthermore, there are a number of constellations mythologically associated with the zodiacal ones: Piscis Austrinus, The Southern Fish, is attached to Aquarius. In classical maps it swallows the stream poured out of Aquarius' pitcher, but perhaps it formerly just swam in it. Aquila, The Eagle, was possibly associated with the zodiac by virtue of it main star, Altair. Hydra in the Early Bronze Age marked the celestial equator and was associated with Leo, which is shown standing on the serpent on the Dendera zodiac. Corvus is the Crow or Raven mysteriously perched on the tail of Hydra. The MUL.APIN glosses Hydra as "the Snake Ningizzida, lord of the Netherworld". Ningizzida together with Dumuzi (Aries) and Pabilsag (Sagittarius) governed the household of the queen of the underworld.

Taking the current constellation boundaries as defined in 1930 by the International Astronomical Union, the ecliptic itself passes through an additional thirteenth constellation, Ophiuchus, situated between Scorpius and Sagittarius. This is already recognized in Ptolemy's Almagest.
An astrological natal chart is a multi-dimensional image reflecting one's personality, as it emerges at the moment of birth. However, a natal chart can also be produced for any kind of event, such as the creation of a nation, a company, etc. The astrological chart is always cast for the beginning of such an event, and has symbolic significance for its entire lifespan.

Represented by the exotic symbols, the planets & points represent different psychological functions and types of outside influences which imprint upon these psychological functions. These are considered to be the focal points of the interpretive work. The aspects these form between themselves can be crucial for the delineation of the personality from the chart, depending on the importance of the planets involved. 

The Planets and Points 
              The Sun
Fundamental Values, & Will  
           The Moon
Emotions, & Sympathies
            Mercury
Analysis, & Articulation
             Venus
Pleasures, & Partnering
               Mars 
Conquests, & Mobilization
                  Saturn
Fidelity, Cold & Systemization
         Jupiter
Fervor, & Meaning
            Uranus
Freshness, & Renewal
          Neptune
Imagination, & Fantasy
              Pluto
Disintegrative Overhaul
                Midheaven
Personal Goals, & Public Image
         Ascendant
Life quality & Direction
As
Mc
                             The Interplanetary Aspects 


The Conjunction - a 0 degree angle between planets or points, give or take 10 degrees (on either side). This aspect shows the fusion of two types of energies together. These planets embrace each other, and seek to work together. 

The Square - a 90 degree angle between planets, give or take 10 degrees (on either side). This aspect reflects an irritated, energized (sometimes too much so) influence of two types of energies that take up the fight as they differ in focal quality and direction of their desired expression. 

The Opposition - a 180 degree angle between planets, give or take 10 degrees (on either side). This aspect reflects a deep chasm between the planets involved, where the energies try to push in opposite directions, always leaving something to be desired. The result is a whole lot of stress which may be taken out inappropriately (usually in secret). 

The Trine - a 120 degree angle between planets, give or take 8 degrees (on either side). This aspect reflects acceptance, much ease and taking pleasure in the expression of the planets involved. There is no stress between them, and so this often does not produce the same spectacular results of the other aspects. 

                                      Minor Aspects 

The Sextile - a 60 degree angle between planets, give or take 6 degrees (on either side). This aspect is a somewhat positive, minor influence, however as planets tend to share a passive/active quality through a different element, they do not naturally attract to working together, and as such may require conscious effort.
Venus & Mars  ~  Planet of Relationships
Known to the Greeks as Aphrodite and the Romans as Venus, she was considered to be the Goddess of love and beauty just as her astrological counterpart, Mars, was thought of as the God of war and strife. These two planets work as a polarity, manifesting a tension of the masculine and feminine, which complete a picture of human existence on the material and emotional levels. In depth psychology these archetypes are often thought of as the Anima (feminine) and Animus (masculine). It is believed that until a person can bring both of these forces into conscious awareness and learn to balance and accept them fully, he or she cannot be a complete individual. If we repress or deny one of these forces within ourselves we can contribute to a submerged, destructive energy (the shadow) that will manifest in self-defeating behaviors such as strong aggression or extreme passivity.

In astrology, the aspects that these two planets make to each other and their placement by sign and house can give us great insight into the fundamental balance between these two inner forces. They are especially helpful in synastry (the relationship of two or more individual's charts) in determining sexual compatibility, along with areas of cooperation and conflict. One of Venus's basic impulses is to unite opposites, to draw together harmonically and one of Mars is to slice, divide and conquer, regardless of the consequences. So, it is not difficult to understand that a balanced relationship between these two forces is critical for our existence.

Venus rules two signs, Taurus and Libra. In earthy Taurus the attracting and beautifying power of Venus is displayed more in possessions and money, while in Libra she tends more toward art and harmony in all things. While Venus is the undisputed exoteric ruler of Taurus, Vulcan, the creative God of the forge, is the esoteric ruler. The enlightened Taurus, with Vulcan, sees through the veil of matter into the energetic principle that underlies, interpenetrates and sustains all manifestation. It is interesting to note that while the Goddess Venus was married to Vulcan she couldn't seem to resist having secret romantic trysts with Mars. Did you know she was Cupid's mom?

Venus has another planet that she works in tandem with and that is Neptune, which is the higher octave of Venus. Neptune represents unconditional love - a love that embraces all creation, is totally accepting and without discrimination. While many of us strive to attain unconditional love of others and ourselves, we must first travel with Venus in order to learn personal love. Until we have had the experiences that Venus brings us through relationships, either with people or things, we cannot reach the expanded consciousness that the transpersonal planet Neptune promises. When we begin the search for higher consciousness it is easy to forget or ignore the fact that it is necessary to go through all the steps and stages that proceed expanded awareness.

Wherever Venus is in your natal chart by sign and house position will tell you where your inner drive to beautify, harmonize and establish relationships will manifest itself. The type of aspects other planets make to your natal Venus will give you clues to how your relationships, and especially your personal love relationships, will function. If the transpersonal planets Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto are in conjunction, square, opposition or quincunx it is an indication that there are karmic responsibilities to be worked out with others in your primary relationships. Venus and her aspects do not usually represent family of origin relationships - other planets such as the Moon or Saturn are generally more revealing. However, the placement of Venus will give you some idea as to how you will interact with members of your immediate family in addition to any others in your life such as employers or employees, teachers, peers, and so forth. This is because Venus represents the psychological function of judging and evaluating experience through the inner, subjective, feminine impulse in both sexes. Without Venus we would have to rely totally on our objective senses and the concrete mind to evaluate others, and as everyone knows, what you see isn't always what you get. Even our intuition would not be able to function correctly without the channel of Venus to bring our insights to conscious awareness.

Every planet has its part to play in the cosmic script and contributes in some way toward helping us, as individuals, become complete. When we have developed and refined our personality then we can begin the process of becoming truly conscious spiritually. Venus fulfills her function in this regard by bringing beauty, art and the drive toward establishing relationships with others into our lives. 
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The Astrological Chart