Today it is not considered that much of a science but in ancient days, astrology used to be an important part in the lives of people. Great rulers used to make decisions based on how the stars looked. It is a known fact that astrology was used to create some kind of a calendar and to number the days based on the position of the planets. Nowadays people use it to predict what their day will be like, their month, and even the whole year.
But what is astrology? We can find its origins in the Greek language, where -logia means the study off and astron means constellation or planet. One would think that an astrologers work would be to study the stars, but in western astrology the objects of study are only the sun, the moon and the other planets that can be seen with the naked eye.
What are the origins of astrology? It was first documented in the Babylonian history almost 2,000 years before Christ. It then spread throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. There are many legends that surround the pseudoscience of astrology. A well-known legend that links astrology to the birth of Christ is that of the Magi that followed the North Star. With the help of the giant star, the three Kings were led to the place of birth of the Messiah and so this legend was born.
Time and observation then led the astrologers to the invention of the zodiac. For a while people thought that the zodiac was studied only in Babylonia, but in fact it is a product of many centuries of study by the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Assyrians. For example, the Aries is of Egyptian origin while Taurus is Babylonian. The zodiac of the Babylonians had 18 constellations, and we are using 10 of them in the 12 sign zodiac of today.
What about the evolution of astrology outside the Middle East? Its evolution in India is harder to follow than in Babylonia or Egypt, because in India a large part of its development was not documented as it was in other parts of the world. In a second article about the history of astrology, we will touch the subject of Indian astrology with its origins and history.