Exploring the common origins of astrology: I love astrology for all the insights and glimpses it provides into the human personality. For me, astrology is like a key that unlocks all sorts of interesting bits about us and others. It’s also like a magnifying glass honing in on the wee details about our behavior and proclivities. Now, there are loads of different types of astrology – so I’m tackling the origins of western astrology in this article – just to be clear.
So, if you know anything about me, then you know if I’m bonkers about something, I’ve got to hunt down the details like, “How did this get started?” or “Where do these ingenious concepts come from?” So that’s what has me rockin’ n rollin’ about the origins of astrology.
About Those Bodacious Babylonians and the Origins of Astrology
Maybe your knowledge of astrology only extends to reading a daily horoscope. That’s okay. Or perhaps you’re a full-on astrology expert. That’s cool too. Whatever the case – you’ve got to hand it to the clever Babylonians. Why? Because they are largely credited for bringing together meticulous star-observations that resulted in the modernized astrology assessments we see today.
Around the 2nd millennium BCE, Babylonians brooded over the stars and scrutinized their movements. All that stargazing lead them to transpose that astro-data into tomes of records and detailed charts. These astrology records and charts helped them predict celestial events, aided them in weather forecasting, and eventually, shined a light on personality aspects. For example, Babylonian astrologers believed that the sun, moon, and the five planets known at that time (Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, and Venus) possessed distinct powers. For instance, Mars appears to be red and thus associated with aggression and war.
Takin’ it to the Greeks
Eventually, the Greeks caught a whiff of the genius ways the Babylonians were wielding the stars and started to adopt the practice of astrology themselves around the 4th century BCE. The hottest names in Greek math, science, philosophy such as Aristotle and Plato set about digging more deeply into the origins of astrology. Their efforts paid off.
These and other Greek scholars made many contributions and improvements to astrology. In fact, not a whole heck of a lot has changed since the Greeks mastered their own conceptualization and strategy for mapping the stars and translating them into useable information for forecasting and sense-making.
How the Zodiac Was Born
The zodiac is a word that means “circle of animals” and originates from the Greeks. They may have coined the term, but it wasn’t their idea. The Egyptians had the idea of having an alliance of animals or icons to identify with the 12 zodiac signs. At least, it’s largely believed this concept was first established by ancient Egyptians and later adopted by the Babylonians.
Early astrologers knew it took twelve lunar cycles or months for the sun to return to its original position. They then identified twelve constellations linked them to the unfolding of the seasons and assigned them names based on characteristics of the 12 astro-seasons (so to speak). For example, in Babylonia, the rainy season occurred when the sun was in a particular constellation which was then named Aquarius, or water bearer.
What’s it All About Alphie? The Evolution of Astrology Applications
The earliest astrology brought order out of all the apparent (and often frightening) chaos in the world. Later, it was employed to predict weather patterns, primarily for agricultural purposes. Then it widened to forecast natural disasters, war, and other events that influenced the human condition and history.
Back in the day, ancient people needed a way to structure their world. They needed reliable methods to understand when floods would come to protect their crops. Or, ways to figure out when a cold snap might threaten their cattle. It makes sense, really. You could say the origin of astrology was the mother of necessity. Before Google became the big information slot machine, how would one better understand one’s environment?
As predictive applications of astrology became more reliable (or at least helpful), in terms of agriculture and weather, the next leap for savvy ancient astrologers was to bring the information from the stars down to a personal level. Hence, astrology for humans was born.
Kings to queens, generals, and heads of estates – they all used astrology to discern life’s trajectory for a slew of individuals. As time rolled on, astrology eventually became so popularized that it evolved into the predictive horoscope you see online or in newspapers today.
The Last Word on Astrology Origins
Of course, this is just a brief glimpse into the “big bang” of western astrology – but it provides the roots. I hope to go deeper into this subject in expose how each constellation and zodiac sign was born in the origins of history. In the meantime, I hope this post about the origin of astrology was useful on your continuous journey to find meaning and order in the universe. As always, thanks for reading!
© Copyrighted. All Rights Reserved.