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History of Astrology

A brief History of Astrology from its ancient roots to modern uses for horoscopes and zodiac signs.
TAGS: Astrology, Horoscopes, Zodiac, Vedic
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Brief History of Astrology

Astrology can trace its origins to ancient Babylonia, where they developed a system of celestial omens that would later spread through the Middle East, Asia and Europe. These methods, which began being compiled around 2000 BC merged with the existing forms of astrology of the different places where it spread such as Greece during the 300s BC, and India. Later on, Babylonian astrology merged with Egyptian tradition after the conquests of Alexander the Great; this merger of the Babylonian astrology with the Egyptian decanic astrology gave rise to horoscopic astrology. This new astrology quickly spread from Alexandrian Egypt to the Middle East, India, and Europe.

In the 11th century, Persian astronomer Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī first distinguished the difference between astrology and astronomy, a difference that until then was unclear in many places and not even present in places like medieval Europe or India. Because of its popularity in ancient cultures such as Mayans and Indians, and the knowledge gained from it in the field of astronomy, astrology discipline is considered a protoscience.
Astrology has encountered several mayor critics in history. Due to its lack of scientific bases and the challenge it presents to some religions, many prominent Muslim astronomers such as Apharabiun, Alhazen, Avicenna and Averroes, as well as many Islamic scholars tried to refute the practice of astrology. However, prominent scientific figures in history such as Galileo, Copernicus and Kepler practiced astrology and contributed to its fomentation.

In India, Jyotisha, also known as Vedic astrology, is the study of the planets, the stars and how they align with the horizon; the name itself means “the wisdom of the heavens”. Vedic astrology is also called vedanga, which means the scripture of the limbs, and helps the understanding of the relationship between human life, time, and space. The Indians believe that watching the movement of celestial bodies through time and space will bring wisdom to the soul when it reincarnates. This practice is still currently used and becoming so popular that not only it is being adopted in other parts of the world, but there are also advocates who pursue government funds for its practice.
In the 20th century there have been many advances in the field of astrology. New sub-doctrines have emerged such as Astrogeography, created by Don Neroman and Astrocartography, created by Jim Lewis, but more importantly, new uses for astrology have been discovered, such as its use for psychological analysis.

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