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The Llewellyn Journal

A Brief History of Astrology

This article was written by Stephanie Clement
posted under Astrology

Anyone can use astrology in their daily lives, but it hasnít always been that way. Once astrology was reserved for kings and nations, and only the court astrologer/astronomer could cast and interpret the chart. Now anyone with a computer can obtain a highly accurate birth chart and interpret it. Letís look at the development of this ancient art and science.

Ancient astronomy and astrology were one and the same. To be an astrologer, you first had to be able to identify the stars in some systematic way, and then track the movement of the Moon and planets against the background of the constellations you identified. To keep track of time and the seasons, you had to be reasonably accurate in your calculations.

Calendar dating used relationships that occurred on a regular basis, such as the Sun rising with a specific star. An example we still relate to is the ďdog days of summer.Ē The dog days begin when the Sun rises at the same time as the star Sirius, the Dog Star. Sirius is called the Dog Star because it is the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major, the Great Dog. Sirius is also the brightest of all the stars. Think about itóastrology has come a long, long way. Where once the Sun, Moon, and planets were only observed through plain sight, now we each can own delicate instruments that can be programmed to locate specific objects by themselves! Where once only a handful of people could anticipate an eclipse, we now have almanacs that tell us eclipse times and much more. Where once only the court astrologer could predict the future using astrological charts, now anyone with the desire can study the subject and forecast events and trends.

The gift at the beginning of the twentieth century was insight into human psychology. Perhaps the gift of twenty-first century astrology will be placing self-understanding in the hands of anyone who seeks it.

Krupp, E. C. Beyond the Blue Horizon. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Jenkins, John Major. Maya Cosmogenesis 2012. Santa Fe, Bear & Co., 1998.
Holden, James Herschel. A History of Horoscopic Astrology. Tempe, Arizona: American Federation of Astrologers, 1996.

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