Astrology Class 1 – Module 1

Aug 27th, 2009 | By | Category: Astrology Class Basic, Astrology Courses and Classes

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Module 1 – The History of Astrology

Astrology is an ancient science of life that combines psychology and philosophy as well as religion (through symbols) to show us symbolic answers to our questions. The symbols come from objects in our environment (animals, places, names) and any other thing that we identify with as a symbol. Since many of these identifiable symbols are the same for many people, it turns out that these common symbols eventually form the basis of a common system such as Astrology.

Ancient people saw the rising and setting of the sun as a cosmic event. The regularity of the planets, and the phases of the moon brought much solace to a people who’s lives were often dangerous and unpredictable. These people formed a relationship with the cosmos and developed astrology as a means of explaining this connection. Their symbols grew to become our own.

By careful observation of such things as the movement of stars, and specifically groups of stars we were able to understand that certain stars were not actually stars, but instead were planets. These planets were soon given powers and traits associated with gods, as the qualities of the planet or the event that they may have been seen with started to appear in a pattern. Myths began to be created to describe people’s connection with all aspects of life including the environment, feelings, conflicts, fears and celebrations.

Ancient people were very connected to nature and to its role in their lives including the role of the cosmos on nature. By 2000 BC the Mesopotamians knew that the rise of Venus would bring a time of peace. To better use this connection with peace, the people began to perform rituals and celebrate festivals in honor of the cosmic patterns and natural events that occurred in their lives such as a birth. Your astrological sign is one example of the connection people felt between the even of a birth and the corresponding cosmos event that was created in your birth chart (or chart of the planets, stars and asteroids and their position in the night sky at the exact time that you were born). This blueprint of your life is created through a mathematically calculated map of the heavens with symbols revealing character and personality traits.

Many ancient cultures studied and collected astronomical information that they were than able to use to develop calendars, some of which became quite sophisticated. For example the accuracy of Stonehenge; built around 2100 BC shows the detailed understanding of both geometry and astronomy by these early civilizations. The first Babylonian calendars were true zodiacs with animal totems representing the 12 divisions of the year. The Babylonians made other astronomical advances by putting day and night into 12 hour increments and giving the day 24 hours.

The Egyptian dynasties continued this study of the stars and making the connection between them and things and events that were happening in people’s lives. The great pyramids symbolized not only the might of the pharaoh gods but also the Egyptian people and their connection to the cosmos. The pyramids served as both temples and observation towers for these astronomer priests who eventually became known to forecast and give destiny predictions to others.

The Great Pyramid at Giza is correlated with astronomical configurations that are believed to hold the answers to the mysteries of the universe. For the Egyptians religion, astrology, astronomy and the calendar were seen as one common system and they were used as one whole system of thought. The hieroglyphics, temples and sacred arts were also connected and correlated both numerically (using numerology) and astrologically. These all served as unifying central expressions of a universal reality.

Around this same time the Mesoamerican cultures in modern day Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize were developing their own calendar system based on the astronomical objects that they were viewing in the night sky. The Maya culture of 2600 BC and after were developing a system of calendars and prediction that looked toward the heavens. They developed a calendar based time system that includes numerological and astrological techniques used to calculate a date.

The Greeks took the study of astonomy farther by combining the many religions and myths. The were able to develop a strong connection between their major Olympian gods and the seven visible planets. The most important of the Greek astronomer-astrologers was Ptolemy (AD 90-168). Ptolemy developed a model of the planets in which they orbited the Earth. His model remained in vogue a hundred years after Nicolas Copernicus (1473-1543) first presented his sun centered model.

The philosophers of the medieval times believed that the human body and mind were a microcosm of the cosmos. They believed that if people devoted themselves and all of their energies to a profound study of their own nature they would come to gain a more complete understanding of the universe. This came to be known as: ‘as above, so below’. Naturally if they could understand the universe by getting a better understanding of their body, likewise, the movements of the planets themselves and other objects in the universe also influenced their own bodies. This is one of the foundational principles of astrology, and one that many still believe in. If you believe in this principle, it’s easy to see how learning the details of the movement of the planets and stars, and their symbolic meanings, could have great effect on your body, emotions, mental state, and even spiritual nature.

It was another one hundred years after Copernicus first presented his heliocentric model (indicating the sun as the center of our planetary system) before German astronomer Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) proved the theory true. The new view of the universe became wildly accepted and was even supported by the church. During this time astrology went underground to escape much of the scrutiny as the science world battled over the basic formation of the universe. Though scientists such as Galileo (1564-1642) and Isaac Newton (1642-1727) were themselves astrologers it was their advances in science, Galileo’s refracting telescope and Newton’s basic theories of gravitation and mechanics that further divided astrology from the scientific world.

Great astrologers found themselves under great scrutiny and were even brought to trial. William Lilly (1602-81), a well known English astrologer of the time who accurately predicted the London fire of 1666. His prediction caused him to be charged with and tried for complicity. Lilly also contributed to a fundamental change in the practice of astrology by transferring the astronomical information from the heavens to the tables of almanacs thus eliminating then need to further study the night sky.

The division between the occult mysteries of astrology and the science of astronomy continued to widen. Scientists rejected the idea that planets could have any affect on the behavior of people and the study of astrology lay dormant for many years. Finally, Madam Blavatsky (1831-91), though not an astrologer herself, founded the Theosophical Society and astrology came back into the collective awareness in the late 1800’s.

While the science of astrology is often debated two French researchers, Michel and Francoise Gauquelin spent many years gathering data proving that the position of the planets does influence lives. By examing thousands of astrology birthcharts (the chart of the planets at the exact time and place of birth) they found connections between planetary positions and career success.

Today many people see a link between astrology and the need to understand human psychology. Psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961) used astrology his whole life and now other psychologist are seeing the function of astrology as a valid map of the psyche. Jung’s theory of synchronicity validated his claim that nothing happens by chance and that all things are determined ahead of time, (predestined), and gives even more value to the science of astrology. Many psychologists still look up to the work of Jung, and they also find validity and authenticity in astrology. So, as we move forward into the 21st century we are learning that the systems, and truths found by ancient cultures and their astrologers and numerologists were valid for them and for us. As you read further in this course I hope that you too will find the power and the simplicity of using simple astrological calculations to determine personality traits, characteristics and to forecast events as they may happen in the future.

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  1. It is a very good and complex History of Astrology.Thank you,Brett!

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