The decisive turn in the history of astrology occurred Iate in the Greek era, paralleling the metamorphosis of the human spirit in general. The Orient al redemptionist religions began to flourish. There arose profound conceptions of god and devil, good and evil, paradise and hell. A feeling of portenteus changes impending was expressed in apocalyptic visions of the end of all things, of Last Judgments, of coming Messiahs, and in the concept that history had a deep meaning; and represented a process of salvation for all humanity.
Persians, Jews, and Chaldeans were the peoples who promulgated this new kind of religion. The Chaldeans, carriers and heirs of Babylonian culture, contributed their astrological beliefs to the new amalgam. Astrology now parted company entirely with its astronomical base, and became mystical speculation. Thus a third and most highly systematized type of astrology came to the fore around A.D. 300.
To determine the full influence upon human beings of the planets and the signs of the zodiac, the astrologer must obviously consider more than the rising and setting planet or constellation at birth. Rather, he must take into account the total radiation impinging upon the newbom child. The Chaldeans thought to accomplish this by introducing a unique device: the twelve zones of influence.
How they hit upon this we do not know. The scherne no longer had the slightest connection with astronomy, nar with any empirical facts. As far as we know, intermediate stages of the idea did not exist. It was simply there one fine day, all complete-a flash of mystical insight.
A circle was conceived, carved into twelve equal zones of influence: a zone for death and a zone for health, for martiage and money, friends and foes, religion and travelin short, for all the subjects concerning which a person might wish to ask a fortuneteller. This division had no reference to anything in the heavens or on earth; it was purely geometrical, without any demonstrable relatianship te anything real.
The planets and the signs of the zodiac radiated upon these twelve zones. The constellation at the hour of birth, the “nativity,” could be represented pictorially if the position of every planet were entered on a celestial circle, and the eircle depicting the twelve zones were placed underneath.
Thus the celestial disc was superimposed on an immovable circle divided into twelve compartments. The Greeks gaye this contrivance a thoroughly geometrical twist. The angles the planets formed with one another were of prime importance. The signs of the zodiac each occupied thirty degrees of are, no matter what their true extension in the sky-which happens to be different for every signand in spite of their long-since-recognized movement due to the wavering of the Earth’s axis.
These paper circles constituted the horoscope, the crown of all the astrologers’ efforts. Out of the ominous signs, the roaming eyes of the gods, and the picture writing in the sky, there ultimately evolved this abstract scheme, a pure geometry of fate. it provided the Greeks with endless opportunities for profound speculations. In the horoscope influences and counterinfluences erossed one another to such an extent that there was ample room for interpretation. ‘A science developed which could rival any theological system in its complications. Schools with. sharply opposed doctrines sprang up. it was centuries before a unified dogma crystallized out of the conflicting tenets.
A prime subject for controversy was whether the horoscope at the time of conception rather than the horoscope of birth was the true one. Moreover, the Greeks took a view of the zones of influence which dillered radically from that of the Chaldeans. They divided the signs into regions, each of which belonged to a. specific planet. Even the orbits of the planets were divided into wet, warm, dry, and hot sectors.
Two dillerent types of more precise fortunetelling were derived from the horoscope-the so-called “directions.” One of these was so difficult that it was scarcely ever applied in practice, and even the other system could be mastered only by formidable mathematicians.
A historical incident suggests how strongly the Greeks believed in their geometry of fate. The tale is that the doctor and astrologer Nektanebos took steps to delay artificially the birth of Alexander the Great until an especially favorable constellation of the planets had come about.
Astrology persisted as the most successful intellectual movement of all epochs. it infected every culture, no matter what the prevailing religion; it infiltrated all levels of education. It penetrated into dying Egyptian civilization and into the vital, mature life of the Greeks, the Hindus, and the Chinese, into the flowering Arabic culture and the budding culture of the Occident during the Middle Ages.
Believers in Christ and Mohammed, in the Platonic Eros and the wisdom of Confucius, paid tribute to it. It affected equally those whose goal was Buddhistic contemplation and Roman organization. It captured the minds of superstitious fellahin and sophisticated mandarins, mystics in monks’ cowls and Stoics in togas, Caesars of the second century and popes of the sixteenth, the visionary who wrote the Apocalypse and the mathematical genius Ptolemy.
lts conquest of the Greeks was swiftest and most complete of all. That this should have been so runs exactly contrary to one’s notions.· The Greeks of all people would seem to have been immune to such beliefs. They were a daylight people who saw all things concretely, who cast abstract ideas into tangible form.
So humanized were their gods that a savage fetish would arouse mystical ideas more easily than such gods. Their cult of heroes erased the boundaries between god and man, and ended by building temples for the living. Nothing could have been further from the minds of the Greeks, it would seem, than viewing the night sky as ruler of man’s soul and destiny.
Of course, the Greeks shared the universal human dread of the wrath of Heaven, which comets and eclipses patently proclaimed. But Pericles showed his soldiers that they had nothing to fear from an eclipse by giving them a scientific explanation; he held a cloak in front of a lamp to demonstrate what happened during an eclipse. General Nieias was despised by the public for abandoning a siege because of an ill omen. Aristophanes called the Moon and Sun “gods of the barbarians.” And yet these very same Greeks developed astrology into a rigid system of dogma. The stages by which this earthiest of cultures paradoxically arrived at a form of celestial mysticism can be traced step by step. It began with Plato.
His universal spirit was open to all suggestions from other realms of the mind. Plato had one Chaldean as a friend, and one as a disciple. Perhaps influenced by them, he took up the idea that hitherto had only been hinted at in the Orphic mysteries: that the stars possessed a divine nature. The stars, Plato went on to teach, consisted of the four elements plus a soul. This wholly un-Greek conception opened wide the gates to Babylonian astrology. Aristotle, ordinarily so critical, spoke with enthusiasm about the stars as animate beings. The Stoic philosophers, in their turn, attributed to them emotion, understanding, and will.
Babylonian astrology became a second celestial religion; but it was quite unlike the first, that of ancient China. In China the stars became gods; in Babylon the gods became stars. To the Chinese the mysteries of the cosmos were so sublime that they degraded their traditional popular divinities to demons and created a cult of the stars without priests, myths, or dogmas.
The Babylonians, on the other hand, placed their native divinities one after another in the heavens, and transferred the mythic traits of these divinities to the stars. Here was an amazing evolution: for the first and only time a civilized religion rendered the divine beings visible and calculable by identifying them with the seven wandering stars.
The cuneiform script itself expressed that impulse, for its sign of divinity was a star. An age-old Babylonian legend related that the lord of the Earth, Bel, appointed the three gods Shamash, Sin, and Ishtar guardians of the firmament, which they thereafter patrolled as the Sun, the Moon, and Venus. When four more wandering stars were found in the firmament, the Babylonians made bold to repeat the act of Bel.
The city-god of Babylon, Marduk, became the planet Jupiter; the god of death, Nergal, became the planet Mars; the god of war, Ninurta, became Saturn; and the god of knowledge, Nabu, became Mercury. Mars was called Star of Judgment upon the De ad. The Tower of Babel, which was simultaneously a sanctuary and observatory, was called tersely the Temple of the Seven Transmitters of Commands from Heaven to Earth.
Thus in Babylon divine worship became equivalent to astronomy, astronomy equivalent to searching out the will of the gods. In observing the movements of the planets and their relationships to one another, the priest was performing the highest rite of his religion. That fact accounted for the enormous power of the priestly class. They did not pray to invisible beings; they associated with them face to face, so to speak.
Out of this belief sprang the extraordinarily frank reports of the astronomer-priests to the king, and the king’s meek queries as to whether he might end his fast. Moreover, these priests prophesied with a sense of absolute certainty-for they did not read the future from deceptive signs; they read it in the eyes of the gods themselves.
The light rays sent forth from the planets were magical glances by which the gods guided activities on Earth. Their influence was predetermined beyond the possibility of doubt by the special traits of the particular god. The system of interpreting the stars no longer depended upon observation and empirical rules amassed in the course of centuries; interpretation flowed simply and directly from the very names of the planets. Each planet’s name carried with it the entire body of legend which the old religion had attached to the god…
The transposition of divine characteristics to the wandering planets is the essence of astrology. That is why the position of the planets was held to influence the destiny of individuals. If a child were born while the Moon was rising, his life would be resplendent, long, and happy. if a child were born while Mars was rising, he would be sickly and soon die. if two planets wielded their influence simultaneously, the rising planet operated with greater force. Thus, if Jupiter were rising and Venus setting at birth, a man would have luck in later life, but would abandon his wife. If Venus were rising and Jupiter setting, the man would be ruled by his wife.
Thus the astrological rule was early established that opposition of the planets mutually weakened their influence. Contrarily, in conjunction they strengthened one another, with the higher of the two planets being the stronger. Soon further refinements were added: angles of 60 and 120 degrees, triangles, and hexagons, were considered favorable, squares unfavorable. These various “aspects,” multiplied by seven, yielded a complicated doctrinal system which laid the groundwork for a comprehensive craft of prophecy. The aspect of the planets could be consulted for any event in life, for births and the founding of cities, business negotiations, travels, political treaties, battles, harvests, sickness.
Elaborations were added by the Greeks, and in the Middle Ages the Book of One Hundred Rules spread knowledge of the arcane science far and _wide. Everyone knew his ruling planet. Those who were born under Jupiter presumably possessed a “jovial” character. The children of Mars considered themselves hot-tempered, bold, bellicose, destined for evil deeds.
Even physical appearance was supposed to be governed by the planet. Every planet also had certain natural objects attributed to it, and special periods of influence. Fire, iron, hematite, jasper, the color red, the taste of bitterness, the male sex, the liver, gall, kidneys, veins, and the left ear-all belonged to Mars. Mars also dominated the years of life from 42 to 57, Tuesdays, and the night from Thursday to Friday.
Some of these rules go all the way back to the Babylonians, but most of them only to the Greek astrologers. Like the Chinese, the Greeks connected the principal aspects of thought with the stars. But the relationship which was, for the Chinese, an intellectual pattern, a magnificent synthesis of ideas, became in the West a web work of tangible causes and effects. The difference can be strikingly demonstrated by two quotations.
The Chinese Book of Changes declares: “The heavens reveal ideas; the holy man takes them as his model.” The other conception is formulated in the Talmud: “Everything that is found upon Earth is found also in the heavens; nothing is so trivial that it does not have its correlation in the sky.” According to this latter view, it was necessary only to read the celestial sign aright in order to unravel all earthly mysteries.
Such readings, however, would have called for .a highly developed craft in observation, which the Middle Ages lacked. But the Greeks apparently foresaw this and established a dogmatic scheme which could be applied in lieu of observation. Every hour of the day was placed under the dominion of a planet. In fixed succession the seven governors of the hours followed one another through an entire week, and then repeated their turns. The system was primitive, but practical. An individual’s birth-planet could be determined without consultation with an astronomer.
This arbitrary method also went back to a Babylonian model: the planetary week. Originally the week had had five days because five divided neatly into the thirty-day month. But once the seven planets had been discovered, the number seven became sacred. Babylonian observatories were made seven stories high; state documents were sealed with seven seals. There were seven colors, seven musical notes, seven parts of the body; human lives were supposed to consist of seven-year periods.
In the sky, Orion and the two Bears had seven stars; the Pleiades were called the Seven Sisters, though with the best will in the world only six tiny dots of light could be distinguished. The week was given seven days, awkward as this unit was. And each day was named after and presumably dominated by a single planet.
To this day the names of the days retain the system: Sun-day, Moon-day, Tiu/ Mars-day, Woden/Mercury-day, Thor/ Jupiter-day, Freya/Venus-day, Saturn-day. Although the names of our days derive mainly from Norse mythology, the system can be considered a gift from Babylon, reminding us of the eyes of the gods which once governed the days, the hours, and human destinies with their magical glances.
At present, the theme of zodiac sign may not give a surprising burst to anyone. Most people are aware of the notion of Signs of the Zodiac through their daily interaction with the environment horoscopes horoscopes newspaper or online. However, that may not be enough to give you an overview and detailed picture of what the world of Signs of the Zodiac is.
Each time a soul is the human form of being born on earth, some time during the day and date is in operation, as the universe and the world is dynamic. Every moment that passes through time has an association with a particular set of stars and planets, which, individually as well as in respect of each other has an impact on the lives of all those born at that particular time. The impact is in terms of some aspects of the life of an individual life as well as a whole. Signs of the Zodiac determine the nature of character, character, personality, positive, negative, etc.
Zodiac defines a person as a way of life of a person as a whole and the phases of life. Zodiac sign of a person also defines the nature of the compatibility relations and therefore he is supposed to be designed to share with a person of a certain zodiac sign. This is the reason behind the significant role played by the signs of the zodiac and therefore his account when setting up relationships of marriage (and relationships as well), in which the factor of compatibility is of paramount importance to ensure the successful relationship.
Zodiac Signs are also called as ‘Sun Signs’ or ‘Astrological Signs’. The term ‘Zodiac’ in its literal sense refers to “circle of life.” A total of 12 zodiac signs distributed at an angle of 30 degrees each other in the block of space, and forms the complete picture of the sign of the zodiac. The twelve Zodiac Signs are- Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Each of these signs of the zodiac is associated with specific traits and characteristics that reflect the nature of the person under him.
Each of the twelve signs of the zodiac is ruled by a planet Zodiac, which is described as “head” of the zodiac sign. In addition, various astrological planets pass through each zodiac sign and stay for a period of time, creating an impact on a person’s life during this period. This movement of the planets can not be said in a computational sense, because it is quite irregular. Get a detailed description of your future on daily, weekly, monthly and annual Atoot.com. Astrologers have been experienced in the art of predicting the future by any one period of life to understand every aspect of your astrological sign to draw a clear picture of your future, and different aspects of your life.