Year of creation

By 150 CT, the system of classical astrology was practically formed. The Islamic world of the Middle East brought new calculation techniques to the astrological tradition, and most importantly, it preserved astrology during the period of its decline in the Greco-Roman world. We should also not forget that it was from the Islamic world that astrology came to Europe. In 1661, the French astrologer and mathematician Morin de Villefranche published an astrological work “Gallic astrology”, which was an attempt to modernize Ptolemy’s astrology in accordance with the knowledge of the XVII century. This book is still popular among astrologers. 

Mass media about the teaching

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This article is created with materials from the website and the book: “The history of astrology» by Saplina A.

Territorial coverage

For the first time it became a “consumer item” in North America. Its popularity in the United States increased dramatically after World War II.

Nowadays it is spread all over the world.

Number of followers

There is no exact data on the number of people who believe in astrology.

Observing historical accuracy, we must admit that traditional astrology has Eastern roots. It originated on the territory of Mesopotamia, in the valley of the two great rivers Tigris and Euphrates (the territory of modern Iraq, northeastern Syria, partly Turkey and Iran), developed intensely in Greece and reached its heights in the works of the outstanding astronomer, astrologer, mathematician and geographer Claudius Ptolemy, who lived in 90-160 CE in Alexandria, Egypt. Ptolemy’s works had a huge impact on the subsequent development of not only astrology, but also astronomy.

The word “astronomy” comes from the ancient Greek words ἄστρον “star” and vόμος “law”, i.e., in the literal sense of its name, it is “a science that studies the laws of motion of celestial bodies”, which, in fact, it was engaged in in the first centuries of its existence.

 Today astronomy is called the science of the movement, structure and development of celestial bodies and the universe as a whole. Astronomy is undoubtedly the oldest science. The needs of the calendar and chronology, as well as the deification of the luminaries, lead already in the deepest antiquity to some astronomical generalizations. There are polar points of view on the role of astrology in the development of astronomical knowledge. On the one hand, the well-known historian of science O. Neugebauer argues that there is no data confirming the widely held opinion that the origins of astronomy lie in astrology. Neugebauer believes that the development of astronomy in Egypt and Babylon was guided only by calendar problems. However, most of the facts known to us today testify in favor of another authority in the history of science, B. L. Van der Waerden, who considers astrology one of the main motives for studying astronomy.

The history of the development of Babylonian astronomy allows us to trace this relationship between astronomy and astrology. At an early stage, astronomy was engaged in studying the sunrises, sunsets and climaxes of the stars and the Moon, determining the length of the day, systematic observations and predictions of eclipses. The very first form of astrology — astrology of omens — just needs this kind of astronomy.

Simultaneously with astronomy, which uses the division of the Zodiac into 12 signs of 30 ° (c. V century BCE), there is a primitive zodiac astrology, for the needs of which the Zodiac is necessary. The appearance of the first theories of the movement of the Sun, Moon and planets, allowing to calculate their positions, without which horoscopic astrology cannot do, just coincides with the appearance of the first horoscopes.

Creation of K. Ptolemy’s sufficiently coherent theory of planetary movements allowed him to compile tables of the positions of the planets for many years to come and calculate their positions in the past, which freed astrologers from regular observations of the sky. Until the late Middle Ages, there was no strict distinction between the terms “astrology” and “astronomy”.

This was due to the fact that there was no astrology and astronomy in its purest form. There was a science about the sky, which, firstly, was engaged in the study of the movement of celestial bodies and, secondly, predictions of earthly events based on the positions and movements of stars and planets. Although at all times there were scientists who were skeptical about the second part of this science, a more or less definite separation of astronomy and astrology began in the XVI century, and at the same time the words “astrologer” and “astronomer” acquired a different meaning, before that they were practically synonyms.

The word “astrology” comes from the ancient Greek words ἄστρον “star” and λόγος “word, teaching”. This is the teaching about the ways of predicting earthly events, the nature and fate of an individual, based on the study of the location of celestial bodies both relative to each other and relative to the horizon. Astrology makes predictions and gives advice about the behavior of individuals, groups of people or nations, based on the pseudo-empirical (astrological empiricism is methodologically defective) or postulated by influence of celestial bodies or regions of the sky. Astrology has had at times a greater or lesser impact on public life. To date, astrology is in many ways at odds with the methods and results of modern science. We will use the words “astronomy” and “astrology” in the modern sense described above, not forgetting that in ancient times they were practically synonymous, and often the term “mathematicians” was used instead. In addition, the word “astrologer” was used infrequently in the past, in various epochs its synonyms were the words “Chaldean”, “magician”, “mathematician” and “astronomer”.

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Attitudes to astrology in the Middle Ages were ambiguous. In 1277, the Bishop of Paris, Stephen of Tempiersky, compiled a list of forbidden topics, among which was astrology, but the theologian Thomas Aquinas wrote in Summa Theological that astrologers can make correct predictions, since celestial bodies affect human intelligence.

Nowadays astrology is considered a pseudoscience.

The section is open for editing.

The section is open for editing.

The section is open for editing.

The section is open for editing.

American astrologer Susan Miller. He is the author of eleven bestsellers. As of 2019, her works have been downloaded more than 17 million times (from the website and mobile application). Ms. Miller is known for her long personalized horoscopes, usually consisting of more than 1,000 words.


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