“Astrology is Astronomy brought down to Earth and applied to the affairs of men.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ever since ancient civilizations existed, humans have looked up into the heavens for answers about life. The ancients believed the cosmos influenced the Earth, and early astronomical views had the Earth as the center of the Universe, around which everything revolved. From their position in man-made watchtowers, ancient priests watched the skies, and began making elaborate maps of the celestial bodies and their movements.
Astrology had its beginnings in ancient Mesopotamia, known to us at the Middle East, as early as 6000 B.C. Originally, the ancients looked to the planets and stars for omens and information about weather patterns. They believed if they understood planetary movements, they could make better choices, and create a more sustainable society.
The ancients soon learned from their studies, that planetary movements were not random. The planets followed specific cycles and functioned as a “sky-clock”. It was observed that certain events in the human world correlated to happenings in the sky. Astrology eventually became a system of prophecy and divination. Kings used their personal Astrologers to help determine the best time to go to war, or make appropriate and timely decisions. Medical diagnosis was in part determined by astrological means.
It was not until the end of the Renaissance that Astrology became available to the common person. Previously, only royalty was deemed “important” enough to have their birth charts analyzed. Astrology was welcomed into the culture, practiced mainly by healers and physicians, and Astrology became a tool and guide for meaning and direction.
Astrology fell from favor in the 1600’s, due to the increasing power and influence of the Church. Once well-esteemed Astrologers were considered “fortunetellers”, and were banned from practice. It wasn’t until the 1890’s, with a renewed interest in mysticism and spirituality, that Astrology was actively practiced, specifically for natal astrology. The 1920’s brought the advent of the horoscope column, which brings us to our modern day culture’s relationship with Astrology.
Astrology today is rather misunderstood. It is so much more than the horoscope in the paper. Astrology, as a method towards personal understanding, was an outgrowth of the long ago rejection of Astrology’s ability to predict changing cycles. Astrology’s skill in revealing soul potential and the changing cycles of life is not a well-known fact. But is in this very manner that Astrology’s value is shown.
Simply put, Astrology is the study of planetary cycles, and how they correspond to our own life cycles. Astrology is the meaning behind the physical Universe, as applied to human behaviour and cycles of growth. We know the planets are moving above our heads, but what does this mean? On both the collective and individual levels, humanity and the Universe are intimately connected, and Astrology demonstrates this relationship.
Astrology is an ancient practice, and a tool for understanding life’s cycles. It is also an art: it involves calculation, analysis and interpretation. A belief in its worth requires a belief in our interconnectedness with nature. A belief that “as above, so below”, which is one of the foundations of Astrology. A belief that life indeed has meaning, and that we are not separate from our physical surroundings.
Astrology can help find meaning in life’s events. Everyone has their own personal Astrology, which begins with their birth chart. The birth chart represents the beginning of a life, a journey of experience, and reveals the person’s true nature and potential. It is the soul’s blueprint, and is said to be one’s personal map to wholeness.
No other tool in history has shown such depth in the study of humanity, as Astrology. And, ultimately, that is what Astrology is: a tool. Astrology works, because “as the Universe, so the soul.” Astrology encompasses endless symbolism, archetype, and mythology, and can help make sense of our often complex, and multi-faceted, human lives.
If you would like to learn more about Astrology, take CATA’s What’s Your Sign? Astrology For Beginners: CLICK HERE