Practical Wisdom From The Cosmos
“Astrology is astronomy brought down to earth and applied to the affairs of men.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Humans have practiced astrology since before recorded history. Our ancient ancestors looked to the sky to discover when to plant and harvest crops, when to move their herds, when to perform rituals and ceremonies, and when to anticipate or initiate battles. Babylonians and Assyrians mapped the planets and made predictions based on the sky as early as 4000 BC, constellations were established around 3000 BC, and the earliest surviving birth chart is dated 410 BC, found in what is now Iraq.
Historian Benson Bobrick, who wrote a fascinating history of astrology called The Fated Sky, offers ample evidence for his claim that astrology is “the oldest of occult sciences and the origin of science itself.”
“Do you believe… that the sciences would ever have arisen and become great if there had not beforehand been magicians, alchemists, astrologers, and wizards?” - Friedrich Nietzsche
Until the “scientific revolution” of the 17th century, the terms astronomy and astrology were interchangeable. Those who practiced the cosmic science were highly educated scholars in mathematics, philosophy, theology and medicine, as well as astronomy. Although most contemporary astronomers would rather not admit it, the fathers of modern astronomy, including Johannes Kepler, Tycho Brahe, and Galileo Galilei, also practiced astrology.
Astrology is an amazing tool for decoding the archetypal patterns that are inherent to our life’s journey, and identifying our unique role in the Universe. Becoming conscious of and understanding these archetypes in ourselves enables us to see our own lives from a higher perspective, giving a cosmic lens through which to view our earthly experience. This perspective empowers us to move through blocks, expand, and heal much more quickly and easily.
“The belief in the effect of the constellations derives in the first place from experience, which is so convincing that it can be denied only by those who have not examined it.”
– Johannes Kepler
Why does astrology work? I have no idea. Coming from an atheistic, intellectual and totally un-woo-woo background, I got into astrology for the simple, pragmatic reason that it seemed to work. And the more I studied, learned, and developed my interpretive skills, the more outrageously accurate it proved.
My sense is that, rather than "causing" events on Earth, the planets and stars are a reflection of earthly reality ("as above, so below"). I imagine that some day a viable scientific explanation will be presented, but in the meantime I'm happy to revel in the Mystery and deepen my appreciation for our ultimately unknowable, unquantifiable and magical Universe.
The new science posited a mechanical view of the universe, where the objects under consideration held no more significance than the details of their physical existence. Over time, the physical science of astronomy – the observation of the stars and planets – became divorced from the metaphysical science of astrology – the interpretation of their meaning.
Likewise, “god” was removed from all the natural sciences, which had previously been infused with divine significance. The natural world - including the sky - has been reformulated in Western culture to be seen as a “resource” for humans to utilize rather than a living entity unto itself, deserving of respect and with the potential to guide and instruct us, if we learn its language.
"The universe is a community of subjects, not a collection of objects." - Thomas Berry
This site is devoted to raising the perception of Astrology and introducing its value and complexity to those who may be unaware that it is more than horoscope columns and quick, easy answers.
What currently passes for astrology in the West – Sun sign descriptions and horoscopes – is a vast over-simplification of a highly technical science. Considering that many people have not been exposed to astrology’s true depth and relevance, it’s not surprising that astrology is often dismissed as a superstition for those ignorant or foolish enough to "believe in it." Actually, astrology is not a belief system, but rather a symbolic language through which we can read cosmic patterns and cycles.