The Fascinating Story of How Astrology Started

Photo by Armillar Ball on Pixabay

During the conquest of Asia by Alexander the Great, the Greeks were introduced to new civilization of Babylon and Syria. This resulted in exchanges of cultures, ideas, arts, and…Astrology!

The fascinating story of how Astrology started

The ancient Babylonians and Assyrians worshipped the sun, moon, and stars. They observed the sky during clear nights and studied the movement pattern of the stars. Over centuries, they recorded everything they saw in the skies.

They noticed how most stars stayed fixed in the sky and reappeared in the same place each night. But some stars were moving freely as if they were loosely fastened, which fascinated them. It seemed so miraculous that they thought some godly magic was behind it.

Today we know that these stars are planets, and they revolve with the earth around the sun. But the ancient Babylonians and Assyrians didn’t know that as they believed the earth to be a flat disk and the sky a hollow sphere. (Somethings never change ;)

So much was their amusement that they assigned a name to each of these wandering stars. They were convinced that they were looking at powerful entities whose movement influenced the destines of people on earth. And by studying their position, they would be able to predict the future. This belief has a Greek name: Astrology, which translates to “the study of stars.”

Relevance in the modern world

Each planet held a different significance. Mars meant courage and war, whereas Venus meant love. They also dedicated a day to each of the five planets known to them, and with the sun and the moon, that made seven. This was the origin of the seven-day week that we use to this day. Satur (Saturn)-day, Mon (Moon)-day, etc. The others were named after different gods.

References

This blog is inspired by the book “A Little History of The World” by E.H. Gombrich. The stories were double-checked on Ancient Origins and other digital libraries.

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