The foundation of modern Western astrology is the Mesopotamian system, which originated in ancient Babylon some 5,000 years ago. It’s also been done for a long time to interpret these shifting patterns and what they mean for life on Earth. In Mesopotamia, India, China, and Central America, many astrology techniques independently developed.
A Brief History of Babylonian Astrology
The earliest evidence for Babylon’s organised system of astrology dates from the second millennium BC, while there is some evidence for its use as early as the third millennium BC. Because it was difficult to forecast the future movements of the planets at the time, astrology at the time concentrated on what was happening in the night sky right then. However, they also developed a reasonably accurate mechanism for projecting future planetary movements by the fourth century BC.
One of the two ways that priests in Babylon could ascertain the will of the gods was through the practice of astrology. The second approach involved looking at the livers of animals used as sacrifices and interpreting the patterns of dark marks that were visible.
There were several elements in the Babylonian astrological system that are still relevant today. In accordance with the direction in which they rose on the Eastern horizon, they grouped the fixed stars into three groups: Anu, Enlil, and Ea. Among these fixed stars, the Babylonians first recognised 18 patterns, but they later concentrated on the 12 most significant star clusters, which were adopted by the Greeks and correspond to the groupings that are used even today. A lot of experienced astrologers in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, and other cities specialise in zodiac predictions today that were significant to Greeks in the past.
Understanding the Lord’s Will
Along with the Sun and Moon, the Babylonians also identified five of the planets. The various gods in their pantheon were correlated with the planets. It was believed that the Sun, Moon, and planets’ motions through the constellations represented the actions of these gods and included messages about their will.
The priests’ primary focus when interpreting these indications was on the state as a whole and the king’s life as the state’s most important figure. They also thought that by performing rituals, they could placate the gods and lessen any bad prophecies that the stars might have foretold. Memory, specifically what transpired in the past when the same astronomical occurrences were present, was the foundation of the Babylonian system of interpretation. In order to create tales that contained messages about the meaning of the constellations, they also employed the traits of the gods connected with the various planets and the tales associated with the various planets.
The region was affected by the spread of Babylonian astrology. Many Babylonian-based manuscripts discussing lunar omens and solar eclipses have been discovered in various towns.
The Greek Influence
Although the astrology used in the West today has its origins in Babylon, other cultures that passed it onto the present world had a significant influence on it.
This transmission relied heavily on the Greeks. The four basic elements of Fire, Earth, Air, and Water, as well as the discovery of the equinox procession, were key additions to astrology made by the Greeks.
Roman and Arab Alterations to Astrology Today
Astrology was practised by the Romans, who incorporated many parts of Greek culture. Numerous Roman emperors were well-known for their astrological practices. Much knowledge was lost in Europe with the fall of Rome in 410 AD, it didn’t return until the Middle Ages. While astrology experienced a dark period in Europe, it persisted in the Arab world. The works of Ptolemy and Firmicus were preserved by Arab academics, who also incorporated knowledge from astrology practices in nations like China and India. They also created the Astrolabe, a tool for tracking the motion of planets and stars in space. Astrology only seems to have regained power in Europe with the revival of intellectual activity that followed the Dark Ages. Many astrologers in Mumbai, Delhi, and Kolkata who are heavily influenced by western astrology hold knowledge and provide insights on development of Babylonian Astrology.