(the science of the stars, anciently equivalent to astronomy, which was known as natural astrology, and used to predict such natural events as eclipses, the date of Easter, and meteorological phenomena)

Astrology, Past and Present

By the 17th century, the term astronomy became limited to another branch of study, judicial or mundane astrology, which claimed to trace the influence of the heavenly bodies (stars, planets, sun, moon, etc.) on the results of human events and life.

In early times, there was a belief that deities ruled mankind and the universe didn't seem to be all that influential; then, there were those who started to believe that there were strong links between the heavens and human behavior.

When an astrologer determines a person's time and date of birth, then there a connection is made with the relevant sign of the Zodiac which corresponds to the positions of the planets at the time of the birthdate.

This star-divination, or astromancy, still attempts to determine, usually by the configuration of the heavens at the time of a crucial event, like birth, the future destiny and general temperament of people.

Astrology is one of the most ancient forms of divination, and prevailed among the nations of the East (Egypt, Chaldea, India, and China) at the very dawn of history. The Jews became much addicted to it after the period of Captivity.

Although astronomers have challenged the validity of the accuracy of astrological predictions, the records that were kept by early astronomers and astrologers have proven to be of practical use in modern research into ancient eclipses, the appearance of nova (a star that radiates flareups of energy from thermonuclear reactions inside and so become more luminous or bright) and comets, as well as other long periods of unexpected celestial events.

The sun, moon, and the stars would have disappeared long ago, had they happened to be within reach of predatory human beings.

—Havelock Ellis