Astrology in Ancient Times

In many ancient cultures there are references to astrology: the state of the heavenly bodies. It is quite understandable when one think about it – Men used to be much closer to nature. In traveling outside without any bright lighting – men were exposed to the stars during the whole year. They would see their journey across the night’s sky; they would know their names and their orbit.

The interesting thing is that in almost every culture people would relate the position of the stars in the sky to destiny, to the future, to personality etc.

In the old days the astrologer, the wise old man, had an essential part in the tribe, or the kingdom. This person would know to predict according to the stars, if it is going to be a fertile year, if there is going to be a war etc.

In different cultures we witness astrologers who taught, gave advises and guidance. Josephus Flavius (who lived 2000 years ago) writes in his book “Antiquities of the Jews” how in his time men wouldn’t go to war without first consulting with an astrologer; that the army would consist not only of worriers but also of predictors, or seers – people who had foreseen the future or could predict the comings; almost like in our days when the astrologer analyze the position of the stars in the sky to determine what is expected in the horoscope.

For the ancients the starts in the sky were not only bright lights and the astrological map was not only a private prophecy for one person or another. For them astrology was inseparable of their way of life, their cosmic perception, belief system and religion. For an example, in ancient Greece (and Rome who has appropriated much from the Greek culture) stars and gods were one. Therefore, not only they have predicted the movement of the stars\gods in the sky, they also tried to influence the stars in order to prevent the gods’ misdeeds, by building beautiful temples and by sacrifice.

The Indigenous people of America believed that when one of the elders died he would turn into a bright star in the sky and they could identify some of the stars as important figures from their past.

Continuing to ancient Egypt to discover that the great pyramids in Giza are located in the exact position according to a prominent constellation called “Orion’s belt”, and until today there are various theories that the pyramids served as some kind of a complex calendar which the sun illuminated in a specific point one day during the whole year.

The Mayan people built huge temple (also in the shape of pyramids but terraced ones…) which demonstrated their special and complex calendar and their astrological perception. When the great priest climbed to the top of the pyramid it was a manifestation of men moving in time, from the earliest primordial (the lower terrace) until the end of time (the top of the pyramid).

Old clay tablets with astrological maps and horoscopes were found in Mesopotamia. And more evidences were found in other places, times and cultures.

When we compare our day’s weekly horoscope from the newspaper with the tremendous knowledge that the ancients had, it is imposable not to feel that we “missed something on the path”. Despite all today’s technological advancement, it seems like we still have a lot to learn in matters of understanding the universe, the stars, planets and their influence on men. And yet, a short glance into this knowledge could give us a clue to what we can reach with astrology…