Astrology began in Babylonia about two and a half millennia ago. Believing that the planets and their motions influenced the fate of kings and nations, the Babylonians used their knowledge of astronomy to guide their rulers. As the Babylonian culture was absorbed by the Greeks, astrology gradually came. affecting the entire western world and eventually spreading to Asia.
In the 2nd century BCE. The Greeks democratized astrology by developing the idea that the planets affect every individual. In particular, they believed that the configuration of the sun, moon, and planets at birth affected a person’s personality and wealth, a doctrine called natal-astrology. Astrology in Natal reached its peak 400 years later with Ptolemy. As famous for his astrology as he is for his astronomy, Ptolemy compiled the Tetrabiblos, a treatise on astrology that remains the “Bible“ of the subject. It is essentially this ancient religion, older than Christianity. or Islam, which is still practiced by astrologers today.
The key to natal astrology is the horoscope, a chart that shows the positions of the planets in the sky at the time of an individual’s birth. The word “horoscope” comes from the Greek words hora (which means “time”) and skopos (which means “observer” or “marker”), so “horoscope” can literally be translated as “hour marker”. When charted a horoscope, the planets (including the sun and moon, which the ancients classified as tramps) must first be located in the zodiac. At the time astrology was established, the zodiac was divided into 12 sectors called the signs, each 30 ° long.Each sign was named after a constellation in the sky through which the sun, moon and planets could pass, for example the sign of Virgo after the constellation of Virgo.
If you casually ask about your “zodiac sign” today, he will ask you about your “sun sign”, in which zodiac sign the sun was at your birth. However, it has been more than 2000 years since the signs got their names from the constellations. Due to the precession, the constellations of the zodiac slide westward along the ecliptic and orbit the sky in about 26,000 years. Therefore, the actual stars today have slipped by about 1/12 of the zodiac, about the width of a sign.
In most forms of astrology, however, the signs have been assigned to the year they were in when astrology was first established, meaning that the astrological signs and actual constellations are out of date; the sign of Aries, for example, now occupies the constellation Pisces. When you look at your sun sign in an astrology column, the name of the sign associated with your birthday is no longer the name of the constellation the sun was actually in when you were born. To know about that Constellation, you should look for the sign before one which includes your birthday.
A complete horoscope shows not only the position of the sun, but also the moon and every planet in the sky by indicating its position in the suitable zodiac sign. However, when the celestial sphere rotates (due to the rotation of the earth), the entire zodiac moves west through the sky, completing a celestial circle each day. Therefore the position in the sky (or “home” in astrology) has to be calculated. For the interpretation of the horoscope there are more or less standardized rules, which (at least in the western schools of astrology) are largely derived from Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos. Every sign, every house and every planet, the last-as a power center, it should be connected to certain life issues.
The detailed interpretation of a horoscope is a very complicated matter and there are many astrological schools of thought on how to do it. While some of the rules may be standardized, how each rule is weighted and applied is a matter of discretion. It also means that it is very difficult to relate astrology to certain predictions or to get the same predictions from different astrologers.
Astrologers today use the same basic principles that were established by Ptolemy nearly 2,000 years ago. They project horoscopes (a process that is greatly simplified by the development of suitable computer programs) and suggest interpretations. While even professional astrologers don’t rely very much on such a tight scheme that tries to divide everyone into only 12 groups, many people take sun sign astrology seriously (perhaps because it is discussed so much in the media. Communication).
Today we know much more about the nature of planets than physical bodies, as well as human genetics, than the ancients. It is difficult to imagine what the positions of the sun, moon or planets are in the sky at the time of our journey. Birth could have something to do with our personality or future. There are no known forces, gravity or anything else, that can cause such effects. (For example, a simple calculation shows that the gravitational pull of the obstetrician giving birth to a newborn is greater than mars). Hence, astrologers must argue that there must be unknown forces exerted by the planets, which depend on their configurations and which do not vary according to distance from the planet, forces for which there is not the slightest evidence.
Another strange aspect of astrology is its emphasis on the configurations of the planets at birth. What about the forces that can affect us at conception? Isn’t our genetic makeup more important for determining our personality than the circumstances of our birth? Were we born a few hours earlier or later as astrology claims? (When astrology was first conceived, birth was held to be of magical significance for a moment, but today we know a lot more about the long process that precedes it.
In reality, very few well-educated people today buy the claim that our entire lives are predetermined by astrological influences at birth, but many people seem to believe that astrology has validity as an indicator of affinities and personality. , associate and even marry based on astrological information. These are tough decisions to make, and you could argue that we should use all of the relevant information to help us make the right decisions. But does astrology really provide useful information? Information about the human personality? That’s the Question that can be tested with the scientific method.
The results of hundreds of tests are all the same: there is no evidence that natal astrology is predictive, even in a statistical sense. Then why do people often seem to have anecdotes about how well their own astrologer has advised them? they only use the language of the zodiac and the horoscope as an external ornament to their craft. Most of them work as amateur therapists and offer simple truths that clients like or need to hear (Recent studies have shown that almost any type of short-term therapy makes people feel a little better because it is in itself beneficial to speak about our problems with someone who listens well.)
However, the scheme of astrology is not based on scientific facts; at best it can be called pseudoscience. It’s an interesting historical system, a holdover from pre-scientific days, and best remembered for the stimulus it gave people to learn the cycles and patterns of sky. From this arose the science of astronomy, which is our main subject for discussion.
In response to modern public interest in astrology, scientists have conducted a wide range of statistical tests to assess its predictive power. The simplest study sun sign astrology to determine whether some signs, as astrologers claim, are more likely than others to lead to an objective measure of success, such as winning Olympic medals, earning high business salaries, or holding an electoral office or high military rank (you can design such a test yourself, for example by searching for the dates of birth of all members of Congress or all members of the US-Olympic team).Political leaders who were somehow chosen by their horoscopes at birth and therefore Leos more than Scorpios?
You don’t even have to be specific about your prediction on tests like this. After all, many astrology schools do not agree which signs belong to which personality traits. To demonstrate the validity of the astrological hypothesis, it would be sufficient if the birthdays of all of our leaders were grouped into one or two signs in a statistically significant manner. Dozens of such tests were carried out, and all of them were completely negative: it was found that the dates of birth of the leaders in all the areas assessed were randomly distributed across all characters. does not predict anything about future profession or strong personality traits.
In a good example of such a test, two statisticians examined the United States Marine Corps‘ reinstatement records. We suspect you will agree that not only does it take a personality to report to the Marines, but again. Strong personality traits predict, as astrologers claim, then those who got back involved (with similar personalities) should have been given preference in those one or a few signs that matched the personality of someone who loves being a Marine. However, the newly listed characters were distributed randomly to all signs.
More sophisticated studies have also been carried out, calculating full horoscopes for thousands of people. The results of all these studies are also negative: none of the systems of astrology have proven effective in associating astrological aspects with personality, success or discovery. the right person to love.
Other tests show that the interpretation of a horoscope does not matter as long as it is vague enough and each subject feels that it was created personally only for him or her. The French statistician Michel Gauquelin, for example, sent the horoscope interpretation of one of the worst mass murderers in history to 150 people, but each recipient was told that it was a “reading” prepared exclusively for them. 94% of the readers said they recognized themselves in the interpretation of the horoscope of the mass murderer.
Geoffrey Dean, an Australian researcher, reversed the astrological readings of 22 subjects, replacing sentences that were the opposite of what the horoscope actually said. However, their subjects said that the resulting readings applied to them as-often’ (95%) as those who were given the original sentences.