The history of Astrology is as old as civilization itself and while Astrology cannot be pinpointed as to its exact place of origin, there is evidence that it was practiced in many places on earth. One common belief says that Astrology began with the Greeks, however, there is evidence of Astrology in Egypt and even before that.
The earliest records of Astrology are based in Mesopotamia over 4000 years ago where the Sumerian civilization worshipped what they could see with the naked eye. It is documented through artwork and religious belief, that the Sun, Moon and Venus were objects of worship as gods along with some of the closer planets that could be seen at the time.
The Sun, Moon and Venus were worshipped as gods making it the polytheistic based religious Astrology style of the times. The Sun god was called Utu, the Moon god was known as Nanna and Venus was identified as Inanna. The names of these and other planet/star gods changed many times over the years depending on which tribe was in control of the area at the time.
Their societies were based around the ruling Astrology priest of the time, much like kings did at later times in history. Once it was found necessary to have army to protect the society, military rulers replaced the Astrology priests as leaders. Every leader or King, had his own Astrology priest, usually referred to as baru-priests, and the baru-priest had many servants as the society revolved around the one closest to the gods of the time.
Mounds were built for the Astrology priests to receive messages from the sky and its gods. As time progressed, these mounds or shrines became larger and were referred to as ziggurats. These were later made into maps of stars and the ziggurats were used by the priests for sky watching. It was the priest’s duty to look for omens from the sky. Eclipses, comets, meteors and shooting stars were one of the biggest events from which the Astrology priests derived their messages. This is the rudimentary beginning of Astrology.
It is generally agreed that these are the beginnings of Astrology. Based on the events of the skies, the baru-priests predicted the future using Astrology. The more accurate the astrological predictions, the more chance the Astrology priests had in keeping their place in society. Astrology, then, evolved into the art and science of probabilities based on the calculation of events in the sky as well as, the weather patterns. Eclipses and weather predictions were the job of the Astrology priest and the better he did his job the better the chance of survival of the kingdom.
The kingdom of Ancient Babylon revolved around the kingdom itself and the survival of the King himself. Without a King there could be no kingdom. It was everyone’s focus to make sure of the King’s good health and well-being. The society’s function was to ensure the King was taken very good care of, for he ruled the military which protected the population. And these Kings relied heavily on their Astrology priests for accurate predictions regarding the future.
Around 1300 BC, Astrology was used to predict the future of male children based on the time and date they were born. This is considered the real birth of Astrology as we know it today.
Later, when the Assyrians conquered Babylon in 729 BC, the names of the gods were changed once again. The highest god, or Sun god, was renamed Shamash. During this time the priests were practicing Astrology, as it was the basis for everything that happened in society and their environment. The Assyrians were very concerned with Astrology and the predictions of the priests were sought often by the high court and King, as well.
It was during these times that the first organized calendar appeared on the scene. Also during this time, the priests, using Astrology, calculated and named 18 different constellations. Eventually, the Astrology practicing priests narrowed it down to 12 constellations which are the basis of the Zodiac used in Astrology today.
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