Astrology continues to be a fascinating subject for millions of people across the world and it has been so for ages. This is the case for many different cultures, some of which have their own version of the practice so it can be said that it’s somewhat of a universal phenomenon.
It was also a subject of criticism ever since it came to be and it continues to be so to do this day. There is evidence that astrology isn’t real or based on science but that doesn’t seem to affect its popularity.
Is Astrology True?
Simply put astrology isn’t real and it’s not based on any evidence. Research, based on double-blind experiments has proven that there’s no way to predict the future based on the principles of astrology. There’s no proof that the position of the heavenly bodies affects people in any way or that it determines their character.
However, this hasn’t changed the fascination with the practice, nor have other types of criticism that have been used against it through history. This leads to the question, what is the reason behind this attraction.
Visiting astrology websites these days is a simple enough activity and most of the process is done for you. All that you need to do is to provide information about your date of birth and other data and you’ll get some advice based on this. However, the process behind it is rather complex and it has existed for ages.
The main principles of the practice state that the position of celestial bodies at the time of your birth affects and determines your character and your destiny. There’s a lot of nuance to this but that is the main idea behind astrology.
The Origins Of Astrology
Astrology has been around for a long time. Some practices similar to what we call astrology have been around in the ancient Babylonian empire. The Zodiac signs that we associate with astrology now have come from ancient Greece. That was a part of their attempt to understand astronomy as well as rudimentary psychology.
The Hellenic world had a great influence on the world and Asia minor in particular. That’s where this approach to astrology has spread most of all. In the far East, there were completely different approaches but they too were influenced by the Greeks.
The most common approach to astrology is the western one that originated in Greece and that centers around Zodiac signs. The Greeks divided the visible sky into 12 parts and named these parts after the constellations in them. These are known as the Zodiac signs and they are the basis of western astrology.
As the planets pass through these signs they influence them and interact with them in various complicated ways. There’s a lot more behind it but this is the basic principle set up in ancient Greece that has been built upon for centuries and it has become the astrology we know today.
Astrology in Ancient India
Hindu astrology is an interesting version of the practice. It has its own roots and was a big part of the local religion and societal order. It was also partly about divination but about astronomy and psychology as well. An important pivot came when Hindu astrology came into contact with the Hellenic influence in the Asia minor.
After these contacts, Indian astrology became much more similar to that of ancient Greeks and introduced Zodiac signs. Both of these are still existing alongside each other and now they are a mixture of features from Greece and India.
Astrology in China
Astrology existed in China before it did in the West. It was a part of theology and it was especially popular in court when it was used for divination. The main goal was to predict the outcome of wars and other important political events.
Local cultures were also influenced by China and Vietnam and Korea in particular have developed astrology practices very similar to those used in China. Their horoscopes are now the same as those used in China. There’s also western astrology in these countries but Chinese influence is always stronger and therefore its horoscope is more popular.
Astrology was Always Criticized
Astrology was subject to criticism as soon as it came to be. It was criticized by ancient scholars as superstition. The same happened when it was criticized by the church in the Middle Ages and it was also rejected during the enlightenment.
The discoveries in the field of astronomy were also a cause for further criticism of astrology since they provided us with a deeper understanding of the works of celestial bodies. However, the practice never died out and it still has a lot of followers across the world.
A Modern Approach to the Practice
Modern studies of the practice of astrology are focused on it as a social construct more than they are interested in its veracity. That’s especially noticeable in the feminist studies of the practice. These tend to emphasize the role women had in astrology and especially when it was forbidden and persecuted.
Astrology gave women an outlet for creativity and a chance to have a sense of power in an area of public life that was important but somewhat secluded. This was particularly important in an otherwise oppressive and patriarchal society and that’s why it led to such popularity of the practice.
Should You Do It?
There’s no harm in trying to get a reading or using an astrology site or an app. As long as you’re aware of the science that disproves it and its cultural history, it’s just a harmless hobby that you can enjoy with your friends.
Take the time to learn a bit about the practice and the services that are available so that you don’t get scammed by getting a worse service than you could otherwise find. Try not to get too much into the rabbit hole with it, since many do and it’s an appealing practice.