Book of the Zodiac , pp.
The process of attributing astrological meaning to the days and the months is logically extended to years and their multiples. In Zoroastrianism the simple world-year of 12, years, with one millennium to each zodiacal sign, strongly reinforced the doctrines of the apocalypse. Kennedy and Pingree, Astrological History , pp.
The astrological shaping of Zoroastrian apocalyptic ideas probably occurred in the late Arsacid and Sasanian periods. If the planetary bodies were to be regarded as evil, the sun and moon could not be included among them. Nyberg, JA , , p. Sanjana, XII, , p. The remainder result from action, energy, essence, and inheritance. Pahlavi Texts , p. It should be noted that not all Zoroastrian texts feel obliged to discuss the question of freedom and determination.
Kanga, Bombay, , the astrological factor is totally ignored in favor of traditional Zoroastrian doctrine. For the influence of astrology on Zoroastrianism in the Islamic period, see B. Dhabhar, tr. Concept of the heavens. See texts in Bailey, Zoroastrian Problems , pp. Beyond the sky lay the heaven of Ohrmazd. The number of spheres was later made a potent seven, but with no change in the basic order e. The various heavenly bodies were created at their stations in a state of repose. Ahriman thus penetrated as far as the star station, where the stars and the planets wage war; and the sun was dislodged from his position on an axis passing through the center of the earth-disc and the top of the sky-sphere.
The violent assault of Ahriman explains the assymetry in the sky—why the revolutions of the heavenly bodies are at an oblique angle to the plane of the earth, why the north celestial pole is not at the zenith of the sky. In the present, disarranged universe the north-point is inauspicious. This traditional belief was inherent in the Av. Sun and moon. He determines the rhythm, not only of economic life, but also of ritual practices.
West, SBE 5, pp.
Dhabhar, p. The moon has particular associations, not only with light, but with water. The lower sphere of the zodiac, however, is of more immediate importance to mankind. Four star quadrant-commanders and numerous district-commanders exercise jurisdiction over the various parts of the sky, all under their chief commander, Polaris. The stars in general are concerned with the mechanism for the circulation of the waters e. He prevents the entrance of any more demons to harass the zodiac. Hence particular reverence is paid to him e.
The zodiac. By the Sasanian period the concept of the zodiac had been borrowed as indicated by its name, spihr from Greek sphaira [Henning, op. I, pp. Tetrabiblos 1. These details are not systematically described in Middle Persian literature but are implied in horoscopes actually given. The rising-sign constituted the first house, the next sign below the horizon the second house, and so on through the zodiac. The planets.
But at times the planets are more powerful and able to exercise their malefic bazakkar nature. The characters of the five chief planets listed above are little differentiated in the texts, but the bulk of classical lore may be assumed to be present. The Iranian name of Saturn is the only planetary name which has been borrowed in Mandean astrology Book of the Zodiac , pp. As mentioned above, the sun and moon were removed from the category of planetary bodies; their two demonic opponents replaced them.
West, SBE]. Such erratic bodies as comets and meteors would naturally be judged as ill-omened; cf. But see below for an auspicious meteor. Judicial astrology and genethlialogy. The material creatures observe the planets and stars with the revelation of mathematics. All the planetary bodies are placed at their points of exaltation for this dramatic beginning of celestial motion. Antia, 3. The planet Jupiter has again come into exaltation. Mars and Venus are conjoining in the sector of Ursa Major and the sign Leo and are giving support to Jupiter.
The lord of the mid-sky i. Each century ends with an eclipse ibid. The year, month, and day will become one-third shorter, the night brighter. The sun will show a mist, the moon will change color; earthquakes and violent winds will occur. The most prominent sign will be the halting of the sun at the meridian just before the savior arrives at the end of millennia 10, 11, and The halts last 10, 20, and 30 days respectively; and the sun struggles to regain its original, potent cf.
Middle Persian texts.
Anklesaria, Bombay, ; ed. Anklesaria, Bombay, ; chaps. Zaehner, Zurvan , a Zoroastrian Dilemma , Oxford, , pp. Madan, Bombay, ; ed. Sanjana, Bombay, ; book 3 tr.
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Zaehner, Zurvan. Andreas, Kiel, ; tr. West, SBE 24, Oxford, Rivayat , ed. Dhabhar, Bombay, Pahlavi Texts , ed.
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Jamasp-Asana, Bombay, Cama Memorial Volume , Bombay, , pp. Kennedy and D. Kennedy and B. Browne , Cambridge, , pp. Neugebauer, The Exact Sciences in Antiquity , 2nd ed. New York, Astrology is a method of predicting terrestrial events from the configurations of the planets, the stars, and the astrological places twelve ecliptic arcs originating from the point of the ecliptic on the local eastern horizon. It is probable, however, that Hellenistic astrology had already flourished in Iran under the Parthians, when Greek culture prevailed and Greek traders similar to those who carried astrology to India in the second century were familiar with the Parthian empire.
Moreover, traces of late Babylonian celestial omens, mingled with elements of Hellenistic astrology, survive in Mandean and Syriac as well as in Greek and Arabic texts, which may also have circulated in Parthian Iran. The celestial omens themselves had certainly been known in Iran during the Achaemenid period, when they were transmitted to India. Except for some scattered fragments in the ninth-century books, the Pahlavi literature on astrology is, unfortunately, known only from citations and translations in Arabic.
It should be noted, moreover, that in this same period a certain Stephanus, a Christian from Persia, revived the study of astrology in Constantinople. The shift from the use of Pahlavi to Arabic in scientific discourse made accessible to Iranian astrologers the many new Arabic versions of Greek, Syriac, and Sanskrit texts composed in the eighth and ninth centuries.
Islamic astrology, following the traditions of its various sources, comprises a number of branches differing both in their objectives and in their methods. Closely related to astrology are astral magic and divination from celestial omens. The first two conditions are occasionally applied to the other planets when appropriate. In interpreting the theme the astrologer must weigh the relationships of planets of various potencies and characteristics with the several zodiacal signs and astrological places.
He may also consider the influences of the lots, the lord of the triplicity of the ascendent, or other elements. All these contingencies provide him with a large number of possible predictions, both specific and general. Thus astrology cannot be granted the status of an exact science even if its fundamental premise concerning the relationship between superterrestrial bodies and the earth and its inhabitants were to be accepted.
The possible combinations of such a complex interplay of variables was immense, and obviously had advantages for the astrologer. Astrological history. The possibility of applying some of the methods of continuous horoscopy to predicting or reconstructing historical events was apparently first realized in Sasanian Iran. The conjunctions of these two planets were separated by approximately twenty years; the theme of the time of any conjunction was used to determine the course of public affairs during the following two decades.
Twelve or thirteen successive conjunctions remain in the same triplicity for a period of some or years; the theme of the time of the first conjunction in a triplicity is regarded as deciding the fate of a dynasty. After about fifty conjunctions or a millennium, the whole cycle starts again with a first conjunction in the fiery triplicity; from the theme of that first conjunction are predicted the character and religious message of a major prophet.
These techniques were utilized by Islamic astrologers to reconstruct the past as well as to foretell the future. Catarchic astrology. The determination of the appropriate time for initiating an activity, catharchic astrology, was an important part of the profession. In cases of partnerships, including marriages, the compatibility of the participants was established by comparing their nativity themes before determining a proper time for consummating the union.
Astrologers could answer any queries on the basis of the theme of the time at which the question was asked.
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The most common method of interpretation was to utilize the cardines, of which the ascendent indicates the actor, the descendent the object or person acted upon, the midheaven the means of action, and the hypogee the result. Similar methods employing the directions associated with the cardines were utilized in locating lost or stolen objects, runaway slaves, or buried treasures. Complex associations of the zodiacal signs and planets with human physiognomic and psychological characteristics enabled the astrologer to describe, e.
Queries concerning the fate of the sick constituted an important part of the interrogations. Together with considerations derived from the nativity and anniversary themes they formed a special branch of astrology. Physical characteristics of the native, including blemishes, congenital weaknesses, and chronic diseases, were predicted from the nativity theme, especially with the help of the planetary, zodiacal, and decanic melothesias.
Diagnosis of a contracted disease was also based primarily on the melothesias at the time of the onset of the illness or at the time at which the query was addressed to the iatromathematician; obviously, the anniversary theme could also be consulted. The prognosis of the course of the disease depended on the motion, phases, and contacts of the moon. The selection of the means of treatment and the times of application was influenced by diagnosis, prognosis, and catarchic astrology. The success or failure of the doctor and his treatment could also be judged by an interrogation. A subbranch of iatromathematics was devoted to preparing medicines with astral powers; thus, mineral, vegetable, and animal products associated with the individual planets and zodiacal signs were gathered at the astrologically favorable moments, and were combined into drugs that were specifies for diseases caused by the stars.
Astral magic. The same kind of association of terrestrial objects with celestial bodies, and many others, were utilized in the practice of magic.
Astronomy and Astrology: The Siamese Twins of the Evolution of Science. By Thony Christie
Celestial omens. Striking astral and meteorological phenomena had been regarded as omens in Mesopotamia before the Old Babylonian period, and from there the belief in such portents had spread to Iran, India, Egypt, and Greece during the rule of the Achaemenids. In theory, these divine omens contradict the determinism of astrology, but in practice those who believe in astrology also believe in celestial omens. Since planetary omens had to a large extent been absorbed into astrology as a means of determining the strengths of the planets.
Celestial omens in Islam consisted primarily of eclipses, perihelia, mock suns, and weather phenomena like lightning, thunder, rain, snow, hail, rainbows, and cloud formations. Most of these omens were interpreted according to the month, day, or hour at which they occurred, the direction in which they were observed, and the color where applicable of the phenomenon.
However, as far as we know, these had little impact either in India or in Iran. Contemporary Iranian astrologers probably are more inclined to use European and American than medieval Islamic manuals. Plato taught about 'astronomia' and stipulated that planetary phenomena should be described by a geometrical model. The first solution was proposed by Eudoxus. Aristotle favored a physical approach and adopted the word 'astrologia'. Eccentrics and epicycles came to be thought of as useful fictions. For a more general public, the distinguishing principle was not evident and either word was acceptable.
For the Babylonian horoscopic practice, the words specifically used were 'apotelesma' and ' katarche ', but otherwise it was subsumed under the aristotelian term 'astrologia'. In his compilatory work Etymologiae , Isidore of Seville noted explicitly the difference between the terms astronomy and astrology Etymologiae, III, xxvii and the same distinction appeared later in the texts of Arabian writers. Astrology was widely accepted in medieval Europe as astrological texts from Hellenistic and Arabic astrologers were translated into Latin.
In the late Middle Ages , its acceptance or rejection often depended on its reception in the royal courts of Europe. Not until the time of Francis Bacon was astrology rejected as a part of scholastic metaphysics rather than empirical observation. A more definitive split between astrology and astronomy in the West took place gradually in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when astrology was increasingly thought of as an occult science or superstition by the intellectual elite.
Because of their lengthy shared history, it sometimes happens that the two are confused with one another even today. Many contemporary astrologers, however, do not claim that astrology is a science, but think of it as a form of divination like the I-Ching , an art, or a part of a spiritual belief structure influenced by trends such as Neoplatonism , Neopaganism , Theosophy , and Hinduism. The primary goal of astronomy is to understand the physics of the universe. Astrologers use astronomical calculations for the positions of celestial bodies along the ecliptic and attempt to correlate celestial events astrological aspects , sign positions with earthly events and human affairs.
Astronomers consistently use the scientific method , naturalistic presuppositions and abstract mathematical reasoning to investigate or explain phenomena in the universe. Astrologers use mystical or religious reasoning as well as traditional folklore , symbolism and superstition blended with mathematical predictions to explain phenomena in the universe.
The scientific method is not consistently used by astrologers. Astrologers practice their discipline geocentrically   and they consider the universe to be harmonious, changeless and static, while astronomers have employed the scientific method to infer that the universe is without a center and is dynamic, expanding outward per the Big Bang theory. Astrologers believe that the position of the stars and planets determine an individual's personality and future. Astronomers study the actual stars and planets, but have found no evidence supporting astrological theories.
Psychologists study personality, and while there are many theories of personality, no mainstream theories in that field are based on astrology. The Myers-Briggs personality typology, based on the works of Carl Jung , has four major categories that correspond to the astrological elements of fire, air, earth, and water. This theory of personality is used by career counselors and life coaches but not by psychologists.
Both astrologers and astronomers see Earth as being an integral part of the universe, that Earth and the universe are interconnected as one cosmos not as being separate and distinct from each other. However, astrologers philosophically and mystically portray the cosmos as having a supernatural , metaphysical and divine essence that actively influences world events and the personal lives of people.
For a long time the funding from astrology supported some astronomical research, which was in turn used to make more accurate ephemerides for use in astrology. In Medieval Europe the word Astronomia was often used to encompass both disciplines as this included the study of astronomy and astrology jointly and without a real distinction; this was one of the original Seven Liberal Arts. Kings and other rulers generally employed court astrologers to aid them in the decision making in their kingdoms, thereby funding astronomical research.
University medical students were taught astrology as it was generally used in medical practice. Astronomy and astrology diverged over the course of the 17th through 19th centuries. Copernicus didn't practice astrology nor empirical astronomy; his work was theoretical  , but the most important astronomers before Isaac Newton were astrologers by profession — Tycho Brahe , Johannes Kepler , and Galileo Galilei.
Also relevant here was the development of better timekeeping instruments, initially for aid in navigation ; improved timekeeping made it possible to make more exact astrological predictions—predictions which could be tested, and which consistently proved to be false. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the broader relation with science, see Astrology and science. Cambridge [England]: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 20 November Archived from the original on 7 October Archived from the original on 12 September Kruszelnicki, Karl S.
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