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A Brief History of Astrology


Astrology is an ancient way of knowledge. For many centuries people have looked up at the stars over their heads as a source of inspiration and guidance. Over time there were built up correspondences between the movements of the heavenly bodies and life here on the Earth. The ancient astrological maxim was "as above, so below" which emphasized the connection between different levels, the unity between humankind and the surrounding cosmos.

Although some might think that in this day and age the possibility of establishing meaningful relationships between earthly life and the movements of the Sun, Moon, and planets is untenable, we would answer that there seems to be a true correspondences between them if only one is willing to look. A true quest for knowledge does not dismiss any evidence, no matter what preconceptions may be thought to apply!

The major tenets of Western Astrology, as practiced by modern Humanistic astrologers, in the tradition of Allen Leo, Marc Edmund Jones, Dane Rudhyar and others, began with the codification of existing astrological knowledge by Ptolemy, near the end of the Greek era. During the period preceding the rise of Christianity, Astrology was widely recognized as a basic way of knowledge. With the middle ages and the supremacy of the Church in Europe and the beginning of the scientific world view, Astrology fell into some disrepute, from which it is still struggling to re-emerge today. Even so, famous scientists such as Brahe, Kepler and Galileo were astrologers as well as practitioners of so-called "hard" sciences. In recent times, there has been a division into camps, with most astronomers and other scientists coming down on the side of a disbelief and disregard for astrology, while the New Age with its revitalization of shamanic traditions and perennial philosophy has been in the camp of the believers and those working with Astrology.

After the basic principle were laid down in the pre-Christian millennium, few changes came until the modern era. With the discovery of Uranus in 1781, the four major asteroids in the early 1800's, Neptune in 1846, Pluto in 1930 and Chiron in 1977, new material was calling out to be integrated. The Humanistic movement in modern western Astrology came mainly as a result of these discoveries, flowering in the latter part of this century, parallel to the rise of the humanistic movement in psychology, and was fathered by Dane Rudhyar, philosopher, musician, and astrologer, whose seminal work entitled The Astrology of Personality was published in 1936.

Still today, innovation goes on, with more modern developments such as Cosmobiology, Uranian Astrology, and further explorations of the Humanistic Astrology that has shown so much promise in this latter half century.