Astrology, is, the network of
relationships existing between man and the heavens which, if correctly
understood, gives a key to human character and destiny. The essence of astrology is the ability to accurately
predict the configuration of the heaven at any desired moment. This can be done
by applying laws of physics to create mathematical models used in astronomy to
determine where the Sun, Moon, planets and Zodiac signs stood at the chosen
moment. When exactly the foundation of
astrology took place is debatable, some has suggested
it took place as soon as mankind was capable of intelligent thought but others
suggested it happened right after the development of mathematical astronomy. The
science of mathematical astronomy was not developed until the fifth century BC,
which was the late phase of Babylonian civilization.
An agreement has not been reached over either astrology originated in Babylon, Egypt, Greece or Mesopotamia. However, astrological phenomena were very widespread
during the Hellenistic era and became common to several early civilizations
where some civilizations outside of Middle
East have historical trace of
astrology, such as in the Far East civilizations. It is only possible to say that all of
these ancient civilizations had had some influence on the foundation and
development of today’s astrology.
The Babylonians are generally
credited with the birth of astrology. Their astrological charts enabled them to
predict the recurrence of seasons and certain celestial events. Thus the astrology
of the horoscope, and the calculated mappings of the heavens which lies behind
it, are Greek in character, but built upon earlier Babylonian foundations. 
Babylonians were the ones who evolved a calendar, and by 500 BC, they were
already moving towards the invention of the zodiac, which was an essential
element in the personalization of astrology. The Babylonians worked for
centuries over the patterns in the night sky before producing a calendar
reliable enough to enable them to predict eclipses and to work ‘backwards’ in
order to figure out the celestial events of the past. The details of early
calendars and their evolution were extremely complex; however, the Babylonians
solved the problems with reasonable accuracy. 
Once a calendar had been devised, observation and the
application of mathematics meant that planetary movements could be predicted.
The next step was the invention of the zodiac. The zodiac, which was derived
from the Greek word zoon means "circle of animals", was believed to
originate in Babylon. It is
an imaginary belt in the heavens extending approximately 8 degrees on either
side of the Sun's apparent path, that includes the apparent paths of the Moon
and the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn,
Uranus, and Neptune. Pluto's eccentricity is so great that it does not
travel along the ecliptic like the other planets. The Babylonians identified twelve constellations that they
observed were linked to the progression of the seasons and assigned them names
of certain animals and persons. In Babylonia, for example, the rainy season was found to occur when the
sun was in a particular constellation, which was then named Aquarius, or water
bearer. Approximately 2000 B.C., Babylonian astrologers believed
that the sun, moon, and the five planets known at that time, which were
Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, and Venus, possessed distinct powers. Mars, for
example, appeared to be red and was associated with aggression and war.
Even though, it was believed that the zodiac as we known
it originated in Babylon, It is not until recently become clear that it is actually
the product of Babylonian, Egyptian and Assyrian astronomy. The Ram, for
example, the symbol of Aries, is of Egyptian origin.
Just as in Babylonia, the Egyptian astrologers closely intermingled their
already precise knowledge of the laws governing the apparent celestial
movements. They also held a whole series of religious and magical beliefs about
the attributes of the respective divine powers deemed to control the various
zones of the sky. This is an Egyptian concept regarding astrology: it is the
action of the planets which are held to bring about on Earth ‘the end of
kingdoms, revolutions of cities, plagues, famine, the reflux of the sea and
trembling of the earth.’ And for comets, ‘they are the messengers and manifest
heralds of events which are bound to happen in the world.’
of the most interesting and misunderstood information about the Ancient
Egyptians concerns their calendar
and astrological system. Of the greatest fallacy about Ancient Egypt and its
belief in astrology concerns the supposed worship of animals. The Egyptians did
not worship animals, rather the Egyptians according to an animal’s astrological
significance, behaved in certain ritualistic ways toward certain animals on
certain days. For example, as is evidenced by the papyrus Cairo Calendar,
during the season of Emergence,
it was the advisement of the Seers, and the omens of certain animals they saw,
which devised whether a specific date would be favorable or unfavorable.The
Egyptians were also
more interested in the abstract measurement of time than the detailed
observation of the heavens, and their achievements in this field have lasted to
the present day. They invented the decanates, periods of ten days, which were
later applied to the zodiac, and were responsible for the division of the day
into 24 hours as against the Babylonian 12 hours.
500s bc, astrology had spread to Greece, where such philosophers as Aristotle and Plato
incorporated it into their study of religion and astronomy, as well, it was the
beginning of the rise of the Greek state and culture. The religion of Babylonia had
made deep impression on the Greeks, therefore, it is agreed that much of
astronomical and astrological knowledge came directly from Babylonia.
The Greeks translated Babylonian star-names as early as the sixth century.
However, as Greek astrology developed, it departed radically from its
Babylonian roots; the techniques of astrology pre-supposed the Aristotelian
cosmic structure, and the ability to compute precise positions on the celestial
By the fourth century BC, the twin giants of Greek philosophy, Plato and
Aristotle, were both speaking of the universe as a complex of interlocking
circular motion about the earth, which formed the centre of the whole system.
The importance of their thoughts and works to astrology was the creation of a
horoscope chart. “The movements of the heavenly bodies and the charting of
horoscopes acquired a new, precise and agreed language to describe the
configuration of the heavens. The horoscope chart could now be seen as a
selective map of the heavens centered on the earth and charted for a specific
moment in time.” 
all the ancient civilizations mentioned, the earliest evidence of astrology traces
back to early Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia was a name
given to the region by the Romans and Greeks and it means, "land between
the waters." Mesopotamia was divided into two
in the south, and Assyria in the north, and these areas
would give their names to its two significant early civilizations. The oldest text in existence about astrology are written in
cuneiform script, a form of writing invented by the Sumerians, who dominated
the area from at least the fourth millennium BCE, and continued by the
Akkadians, who were dominant by the latter half of the third millennium BCE.
In the beginning, Mesopotamian astrology was much like that of other
cultures, a simple examination of the heavens for omens that might affect the
kingdom. Often these observations of omens would include weather phenomena
intermixed with true astronomical ones. What made the Mesopotamians different,
is that they began at an early time to make systematic observations of
phenomena with an eye to finding regular patterns in the heavens that might
correlate with patterns in human events.  The
Mesopotamians inherited the sexagesimal system of numbers from the Sumerians, a
system which used place notation in numbers much like our modern decimal
system, and which had sexagesimal fractions very similar in kind to today’s
decimal fractions. This enabled the Mesopotamians to do complex computations
that would have been difficult in any other ancient system of numerical
notation. The other ancient peoples paid Mesopotamian mathematical notation the
supreme compliment. They used it whenever they had to do similar calculations
of their own.
Over the time in Mesopotamia,
the influence of astrology became stronger and even exceeded the events of
everyday life. One of the great temples in ancient Mesopotamia
included a tower, called Ziggurat, which means literally ‘the house of the
fundamental stone of heaven and earth.’ 
The tower was made up of seven variously colored stories it symbolized the
seven successive, hierarchized regions which unite the celestial vault to the
earth. From the roof the tower, it was possible to observe the stars with
precision. The Mesopotamians were one of the first to know how to calculate the
dates of the solar and lunar eclipses. They were also the ones who established
the common divisions of the calendar in the West, still in use today; the
months, weeks, days and hours. It is, therefore, not surprising that, from
regularity of the courses of the sun and the other stars, the Mesopotamian
astrologers should have drawn their beliefs in a universal determinism, which
was held to control collectives as well as individuals.
Although there are
great amount of evidence that astrology originated in the Middle East, however, during that era, civilizations in the Far East, such as the ancient Chinese, also contributed to modern astrology. In
China, astrology was already blooming several centuries
before the Christian era, and its popularity increased right up to the Middle
One of the most important establishments by the Chinese astrologers is
developing the Chinese horoscope, that is still equivalent today. In the eyes
of a number of Chinese astrologers, the ideal horoscope would be that
established for the moment of conception, a rarely obtained achievement, since
this moment is very rarely known with real exactness.
The year of person’s birth does not just indicate the age in Chinese system of
astrology. According to the Chinese
system, the year of birth indicates a certain phase or aspect of a sixty-year
cycle of time.
Three systems are used for counting and classifying the years: The ten Heavenly
Stems, the twelve Earthly Branches and the twelve Animals. The Chinese animal
signs are a 12-year cycle used for dating the years. They represent a cyclical
concept of time, rather than the Western linear concept of time. A cultural sidelight of
the animal signs in Chinese folklore is that horoscopes have developed around
the animal signs, much like monthly horoscopes in the West have been developed
for the different moon signs, Pisces, Aries, etc. For example, a Chinese
horoscope may predict that a person born in the Year of the Horse would be,
"cheerful, popular, and loves to compliment others". These horoscopes
are amusing, but not regarded seriously by the Chinese people. 
Still today, astrology is still living in regions of Chinese population or in
countries, which have a very high percentage of Chinese in the population.
Chinese astrology has given rise to analogous forms of the art developed in
other countries of the Far
East, such as in Korea, Japan, and central Asia.
Interest in astrology has persisted throughout the
centuries, occasionally falling out of favor but always rebounding. Today, with
practitioners in nearly every country, astrology's popularity is stronger than
ever. After evolving for thousands of years, astrology has become today’s horoscope.
While it has changed in many ways, it retains many of its traditional elements.
The significant difference is in its adaptation to the present culture and its
accessibility through the advent of the computer. Most astrologers today practice natal astrology and use psychological knowledge in
their interpretations of birth charts. 
The horoscope was first publicized on the Sunday Express for the birth of
Prince Margaret in 1930.
For individuals who are superstition, they may perhaps discover the information
embedded in the horoscope extremely accurate. People possibly will check every
day’s newspaper before deciding what to do for that specific day. Astrology
is found in every newspaper, funfair and circus, as well as on the Internet.
Millions of dollars exchange hands in pursuit of the divination of the future,
which is to do with the inherent weakness of most people to look outside
themselves for help and guidance.  It
is very true that Today’s astrology
remains one of the most misunderstood fields of study as it combines certain
elements of science, art and intuition. The majority of the people will embrace
astrology as a part of their reality, which in the wrong hands can cause
problems to a person who foolishly relies on it to shape their lives under the
influence of false information that may be unwittingly supplied. Not everyone believes in astrologers, but hardly anyone is
willing to deny the stars some effect on human life.
Astrology is science, and it is the
oldest of all the sciences. It is
as old as civilization itself. Astrology is any of several traditions or systems in which knowledge of the apparent
positions of celestial bodies is held to be useful in understanding,
interpreting, and organizing knowledge about reality and human existence on earth. It is
suggested that the historical foundation of astrology took place in the Middle East
by the ancient civilizations. However, an agreement has not been reached over
whether astrology originated in Babylon, Egypt, Greece or Mesopotamia. Babylonians greatest contribution to astrology is the
creation of an early calendar. Egyptians, on the other hand, invented the decanates,
periods of ten days, which were later applied to the zodiac, and were
responsible for the division of the day into 24 hours as against the Babylonian
12 hours. Greeks, with the intellectual’s help, created of a
horoscope chart. Mesopotamians established the common divisions of the
calendar in the West, still in use today, the months, weeks, days and hours. Each of these ancient civilizations deserves credit on the
foundation and development of today’s astrology, which are the horoscopes. What
is seen in the every newspaper, funfair and circus, as well as on the
Internet today would be the reflection of the ancient astrology.
 Whitfield Peter, Astrology: A History, p.7.
, American Federation of Astrologers Inc, History
 Parker Derek and Julian, A History Of Astrology,
 Wikipedia, Zodiac,
 American Federation of
Astrologers Inc, op. cit.,
 Parker Derek and Julian, op. cit., p.14.
 Hutin Serge, History of
Astrology; Science or superstition? p.45.
Bob Ancient Egyptian Magic.
 Campion Nick, Egyptian Astrology,
 Whitfield Peter, op. cit., p.33.
 Barton Tamsyn, Ancient
Astrology, p. 10-11.
 Hand Robert, The History of Astrology: Mesopotamian Astrology First Stages,
 Hutin Serge,
op. cit., p.42.
 Hutin Serge, op. cit., p.67.
 Astro-To-Go, History
of Astrology: Astrology Today
 Barton Tamsyn,
op. cit., p.1.
E M, The Rise of Modern Astrology.
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The historical foundations of astrology and its
Name: Kelly Liu
Prof.: W. H. Clarke