Astrology is a type of divination based upon the idea that information about the future or about a person’s personality can be discovered through examining the alignment of stars, planets, moons and comets. Astrology attempts to interpret the influence of these celestial bodies on human affairs.
The practice of astrology has been prevalent since ancient times.
Some well-known ancient civilizations used this field extensively. Greek astronomer Ptolemy was the first ever person to write a book on Astrology. He codified the sun sign astrology that we know today. Ptolemy tried to predict the positions of celestial bodies relative to each other and the earth through knowledge of their orbital motions. During his time, astrology was a part of astronomy. Later, astronomy became an exact science and Astrology remained a part of Theology.
Apart from being centers of medicine, Baghdad and Damascus were also known as centers of astrology and astronomy. Arabs were pioneers in astronomy before even the advent of Islam. The Babylonians were the first to name the days of the week after the Sun, Moon, and planets. They were also the first to set out the twelve houses of the horoscope.
Egypt was one of the most important places in the development of astrology. It is thought that some of the astrological signs of the zodiac originated in Egypt.
Astrology was practiced even in the Vedic times in India. Astrology is one of the six disciplines of vedanga. The Hindus believe that human fortune or misfortune in life is due to karma, and karma is believed to be influenced by the movements of the planets. In Modern India too, astrology is extensively used to determine the future and improve life. It is used to make decisions about marriage, starting a new business, or moving into a new house.
Chinese astrology emphasises the four elements: air, water, fire, and earth. Even the zodiac signs used by Chinese Astrology are different from other forms of astrology. China was isolated from the western civilizations for a long time. That is why for hundreds of years Chinese astrology was unknown to the western world.