Astrology

From Citizendium, the Citizens' Compendium
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is a stub and thus not approved.
Main Article
Talk
Related Articles  [?]
Bibliography  [?]
External Links  [?]
Citable Version  [?]
 
This editable Main Article is under development and not meant to be cited; by editing it you can help to improve it towards a future approved, citable version. These unapproved articles are subject to a disclaimer.

Astrology (from Greek αστήρ, αστρός, astér, astrós, "star", and λόγος, λόγου, lógos, lógou, "word, reason", hence -λόγια, -logia, "study of") [1] consists of belief systems and practices that relate the patterns and positions of celestial bodies to human personality, human affairs, and (in some practices) all terrestrial events.[2] Some modern writers such as Alice Bailey and Allan Oken[1] also relate astrology to the soul. The scientific community, however, almost universally considers astrology to be a pseudoscience or superstition, and there is no widely accepted scientific evidence for its validity.

In astrology, the patterns of human life and nature in general are seen as correspondent with celestial patterns, specifically with the position and movement of the Sun and planetary bodies as they appear against the backdrop of the Zodiac as viewed from Earth. This is expressed in the fundamental astrological axiom, "As above, so below."[2] Many traditions and applications of astrological concepts have arisen since its earliest recorded beginnings. Beck and Denison cite Greek astrology of 410 BC as well as the earlier Babylonian astrology of about 3500 BC.[3][4] Astrology was practiced in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.[5]

Advocates have defined astrology as a symbolic language, an art form, a science, and a method of divination.[6][7] The connotation of "science" in astrology is based on its roots in ancient astronomy. (See Tycho Brahe, and Ptolemy.) But astrology has more relationship to religion,[3] mythology, psychology, and philosophy, than to the physical science of astronomy. In this connection Pengree writes that astrological influences, "...indicate trends which may be changed by future astral influences or by the intervention of a super-natural being, usually on the pleading or at the behest of an astrologer or of a priest."[8]

Astrologers utilize some astronomical calculations, but otherwise, astrology—in ancient times, unified with it—is now divorced from astronomy. Fisher suggests the divorce relates to the invention of the telescope, which revealed that the Sun, and not the Earth, is the center of the solar system.[9] However, other writers highlight the broader fundamental conflict between religion and science and the general dominance of scientifically influenced world views.[10][11] Lakatos makes the cleavage of world views more specific by noting that astrology is not "logically derivable from shared premises."[12]

References

  1. Oken, Alan, Soul-Centered Astrology, Doubleday, 1990
  2. Bobrick, Benson: The Fated Sky: Astrology in History, Simon and Schuster, 2006, p. 23
  3. Beck, Roger, A Brief History of Ancient Astrology, Blackwell Publishing, 2007, p. 12, 14
  4. Denison, Stephen, The American Antiquarian and Oriental Journal, Jameson & Morse, 1905
  5. Charles George Herbermann, et al. The Catholic Encyclopedia, Appleton Co., 1913 p. 19
  6. The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Encyclopaedia Britannica,' v.5, 1974, p. 916
  7. Dietrich, Thomas: 'The Origin of Culture and Civilization, Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists, 2005, p. 305
  8. David Pingree in: Wiener, Philip P., The Dictionary of the History of Ideas, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1973-74, p. 118
  9. Fisher, Gordon: Marriage and Divorce of Astronomy and Astrology, Lulu.com, 2002, p. 182
  10. Jastrow, Morris , The Study of Religion, W. Scot, 1902 p 308
  11. David Pingree in: Wiener, Philip P., The Dictionary of the History of Ideas, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1973-74, p. 126
  12. Lakatos, Imre & Alan Musgrave, Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge, Cambridge University Press, 1970 p. 9