Astrology Essay

3475 Words 14 Pages
The basic astrological assumptions are not hard to grasp. For if astronomy is the study of the movements of the heavenly bodies, then astrology is the study of the effects of those movements. The astronomers of the ancient world assumed a division of the universe whereby the superior, immutable bodies of the celestial worlds ruled over the terrestrial or sublunary sphere, where all was mortality and change. It was assumed that the stars had special qualities and influences which were transmitted downwards upon the passive earth, and which varied in their effect, according to the changing relationship of the heavenly bodies to each other. They were led to postulate a single system in which the seven moving stars or planet shifted their …show more content…
The details of the client's nativity were also needed before he could avail himself of the astrologer's third main service, that of making elections or choosing the right moment for the right action. By comparing the relationship between the tendencies indicated by the client's horoscope with what was known about the future movement of the heavens, certain times could be identified as more favorable than others for embarking upon any potentially risky undertaking, such as going on a journey or choosing a wife. Finally there were horary questions the most controversial part of the astrologer's art, and one that had only been developed after the days of Ptolemy by the Arabs. Its optimistic assumption was that the astrologer could resolve any question put to him by considering the state of the heavens at the exact moment when it was asked.
These four spheres of activity - general predictions, nativities, elections and horary questions - formed the sum of the astrologer's art. An individual might specialize in one rather than another but he was expected to be a master of them all. He might also possess a certain amount of medical learning. Different signs of the zodiac were thought to rule over different parts of the body, and a proper election of times had to be made for administering medicine, letting blood or carrying out surgical operations.
The availability of English treatises on astrology is a poor measurement for the actual
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