Astrology Influence On Renaissance

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Astrology is the use of the relative positions of celestial objects to predict events on Earth. It is an ancient field of study, having been in use thousands of years before common era. Cultures around the world had been looking to the skies for forecasts on happenings in their everyday lives long before Europeans began to do so. In Europe, astrology never established itself as a large influence on society until the Renaissance came around, mostly due to the strict Catholic principles that bound people to a particular set of beliefs. Prior to the Renaissance, according to the Encyclopedia of the Renaissance by Paul F. Grendler, astrology was often “condemned as determinist or unreliable or irreligious.” However, as the Renaissance unfolded,…show more content…
Renaissance farmers did indeed look to the stars for guidance on growing their food, believing that the movements of celestial bodies impacted the size, amount, and rate of growth of their crops. They used astrological signs to determine where, when and how to plant. For example, many believed that the ideal time to plant seeds was a few days before the full moon, because gravitational changes caused by the moon would cause more groundwater to be brought to the crops, giving them a boost. Additionally, farmers made sure that their…show more content…
As a result, it was in most people’s best interest to know whatever information the astrologers could provide. Will the season be wet? Will there be a drought? Astrological signs provided the only answer. As a result, astrology had an enormous impact on agriculture. In fact, understanding cosmic phenomena became so important that, according to Renaissance and Reformation by Marshall Cavendish, it was commonplace for each and every family to own a “farmer’s almanac” for each year, a book that contained basic astrological data and its connections to potential weather patterns for the coming season. These almanacs were “cheap and hugely popular- hundreds of thousands were sold each year” (Cavendish 68). For those who wanted a more personalized analysis, a certain sum of money could be paid for an expert to provide his own instruction. All in all, the alignment of the stars had a huge influence over Renaissance farmers, who were willing to adjust their practices according to the forecasts made by
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