Astrology is a system that has been practiced for thousands of years, and up until the 18th century, there wasn’t really a division between it and astronomy. The astrologers were the astronomers, but this gradually started to change during the ‘Age of Rationalism’ in the 17th century, which gave birth to the ‘Scientific Revolution.’ As modern day science emerged and took astronomy along with it, it has dismissed astrology simply because they could not come up with a ‘rational’ explanation for how it works.
Fast forward to the 21st Century, and we now have NASA as well as other astronomers and scientists claiming that the Zodiac we are using today is ‘outdated’ because the stars have moved since its inception over 2000 years ago. To add even more confusion, they are also saying that there is a 13th constellation known as ‘Ophiuchus’ that astrologers were missing this whole time.
Understanding The Origins Of The Zodiac
The most common method of astrology used around the world today is what we refer to as ‘Western Astrology,’ which uses a 12 sign Tropical Zodiac. The division of this Zodiac was initially conceived over two thousand years ago by the Babylonians and then established/developed further by the Greeks. This occurred when the constellations resembling zodiac signs were more roughly ‘aligned’ with the zodiac we are still using today
When this zodiac was in the process of being established, astrologers would observe the conditions of the different periods of the year, including people born during those periods. They eventually divided the year up into 12 sections, what we now know as the ‘signs of the zodiac’. At that time, they correlated their real life observations of the 12 sections with their observations of the loosely aligned positioning of certain established constellations
During the establishment of the ’12 sections’, the Babylonians recognized at least 17 constellations that had already been observed by astrologers for thousands of years prior, but it in a different way from the Tropical Zodiac. To be clear, the Tropical Zodiac was developed by the observation of the 12 sections of the year in combination with the loose positioning of certain established constellations at that period of time. It was sort of like a synchronicity.
When addressing the origins of the qualities/characteristics of the 12 signs, one thing we need to consider is that what came first. The experience of a real Lion on the Earth or a vague looking Lion formed by the stars in the night sky? Think about it.
Humans associated the signs of the Zodiac based on their real life experiences of these animals/symbols. The position of constellations have definitely played a part, but they do not dictate the layout of the Tropical Zodiac.
Yes NASA, You Are Right. The Constellations Have Shifted, But That Is Irrelevant When It Comes To The Tropical Zodiac
Every 72 years, the positioning of the stars and constellations shift by 1 degree (from a geocentric perspective) due to the wobble of Earth’s axis. This is known as ‘precession.’ Astrologers have always been well aware of this but for some reason NASA, astronomers, and the scientific community seem to believe otherwise. Remember, up until three centuries ago, the astrologers were also the astronomers and they observed the sky obsessively. Of course they knew about the precession, and as a matter of fact, it was discovered in 127 BC by Hipparchus.
During 2nd Century AD, the awareness of precession became popularized by the historical figure Ptolemy. He clarified that the Zodiac they (the Greeks) were using was a ‘tropical coordinate system.’ The Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn) are to always stay aligned with the equinoxes and solstices, which is also the start of each season. This allowed the Zodiac to be evenly distributed and centered around Earth’s relationship to its Sun.
We have 3 signs per season. The ‘Cardinal’ signs are the first (Cardinal actually means first), then we have ‘Fixed’ signs which are locked in the middle of the seasons, and finally ‘Mutable’ signs as the last sign before transitioning to the next. Mutable signs have adaptable qualities, which makes sense for a sign that leads us to the next season…