There are many people in the world that do not believe that astrology is a valid art – they will discount it as superstition and mumbo jumbo without really having that great an understanding of what astrology really is.
Sir Isaac Newton, one of the most famous and accomplished scientists in the history of the modern world was a firm believer in the properties and strengths of astrology, in fact when arguing about the validity of astrology he famously said to the noted astronomer and mathematician Sir Edmond Halley who had ridiculed his beliefs, “Sir, I have studied astrology, you have not.”
And herein lies a point – most of the people who dismiss astrology do so on the strength of the peripheral aspects of the science, without ever truly studying and trying to understand what astrology actually is.
Ironically, for much of mankind’s history, astrology and astronomy have been classed as the same science, in fact it is only fairly recently that they were split into different disciplines. During the formation of astrology as an art, it was impossible to be able to create astrological charts without also having a fair degree of knowledge of astronomy. Without charts of the heavens, astrology would not have advanced much beyond the form that was practiced by ancient man.
In the period that can probably be seen as the birth of modern astrology as we know it, the ancient Greeks had already begun to note the fundamental differences between the disciplines. The words ‘Astrologia‘ and ‘Astronomia‘ were largely interchangeable to the majority of people and often would be used indiscriminately in conversation, however they were not the same concept. Plato, the famous philosopher taught astronomia and he classed that this was a geometrical model of planetary phenomenon. However, knowledge of the differences between the two did not make any assumptions as to whether one was correct and the other not, they were both fully accepted in society.
However, both disciplines began to be seen as more than just different during the ‘Age of Reason’ (around 1700AD) a time which Immanuel Kant, the famous German philosopher described as “Mankind’s final coming of age, the emancipation of the human consciousness from an immature state of ignorance and error.” This was the beginning of astronomy being seen as the physical behaviour of the cosmos on a purely mathematical and logical basis – a science that exists only in quantifiable measures such as physics, chemistry, mathematics and so on. Astrology is less quantifiable in that the influences that the celestial bodies have on the influence on the interaction on life cannot be explained or proven through mathematical formulae.
As astronomy has moved on, it has diverged further and further away from astrology and as science advances and astronomers can learn to see further and further into the heavens, this divergence is set to continue.
There are fundamental differences between astrology and astronomy and that essentially means that while they both look to the heavens they are different and have become increasingly incompatible in many ways.
Astronomers look to understand the physics of the Universe, whereas astrologers use calculations for the position of the celestial bodies at certain times to drawn lines between astronomical astrology events and corresponding earthly events. Whereas astronomers use accepted and clearly delineated scientific principles in their work, astrologers use an amassed knowledge and instinctive intuition in theirs.
Astrologers know that the Universe is essentially harmonious and unchanging, astronomers know that the one of the characteristics of the Universe is that it is ever-expanding.
Astrologers know that the celestial bodies and their positioning in the heavens at any point in time determines an individual’s personality and future, astronomers know where the planets and stars are in the heavens and how they scientifically relate to each other and Earth, but have found no quantifiable evidence to support astrological theory.
The only real thing that astronomers will agree with astrologers with is that Earth is connected, an integral part of the fabric of the Universe and that our planet is part of a cohesive cosmos and the two are not separate entities.
Astrology can not provide empirically proven explanations because what astrologers do is not based on the ‘Known laws of nature’, whereas whatever is known in astronomy can be proven. By the same token, presently less is known about the Universe than is to be discovered. Hence, with our present level of understanding we perhaps cannot dismiss everything else that has not yet been proven.
It is perhaps a shame that astronomy and astrology seem to be so incompatible, as they are both fundamental truths and have existed for as long as each other and will both continue to exist as long as there are stars in the skies. Astrologers do not disbelieve astronomers or mock their science, the other way about is less forgiving and many astronomers cannot see any worth in astrology. However, on a day-to-day basis, more people do have more use for astrology than they do for astronomy. If you ask the majority of the general population to name all the signs of the zodiac, more will be able to answer, than would be able to name all the moons of Jupiter.