After skimming through dozens of adverts, I finally found the corresponding article. Apparently, I needed to know my skin horoscope and my regular horoscope. I needed to know what my Tinder matches sign was telling me about them. I needed to know about my past-life energy and a Cosmo writer who actually quit her job because her horoscope said it was a good idea.
All extremely informative content according to Cosmo, none of which was written in jest. The project has since been shut down and combined with VICE, yet a webpage remains with some of the archives and original subsections. Allure magazine currently has a featured piece on Tarot readings and entire sections dedicated to astrology. Could this just be an overall trend for media though? Esquire, Maxim, and all the rest came back with practically blank search results as well.
We are aware in modern times that nothing that happens in the stars is going to impact your daily life short of our sun blowing up or a meteor hitting the earth. There is no proof astrology has real-world consequences.
Some would argue this is all just for fun. Why am I reading featured articles about people genuinely quitting their jobs due to their horoscopes? Many of the people reading magazines like Cosmopolitan are young, some are impressionable, and most are genuinely looking for guidance.
The Abrahamic faiths or Eastern belief systems have thousands of years of history and tradition behind them that are worthy of discussion, even the greatest non-religious thinkers find themselves analyzing parables and what we can learn from them. Prayer, deeper thinking, and metaphysical questions on the eternal are all worthy subjects of discourse. I could perhaps see the benefit of discussing historical astrology and the traditions it stemmed from, much like the faiths I mentioned previously. Which is a no. My skin has never looked better, and as for my wallet situation?
A little precarious. I can hardly say these readings hold a light to all-encompassing lessons found within Christs Prodigal Son tale or ancient Buddhist parables. Unfortunately, there are a few reasons this trend will continue to grow. If they make more money and get more clicks by giving women bad advice, or even selling them straight nonsense like astrology, they will do it. Young women are genuinely looking for direction, we want a belief system and an explanation for the chaos that is modern life.
We are deep thinkers. I happen to think women are capable of deeper thought. I also happen to think anyone who is interested in elevating women in this world and empowering them should be strongly against cultural trends that try to push ladies into low-tier thinking. Forget about man-spreading or mansplaining, if we want to elevate women then female writers and content creators need to respect their intelligence first.
Only then can we elevate modern women beyond the celebrity gossip, makeup obsessed, astrology touting stereotypes used to make a mockery of us.
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- Babylonian Beginnings.
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The astrologers observed the movements of the planets and assigned them godlike features and powers. Each planet represented a god or a goddess and ruled certain areas of life. The astrologers advised the rulers and interpreted the pattern of planetary movements as omens or signs for understanding the future. The practice is deeply rooted in the concept of Divination an important aspect of the Mesopotamian life. Divination was employed as a technique to communicate with gods, who according to the Mesopotamian religious thought, shaped the destinies of humans and controlled all events in the cosmos.
Divination presupposes supernatural cause and effect in all perceived phenomena and assumes the cooperation of the gods in their willingness to reveal their future intentions. Observing the planets resulted in rudimentary scientific advances in astronomy and the practitioners of the prophetic aspects of astronomy became astrologers with great prestige and influence.
The oldest records are astrological omens preserved from the reign of king Ammi-saduqa BC. Appearance and disappearance of the planet Venus behind the sun is recorded primarily for interpretation of omens. The observations might have been important to the regulation of the calendar as well.
More records exist from the later periods and most are from the library and archive of Assurbanipal at Nineveh BC. Celestial omens are discovered in at least 70 tablets with observations relating to the moon occupying 23 tablets. Meteorological phenomena thunder, rain, hail and earthquakes are also observed and thought to have prophetic validity. Six observatories located in different cities including Babylon itself are mentioned in the tablets. Remnants of the Babylonian practice, such as the omens and settings of the planets and stars merged with Egyptian traditions.
Scientists from both nations made accurate measurements of areas using geometry and developed arithmetic in an algebraic direction. Mathematical astronomy was used to build multistory ziggurat towers Choga Zanbil in Susa is an example built by the Elamite. They recorded empirical observations of the sun, the moon and the arrangement of the planets and constellations. Tables with astronomical computations of the distances between stars have been preserved and contain information on the basic fixed stars and constellations, their relative positions, periods of the solar rising and settings, etc.
Around BC the astronomical knowledge of the Babylonians was passed on to the Greeks, who identified 48 constellations. The Greeks employed geometrical explanations of motion rather than the numerical relationships the Babylonians used. As a result Greeks progressed in astronomy and moved slowly into pure sciences while Babylonians remained closer to vernacular astrology.
As Ishtar of Erech in Babylonia she was worshipped in connection with the evening star, while as Ishtar of Akkad also in Babylonia she was identified with the morning star. Ishtar was called "the eldest of heaven and earth", and daughter of Anu, the god of heaven. She was the goddess of love and beauty, the "Great Mother", and to the Assyrians, a goddess of hunting and war. Greeks identified Ishtar with the goddess Venus. The earliest formal calendar in Mesopotamia was probably the Sumerian lunar calendar.
The lunar calendar required intercalation insertion of days or other portions of time in calendars and was later improved by the Babylonia priests. They intercalated months according to an 8-year cycle when they would add 3 extra months. The calendar months started with the direct observation of a new crescent moon at dusk.
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Today Judaism and Islamic calendars still use the same principle that the new calendar day begins at sunset. The constellations of the Zodiac preserved at the British Museum from this period have several familiar representations. The Bull, the Tortoise, a female figure with wings, the Scorpion, the Archer and the Goat-fish are all portrayed on stones, cylinder seals and gems. Calendars extensively utilized all such information and were both civil and religious institutions. Their origin was attributed to be the work of Gods and Goddesses. The time of Persian dominion, particularly from the last quarter of the fifth century BC until the Greek conquest was the most creative period for Babylonian mathematical astronomy.
Astronomical schools existed in Uruk, Sippar, Babylon and Borsippa. The Achaemenians maintained an atmosphere favorable to the development of science. Under Darius a great Babylonian astronomer, Nabu-rimanni Naburianus , was instructed to carry out a study of lunar eclipses and arrived at calculations more accurate than those of Ptolemy and Copernicus. His works were translated and used for many centuries by all including Seleucid and Parthian rulers of Persia. His picture of Heavens was borrowed by the Greeks and eventually reached the famous Greek scientist Democritus.
All were used extensively by Greek astronomers including the brilliant Eudoxus of Cnidus, precursor of Euclid. Another well known Babylonian astronomer under Persian rule, Kidinnu Cidenas of Sippar, distinguished the solar year from the lunar, discovered the precession of the equinoxes and arrived at an exact calculation of the length of the year, making an error of only 7 minutes, 41 seconds.
Female in Astrology
The advances enabled the astronomers to draw almanacs for the ensuing year. Almanacs in which eclipses of the sun and the moon, and times of the new and full moon were accurately noted. Also the positions of the planets throughout the year were determined using astrological charts. There are tablets that set forth observations of Jupiter from the 43rd year of the reign of Artaxerexes II to the thirteenth year of Alexander the Great.
Some old Persian names in astronomy have barely survived. The names of the four "Royal Stars" which were standing guard at the equinoxes and solstices still resembles the modern ones. Despite all advances astronomy remained inseparably linked to astrology.
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Astronomical texts, in particular, contain allusions to the ties between the stars and various illnesses. By the end of the Achaemenid period in Babylonia and other territories under Persian rule science had declined and the potential for its development was stalled. Science was no opponent of religion in the ancient times. In fact it developed in the shadow of temples and was influenced by religion.
By this time the dominance of religious concepts hindered new methods and modes of thought for understanding nature.
The Greeks introduced the next major change. They launched new ideas that revolutionized science in general including astronomy and astrology. Empiricism and experimentation were encouraged and metaphysical basis of natural phenomenon was rejected. They adopted Babylonian, Egyptian and Persian knowledge, mixed it with Greek thought, developed it and through the medium of Greek made them universal.
The latter Hellenistic Greek astrologers of Egypt attribute the root of their discipline to Nechepso and Petosiris, an Egyptian pharaoh and his high priest. By 1st century BC the entire apparatus of horoscopic astrology was in place and the language of Egyptian astrology had become Greek. The famed Greek astrologer, Valens traveled throughout Egypt and studied with at least a few living teachers of the old traditions and recorded his observations.
Originally the astrology texts were written in Coptic, the last form of ancient Egyptian, but no clear reference to any has survived.
The Hellenistic Egypt systematized the omen materials of the earlier Babylonian astrologers. Many astrological methods, such as the use of 12 houses, lots and aspects were developed at this time and spread throughout the area by the Greek writers. By the 2nd century BC the Greek scientist Hipparchus developed the mathematical astronomy that was given its final form by Ptolemy in the second century AD.
The Parthians were hostile to the Greeks and later the Romans and effectively cut off communication between the main body of Hellenistic peoples and Persians plus the Bactrian Greeks in Afghanistan and Pakistan. There are no material left from this time but its impact on Indian and Hebrew astrology has left its mark. There are fragments in Hebrew astrology that are unlike the Hellenistic astrology that was emerging at the same time. The emphasis of Light and Dark recalls the Zoroastrian religion and the impact of Persian astrology.
This omen-like material of reading bodily characteristics as personality or morality traits seems to have also been influenced by the Persian astrology. This is the account of dynastic history in terms of cyclical periods of varying lengths of time governed by the stars and planets. However despite hostility by the Parthians, Greek sciences, arts and philosophy remained and with the coming of Sassanian rulers they reached a new peak and advances were made in the field. The Sassanian Empire of Persia , with its state religion of Zoroastrianism, saw itself as heir to the legendary Achaemenid dynasty and their civilization, and developed an ideology and culture to reflect and promote this image.
An imposing succession of Sassanian emperors actively engaged in collecting, recording and editing the historical and religious record of their civilization and the neighboring countries. Destruction of Persia by Alexander dispersed the texts throughout the world. The Greeks, the Egyptians derived all their knowledge and science from these dispersed texts. Subsequently Sassanian emperors took it upon themselves to collect all these texts from all over". The sources name, Byzantium, India and China as the main centers where book collecting was taking place.
Such activities reached their peak at the time of Khosro I Anoshirvan, Greek Philosophers, Syriac speaking Christians and Nestorians fleeing persecution by the Byzantines Orthodox Christians of Constantinople were received by Anoshirvan and were commissioned to translate Greek and Syriac texts into Pahlavi. Paul the Persian dedicated Works of logic to the king. Dinkard itself shows familiarity with all these topics, especially Aristotelian physics.
Indian scientific material in astronomy, astrology, mathematics and medicine were also translated into Pahlavi. The Book of Nativities Kitab al-Mawalid was a five part astronomical work that was translated from Pahlavi into Arabic in Astrological history was important to Sassanian Imperial ideology. The stars decreed the fate of the mortals and the kings expected to receive special protection. Shahnameh is full of stories where the fate of the heroes is sealed in the astronomical charts read at the time of their birth.
Ptolemy and Greek astronomy was very well known in Iran. To what extent astronomy was separated from astrology is not clear and very likely astrology would have dominated the field. The Muslim Arabs destroyed almost all of the literature of the Zoroastrian Sassanian including their astrological works. However there are some clues as to what their astrology might have been.
Most of the greatest astrologers in the Islamic era were Persians! The astrology Iranians taught is quite different from both the Hindu and the Greek traditions.
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It had orbs of aspect, the Great Cycles of Jupiter and Saturn, all of the elaborate systems of planetary interactions such as Frustration, Abscission of Light, Translation of Light and so forth. While Muslim era astrology owes a large debt to Hellenistic astrology, it is also clear that in the two or three centuries between the last known Hellenistic astrologers and the first known Muslim ones, something new had come into the field. This was very likely the Persian stream of astrology. Indian scientific material in astronomy, astrology, mathematics and medicine were translated into Pahlavi along with Chinese Herbal medicine and religion.
The books were kept at the university and the royal libraries and Greek sciences flourished. The Arab conquest in 7th century introduced many changes. The destruction of major cities, libraries, and eventual closure of universities in Alexandria, Antioch and Persia in the long run stalled development of science and technology except for the first years.
The destruction of such major centers of learning with the compulsory use of Arabic made it clear to the scholars and intellectuals that all pre-Islamic knowledge and national identities were in danger of total obliteration and they had to be preserved. Massive and heroic efforts were made to save the ancient knowledge. The result was the formation of a dynamic and significant translation movement for almost two hundred years till 10th century. This is the period that is known as the Golden age of Islam. Pre-Abbasid translations from Pahlavi included major religious, literary and historical texts.
With the Abbasid the translation of scientific texts was added. Nawbakht the court astrologer and his son Abu Sahl and other colleagues Fazari and Umar Tabari and many others sponsored by the Barmakid family the chief ministers to the early Abbasids who were murdered later translated and promoted Pahlavi texts into Arabic and Neo-Persian. They were all Iranians and aimed to incorporate Sassanian culture into Abbasid ideology and guarantee the continuity of the Iranian heritage.
Christian and Jewish learned families of Sassanian Persia such as Bukhtishu and Hunyan families were also great translators of Syriac Greek Pahlavi and other texts into Arabic. Both families had served at Jundishapur University for generations and were instrumental in founding the Adudi Hospital and Medical School in Baghdad.
Baghdad a suburb of Ctesiphon was chosen as the site of the New Abbasid capital Baghdad is Persian and means God given, it was founded in by Mansur. The Royal library was based on the Sassanian model and was called the same name house of knowledge, Bayt al-Hikmat. The famed Iranian mathematician and astronomer Musa Khawrazmi was employed full time by the library at this time.