The Sun and Moon have played vital roles to early man and creature alike. Sea Turtles, when newly hatched, instinctively seek out the brightest point in the Sky, which for Eons has been the Moon over the ocean. African tribesmen used the “Horns” of the Crescent Moon to know when to plant seeds, and harvest. It is no wonder that the objects in the sky have deep meaning to us.
It is hard to say exactly when people began attributing the Stars and Planets with prophecy, it may well be a tradition as old as Civilization. Modern Astrology, however, has traceable roots and they lead us back to the Babylonians in 2,000 BCE. It was their system on Celestial Omens that formed the basis for Astrology as we know it today. Their system spread throughout the Ancient world, becoming infused with other Cultures, such as the Greeks (of which many of the names of Planets and Constellations as we know them today, were derived). By the 1st Century BCE, during the conquests of Alexander the Great, the Egyptian traditions were mixed in as well, giving us the horoscope.
As time Passed on Astrology and Astronomy, which in these times were one and the same, were pivotal in mathematical, astronomical, and even psychological progress. Many notable names in history practiced Astronomy as well as furthered the research of Astronomy, people such as Plato, Pythagoras, Galileo, and Kepler, to name a few.
It was not until the Scientific Revolution that Astrology and Astronomy truly split. This was when Astrology was first considered unscientific and unworthy of pursuit by many. For the claims Astrologers made were un-testable and often vague, thus Astronomy took its place in the light, and Astrology was reduced to more of a Cult practice.
I should note that this history focuses on the so-called “Western” Astrology. I will examine the Oriental and other Astrologies at a later time.