“Many of the great names in the history of our world civilization were astrologers.”
Excerpts from my 1st book: A New Age Christian: My Spiritual Journey
Nancy B. Detweiler, M.Ed., M.Div.
Recent history has trivialized the value of astrology in
Knowing ourselves and our world.
God Painting the Zodiac
“That all-in-existence is subject to God’s will is an essential beginning for the astrologer: ‘One Creator, One Creation’ should be the mantra for every astrologer! For, combining this latest statement with its forerunner—then man, God, and universe are an essential unity—allows the astrologer to seek in the Heavens for the evidence of God’s will for mankind, which will help the individual person as well as the community realize and act on the basic religious statement: ‘Make Thy will, my will.’” (Rabbi Joel C. Dobin, To Rule Both Day & Night)
“Astrology revealed to me His order and His beauty, and His place for me in the Divine balance that links God, man, and universe into One Balanced Process which never ends in this or on other planes of awareness of life.” (Rabbi Joel C. Dobin, To Rule Both Day & Night)
Astrology and astronomy were established as sciences around 5000 B.C.E. in Chaldea and Babylonia.26 Many of the great names in the history of our world civilization were astrologers. Our Western history books simply call them philosophers, astronomers, doctors of medicine, theologians, politicians, mathematicians—ignoring the fact that astrology played a major role in their lives and thinking.
Born in 572 B.C.E., Pythagoras, as a result of his study of the heavenly configurations, knew the Earth is round. Many of our history books ignore this fact. Through his study of the stars and their relationship to humanity (the science of astrology), Pythagoras developed his doctrine of the harmony existing between the heavens and our planet Earth, the macrocosm of the universe and the microcosm of humanity. After his murder, Empedocles, Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle continued the study of this doctrine.27 Aristotle taught that our planet is inescapably linked to the motions of the cosmos of which it is a member.28
From the earliest times, doctors of medicine are fascinated by the science of astrology. Hippocrates, born around 460 B.C.E. and known as the “Father of Medicine,” used astrology as the most scientific means of diagnosis available to the Greek physicians of his time. The Hippocratic School of Medicine focused on the study of the natal chart to determine the specific make-up of their parents.29 Galen, born in 30 C.E., is called the “Father of Experimental Physiology.” His treatise Prognostication of Disease by Astrology resulted in widespread knowledge of astrological medicine. A synthesis of medical thought and astrological medical knowledge, Galen’s books dominated the field of medicine for 1500 years.30
Born around 100 C.E., Ptolemy had the reputation for being the greatest astrologer/astronomer of all times. During Ptolemy’s day, “astrologia” and “astronomia” meant the same thing.31 His Tetrabiblos marked the culmination of astrological thought in the Graeco-Roman world. This book marked the end of the controversy concerning astrology. Tetrabiblos laid the foundation for the modern science of astrology. From that point on to the 17th century, astrology and medicine were allies.32
The 13th century poet Dante taught that the primary moving force for both God and humanity is love. He believed the heavenly host of stars and planets turned under the radiating influence of love. For Dante, physical life is explained in terms of the spiritual.33
Roger Bacon, born in 1214, taught the stars are regulated by angelic intelligences. An individual’s personal nature is determined by the heavenly configurations at the time of birth. Medical astrology is valid because the functions of the physical body are determined by the influence of the stars.34
Born around 1224, Thomas Aquinas is still considered to be one the great Christian theologians. He placed importance upon the science of astrology in the study of natural science. According to Aquinas, God rules the inferior creatures—our earthly bodies—through superior creatures—the stars. Both Bacon and Aquinas believed the rational soul of humanity and the gift of freewill to be exempt from stellar influence.35
Paracelsus was the most renowned and controversial advocate of astrology during the 15th century. Paracelsus taught that activity within the cosmos affects all else. Though he recognized the influence of the stars, he did not believe they completely controlled the destinies of humanity. Instead, he felt that humanity has the capacity to transcend the astrological influence of the stars. The means by which humanity can transcend the stellar influence is wisdom, acquired by the direct study of nature.36
Jerome Cardan, born in 1501, was one of the best minds of his age. A great mathematician, physician, and astrologer, Cardan distinguished himself by the cautious way in which he approached his research, seeking to confirm his assertions with solid facts. Appointed professor of medicine at Pavia in 1547, his published works on algebra and astrology brought him fame throughout Europe.37
In the late 15th century, the Roman church condemned astrology. Yet astrology continued to influence the greatest of minds. Among these is Nostradamus, a physician and astrologer born in 1503. Two great English scientists and astrologers were Edmond Halley, born in 1656, and Isaac Newton, born around 1642. Their laws of motion provided a firm foundation for astrological computation. Francis Bacon, born in 1561, recognized the connection between celestial and terrestrial phenomena; however, he opposed the natal chart and consulting astrology for predictions. He declared astrology to be filled with superstition in his De Augmentis Scientiarum.38
The list of great minds continues. Shakespeare, an astrologer in addition to being a playwright, depicted his characters using astrology correctly. William Lilly, born in 1602, and Nicholas Culpepper, born in the early 1600’s, were physicians who used medical astrology. Though modern astronomers seek to ignore the fact, Copernicus, Kepler (the “founder of modern astronomy and astrology”), and Galileo were all astrologers.39
Galileo’s experience offers an excellent example of how the Church hierarchy has controlled the information available to the laity. Born in 1564, a great inventor, experimental philosopher, and astrologer, Galileo invented the telescope. As a result of the telescope, new scientific discoveries were made. Galileo attempted to reconcile these scientific discoveries with the Christian faith in a series of articles: “Letters of Sunspots,” “Letter to Castelli,” and “Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina.” His work was to no avail. In 1615, a group of eleven theologians pronounced Galileo’s belief in heliocentric theories absurd, heretical, and contrary to the Scriptures. In 1633, a papal court sentenced Galileo to prison. Galileo recanted belief in the Copernican theory that the Earth moves around the Sun and was placed under house arrest in the custody of a friend.40
Born in 1596, Descartes believed it important to record the positions of the planets at the moment of birth because immediately after birth, the brain tissues set themselves and conserve throughout life the first impressions they received.41
During the four hundred years since Descartes, the empirically based scientific community has sought to deny the validity of astrology. However, it has been unable to prove any falsehoods in astrological beliefs. Instead, an increasing number of scientists are actually studying the impact of the stars and planets upon humanity. They are even willing to speak out for astrology.42 In fact, scientific evidence now demonstrates that astrology works.43
World renown psychiatrist Carl Jung believed that “synchronicity” explains how astrology works. Planets do not cause certain events. Instead, they are symbols of cosmic forces. The patterns they form synchronize with events on our planet Earth. In later life, Jung used the natal chart as a tool for working with his patients.44
Dane Rudhyar calls the natal chart the individual’s “celestial name.” (Dane Rudhyar, The Astrological Houses: The Spectrum of Individual Experience) It is a map of the soul that, if used correctly, guides the person in selecting the most beneficial ways to live out this earth plane existence. The whole spectrum of choices is visible in the natal chart. God’s overall divine plan is stamped on the chart. This divine plan represents the most positive way for the soul to unfold during its incarnation on planet Earth. A passage of Scripture comes to mind: “Your eyes beheld my unformed substance. In your book were written all the days that were formed for me, when none of them as yet existed.” (Psalm 139:16)
26 Zohar, The History of Astrology (New York: Arco Publishing Co., Inc. 1972) 13-14.
27 Zohar 38.
28 Zohar 53.
29 Zohar 47.
30 Zohar 69.
31 Zohar 76. Also see definition #1 for astrology on pg. 111 in Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary.
32 Zohar 76-83.
33 Zohar 113.
34 Zohar 114-116.
35 Zohar 116.
36 Zohar 150-159.
37 Zohar 160-161.
38 Zohar 176-244.
39 Zohar 198-234.
40 Zohar 227-232.
41 Zohar 250.
42 Zohar 270.
43 Francis King, The Cosmic Influence (New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1976) 43.
44 King 36-45.
Filed under: History of Astrology | Comments Off