What is Astrology?
Ancient civilizations were aware of the celestial bodies in the heavens and constructed societal structures such as agriculture in coordinate with the positions of the constellations.
Yet it was in the second millennium BCE in Mesopotamia that we see the first swirling of what we know today as Western Astrology.
Later, the Greeks would influence the direction of Astrology and sometime during the 6th Century BCE we started to see a shift from traditional uses for astrology (agricultural planning, marriage ceremonies etc.) towards a more interior, dare we say psychological, application of the stars.
This shift inward, towards the individuals relational aspects to the stars really propelled the movement of modern astrology which we see today. The movement of the Greko-Egyptian astrological towards focusing on the individuals experience in the world would as well foster the development of different sub-sects of the sciences like astronomy, mathematics, alchemy, chemistry, medicine, and psychology.
Thanks to scholars like Bill Hewitt, Dane Rudhyar and others who shaped New Age Astrology with a more humanistic and Jungian twist, we began to recognize that there is a sort of play involved in the application of the meanings inherent in each astrological sign to individual psychology.
Erik Davis writes in his book TechGnosis: Myth, Magic Mysticism in the Age of Information:
“This is the secret truth of the history of religions: not that religions are “nothing more” than fictions, crafted out of sociobiological need or wielded by evil priests to control ignorant populations, but that human reality possesses an inherently fictional or fantastic dimension whose “game engine” can — and will — be organized along variously visionary, banal, and sinister lines.”
Touching into this “game engine”, this realm of imagination and symbol, we are better able to program ourselves, freeing ourselves from the games of others, and resultantly we can begin to play our very own games, claiming the ultimate existential freedom.
Prior to these developments, astrology had been seen more in a literal sense until the evolution of sciences effectively relegated classical Astrology to the realm of pseudo-science. Yet, the rebirth of the inner world propagated by scholars like Jung and Rudhyar reclaimed the function of Astrology as a tool for inner exploration. Astrology is a point of reference to play with your own psyche, to investigate personal patterns and to challenge notions of the self.
Before entering the temple of knowledge, one must walk the path to self-discovery; “know thyself” (Greek transliterate: gnōthi seauton).
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