Speaking as a long time astrologer, I get frustrated by the trivialising of this ancient subject, which is often simply referred to as ‘star signs‘.
Recently we had the reemergence of that ‘old chestnut’ regarding the supposed 13th sign of the zodiac, namely Ophiuchus. For me and many astrologically minded people, this is wrong. The zodiac, the equal division of the ecliptic into twelve, that’s the apparent path of the sun around us, is only nominally related to the constellations.
There was a time when astrology and astronomy were the same sacred science. There was the matter of observation, followed by prognostication and prediction.
A Royal Practice
The scientist-priests of Babylon were some of the earliest known exponents of this noble function, which was propagated by many a royal family over the millennia from ancient China to Britain.
This broadly remained the same until the so called ‘Enlightenment’ of the 18th century. Astronomy, the observation of celestial phenomena was finally divorced from astrology, the latter being largely demonised and ridiculed ever since.
Triviality and Bifurcation
Whilst it is true the present day astrological community might not do itself any favours by giving too much credence to sun sign astrology to ‘make a living’, it is also true that the practice of astrology has bifurcated to an alarming degree, a bit like the church into a myriad denominations.
Although I would not like to see more control of astrological ‘tenets’, per se, I do think there is a need for simplification and tradition being reintroduced. At the moment I believe it is up to every individual astrologer to self assess.
So is astrology a science? Yes it is – but it is also an interpretive art based upon what should be a sacred science. May the sacred return to us all – and soon.
Copyright Francis Barker 2020