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About 2,000 years ago, the signs of the zodiac (familiar from newspaper horoscopes) and the actual constellations corresponded to each other. This is not so any longer. Your horoscope sign may be Aries (the Ram), but this does not mean that the Sun was in the constellation of Aries when you were born Quite probably the Sun was in Pisces (the Fishes) at the time. The reason for this is that the constellation names and dates in newspaper horoscope columns correspond to those in a book on astrology written by the astronomer Ptolemy nearly 2,000 years ago. The zero point or the start of the sequence of constellations was the vernal equinox, the point where the Sun on March 21 crosses the celestial equator going from the southern to the northern celestial hemisphere. However, this zero point is not fixed but moves slowly relative to the stars and constellations. The time interval from then until now has resulted in a change of about one constellation. This motion makes a full circle every...
The best way to define astrology is to say that it is the superstition of the stars. Each celestial body is supposed to have a definite influence upon the character and destiny of each human being, and by casting a horoscope, which is basically a chart of the positions of the planets at the time of the subject's birth, an astrologer claims to be able to foretell the destiny of the person for whom the horoscope is cast. There may have been some excuse for this sort of thing in the Dark Ages, but there is none today. The best that can be said of astrology is that it is fairly harmless so long as it is confined to circus tents and the less serious columns of the Sunday newspapers.
No longer willing to keep his love of astronomy secret, he decided to take a first step away from the education that had been chosen for him. Brahe did this by enrolling in an astrology course. It was not long before he began to formulate horoscopes for important men. He also began a notebook on celestial observations, the first of what would become many of his observation logs. His goal was to work out the most accurate planetary predictions that had ever been. He began this first log in late summer 1563.
In 1628, Albrecht von Wallenstein, generalissimo to Emperor Ferdinand II and duchy of Friedland and Sagan, Germany, offered Kepler a position as his astrologer. Kepler moved his family to Sagan in order to carry out his duties to Wallenstein, which involved casting horoscopes. Neither man was satisfied with the other. Kepler hated the work, and Wallenstein appeared to want Kepler around merely as a showpiece in court and did not take Kepler seriously. Leaving his family behind, Kepler soon set out from Sagan in search of a new job and to attempt to collect wages still owed to him by the emperor.
After the fall of the Assyrian empire, there was a shift in astrological emphasis, particularly during the Persian occupation. Although astronomical observations continued to be made, the role of astrology in making political decisions declined, and a new form developed that related to predicting one's individual destiny based on the positions of the heavenly bodies in the sky at the time of conception or (more practically) at birth natal astrology. The idea was that the configuration of heavenly bodies when one came into the world would influence a person's subsequent personality and destiny. Once again, the link between the heavens and the Earth was presupposed, but this time the effects of this relationship were personal and potentially available to everyone, although astronomy historian Nicholas Campion states that the small number of surviving birth charts compared with the large number of astronomical tables suggests that the former were mainly used by the social elite. Campion...
To be able to cast horoscopes, students needed more advanced courses to learn to use tables of planetary motion so that they could find the positions of the planets for the date of the horoscope. In the winter term of 1493, Copernicus heard lectures on the Tabulae resolutae (Handy tables), astronomical charts that were especially popular in Cracow. Perhaps it was at this time that he obtained and had bound together printed copies of two sets of astronomical tables, along with 16 blank pages for extra notes. One, the
Astronomical work in the Middle Ages centered mainly on its utility in setting the feast days of the Church, that is, the construction of church calenders, but the continuing interest in astrology also caused a demand for improved astronomical accuracy for horoscopes and astrological forecasts of a wider nature such practices were officially condemned but frequently and sometimes widely practiced. In fact, Tertullian 150 220 a.d. , one of the early Fathers of the Church, made use of an astrological argument, among other tactics, to attempt to alleviate persecutions of Christians. His letter to Scapula, the Roman governor, refers to the portents of the solar eclipse of August 14, 212
Astrology has traditionally dealt with the belief that the movements of the planets influence events on Earth. The belief is still with us, and it seems to be as popular as ever. Personal astrology, examples of which are found in most newspapers under horoscopes, operates under the assumption that the planetary configurations at the time of the birth of an individual in some way determine that individual's prospects and fate. Most newspaper horoscopes refer only to the astrological signs associated with birthdates and not to the circumstances of any particular year of birth. These can be considered primitive forms of horoscopes the casting of more elaborate types has been carried out since the 5th century b.c. or earlier in Mesopotamia. The heliocentric advocate and pioneer of modern astronomy, Johannes Kepler, cast horoscopes for the generals of the Holy Roman Empire as part of his duties as Imperial Math ematician. Today, most respectable scientists take a dim view of such activity,...
The sun rises against ( in ) a particular constellation on a particular day of the year, after about 2200 years (25,776 years of precessional cycle divided by 12, the number of zodiacal constellations, gives 2148 years), it will rise on the same day in the background of the constellation located to the left of the original one. In particular, the constellation against the background of which the sun rises at the vernal equinox defines what is usually called a zodiacal age'' (currently we are at the end of the Age of Pisces and passing into the Age of Aquarius). Once again, however, I stress that we are speaking here of a well-defined, very slow but observable physical phenomenon using a traditional terminology curiously, the so-called signs of the zodiac used in horoscopes, which (according to modern astrologers) should enable our destinies to be forecast, are actually well out-of-date, exactly because of precession.
The Babylonians were skilled astronomers though their world-picture was naive. They observed the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets and stars for many centuries with great accuracy. They found that they could predict eclipses. Their observations were motivated by their belief that the future of human beings could be predicted from celestial configurations and events such as eclipses or the appearance of comets. Because of this, kings kept court astrologers and the wealthy paid for horoscopes. This belief in astrology, found in all nations, should have withered away with alchemy and the search for the philosopher's stone but even today there are many who set great faith in this pseudo-science. It is perhaps needless to say that modern astronomy demonstrates how ludicrous such beliefs are.
Even as late as the 16th century, many scientific researchers, such as the German mathematician Johannes Kepler, sold horoscopes on the side for extra income. Kepler, in his first astrological calendar, proudly predicted a cold spell and a Turkish invasion of Styria (now Austria). Not only did he peddle forecasts, he deeply believed that they offered special insight into the determinants of human character. He once wrote that his father was vicious, inflexible, quarrelsome and doomed to a bad end because of the clashing influences of Venus and Mars.
During Kepler's lifetime, his studies did not receive the attention they deserved. He himself never came to know the true significance of his own work. For Kepler, the universe was still finite with the stars sitting on the last sphere. Inside this sphere was our world, subject to the mathematical laws of Nature. This was the message of Kepler, whose one foot was in the past casting horoscopes, while the other one stretched toward modern astrophysics. He no longer believed in material planetary
Astrologers have their horoscopes, but amateur astronomers have tel-o-scopes. What telescope is in your future Perhaps the stars can tell us. To be perfect partners, you and your telescope have to be matched both physically and emotionally. Without this spiritual link, dire consequences can result. Here are eight questions to help you focus in on which telescope is best matched to your profile. Answer each question as honestly and realistically as you can remember, there is no right or wrong answer.
Chapter 27 is devoted to the casting of a horoscope for Ferrara and offers a worked example. We are told that the Sun is in Sgr 17 20 at 18 24h, counted from true noon. In Table 85, sub-table for the Sun in Sagittarius, we find 23 3h for 17 and 23 8h for 18 , in the column headed merid. By interpolation, the normed right ascension, expressed in hours and minutes, corresponding to the given position is 23 4,40h. We are then told to add it to the given time and to subtract 24h from the sum. The result is 17 28,40h. This value is the entry in the column headed horolo., i.e., the oblique ascension, expressed in hours and minutes. The closest values in this column are 17 24h and 17 29h, corresponding to the ascendants Sgr 1 ( 241 ) and Sgr 2 ( 242 ), respectively, found in the sub-table for the Sun in Gemini. In the Toledan Tables, p(241 ) 260 57 17 24h, and p(242) 262 15 17 29h, in agreement with the text.49 We note that Table 85A (ed. 1526) has different values, 17 22h and 17 27h,...
Planispheres and astrolabes were used extensively by astrologers in medieval Europe to construct horoscopes (Figure 1.3). Although we now know that astrology is pseudoscience, without any scientific merit, there was no shortage of eminent practitioners in the West who combined astrology with their more serious astronomical pursuits. For example, Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), brilliant mathematician and originator of the laws of planetary motion, was convinced of the merits of astrology and devised his own system based upon harmonic theory. Some 800 horoscopes formulated by Kepler are still in existence, and certain lucky predictions for the year 1595 - including foretelling a peasants' revolt, forebodings of incursions by the Ottoman Empire in the east, and predictions of a spell of bitter cold - brought his astrological talents into great renown.
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