The History of Astrology – The Mysteries of the Universe Revealed

Astrology has been in existence for centuries.

Long before we had the world map, the constellation maps were already in existence.

People looked at the stars, sun and moon before they planted, hunted, or migrated.

It is a long practice that has helped civilization survive for centuries.

Sun and Moon

The Mesopotamian sky-watchers were the first to study and measure celestial bodies.

They identified constellations, known as “patterns formed by stars in the galaxy”.

These patterns are named soon after 3000 BC and recognized long before then.

The Babylonians flourished from 18th century BC – they had a system of counting minutes and seconds that modern astronomy is now based on!

Astrology history

Zodiac Signs & Astrology and Astronomy

The names for planets and zodiac signs come from Greece.

The Tetrabiblos, written by Ptolemy in 140 A.D., outlines the core techniques of astrology used to this day.

These include planetary movements like Mercury (Greek: Hermes) or Neptune (Poseidon).

The modern names for planets and signs of the zodiac originate with Greek literature dating back to 140 AD.

Evidence on where astrology first started dates back to the early Babylonian and Egyptian civilizations and their beliefs on the planets and stars.

Many practices have evolved over the centuries, and so has astrology.


Purposes of Astrology

Astrology is a tool used to map out your life and predict the future.

From this science, named genethlialogy [1], were developed the fundamental techniques of astrology from which various subdivisions derived.

General astrologers use tools such as horoscopes or natal charts to learn about themselves and their past.

While catarchic practitioners focus on personal growth through gradual development over time rather than sudden change in one event’s outcome.

It has evolved from being a prediction tool for seasons and has become more of a tool for living, becoming self-aware, planning, and understanding relationships.

Let’s take a look at the history of Astrology to better understand how it started, what it became, and what it is.

History of Astrology by Time Period

Let’s go way back in time first.

The Ancient World

The Ancient World - Scroll

Babylonian Astrology

This is the earliest record of astrology which dates back to the 2nd millennium BC where roots in Calendrical systems interprets celestial cycles as signs of divine communications and predicts seasonal shifts.

While around 1700 BCE, the Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa was compiled in Babylon.

It’s also said that during the reign of the Sumerian ruler Gudea of Lagash, a scroll that documents the early use of electional astrology was written in that era (2144 – 2124 BCE).

In 1950 – 1651 BC, the first dynasty of Mesopotamia used astrology as an integrated knowledge system.

Hellenistic Egypt

In the early 1st or 2nd century BCE, Hellenistic became common until the 6th or 7th century CE.

Hellenistic astrology brought about the twelve celestial houses, and it employs the use of the ascendant.

It also helped astrologers use the natal chart to find the positions of stars and planets at the time of an individual birth.

This tradition became popular in other regions several centuries later.

Medieval world

The middle ages has a rich and varied background across the globe.

Hindu Astrology

The Hindu traditional system of astrology is Jyotisha, which is Indian astrology or Vedic astrology.

Scholars believe the astrology Hindus practice is part of Hellenistic astrology, while other scholars believe it is part of Greek astrology.

Classical Indian astrology practiced today is based on early medieval compilations.

Medieval Islam Astrology 

This astrology tradition continued the Roman era and Hellenistic traditions.

history of Astrology in Medieval Islam

The Persians combined the disciplines of astrology and medicine by linking planets and specific zodiac signs with curative properties of herbs.

They also developed a system that calculated the difference between each planet of the zodiac and the ascendant.

European Astrology

Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican theologian, proposed that the stars rule the imperfect sublunary body.

Campanus of Novara thirteenth-century mathematician devised an astrological house system that divides the prime vertical into houses of equal 30 degrees arcs.


During the renaissance period, scholars practiced astrology to pay for their research in other fields.


Queen Elizabeth I of England had a personal astrologer, so did King Edward VI of England.

Almanacs interpreting celestial events and Ephemerides with complex astrological calculations were used in choosing times to plant crops and in medicine in Elizabethan England.

By the 17th century, astrology had become popular.

Everyone was using it, monarchs, theorists, social engineers, researchers, and the general population. 

Enlightenment Period

This period saw the belief in astrology fade away.

This was due to the Protestant reform movement, which later saw rationalism becoming popular.

People were emphasizing individualism, reason, and analysis and were against excessive authority, superstition, and control from institutions.

Science and skepticism were okay, but astrology was seen as mere entertainment.


The 19th century saw a revival in astrology, and this was due to newspaper horoscopes put out by the mass media.

The 20th century saw the development of psychological astrology by psychiatrist Carl Jung.

In recent times, computers make it easy and fast to cast charts, replacing charts by hand.



The belief in astrology can still be found lurking around the edges of our modern society.

It is true that it has been relegated to a position where it largely only appeals to members from certain cultures and those who are enthusiasts for this particular science.

Still, there are some universities that offer advanced degrees in astrology.

Newtonian physics has done most of the work in eradicating general beliefs about how one’s future might look based on what stars were aligned when they were born.

Yet Westerners (unlike Eastern people) cannot say with certainty whether or not their interest would wane over time as well because we don’t know if other cultural factors will continue influencing its popularity going into the future

Astrology has ancient roots and has had a huge influence on the human race.

We hope you enjoyed reading this brief history of astrology.

Those of us who believe can use it to glimpse into our future to see what the universe has in store for us.