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  • Writer's pictureDEEPA KANSRA

Astrology and Astronomy

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

Astrology and Astronomy

Astrology and astronomy are as old as human civilization. 🔯

Astrology is defined as the study of the celestial sky to predict future events and explain the experiences of life. According to Carlson, the fundamental thesis of natal astrology is;

…the positions of the planets at the moment of birth can be used to determine the subject's general personality traits and tendencies in temperament and behavior, and to indicate the major issues with which one is likely to contend (Carlson)

On the other hand, astronomy is defined as the study of celestial objects including nature , structure, movement and basic laws. According to Pannekoek, astronomy studies the heavenly bodies including their nature, structure, composition, movement and fundamental laws. The subject of astronomy is said to hold a special place in the history of human culture. (Anton Pannekoek).

Astronomy and Human Affairs

In astrology, it is common practice to use the knowledge of astronomy to predict planetary influences in an individual horoscope. The planet Uranus for instance is the "rebel " "eccentric" energy in a chart. In astronomical terms, Uranus as the "sideways planet", the one with a "strange axis". because it rotates on its side. (NASA Science/ELSI). Astrology also involves making predictions based on movements of planets in the sky.

Historically, important social events like the rise and fall of empires and cultural transformations were marked by planetary conjunctions of "Saturn and Jupiter" as they revolved around through their cycles in the sky. Also, the shift between elements (Air, Water, Fire, Earth) were associated with dynastic change. (Benson Bobrick).

Planetary movements led astronomers to predict weather and mark favorable and unfavorable days for individuals in calenders. (Tycho Brahe 1546-1601). In particular, Tycho Brahe's prepared a calendar of unlucky days, a compilation from his astrological work for Roman Emperor Rudolph II. Another work was the Magical Calendar, a document of magical and occult symbolism and correspondences. (Occult World)


the disciplines of astrology and astronomy were not treated differently. Even the Greek words astrologia and astronomia were often used interchangeably (Wikipedia). According to Vermij and Hirai, the discipline of astronomia in universities comprehended not only the calculation of planetary orbits, but also the casting of horoscopes, the calculation of houses and as-pects, the character of the various planets, and the like. Although the astro-nomical and astrological parts were separate and had their own textbooks, both domains were taught in the same body of education. ( Vermij and Hirai, 2017).

Over the course of the 17th through 19th centuries, astrology and astronomy began to be separated. Universities no longer considered teaching astrogoical techniques as part of the education. (Vermij and Hairai). This is also defined as the "coming of the scientific age". The discipline of astrology was discredited and "marginalized" for lacking scientific validity i.e. a pseudoscience. In the words of Pannekoek, this was the time when the old age mystical connection between the heavenly bodies and man was replaced by the mechanical action of gravitation. (Anton Pannekoek).

According to Zarka, the "interpretation of the horoscope" i.e. the subjective part which characterizes the astrological practice is the point from where astrology divorces/diverges from astronomy. (Philippe Zarka)

The Revival

Astrology today is referred to as a "pseudoscience". Over the years, there has been a revival of interest in the subject. There has been an increase in the number of people and institutions involved in the research, teaching and practice of astrology. For many, astrology is one of the oldest knowledge systems.

In astronomy, many "explorations" also show impact of planetary movements on human behavior. In a recent study published Scientific Advances, the affects of lunar phases on sleep patterns were reported I.e. ,sleep patterns 3 to 5 days before the night of full moon.(Science Advances, January 2021). 🌒🌙 🌃


All in all, the cosmic sky is an abundant source of information about human life.


Are human affairs governed by the planets?

What is destiny?



Casiraghi and Others, "Moonstruck Sleep: Synchronization of Human Sleep with the Moon Cycle under Field Conditions", Vol. 7: 5 Science Advances, January 2021.

Rienk Vermij and Hiro Hirai, "The Marginalization of Astrology: Introduction", Vol. 22: 5 Early Science and Medicine, 2017.

A Pannekoek, A History of Astronomy, Dover Publications, 1961.

Robert Wuthnow, Astrology and Marginality, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion , Jun., 1976, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Jun., 1976), pp. 157-168

S. Carlson, Double- Blind Test of Astrology, 1983

Alice A. Bailey, Djwhal Khul, Esoteric Astrology, 1997.

Occult World,

Benson Bobrick, The Fated Sky: Astrology in History

Philippe Zarka, Astronomy and astrology, The Role of Astronomy in Society and Culture Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 260, 2009).

Astrology and Astronomy, Wikipedia.

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