Last updated on November 9th, 2023.
Several of the most influential scientists in history were also accomplished astrologers. They have changed how people view different interpretations of celestial bodies and how they define human beings.
Modern astrology aims to discover the right path to take based on how the universe is aligned with your sign, coupled with your individual circumstances. If you would like to discover additional information about the seven most famous astrologers in history, take a gander at this article.
How Long has Astrology Been Practiced?
The roots of astrology are engrained in the early civilizations, and the original astrologists reflected the organization of society. Maps of the stars were designed before maps of the Earth. Archeologists found evidence of astrology being practiced in early civilizations. The Babylonians created the zodiac wheel. The horoscope recognized how the planets were relevant to the zodiac signs.
Astrology first came to the forefront around 3000 B.C.E. in Mesopotamia. In the beginning, astrology was not concerned with the person or the outcome of nations. As we know it now, Astrology came to fruition in the fifth or sixth centuries B.C.E. In 410 B.C.E., the earliest horoscope was found.
The Greeks improved astrology and made it into a system. Their knowledge of mathematics and astronomy took astrology to the next level and made it into the fascinating application that we know it to be now. The modern titles for planets and zodiac signs evolved from Greek literature. Advances in math allowed astrology charts to become even better and more accurate. Now a days is easier to read a birth chart with more accurate information.
Once Christianity became more prevalent, astrology took a backseat, as it was seen as sacrilege and superstition. Astrology was seen purely for entertainment rather than actual science. Astrology later made a comeback as skepticism of the practice began to decrease. Now a day is very common to see astrology being practiced and studied, even astrology card decks and other sources are easy to access.
Which Civilizations Practiced Astrology?
The origin of astrology precedes written records. In Egypt, some priests would make the connection of religion to the celestial universe. However, there is not yet evidence that suggests the understanding of the horoscope or astrological signs at this point. However, there is evidence that the zodiac signs were important in the Babylonian civilization.
The first objective evidence of systematic astrological study comes from the ancient Egyptian and Babylonian civilizations. The evidence demonstrates a long-standing need to understand how human society relates to the universe.
The grouping of the constellations prompted the advancement of Greek cosmology, which changed the course of Egyptian cosmology. The only tangible indication of early zodiac signs comes from the archeological remains from an Egyptian civilization dominated by Greece. The desire to learn more about the universe and make predictions incurred the expansion of astrological science.
Out of this newfound desire to learn came an understanding of how events and seasons occurred due to the position of the rising and setting sun. One example of a successful prediction made by the sun’s location by Babylonian astrologers was the flooding of the Nile River. It took some time to discover that solar and lunar eclipses were a part of the equation.
The idea of zodiac divisions and groupings was first recognized in Babylonia and other areas of the Mesopotamian civilization. The interest in astrology in ancient Babylonia prompted the scientists of Greece and Rome to search for answers. Early civilizations were interested in astronomy and aligned astronomical science with myth and religion.
Who Was the Greatest Astrologer of All Time?
Claudius Ptolemy was a Greek astronomer who lived in Egypt from about 85 to 165 AD. Ptolemy wrote something called Almagest, which was thirteen books long. It was of great importance to other mathematicians and scientists. It was an explanation of his findings as a contributor to science. In the book, he wrote of his mathematical studies and the motion and position of the planets.
Based on Ptolemy’s findings, the earth-centered theory was adopted. It predicted the motions and positions of the planets. The earth-centered solar system model was a popular theory for about fourteen centuries. He tried to adapt astrology to the philosophy of his time. He presented his astronomical models of the moon, sun, and planets with tables that were utilized to compute the planets’ future or past positions.
His book also contains a star catalog, which was revered and studied, as it revealed all the constellations in the sky. The Almagest was the most respected text on astronomy in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. It was highly regarded until the new ideas came to light during the scientific revolution. Ptolemy calculated all the information necessary to compute the positions of,
- The sun
- The moon
- The planets.
This information was invaluable to astronomers and astrologers alike. The last book written by Ptolemy was called The Planetary Hypothesis. It was about the laws that oversee celestial motion. In his work, he used epicycles and eccentric circles, or “orbits,” to explain why the Earth was the center of the solar system. Of course, at the time, Ptolemy was not aware that the sun does not orbit the Earth.
He also created the Ptolemaic System, which predicted the positions of the planets accurately enough, considering he lived in a time when there were no telescopes. He estimated the distance between the sun and the Earth and the radius of the sphere of the stars. He also figured out the length of each season. Ptolemy was perhaps most accomplished for the systematic order of his material.
The 7 Most Famous Astrologers in History
There have been a number of very influential people who have had a significant impact on the practice of astrology. Throughout history, the most important astrologers have influenced modern astrology as we know it. Below are seven examples of extraordinary astrologers who were pioneers of their time.
Nechepso & Petosiris
In the first century B.C.E., an essential series of books were written, which became the significant texts of the Hellenistic tradition of astrology. The creator of these works wanted to remain anonymous, as Nechespo was an Egyptian king and Petosiris was a priest. Together, they influenced the foundation of modern Western astrology, which is still used today.
During the Hellenistic and Roman times, almost every astrologer derived inspiration from this team. There are countless references to the two of them as sources for other writers and astrologers who came after.
Alan Leo is frequently referred to as the father of modern astrology. His real name was William Frederick Allen, and he was a Leo. His main goal was to simplify Ptolemy’s theories. In 1889, he created the Astrologer’s Magazine, which was later revamped and given a new name, called Modern Astrology. It recognized the sun as the main astrological principle.
He made analyses of the planets with all their signs and house locations. When his new magazine came out, he became the most influential astrologer of his time. In 1911, he achieved his most notable work, which was the most crucial and relevant collection of birth information up to that time.
Vettius Valens was a Roman astrologer who wrote a series of books in the mid-2nd century C.E. called Anthology. In his book, he shared his views on different philosophical issues. He set up a practice and school in Alexandria, and The Anthology seems to have been prepared for his students. He had 100 examples of charts from his client files in his charts.
An exciting aspect of Valen’s work is that throughout his book, he often asks the student to keep what they learn from him a secret, as if they are in some special club, and not everyone is good enough to be a part of it. Valens certainly had a unique interpretation of the heavens.
William Lilly was a British astrologer famous for having published the first English language manual on astrology in 1647 called Christian Astrology. Up until then, most books concerning astronomy were written in Latin. He came to be the most famous man in England and an acclaimed author. He would sell pamphlets including correct and on-point forecasts about events of national importance.
He also designated the different facets of human life that each house represented. He even predicted a well-known parliamentary leader’s illness and imminent death by utilizing these concepts. It is because of Lilly that astrology became a national sensation. He was dangerous to establishment figures, as he made astrology available to everyone. Many universities study his writings and celebrate his life.
Galileo was an Italian astronomer/astrologer who is often referred to as the father of observational astronomy. Galileo was sentenced to condemnation by the Catholic church. He was declared guilty of heresy because of his theory that Earth and other planets rotated around the sun.
Most people during that time assumed that the Earth was the focal point of the universe and that the sun and planets orbited around it. His ideas were referred to as heliocentrism and promotion of the Copernican theory, which was said to contradict the church’s beliefs.
In 1609, Galileo found out about the creation of the spyglass, which was a gadget that made distant objects look like they were closer. Galileo put his practical skills to good use to make the spyglass more effective, and he created the first telescope.
He was the first person to look at the moon through a telescope and see four of the moons orbiting Jupiter. He was able to study Saturn, discover the phases of Venus, and study the sunspots on the sun. Galileo stayed firm in his faith despite persecution. The church banned his books until long after his death.
Nostradamus is famous for his book of predictions called “Les Prophecies,” published in 1555. Most of Nostradamus’s predictions for the future came true. One of his bone-chilling predictions was the 9-11 attack on the twin towers. He also predicted:
- Global warming being out of control
- Solar storms, floods, drought, and earthquakes
- The end of the European Union
- A nuclear bomb would cause changes in the position of the Earth in the sky
- The French Revolution
- The rise of Hitler and the Second World War
- The assassination of J.F.K.
- The death of Princess Diana
He also projected that the world would end in the year 3797. His famous predictions were based on forecasting future events by calculating the planets and celestial bodies in relation to the Earth.
As previously mentioned, Claudius Ptolemy could be the greatest astronomer of all time. He wrote three very significant treatises. They were of great importance to Byzantine, Islamic, and Western European science. The first was called Almagest, later called “the Greatest Treatise, and this book was valuable to astronomy.
Astronomy was the area to which Ptolemy was devoted. The Almagest is the only remaining comprehensive ancient treatise on astronomy. Ptolemy stated in his book:
- The Earth is a sphere
- The Earth is in the middle of the cosmos
- The Earth does not move
Ptolemy included a star catalog in his book, which contained 1022 stars. He is most well known for his geocentric theory of the universe and his beliefs about the motion of the planets and stars. He is also notable for his discovery concerning the length of each season.
What Does Modern Astronomy vs. Ancient Look Like?
Compared to traditional astrology, modern astrology tends to be very vague and non-committal. Traditional astrology is also much more straightforward than modern astrology. It follows the rules and clearly states its intentions. It is more event-based than modern astrology. It simply answers specific questions rather than provides detail.
In modern astrology, the signs are paramount. However, in traditional astrology, the houses and the planets are more important. With traditional astrology, not everyone gets a happy ending, which is a shame because it negates the power of positive thinking, which has the ability to change your life. Modern astrology offers a broader interpretation and tools such as birth charts and crystals for each birth chart.
However, traditional astrology more accurately involves the energies of the planets. It is in a better position to help the individual and let them know what is going on instead of giving vague answers. Most modern astrology also subscribes to the notion that you have free will and can change your circumstances with discipline and hard work.
Unfortunately, traditional astrology is more “fate” based. That is the worst thing about traditional astrology. Not everyone gets an equal chance at life. In traditional astrology, you cannot create your path in life. Instead, some people have good luck, and others have bad luck. There is no consideration of the idea that maybe you can make your luck.
With modern astrology, you have options, and there is more room for creativity. When it comes to traditional astrology, you are forced to eliminate the idea of individuality. The validity of either one depends on what you believe.