Many people around the globe have no direct relation to science, but all of them interact with it daily. Think about all the technological innovations and miracles that surround us. All of them are the result of some scientific research that led to the invention. However, science is not only about inventions – it is about discoveries too. When you think about it, there are many things astrology has revealed to us and the process is not finished yet.
Nevertheless, many consider it anything but science. Why is that? Today, we are going to try and explain why astrology is not a science (or maybe it is), and what impact it has on the past, present, and future. Once you are through with the article, we are more than sure that you will have some definite answers to at least some of your questions.
Astrology and Astronomy – Is There Any Difference?
We know that not all of you are fully aware of the difference between astrology and astronomy since both are very related, and at times it is hard to draw a line between the two. Astronomy is a science that studies the movement of all celestial bodies. Astrology is a pseudo-science that reads and decodes signs sent by those celestial bodies. This is the simplest definition we can operate with at the moment. However, years ago there was no difference between the two. Many scientists who specialized in the field of astronomy were considered astrologers up to the end of the 17th century. Only when the Age of Enlightenment began, people were able to spot the tremendous difference between the fields.
To be more precise, it was Newton who changed the course of astrology. He believed that all the movement and motion in the sky could be not only rationalized but also calculated mathematically. It can be stated that astronomy started with Isaac Newton and his theories and research in the area.
The fact that people started to understand that astronomy is a sci while astrology isn’t didn’t affect their beliefs, though. To tell the truth, what stars can tell you about your fate and how they can predict your future matter more than mathematical calculations scientists can offer, don’t it? A human being needs to know that there is something to control and hold on to, and an astrological helping hand is more than appreciated.
We know that many of you may say that the times have changed: fewer and fewer people read their horoscopes and believe in them. However, we are not going to agree with you since recent research proves that millennials not only read their horoscope predictions regularly but also at least half of them think that astrology is a sci – and there is nothing to change that.
Another false fact that circulates in society is that all the horoscopes are based on the movement of stars; however, if you were attentive when studying in school, you know that it is impossible. Stars do not move – Earth does. Surely, this minimal remark does not change the way the skies have affected people for centuries. Starting from ancient times, people looked up to the sky to figure out what is going to come their way. Travelers used the sky as a map, and all sorts of preachers exploited it in their mystical rituals. So, no matter whether you are a believer or not, it is hard to deny the importance of what is going on up there.
Who Invented the Zodiac?
It goes without saying that all of you are aware of what your zodiac sign is. Besides, most of you read your horoscopes occasionally too. But who was the first to come up with the idea of zodiac signs, and why are they called the way we know them today?
Let’s start at the very beginning. Thousands of years ago, people thought that stars were the source of answers to all their personal life questions. It is hard to say who was the first one to come up with the idea of observing nature in search of answers. The fact remains that the roots of this go dieback centuries, so it is impossible to track. It does not matter which ancient culture you take – all of them had some peculiar beliefs related in a way.
For instance, in China, eclipses and sunspots could indicate both good and bad times for their emperor. However, these signs were of no use to common people since they were unable to make decisions on their own after all.
Babylonians went even further in their affection to divination. Not only eclipses and sunspots mattered to them. They used to look at spots on the liver of an animal to predict a good hunt! As for stars and planets, those ancient people used their knowledge of the sky to predict how their goods would travel.
Ancient Egyptian scholars went as far as to assume that a star pattern can form a constellation. What is more, these were ancient Egyptians who came up with the idea that the sun moves through those constellations at a certain time of the year.
It is not a secret that Greeks were the best at math and logic. Greeks adopted the idea of divination using the planets based on logical and mathematical rules. Modern scientists think that it was logic that helped ancient people invent zodiac signs. They depict it this way:
There is an imaginary straight line that comes from Earth and goes to the sun and far beyond our solar system, straight to the stars. We all know that Earth rotates around the sun. So, the imaginary line moves too. While it rotates, it points to various stars within one travel around the sun, which takes a year. Every constellation the line points to during the year is one of those zodiac signs as we know them.
Astrology in Modern Society
Why do modern people believe in astrology? After you learn what an ancient study astrology is, it is safe to assume that it has lost its grip over people of modern times. However, that is where you are mistaken. We are going to bring you all the facts and clues supporting the idea that astrology is highly requested these days too.
To begin with, there is something both mystical and fascinating hiding behind astrology. There are so many people on Earth, and it is scientifically proved that almost 90% of them know their sun sign. This means that no matter the ancient origin, astrology has made its way into the modern world with ease. There are many scholars saying that there is no scientific background to it but this does not stop people from reading their horoscopes. Why is that? Would you like to have a scientific answer to it? Well, it is something we are going to provide!
The truth is that it is a lot easier to assume that the day you were born was destined to happen and you were supposed to be the person you are now. What is more, all the personal traits you possess are predicted by the stars. The minute you figure out your natal chart – you will find the key to a successful life. Isn’t all of this appealing? It usually seems like a ray of sunshine in this hectic modern life.
Demographics and Believers
To figure out whether astrology is popular or not, there is a lot of research to be conducted, and many people to be questioned. However, as time has passed, astrologers and other scientists, managed to provide us with the results of the study. You will be surprised at different things that matter when you are trying to determine how demographics are related to people’s beliefs.
In fact, it matters greatly whether you are a liberal or conservative. The former are more likely to believe in astrology and everything related while the latter are not that convinced. Age is important too: younger people are more inclined to believe in astrology. People over 65 are not prone to this, though. Apart from the mentioned above factors, it depends upon the level of education. The truth is that the more educated the person is, it is less likely that he or she will entrust their fate into the hands of astrological predictions. Lastly, it needs to be added that the more religious the person is, the less penchant for science he or she has (we are not talking about astrology only but about other fields too).
You may say that this is a pretty subjective statement, and we agree with you. However, since we are talking about the scientific background of astrology as a field, we should stick to the data provided by researchers.
Psychology and Believers
There is one question that bothers the minds of many – what makes people seek comfort in astrology. We have mentioned that for thousands of years the night sky led generations through good and bad times. However, these days, we have a lot more means at hand, and every notion can be easily explained.
The fact is that there were countless studies conducted by both believers and non-believers to determine what clicks in the minds of people and makes them use astrology as their guiding light. The answers were different in the vast majority of cases, but there was one thing common for them – lack of control.
What does that mean? It means that there are some situations in life which we can’t control. Generally, these are situations leading to some negative experience. When you go through one of those situations – be it a divorce or passing of a loved one – you need something to ensure that you are still able to control your life. That is when horoscopes come in. When you read your horoscope stating that starting from the next week you will find your other half, get promoted, or anything of the kind – it gives you hope and makes you feel like you are in control of the situation.
We are not trying to reassure you of what you may believe in, but there is always some rational explanation for everything. However, great is the power of conviction, and once you believe in something and want it badly, the cosmos may send it your way.
What Makes Astrology Boom
Often, when you explore a certain field, you look for some reasons that made it popular and requested, and astrology is not an exception. Astrology may not be a science, but this does not mean that it has any fewer followers. In fact, there are three definite reasons why astrology is booming during the current decade.
The first reason would be a decreased interest in religion. Whether you like it or not, but younger generations do not fear God almighty as their parents and grand-parents. At the same time, it does not mean that people are getting less spiritual – on the contrary. Those who can’t find their comfort in religion seek it elsewhere, and very often, the search ends up in astrology.
The second reason is the current situation around the world. In so many countries it is easy to observe instability and various kinds of stress. All that adds up and makes people tend to something that seems constant and comforting. What else could it be if not astrology? When you read your horoscope, and you learn that everything is going to turn out just fine in a month or a year, it gives you hope. People need some hope to exist. Otherwise, there is no point.
The third reason is a pretty obvious one – accessibility. The era of the Internet has brought astrology a lot closer to common people, and we can’t say whether it is good or bad. The fact is that in the past, you would have to seek some astrologer at a carnival to tell you the fate. These days, you can easily find an astrologer online, read users’ reviews, and entrust him or her with reading your fate. You can also read your horoscope while you are on the go since you have your device on you all the time too.
All in all, we have learned today that even though astrology is not a science there is still a lot of scientific research on it. In the vast majority of cases, scholars are trying to understand why people believe in it. That fact that there are so many believers around the globe proves one point – there is a greater reason why astrology survived through the centuries and millenniums to become a part of the modern world, and we haven’t revealed it yet.