Western astrology is based on the relative movements and positions of heavenly bodies such as the Sun, Moon and planets, which are analyzed by their movement through the signs of the zodiac (twelve spatial divisions of the ecliptic) and by their aspects (based on geometric angles) in relation to each other. The ancients looked to the sky for clues as to why things happened in the material world around them. Astrology peaked in the Mediterranean in the Hellenistic period, an era that took place between the 3rd century BC and the 1st century AD. These ancient astrologers based their interpretations on centuries of observations recorded by the Mesopotamians who preceded them.
They kept detailed records of astronomical phenomena, looking for correlations between what was happening in the sky that surrounded them and the material world that surrounded them. In some ways, astrology can seem scientific. It uses scientific knowledge about heavenly bodies, as well as scientific analysis tools, such as star maps. Some people use astrology to generate expectations about future events and people's personalities, just as scientific ideas generate expectations.
And some claim that astrology is backed up by evidence, the experiences of people who feel that astrology has worked for them. But even with these appearances of science, is astrology really a scientific way of answering questions? Until recently, explorers of modern astrology did not even have adequate access to the classical astrological texts on which their predictions were based. Pop astrology was born at the end of the 19th century during the peak of new-age exploration, and was then driven by advances in psychology in the 20th century. Hellenistic astrology describes a causal relationship between the movement of planets and stars and the terrestrial material world.
Jung, who created the psychological categories of introversion and extroversion and laid the foundations for the popular Myers-Briggs personality test, placed astrology on a par with mythology when it came to explaining the functioning of the human psyche. For example, some forms of astrology predict that a person born just after the spring equinox is more likely to become an entrepreneur. But your astrological sign doesn't necessarily tell you what constellation the sun was in on the day you were born. At the end of the 19th century, a group of German linguists came across unpublished fragments of Hellenistic astrological texts.
In the early 1990s, a group of astrologers decided to translate this and other classic works in the hope of recovering something worthwhile. An astrologer can dedicate himself to his entire career and not present his findings at a scientific meeting or publish a single article. A specific aspect of astrology, predicting a person's future or offering advice on daily activities through horoscopes, is gaining increasing popularity. When astrologers publish, these articles are not usually peer-reviewed or published in places where the scientific community critically examines them.
Astrologers say that if the sun is in the sign of Sagittarius on the day you were born, then you are a Sagittarius.