The cosmos has always provided us with a certain sense of belonging, a feeling that we are part of a larger, dynamic whole.
Astrology as we have come to know originated with the ancient Babylonians, spreading through Greece and Egypt as a means of interpreting omens. Astrology evolved alongside astronomy, a way of divining the future as well as dividing up the sky into 12 sections, each becoming a sign of the zodiac. The interpretation of the zodiac was an integrated part of all other sciences like botany, biology and geology.
It may be that we have always intuited that the spectacular creation and destruction out there in the cosmos is what also gave birth to our planet, and to us. It stands to reason that whatever was going on in the far reaches of space when we were born might have an effect on our makeup, our personalities, even our fate.
Easy as it is to dismiss astrology as an outdated science, there is a universal equivalent in nearly every culture on the planet throughout history. Gemology in many cultures is considered an extension of astrology, whereby people protect themselves against bad luck, disease, or disaster with a stone that corresponds to their birth date. In many cultures today a wedding is not planned before first consulting the stars.
While the generalities we make about signs often fall short, there is something to be said about the skill of the astrologer making daily or weekly determinations and predictions. Ultimately, what keeps us flipping to the back page of the weekly is a resonance we have with the astrologer’s advice or truth about our personality. Our horoscope provides us with a sense of order, an explanation for why we are the way we are. It also links us to the people born at that time. In its worst form it is a kind of validation, or an excuse for our less-than-desirable behavior. But in its highest purpose, the zodiac gives us hope, allowing us to consider other possibilities, to take risks, to spend wisely or love more freely.