Star worship has been one of the primitive natural beliefs in the world. Endeavoring to discover relations between the motions of stars with humanity can be observed in any ancient culture. Astrology which has a history of over two thousand years is understood as a series of diverse practices based on the idea that the stars, planets, and other celestial phenomena possess significance and meaning for events on Earth.
There are several astrological systems around the world, and the primary one is undoubtedly Hellenistic. Ancient Greeks adapted the celestial omens from Mesopotamia and fixed stars from Egypt by ancient Greek into their ‘horoscopes.’ The history of star beliefs in India goes back to hoary antiquity. The Vedic civilization reveals a belief in prognostications and omens. Among all the religions, such as the worship of nature, the Big Dipper is one of the earliest in ancient China, a religious belief with the most prolonged duration and expansive historical influence. Although astrological systems vary across cultures, there are considerable resemblances and shared grounds in today’s astrological world as a result of cultural integration in history.
From the end of 19 century, with the emergence of spiritualism, people attempted to blend religion and psychics into astrology. Then, with the influence of the New Age, today’s western astrology evolved as two main streams: one is classical astrology originated from Hellenistic times; the other is modern astrology which concentrates on describing human psychology and personality.
Our virtual astrology collection at the Embassy of the Free Mind will start with Hellenistic astrology, then expand to India and China. Our mission is to build an inclusive international astrology library for people to discover and experience ancient and collective wisdom.
Charlotte Zhu, Dec 2022
Hellenistic astrology is an ancient form of astrology that was developed and practiced in the Greco-Roman world. It is based on the principles of Hellenistic astronomy and uses the same mathematical and astronomical techniques as Babylonian and Egyptian astrology. This form of astrology was prevalent during the Hellenistic period and was used to predict the future, identify character traits, and explain the cause and effect of events. The primary sources of Hellenistic astrology are the works of the Greek astrologers, such as Vettius Valens, Dorotheus of Sidon, and Ptolemy, as well as the later Latin authors, such as Firmicus Maternus.
The astrologers sorted by time:
Anonymous of 379 (5th century BCE)
Hephaistio of Thebes (5th century BCE)
Berossus (3rd century BCE)
Nechepso and Petosiris (c. 1st century BCE - 1st century BC)
Marcus Manilius (1st century CE)
Dorotheus of Sidon (1st century CE)
Thrasyllus (fl. 1st century BC)
Claudius Ptolemy (c. 90–168 CE)
Vettius Valens (c. 140 — c. 175)
Porphyry of Tyre (c. 234–305 CE)
Firmicus Maternus (4th century CE)
Paulus Alexandrinus (4th century CE)
Rhetorius of Egypt (7th century CE)