Astrology: The Mother of Sciences
Gahl E. Sasson orients us to the ancient wisdom of Astrology and its lessons for our modern world.
Astrology is dubbed the mother of sciences. The act of measuring, calculating, and tracking the heavenly bodies helped transform the early stargazers into prototype empirical scientists. It is believed that the scientific fields of geometry and algebra developed to better understand and predict the cycles of the planets. It is not surprising that Kepler, the father of astronomy, was an avid astrologer. But astrology is not only the mother of sciences. She is also the mother of their older sister, religion.
I believe that when our hominid ancestors started walking on two legs, their field of vision changed, shifting their focus from the earth to the skies. In addition, due to climate changes, the hominid environment morphed from thick jungles where the skies were covered by jungle canopy, into open fields, and savannas where the starry skies could be viewed with no obstruction. Our ancestors were exposed to the vastness of space and could bear witness in awe to the movement of the planets through the backdrop of the fixed stars, and the constellations. First, there was astrology and then came religion to give ritualistic stories about the movement of the cosmic bodies and the seasons.
Astrology’s DNA is found in countless religions and traditions around the globe. The Mayans, Aztecs, druids, and ancient Egyptians aligned their pyramids or rock formations in reference to cosmology. In Islam, Ramadan, a commemoration of the first revelation of the Koran, is celebrated according to the Moon and always falls on the 9th lunar month. The Buddhists celebrate the Buddha’s birthday on the Full Moon in the month of Vesakha (which usually falls on the Full Moon in Taurus). Christmas is a Christianized celebration of the pagan winter solstice, placing Jesus’ birthday on the solstice along with Mithras, Attis, Apollo, Artemis, and Horus to name a few.
Passover is the celebration of the equinox (which falls on the first Full Moon after the equinox). Easter is celebrated according to an astrological formula: the first Sunday (the day of the Sun) after the first Full Moon (Sun-Moon opposition) after the spring equinox (the first day of Aries). The Chinese, Islamic, Tibetan, and Jewish New Year’s, fall on a New Moon. The Persian New Year, Nawruz, is celebrated on the spring equinox, the first day of Aries, which is also the astrological New Year. Halloween is celebrated during Scorpio, the sign of death. Earth Day is commemorated during Taurus, a fixed earth sign that is associated with Mother Nature. Labor Day (in the US) is celebrated during Virgo, the sign of work and service. International Cat Day is celebrated on August 8, the 8 of the 8, double happiness, smack in the middle of Leo, the feline sign. Your birthday, too, is an astrological holiday. It is the day when your natal Sun is conjunct with the transiting Sun. It is a day when you are exposed to two Suns. No wonder that on your birthday you are emotional, overly sensitive, and in need of extra attention and gifts.
Astrology is not a fortune-telling art. She was created and still functions as a tool to help us survive. I trace the origin of astrology to a woman or a group of women in our early human evolution that realized the connection between intercourse and pregnancy. There was a period in our evolution when the main cause of death for women was giving birth. Because of bipedalism, the combination of a shift in the pelvis and the growing diameter of the fetus’ head, childbearing became a deadly activity. There had to be a woman, arguably, the most important scientist in human history, who discovered that intercourse leads to pregnancy and that somehow these two are linked to the menstruation cycles. Now all she needed was to find a way to trace the cycles and measure them to determine when intercourse will not result in pregnancy. She needed a contraceptive. Looking up at the Moon gave her what she sought, a cosmic clock. This intuitive woman, the first astrologer, managed to find a connection between the Moon cycles and ovulation: as above and below, the birth of astrology. The wisdom of the stars, astrology, helped us survive as a species and ensured our ability to overcome the death that overshadowed birth.