Astrology

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Astrology (Gr.) The Science which defines the action of celestial bodies upon mundane affairs, and claims to foretell future events from the position of the stars. Its antiquity is such as to place it among the very earliest records of human learning. It remained for long ages a secret science in the East, and its final expression remains so to this day, its exoteric application having been brought to any degree of perfection in the West only during the period of time since Varaha Muhira wrote his book on Astrology some 1400 years ago. Claudius Ptolemy, the famous geographer and mathematician, wrote his treatise Tetrabiblos about 135 A.D., which is still the basis of modern astrology. The science of Horoscopy is studied now chiefly under four heads: viz., (1) Mundane, in its application to meteorology, seismology, husbandry, etc. (2) State or civic, in regard to the fate of nations, kings and rulers. (3) Horary, in reference to the solving of doubts arising in the mind upon any subject. (4) Genethliacal, in its application to the fate of individuals from the moment of their birth to their death. The Egyptians and the Chaldees were among the most ancient votaries of Astrology, though their modes of reading the stars and the modern practices differ considerably. The former claimed that Belus, the Bel or Elu of the Chaldees, a scion of the divine Dynasty, or the Dynasty of the king-gods, had belonged to the land of Chemi, and had left it, to found a colony from Egypt on the banks of the Euphrates, where a temple ministered by priests in the service of the “lords of the stars” was built, the said priests adopting the name of Chaldees. Two things are known: (a) that Thebes (in Egypt) claimed the honour of the invention of Astrology; and (b) that it was the Chaldees who taught that science to the other nations. Now Thebes antedated considerably not only “Ur of the Chaldees”, but also Nipur, where Bel was first worshipped—Sin, his son (the moon), being the presiding deity of Ur, the land of the nativity of Terah, the Sabean and Astrolatrer, and of Abram, his son, the great Astrologer of biblical tradition. All tends, therefore, to corroborate the Egyptian claim. If later on the name of Astrologer fell into disrepute in Rome and elsewhere, it was owing to the fraud of those who wanted to make money by means of that which was part and parcel of the sacred Science of the Mysteries, and, ignorant of the latter, evolved a system based entirely upon mathematics, instead of on transcendental metaphysics and having the physical celestial bodies as its upadhi or material basis. Yet, all persecutions notwithstanding, the number of the adherents of Astrology among the most intellectual and scientific minds was always very great. If Cardan and Kepler were among its ardent supporters, then its later votaries have nothing to blush for, even in its now imperfect and distorted form. As said in Isis Unveiled (1. 259): “Astrology is to exact astronomy what psychology is to exact physiology. In astrology and psychology one has to step beyond the visible world of matter, and enter into the domain of transcendent spirit.” (See “ Astronomos.”)

Source: H.P.Blavatsky - The Theosophical Glossary


Astrology. The science which defines the action of celestial bodies upon mundane affairs, and claims to foretell future events from the positions of the stars. Its antiquity is such as to place it among the very earliest records of human learning. It remained for long ages a secret science in the East, and its final expression remains so to this day, its esoteric application only having been brought to any degree of perfection in the West during the lapse of time since Varaha Mihira wrote his book on Astrology, some 1400 years ago. Claudius Ptolemy, the famous geographer and mathematician who founded the system of Astronomy known under his name, wrote his Tetrabiblos, which is still the basis of modern Astrology, 135 A. D. The science of Horoscopy is studied now chiefly under four heads, viz.: (1). Mundane, in its application to meteorology, seismology, husbandry. (2). State or Civic, in regard to the future of nations, Kings, and rulers. (3). Horary, in reference to the solving of doubts arising in the mind upon any subject. (4). Genethliacal, in connection with the future of individuals from birth unto death. The Egyptians and the Chaldees were among the most ancient votaries of Astrology, though their modes of reading the stars and the modern methods differ considerably. The former claimed that Belus, the Bel or Elu of the Chaldees, a scion of the Divine Dynasty, or the dynasty of the King-gods, had belonged to the land of Chemi, and had left it to found a colony from Egypt on the banks of the Euphrates, where a temple, ministered by priests in the service of the "lords of the stars," was built. As to the origin of the science, it is known on the one hand that Thebes claimed the honour of the invention of Astrology; whereas, on the other hand, all are agreed that it was the Chaldees who taught that science to the other nations. Now Thebes antedated considerably, not only "Ur of the Chaldees," but also Nipur, where Bel was first worshipped — Sin, his son (the moon), being the presiding deity of Ur, the land of the nativity of Terah, the Sabean and Astrolater, and of Abram, his son, the great Astrologer of Biblical tradition. All tends, therefore, to corroborate the Egyptian claim. If later on the name of Astrologer fell into disrepute in Rome and elsewhere, it was owing to the frauds of those who wanted to make money of that which was part and parcel of the Sacred Science of the Mysteries, and who, ignorant of the latter, evolved a system based entirely on mathematics, instead of transcendental metaphysics with the physical celestial bodies as its upadhi or material basis. Yet, all persecutions notwithstanding, the number of adherents to Astrology among the most intellectual and scientific minds was always very great. If Cardan and Kepler were among its ardent supporters, then later votaries have nothing to blush for, even in its now imperfect and distorted form. As said in Isis Unveiled (I., 259), "Astrology is to exact astronomy, what psychology is to exact physiology. In astrology and psychology one has to step beyond the visible world of matter and enter into the domain of transcendent spirit."

Source: H.P.Blavatsky - The Key to Theosophy, The theosophical glossary