Choudhari in and , respectively. Astrology was taken up by Islamic scholars  following the collapse of Alexandria to the Arabs in the 7th century, and the founding of the Abbasid empire in the 8th. The second Abbasid caliph , Al Mansur — founded the city of Baghdad to act as a centre of learning, and included in its design a library-translation centre known as Bayt al-Hikma 'House of Wisdom', which continued to receive development from his heirs and was to provide a major impetus for Arabic-Persian translations of Hellenistic astrological texts. The early translators included Mashallah , who helped to elect the time for the foundation of Baghdad,  and Sahl ibn Bishr , a.
Zael , whose texts were directly influential upon later European astrologers such as Guido Bonatti in the 13th century, and William Lilly in the 17th century.
In Paradiso , the final part of the Divine Comedy , the Italian poet Dante Alighieri referred "in countless details"  to the astrological planets, though he adapted traditional astrology to suit his Christian viewpoint,  for example using astrological thinking in his prophecies of the reform of Christendom. In the seventh century, Isidore of Seville argued in his Etymologiae that astronomy described the movements of the heavens, while astrology had two parts: one was scientific, describing the movements of the sun, the moon and the stars, while the other, making predictions, was theologically erroneous.
However, he attacked the use of astrology to choose the timing of actions so-called interrogation and election as wholly false, and rejected the determination of human action by the stars on grounds of free will. In the late s, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola forcefully attacked astrology in Disputationes contra Astrologos , arguing that the heavens neither caused, nor heralded earthly events.
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Renaissance scholars commonly practised astrology. Catherine de Medici paid Michael Nostradamus in to verify the prediction of the death of her husband, king Henry II of France made by her astrologer Lucus Gauricus. Major astronomers who practised as court astrologers included Tycho Brahe in the royal court of Denmark, Johannes Kepler to the Habsburgs , Galileo Galilei to the Medici , and Giordano Bruno who was burnt at the stake for heresy in Rome in Advances in astronomy were often motivated by the desire to improve the accuracy of astrology.
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Ephemerides with complex astrological calculations, and almanacs interpreting celestial events for use in medicine and for choosing times to plant crops, were popular in Elizabethan England. English astrology had reached its zenith by the 17th century. Among other things, astrologers claimed to be able to advise on the best time to take a journey or harvest a crop, diagnose and prescribe for physical or mental illnesses, and predict natural disasters.
This underpinned a system in which everything — people, the world, the universe — was understood to be interconnected, and astrology co-existed happily with religion , magic and science. During the Enlightenment , intellectual sympathy for astrology fell away, leaving only a popular following supported by cheap almanacs. Astrology saw a popular revival starting in the 19th century, as part of a general revival of spiritualism and—later, New Age philosophy,  : — and through the influence of mass media such as newspaper horoscopes.
Advocates have defined astrology as a symbolic language, an art form, a science , and a method of divination. These include Hindu astrology also known as "Indian astrology" and in modern times referred to as "Vedic astrology" and Chinese astrology, both of which have influenced the world's cultural history.
Western astrology is a form of divination based on the construction of a horoscope for an exact moment, such as a person's birth. Western astrology is founded on the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies such as the Sun, Moon and planets, which are analysed by their movement through signs of the zodiac twelve spatial divisions of the ecliptic and by their aspects based on geometric angles relative to one another. They are also considered by their placement in houses twelve spatial divisions of the sky. The horoscope visually expresses the set of relationships for the time and place of the chosen event.
These relationships are between the seven 'planets', signifying tendencies such as war and love; the twelve signs of the zodiac; and the twelve houses.
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Each planet is in a particular sign and a particular house at the chosen time, when observed from the chosen place, creating two kinds of relationship. Along with tarot divination , astrology is one of the core studies of Western esotericism , and as such has influenced systems of magical belief not only among Western esotericists and Hermeticists , but also belief systems such as Wicca that have borrowed from or been influenced by the Western esoteric tradition.
Tanya Luhrmann has said that "all magicians know something about astrology," and refers to a table of correspondences in Starhawk's The Spiral Dance , organised by planet , as an example of the astrological lore studied by magicians. The earliest Vedic text on astronomy is the Vedanga Jyotisha ; Vedic thought later came to include astrology as well. Hindu natal astrology originated with Hellenistic astrology by the 3rd century BCE,  :  though incorporating the Hindu lunar mansions.
Greek 'Krios' for Aries, Hindi 'Kriya' , the planets e. Greek 'Helios' for Sun, astrological Hindi 'Heli' , and astrological terms e. Greek 'apoklima' and 'sunaphe' for declination and planetary conjunction, Hindi 'apoklima' and 'sunapha' respectively in Varaha Mihira's texts are considered conclusive evidence of a Greek origin for Hindu astrology. The early use of Chinese astrology was mainly confined to political astrology , the observation of unusual phenomena, identification of portents and the selection of auspicious days for events and decisions.
It is based on cycles of years, lunar months, and two-hour periods of the day the shichen. They do not rely on direct observations of the stars. The Korean zodiac is identical to the Chinese one. The Vietnamese zodiac is almost identical to Chinese zodiac except the second animal is the Water Buffalo instead of the Ox , and the fourth animal is the Cat instead of the Rabbit. The Japanese have since celebrated the beginning of the new year on 1 January as per the Gregorian calendar. The Thai zodiac begins, not at Chinese New Year , but either on the first day of fifth month in the Thai lunar calendar , or during the Songkran festival now celebrated every 13—15 April , depending on the purpose of the use.
Augustine — believed that the determinism of astrology conflicted with the Christian doctrines of man's free will and responsibility, and God not being the cause of evil,  but he also grounded his opposition philosophically, citing the failure of astrology to explain twins who behave differently although conceived at the same moment and born at approximately the same time.
Some of the practices of astrology were contested on theological grounds by medieval Muslim astronomers such as Al-Farabi Alpharabius , Ibn al-Haytham Alhazen and Avicenna.
They said that the methods of astrologers conflicted with orthodox religious views of Islamic scholars , by suggesting that the Will of God can be known and predicted in advance. Avicenna considered that the movement of the planets influenced life on earth in a deterministic way, but argued against the possibility of determining the exact influence of the stars.
And if you astrologers answer that it is precisely because of this distance and smallness that their influences are negligible, then why is it that you claim a great influence for the smallest heavenly body, Mercury? Why is it that you have given an influence to al-Ra's and al-Dhanab , which are two imaginary points [ascending and descending nodes]? Maimonides , the preeminent Jewish philosopher, astronomer, and legal codifier, wrote that astrology is forbidden by Jewish law.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church maintains that divination, including predictive astrology, is incompatible with modern Catholic beliefs  such as free will: . All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future. Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers.
They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone. The scientific community rejects astrology as having no explanatory power for describing the universe, and considers it a pseudoscience. Confirmation bias is a form of cognitive bias , a psychological factor that contributes to belief in astrology. Another, separate, form of confirmation bias also plays a role, where believers often fail to distinguish between messages that demonstrate special ability and those that do not.
Under the criterion of falsifiability , first proposed by the philosopher of science Karl Popper , astrology is a pseudoscience.
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In contrast to Popper, the philosopher Thomas Kuhn argued that it was not lack of falsifiability that makes astrology unscientific, but rather that the process and concepts of astrology are non-empirical. Rather, in Kuhn's eyes, astrology is not science because it was always more akin to medieval medicine ; astrologers followed a sequence of rules and guidelines for a seemingly necessary field with known shortcomings, but they did no research because the fields are not amenable to research,  : 8 and so "they had no puzzles to solve and therefore no science to practise.
An astrologer could only explain away failure but could not revise the astrological hypothesis in a meaningful way. As such, to Kuhn, even if the stars could influence the path of humans through life astrology is not scientific. The philosopher Paul Thagard asserts that astrology cannot be regarded as falsified in this sense until it has been replaced with a successor.
In the case of predicting behaviour, psychology is the alternative. For these reasons Thagard views astrology as pseudoscience.
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For the philosopher Edward W. James, astrology is irrational not because of the numerous problems with mechanisms and falsification due to experiments, but because an analysis of the astrological literature shows that it is infused with fallacious logic and poor reasoning.
What if throughout astrological writings we meet little appreciation of coherence, blatant insensitivity to evidence, no sense of a hierarchy of reasons, slight command over the contextual force of critieria, stubborn unwillingness to pursue an argument where it leads, stark naivete concerning the effiacacy of explanation and so on? In that case, I think, we are perfectly justified in rejecting astrology as irrational.
Astrology simply fails to meet the multifarious demands of legitimate reasoning. Astrology has not demonstrated its effectiveness in controlled studies and has no scientific validity. In , the astrologer and psychologist Michel Gauquelin stated that though he had failed to find evidence that supported indicators like zodiacal signs and planetary aspects in astrology, he did find positive correlations between the diurnal positions of some planets and success in professions that astrology traditionally associates with those planets.
Geoffrey Dean has suggested that the effect may be caused by self-reporting of birth dates by parents rather than any issue with the study by Gauquelin. The suggestion is that a small subset of the parents may have had changed birth times to be consistent with better astrological charts for a related profession.
The number of births under astrologically undesirable conditions was also lower, indicating that parents choose dates and times to suit their beliefs. The sample group was taken from a time where belief in astrology was more common. Gauquelin had failed to find the Mars effect in more recent populations, where a nurse or doctor recorded the birth information.
Dean, a scientist and former astrologer, and psychologist Ivan Kelly conducted a large scale scientific test that involved more than one hundred cognitive , behavioural , physical , and other variables—but found no support for astrology. Ten of the tests—which involved participants—had the astrologers pick the correct chart interpretation out of a number of others that were not the astrologically correct chart interpretation usually three to five others. When date and other obvious clues were removed, no significant results suggested there was any preferred chart.