Astrology in the History of Science


This lure of the skies produced a fertile lore of the skies. The powers of sun and rain, the correspondence between happenings in the heavens and happenings on earth, stirred the search for other correspondences. The Babylonians were among the first who elaborated a mythological frame for these universal correspondences. Their vivid imaginings would be per- petuated by Greeks, Jews, Romans, and others over the following centuries.

The theory of correspondences became astrology, which sought new links between space and time, between the movements of physical bodies and the unfolding of all human experience. The growth of science would depend on man’s willingness to believe the improbable, to cross the dictates of common sense. With astrology man made his first great scientific leap into a scheme for describing how unseen forces from the greatest distance, from the very depth of the heavens, shaped everyday trivia. The heavens, then, were the laboratory of mankind’s first science, just as the interior of the human body, the intimate inward realm of his consciousness, and the Dark Continents in the atom, would be the scenes for his latest sciences. Man sought to use his growing knowledge of the patterns of repeating experience in his never-ending struggle to break the iron ring of repetition.


Boorstin, Daniel J., and Clare Boothe Luce. The Discoverers. New York: Random House, 1983. Print. 18.


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Filed under History, Notes on History

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