From the dawn of civilization, humans have looked with wonder and awe at the heavens, seeking to understand the nature of the sun, moon and planets. Astrology and astronomy are sometimes confused, but they are both very different from each other. Astrology and astronomy started off as being the same as they had both developed a set of principals that originated more than 2000 years ago. During the 1500's and 1600's several astronomers made discoveries about the heavenly bodies that conflicted with the principles of astrology. As a result astronomy and astrology became extremely different in their methods and purposes. Astrology is the study of the positions and movements of astronomical bodies and how that can be used to predict the future. Astronomers deny this. Astrology was studied in great detail by the ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Hindus, Chinese, Etruscans, and Chaledeans. Astrology is considered a pseudo-science. The Chaledeans are credited with the origin of astrology in a primitive form. They observed the influence of the heavenly bodies, and the significance of the sun in determining the seasons. They also believed that the power that ruled a human life resided in the heavens. Later on the spread of Christianity altered the character of astrology. During most of the Middle Ages, astrology flourished throughout civilized
. Astrology rested on the belief that the earth was the center of the universe around which all the other heavenly bodies were revolving. In the sixteenth century astronomers like Nicholas Copernicus and Galileo weakened the foundations of astrology and proved that the idea of an earth centered universe was no longer valid. As astronomy became closer to being an exact science, astrology became less acceptable. Many people throughout the world believe in astrology and base very important decisions on the advice of astrologers. Astrological advice and forecasts can be found in many daily newspapers, and several magazines and books are published on the subject every year. Most of this advice appears in a form known as a horoscope which is a chart drawn up to indicate what influences the heavenly bodies have on the life of an individual born at a particular time. Horoscopes are drawn according to twelve birth signs. An individual's astrological horoscope is determined by the position of all the planets at the exact moment of birth. Astrologers divide a year into twelve equal sections called the zodiac. This originally corresponded to twelve constellations which lay around the great belt of the heavens. Each constellation was regarded as a house of a particular planet. Each planet was believed to have either a strong or weak influence on a person's life, depending on its positions in the heavens. The divisions of the zodiac are called signs. Ancient astrologers assigned descriptive names, mostly of animals, to various constellations and devised abstract symbols to fit these names. The position of the sun in one of these twelve constellations at the moment of birth determines an individual's sign. A person who is born at the time of change from one sign to another, is called a cusp meaning a sharer of the qualities of both signs. No one has ever been able to prove the scientific accuracy of astrological predictions, and attempts to measure and define this skill have remained inconclusive. Nevertheless, even today, many persons have faith in astrology and check with it on the future.