The zodiac probably had its origins among the Assyrians...
Can we really know the future through the Zodiac? Opinions differ. But what is the Zodiac exactly, and why does it have such a hold on some people?
The circle of the Zodiac (see Fig 1), is divided into 12 equal parts of 30o, each section the name of a constellation, each of which is represented by a sign and many of which have the names of animals.
The zodiac serves as a convenient means of marking the positions of the heavenly bodies. When the constellations of the zodiac were named about 2,000 years ago, the vernal equinox coincided with the beginning of the constellation Aries. For this reason, the first 30o section of the zodiac is called Aries; it extends eastward 30o from the vernal equinox, which is therefore called the first point of Aries. However, because of the procession of the equinoxes, the vernal equinox has moved westward about 30o and now lies in the constellation Pisces; the zodiacal constellations thus no longer correspond to the segments of the zodiac represented by their signs. The constellations will again coincide with the sections of the zodiac in about 25,800 years.
The zodiac probably had its origins among the Assyrians or chaldaeans, although it may have originated among the Babylonians as early as 2000 B.C.
It is one of the constant facts that some planets were related to humans at the moment of their birth. The planets center on the horizon, and their movement and position in relation to each other had dominated human life. Barkliz described this influence as, “The influence of heat and light on the human, he feels it, but cannot see it.” (Amer 9)
Whether we feel happiness or sadness results from the change of the planets’ position, so we need to know the bodies which affect human life directly. They are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Venus, the Sun and the Moon (Amer 11).
Astrology, the study of how events on earth correspond to the positions and movements of astronomical bodies, particularly the sun, moon and stars, is divided into five parts in which part one has the most impact.
Firstly, the planets’ influence each person privately; secondly, they influence nations independently; thirdly, their general effect includes the ups and downs on the whole world, fourthly; their changes affect health, ailments and incidents; finally they have a great influence on agriculture, cultivation, and economies. (Amer 10)
Astrologers firmly believe in the zodiac and its relationship to humans. Psychologists, however, believe that astrologers are merely deceiving people; they mock them for using psychometric paths and quasi-philosophical speech.
Gouquelin once saw an advertisement for a famous astrologer claiming that he uses an ordinastral machine to give each person a horoscope, their psychological features with a deep personality analysis, and a calendar for their future behavior, all for just 70 German franks.
Gouquelin took an interest in the advertisement’s claims and in order to prove that the zodiac was mere superstition he used the ordinastral machine and did an unusual experiment. He obtained the files of criminals, each containing the time and the place of their birth and other details, and, without telling him, asked the astrologer to describe their characters and zodiac features.
One of them Father Petiot, had committed somewhere between 27 and 63 crimes. When Gouquelin received the results he admitted that the horoscope was exactly correct, but the zodiac features for Petiot were amazingly wrong. The ordinastral said that the zodiac of Father Petiot had a diplomatic personality with a logical mind and high morality. In addition, he said that Father Petiot was systematic, ascetic and honest, as well as being a sensitive and emotional person. The zodiac was wholly wrong not only on Petiot’s real life, but also about his future. It didn’t say that he had been executed, but predicted a rather different existential status.
Gouquelin went on to show that relationship between the positions of bodies in the sky and person’s mentality state or social state was coincidental after studying 576 officers, 906 painters and 576 academics (Khaury 26-40).
Along with psychologists, geographers are extremely skeptical about astrologers. Rogeih said that the study of the influence of the stars has no scientific foundation. Astrology looks at human destiny and predicts an intangible future.
This leads to the use, and abuse, of astrology to make money. According to the hour of birth, a newborn baby will be under the influence of the zodiac in which the sun occurs. This zodiac has specific features through which the astrologer believes he can gain intimate knowledge of the person’s nature and characteristics (Khaury 41).
Ancient people believed that a person’s behavior, emotions and fate were heavily influenced by the month of that person’s birth - that person’s astrological sign. Even today, thousands of years later, some people still believe in the powers of the zodiac and read their horoscopes for daily guidance. However, many people read their horoscopes, not because they believe in predictions, but for fun.
The fact that astrology deals with readings of the heavenly bodies means that it is not too far from treading on religious territory. In our religion we deeply believe in Allah who creates and gives us our life and destiny which means that nothing will happen to us other than that which Allah decrees: in Al-Baqarah, Verse 51: “Nothing will happen to us expect what Allah has decreed for us. He is our protector,” and on Allah let the believers put their trust.
In another verse of the Holy Qura’n: “No misfortune can happen on earth or in your souls but is recorded in a decree before we bring it into existence: that is truly easy for Allah.” (Al Hadeed 22)
In this verse we understand that our destiny is written before we are born and we can’t change it.
If the zodiac is really an exact science why do we find huge disparities between what they predict?
Can’t the astrologers, after thousands of years of star-gazing, make consistent predictions? It is proof enough 10 journals or magazines contain 10 different predictions for the same horoscope on the same day.