The need for a well-organized and detailed research about the night-sky was spread gradually beyond the kingdoms of Mesopotamia. Greek philosophers was among those hot researchers about the night-sky. Greek sailors directed their rudder based on the position of the stars and the farmers were picking up the grapes when Orion reached at its peak point in the sky. But Greek philosophers who most of them lived at the Greek cities of Ionia-at the west resorts of the Turkey today-when conducting a research about the celestial bodies, practical apply is not something they already knew or had in their mind. They were not just interesting to the celestial Gods. They were not interesting to know the future, to make a prognosis of the future because they were considering that the Delphi Oracle was enough for them. Those philosophers were driving them by simple curiosity, they were getting pleasure solving riddles and the effect of this kind of exploration and study was to generate a theoretical framework for the universe they were observing.
One of the first philosophers of Ionia was Thales the Milesius, who was born in 630 BC. He knew very well the mathematics of East-it is said also that he first brought geometry in Greece-who conceived a new way for the universe exploration. He tried to clear up the sky by the ancient mythological perceptions that were replaced by the physical laws. It was unbearable the world to be molded by the parts of a female dragon named Tiamat who killed Marduk for these purposes as Babylonians alleged. Thales proclaimed that the world probably was established by an element of nature-the water-with the re-energy of some physical factors. Applying the physical laws, he was specialized in analyzing and predicting the motions of the celestial bodies.
Many students of Thales continued his efforts to define the world and how this world was formed. Anaxemandros, suggested a geometrical picture of the skies. A vast fire wheel was containing the universe. At its brim there were openings for the stars to shine through them. Another student, Anaximenes, said that the stars and the planets were looked like heads of bright pins which they had nailed in huge rotating spheres, their substance was transparent as a crystal. He believed that the original element was the air, not the water or fire. But both were searching for a sensible explanations for the physical phenomena. After all, despite the impressive theories, Thales students at the same time were very down-to-earth people. Anaxemandros, for instance, drew a map of the known world then, which is astoundingly accurate designed for his times. While those theoretical ideas were spinning in the discussions of the philosophers, different theories were appeared in order to replace the old ones. The most important one begin from another philosopher of Ionia, Pythagoras, who is known to every modern student for his magnificent theory in geometry about the triangles. Pythagoras, was a giant intelligent man for his times, a man with astounding mind, a diligent savant, and someone who travelled away in far away lands. Since he went into Egypt, and Babylon, he returned back to Greece soaked in astronomical knowledge of those two civilizations. He was supporting that the world was created from one and unique intelligence that was being uttered with numbers. All the places of the universe were falling into a perfect mathematical system which was absolutely reliable as the multiplication tables and it was so unadorned like the music notes of the musical climax.
But Pythagoras and the modern sophisticated scientists, believed that the earth was round and that is about a still celestial body in the center of the world being around an orbit. But into this clear picture there was also an obvious contradiction—and those were the strange retrogression motions of the planets. His student, Philolaos, suggested a resolution that later would be verified one of the most revolutionary ones. The planet Earth is not still, he said, but that also was moving in an orbit. But certainly, many centuries passed till this outlandish idea become identified and acceptable.
Empedocles, from Kos Island, in search of for the basic elements, he concluded that the elements were four: Earth, Fire, Air and Water. Every point of the zodiac cycle was relevant to each one of these elements. His neighbor, on this island, was Hippocrates, who was a doctor, and he is considered to be the father of Medication till nowadays, said that the good well-being of a patient is based on the balance of the four elements are located into his body or the four types of constitution that correspond to the four elements, Hippocrates was expressing his view, that no one could be a doctor and practice this job without have a perfect knowledge of the celestial influences.
That was the classical law: One geocentric universe ruled by a divine intelligence, who was articulating her powers through the physical mathematical laws. The person who mostly contributed into the continue and endurance of this idea, was Plato, the greatest perhaps, Greek philosopher. Plato hugged literally the astral knowledge of his days and brought this theory at the highest levels of the mystical removal. For him, reality was only one- an unchanged ideal kingdom of divine spirit which was dropping its light into the whole creation. Apart from that, the physical world, in the way we comprehend it with out sensations-trees, tables, flowers, mountains, even the sky-was just an illusion.
Any exceptions in the cosmic ideal, like the retrogression motion of the planets, was something indifferent to his perception. Perfectionism was everything, the natural place of the truth and beauty. Every human soul was a part of the divine spirit, based its personal star that one day would return. Plato’s ideas affected deeply the dogmas of the later religions, including the Christianity, as also the mystical utilization’s of Astrology. If the Greek philosophy was inspired partly, from the intellectual streams of Babylonia a greater impact was just rising in the horizon. It came through the military conquests, like the most civilized influences into those troubled times.
In the 334 BC. An army of 35.000 Greeks- a small power for the work they wanted to do-left Europe in order to march in Asia. Their leader was a young blonde man, 22 years old, particularly brave, handsome and with a dream quite of mystical glory. It was the child of destiny, and his name was Greta Alexander. People was whispering, that his father, was Zeus himself, or perhaps the Egyptian god Ammon. It is supposed that his mother had delayed his birth, because she wanted her son to be under the strongest of the Leo zodiac sign, and the planet aspects to be the exactly the right ones for that moment.
Alexander, crossed the known world then, as a meteorite, on a flaming orbit who reached through the Nile Delta, the Libran dessert, through the Babylon, into the countries of Persia and Afghanistan and finally came to stop into the jungles of Western India. His passage was rapid. In just only 10 years he found himself to be sick from fever and ready to die in Babylon-something that topic prophets had been predicted. But his inheritance, was maintained through the times, with the form of a globalization for more than five whole centuries. It was a civilization which was combining the Greek traditions with the western ones, of the countries had been conquered by Great Alexander. Then his court, in Babylon, “was a place of astrologers meeting, prophets and generally people who were predicting the future” a chronicle essayist tells us. The time of his successors was also a station for the study of astrology that blossomed than ever before, during those times.
The union of the Greek theoretical perception and the Babylonian astral knowledge transformed both of them. The wedge delta, give a record of the celestial motions that were happening for centuries and the Greek cosmic standards offered a rational way to organize them. The art of the interpretation of the messages that were coming from the celestial gods, now were taking the shape of a scientific research and study based on the physical law. The planets and the asterisms took Greek names and the Babylonian Gods simulated with the corresponding Greek ones. Every part of the human body, Greeks tell, were being controlled by a zodiac sign. Virgo, for instance, rules the belly and Aries the head and the face.
A more refreshing and more democratic opinion cleaned away the dusted paths of the astrological research. Astrology seized to be the monopoly of the prophets who were hired in order to read the omen for Kings. It became an open case for people who had an open mind and feel ready to use. So here we have a different idea that was applied: the atomic horoscope, which was calculating the proportions of an individual from the position of the stars at the time of his birth. Now, people from all social levels wanted to know what the future was keeping for them and they were willing to listen even the worst news. Because astrology was popular enough, many astrology schools stated to build that were occupied with this field of knowledge. Some of them never made a kind of fission between the astrological predictions and clear astronomy. One of the first schools was in Babylon around the 315 BC.by a Greek-speaking indigenous named Kidenous. Kidenous was a teacher of the prophetic art and mathematics that simultaneously found the precise duration of one lunar month: 29 days, 12 hours, 44 first minutes and 3.3 seconds. ( when the modern astronomers calculated his duration, discovered that they were inaccurate only by 0.6 seconds). Many decades later, a Babylonian priest, Virosos, build horoscopes, put out Greek translations of the Babylonian delta and interpreted the phases of the Moon. He gained such a reputation that Athenians erected a statue to his honor.On the next centuries, astrology was spread away till the further spots of the Hellenistic World. Astrology was blossomed particularly in India who also had their own traditional theories for the celestial bodies and stars. The priests were programing the ancient Hindu ceremonies in order to fall with the spring and the winter Equinoxes and believed that the first Hindu philosophers were inhabiting on the seven stars of the Great Bear. Indians had a very old trend to think in great duration cosmic time, so the most known astrological text of the area, is the Souria Sindata, which was written in 2,163,102 BC but in fact the Souria Sindata was written much later after the Hellenistic period and certainly not before the 5th or 6th century AC. But Hindu and Chinese Astrology is something that we will start on the next article.
So, when Babylonians started to observe the sky, sometimes were intrigued with the sequence of the planets. The spheres were not always following a continual course along the sky. Possibly, sometimes were traveling in a straight course for weeks, then seem like to interval but then they stopped and move backwards for a few days in ordered to restart their straight sequence again. Astrologers are calling this apparent detour, known as a retrogression motion, which was symbolizing the opportunity for individuals to re-examine their past and return into what they have experienced already. But the modern scientists know that the planets do not retrograde in reality-but they just look like that as we see them from the earth. Retrogression course is appearing on time of the conjunction of the earth with one planet. One of the first astronomers who searched of a natural explanation into this phenomenon was the Greek philosopher Aristarchus from Samos island who around the 300 BC., expressed the theory that the Earth, Moon and the rest of the planets are revolving around the stable Sun. But those remarkable theories were rejected and forgotten. Ptolemy on the 2nd century BC, denied of the heliocentric theory for the universe in favor of the geocentric one. He strained to elucidate the periodic backwards motion of the planets thinking that they are moving into smaller circles, named epicycles, while they are going along in an orbit of bigger circles around the Earth. This theory indorsed to predict the motions of the planets precisely and provoked minor discrepancies from diverse asteroscopes till the 16th century, when Copernicus adopted the heliocentric system. The German astronomer Kepler, established at the beginning of the 1600 the opinion that planets are moving in elliptic orbits around the Sun and that an unknown power-later discovered that was gravity-increasing their velocity when they approach more and more of the flaming sphere. So, consequently the position of the planets in relation to the Sun defines the speed of their orbit and is creating the periodic retrogression movement of the planets.