History of Astrology and Horoscopes

Horoscopes can be very entertaining to those of us who don't take them seriously, but not very informative. One can imagine someone sitting at a keyboard, "making it up". Just listen to Weird Al's song "Your Horoscope for Today", if you need a skeptic's view on horoscopes. Serious practitioners see horoscopes and astrology as a science, however. The practice of astrology goes back thousands of years, and has been practiced all over the world.

Astrology and horoscopes were practiced by the ancient Greeks. Astrology, which means "science of the stars", basically, entails the belief that the position of the sun and planets has a direct effect on an individual's life and future.

As early as 3000 B.C., the Chaldeans in Babylon practiced astrology. Later, citizens of China became interested. The Chinese may be the first people to realize the effect the position of the sun has on seasons and planting cycles.

In 500 B.C., Plato extensively studied and used astrology. The science was also popular among the Egyptians. Astrology lost its popularity when Galileo Galilei began using a telescope during the 1500s. In the 1600s, when Christianity became popular, the practice of astrology was hidden. Astrologer William Lilly renamed the science "Christian Astrology" in an effort to make the practice more acceptable. In the 1800s, astrologer Alan Lee boosted the practice as well. Paul Clancy followed, with his instrumental magazine "American Astrology".

Notable people in modern times also utilize astrology and horoscopes. After the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981, Nancy Reagan had an astrologer assist in determining when to do public appearances and sign important documents.

A horoscope or birth chart is used in astrology to determine aspects of an individual's life or future events. It depends on which of the twelve signs of the zodiac you were born under (each sign corresponds to a constellation).

Now that you know all about astrology and horoscopes (well, maybe you only learned a little), you're ready to check your own horoscope. But you need to know your sign first. Find your birthday from the list below, and you'll be ready to go.

*March 21-April 19: Aries

* April 20-May 20: Taurus

* May 21-June 21: Gemini

*June 22-July 22: Cancer

*July 23-August 22: Leo

*August 23-September 22: Virgo

*September 23-October 22: Libra

*October 23-November 21: Scorpio

*November 22-December 21: Sagittarius

*December 22-January 19: Capricorn

*January 22-February 18: Aquarius

*February 19-March 20: Pisces