Many people don’t know the history of astrology. We mostly know it to be a form of divination, but when you look through history, many of the most influential scientists and philosophers were also famous astrologers.
Today’s society seems to split science (astronomy) and astrology, yet history ties the two together because of significant experts in both fields who helped predict and advise on major scientific and political developments.
From predicting the great fire in London to advising Constantine on when to establish Constantinople, astrologers have been shaping society since as far back as 3,500 BCE in Mesopotamia, and in Chinese Astrology, going back to 1046 BCE. When it comes to compiling a short list of famous astrologers that changed history, it’s not easy at all because they can be found throughout the entire scope of written history in Egypt, Greece, Rome, China, India, and Babylon.
You may find your interest in astrology piqued after reading how these people influenced not just astrology, but history itself.
William Lily – Lily lived in London from 1602 to 1681 and published the first astrology book in the English language. He was famously known for predicting the great fire of London 15 years before it occurred. He was considered the most important astrologer in England, had many powerful friends, and was known as a Horary astrologer.
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Nechepso and Petosiris – This Egyptian king and his priest influenced Hellenistic astrology and they lived during the first century BCE. While their books were lost, they are mentioned in Hellenistic astrology, the horoscopic astrology used during the time of Alexander the Great in the Roman and early Byzantine empire. It’s also the foundation of modern Western astrology, which is used today.
Masha’allah – A distinguished court astrologer from 8th century Persia. He was instrumental in the political decision to found the city of Baghdad. He wrote many influential horary astrology books and his work influenced many other well-known astrologers well after his death.
Susan Miller – Arguably America’s most famous astrologer, Miller gained her prestige from her book Sun Signs, which is all about compatibility. She is popular celebrity astrologer and has many celebrity fans. Her name is widely known in the U.S. in the astrology realm.
Johannes Kepler – This famous German mathematician was alive in the 17th century and was a very influential figure in the scientific revolution. As an astrologer, he also influenced Sir Isaac Newton. In fact, Newton’s theory of universal gravitation drew upon Kepler’s laws of planetary motion.
Aristotle – Known as the father of Western philosophy, Aristotle was a Greek scientist and philosopher who was said to be the teacher of Alexander the Great. As a student of Plato, he made major contributions to the study of metaphysics from 384 BCE to 322 BCE.
Nostradamus – This Frenchman lived from 1503 to 1566 and is most famous for his prophecies and his almanac, which offered daily predictions. He was also a physician, known as a Seer, and his work is still published.
Galileo Galilei – This Italian is known as the father of modern science and was a key figure in advancing Copernican heliocentrism, which was a huge leap forward in the world during that time. This physicist, engineer, astronomer, and mathematician was a major player in the scientific revolution. During his time, astrology was tied to both mathematics and astronomy.
Claudius Ptolemy – From Roman Egypt, this famous astrologer lived in Alexandria. Ptolemy worked to bring science and astrology together in his book published in the 2nd century called Tetrabiblos, which is still published and in circulation today. It’s written that he was in the royal lineage of kings that followed Alexander the Great. He was also a mathematician, and geographer who influenced Islamic, European and Byzantine science.
Alan Leo – Yet another influential astrologer but more modern day, Leo lived in the U.K. from 1860 to 1970. He is known as the father of modern astrology. He helped make astrology more accessible for people to learn it.
This list could continue on and on and each person’s work is a study within itself. Hopefully this article has given you a glimpse into the very long and diverse history of astrology, as well as shown how the brightest minds that have shaped our world have been well versed in it. The adage that “knowledge is power” continues to hold water as the people on this list (of mostly men) played huge roles in shaping society and what we know about the universe today.
This wisdom has been painstakingly passed down from the beginning of written history when the 12 zodiac signs were depicted as animals. So much time has passed, but influential figures and celebrities in our society are still keen to follow the procession of the planets, sensing that the secret wisdom of astrology can unlock their potential.
Astrology helps us see that we are all connected, no matter what belief systems we hold.
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