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(II.) HISTORY - The Prestigious Planets

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Author Topic: (II.) HISTORY - The Prestigious Planets  (Read 370 times)
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« on: August 17, 2007, 02:08:01 pm »

The impression that the Egyptians had a long tradition of astrological knowledge probably arose because they were jealous of the older tradition of Babylonia. When in 260 BC Berosus (supported by Diodorus and Cicero) claimed that the Chaldean astrological texts were almost half a million years old, Egyptian astronomers countered by claiming that their texts dated from at least 630,000 BC.

Just as with the other advanced civilizations, there was certainly an early interest in astronomical events. Egyptian texts dating from as early as the 13th century BC show a familiarity with the positions of the stars; but the Egyptian obsession was more with the devising of a workable calendar than with any astrological significance. They turned to other omens for prediction: the cry of a new-born child, for instance, or its appearance. If it turned its eyes towards the Sun, it was a sign of early death. They interpreted dreams, too, and employed necromancy.

Discussion about the place of the pyramids in the development of astrology in Egypt seems fruitless. It is no doubt the case that some if not all of the pyramids were constructed for astronomical purposes, or at the very least with astronomy in mind; and since astronomy was indistinguishable from astrology, there is no point in denying that for instance the Great Pyramid, built in about 2500 BC, has a place in astrological history. But what place?

Innumerable theories have been advanced to explain the pyramids and to discover their secrets. As early as 1883 it was suggested that they had been erected as astronomical observatories and star clocks. Years later, it was proposed that the Egyptians who built the Great Pyramid must have known that the earth was round, and flattened at the poles, that they could measure the precise length of the year and had mastered a system of map projection.

The claim that the first horoscope was cast in Egypt in 2767 BC is suspect, although there is certainly a diagram of that date representing a particular moment of time - not, as far as we know, connected with the birth or life of a particular individual, but an early affirmation of belief that a particular moment of time had an individual significance (a proposition echoed in the 20th century by the psychologist C.G. Jung). Its existence shows that the early Egyptians were capable of close observation of the heavens; they may have used the pyramids for that purpose.
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