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Astronomy vs Astrology

Astronomy and Astrology are both subject matters on which widespread research has been done and they have both been deeply debated over for as long as they’ve existed. We can all agree that we have at one point or another been absolutely fascinated by what these two topics have to offer. Who wouldn’t be fascinated? Astronomy and Astrology deal with matters of the universe, things that we have never seen and may never be able to see, and to get just a glimpse of that world through these subjects is something to die for.

We know that they’re both related to concepts of the universe, but what exactly are they? What does each of them have to teach us that can’t be learnt from the other? What is the difference between Astronomy and Astrology?

History

Up until the 17th century, the terms ‘Astronomy’ and ‘Astrology’ were used interchangeably. It was after that that they diverged to find their own meanings.

Before the invention of telescopes and other such equipment that help us look into outer-space, humans could only observe what was visible to the naked eye, namely the sun, the moon, and the 5 planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn). Therefore, both astrology and astronomy laid all their weight on these celestial objects. After the advancements in technology, it’s been a whole other story and we now recognize many more constellations and planets than we did back then.

Key Difference between Astronomy and Astrology

Astronomy focuses on the scientific aspect of stars, planets and all the other astral bodies in existence. It employs science to study the origins, motions, and properties of objects in space.

Astrology, on the other hand, relates the actions of these astral bodies to human existence. How the position of the moon when you were born affects your quality of life, what your zodiac sign is, these are all determined by astrology.

Astronomy provides us with an understanding of what’s in space, what space can tell us about the origin of the universe, and many other existential doubts all through careful research and hypotheses. As the tools of science advance, so does the reach astronomy has on outer-space. It’s these advancements that have given us information about which galaxy we live in, how many other galaxies exist, how many other planets exist, and so on. Basically everything we know about space is the result of decades of science based research by astronomers.

Even though astrology incorporates science in its teachings, people are unsure whether to consider it as an actual science in its own right. This brings us to our next question:

Can Astrology Be Considered A Science?

The short answer is: no. Astrology can’t be considered a Science, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not credible. After all, the first astrologers were scientists who were incisive enough to realize that the stars above moved in patterns that seemed to have an impact on their daily lives. The moon seemed to control the tides and waves, a specific constellation of the sun always made the weather extremely hot, etc. So these scientists decided that to solve problems on the Earth, they just had to study the stars and all the other bodies that seemed so out of reach.

They started collecting information about the happenings of outer-space, and made predictions about the effect each planetary transit would have on Earth. They also always tested the reliability of their predictions, and afterwards made changes to the way they analyzed the actions of astral bodies based on their tests. All their discoveries were compiled into books that astrologers refer to till this day. Pretty soon, they became adept at predicting events like lunar eclipses and in many ways, astrology became the stepping stone for astronomy to find its way.

People who have dedicated their lives to learning astrology from its origins to the complex theories prevalent in it now, have found that more than a science, astrology is an art. It’s nothing but the notion that earthly and celestial phenomena are interrelated. And the earthly phenomena don’t just mean a person’s personality, like so many horoscope pages seem to imply. Personality just makes up a small fraction of a person’s horoscope.

These interrelations cannot be dismissed as untrue just because it has been assumed that celestial and earthly occurrences are completely disparate. People who have studied historical texts written by great thinkers of the pasts and practiced the approaches suggested can prove their merit. So much evidence is available which have been accumulated over thousands of years through various cultures, which proves the obvious truth in astrology.

Before we part, we’d like to quote the wise words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Astrology is astronomy brought down to Earth and applied towards the affairs of men”, and that just about summarizes everything that is different between Astronomy and Astrology.

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