Зарождение астрологии относится к самому раннему периоду истории человечества. Уже в нижнем палеолите, судя по дошедшим до нас следам жизнедеятельности людей, начались наблюдения за небом, были выделены сезоны года. Имеются данные о том, что в мустьерскую эпоху (около 40 - 100 тыс. лет назад) произошли фиксация простейших наблюдений за движением Солнца, а также развитие первоначальных навыков счёта и геометрических построений различными способами в разных районах Евразии.
И интенсивное собирательство, и охота требовали внимания к пространственно-временным ориентирам, среди которых важнейшую роль играло небо, а на нём - прежде всего звёздные узоры и движение Луны, а также её изменения по фазам.
Анимизм. Первобытный человек живёт ещё в лоне природы. Будучи вряд ли способным отличить объективное от субъективного, он настолько един с природой, что остаётся постоянно погружённым в её явления. Л. Леви-Брюль использовал для описания подобного процесса психологического отождествления с предметами термин «мистическая причастность». Веру в одушевлённость природы называют также анимизмом, и мы, вслед за Р. Бертело, будем называть древнейший период становления астрологии анимистическим.
Древние люди, как и современные дикари, всегда рассматривали природу как часть общества, а общество - включённым в природу и зависящим от космических сил.
Для них природа и человек не противостоят друг другу, а потому им и не должны соответствовать два различных способа познания. Это не означает (как часто думают), что первобытный человек для объяснения природных явлений наделяет неодушевлённый мир человеческими характеристиками. Для первобытного человека неодушевлённого мира попросту не существует.
Возникновение мифологии. Природа, как внешняя, так и внутренняя (что неразличимо для первобытного человека), представляет собой хаос существ, которые действуют и взаимодействуют, вызывая трепет ужаса и благоговения. Скоро, однако, у человека зарождается некое ощущение причинности; оказывается, определённые факты всегда следуют один за другим.
Теперь он даёт наименования не только вещам, но и отношениям между ними. Причём, единственное отношение, которое он знает по личному опыту, - это отношение кровного родства. Так создаётся мифология, в которой природные силы сочетаются браком и производят потомство; оформляются представления об иерархии этих сил. Характерным примером такой иерархии является деление неба на слои, каждому из которых соответствует своё божество.
Подобные представления мы находим в древней мифологии народов Центральной Азии.
На анимистической стадии развития человек всё соотносит с собой, со своими страхами и желаниями. Отношения с вещами он проецирует на сами вещи, которые тем самым становятся овеществлёнными образами его впечатлений.
Солнце и Луна. Солнце и Луна известны как носители света. Свет и жизнь нераздельны, ведь темнота и ночь очень часто несут с собой смерть. Солнечный свет разгоняет страх, даёт возможность видеть вещи ясно. Таким образом, Солнце - великий источник жизни; Луна же скрывает тайну. Она растёт и уменьшается, освещая землю своим неверным светом, переменчивым и таинственным.
Вместе с тем, скоро обнаруживаются фазы Луны, и по её циклам устанавливается чувствование периодичности и времени. «Духов» лучше всего вызывать при её свете, возбуждающем воображение. Луна становится магической силой, силой всех таинственных ритуалов.
As proved, the lunar calendar could exist since the Paleolithic era. Paleolithic hunters and gatherers, according to the harsh need of life, subtle observers and elemental materialists, followed the phases of the moon and its movement through the starry sky, in order, first, to choose the most successful periods for hunting and gathering and, secondly, to have reliable guidelines to return home after a hunt for days.
Maintain fire and solar cycles. The development of the necessary conditions for observing the luminaries was facilitated by hundreds of millennia of activity in maintaining “timed” fire in camps. To maintain the fire, he had to give fuel continuously and in certain portions. The burning time clearly corresponded to the amount of fuel.
Long-term maintenance of the fire required periodic replenishment of fuel, i.e. practical necessity, one way or another, to “measure” the dynamics of the natural process by “quanta” of fuel in the present and in the foreseeable future. In addition, for primitive man, the analogy between fire and the Sun as "heavenly fire" suggested itself.
The titanic efforts to extract, preserve, and maintain fire were motivated by the desire to artificially supplement the life-giving effect of the Sun, since this action was reduced in certain periods of daily and annual rhythms of its movement. In other words, by "measuring", "quantizing" fire, people somehow learned to measure the dynamics of the visible movement of the sun across the sky. And this contributed to the consciousness of the periodic repetition of those features of the fishery and all life activities that depended on the daily and annual rhythms of the movement of the Sun and the corresponding changes in the surrounding nature.
Certain periods of the year quite early could be associated with celestial phenomena, and with moments of animal behavior that are important for a primitive hunter. The syncretism of primitive ideas about the world contributed to the interrelationships, the interpenetration of such observations and actions, leading to a specifically hunting vision of earth and celestial phenomena as a whole.
Totemism. In relation to the Sun and the Moon, and later, probably, to the brightest stars, a person at the animistic stage experiences some kind of unclear identity. He feels them as living beings, striving for ever greater union with them, seeking to be filled with their essence.
This honoring of the stars (or, rather, identifying oneself with the stars) corresponds to the culture of totems. Totems are most often animals (bears, eagles, deer), but they can be stars, and even clouds or mountains. Totemic cultures still exist among the so-called primitive tribes of Africa, America, Australia, Oceania, and familiarity with them, apparently, will help to better understand the meaning of ancient astrology at the animistic stage of development.
Create a calendar. D. Radyar points out that at that time the main thing was not a change in the positions of the celestial bodies, as later, but a special vital quality that each of the celestial bodies possesses. However, it is impossible to fully agree with this author. The formation of a primitive society stimulated the accurate measurement of more and more extended periods of time, which was carried out precisely on the basis of observations of the sky. The natural continuation of this process was the creation of a calendar, divided into months and seasons of the year, in the heyday of primitive society.
The sun and the moon helped a person to navigate in time in different ways. If the one-year period of the Sun is clearly manifested in the change of seasons, then the dynamics of alternation of lunar phases is more noticeable and, due to the brevity of the cycle, is more practical.
Of the two systems of time calculation - the Sun and the Moon - the first is easier because of the visual connection with the alternation of seasons, the second is more convenient for measuring with a smaller number series, and greater visibility - the days were confirmed by changing the shape of the lunar disk. Although the lunar month does not express exactly the whole number of days, the year - the whole number of months or days, history does not know peoples who cannot determine time with the help of the Sun and the Moon. It is important to note that the idea of the year and the special word for its designation were, as ethnography shows, among all the peoples of northern Eurasia.
The year was divided into two parts - summer and winter, for seasons and for months ..
Moon calendar. Judging by the ethnographically and astronomically archaic calendar systems that have come down to us, the oldest calendar systems are associated with the movement of the moon, and the primitive mythology of the world refers to the moon as a whole much more often than to the sun. The primitive traditions of the peoples of the world are also known for the rounded lunar month (28 days), and the rather precise meanings of the synodic and sidereal months.
Usually, in the Moon, as universal “watches,” first of all, the most essential attention was riveted on itself — the dual side of its metamorphosis, namely, the disintegration of the cycle into two almost equal parts: during the first, the Moon grows to a full disk, during the second gradually decreases to extinction. "Turn" usually falls on the 14th day from the moment of her birth, and after another 14 days it disappears.
In the arrays of Paleolithic graphics, there are numerous cuts, notches, etc., corresponding to the order and the number of days in the lunar month: 14 cuts go in one direction, and the next 14 sharply change this direction.
The magic number is seven. This circumstance helps to understand the last stage of evolution to the allocation in calendar units of the number 7: the division into two equal parts of the segment of 14 days.
And here, too, the thought of the ancients relied on visual analogies: half of the moon's disk in its first and last quarter, 7 stars of the Pleiades and the Big Dipper, the “seven planets”, etc., and as a result, the seven finally entrenched in language, calendar and cosmological ideas . There were also psychological factors: 7 days turned out to be most convenient for orientation in long periods of time, i.e. corresponded to the natural limits of operational attention and memory; Such a set made it possible to operate with the maximum number of days without efforts to pre-recoding them into a special new unit.
Thus, the "magic seven" still in the Paleolithic was associated with lunar rhythms, with ideas about time, about the cosmos, about fertility, life and death (analogy with the "dying" and "rebirth" of the Moon in the sky at equal intervals of time) - received such a significant development in later astrology.
Studies of the last decades unequivocally indicate the existence of the lunar calendar in the Paleolithic graph throughout its distribution - from Kamchatka to the Pyrenees. The conventional images of the dynamics of the lunar (and generally cosmic) cycles include spirals, zigzags, meanders, and other similar figures found in the monuments of the material culture of the Stone Age.
The number 3 and the number 7. The symbolism of numbers that are multiples of 7, in a number of Paleolithic calendar locations, was intertwined with the symbols of numbers that are multiples of 3, in obvious connection with the vertical length of the primitive model of the world, with the vertical division of 3 (sky - earthly world - underground world ), and, probably, with the rising and setting of the heavenly bodies in their visible daily movement. It is also associated with the formation of a systematic account based on the numbers 3 and 6, conjugated with a universal 5–10-tier system, which then spread among many peoples of the Old World.
Before the discoveries of the last decades made in the study of Paleolithic graphs, the introduction of divisions that are multiples of three (6, 12, and 60 riches) was usually associated with the mathematics and astronomy of the Sumerians. Now it is obvious that such divisions were known much earlier.
The sevenfold "model of the world" of the Sumerians and Babylonians was only one of the later manifestations of the archaic traditions of the Paleolithic population of Europe, in which not only 7-day segments were allocated, respectively, to the phases of the Moon, but also accentuated by a series of images of a group of 7 characters, whose names could in principle correspond days of the week.
Stars and constellations. It should be noted here that, systematically observing, above all, the movement of the Sun and the Moon, people of the Paleolithic era could not ignore other celestial bodies.
Such an important landmark, as the Polar Star, was identified very early - in connection with the formation of the idea of the four sides of the horizon; in the art and the whole material culture of the Upper Paleolithic, the division of the northern, southern, western and eastern directions became a stable tradition.
Obviously, in the night sky, Paleolithic people could distinguish other luminaries and groups of luminaries, and to designate them to use the universal method for the primitive world, referring to the stereotypes of their commercial and communal-clan ideas.
Of great interest are the cases of complete coincidence of the grouping of stars in the constellations of distant peoples recorded by ethnography, who at the same time retained many such features in their culture that were inherent in the Paleolithic cultures of Eurasia. A conspicuous example is the Big Dipper constellation: no matter what animal it is associated with the peoples of northern Asia (with a bear - with Orochi, with a wild deer - with Koryaks, with a moose - with Khanty and Tungus, with a deer - with Buryats), it consists of the same seven stars.
But the Pleiades constellation was designated in opposite points of the globe - among the aborigines of Australia, the Indians of America, the indigenous people of Siberia, and in the ancient Mediterranean - in the same way the “seven sisters”. Similarly, the name Scorpio was assigned to the same group of stars in such different cultures as Proto-Indian, Sumerian, and Mayan. There is no final solution to the problem of the appearance of such coincidences in modern science.
The most natural explanation here may be the hypothesis that the selection of these constellations and their figurative designation in time preceded the settlement of America and Australia, i.e. originated in the Paleolithic.
Sky and sides of the world. It is significant that the division of the sky into areas with different meanings was also associated with the already mentioned appearance of notions about the cardinal points (which, in turn, were based on astronomical observations and the principle of polarity).
Thus, the connection with the various regions of the sky among the Mongolian peoples reflects the dichotomy of light and dark, benevolent and demonic; Wed the Mongolian expression "Tengri (sky) of the good side" for the good spirit and "Tengri of the bad side" for the evil genius. A reflection of the early stage of development of such ideas is obviously the presence of the “northern (back) tengri” and “southern (front) tengri” in Buryat mythology, later replaced by contrasting the light western and dark eastern tengri.
On the motive of their original kinship and subsequent hostility built many mythological scenes.
The concept of pervostihiy. Let us turn to another side of the consciousness of the ancient man - the birth of the concept of world elements, which began to play a key role in astrology of a later time.
In the oldest layers of folklore and mythology, we see that the world, according to early ideas, was created in a fierce struggle of polar elements and forces, and chaos and bitter fights of gods, heroes and monsters preceded the orderly cosmos. Moreover, the universe itself, before acquiring a modern look, more than once collapsed and re-emerged from non-existence.
Comparing and analyzing the surrounding phenomena and objects, a person naturally came to the conclusion that if the world exists in a fierce internal confrontation and nevertheless does not die, breaking up into its constituent elements, then it means that there is something that keeps it in constant balance , there is a certain universal principle of being, from which all existence once arose and into which everything will turn again at the end of time.
The problem of the original substance, pra-matter, was rightfully in the eyes of the ancient myth-makers and thinkers of one of the most important and most important.
Similarities in the views of different nations. In various cultural traditions of antiquity, this issue was solved in different ways.
At the same time, with all the discrepancies and differences between the natural-philosophical and mythological concepts of different nations, there is much in common. Surprisingly, in different parts of the globe, people independently from each other have come not just to similar, but sometimes to amazingly identical views.
In many ancient cosmological systems, one or several elements, one or several universal primary elements, underlie the existence of the world. Significant similarities are found in the qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the elements. Most often there were four of them: fire, air, earth and water. The ancients believed that it is from these components that the universe is made up, of which all objects and creatures are formed without exception
Without going into the analysis of the reasons why these elements were taken as the primary basis of existence (there is an extensive literature on this topic), we only emphasize that most modern scientists share the idea of the German researcher A. Forck that the concept of four or five elements is “A product of human nature that is more or less the same everywhere,” and therefore there is no need to resort to the theory of borrowing.
Indeed, the concept of several pervostihii was known to the peoples who could not borrow it from other nations.
Similar views on the elemental world are found not only in the great civilizations of antiquity, but also in many other cultures. Similar ideas are found, for example, among the peoples of North America, on the one hand, and a number of Turkic peoples (in particular, among the Uighurs), on the other. Of course, they did not achieve the degree of abstraction that is inherent in the thinkers of Greece and the classical East, but analysis shows that even there primitive concepts have approximately the same nature and origin.
Myths and calendar. The most important practical motive of the primitive calendar tradition was, apparently, the notion that the processes of reproduction in human collectives and in the animal world are two sides of a single course of time, and this course of time was ultimately brought to the dynamics of the movement of the heavenly bodies.
Motifs typical of the mythology of various peoples, such as the "lunar bull" (as well as the "bull and woman") and "sun horse", are a reflection of the connection between the cows (10 lunar months, like women) and horses ( 1 solar year) with celestial cycles.
The recent data on the historical and cultural continuity of traditions allow, in particular, to understand the phenomena of complex astronomical and calendar entries that unexpectedly (as it seemed earlier) appeared in Ancient China, Mesopotamia and the agricultural civilizations of other regions of the planet; the practice of such recordings continued the millennial primitive traditions.
A brief summary. Briefly summarize our review of the ancient era.
Already at the animistic stage, a person feels the connection of events in his life with the heavenly bodies, the permeation of the world with a single principle of life, which is largely associated with the allocation of cycles common to all living things on the basis of the opposition of the Sun and the Moon, he comes to the conclusion that the principle of polarity of the male and female principles is globally valid; the diversity of the manifestations of the world is reduced to several basic origins; already at this stage, ideas about the mystical significance of numbers and the magic power of names are formed; in the sky there are areas (constellations) that have an individual mythology; the beginnings of perception of the world as a hierarchical system appear.
At the same time, all of these characteristics of the world were characteristic of the vast majority of early cultures, about which there is sufficient information.
In other words, all the main astrological views (highlighted in the previous chapter) were formed already in the Stone Age. Thus, we have the right to conclude that already in the pre-class society, human consciousness was “astrological”, and the ideas of modern science about the ancient origin of the “cosmic world perception” are quite reasonable.
It is curious that the occult tradition, which does not recognize the modern scientific theory of evolution, leads the history of astrology from antediluvian times, believing that astrological knowledge was passed on to humanity by the Masters of previous Ras (descended from Atlantis, Arctis, etc.).
Vitalistic period. The emergence of developed astrological systems.
The oldest agricultural states already correspond to a new phase in the development of astrology, to which the idea of correspondence between biological phenomena on Earth and the movement of the Sun and the Moon leads; R. Berthelot describes this phase as “vitalism”.
From the point of view of vitalism, life is everything, every essence, every substance is imbued with it. It is a comprehensive ocean of energy in which everything that is, moves and exists.
Such a world view arises when humanity, to some extent, has already overcome the primitive fear of nature, when it passed what D. Radyar was symbolically called the “jungle” and a person becomes a cattle farmer or a farmer. In other words, this is the first stage of domestication, the “domestication” of nature.
It becomes "home", and in this house life flows in a majestic change of seasons, phases of the moon, spills and declines of the Nile or other large rivers, whose waters provide fertility.
Animism and vitalism. Animism reveals a person as a creature, desperately trying to overcome fear by identifying with a frightening object or with fire and light that preserve its life, seeking to appease evil by making sacrifices.
In contrast to animism, vitalism assumes that at least a small part of nature - both external and internal - has been conquered and used; that certain reliability has been achieved, some kind of security.
However, this tamed part of nature must be carefully protected, protected from evil, made fertile. The land requires plowing, herds are waiting for care. There are still enemies, but they are attacking not so much the man himself as his property.
Human life depends on the preservation of property and increasing its fertility. The same applies to the inner essence of man. One part of his being - the “soul” - is cultivated, that is, cultivated by the conscious, giving rise to ideas and knowledge. And the consciousness should be protected, protected from the possible invasion of the evil forces of the "unconscious" - so to speak, from the "inner jungle".
Cyclical life. Cultivation, improvement of the breed, refinement - all this means one thing: working in harmony with life processes and (at least to some extent) managing them. Life on the vitalistic stage is a force that can be both good and evil, all-pervading and operating in everything. She can not resist because she is omnipotent. But knowing the laws of its cyclical ebbs and flows, acting in harmony with them, a person can use Life. He is able to create magical tools that attract this vitality to make nature bear fruit.
At this stage of human development, astrology becomes extremely important. She is no longer occupied solely by celestial beings who need to be read and propitiated (although at this time such animistic views still remain the main characteristic of exoteric, popular astrology).
The new astrology of the vitalist period deals primarily with the periodicity of life processes.
She finds them in the growth and destruction of vegetation, in general, of natural beings and believes that these processes are controlled from divine sources, which are identified with the Sun, the Moon, the planets, and to some extent with the stars. Astrology becomes the study of the universal mystery of periodic dynamic transformations, which seems to be the very essence of life.
Calendar and ethics. The tendencies of the vitalistic stage brought to the fore two basic needs: the development of a calendar that determines, first of all, the dates of agricultural work and the days favorable and unfavorable for them; and the formulation of an ethical law indicating how a person should act in order to ennoble his own nature, his own earthly being, how to build relationships with other people in the state so that it corresponds to the law of Heaven.
Thus, in ancient China, we see the emperor as the high priest of this heavenly religion, a mediator between the divine order (the center of which is the Polar Star, where the great god of Order dwells) and humanity.
He is supported by four astrologers who, together with him, establish an agricultural calendar, develop a moral, social law, as well as musical systems, since music is a conductor through which the earthly state can tune into "harmony of spheres" (we see the same idea at Pythagoras).
Music encompasses not only sounds, but also ritual dances, and harmony connecting body movement with musical tones and rhythms, symbolizes and magically invokes harmonization of human emotions and celestial movements.
Early Zodiacs. In all developed cultures of the Ancient World in the analyzed era, the path of the Sun and the Moon in the sky among the stars was divided into sectors, each of which had its own special meaning and name, i.e. there was a Zodiac (in different versions: 18-, and then 12-private in Dvorichie, 36-private in Egypt, 28-private in China and India).
The movement of the Sun and the Moon became the basis of the astrological system. Nomadic tribes, mostly cattle-breeding, preferred the lunar cycles, since they more closely correspond to the periodicals in animal life, sex, and sexual reproduction. And the agricultural tribes attached greater importance to the solar cycles, combined with the growing season. From these major solar-lunar correspondences, a generalization of the "law of similarity" —the basis of every occult science.
Similarity of the microcosm and the macrocosm. The law of similarity presupposes the action of a universal factor pervading the whole system — life force or the substance that fills the whole space. Filling the sky, it fills the tribe’s habitat. This habitat of the tribe becomes a reduced copy of the whole world, outlined by the spheres of stars; Earth is a microcosm, the Universe is a macrocosm. In the states of the Ancient East, astrology related to the land and the state, to society. The state is a microcosm, and the emperor or pharaoh is his sun and the center of life.
But at the same time there was another parallel: the macrocosm - the Universe, the microcosm - man.
This option is associated with such a pattern of development of the religious-mythological worldview, as anthropomorphization, “humanization” of ideas. As a result of a long and complex evolution, the mythological universe in the image of an animal gives way to an anthropomorphic cosmos, the "first man." Not only gods and spirits, but also the entire universe as a whole, acquire human appearance. We are talking about the cosmological concept that was extremely popular at the time, according to which the universe is nothing but a cosmically enormous human body.
The desire to animate and humanize nature, which is extremely characteristic of archaic consciousness, found a logical conclusion in this concept: the universe is not just endowed with certain human qualities, but is directly likened to man himself.
Such views on the universe to a certain extent reflect the attempts of the mythological consciousness to unite the disparate and sometimes polar qualities and characteristics of the cosmos, presenting it in the form of an integral, visual, sensually perceived image. Myths about the first man are characteristic of the peoples of the most different regions of the globe.
One world law. The unity of the micro- and macrocosm, the commonality of the principles that govern them, were determined by the idea of a single law, organizing the structure of time and space throughout the world, dominating even the gods.
This Act was known to Indo-Aryans as “mouth” (in Zoroastrianism — Arta (Asha), in Hinduism — Rita). Steadily following it, "the sun moves evenly, the seasons change and thereby ensures the order of all that exists in the world." Gradually, the “mouth” becomes the path of morality, which people must adhere to, and the law of righteousness, which even gods observe. The whole universe rests on the "mouth" and moves it.
The ancient Chinese concept of Tao and ancient Greek ideas, embodied in the images of the goddesses of cosmic law (Ananke, Dike, Adrastei), are close to this concept. Thus, at this stage of development, a person comes to the recognition of the principle of the universal connection of phenomena, expressed through a single structuring law of the universe.
The structure of the world. In addition, according to the ideas of the ancients, the Cosmos has a clear three-dimensional spatial structure: the vertical dimension is defined by the image of the World axis (World tree, World pillar, World mountain, etc.), the horizontal plane - by sacred landmarks connected to 4 sides of the world. Note that this scheme contains a set of numerical constants ordering the cosmic world: 3, 4, 7 (3 + 4), 12 (3x4) - these are the key numbers of astrological symbolism.
The well-known contemporary cultural scientist V. Toporov points out: “The special role of the World Tree for the mythopoetic epoch is determined in particular by the fact that it acts as an intermediate link between the universe (the macrocosm) and man (the microcosm) and is the place of their intersection. The image of the World Tree guaranteed a holistic view of the world, the definition of man’s place in the universe. ”
In ancient states, in such a system of coordinates, formed by points of equinox and solstice, connected with the four sides of the world, all living things were placed.
In ancient China, approximately in the 2nd millennium BC, the capital and palace of the emperor were oriented along these four points. The palace was divided into four sectors, each of them corresponded to one of the seasons. The emperor lived in the eastern sector in the spring, in the southern - in the summer, in the western - in the autumn and in the northern - in the winter. Maya Indians had a notion of bakabs - four gods-brothers who stand on four sides of the world (“in the four corners of the Universe”) and support the sky so that it does not fall on the ground.
The principle of polarity. Quaternary division is obviously connected with the idea of duality and gender. The Chinese have built their “cycle of change” based on the gradual arrival and descent of yang and yin, male and female principles.
This dualism is analogous to the dualism of day and night: the sun is the light of the day, the moon is the light of the night. Female animals have periods of excitement and indifference, as the moon can be light or dark. Thus, the astrology of the vitalist period is based on purely biological representations. It is dynamic, vitalistic.
It identifies the causes of all biological phenomena on Earth, and later all social phenomena, as in Chinese civilization, where the organization of society, politics, music and the whole culture were controlled in accordance with the harmony revealed in the movement of celestial bodies, which were considered carriers of the symbols of divine forces co-representing world life.
Manifestations of the principle of polarity can be seen in the calendar (where diametrically opposed points of the annual and other cycles stand out) and in myths - especially in cosmogonic ones, showing the formation of the world through the history of the matrimonial life of the gods.
Moreover, the concrete interpretation of the world as a field of interaction between two principles can be completely different. So, in the Egyptian tradition, the Sky is personified by the goddess Nut, and the Earth is her husband Hebe; for the Incas, on the contrary, the man-Sky Viracocha enters into a cosmic dialogue with the woman Earth Pachamama; in China, the Sky is also thought of as masculine (yang), and the Earth as feminine (yin).
Primary Elements. In the vitalist period, the concept of four to five basic elements, which is usually combined with the principle of the struggle between the two world principles, is being further developed.
Present in an implicit form in Egyptian notions, this concept was developed by scholars of ancient Greece who correlated fire and air with the male principle, and water and earth with the female one. In China, there were five elements (four elements were associated with the cardinal points, and the fifth with the center, a reference point), and the interpretation of the interaction of these five elements with the Yin-Yang principles became “a truly universal classification system that linked space and time, heaven and earth , human and cosmos, nature and culture. "
This system covered the most diverse areas of life: from medicine and cooking to military science and meteorology. Surprisingly similar concepts developed in pre-Columbian America (in particular, among the Aztecs and the Incas).
New astrology tasks. We see that at the vitalist stage, there was a synthesis of all the key principles for astrology (i.e. principles of analogy, polarity, cyclicity, cosmic hierarchy, dividing the sky into sections, mystic numbers, the concept of elements).
Therefore, it is logical that very much attention was paid to observations of the sky. Such an ancient variety of astrological interpretations, like “the astrology of omens”, gradually disappeared and a more rationally complex structure was developed. The priests who wrote down, systematized, compared and studied the movement of celestial bodies, already comprehended in these cyclic references the abstract meaning.
The idea of "accurate, unchanging numerical relations" became a symbol of order in society, which was still gripped by the fear of the elements.
The idea of heavenly order became a mainstay against the chaos of the elemental nature. The divine world of archetypes, the world of Order, was seen as existing in heaven, where everything moves according to its eternal laws. Then, obviously, the task of man is to establish order on the earth (in the soil and herds, but also in his earthly instinctive nature), to make it a perfect reflection of the Heavenly Order.
D. Radyar writes: “The astrological state in Chaldea and China was the only support against the chaos of the elements. The cyclical paths of celestial bodies were the only evidence of world order. Only knowledge about the movement of the Sun and the Moon could save a person from the destruction of the harvest, which meant hunger and chaos. ”
The significance of astrological knowledge in those days can be seen in the fact that the fall of the first Chinese dynasty happened, it is believed, because of the failure of the imperial astrologers in predicting a solar eclipse.
If the planet - due to imperfect knowledge of celestial movements - turned out to be not where it was expected to be seen, this was considered to be an omen of chaos and ruin in the imperial house. If the rulers, the keepers of the Universal Order, were unable to accurately predict what would happen in heaven, showing their ignorance of this Order, it was necessary to overthrow them - in order to save the people.
There is evidence that in ancient India the awareness of the significance of the work of an astrologer was no less. The Greek historian Megasfen (302 BC), describing the duties of the astrologer Brahmin, adds: "The Brahmin, who was mistaken in his predictions, was obliged to remain silent for the rest of his life." The list of qualities contained in the ancient Sanskrit texts that an astrologer should possess is truly frightening.
"Astrobiology". Rudyar notes: “In biological and ethical and social terms, astrology was then Great Knowledge, which alone could ensure reliability and spiritual faith in the Cosmic Law, without which no civilization is possible.”
She was vital and living knowledge, because at every step penetrated into the reality of life. She was the science of life - “astrobiology,” as Berthelot put it, embracing the cosmic archetypal order, which also operates in the microcosm - on Earth, and in the macrocosm - in the Universe.
It is at this stage that astrology emerges as the study of cyclical cosmic changes, which correspond to changes in life on Earth and which are therefore possible to use for predicting events.
As is evident from the above, the oldest varieties of astrological interpretations were calendar astrology and astrology of omens (omen astrology).
Astrology omens. In astrology omens after observing the sky, the priests recalled (or turned to old records) what events occurred at a similar arrangement of luminaries earlier, and derived the prediction from here for this case as well (classical examples of this technique - in Mesopotam clay tablets II - beginning of I mil. AD).
Calendar astrology. Calendar astrology was an interpretation of the values of one or another calendar day, month, year (usually in terms of auspiciousness and salivation). Thus, the basis for the interpretation was no longer the direct observation of the sky, but the calendar resulting from such observations.
Astrology omens and the simplest calendar astrology are known in many cultures. However, more complex astrological systems - implying the presence of abstract meaning in the movement of celestial bodies, introducing special classification systems (zodiacal signs, etc.) - have emerged and developed only in a few cultures.
The search for "the birthplace of astrology." Undoubtedly, complex astrological systems arose in different regions of the Ancient World, and it is impossible to single out a single “homeland of astrology”. To accurately determine the number of independent "foci", where astrology appeared, is also not possible (at least at the present level of knowledge). This is largely due to the lack of reliable information about the early stages of the formation of astrological teachings.
For example, some researchers point to the emergence of developed astrological systems in ancient India, in ancient Iran (in Zoroastrian culture), among ancient Jews, among ancient Egyptians. However, the available data do not suggest that the astrological teachings were developed by these peoples independently.
The earliest surviving fragments of astrological systems already speak of borrowing, the non-independence of the astrology of these peoples. It is difficult to judge how independent the development of astrology was before the creation of these fragments.
Centers of the origin of astrology. Nevertheless, there are several main independent centers of the origin of the developed astrological systems:
- Mesopotamia, which served as the main source of astrological practices of the Hellenistic world;
- Northern Europe, in which the Celtic-Gallic priests-druids created astrology, independent of Middle Eastern influence;
- China and its neighboring regions;
- Mesoamerica (Olmer, Mayan, Aztec and other astrology).
The foundation for the development of practices, now known as "Western astrology" served as Mesopotamian astrology, while the Chinese tradition became the core of the so-called systems. "Eastern Astrology". As for the astrological systems of the Mesoamerican Indians and the Druids, they did not reach our time in a living tradition and are reconstructed only with varying degrees of certainty.
The original astrological systems apparently arose in other regions of the world, but some of them had a narrow regional character (such as original Balinese-Javanese astrology, based on the “wok” calendar, or the Incan astrology), without playing a significant role - even neighboring nations; while others are practically not studied, reliable information about them has not yet been published or has not been preserved at all (this, in particular, relates to the astrology of the Etruscans, pagan Russia, South and Southeast Africa, the nomadic peoples of Asia).
It is important to emphasize that the emergence of developed astrological traditions was not simultaneous. The earliest, apparently, was the emergence of astrology in Mesopotamia and (possibly) among the ancient Aryans (tentatively at the turn of III - II millennium BC); in China and Mesoamerica, astro-numerological concepts were formulated by the middle of I millennium BC; while the astrological system of the Druids, apparently, was formed in the last centuries of I millennium BC.
The exact dating of the most ancient stages of the formation of astrology is very difficult.