Why Astrology Matters – Issue 81: Maps – Nautilus

astrology is a vital part of our human, and scientific, story. We have been making astrological connections—mapping the heavens and trying to discern their influence on the Earth—for much longer than we have been doing science. And with very positive results: Astrology had a huge influence on the development of science, sometimes directly. In 1663, Isaac Newton bought a book on astrology at the Sturbridge Summer Fair. It was an act of curiosity, but Newton found that he couldn’t make sense of it because he didn’t know enough geometry. And so he began to study Euclid. This is how Newton got hooked on mathematics.

Most of the influence has been more subtle. Astronomy, for example, arose as an attempt to do better astrology. The 16th-century astrologer and mathematician Jerome Cardano even taught the public to read the skies for themselves, publishing a primer on astronomy within his 1538 astrological guide. “One who wishes to attain knowledge of the stars must begin with knowledge of the planets,” Cardano explains. And so he lays out the movements of the known planets, and instructs the reader on how to find each of them in the sky. He was, according to the Princeton scholar Anthony Grafton, “a 16th-century counterpart to Patrick Moore or Carl Sagan.”
— Read on m.nautil.us/issue/81/maps/why-astrology-matters