Since the Babylonians raised their heads to the sky to the ‘tiktokers' that predict the future, time has passed, and some historical characters have been fundamental
It is no news (and we have mentioned it here on several occasions) that horoscopes are back in fashion among young people. So much so that in a post-pandemic and certainly disturbing world, as well as secularized, they have managed to integrate the old art of reading the future with social networks. In sites like TikTok, tarot readers proliferate, in modern places in Madrid you can eat a pizza while they read your cards, and celebrities like actress Anya Taylor Joy or Rigoberta Bandini claim to carry crystals and stones of power in their handbags, in addition to Marseilles cards.
In the 60's, with the hippie movement and the famous Age of Aquarius (The 5th Dimension sang about it), everything related to astrology also experienced its peak. The Age of Aquarius was, supposedly, the one that would mark a change in human consciousness and lead to a path of abundance, prosperity and peace. Allegedly, we have been in Aquarius since the second half of the 20th century, while since the birth of Christ, humanity had lived ruled by the constellation of Pisces.
It would have been Alexander the Great who spread the Babylonian zodiac through Asia, Greece and Egypt, where it was modified to become an oracle type of zodiac.
But how did the horoscope come into our lives? How did we go from reading the constellations to picking up the Sunday supplements and studying how lucky Gemini will be in love this week? Well, as with many other things, the first to do so were the Babylonians. They divided the sky (some say into 18 equal parts that would later be modified, others say into the 12 we know), approximately five centuries before the arrival of Christ. The zodiac refers, therefore, to the area of celestial space through which the Sun, the Moon and the rest of the planets transit. In addition to calculating the position of the planets in the celestial sphere, they already began to believe that the future could be read in the stars. The tablet known as MUL.APIN is the one that deals with these many aspects of astronomy and astrology.
But our current ideas of the horoscope are influenced by Greece, in fact the word ‘zodiac' comes from zoo (animal), and refers to the animals of the zoo. In turn the word horoscope would also have its origins in Greece (horoskopoi, marker of the hours), although some point to Egypt, and could also mean something like “Look at Horus”. According to some historians, it would have been Alexander the Great (a powerful believer in oracles and the designs of the future) who spread the Babylonian zodiac through Asia, Greece and Egypt, where it was modified to become an oracle type.
The inclination of the Earth has changed a little since the Babylonians, so we see a sky a little different from that of our ancestors. Isaac Newton was the one who proposed the theory that the twelve names of the zodiacal constellations paid homage to the myth of ‘Jason and the Argonauts'.
Isaac Newton was the one who proposed the theory that the twelve names of the zodiacal constellations paid homage to the myth of ‘Jason and the Argonauts'.
- Aries. It would be the golden fleece.
- Taurus. Either the Bull of Crete or the form taken by Zeus when he abducted Europa (there are two options).
- Gemini. The twins Castor and Pollux (the second was immortal).
- Cancer. The crab sent by Hera to help the Hydra of Lerna.
- Leo. The Lion of Nemea, who was strangled by Heracles.
- Virgo. From the myth of Astrea, who helped her father (Zeus) as a lightning carrier during the war with the Titans.
- Libra. It is associated with the same goddess, and was formerly part of the pincers of Scorpio. However, in Babylonian astronomy she was already spoken of as the scales, an attribute of the god Shamash (god of the sun according to Sumerian mythology).
- Scorpio. A scorpion sent by the goddess Artemis against the giant hunter Orion. Orion stepped on him and the scorpion stung him, and when they both died, Zeus placed them in front of each other.
- Sagittarius. The centaur Qurion.
- Capricorn: Representation of the Goat Amalthea, who suckled Zeus when his mother Rhea hid him from the sight of his father Cronus.
- Aquarius: The young Ganymede, the pourer of the gods on Olympus.
- Pisces: When the gods fled from the titan Typhon, many took animal forms. Eros and Aphrodite did so in the form of fish.
But it was undoubtedly Princess Margaret who set the trend for us to read our weekly horoscope in the newspaper (or download an application to know our birth chart). Born on August 21, 1930, her parents were King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. She was fourth in succession to the throne, but that did not mean that her birth was not as important as that of any royal ‘nepobaby'.
The Sunday Express predicted that Princess Margaret would have an eventful life and that a series of events of tremendous importance to the royal family and the nation would occur around the time she was seven years old.
The editor of the Sunday Express, John Gordon, was at that time thinking about how to approach the article on the birth of the princess that the tabloid was preparing. He came up with the idea of asking Cheiro (a famous astrologer of the time) for a prediction about the life of the princess. In the end, the prediction was made by an assistant of the Irish astrologer. He predicted that the child would have an eventful life and that a series of events of tremendous importance to the royal family and the nation would occur around the time the child was seven years old.
The article was a success, so they continued to do things like this that would eventually democratize and become a weekly column of predictions intended for all readers according to the date of their birthday. And from the Babylonians to Alexander the Great, all the way to TikTok. That's where we are now.
I am a web editor specialized in people news. I am passionate about the world of celebrity and I love to follow the latest trends, scoops and gossip that make the buzz