An illuminating look at the surprising history and science of astrology, civilization’s first system of algorithms, from Babylon to the present day. Humans are pattern-matching creatures, and astrology is the universe’s grandest pattern-matching game. In this refreshing work of history and analysis, data scientist Alexander Boxer examines classical texts on astrology to expose its underlying scientific and mathematical framework. Astrology, he argues, was the ancient world’s most ambitious applied mathematics problem, a monumental data-analysis enterprise sustained by some of history’s most brilliant minds, from Ptolemy to al-Kindi to Kepler. Thousands of years ago, astrologers became the first to stumble upon the powerful storytelling possibilities inherent in numerical data. To correlate the configurations of the cosmos with our day-to-day lives, astrologers relied upon a “scheme of heaven,” or horoscope, showing the precise configuration of the planets at a particular instant in time as viewed from a particular place on Earth. Although recognized as pseudoscience today, horoscopes were once considered a cutting-edge scientific tool. Boxer teaches us how to read these esoteric charts—and appreciate the complex astronomical calculations needed to generate them—by diagramming how the heavens appeared at important moments in astrology’s history, from the assassination of Julius Caesar as viewed from Rome to the Apollo 11 lunar landing as seen from the surface of the Moon. He then puts these horoscopes to the test using modern data sets and statistical science, arguing that today’s data scientists do work similar to astrologers of yore. By looking back at the algorithms of ancient astrology, he suggests, we can better recognize the patterns that are timeless characteristics of our own pattern-matching tendencies. At once critical, rigorous, and far ranging, A Scheme of Heaven recontextualizes astrology as a vast, technological project—spanning continents and centuries—that foreshadowed our data-driven world today.
Every generation of people think that their problems are the most important ever. As history flows without interruption and doomsday scenarios fail, the following generations focus on their own contemporary events, ignoring or underestimating the past. In this way people always see ÒsignsÓ in their times and the end of the world is constantly a fresh subject.
Everything You Need to Know to Interpret Your Natal Chart
Author: Amy Herring
Pubpsher: Llewellyn Worldwide
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
Your natal chart is a tool to help you build the life you want. It's a map to consult when you are feeling lost or when you want to explore the deepest parts of your true self. Join expert astrologer Amy Herring as she shares simple, step-by-step instructions to reading your natal chart in a way that provides profound insight into your inner workings. Essential Astrology reveals the meanings of the signs, planets, houses, and aspects, showing you the vital details of interpreting natal charts with skill and ease. Astrology is a symbolic language for the heart and soul. With this book, you will discover how to apply the deepest layers of astrological wisdom to questions about relationships, careers, and everything that's most important in your life. Praise: "I cannot think of a better gift to offer any astrological beginner than Amy Herring's Essential Astrology. Her approach is modern in that it is oriented to psycho-spiritual development and to making wise and responsible choices in life...In short, she writes without ego, helpfully, with the needs of the reader always in focus."—Steven Forrest, author of The Inner Sky "Amy Herring's Essential Astrology is clear, comprehensive, yet rich in detail and easy to understand. It will awaken the beginner and inspire the expert. A joy to read."—Virginia Bell, astrology writer for The Huffington Post
Hellenistic astrology is a tradition of horoscopic astrology that was practiced in the Mediterranean region from approximately the first century BCE until the seventh century CE. It is the source of many of the modern traditions of astrology that still flourish around the world today, although it is only recently that many of the surviving texts of this tradition have become available again for astrologers to study. Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune is one of the first comprehensive surveys of this tradition in modern times. The book covers the history, philosophy, and techniques of ancient astrology, with a special focus on demonstrating how many of the fundamental concepts underlying the practice of western astrology originated during the Hellenistic period.
Addressing discourses of perfect knowledge in Western culture between 1200 and 1800, this book integrates the study of Western esotericism in a larger analytical framework of European history of religion.
Author: Günther Oestmann,H. Darrel Rutkin,Kocku von Stuckrad
Pubpsher: Walter de Gruyter
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
This volume examines the specific role of horoscopic astrology in Western culture from antiquity to the nineteenth century. Focusing on the public appearance of astrological rhetoric, the essays break new ground for a better understanding of the function of horoscopes in public discourse. The volume's three parts address the use of imperial horoscopes in late antiquity, the transformation of doctrines and rhetorics in Islamic medieval contexts, and the important status of astrology in early modern Europe. The combination of in-depth historical studies and methodological considerations results in an important contribution to religious and cultural studies.
Pubpsher: Macmillan International Higher Education
Steven P. Marrone traces the mutual interactions and boundaries of science, religion and magic in medieval and early modern Europe. Woven together, these three narratives help explain the simultaneous emergence of modern science and early modern social order in Europe.
But he also finds the first traces of modern ideas of race and the protoscences of late medieval cabalism and hermeticism. Following that trail forward, he describes the establishment of modern scientific and philosophical notions of race in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and shows how those notions became popular and pervasive, even among those who claim to be nonracist.
How Information and Technology Made the Modern World
Author: Jeremy Black
Pubpsher: Yale University Press
Information is power. For more than five hundred years the success or failure of nations has been determined by a country’s ability to acquire knowledge and technical skill and transform them into strength and prosperity. Leading historian Jeremy Black approaches global history from a distinctive perspective, focusing on the relationship between information and society and demonstrating how the understanding and use of information have been the primary factors in the development and character of the modern age. Black suggests that the West’s ascension was a direct result of its institutions and social practices for acquiring, employing, and retaining information and the technology that was ultimately produced. His cogent and well-reasoned analysis looks at cartography and the hardware of communication, armaments and sea power, mercantilism and imperialism, science and astronomy, as well as bureaucracy and the management of information, linking the history of technology with the history of global power while providing important indicators for the future of our world.