Astrology and Astronomy might sound similar, but they’re about as distinct as apples and oranges. While one is a studied field of science and widely respected by scholars, the other operates within the realm of fantasy and superstition. Let’s take a look at how the two compare with each other and let’s uncover their common ancestry.
Why Is Astrology Not Science?
Astrology puts more emphasis on the influence of heavenly bodies on humans and attempts to make sense of things to predict the future. It is thought that astrology is the predecessor of real astronomy. Astronomy is the scientific study of the galaxy's elements and astrology has a bit less scientific root. Ancient cultures practiced astrology and it held extremely high importance in the forming of philosophy and human reasoning. It’s very probable that astrology is deeply rooted in human existence, and some of the most notable civilizations are the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians.
At one time in history, astrology and astronomy were considered the same. But during the “Age of Reason,” astrology was chalked up as mere superstition and rejected. What was once united right up to the 17th Century was then split, and astronomy was regarded as the foundation. Astrology is generally considered as a pseudo-science, esoteric, and typically more superstitious. Astronomy is scientific and deals with studying the universe. Today they’re considered two completely separate and distinct fields, but it wasn’t until the 18th Century that the two split. Many magazines and newspapers have astrological “Star Sign” sections. While there are people that seek out “readings” and meanings to what the future may hold, many believe astrology, horoscopes, and celestial meanings to be pure superstition.
Is Astrology Considered a Branch of Astronomy?
The simple answer is no because, even though the two share a common ancestry and, while some aspects overlap between the two, the branch of science that deals with the physical universe as a whole, space, and celestial objects is purely astronomy.
The study of the night sky was a huge point of emphasis for the ancient Babylonian and Egyptian civilizations. All civilizations throughout history though have been captivated and intrigued by the night sky and made up stories to associate meaning to the “heavens”. These days the two fields are separate though and astronomy is regarded as a true science-backed study of the universe, and astrology is more esoteric and holds less weight when describing how things work in the universe. Still, astrology is commonly practiced today and many people enjoy seeking out meaning to their lives by getting readings, applying horoscope details, and attributing star signs to events in their lives. The difference is very clear between the two and, while astronomy takes a more critical look at the universe, astrology uses the universe as a means of divination and prediction of things to happen in the future. They are completely separate and in no way related to each other today.