Is the Zodiac Relevant in Modern Times?
Article ID: 14984
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: August 5th. 2012
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Our modern interpretations of the Zodiac most likely have no similarities to those interpretations developed my early Mankind. I have a hypothesis on the development of the Zodiac and the meanings attributed to the different signs. A person must reflect back before written history to get a glimpse of how the signs for the seasons might have come about. We must deduce much from our understanding of human nature, and how we relate to our surroundings, as well as what we have learned from pre-historic cultures and their supposed lifestyles. We assume quite a bit about how early Man lived their lives by the artifacts that have been left behind. Primitive communities have been discovered that left behind cave paintings that portray stars, Sun and Moon, associated with other depictions of The Hunt, or other tribe necessities. This isn’t the Zodiac, but first portrayals that early Man had an understanding that the Sun, Moon and Stars are ways to time specific events. I make no interpretations into what the signs of the Zodiac mean. What I discuss here is how the simple development of the Zodiac could have taken place.
To get to a beginning point, though, you must attempt to break everything down to its simplest explanation. We are able to do this by applying some deductive reasoning, and thereby reach a reasonable assumption after applying Occam’s razor to the equation. So, in a somewhat logical order of precedence, and time, I’ve hypothesized a linear development (of a sort) . Some stages might not be in the correct placement, but the overall idea is what I am referring to.
Early man first had to pay attention to his surroundings in order to survive. He became intelligent enough to know that he must observe before action or he would become dead. Man began to pay more attention to his surroundings and began the slow climb upward to the realization of ‘cause and effect’. In there somewhere Man began to understand that there were relationships between the Sky, Earth and living things.
Man noticed that the seasons happened with regularity.
Man noticed that animals birthed during certain seasons.
Man noticed that edible vegetables and fruits happened during certain seasons.
Man noticed that the Moon had a cyclic path.
Man noticed that certain star groups coincided with the seasons.
Man noticed that the Sun and Moon moved North and South during the seasons. Man then observed that certain things could be foretold if you paid attention to when the star groups, sun, and moon, moved to a certain location in the sky, “just like last the last time this happened.”
Man began to make comparisons between the seasons, the plants and animals, and the star groups.
Man began to assign meaning that would help define what a star group (zodiac) represented according to its time of the season.
Man began to think that the virtues attributed to the zodiac also applied to things that happened when the Sun or Moon, or other of those movable stars were in or near the constellations. Conversely, Man began to place attributes of Man-made circumstances to the zodiac, perhaps because something significant that Man had made happened during the zodiac’s sky placement.
Man began to notice more and more that children born during the different period of the zodiac grew up with certain attitudes, and attributed those attitudes to the zodiac. Think about it this way: A child born in the winter is said to be inquisitive and loves to explore and learn things. If you think of child development, certain cognitive functions happen at approximate months of the child’s growth. A child born in the cold of the year would be wrapped up to keep warm. When the summer and fall rolled around, the child would be crawling around and would be able to explore the environment to an extent. Children born in the spring and summer might be more restrained because of the cold and being wrapped up when that initial exploratory phase begins. This could lead to observable traits depending upon the time of year born.
The interpretation of the zodiacal periods became more important with the advent of agriculture. The developing agricultural society also heralded a new focus on Gods that were thought to control such things. Those Gods would then be thought to control the happenings of the zodiac during its time, or vice/versa. The observant person who studied the stars and seasons, and could accurately ‘predict’ cyclic occurrences became something of a marvel, and people would respect them as someone who the stars/Gods spoke to.
We’ve now reached the age of history. There are historical tablets that tell of happenings during a certain period of the Zodiac. Ancient China, Mesopotamia, and other cultures of the world suddenly exploded with tablets, documents, or monuments (Henges) that indicated a great deal of knowledge about the cyclic nature of the Sun, Moon, Planets and the Zodiac. Each culture, however, had slightly different interpretations of the Zodiac. This is obviously due to climate, latitude, and historical context. Trade throughout the assorted cities and peoples also spread interpretations of what the placement of the stars meant. The City-State solidified the specialized class of people, called “Priests/Priestesses” who dedicated their lives to the gaining of knowledge, and power (let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that the horrid practices we observe in today’s religions did not happen in earlier ‘simpler’ times) .
A priestly class of society could exert more control over that society by giving favorable or unfavorable advice according to what the stars say. This emphasis to something eternal, which is above and beyond what the normal lesser educated person could understand, develops the definition of what the signs of the Zodiac meant, even further. In all probability, only the priestly class had the time available to dedicate to the study of the heavens. Every-Day Man had to work during the daylight hours, harvest the crops, make the furniture, and turn the clay pots. After their day of toil, staying up all night to study the stars was probably the last thing that was on their mind. And when human nature takes over: why learn to do it myself, when there are people who specialize in doing it for me? I get the same result without having to spend the sleepless nights for years learning the art.
I’ve purposely left out any indication of ‘Revelation by Divine Sources’ for a reason. My reason is that such phenomena can be attributed to a logical process of scientific discovery. Pure observation of the world around you can lead you to the same conclusions that early Man could have discovered on his own. Only when tribes became bigger and grew into cities did the study of the Zodiac move from its original timing of the seasons into something greater. Only the development of the City State lead to the birth and surge of the priestly class who could dedicate the time necessary to studying and applying a reason for why things happened, and attributed the divine placement of the stars as the reason.
Mankind has an inner need to place meaning into life, and to have an explanation for why things are the way they are. That trait has never left the human species. If we read the daily newspapers Horoscope at the end of the day, more often than not we’d observe that nothing close to what is written took place. If we read the horoscope in the morning over our breakfast, we have placed an idea of expectations for our day into our heads. When things begin to happen that relate to the horoscope, did we subconsciously maneuver our day to fit what we conceived would happen? Or perhaps we placed more emphasis on trifles that fit what we read, than is really necessary? Most everyone would like to know if a thing would happen the way we wish. Perhaps that little boost of confidence is all it takes to motivate us to break out of our shell and attempt greatness. The spoils go to the victor. Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained. These are platitudes we use to make us realize that if we attempt nothing, nothing will result. I feel the use of the Zodiac has moved away from the zone of timing, into the realm of wishful thinking.
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