The Zodiac is a part of the sky extending eight degrees south or north of the ecliptic approximately. The ecliptic is the sun’s path across the extraterrestrial sphere. The paths of other planets and the moon are within the Zodiac belt too. From ancient times, Zodiac has been employed universally to reflect or predict traits of personality. Let’s learn about the background of Zodiac in a bit more detail.


zodiac history

Where does the Zodiac come from?

Derived from the Latin word Zodiacus, which means circle of animals, Zodiac has played a pivotal role in most ancient cultures – including Chinese, Indus Valley, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian, among others. According to ancient records, Greeks’ understanding of the heavens was inherited from the Mesopotamians, who should, in turn, thank the Sumerians for their knowledge.


The classic map, with its 48 Greek constellations, was derived from two different pre-Greek traditions at least. One of them had the 12 zodiac signs, with multiple connected animal constellations – all of them were created during 3,200 – 500 BC in a ritual or religious tradition in Mesopotamia. Around 500 BC, the Greeks took over the maps. But the other constellations, along with their farming-calendar beliefs, weren’t adopted.


The other culture wasn’t Mesopotamian; it entailed big constellations that seemingly dated from 2,800 BC, most likely from the Mediterranean, designed for ship navigators. They comprise large bears and serpents that marked the equator and celestial pole during that period, and probably the four fairly unknown giants that the world refers to as Hercules, Bootes, Auriga, and Ophiuchus, and also some of the big southern marine constellations.


history of the zodiac

A few other constellations’ origins are unknown, which includes various animals and the Perseus tableau. Therefore, the conclusion, for the time being, is that astrology goes back to the 3rd millennium BC among Indo-European folks.


There have been indications that the Bible comprises concealed allegories to elucidate astronomical events. Some authors link the twelve Israeli tribes with the 12 Zodiac signs. When Moses descended from Sinai with the Lord’s 10 commandments, a few followers of his were caught worshiping a bull calf. He ordered the execution of these false idol worshipers. This is believed to be the killing of the bull by Moses and the conclusion of the Taurus age, to be succeeded by the Aries age.


Modern Applications of Astrology

The West doesn’t accept astrology to be a form of science. But several regions from the East digress. For example, in India, in 2001, the country’s politicians and scientists debated a proposition to utilize state funds for funding research into astrology, which resulted in Indian universities being allowed to offer Vedic astrology courses. In February 2011, a court order dismissed a case that challenged astrology’s status as real science.


In 1949, a personality test was conducted on students by an American psychologist called Bertram Forer. Instead of providing students individualized results, each student was given a sheet that threw light on their personality. The descriptions have arrived at courtesy an astrology book. When it was time for the students to comment on the test’s accuracy, more than 40 percent of them admitted that the descriptions were on point. Out of 5, the average rating turned out to be 4.2. And several other tests conducted thereafter corroborated the original test’s findings.