Astrology and Cosmology in the World's Religions

Astrology and Cosmology in the World's Religions

Astrology and Cosmology in the World's Religions

Astrology and Cosmology in the World's Religions

Synopsis

When you think of astrology, you may think of the horoscope section in your local paper, or of Nancy Reagan's consultations with an astrologer in the White House in the 1980s. Yet almost every religion uses some form of astrology: some way of thinking about the sun, moon, stars, and planets and how they hold significance for human lives on earth.

Astrology and Cosmology in the World’s Religions offers an accessible overview of the astrologies of the world's religions, placing them into context within theories of how the wider universe came into being and operates. Campion traces beliefs about the heavens among peoples ranging from ancient Egypt and China, to Australia and Polynesia, and India and the Islamic world.

Addressing each religion in a separate chapter, Campion outlines how, by observing the celestial bodies, people have engaged with the divine, managed the future, and attempted to understand events here on earth. This fascinating text offers a unique way to delve into comparative religions and will also appeal to those intrigued by New Age topics.

Excerpt

It has long been known that the first systems of representation
that man made of the world and of himself were of religious
origin. There is no religion that is not both a cosmology and a
speculation about the divine.

We are a way for the cosmos to know itself. We are creatures of
the cosmos and always hunger to know our origins, to under
stand our connection with the universe.

There is no human society that does not somehow, in some way, relate its fears, concerns, hopes, and wishes to the sky, and to the organizing principle behind it, the cosmos. Neither is there any society that does not express at least some fascination with the sky and its mysteries. This is as true of modern culture as of ancient culture—witness the media attention given to recent revelations, via the Hubble and Herschel telescopes, of strange and wonderful visions of far-distant parts of the universe, millions of light-years from our own planet. It is still the case that “Like every earlier culture, we need to know our place in the universe. Where we are in time, space, and size is part of situating ourselves in the epic of cosmic evolution.” And note the rise, in tandem with 20th-century cosmology, of beliefs in alien visitation and abduction, and of contact with spiritually superior beings from other worlds. For many modern cosmologists, cosmology itself remains a human study, we ourselves lying at the heart of it.

This book considers cosmology as a meaning-system, examining its relationship with religion. It focuses on astrology, which is the practical implementation of cosmological ideas in order to understand the past, manage the present, and forecast the future, in a range of cultures, past and present. It deals with mythic narratives, ways of seeing the sky, and the manner in . . .

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