The word "Astrology" was derived from the Greek "astron" (constellation) and "logia" (study of). Astrology is a subject that deals with the influences of the planets, stars and other celestial phenomena on human lives. For thousands of years, astrology has been studied and practiced all over the world. It plays an important role in the scientific, medical, philosophical and psychological fields. Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece are the regions who led the way to the invention and evolution of astrology and horoscope.
In olden days, astrology was confined to observations and examinations of the celestial bodies such as planets, stars etc. which were believed to depict omens that might affect kings and kingdoms, as planets and stars were thought of as Gods or their direct subordinates.So, at the time when astrology was founded, benefits of astrology were not meant for individuals. However, due to extensive research and development, in course of time, the system of astrology went through so many changes and slowly started being available even to common man. Along with the known planets viz. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn; Sun and Moon were considered as planets and this notion holds good even in modern astrological manipulation. The five planets above mentioned were associated as followed: Mercury with Nabu (god of wisdom and writing), Venus with Ishtar (goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex), Mars with Nergal (god of pestilence), Jupiter with Marduk (fertility god, but originally a god of thunderstorms), and Saturn with Ninurta (Ninib- god of war).
Enuma Anu Enlil, a precious collection of omens, developed by the Babylonians in 1600 B.C by means of watching the sky for the positions and appearance of the celestial bodies and correlating them with the terrestrial elements, is the earliest astrological report available now and is one a most important text which provides astronomical omens and their application to national and political affairs. The belief in the Western astrology was high in the ancient Babylonia. As said earlier, in course of time astrology spread to other nations as well, directly or indirectly, through the Babylonians. So whatever shape or development it has taken since its inception irrespective of the region or creed that contributed to such development is construed as the growth of the Mesopotamian astrology itself. Seventy tablets (inscriptions on clay etc. and seven thousand omens constituted the final version of Enuma Anu Enlil. They were grouped into four sections viz. 1.Sin (moon god), 2. Shamash (Sun god), 3. Ishtar(goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex.) and 4. Adad(storm-god).
Astronomy, being the scientific study of celestial objects such as planets, stars, star clusters etc., is in some way related to astrology and Enuma Anu Enlil also shows some association with the astronomy of its time. The spread of astrological interest among the rest of the Universe made way for making copies of Enuma Anu Enlil from several parts in different period of time. Horoscope is a further development in astrology late in Mesopotamian civilization the positions and movement of the heavenly bodies were found out by mathematical calculations even for future dates, unlike by observation of heaven as in early astrological practice. Precise positions could be calculated anytime without waiting for an omen to happen.
Astrolabes are charts that graphically depict the positions of particular stars calculated at a given time. The Mesopotamians followed the sexagesimal system of numbers which had place notation in numbers and sexagesimal fractions and which can be compared to modern decimal system. With this system, Complex computations could be done with ease.
A Babylonian star map called MUL.APIN was compiled likely around 1000 BC.MUL.APIN has a great deal of information not found in the astrolabes and are known for their accuracy and information. In the 5th century, the zodiac, an imaginary division of ecliptic (the sun's path around the earth) into twelve equal sections was invented. The advent of horoscopy changed the functionality of astrology by relating the planets' positions at the time of birth of an individual to his fate. Basic horoscope has undergone a number of refinements evidently in Mesopotamia. The scope of astrology was extended, apart from religion, to all branches of science.
Medical astrology was developed as a branch of the system after the invention of the zodiac and parts of human body is associated with the signs of the zodiac. The Mesopotamians believed that their gods are personified by the planets and that the planetary motions are means of conveyance of gods' intention. They followed scientific approach to calculate the planet's movements. Arguments for and against the belief in astrology are rampant. Some consider it as a science while some other oppose this view and regard it as superstition. Despite this, over the past several thousands of years, astrology, founded and developed by the Mesopotamians, is a much sought after system worldwide in view of the fact that it is related to the human life.