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  Trames
A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences

ISSN 1736-7514 (electronic)  ISSN 1406-0922 (print)
Published since 1997

Trames
A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences

ISSN 1736-7514 (electronic)  ISSN 1406-0922 (print)
Published since 1997

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THE EFFECT OF ASTROLOGICAL OPINIONS ON SOCIETY: A PRELIMINARY VIEW; pp. 359–368

(Full article in PDF format) DOI: 10.3176/tr.2012.4.04


Authors

S. Mohammad Mozaffari

Abstract

This paper is based on the assumption that the ‘egocentric perspective’ of the human mind acted as an efficient psychological factor for evolving the astrological doctrines. We adopt a psychological approach to studying the relation between historical-social events and the astrological doctrines in the medieval period. In its focus, this study deals with the two celestial phenomena observed in the Middle East from the beginning of the 14th century to that of the 15th one, where astrological interpretations or the prognostications had political, social and historical effects. The examples have been selected from the primary historical sources. They are Comet 1402 D1 and the unordinary conjunctions between Mars and Saturn. Considering them in various contexts, it is shown how those phenomena were ‘the cause of anthropocentric historical events’ such as wars, or identified as ‘the justifier of social or natural accidents’ like epidemics. The explanation of the role astrology played in such events, in particular, and its impact upon societies, in general, must be sought in the psychical effect caused by the astrological ideas on the human mind and its relation with the physical world. We conclude that as the human egocentric mind was a main cause of the formation of astrology, astrology itself penetrated into the consciousness of the human mind and objectively appeared in the physical world, and therefore conducted history in a specific direction. It is shown that this effect was so extended to give birth to the astrological history. In addition, having classified the four ways of interpreting the celestial phenomena in the ancient – medieval period (meteoro­logical/weather prognostication, natural philosophical, meteorological/atmo­pheric, astro­logical), we briefly noticed the situation of the astrological dogma in Islam and the methodological distinction between astrology and astronomy by Avicenna in that period.

Keywords

astrology, egocentrism, history of astronomy, sociology of astronomy, Comet 1402 D1, Maragha Observatory.

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