Origin of the Zodiac Signs

August 25, 2014 at 8:52 pm

Gazing up into the sky can tell one a lot about the universe and expand horizons far beyond the small planet we all live on. The Zodiac signs are part of a tradition from human culture that has tried to define many of the things that we find so difficult to understand. These signs were developed long ago by cultures that are unrecognizable to the present day.

The origin of Zodiac signs and understanding the celestial bodies is within a few different cultures. The following exploration of the astrological signs can give us insight into the people and the minds of those who created the modern interpretation.

Babylonian Beginnings

The astrological signs that kicked off the interest have been recorded in ancient Babylonian texts that reference certain “signs” in the heavens. These signs are often referred to as “Sumerian signs”, which are an indicator that these early civilizations were looking at the zodiac signs with similar interest and intrigue as their counterparts in the west.

Even though the Babylonian texts do not offer enough detail to change the view that Greco-Roman societies created the signs, it is enough for some to find interest in their beginnings.

Egyptian and Greek Astrology

The baton for astrological study was then handed from the Babylonian empires to those who were in Egypt and Greece. Although the Hellenistic world was not one unified country, the influence that this culture had over the rest of the world was great. In Egypt, a Hellenistic ruler, Ptolemy started to work on Tetrabiblos, which was the most influential work in how the signs spread through Europe and the Middle East. It became the main reference for people interested in the subject for hundreds of years.

Through the use of these signs, the ancient Greek peoples started to adequate symbols and particular traits that could be attributed to modern birth days and dates. These grew in their importance and have today become one of the most firmly rooted things within the Zodiac world.

Today the remnants of the Greek world are still felt in any person that utilizes astrological signs for themselves or others. While most do not know the origination or history behind all of the symbols, it is clear that the ancient Greek and Babylonians had an integral part in defining the way that we see ourselves today.