Astrology in English Folklore and Today

The Indian, Chinese, and Maya civilizations used the positions of the stars and planets to predict the future – this was true even 4000 years ago. We do not know precisely when astrology reached Europe. However, we do know that renaissance scholars practiced it. Moreover, John Dee was the personal astrologer of Queen Elizabeth I of England, who lived from 1533 to 1603.

Astrology in Elizabethan Timesdownload (3)

In John Dee’s days, astrology was a common practice throughout England. Indeed, the Queen’s favouring of it caused a surge of interest. When Cassius says, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars” in Shakespeare’s play no interpretation is forthcoming. The audience was clearly up to speed already.

Before and after Shakespeare’s life, great minds like Geoffrey Chaucer and Christopher Marlowe folded astrology into their writings as if it were ‘the new normal’. The arrival of the industrial revolution, and the emergence of modern engineering, put paid to that though for a while. Folklore, religion, and astrology all found themselves on the back foot in the face of the claimed authority of science.

Resurgence of Astrology in England

During the 19th Century, English artists, authors, and philosophers came to realise that science has little value when understanding the higher realms of life. ‘The Planets’ orchestral suite by English composer Gustav Holst touched a chord in peoples’ hearts that had fallen silent for a century and more. When others followed, astrology reappeared, and grew stronger ever since.

However, we should not confuse astrology with the horoscopes in the papers. Astrology is a precise art, and centres on one single individual, not everyone born beneath a star sign. Professional astrologists have registration with, and obey the standards of the British Astrological and Psychic Society, or the Astrological Association. Colleges including the London School of Astrology deliver the training they need to quality.