Babylonian Astrologers Looked for Celestial Signs

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Have you ever wondered where the word significant came from? The first four letters will give you a clue. Significant came from the word sign. And the actual word significant means "something important enough to be worthy of a sign."

What kind of sign? A sign in the sky made by planets or the stars that we can actually see.

The Babylonian astrologers believed that any event really important and historic would be worthy of having its own celestial sign in the sky! This is an interesting belief of the ancients. So pervasive was this belief that the Old Testament of the Bible even talks about and supports this viewpoint. For example, in Genesis 1: 14, it says: "And God said, Let there be lights [meaning planets and stars] in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs [authors' emphasis] and for seasons, and for days and years."

Nowadays, most scientists pooh-pooh this belief about "heavenly signs" as nonsense. But most scientists have never actually investigated the idea. This book will show you that there is an enormous amount of truth to the belief in celestial signs. It was true then when Genesis was written thousands of years ago, and as you will learn in this book, it is equally valid and true now. Maybe even more so.

The Babylonians believed that MEGA-EVENTS were always foretold by celestial signs in the sky. For this reason, the Babylonian astrologers fanatically studied the sky with the goal of being able to recognize such signs when they actually occurred, and predict the precise meaning of the signs. Thus, the Babylonian astrologers began a journey and quest for astrological knowledge that lasted for thousands of years. Along the way, they had to find the answers to many mysteries of the stars. The first such mystery that the Babylonians had to answer was: What was a sign, and what was not a sign?

The Babylonians decided very early in their work that a celestial sign occurred when something was different and out of the ordinary in the sky. In order to detect when there was a difference that was a sign, the Babylonians realized that they needed to draw and keep maps of the sky on a daily basis, and compare the maps from day to day to look for changes.

They quickly found that the stars themselves do not move perceptibly. So to speak, the stars are fixed" (called fixed stars), and essentially stationary. That did not mean they did not move across the sky. As the Earth rotates, every star moved across the sky. But all of the stars move together; and all the stars' positions remained the same relative to each other. The North Star was always in the same place relative to the other stars. So the positions of all the stars essentially did not change. If there are no changes, there can be no celestial signs because a sign could occur only if something in the sky was noticeably different.

But the PLANETS did move; and the positions of the planets usually moved from one day to the next. By "positions," we are talking about the locations in the sky relative to the fixed stars. When you look up in the night sky and look for a planet, in order to find any particular planet, you have to take into account the fact that each planet has a different position each day. These changes in the positions of the planets were the logical "signs" that the Babylonians were looking for. Therefore, when the Babylonians were looking for changes in the sky that would constitute celestial "signs" that might allow them to predict that a mega-event was coming, they focused their attention on the movement of the planets. (In astrology, the Sun and Moon are referred to as planets. We will continue this tradition for ease of writing.)

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