About 4,000 years ago, the Babylonian astrologers began to make their monumental discoveries. Their first such discovery was that a CONJUNCTION of two planets was a celestial sign. On rare occasions, as the planets move around and around in the sky, two planets can come very close together in the sky such that the two planets appear to be right on top of each other. Such an alignment of two planets was given the name CONJUNCTION, and the Babylonians discovered that a conjunction of two important planets was often a celestial sign that a mega-event was going to happen. Figure 3E is an example of what a conjunction looks like in a Babylonian Alignment Chart. It shows that both Venus and Mars are at 15 degrees of Taurus; this means that the two planets form a conjunction, and are CONJUNCT to each other. When this happened, the Babylonians believed that it was probably a celestial sign that something out of the ordinary was about to occur.
The Babylonians' idea that a conjunction was a celestial sign was derived from their long-held belief that an eclipse was a very significant heavenly sign, and from their discovery that a solar eclipse was really a conjunction of the Sun and the Moon. After hundreds of years of investigating eclipses by using their circles, the Babylonians were the first to discover that a solar eclipse was always a conjunction of the Sun and the Moon. When there is a solar eclipse, the Moon is "in front of the Sun" or on top of the Sun-blocking it, and thus eclipsing it. (When there is a lunar eclipse, the Earth is "in front of the Moon" or on top of the Moon blocking sunlight to the Moon, thereby eclipsing it.)
After this discovery, the Babylonians took the logical next step, which was to apply the concept of a conjunction to the other planets. In so doing, the Babylonians surmised that a conjunction of two planets was a heavenly sign that something important was going to happen or that someone consequential was going to be born. After hundreds of years of fanatically keeping records, the Babylonians found that a conjunction of two planets did often signal an important event. It was sometimes a mega-event, but usually it was a MINI-EVENT-something eventful, nonetheless. The special event could be an actual historic event or the birth of a noteworthy person.
Interestingly enough, as we will see later in this book, the Babylonians were essentially correct: A conjunction of two important planets really was, and still is, a celestial sign of something uncommon and out of the ordinary.
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