Egyptian Astrology Basics and History

Ann Roberts
Western astrology has roots in Egyptian thought.

The history and contributions of Egyptian astrology to the current field of astrology remain relatively unknown to the Westernized world. Although astrology is largely considered a pseudo-science, it is interesting to note that it developed in a similar fashion as the legitimate sciences; through constant theorizing, testing and revisions. The Hellenistic zodiac system that consists of twelve signs has, in many ways, been influenced by Egyptian astrology, as is the modern day approach to predictive and client-centered astrology.

About Egyptian Astrology

Egypt today has its own form of astrology that largely resembles the Greco/Roman classical form. There are websites and astrologers that use an individual's birth date to determine which Egyptian god exercises authority and influence over a person's psyche. In many cases, the subject's astrological profile closely parallels his western natal reading, which is not too much of a surprise. Western astrology has many ties to Babylonian and Egyptian astrology. Chinese astrology is slightly more independent in it's approach, since different animals are used to interpret similar results.

Still, the average reader will experience some astonishment regarding how complicated astrology can appear. For a pseudo-science, there are many calculations, revelations and measurements involved in a single birth reading. Again, this really shouldn't be much of a surprise, since many of the first astrologers were originally astronomers employing heavy speculation to their field.

Tour delves deeply into the exact history of Egyptian astrology. The first astrologers were a group of baru-priests who resided in Egypt and acted as advisors for kings and important individuals. It was common for people during this time to worship the planetary entities of the sky, such as the sun, moon and any recognizable planets at that time -- notably Venus. These planets were considered to be influenced by the gods or thought to be gods themselves, and the baru-priests would read the skies frequently to determine the outcome of future events. Hence, Egypt was no different from other cultures who employed predictive astrology as a way of unveiling the mysteries of the universe.

The Role of Ptolemy

The Egyptian system of astrology was nowhere near as complex as modern day astrology because it had not yet developed to such a point. The influence of foreign invaders and surrounding cultures, along with certain newfound astronomical precepts, would help advance Egyptian astrology into something far more elaborate. One of the most integral contributors to the cause was an Alexandrian mathematician named Claudius Ptolemy. By the time Ptolemy entered the scene, Egyptian culture had already been heavily influenced by the Hellenistic Greeks and, later, Roman occupation.

Ptolemy is famous for several works, the most influential amongst them being his Tetrabiblos, a four volume work that assessed and relayed his astronomical and astrological research and opinions. Ptolemy identified many stars and constellations in his day, but his astrological work is notable more in his listing of the various influences specific planetary alignments had over events, people and such. It is from this work that the aspects and angles of modern astrology draw their origin. Ptolemy also postulated ideas such as the planets themselves being responsible for certain energies and effects over countries and individuals. His work is heavily theoretical, but it is easy to see how his ideas have morphed, but continue to play out, in Western astrology.

Unfortunately, Ptolemy supported the idea that the universe revolved around the planet earth. This false hypothesis was damaging enough to the field of astronomy, and it took numerous centuries for the scientific community to rectify such assertions. Still, Ptolemy's work in Alexandria has been foundational for astrologers, even today.

Modern Egyptian Astrology

The average American can experiment with the simplest ideas of Egyptian astrology today over the Internet, where many sites will identify an individual's ruling Egyptian god by entering their date of birth into a database. The simple forms of Egyptian astrology match certain dates to an Egyptian god and display how this god's nature affects an individual's psyche. Unlike Western astrology, that has the periods of the zodiacal influence divided over twelve approximately month-long period of time, the divisions of time in Egyptian astrology can have three or four governing entities/periods within a single month.

You can identify your Egyptian star reading at So, but do note that such astrological conversions are the equivalent of the in depth Western sun sign reading and cannot represent the complexities of a full natal chart.

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Egyptian Astrology Basics and History