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Even if the individual is aware of only 12 of these, as might be illustrated by the houses of the zodiac, it is enough to cause him or her to wish for some sort of "navigator" to help interpret any directional signs that may be present. The art or science of astrology, as practiced by a competent astrologist, may serve as one star to be used in making a fix on the chart of destiny. The astrologer and the celestial navigator have a number of things in common. Both look to the heavens for their points of reference; both make use of charts and tables developed during centuries of observation and recording.
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Both arrive at their conclusions through mathematical computation. The navigator charts a course, but does not establish a destination.
The astrologer casts a horoscope, but does not determine character or destiny. The role of astrology, so say the astrologers, is comparable to a ship's compass. The compass points the way to a predetermined destination, but it does not establish that destination. As a helmsman turns the ship's wheel to bring the vessel into accord with the compass, so the individual's free will must bring the vessel of his or her life into accord with the findings of astrology, if he or she is to benefit from them. By placing each individual at the center of the zodiac, astrology affirms that person's rightful place at the hub of the wheel of life, and it maintains that there is more in heaven and Earth than is conceived of through various philosophies of the five senses.
Modern astrology recognizes that human beings were not created to be mindless marionettes able to move and act only through the remote direction of forces they cannot comprehend, much less influence.
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At the same time astrology requires its adherents to accept responsibility for themselves and for their actions. In one sense it imposes an even greater responsibility, for having been made aware of their greatest potentials, according to the best knowledge and techniques available, those who steer their lives by the stars can no longer plead their failures due to blind chance and the fickleness of fate.
According to the astrologer, free will includes the prerogative of individuals to avail themselves of the best advice and direction from any and all sources they deem creditable before embarking on any course, before setting foot on any path, before making any decision, great or small, and to follow through once he or she has decided. Astrology, as practiced today, not only affirms the pre-eminence of free will, but insists upon it; and, according to its adherents, astrology, rightly used, serves as a dependable compass, pointing the way across time.
Adams, Evangeline. Astrology for Everyone. New York : Dell Books, Forrest, Steven. New York: Bantam Books, Woolfolk, Joanna Martine. New York: Madison Books, Yad, Avodah Zarah , 9. In the book of Daniel the Babylonian astrologers are called kasdim Chaldeans , and in Aramaic kasda'ei , 4, 5, 10; ; , The Sibylline Oracles — praise the Jewish people for refraining from astrology, which is a delusion.
The Book of Jubilees —18 depicts the patriarch Abraham as overcoming the beliefs of the astrologers. The first Book of Enoch includes astrology among the sins spread among mortals by the primeval giants nefilim. Josephus, however, writes that astrology was common among the Jews in his days and that Jewish misinterpretation of celestial signs was partially responsible for the outbreak of the revolt against the Romans and its continuation for four years Jos. In the Babylonian Talmud astrologers are known as kaldiyyim Pes.
In the Jerusalem Talmud and in Palestinian Midrashim astrologos and astrologiyya are the most frequent terms. The majority of the talmudic sages believed in the decisive role played by celestial bodies in determining human affairs in the sublunar world. On the one hand the patriarch Abraham and his descendants are spoken of as having been elevated beyond subjection to the stars Gen. Astrological consultation is one of the methods suggested by Jethro to Moses for governing the Children of Israel Mekh.
Several instances are cited of astrologers whose predictions of future events came true e. Gentile rulers were considered to have been especially well versed in astrology or to have consulted astrological experts; but knowledge of astrology was also attributed to King Solomon Eccl.
Nevertheless, the rabbis of the Talmud were skeptical of the astrologers' ability to interpret the stars correctly; they conceded the possibility that the astrologers might be able to predict the future by consulting the stars, but claimed that they err in understanding the contents of their forecasts. In several places in the Talmud it is stated that every man has a celestial body mazzal , i.
Two people born under the same star have a bodily and spiritual kinship Ned. Not only human beings are influenced by the stars; but "there is not a blade of grass that has not its star in the heavens to strike it and say to it: grow! As among most ancient peoples, eclipses were thought to be an evil portent, particularly for Jews, "because they are accustomed to calamities. Some held that there was a direct connection between the signs of the days of the week and the characters of those born on those days: a person born on Sunday would have one perfect attribute, either good or bad; a person born on Monday would be irascible, and so forth.
According to another opinion, "it is not the sign of the day, but the sign of the hour, that determines. A number of important tanna'im and amora'im , such as R.
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Akiva, R. Isaac, were of the opinion that the power of the stars over ordinary mortals did not extend to the People of Israel. Johanan said: there is no star mazzal for Israel" Shab. Samuel, b; also, Suk. The rabbis were divided as to whether a fully virtuous person could transform and abrogate the decrees of the astral configurations for himself. Mar Samuel, who was an astrologer as well as an astronomer, formulated several rules of health and agriculture on the basis of astrological principles Shab.
Such deliverances were said to have been granted to R. Akiva's daughter and to R.
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Isaac and his mother. The contrary position was upheld by Rava: "Life, children, and sustenance — these things depend not on merit, but on the stars" mk 28a ; by way of illustration he cited the histories of several great men of learning and faith.
Because of the warnings of the "Chaldeans," R. Joseph refused appointment as head of a yeshivah Ber. Rashi and Samuel b. Meir ad loc. In several places in the Talmud mk 27a; Ned. The astrological character of this custom was forgotten and the noun gad , originally the name of a star, came to mean simply "luck," as was eventually the case with the term mazzal "star of luck" itself.
During the eighth to the tenth centuries several famous Jewish astrologers lived in Islamic lands and wrote books on astronomy and astrology.
greenup.es/wp-content/2020-06-20/2556.php Both were found among the astrological manuscripts of Ibn Ezra, and accordingly, it has been conjectured that Ibn Ezra himself was their translator. Toward the end of the Middle Ages the Hebrew translations of both these astrologers were translated into Latin and printed. Ibn Ezra refers several times to the Persian Jewish astrologer Andruzgar b. Zadi Faruk ninth century. Several astrological treatises in Arabic composed in the ninth and 11 th centuries, some anonymous, were translated into Hebrew, and some of them, apparently by Jewish translators, into Spanish.
Hebrew translations of Arabic version of the astrological works of Ptolemy, the Tetrabiblos and Centiloquium , have also been preserved. Abraham b. The former even based decisions in practical affairs on astrological considerations. He also undertook to prove from the Talmud that the rabbis of that time in their use of astrology agreed in principle with the gentile sages about the role played by the stars, differing only in that "they say that the power of the stars and the constellations is not a perfect power … all being at the beck and call of God, who can at will set aside their rule and abrogate their decrees whenever He desires.
In his Megillat ha-Megalleh Abraham b.
Abraham ibn Ezra's reputation as a great student of astrology spread beyond Jewish circles. He believed that all beings in the sublunar world were influenced by the configurations of the stars and the zodiac, and that most men were entirely enslaved by the powers of the seven planets Commentary on Ex. Nonetheless, it is within the power of man to free himself of the dictates of the stars by perfecting himself spiritually. In his commentary on Deuteronomy Ibn Ezra writes: "It is known from experience that every nation has its own star and constellation and similarly there is a constellation for every city; but God bestowed His greater favor on Israel by rendering them starless and Himself their adviser.
To reconcile predestination by the stars and divine providence, he assigns an astrological significance to the two biblical names for God: Elohim refers to the Creator in His "natural" manifestations, revealed in conjunction with patterns of the stars, while the Tetragrammaton refers to the Creator as He is manifested miraculously, i. Ibn Ezra composed a large number of astrological books; some of these were printed, but the majority are in manuscript. Most of these writings were translated into Latin at the close of the 13 th century and were printed in ; several were also published in a French translation.
Judah Halevi never took a definite stand concerning the value and reliability of astrology. He admitted Kuzari that the celestial bodies had an influence over terrestrial affairs, that terrestrial sublunar life was due to the changing constellations, and that all astrological sayings attributed to the rabbis of old were based on genuine traditions.
At the same time, however, he rejected the astrologers' claim that it was possible to determine the exact influence of the stars on sublunar beings. Halevi complained that the Jewish people continued to be seduced by astrological charlatanry despite the biblical injunction to the contrary ibid. Inquiring whether the movements of celestial bodies really exercised "leadership and governance over the events of human life," he came to the conclusion that while there is no clear evidence rebutting the assumptions of the astrologers, in view of human free will and divine providence it is nevertheless impossible to attribute an absolutely decisive character to "the dictates of the configurations" Or Adonai He launched a series of attacks against the beliefs of the astrologers based not only on dogmatic considerations but on empirical events as well: many times thousands of people had perished by plague, in war, or had been drowned at sea, yet it was unimaginable that the horoscope of each should have been responsible for his untimely death in the general disaster.
Accordingly, Albo fell back upon the opinion of Abraham ibn Ezra that there are several factors capable of annulling the destinies of private individuals Sefer Ikkarim Upon being asked by the rabbis of southern France whether it was possible to combine the theories of astrology with the principles of Judaism, Maimonides replied: "… This science, which is called the decree of the stars … is no science at all, but mere foolery … and it behooves us never to engage in it….
Those who composed treatises upon it… were the Chasdeans, the Chaldeans, the Canaanites, and the Egyptians … however, the wise men of Greece … scorned, mocked, and condemned these four nations… and compiled proofs to reject their notions completely…. I well know that you may seek and find in the Talmud and the Midrashim isolated sayings implying that the stars at the time of a man's birth will have a certain effect upon him… but this need not perplex you," inasmuch as "he is unworthy of pursuing knowledge … who would forsake it for the isolated saying of a rabbi of old who may perhaps have been mistaken….
David ha-Kohen of Lunel.