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northanger

Mathematical Astronomy & Astrology

Mathematical Techniques in Astronomy

Mathematics is and always has been of central importance to astronomy. As soon as observations became quantified the possibility for calculation and prediction based on observations was open to astronomers. Mathematical developments were both applied to and motivated by astronomical calculations, and many of the most famous astronomers were also mathematicians and vice versa. Although techniques have become increasingly complex, the majority of mathematical astronomical techniques are concerned with positioning and calculation of relative distances of heavenly bodies. The basis of this is spherical trigonometry, which allows calculations on the celestial sphere based on observations taken from an observer on earth. The projection of the celestial sphere onto a flat surface allowed the construction of instruments such as the astrolabe and the mapping of the heavens. {more}

The Zodiacs: Maps of Heaven and History

The mathematical zodiac, or celestial mapping grid, as invented under Nebuchadnezzar (or shortly before his reign), quickly diffused to nearby cultures, and in the process inspired many to amend certain traditions, i.e., the Greeks reworked the myths of Heracles and Jason, and the Hebrews infused their sacred writings with numerical suggestions they too knew the newly-created twelve ‘signs’ of the zodiac. As the zodiacal cult of Mithras grew and spread in Roman times, the zodiacal narrative was combined with the life and teachings of Jesus, empowering the new religion of Christianity to take its place alongside of its competitors, as it too reflected the knowledge (read: mastery) of the Heavens through the understanding of its workings.

The zodiac was designed to function as a "grid-map" to establish a means to position the sun, moon, and planets with mathematical precision. This invention was possible because of millennia of constellation traditions and observations. Clear correspondence must be allowed between many ancient myth-cycles and the wondrous movements of the stars--such has always been known, but sometimes overlooked. Later, the zodiac influenced much, and apparently without any supporting belief in the supernatural claims of astrology, the zodiac became more than a "grid-map."

Our fascination with the heavens stretches back into pre-history, and has continued to inspire many on any given cloudless night. The known regularity of the zodiac served as a "leit motif" to enrich or encode other important systems. The zodiac became a guide, a model, a "map" by which some could understand heaven and "history." I suspect, as we move closer to the stars, others may continue to use the zodiac in ways we cannot yet imagine. {more}

{The Karanovo Zodiac and Old European Linear} {Whatever Floats Your Ark } {Kidinnu, the Chaldaeans & Babylonian astronomy} {Astronomical diaries}

Tags: astroschyzy
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