Incomplete as it must needs be, it is yet a veritable science both as to its principles and practice.
It claims for itself a place among the sciences for the sole reason that it is capable of mathematical demonstration, and deals only with the observed positions and motions of the heavenly bodies; and the man who holds to the principia of Newton, the solidarity of the solar system, the interaction of the planetary bodies and their consequent electrostatic effects upon the Earth, cannot, while subject to the air he breathes, deny the foundation principles of astrology.
When at aphelion the planets move slower, and when at perihelion they move quicker than at the mean distance.
Astronomers employ an imaginary circular orbit for the planets, in which they move at an uniform rate of velocity, which is called the mean motion.
As far back as the year 2154, we find mention of the great importance attaching to the celestial phenomena in the minds of Chinese rulers.
It is recorded in the Historical Classic of China that at that time the astrologers Hi and Ho neglected their duties so that when, on the 10th of October, there was a great eclipse of the Sun at Peking between seven and nine o’clock in the morning, the people were wholly unprepared for it, and “ran about here and there in the utmost consternation.” For this offence Hi and Ho were deprived of their offices, their estates were confiscated and they were driven from the kingdom.
Astrology From the earliest ages of the world’s history the subject of Astrology has excited the interest of, and exercised a great influence over, the minds of a certain order of thinking men.
Were the orbits of the planets circular and the Sun holding the centre of the circle, their motions would be constant, that is to say, always in the same direction and at the same rate.
The Greek mythology is nothing but a vast system of cosmographical astrology, and there is no other history in it than what you may read in the constellations of the heavens and the corresponding evolution of the human race. Hipparchus, Hippocrates, Thales, Galenius, and others subscribed an intelligent belief in its principles.
To Claudius Ptolemy, however, we are indebted for the first concise and scientific statement of its principles and practice, so far as Europe is concerned.
The Earth follows the same laws as all other bodies of the same system.
But if we imagine the Earth to be stationary in space and the centre around which the planets revolve, their motions present several irregularities.