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a history of astrology: (in less than 600 words)

We know Man has been fascinated with stars and planets for as long as he has been able to see them. Even astronomers won't dispute that fact. But as far as what we know astrology to be in this day and age, compared to what it was centuries ago, things really haven't changed much. Well, in some ways anyway...
A couple of thousand years ago, if you asked an astrologer what sign you were, you would be told your Moon sign, not your Sun sign and many Eastern astrologers continue to adopt this philosophy. But the original astrologers were available to serve one purpose and that was to provide answers to those who were considered - or believed themselves to be - privileged. Such answers usually involved determining who had stolen a cow or sheep, or if a certain day was going to be suitable for embarking upon a specific journey. You can imagine how nervous the astrologer must have been about giving answers to such vague or unanswerable questions, but they often did so with some accuracy.

The biggest problem though was the fact that such 'forecasts' were done by looking at a chart of the sky as it was that day, rather than basing them on the birth details of the enquirer. This general method of forecasting continued right up until 1837 when the Registration Act was created and everyone was legally required to ensure their birth details were recorded. This opened the doors to allow people other than the great and good to have personal horoscopes done. Astrology became much more commonplace, but still the emphasis was on creating charts based on Moon signs rather than Sun signs.

But in 1930 that changed. The Sunday Express began printing a regular weekly column written by a professional astrologer named R.H Naylor. Having achieved notoriety through accurately predicting the crash of an airship, public interest in astrology quickly soared. It escalated further soon after, when Naylor wrote an article entitled 'What the Stars Foretell' for the interest of Express readers. This was very successful and served to ensure the inclusion of astrological forecasts in most printed media forever after.

However, there was one tiny issue that needed to be addressed if the Express was going to expand upon this success. It was keen to give readers what they wanted because happy readers meant more papers got sold. But in order to give readers detailed forecasts based on their birth details - particularly their Moon sign details - the Express would have had to publish several pages of tables to allow readers to look up their Moon sign. This was not feasible, so it was decided that Sun sign forecasts would be included instead. Apart from saving time, space and money, it was noticed that the Sun follows the same path month on month, year on year. Therefore, it was considered more practical to print twelve forecasts instead of thousands!

It didn't take long for other newspapers around the world to catch on, and the rest, as they say, is history...

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