Astrology between Science and Religion
Gregor Reisch (1467-1525) – Ptolemy, in Margarita Philosophica.

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Italian version

The study of astrology in universities, specifically in Italy, persisted until the 17th century. However, its development was eventually halted due to the interference of the Inquisition and the Roman Catholic Church. This was due to the belief that divination posed an obstacle to universal divine action, which is why nature and the planets could no longer serve as a link between humanity and God.

Astronomy and astrology have shared a common path for an extended period, with astrologers expressing great enthusiasm for Copernicus’ De Revolutionibus ability to simplify astrological calculations. However, as the age of the Enlightenment approached, reference books and encyclopaedias began to differentiate between astrologia naturalis, which concerns the scientific investigation of natural phenomena, and astrologia giudiziaria (judicial astrology), which involves predicting events through the relationships between planets and the Earth. As a result, astrology gradually became seen as a superstition and was overshadowed by astronomy in academic studies.

In contemporary scientific inquiry, the approach is to scrutinise phenomena objectively, or as they appear to be, through a theoretical framework that substantiates empirical observations and established facts. Conversely, astrology centres on the relationship between the phenomenon and the observer. From an astrological perspective, the universe and our consciousness are integral to the same process, which renders the notion of planetary influence untenable, as some proponents suggest. Relatively speaking, planets and stars exist independently of our consciousness, and as such, they are the subject of scientific exploration. On the contrary, astrology challenges the assumption that the physical world exists autonomously of our observations, as posited, for instance, by some interpretations of quantum mechanics. As such, astrological factors symbolise the reality in which we exist, and our nature becomes highly readable through these same symbols.

The potential for the reunification of astrology and science is a subject of ongoing discussion. In the years to come, it is hoped that the scientific paradigm based on quantum mechanics will allow for a new era of collaboration between these fields.