People of many nations and civilizations have believed for millennia that human destiny is determined by the movements of planets and stars. Astrology formalized these beliefs. It created a system that married the calendar with the motion of celestial bodies. The sun, the moon, and the planets each received the attributes of a different god, which were believed to shape, in varied ways, the character and life prospects of someone born at a time said to be influenced by that god or other gods. Organized religions regarded astrology often with mingled acceptance and suspicion.
In the last four centuries, scientific research led to greater skepticism about casting horoscopes. Those versed in the uses of evidence and logic deemed astrology a superstition. However, many continue to believe in luck and foretold fates, finding that these (in an emotional sense) fill the gaps left by science’s inability to predict the future.
Some have proposed that astrology functions for reasons different than its traditions suggest. The sun, moon, and planets are claimed to operate like the hands and dial of an exquisitely complicated timepiece; instead of being influences themselves, they only indicate the operation of other forces. It is proposed that souls seeking to come into the world as living beings, choose the exact date, time, and location of their birth, and that these specific conjunctions of time and space communicate the characters and destinies of those beings. Thus, the movements of the planets comprise a vast celestial clock, which registers these births. The clock does not cause such events; it simply records them.