Astrological image of the constellation Cancer, colored copper engraving from the 17th century. Dimensions image 15.5 x 13 cm, dimensions sheet 25 x 20 cm.
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Astrological beliefs in correspondences between celestial observations and terrestrial events have influenced various aspects of human history, including world-views, language and many elements of social culture. Among Indo-European peoples, astrology has been dated to the 3rd millennium BC, with roots in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Until the 17th century, astrology was considered a scholarly tradition, and it helped drive the development of astronomy. It was commonly accepted in political and cultural circles, and some of its concepts were used in other traditional studies, such as alchemy, meteorology and medicine. By the end of the 17th century, emerging scientific concepts in astronomy, such as heliocentrism, undermined the theoretical basis of astrology, which subsequently lost its academic standing and became regarded as a pseudoscience. Empirical scientific investigation has shown that predictions and recommendations based on these systems are not accurate.