PSYCHOTHERAPY SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS

A Broad Perspective on Mental Healing

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58           PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
There is another aspect of Babylonian magic which is worth discussing. The Chaldeans taught that the cosmos is eternal, that it had no beginning and will have no end. It is an orderly whole under the control of divine providence. No event in the heaven happens by chance, but all are accomplished in accordance with a definite and established decision of the gods. Having observed the stars for a long time and learned the motions and the powers of each, the Chaldeans could foretell much of the future of man. Special attention was due to the five planets which are called Interpreters, because by their varying paths among the fixed stars they reveal the minds of the gods to men. Under their sway are thirty stars called Counsellor gods, with duties of supervision over heaven and earth. Of these gods twelve have special authority, and to each of them is assigned one of the months and one of the signs of the zodiac. The motions of the sun, moon and planets have decisive influence for good or evil on men at their birth. There are also twenty-four stars called Judges, who judge the living and the dead. From this, the ideas of astrology were developed. A sympathy was thought to exist between the parts of the human body and the signs of the zodiac, and the human body was accordingly divided into twelve parts, each of which was related to a zodiacal sign. Influence was supposed to be exerted on a man by the planets, the moon and the sun, according to the sign in which they stood at his birth.
The Babylonian magicians were the great practitioners of astrology in antiquity, and many of their practices came to be condemned as superstition ; but from their age-long observation of the skies sprang the true science of astronomy which, independently of its later Greek developments, is of the greatest importance in the story of man's intellectual conquest of his world.