What is a Horoscope?
The word horoscope comes from the Latin horoscopus, which means “observer of the hour.” In modern usage, we typically use the word to denote that little paragraph that predicts our future in magazines, but in ancient times, the term applied to many things. Horoscopes and the study of astrology didn’t just focus on the month and day of a person’s birth (the sun sign), but where all the planets were located at the time. Each planet was thought to bestow certain blessings or curses to the individual based on its location in the sky and proximity to other planets. Ancient astrologers didn’t only concern themselves with people, either. Natal charts could be drawn up for any event such as the birth of a nation or the beginning of a war. Because of this, court astrologers — like Dr. John Dee for Elizabeth I — were hired to ensure the best outcomes for significant events.