Where do Horoscopes come from?

When you talk about horoscopes there are usually two paths by which you can take: Horoscopes and Astrology are ancient, valuable systems that are deeply rooted in Mesopotamian history and help us understand the natural world as well as our place in it. Or, they are totally made up.

While there are arguments for both sides of this coin, there is one question that they both ask: Where did newspaper and magazine horoscopes come from?

You know the ones, the horoscopes that offer up advice like “don’t fight against change today.”

Some of the first true newspaper horoscope columns can be credited to prominent British astrologer R.H. Naylor. During the first half of the 20th century, Naylor worked as an assistant for a neo-shaman who worked in high-British society, doing readings for everyone from Mark Twain and Grover Cleveland to Winston Churchill, as well as other celebrities. However, when this shaman was unavailable to do a reading for Princess Margaret when she was born, the Sunday Express newspaper asked Naylor to step in.

Much like a lot of astrologers of this time, Naylor used a natal star chart to do the reading.

Because astrology has the position that we are influenced and affected by the natural movements of the sun, moon and stars, then who we are is bound to be shaped by the celestial bodies at the time we are brought into the world. Therefore, a natal chart scouts the sky at the exact time you are born, which can then be used to predict traits and other sorts of predictions.

On Aug. 24, 1930, a few days after the princess’s birth, Naylor published his report which called for her life to be “eventful.”

While it was not one of the first of its kind, Naylor’s article represented a cultural tipping point as the popularity of these horoscopes skyrocketed. What followed was columns that offered advice for those whose birthdays fell within the week. By 1937, the horoscopes we know today - linked to star signed - were being published.