Early Irish astrology

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It is unclear whether a form of Early Irish astrology existed prior to contact with Western astrology, as the earliest Irish language sources are simply translations from standard Western sources.

While the pre-Celtic megaliths in Ireland are often aligned with solar and lunar phenomena, no evidence has been found for the type of planetary symbol system as seen in other cultures' systems of astrology.

Writing about early Irish-language translations of Western astrology texts, Ellis speculated that there could have been an earlier, native Irish astrological system, even though there is no evidence for this, arguing that "a study of linguistic concepts and early cosmological motifs and calendrical philosophies of both Celtic (inclusive of Old Irish) and Sanskrit/Vedic cultures give a path back to the common Indo-European roots of our cultures".[1] However, the symbolism and structure of the astrological system he referenced is not based in Irish symbolism, but in the standard Greco-Roman mythology-based symbolism used in Western astrology, just with the figures (Leo the Lion, etc.) given Irish names.


  1. Ellis, Peter Berresford (1996). "Early Irish Astrology: An Historical Argument". Réalta. 3 (issn.3).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Additional References

  • Maxwell II. Close, 'Remarks on a Cosmographical Tractate in the Irish Language', Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Vol vi, 1900–1902, p. 457-460.
  • Henry S. Crawford, 'Notes on the Irish Zodiac Preserved in the Library of Basel', Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, vol iv, 1925
  • Mario Esposito, 'On the pseudo Augustinian treatise De Mirabilius & etc.', Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Vol xxxv, 1918–20.
  • D. McCarthy and Dáibhi Ó Cróinin, 'The "Los"' Irish 84 year Easter Table rediscovered', Peritia, 6–7, 1987/8
  • D. McCarthy, 'The Chronological Apparatus of the Annals of Ulster AD 431-I 131', Peritia, 8(1994)
  • Dáibhi Ó Cróinin, 'Mo-Sinu maccu Min and the computus at Bangor', Peritia, 1982
  • Dáibhi Ó Cróinin, 'A Seventh Century Computus from the Circle of Cummianus', Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, vol. lxxxii (1982)
  • Maura Power, An Irish Astronomical Tract, based on a Medieval Latin version of a work by Messahalah, Irish Text Society, London, 1914.
  • William Reeves, 'On Augustin, an Irish writer of the 7th Century', Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Vol ii, 1861

See also