For long ages astronomy and astrology (which might be called astromancy, on the same principle as "chiromancy") were identified; and a distinction is made between "natural astrology," which predicts the motions of the heavenly bodies, eclipses, &c., and "judicial astrology," which studies the influence of the stars on human destiny.
The study of astromancy and the belief in it, as part of astronomy, is found in a developed form among the ancient Babylonians, and directly or indirectly through the Babylonians spread to other nations.
Even up to the present day men of intellectual eminence like Dr Richard Garnett have convinced themselves that astromancy has a foundation of truth, just as there are still believers in chiromancy or other forms of divination.
There is an obvious tendency, however, for astromancy to be employed, like palmistry, as a means of imposing on the ignorant and credulous.
But if the progress of physical science has not prevented the rehabilitation of much of ancient alchemy by the later researches into chemical change, and if psychology now finds a place for explanations of spiritualism and witchcraft which involve the admission of the empirical facts under a new theory (as in the case of the diviningrod, &c.), it is at least conceivable that some new synthesis might once more justify part at all events of ancient and medieval astromancy, to the extent of admitting the empirical facts where provable, and substituting for the supposed influence of the stars as such, some deeper theory which would be consistent with an application to other forms of prophecy, and thus might reconcile the possibility of dipping into futurity with certain interrelations of the universe, different indeed from those assumed by astrological theory, but underlying and explaining it.