We’re depending on the epidemiologists at the World Health Organization and the CDC to predict what might happen with the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly with regard to a possible new surge in disease and death.

In the Middle Ages, people also looked to the experts for guidance, but the experts at the time were astrologers.

According to The Conversation website, “Astrologers were respected health authorities who were taught at the finest universities throughout Europe and hired to treat princes and dukes.”

Astrology is based on the belief that the positions of heavenly bodies, such as the moon and the planets, affected life on Earth in many areas, including epidemics like the bubonic plague.

In 1348, for example, physicians at the University of Paris told the king of France that the plague was caused by the conjunction of Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter.

In the 17th century, British astrologer John Gadbury analyzed data from four previous plagues in 1593, 1603, 1625, and 1636 and looked at planetary tables for correlations between the planets’ positions and the rise and fall of each outbreak, finding a connection between disease and the positions of Mars and Venus.

With this data he attempted to predict the behavior of a plague ravaging the country at the time.

“He predicted the upcoming movement of Venus in August would see a fall in plague deaths,” the website states. “Then the movement of Mars in September would make the plague deadlier, but the movements of Venus in October, November, and December would halt the death rate.”

Actually, plague deaths rose dramatically during August, although he was correct in predicting they’d peak in September and then decline steeply at the end of the year.

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