astrology is a pseudoscience that claims to discern information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the movements and relative positions of celestial objects. Astrology has been practiced since at least the 2nd millennium BCE, and has its roots in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Most, if not all, cultures have attached importance what they observed in the sky, and some—such as the Hindus, Chinese, and the Maya—developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from where it spread to Ancient Greece, Rome, the Arab world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person's personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.
Throughout most of its history, astrology was considered a scholarly tradition and was common in academic circles, often in close relation with astronomy, alchemy, meteorology, and medicine. It was present in political circles and is mentioned in various works of literature, from Dante Alighieri and Geoffrey Chaucer to William Shakespeare, Lope de Vega, and Calderón de la Barca. During the Enlightenment, however, astrology disappeared as an area of legitimate scientific pursuit. Following the end of the 19th century and the wide-scale adoption of the scientific method, researchers have successfully challenged astrology on both theoretical: 249 and experimental grounds, and have shown it to have no scientific validity or explanatory power. Astrology thus lost its academic and theoretical standing, and common belief in it has largely declined, until a resurgence starting in the 1960s.
Dream interpretation is the process of assigning meaning to dreams. Although associated with some forms of psychotherapy, there is no reliable evidence that understanding or interpreting dreams has a positive impact on one's mental health.
In many ancient societies, such as those of Egypt and Greece, dreaming was considered a supernatural communication or a means of divine intervention, whose message could be interpreted by people with these associated spiritual powers. In modern times, various schools of psychology and neurobiology have offered theories about the meaning and purpose of dreams. Most people currently appear to interpret dream content according to Freudian psychoanalysis in the United States, India, and South Korea, according to a study conducted in those countries.
People appear to believe dreams are particularly meaningful: they assign more meaning to dreams than to similar waking thoughts. For example, people report they would be more likely to cancel a trip they had planned that involved a plane flight if they dreamt of their plane crashing the night before than if the Department of Homeland Security issued a federal warning.
However, people do not attribute equal importance to all dreams. People appear to use motivated reasoning when interpreting their dreams. They are more likely to view dreams confirming their waking beliefs and desires to be more meaningful than dreams that contradict their waking beliefs and desires.