Egyptian astrology

Egyptian astrology is the system of astronomical divination utilized by the ancient Egyptians prior to the arrival of Persian and Greek influences. Depending on the school of thought, it may or may not have impacted the development of the later Western astrology in widespread use today.

Early history

Throughout the Pre-dynastic Period, there is ample evidence that civilizations living along the Nile River watched and recorded the movements of celestial bodies, especially the star Sirius, which was revered as the goddess Sopdet.

The Pyramid Texts make numerous reference to stars and specific stellar deities, including Sah, which consists of the stars of the constellation Orion. The presence of stars in Egyptian religious texts proves they were not merely interested in the stars from a practical, astronomical point of view, but that they held religious reverence for the celestial bodies.

Coffin Texts

Toward the end of the First Intermediate Period, coffins of the nomarchs from the region of Asyut began to be decorated with charts depicting the positions of the Egyptian decans in the sky. The location of these charts, on the lids of the coffins, was intended to replicate the sky as it would have appeared over the deceased during their lifetime.

In his book, Cult of the Stars, author Travis McHenry analyzes these star charts and attempts to explain their function as a form of natal chart, showing the intervention of various decanal deities at important times during the life of the deceased. Although there is no surviving evidence that this system was utilized as predictive astrology, there is still the possibility that papyrus or ostracon from that period may have existed at one time, and yet remain undiscovered.


The Egyptians did not use the constellations of Western astrology in their astrological system. Instead, they tracked the heliacal rising of specific stars called "the disheveled." The Greeks would later call these same stars "the decans," due to each star ruling over a period of ten days, which formed the basis of the Egyptian calendar.

However, the Egyptians tracked all the decanal stars during the course of the year, believing that, depending on whether the star was rising, culminating, descending, or hidden from view, it would be be exerting different kinds of influence over events on earth. The exact meanings of these stages was unknown until the discovery of the final missing piece of the Naos of the Decades, and its translation and publication in 2014.

The system of divination was turned into a deck of oracle cards in 2021, called The Egyptian Star Oracle.

See also