One of the main tenets of understanding the historical astrology of astrologers like Abu Ma’shār lies in the understanding of their conception of history. We read for example,
“Saturn, is the indication for matters of Beginnings like religions, dynasties, and whatever lasts for a long time, since it is like the beginning for the other celestial bodies in terms of height…. laws do not come into being except because of religions and dynasties. If these states are arranged inversely, the case once more requires them to be connected and ordered, because religions and dynasties do not function except by laws…” 
The question is rightly posed concerning ancient historical astrology; can we really compare equivocally their observance of “divine law” with modern secular laws? Western society has done just that. The whole point in democracy or social democracy, any democracy; is a mandate that man’s ethics and morals are just as good, if not better, than any based on divinity! This is why the Theory of Evolution is so important in so-called democratic societies; if there is no God then man is God! It is humanism. It is the modern religion.
Personally, I am apolitical – I believe what astrology tells me rather than the perceptions the media wants me to have. I have certain moral convictions, but Astrology is particularly amoral. It was never intended to pass moral judgments. Its only intention is to tell us what is and what isn’t. A very good example of modern practice of astrology is how people have tried to make charts fit their perceptions. This has resulted in an almost entire western astrological society making prognostications so far from reality that many have tried to once again make apologies by saying astrology was never meant to predict!
T.S. Elliot once wrote:
“When a word acquires a universally sacred character . . . , as has today the word democracy, I begin to wonder, whether, by all it attempts to mean, it still means anything at all.” 
As one historian on Democracy points out, the only way possible to understand particular events and players is to accept the objective reality that democracy is nothing more than a secular religion.
“As in religion, although the partial theological framework [of democracy] may be a marvel of logic, with syllogism following syllogism, the first premises, the axioms or the postulates must remain a matter of faith. They can be neither proved nor disproved. And it is they that really matter. They determine the ideas and acts, and resolve contradictions into some higher identity or harmony.
The postulate of some ultimate, logical, exclusively valid social order is a matter of faith, and it is not much use trying to defeat it by argument. But its significance to the believer, and the power it has to move men and mountains, can hardly be exaggerated…
The modern secular religion [democracy] must first be treated as an objective reality. Only when this has been done will it be possible to consider the intellectual and historical patterns created by the interplay between the secular religion and particular men and situations…
Eighteenth-century philosophers were never in doubt that they were preaching a new religion. They faced a mighty challenge. The Church claimed to offer an absolute point of reference to man and society. It also claimed to embody an ultimate and all-embracing unity of human existence across the various levels of human and social life. The Church accused secular philosophy of destroying these two most essential conditions of private and public morality, and thereby undermining the very basis of ethics, and indeed society itself. If there is no God, and no transcendental sanction, why should men act virtuously? Eighteenth-century philosophy not only accepted the challenge, but turned the accusation against the Church itself. The philosopher felt the challenge so keenly that, as Diderot put it, they regarded it their sacred duty to show not only that their morality was just as good as religious ethics, but much better.” 
The substance of its acceptance is faith; the same as any divine belief! When it comes to secular law, it is the popular belief that the state knows better than the “Divine” and passes its laws to protect the rights of all, even those who transgress “divine law”! Even when those laws are contrary to any “divine law”! Democracy is the call word in everything that is printed today. And those that base law on Divine law are called religious extremists.
In so-called “democratic” Europe for example, 47 nations are now members of the Council of Europe, which has nothing to do with the EU. Not one citizen of the member nations has voted to belong to this council. It is the Council of Europe however that wrote the “Convention on Human Rights” and this convention makes up 70% of the proposed EU constitution. In fact to be a member of the Council of Europe a nation must incorporate the “Convention on Human Rights” as well as all the conventions passed by the Council of Europe, into their national constitutions by enacting laws to fulfil its provisions. If not they cannot be a member state! I really don’t understand people worrying about the EU….it is in fact irrelevant and it is now being absorbed by the Council of Europe. Note the logo of the Council of Europe; in 1983 the European Parliament decided that the Communities’ flag & logo should be that used by the Council of Europe. More than this however is the fact that the European Union is in serious disagreement amongst its members states. Just how much longer it will survive is questionable. But no matter because the real rulers sit in the Council of Europe passing “conventions” which are nothing short than their secular laws for member states to obey; with or without the consent of the people of the state. This is the text book definition of a totalitarian democracy.
We are in monumental times! As astrologers in order to understand world events we need to see these events objectively through eyes as spectators while embracing doctrines and teachings that historical astrologers like Māshā´allāh, ´Umar, and Abu Ma’shār passed down to us, which are very relevant to understanding the astrology involved!
(first written in 2017 revised 2020)
 Part I, Chapter 1:7-8 – The Book of Religions & Dynasties (On the Great Conjunctions) by Abu Ma’shār, Translated and edited from the Arabic by Keiji Yamamoto & Charles Burnett – Brill 2000
 T.S. Eliot, “The Idea of a Christian Society” (London: Faber & Faber, 1939)
 The Origins of Totalitarian Democracy by J. L. Talmon Published 1986 by Penguin (first published 1952)