"Unconventional" SCIENCES and NEW DISCOVERIES > ASTROLOGY
Astrology : is it just business or a real science ?
Before saying "Astrology is non-sense", try a FREE CHART here : https://alabe.com/freechart/
All your data (name/date/place & time of birth) must be accurate for a proper chart (mine was exact at 99%).
Then you will see by yourself.
Author's page : http://www.astrology-numerology.com/astrology.html
Introduction to Astrology
About astrology and the horoscope
You may be at the stage of asking, "What is a horoscope?" What is astrology all about? If so, you're going to find the answers here. To begin, the horoscope is a map that appears as a two dimensional chart. It shows the position of the Sun, the Moon, and planets at the precise moment of your birth. The Sun, the Moon, and the planets are frozen in their position at that initial moment of birth. That is why this type of horoscope is known as the birth chart, astrology chart, or the natal chart. This chart becomes the basis for all that follows.
A correct interpretation of these birth positions, your astrology horoscope, exposes much about you. It can be thought of as the "hand" that has been "dealt" in life. This doesn't suggest that your life has already been decided. An astrology horoscope can never show how you are going to "play" this hand. It's largely up to you to decide that. While you usually have the freedom of choice or free will, the horoscope does reflect the natural inclinations you have, the lessons you have to learn, the issues to be faced, and the problems to be solved. It may be thought of as merely an abstract formula showing the energies you've been given, or perhaps tasked. The use that you make of these energies, or opportunities, if you will, depends upon you, the individual.
Astrology can provide incredible keys to understanding yourself, or those around you, but it doesn't necessarily provide clear and simplistic answers to any problems with which you may be dealing. Obtaining information about your horoscope may give you some insights and understanding of the reasons why you behave as you do.
To have the horoscope of another revealed allows the reader to understand that person better. You can see and understand him or her more accurately, objectively, and with a much greater tolerance. Understanding your horoscope may allow you to more clearly understand and accept yourself, and therefore do what you can with your natural attributes.Astrology Information Available here This site is a little bit like a textbook on astrology. It has a lot of chapters and much detail. First, you'll need to get a copy of your horoscope or natal chart. There are a number of sites online that offer free horoscope charts. A good site for providing a free chart is https://alabe.com/freechart/. You'll need to provide your name, date of birth, the time of birth (preferably from your birth certificate) and the place of birth, like city/state. If you have trouble figuring it out, you can write to me at Michael @ astrology-numerology.com providing ALL of the info mentioned above, and I will try to prepare a chart for you as time permits. Remember, I live in the US where we do the date different than most of the rest of the world. Here the date is usually submitted as MM-DD-YYYY. I may be a little slow getting these out if I get very many requests.
After you obtain a copy of your horoscope, you will be ready to dive into the many mini readings that will begin to draw a special word picture unique to you or the individual whose chart you are focusing on today.
The site features many pages containing enough astrology content to fill a large textbook. Chapters include the Sun, the Moon and the planets in signs; the Sun, the Moon, and the planets in houses; info on the ascendant sign (rising sign), and the sign on the cusp of all of the horoscope houses. Learn about the combination of your Sun and Moon, and how all of the planets in aspect behave. There's lots of information about relationships, synastry, and the meaning of his planets in your horoscope houses. In addition to these main chapters, find plenty of pages on specialty subjects such as retrograde planets, astrology elements, the great ages (age of Aquarius, age of Pisces), lunar nodes, Chiron and more.
I hope you enjoy your visit. If you do, please tell a friend and/or link us up to the social network of friends. Thank you.
Astrology Index, a quick rundown, and links to the astrology you'll find here
What's my sign? Here's where you find out. Not just your Sun sign, but all of them; Sun, Moon, Mercury, Vernus, Mars and more.. A nice reading on every one.
Astrology houses (house cusps)
What do you mean by houses and house cusps in a horoscope? A mini read on every one of the houses influenced by every one of the signs.
Planets in the houses
Here's where you find out what those hard-working planets are doing for you. What influence they have on you? Learn about them in your horoscope today.
Rising Signs/House cusps
What's your rising sign, i.e. ascendant? Learn about the ascendant and the complete cusp overlay.
In astrology, an "aspect" is a geometric relationship between two planets. Aspects are important in analyzing a horoscope because they seem to make the two connected planets function together. Read about the aspects in your horoscope here.
T-squares, Yods, Stellium and more - what is this all about?
Astrology Modes (the quadruplicities)
The mode of activity relates to the manner that a person adapts to circumstances in his/her environment. These modes of activity are sometimes referred to as the quadruplicities. Modes or quadruplicities are divided into three groups of four planets each.
Quickly grasp the key sense of each of the signs using our keywords and phrases.
An easy guide to the most important symbols used in the astrology language. What does house or planet "ruler" mean. Learn them in a hurry.
Angles of the Horoscope
Lean the popular terms for the aspects of the natal horoscope. Just where is that medium coeli anyway?
Astrology relationships (synastry)
Are we compatible? Find out here. Get an explanation about how it all works, look at synastry aspects, partner's planets in houses, and much more.
Astrology elements ( the Triplicities)
Fire, Air, Earth, and Water, the four elements, sometimes called the Triplicities, play an important part in astrology. Find out about them.
The Sun and Moon Combinations
You know your Sun sign, and maybe your Moon sign, and now you can learn how they work together. On this page you'll find144 mini readings for each combination.
The Great Ages
Learn how the world is changing as we make the transition for the Pisces age to the Aquarius age.
The Asteroid Chiron
Not quite a planet, but maybe it once was. Learn a bit about fastinating Chiron.
Where are the planets in your astrology chart, which hemisphere, and what does that mean?
How can planets be going the wrong direction?
Readings by Michael
Missing all those ads that populate most websites. Yep, we have some of them, too. Visit here an d find all that wonderful readings you can buy and help support this website.
© Michael McClain 1996-2017. All rights reserved.
Astrology Key Words
by Michael McClain
The zodiac circle has twelve signs. The circle begins with Aries and concludes with Pisces. Each sign has traits that set it apart from the others. It's important to learn astrology keywords describing each of the signs. Here are some of keywords and phrases that I like to use:
Aries is energetic, innovative, original, pioneering, assertive, quick-tempered, strong drive, leader, ambitious, extroverted, sometimes aggressive, competitive, enthusiastic, self-reliant, and self-assured.
Taurus is determined, efficient, stubborn, cautious, placid, persistent, enduring, introverted, conservative, conventional, materialistic, security conscious, stable, industrious, dependable, and one generally having significant financial ability.
Gemini is flexible, versatile, restless, a jack-of-all-trades, lively, alert, quick-witted, literary, communicative, a good conversationalist, changeable, sociable, logical, ingenious, agile, dexterous, intellectual, and mentally ambitious.
Cancer is introverted, reserved, emotional, sensitive, moody, sympathetic, security-conscious, prudent, retentive, domestic, maternal, protective, quiet, calm, imaginative, conscientious, and quite the traditionalist.
Leo is ambitious, a lover of limelight, speculative, extroverted, optimistic, honorable, dignified, confident, proud, exuberant, sunny, flamboyant, charismatic, dramatic, competitive, a leader and an organizer.
Virgo is practical, responsible, sensible, logical, analytical, highly discriminating, a careful planner, precise and punctual, dedicated, perfectionist, critical, health conscious, and somewhat introverted.
Libra is idealistic, a peacemaker, diplomatic, refined, poised, gracious, kind, courteous, fair-minded, sociable, charming, artistically creative, affable, cooperative, extroverted, and usually somewhat indecisive.
Scorpio is intense, determined, powerful, strong-willed, forceful, bold, courageous, enduring, competitive, resourceful, researcher, an investigator, secretive, mysterious, penetrating, psychic, self-reliant, and somewhat introverted or closed.
Sagittarius is idealistic, optimistic, freedom-loving, casual, friendly, buoyant, gregarious, enthusiastic, philosophical, studious, farseeing, direct, outspoken, honest, loyal, restless and loves travel.
Capricorn is ambitious (power, position, money), organizational, self-disciplined, rigid, thrifty, prudent, security-conscious, conservative, responsible, practical, persistent, political, business oriented, methodical.
Aquarius is individualistic, unconventional, progressive, unique, independent, humanitarian, altruistic, visionary, perceptive, intellectual, logical, ingenious, inventive, unpredictable, detached, friendly, and scientific.
Pisces is receptive, supersensitive, impressionable, peace-loving, serious, sympathetic, charitable, compassionate, artistic, creative, dreamer, dedicated, imaginative, psychic, shy, introverted, spiritual, and reclusive.
© Michael McClain 1996-2015. All rights reserved.
The Four Elements
Fire, Air, Earth, and Water; the Triplicities
by Michael McClain
Fire, Air, Earth, and Water, the four elements, sometimes called the Triplicities, play an important part in astrology. The term triplicities comes from the fact that there are three signs associated with each of the four elements.
Here are the signs divided by element in the astrology chart
Fire.....Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius
Earth.....Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Air.....Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Water....Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
What do the elements mean in astrology ?
When these elements are translated as personality traits or temperament, they become important features of the astrology delineation. Here are brief readings of each of the four elements and delineations of a situation when one's astrology chart contains two of the elements having similar strength. For the few who have a balance in elements, the concepts of elements should be considered balanced. That is they tend to reflect common sense (earth), action orientation (fire), thinking and communication skills (air), and the ability to feel and intuitively know (water) in reasonable proportion and don't rely overly on any of these traits at the expense of another.
Just as it is important to observe the element that is strongest in the astrology chart, it is also important to note the element, if any, that is not significantly represented in the horoscope. A reading, that may be appropriate when such an absence is noted, is also provided below.
Many astrologers consider the element of each of the planets when determining which of the elements may be more significant in an astrology horoscope. My method for evaluating the strength of an element in a birth chart is to assign a value of 4 to the element associated with the Sun; the Moon element is assigned a value of 3; Mercury, Venus, and Mars sign elements are assigned a value of 2 each, and Jupiter and Saturn each have a value of 1. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are disregarded because their element is more societal affecting large groups of individuals born during a period. Using this approach, if as many as 8 points are concentrated in one element, it is considered a preponderance in that element.
Links to the element types :
A Preponderance of the FIRE element
A preponderance of Fire signs planets in the astrology chart exemplify high spirits, great faith in self, enthusiasm, and direct honesty. Your fire sign nature projects a radiant, vitalizing energy that seems to glow with warmth and exuberance. You need a good deal of freedom to express yourself naturally, and you will usually display a fairly unrelenting insistence on your own point of view. You put all of yourself in whatever you do. You are intensely assertive, individualistic, active and self-expressive. Fire sign energies stimulate people who are more lethargic, but often your energies overpower or exhaust the more retiring or more sensitive type. Good natured and fun-loving, you have many friends and you are generous with your time, energy, and resources. You place a far greater value on having a good time than on material possessions. For all the natural generosity displayed by the fire signs, they are also famous for the big egos they frequently demonstrate. You may believe so strongly in your own powers and abilities that you overlook and frequently fail to take advantage of the talents and abilities of others. You try to do it all yourself and don't delegate well. Despite this damaging flaw in your managerial ability, you belong to a group that is the most daring and capable inspiring in a management sense; the natural leaders. In battle, sports or business, it is usually the fire signs out front leading the charge. You are the type of leader that is very independent and individualistic, rarely consulting with others for advice. You are constantly out front or "on stage" and you need to be recognized and admired for your attainment and accomplishments. Appreciation is more important than money in your estimation. Nothing hurts more than being ignored. The fire sign sense of honesty is straightforward and often child-like. Thus, you believe everyone is, like yourself, an open book. You may be somewhat gullible and naive.
Fire and Earth type
When the elements of Fire and Earth combine in the astrology chart, the result is potentially powerful and creative. Fire provides action and Earth looks for tangible results. The Earth elements give sustaining power to the drive from self-expression symbolized by the Fire elements. The rapid-fire inspirations of Fire are grounded by the Earth so that energies can be conserved and focused. A problem with this combination is a degree of insensitivity that is usually present. When moving toward a goal there is little concern for anything or anyone that gets in your way. You may need to cultivate attention to ideals and your own inner life. In any event, the key words for the elements in your chart are steadiness, reliability, and productivity.
Fire and Air Type
With the planets in your astrology chart concentrated in Fire and Air you are idealistic, aspiring, and positive-thinking. You have the best of intentions and motives, but your approach to life may not be completely realistic. You have the ability to put your ideas into action, but you may neglect your emotional and material or physical needs. You probably have a keen sense of humor and a very effective way with words. At its best this is a very creative combination. The problem is getting things done as you are a person that is not well grounded in the persistent traits normally required to see the job through to completion. As full of ideas and enthusiasm as you are, energies may be scattered, and you must realize that you can't just pour out your energies unreservedly without simultaneously tuning in on your deeper resources if you're to avoid a state of constant depletion.
Fire and Water Type
The heavy emphasis on Fire and Water elements in your astrology chart would indicate a general tendency to express everything emotionally, excitedly, and rather impulsively. There is often a lack of logical, systematic thought and procedure, with a resulting restlessness and subjective bias. This combination has intensity, emotional extremes, and surprising sensitivity to what others think of them. You are a "whole-hogger," having a marked lack of self-restraint. You may experience big swings in moods. You function in a high-pressure state, and you do best when being challenged.
The limited presence of the Fire element in your astrology chart may suggest the need to experience life more actively. It may benefit you to become more vital, for you may lack the passion and spark that the fire signs afford. This doesn't mean that you don't enjoy life, but merely that you don't seem to know how to insert yourself into the action; pleasure, thrills and glory will be slow coming your way. Your pleasures are apt to be more subtle and sensitive, without the dramatics and flash. Although this void does not guarantee an introvert, you are not likely to be the extrovert. You lack the dare-devil courage of the fire signs, and this includes the utter self-confidence these signs bestow. Because of this, you may like to stand back and let the other person make the first move in an encounter. If anything, you underestimate your abilities and worth. You like to test the water before you jump in, and the fire of competition can hold you back sometimes. By underrating your abilities, you are apt to often end up assisting others whose talents are less than your own, but whose reflection drive and desire is greater. Actually, you don't like having the spotlight on you, and you may prefer such a subordinate role. Self-expression, both emotional and creative, may be difficult for you. In some cases, a person lacking fire in their chart may try to force self-expression and many of the more aggressive fire sign traits in order to compensate for the lack of these traits. Characteristic of this would be the less than talented, over-achiever in a sport who attains a modest level of skill and the ability to win through extreme hard work and long years of perseverance.
A Preponderance of the EARTH element
The heavy concentration of the Earth element in your astrology chart suggests that you are cautious, premeditative, conventional, and dependable. You are the type of person who lives by a practical, common sense code; stable, and concerned with physical well-being rather than spiritual attainment. You are quite responsible, if a bit rigid, methodical and detail-conscious. The term "down to earth" may suit you quite well. It might be said that you are one of those people who is very well adjusted to life on this planet. A concern for the physical or material world makes you very much the realist. You are an organizer, a builder, and a hard-worker. The earth sign traits provide you with the skills and attitude necessary to succeed readily in the world of business. So pragmatic, you don't often gamble or take unnecessary chances. You understand the reality of a situation and you understand value, both in a material and in a human sense. Your approach to people is much the same as your approach to life. You are reliable and steadfast. You are predictable and you don't like surprises. Dependability, diligence and a pragmatic, no-nonsense approach to life are your greatest strengths. Lack of ideas or imagination, dullness, rigid conservatism, extreme materialism, and blind adherence to rules and regulations are your potential faults.
Earth and Air Type
The heavy concentration of the combination of Earth and Air in your astrology chart can indicate an alternating pull between the abstract-conceptual and the more mundane practical-efficiency orientations. Properly focused, this blending allows combining intellectual and conceptual awareness with a practical sense of harmony and concrete objectives. In other words, you are a thinker and you possess some common sense; a good combination. There is a fairly dry, detached sort of logic that allows you to deal with a volume of facts or figures without getting overwhelmed with the detail. Stress never bothers you much. Emotionalism is never a problem either.
Earth and Water Type
A lot of earth and water in the astrology chart often produces persons displaying much depth, seriousness, and a strong sense of self-protectiveness in all activities. You are apt to be a hard worker, for earth/water types don't seem to be happy unless they have some burden, either emotionally or in everyday work. These placements are very conscious of survival needs, and other issues of security, and others' reliance on their solidity and resources. Therefore, much of your energy is used in an effort to maintain or obtain resources, and there is great attachment to money, possessions, job, children, and other security factors. You have endurance and an ability to survive through any calamity. Your attachment to security and to rather traditional values is often manifested in a strong adherence to family, home, and community responsibility. The negative side of earth/water types is becoming too attached to the past and rather fearful of the present and the future. Positive thinking and forming ideals may be your challenge.
The limited presence of the Earth element in your astrology chart suggests that you may have some difficulties dealing with practical and mundane issues; in fact it may be said that you are not really at home on the planet Earth. You may seem to be somehow lost in space and unable to get your feet on the ground. Because of this you may reject responsibility and have trouble getting organized and following through on a task. There frequently is shown a childish inability to handle mundane tasks, and you may be one of those people who needs help to accomplish the simplest fix-up chore. Material matter and money may be secondary concerns, and you may not be particularly interested earthly possessions and material gain. Sometimes persons with an absence of Earth compensate by expressing a compulsive trait toward neatness and detail, and a forced concern for organization. More often, the absence of earth signs means good old fashioned common sense may not be your strong suit.
A Preponderance of the AIR element
The preponderance of Air signs in your astrology chart suggest a strong emphasis on thought, ideas and intellectual pursuits of one sort or another. There is a detachment and a sense of objectivity associated with such a heavy influence in the element of Air. Air signs communicate and express ideas with mental agility. Your Air signs may not, however, always get the job done, and you need to be sure ideas are grounded in reality and put to practical use. You are probably more concerned with theory than with application. Often, individuals having a heavy amounts of Air signs become the impractical dreamers, constantly thinking, but not always following through as well as others. Rational and logical, you analyze situations fully, thinking them through and planning carefully before you act. While you may ponder and vacillate, you rarely make foolish mistakes. Detached and not overly emotional, you are almost always objective and fair-minded. You are people-oriented, but more inclined toward the group than the individual. Your interests are varied, and you're apt to be a life-long student.
Air and Water Type
Although you often feel pulled between intellectual and emotional orientations of life, heavy doses of Air and Water elements in your astrology chart can make you very much attuned to both realms of experience. Neither the abstract nor the feeling-intuitive world is alien to you, and you are thus able to develop a mode of operation that encompasses both types of perception. This results in your being able to give depth to your ideas and in your ability to gain detachment and perspective on feelings and deeper yearnings. You are physically and psychologically sensitive; a dreamer, an escapist, perhaps a little fantasy-prone. You have an amazingly fertile imagination and specialized skills for dealing with people. You know how to tune in to people, and communicate concisely.
The limited amount of the Air element in your astrology chart suggests a need to learn adaptability and the use of the mental functions in a creative manner. You don't emphasize mental activity in your daily life. This is not to say that you aren't intelligent, but just that you don't place a lot of value on the world of ideas and education's for education sake. Often, a shortage of Air signs signifies an inability to communicate effectively or clearly; you may be somewhat enigmatic and obscure. Sometimes there is a self-consciousness associated with such circumstances, and you may over-compensate by working hard to improve such inclinations. You probably don't enjoy learning unless what you're studying has an immediate and tangible end. A strength of the air-weak chart is generally the enhanced ability to communicate emotionally, physically or psychically. It may be hard for you to stand back, and clearly view an issue in an objective manner. Thus, there is a tendency to have some trouble in the task of planning ahead. You may find yourself wasting a lot of energy on this account. You must make a special effort to communicate clearly and plan very carefully or your advancement will come only through costly trial and error.
A Preponderance of the WATER element
A heavy emphasis of Water element signs in your astrology chart puts you closely in touch with your feelings, and in tune with the nuances and subtleties in your environment that others won't even notice. You approach life and understand it through your emotions, and you're really at your best when you "play your hunches." You don't intellectualize about things; you respond exactly how you feel. Water sign people are very attuned to their feelings. An intense sensitivity permits you to experience the heights of emotional bliss, but it can also take you to the depth of despair. Close emotional relationships are essential to your well-being and happiness. Superficial affairs are few, and less than satisfying. Romantic, sentimental, and affectionate, there must be a stable and secure bond between you and your partner. When you are happily situated in such a bond, you can be a very nurturing type. You can be "smothering" toward your children, and very possessive of your mate. You are not one who can subscribe to the code "live and let live." You communicate best in non-verbal ways; emotionally, psychically, or through forms as art, dance, music, poetry and photography. You have a natural feel and sense for the arts. You're apt to let the heart rule the head. Highly impractical and impressionable, you sometimes use bad judgment for you are unable to be objective and evaluate situations impersonally. You may change your mind as often as your moods change, but rarely do the facts sway your beliefs.
The absence or limitation of Water signs in your astrology chart suggests that you may have difficulty understanding the deeper meanings of events and circumstances. Indeed, you may be a little lacking in emotional intensity. This is not to say that you have no feelings, but it does mean that your emotions are not easily engaged and they really don't run deep. You aren't so apt to form those extremely close friendships and relationships, and you may even feel smothered and threatened by strong emotional demands of others. You recover quickly from emotional bumps and scrapes, never letting your disappointments get you down. Depression is never apt to be a problem. Many of the aspects of not having water signs are positive, but on the negative side, you must guard against becoming rather callous and cold, detached and unfeeling. Intuitive skills are not readily available to those with few planets in Water signs. In your view this does not matter so much, because you don't trust intuitive knowledge anyway.
© Michael McClain 1996-2015. All rights reserved.
Modes of Activity
In describing a personality, it's important to check the mode of activity or the manner that a person adapts to circumstances in his/her environment. These modes of activity are sometimes referred to as the quadruplicities. Modes or quadruplicities are divided into three groups of four planets each. Each group has one sign from each of the four elements. The three groups are the cardinal signs, the fixed signs, and the mutable signs.
The cardinal group includes Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. These signs are more inclined to embrace activity and have a quick grasp of situations and opportunities. The fixed group consists of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. This is a goal oriented group that succeed by unwavering resoluteness and even stubbornness. The mutable signs are Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. These signs rely on flexibility, experiences, and memories.
Consider only the Personal Planets (The Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars) plus Jupiter and Saturn
In evaluating which type you or your subject may be, you will need to review the chart to determine the number of planets in each group. Most horoscope programs list the raw number of planets in Cardinal (Car), Fixed (Fix), and Mutable (Moot) signs. Many astrologers merely apply this raw number to evaluate the mode of activity of an individual. I prefer to consider only those planets that shape the personality and exclude the more societal trans-Saturn planets. I also tend to weight the modes in favor of the Sun and Moon. My method for evaluating the strength of each mode in a birth chart is to assign a value of 4 to the mode associated with the Sun; the Moon's mode is assigned a value of 3; Mercury, Venus, and Mars sign are assigned a value of 2 each, and Jupiter and Saturn each have a value of 1. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are disregarded because their mode of activity is more societal affecting large groups of individuals born during a period. Using this approach, if as many as 8 points are concentrated in one mode, it is considered a preponderance in that element.
How I tally the modes in my chart
Here is my scale applied to my own chart:
Sun x 4, Aquarius, a fixed sign=4
Moon x 3, Libra, a cardinal sign=3
Mercury x 2, Aquarius, a fixed sign=2
Venus x 2, Capricorn, a cardinal sign=2
Mars x 2, Sagittarius, mutable signs=2
Jupiter x 1, Pisces, a mutable sign=1
Saturn x 1, Aries, a cardinal sign=1
Thus, I have tallied 6 in the fixed signs, 6 in the cardinal signs, and 3 in the mutable signs. While this shows some balance, I would place myself in the Cardinal/fixed category as outlined below. A few of you may end of using two of these mini readings. If you have a preponderance of one mode or a combination of two, and also an absence of another, then both the preponderance reading and the absence reading would be appropriate.
Mini Readings for Each Type
Here are delineations of the different mode of expression types, combinations of two of the mode of expression types, and the possibilities when one of the modes is mostly absent in your birth chart or the birth chart of your subject:
The concept of cardinal planets is synonymous with movement or the nature of planets giving movement or action to the nature. This suggests that you are a person who is inclined toward constant activity, with efforts directed at the here and now. You are ambitious and ready to go after whatever it is you want without hesitation. You are likely to act immediately on issues that come to your attention, never sitting idly by waiting for someone else to get things started. Positively expressed, cardinal signs produce constructive initiative. Yet sometimes they produce thoughtless actions that gain little.
The combination of most planets in cardinal and fixed signs suggests that you are a person who is inclined toward constant activity, while holding rigidly to your views and convictions. Your efforts are directed at the here and now, and you are usually able to achieve whatever it is you undertake, purely from the strength of your determination. You are ambitious rather than adaptable, strong-willed and resistant to external influences, and yet always ready for the next challenge. You set values and ideals high, and attainment is a constant goal. The Cardinal influences may make you charge off in many different directions and the fixed signs will want to finish everything that you start. So, you are the type of person that is apt to overload and over-extend yourself.
The combination of most planets in cardinal and mutable signs suggests that you are a person who is inclined toward constant activity, but this activity must provide variety and change. Your efforts are directed at the here and now, but decision-making can sometimes be a problem. You are likely to act immediately on issues that come to your attention, but not without paying attention to the lessons from the past. Sometimes, you may dwell on the past a little too long. Positively expressed, cardinal signs produce constructive initiative, while the Mutable tone allows you to always be flexible. You are able to fit easily into most situations, and you produce results wherever you fit in. You are devoted rather than ambitious.
A lack of cardinal signs suggests a lack in initiative and drive unless these attributes are shown elsewhere in the map. Not one to pursue desires actively, you sometimes look to others to satisfy them for you. You wait for opportunities rather than forcing the issue and making your own breaks.
The strength in fixed signs in your chart suggests that you hold to fixed or rigid ideals and goals. What you may lack in daring, you make up for in perseverance. You are usually able to achieve whatever you undertake, purely from the strength of your determination. You are extremely strong-willed and resistant to external influences. You set values and ideals over individuals and situations, often in an uncompromising manner. Your great strengths are loyalty, constancy and dependability. The down side of a fixed chart is the likelihood of too much of a "fixed" or stubborn nature. Compromise is hard for you because giving in is nearly impossible. You may be so rigid that you can't roll with the punches.
The combination of most planets in fixed and mutable signs produces certain conflicts in your nature. Although these two approaches are quite different and contradictory, you are apt to express both; a rigid and unyielding, persistent and determined fixed approach, but with the ability to adapt, change, and work around obstacles when it becomes clear that flexibility is the only way to win. Your freedom is extremely important to you because you're set in your ways.
Because your horoscope is void or nearly void in fixed signs, you may be better at starting things than finishing them. Either you become bored with something soon after beginning it, or you take on so much that you don't have the energy or focus to accomplish anything. You may have difficulty in various aspects of your life, frequently changing jobs, lovers, residences, and even your beliefs and ideas on many of life's weightier issues.
The preponderance of mutable signs in your horoscope denotes adaptability, and you may be so changeable that it is almost impossible to pin you down. You are apt to find yourself going off in several directions at the same time as you have great difficulty focusing your attention to one thing. You are able to fit easily into most situations. You adapt yourself to all sorts of experiences in life, and like a chameleon, you are able to adjust. Personal and sentimental, you are concerned with people rather than ideals or personal ambitions. You have an inner desire for much personal freedom, though you may find decision-making and self-directed actions difficult. You learn from the past, and in fact, you may occasionally dwell in the past rather than concentrating on the future. You're flexible and ingenious in emergencies because of your innate ability to improvise.
Your chart is nearly void of planets in the mutable mode suggesting that you may have difficulties with changes in your life. You are very cautious about trying new things and prefer to remain loyal to the status quo. Because changes threaten you, you may stay stuck in a rut. Your inflexibility isn't necessarily due to stubbornness or ego (although both may contribute in this case), but stems instead from a desire to maintain order and stability in your life.
Since the modes of activity are so well balanced in your horoscope, you have enough of the cardinal influence to get a project going; enough of the fixed influence to stay on track and get the job done; enough of the mutable mode to generally be flexible and accept change when necessary.
© Michael McClain 1996-2015. All rights reserved.
12 Signs & Ruling Planets
The first sign in the zodiac is Aries. Aries' element is Fire, mode of behavior is cardinal, positive expression is vitality, and negative expression is impulsiveness.
The planet Mars is ruler of Aries.
The second sign of the zodiac is Taurus. Taurus' element is earth, mode of behavior is fixed, positive expression is stability, and negative expression is stubbornness.
The planet Venus is the ruler of Aries.
The third sign of the zodiac is Gemini. Gemini's element is Air, mode of behavior is mutable, positive expression adaptability, and negative expression is cursoriness.
The planet Mercury is the ruler of Gemini.
The fourth sign of the zodiac is Cancer. Cancer's element is Water, mode of behavior is cardinal, positive expression is protectiveness, and negative expression is possessiveness.
The Moon is the ruler of Cancer.
The fifth sign of the zodiac is Leo. Leo's element is Fire, mode of behavior is fixed, positive expression is exuberance, negative expression is autocratical.
The Sun is the ruler of Leo.
The sixth sign of zodiac is Virgo. Virgo's eleent is Earth, mode of behavior is mutable, positive expression is analitical, negative expression fastidiousness.
The planet Mercury is the ruler of Virgo.
The seventh sign of the zodiac is Libra. Libra's element is Air, mode of behavior is cardinal, positive expression is diplomacy, negative expression is vacillation.
The planet Venus is the ruler of Libra.
The eighth sign of the zodiac is Scorpio. Scorpio's element is Water, mode of behavior is fixed, positive expression is forcefullness, negative expression is ruthlessness.
The planet Pluto is the ruler of Scorpio
The ninth sign of the zodiac is Sagittarius. Sagittarius's element is Fire, mode of behavior is mutable, positive expression is idealistic, negative expression is restless and outspoken.
The planet Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius.
The tenth sign of the zodiac is Capricorn. Capricorn's element is Earth, mode of behavior is mutable, positive expression is ambition and self-discipline, negative expression is selfishness and greed.
The planet Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn.
The eleventh sign of the zodiac is Aquarius. Aquarius' element is Air, mode of behavior is fixed, positive expression is progressive thinking, negative expression is detachment and unpredictability.
The planet Uranus is the ruler of Aquarius.
The twelfth sign of the zodiac is Pisces. Pisces' element is Water, mode of behavior is mutable, positive expression is charity, negative expression is anxiety.
The planet Neptune is the ruler of Pisces.
© Michael McClain 1996-2015. All rights reserved.
The Astrological Ages
by Michael McClain
The ages of Pisces and Aquarius
Astrology is about a variety of cycles that affect us in a very personal way, and sometimes in a more subtle societal way. Most of what I discuss in this site is about the shorter cycles like the Sun’s annual return and the Moon’s monthly circle. The grand-papa of all of our cycles is the Precession of the Equinoxes. I’m going to leave it to the experts (see links below) to explain the how and why of this phenomenon, but the long and short of it is that the Precession of Equinoxes is a cycle taking a whopping 25,920 years to complete. The cycle is divided into twelve divisions which are called ages, and each age is identified by the signs of zodiac appearing in reverse order.
No one know exactly when one age ends and the next begins. We do know that while the length of time in each age may vary, the average is 2,160 years. At the present time, we are either at the end time of the Age of Pisces, or the beginning time of Age of Aquarius.
The Age of Pisces
Many believe that we are still under the influence of Pisces. The Age of Pisces took over from the very militant Age of Aries just as the mighty Roman empire had overrun, with the force of the greatest army ever (at the time), many lands in the known world. As the spiritual ideals of Neptune and Pisces took over slowly from the militarism of Mars and Aries, a new age was dawning. As the Age of Pisces took hold, several world religions got their start. Christianity, now the largest religion, then Islam, second largest and the only one actually growing, took hold in the early years of the Age of Pisces. Additionally, the late stages of the Age of Aries saw the start of Chinese folk religions, then Buddhism, and Confucianism.
In other words, the world got very interested in spiritual ideals and concepts. This didn’t do much to curb the violence in the world, as many wars have been fought in the name of religion ever since. But the tone of this age is the worship of a God or Gods, and the Christian and Muslims proved to be the major forces in the world. Now, at end of this astrology age, more than half of the population of the world is claimed as believers in one or the other. The Christian world is noticeably shrinking, especially in developed countries. The Muslim world is struggling with movements of the masses toward more secular and modern beliefs, as the end of Age of Pisces moves closer. The hold of spiritual beliefs tend to be giving way as doubts creep in and original philosophies are distorted by church leaders. I wouldn’t say that these are the worst of times for the religious world - the Crusades probably win that prize. But certainly the condition of the world and the problems that have their basis in religious/sectarian strife seem to be coming to a head as we near the end of the age.
When does one age end and the next begin?
Unless websites are copying from one another, you will probably get a different answer to this question just about everywhere you look. My sense on this is that signs of the end of one age and the beginning of the next can be observed over a period of many years. Indeed, this could be, perhaps, several hundred years.
The Age of Aquarius
The very early signs pointing to the beginning of the Age of Aquarius probably date back to the late 18th century and the first Industrial Revolution. Perhaps it was a little later as we entered the electrical age (1890s), learned to fly (1906), or when we started mass producing cars (1914). All of these are surely pointers to the onset of the new age. More dramatic inventions were yet to come; the nuclear age (1940s), or the Internet (not sure when that started, but for me it was 1996).
From a social standpoint, perhaps this astrology age began with the advent of Communism, the American revolution, the formation of the ill-fated League of Nations or the United Nations. When you start talking about some of these institutions, you can see why the old age and the new age have a hard time coexisting. Fear of a world government is thought to be a marker for the “end of the world” according to some Christian teachings.
I don’t think it will be all that bad, however, as it is projected to be a period characterized by technical advancements beyond what we have already seen so clearly in the past hundred years. Religious dogma will be replaced by freedom, equality, and the brotherhood of mankind. The Age of Aquarius brings advancements for even the most underdeveloped regions on earth. As it kicks into gear, expect scientific and technological solutions replacing the spiritual enlightenment of the previous era, with the idealistic goal of equality.
© Michael McClain 1996-2015. Rights reserved.
Angles of the Horoscope
In the horoscope, the cusps of the right angles created by a horizon and meridian axes are called the angles of chart. These important points on the horoscope are called 1) the Ascendant, 2) the Midheaven or Medium Coeli (M.C.), 3) the Descendant, and 4) the Imum Coeli (I.C.).
The Ascendant, or the point that is sometimes called the rising sign, is the exact degree in the zodiac which was on the eastern horizon, or rising on the horizon if you will, at birth. The term Ascendant and rising sign are interchangeable. As the Earth revolves, this point is constantly changing. Every 4 minutes the degree of the Ascendant changes. This is why it is so important to know the exact time of birth when calculating a horoscope.
The Ascendant and the Sun sign are considered equally important by astrologers. Because this is so important, when talking to other astrologers I would describe my astrological makeup as a Pisces Ascendant, with Sun in Aquarius and Moon in Libra. Astrologers vary on how much importance to place on the Ascendant. Most agree that it does influence appearance and many outward traits. As a matter of fact, when one gets in the parlor game of guessing the Sun sign of another, they are much more likely to correctly identify the Ascendant rather than the Sun sign. We project the traits of the sign that we have in this rising position. Some astrologers believe that the Ascendant sign represents traits that the individual is inclined to be striving toward. There is general agreement that the Ascendant and the first house of the horoscope are about the self. This is the most personal part of the horoscope. Planets near the Ascendant define characteristics about the personality.
The Medium Coeli or Midheaven
The Medium Coeli (MC), or Midheaven as it is more popularly known, is at the top of the chart. It is the point furthest south in the zodiac. The Midheaven point is the cusp of the 10th house. The Midheaven represents your most exposed position, your public demeanor, and how you present yourself to the world at large. This position is associated with the career and with that for which you strive to achieve. Many planets in this sector may show that much of your activities receive attention. You get credit (or blame) for your actions.
The Descendant is a point opposite the Ascendant. It is the degree of the zodiac residing on the western horizon at the moment of birth. In the chart this point marks the cusp of the 7th house and the beginning of outward expression. Houses 1 through 6 have had a personal tone, but now they will begin to relate to our interaction with others. The Descendant suggests how you relate to those nearest to you. The seventh house is sometimes called the house of partnerships and marriage. It is very fortunate when your partner's Ascendant is in the same sign as your Descendant because this mirror image of each other produces the most constructive spousal relationships.
The Imum Coeli or Nadir
The Imum Coeli (IC) or Nadir is opposite the Medium Coeli. This is the lowest point on the horoscope and the point furthest north in the zodiac. The IC is the cusp of the fourth house. This is the area of our deepest concern for security and shelter. The issues here are home, traditions, stability, and nurturing. This is where you seek comfort and protection. Your activities here will be private and concealed. When many planets are near the IC, accomplishments may not get the notoriety they deserve.
© Michael McClain 1996-2015. Rights reserved.
The planets positions often seem to become clustered in one part of the chart or another. When this occurs, there is a sort of hemisphere preponderance. A division of the circle perpendicularly produces two hemispheres, east and west. A split horizontally produces a southern hemisphere and a northern hemisphere. As you view your natal horoscope, the hemisphere on the left side of the chart is the eastern hemisphere with the extreme eastern point, the eastern horizon, being the Ascendant. The opposite side of the chart is the descendant or western hemisphere. The upper hemisphere on the chart is the South Midheaven, the medium Coeli (MC) or southern hemisphere. The lower half of the chart is the Imum Coeli (IC), the lowest heaven, or northern hemisphere. It is not unusual for there to be an emphasis in one direction or the other. Here is an idea of what you may anticipate from the hemisphere emphasis:
When Most of the Planets are in the...
The planets clustered in the eastern hemisphere suggest that you're likely to be more independent, strong-willed, and more individualistic than reading of your signs may otherwise suggest. The placements on the east side denotes leadership ability, a self-starter, one who is self-motivated and often self-employed; a risk-taker. In short, you're more apt to be the author of your own destiny, and one likely to have many choices in life.
The planets clustered in the western hemisphere suggest that you are highly adaptable to opportunities, but you are also somewhat dependent on others in many ways. You are passive or subtle in your actions, often permitting others to take the lead. You work best in a partnership or group employment arrangements, always having others involved in your destiny. You have a sense for taking advantage of opportunities that are presented to you, and because of this you usually make the most of them.
The planets clustered in the southern hemisphere suggest that you are ambitious, career oriented, and generally want fame and recognition. You have an objective view of life that lets you enjoys working with others. You are very active in the outside world, having broad material values and goals. There is much that is visible when the planets are in the south; little that you say or do escapes public view.
The planets clustered in the northern hemisphere suggest a very subjective view of life with personal privacy noted as important. You enjoy working alone because you are a little introspective and perhaps even introverted. So your accomplishment may often lack recognition. This more subjective view of matters can produce significant focus and thrust of action.
When the planets occupy the northeast, you place great faith in your native abilities and you are less inclined to trust others with tasks that you feel you can do better on your own. You tend to be naively self-contained and highly subjective in your judgments. You place a great value on maintaining your privacy.
Planets focused in the southeastern quarter of the chart shows a highly self-contained individual very much in control of your destiny. This is a very outward focused grouping showing one who is totally willing to consider others in life situations. There is a tendency to seek self-fulfillment through sharing with others and success is measured not so much by your standards, but by what opinion others hold of you.
Planets in a cluster in the northwestern quarter of the chart suggests that you are an adaptive, reactive and practical individual. You will seek fulfillment through the development and expansion of your native talents and abilities in an attempt to improve upon some phase of life that you consider of particular importance. You are apt to be strongly influenced in this regard by others, and by acts that you yourself do not initiate.
When planets occupy the southwestern quarter of the chart, actions in your life are open and exposed to others, and your activities are very much a matter of public attention and record. The achievement of any degree of self-realization requires that you give of yourself. Others will constantly prove to be a drain on your energies and resources. Though you may find yourself in the spotlight, you may always seem to lack complete control of matters.
© Michael McClain 1996-2015. Rights reserved.
A number of questions have been submitted about the key-like symbol shown in the Astrodienst and other charts. This symbol represents Chiron. Discovered in November 1977, Chiron was first thought to be a very small planet, a planetoid. Later, it was detected that there was an atmosphere of gases surrounding it, which led to a conclusion that it was a comet.
In recent years, a few astrologers have started integrating Chiron into readings, elevating it to the status of a planet, so to speak. Yet, even now a large majority of astrologers do not employ it at all. I suppose that this reluctance to accept Chiron is somewhat akin to the hesitancy early on of acknowledging Pluto in the 1930s and 1940s. There indeed is a chance that Chiron will become an accepted astrological "planet" taking its place as ruler of one or the other of the signs currently sharing a planetary ruler with another sign. In traditional astrology, Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo; Venus rules Taurus and Libra. The strongest arguments make Chiron ruler of either Virgo or Libra. There seems to be very plausible reasons supporting each of these ideas. Sagittarius is also mentioned as having association because in mythology, Chiron was a centaur and teacher. Others (probably still a majority) contend that it can rule none of the above because it is a comet, not a planet.
Newcomers and novice students are advised not to embrace new theories in astrology too quickly. Indeed, there may be missing planets. Are they in the astro belt, beyond Pluto, or is Chiron part of the answer? Interesting stuff, but not much has gone into from here.
© Michael McClain 1996-2015. Rights reserved.
Another symbol shown on the Astrodienst charts is that of the north lunar node. This symbol looks like a horseshoe. The only difference in the symbol is that the horseshoe is open on the bottom for the north node and open on the top for the south node.
Points marking the intersection of the Moon's orbit
The lunar nodes, north and south, are not planets. Lunar nodes are points that mark the intersection of the Moon's orbit around the Earth with the ecliptic. The ecliptic is the illusory path of the Sun as it revolves around the Earth during a year. Actually, it is the Earth's circle around the Sun in the annual orb. Thus, the nodes are merely the interception of these two orbit lines. One when the Moon is passing south to north, and the other when Moon is passing north to south.
The North Lunar Node is called by a couple of other names sometimes. Since it is the point at which the interception is made while the Moon is ascending from the south to the north, it is also called the Ascending Node. From Hindu astrology, the term Dragon's Head (caput draconis) is used for the North Node. The South Lunar Node is also known as the Descending Node or the Dragon's Tail (cauda draconis). These two nodes are always exactly opposite one another. The North Node is only one that appears on many computer generated horoscope charts and the position of the south node is derived from this.
When the Sun and Moon are in conjunction, and either lunar node is also in conjunction with both, a solar eclipse occurs. When the Sun and Moon are in opposition, and each is in conjunction with one of the lunar nodes, a lunar eclipse occurs.
Delineation techniques of the lunar nodes vary widely. Frankly, this astrologer has had little success using them at all. In general, however, the north nodes is viewed a point of opportunity for growth and development, while the south is thought to represent karmic repression or tendencies that restrict growth. The north carries the positive tone of Jupiter, while the south expresses the restrictions of Saturn. Another thought on this is that the north node represents positive objectives and the south node denotes the easy way out with little opportunity for growth.
The lunar nodes travel backwards at the rate of about 3 minutes a day. It takes 18 1/2 years for a lunar node return to occur.
© Michael McClain 1996-2015. Rights reserved.
From early schooling, we know the planets in our solar system revolve in orbit around the Sun. In astrology, all of these orbits are considered from our place here on Earth. As individuals, our place here on Earth is our place of birth. Thus, as the Earth revolves around the Sun, our view of the other planets in the solar system can become somewhat skewed and distorted. Because the other planets are moving at different speeds, there will be times when it will appear from Earth that a planet is not moving at all, and at times that a planet is actually moving backwards when viewed against the backdrop of a fixed star. In such periods, the planet is said to be in retrograde motion.
On some charts, and in the ephemeris (an almanac of the daily planetary positions), planets which are in retrograde are denoted by a tiny R after the degree and minute designation. While older astrology books may suggest that retrograde planets in the birth chart are debilitated in some way, modern literature has mostly dropped this. At most, a suggestion that a retrograde planet may denote delayed development of factors relating to that planet. Many astrologers barely mention the retrograde status of a planet in the natal chart.
Modern astrologers do pay attention to retrograde planets in their transit. Again, the tendency is to view periods of retrograde as being negative. The most popular planet to watch is Mercury. When Mercury goes retrograde, astrologers believe that many of the everyday affairs ruled by Mercury are disrupted. When Mercury is retrograde, mental mistakes abound. Travel plans are often messed up. Misunderstanding occur. Die hard believers will refrain from making any sort of contract when Mercury is retrograde.
Perhaps the greatest impact of retrograde planets can be felt when the outer planets turn retrograde while forming a transit aspect to one of your natal planets. If, for example, transiting Neptune has formed a conjunction with your natal Sun position, the interpretation might be:
"T Neptune conjunct N Sun on the positive side tends to increase your sensitivity and compassion for others. You may be much more inclined to set aside your own ego and lend a helping hand to those in need of your assistance. Neptune causes the ego drive of the Sun to diminish. It is from this aspect of the contact that the negative influence of the conjunction emerges. A common reaction to this transit is fatigue and an attitude of being defeated. You are likely to feel disappointed or especially sorry for yourself, as well as for others. This is not a good aspect for anyone who has a problem with drinking or drugs. The body is extremely sensitive to external influences and less able to resist strain of any type. Another result of this transit is that you may be inclined to deceive others, as if your ego energy is trying to make you appear as something other than what you really are. You are likely to be unusually idealistic under this transit. It's necessary to insure that these ideals are rooted in reality and are not merely a device for escaping it."
Now if Neptune were to go slow to a stop and start to slowly travel in reverse for a while, this aspect might stay in orb for a number of months. The potential for a negative impact would be significant. If you were predisposed to a drinking or drug problem, this lengthy transit aspect could be devastating. At a minimum, you would feel very tired and somewhat confused as to why.
Thus, some of our longest runs of good luck and of bad luck can be traced to an outer planet in transit forming aspects to planets in the natal map.
© Michael McClain 1996-2015. Rights reserved. Google
email Michael at: michael @ astrology-numerology.com
Author's page : http://www.astrologer.com/tests/precession.htm
Have the signs of the Zodiac moved?
How precession differentiates between the signs of the zodiac and the constellations of the Zodiac
Are the Signs of the Zodiac Wrong? Is Ophiuchus the 13th sign?
From time to time, rookie journalists report on an "amazing new discovery" ... the signs of the zodiac are wrong or misaligned or that there are missing signs! It's a story that makes headlines every few years, but it is not news. In fact it is a hoax.
In 1995, this 'dramatic news' broke in London from a publicity stunt. Then again, like a virus that reinfects, the story broke in January 2011. In 2011 an astronomy professor 'revealed' to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that the Earth's "wobble" has shifted the zodiac signs. Now in 2015, comedian and amateur scientist, Dara O'Briain has fallen for the urban myth and posted it on the BBC iWonder information page.
It is a simple gaffe. The signs of the Zodiac (Tropical Zodiac) are confused with the constellations of the Zodiac.
Journalists who don't know any better believe they have a sensational scoop.
Since the facts are significant for astronomy, the history of science and for astrology, it's important to set the record straight :
The 12 Sign Tropical Zodiac has remained unchanged for two thousand years !
Simple Explanation :
Western astrology is based on the position of the planets measured within zones defined by the path of the Sun as seen from Earth rather than the apparent pattern of the more distant stars.
About 2,500 years ago a proto-type of the modern twelve sign zodiac was identified by stargazing scholars in the region around what is today, Iraq using the position of the stars within the constellations at the time.
The stars appear to be creeping backwards out of line with the Earth's seasons and year in a process known as the Precession of the Equinox. So to establish a stable measuring system, Ptolemy in the second century in Alexandria, firmly established the Tropical Zodiac starting from Aries at the position of the Sun at the March Equinox. So, the Tropical Zodiac is fixed and not affected by shifts in the Earth's axis. However, Ptolemy used the same or similar names for the signs as the constellations (artificial groups of unrelated stars) in his ingenious updated system.
Claudius Ptolemy, astronomer & astrologer
Meanwhile, Indian astrologers retained a (sidereal) zodiac based on loosely on the stars. This resulted in two different zodiacs with the same sign names. However, both zodiacs have remained accurate and consistent measuring devices for nearly two millennia. When the two zodiacs shift to a full sign apart, we will enter what is described as the Age of Aquarius.
More technical Explanation :
Western astrology is based on the planets and their motion relative to our year (the Earth's annual orbit of the Sun) and not on the distant stars. Before astrologers started to compile planetary tables, the backdrop of the distant visible 'fixed' stars proved to be most consistent system for measuring the positions of the 'wandering stars', known as the planets in our solar system. The 12 sign zodiac was defined by the stars within chosen constellations along the ecliptic (the apparent annual path of the Sun) in Mesopotamia at the end of the Iron Age (around 500 BC). Though the Babylonians used stars and constellations for measurement, they were also using zones which start from the position of the Sun at the March Equinox which was, is and will always be the start of the sign of Aries in the western system.
The problem with the old visible star based measurement is that the stellar positions are slowly moving backwards relative to the Earth's seasons and year at the rate of approximately 1º every 72 years. This slippage is known as the Precession of the Equinox and it is why some believe that we are in the Age of Pisces and moving into the Age of Aquarius. Though precession was probably identified long before, it was first known to have been measured by Greek astrologer and astronomer, Hipparchus (ca.140 BC).
Astrology became defined by time rather than by (outer) space
Three hundred years later, Ptolemy, astronomer, astrologer and cartographer in Alexandria fixed the Western Tropical Zodiac to the Equinoxes and Solstices to prevent it slipping significantly out of alignment in centuries to come. This mathematical construct enables astrologers to position planets by celestial latitude within the original astrological zones known as the signs of the Zodiac. Confusion now comes from the fact that Ptolemy kept the original sign names which were based on the archetypally inspired yet scientifically artificial constellations.
Since then the Tropical Zodiac has proved to be a reliable and accurate measuring system used by both astrologers and astronomers. Even though astronomers now mainly use the equatorial system, they still use tropical coordinates in what they call the ecliptic coordinate system (yes! - the same western zodiac measured in degrees from Zero Aries or the Vernal Equinox Point) to track the Sun, Moon and planets. If it is reliable enough for NASA, it should be good enough for astrologers.
Three Systems: Tropical Signs, Sidereal Signs and Astronomical Constellations
Meanwhile in India, Hindu astrologers retained the sidereal (star) based zodiac and in 1930, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) defined the boundaries of 88 constellations. An important difference between these two star oriented zodiacs is that the sidereal zodiac divides the signs into twelve equally spaced sections of 30°, while the IAU boundaries are based strictly on the stellar arrangements. In the IAU definition a constellation such as Virgo is many times larger than the constellation of Aries, for example.
Just because the three different celestial positioning systems use the same labels and origin, it does not mean that only one is correct. These are different measurements for different models. It's like saying that because the US gallon and the Imperial gallon are different measurements, they can't both be right. This is a false criticism of a series of homonyms. Or if a foot is a measure of twelve inches or 30.48 centimetres, can a foot also be the part of the body? Since a human foot varies in length - is only one correct? Comparisons between the sidereal and tropical zodiac are more like comparing two languages, French and German - it would be nonsense to claim that only one language is valid.
"Criticising Astrology because the Constellations shift against the Signs of the Zodiac is a bit like claiming World Maps are wrong because Magnetic North shifts - it does, but that's irrelevant!" ~ Chris Mitchell Tutor on the MA Cultural Astronomy and Astrology course at the University of Wales.
Astrologers have known this since before the year zero and any astronomer who has studied the history of their field should also know this. It is a straw man argument.
"In Western astrology, the astrological signs are determined by the position of the Sun in the sky, not the absolute positions of the constellations. Refuting a doctrine that astrologers don't hold seems, at best, ancillary and probably irrelevant to any attack on astrology" ~ Professor Darin Hayton Science Historian
Why the constellation of Ophiuchus is not zodiacal material :
1 The Astronomical Case :
Depictions of Ophiuchus show the giant wrestling with a serpent with one and sometimes both feet crossing the ecliptic. This incursion is reflected in the constellational borders as defined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
Since the western zodiac signs are based on archetypes that evolved from pre-historic times that were projected onto constellations and not vice-versa, astronomical arguments that Ophiuchus should become a Sign of the Zodiac are irrelevant.
If it was based on astronomy, there are several other constellations around the ecliptic that could have been included in the Zodiac. The most obvious candidate is Orion with a rich mythological history and, as proposed by astronomer, Neil de Grasse Tyson, the constellation of Cetus also touches the ecliptic. A Belgian astronomer, Luc Désamoré has shown that the orbit of Venus passes through 25 constellations.
One of the problems is that the IAU imposed strict artificial boundaries despite overlaps between constellations - you can clearly see that Ophiuchus' left foot is on top of the Scorpion. But all this detail is a red herring, this zodiac is more about designation than position.
If a spectator of a football match has his foot on the pitch just over the touch line, does that qualify him as a player? Of course not !
2 Historical Precedent ?
The historical argument in support of Ophiuchus, made by an author promoting his book on the 13th sign, is that the constellation was mentioned by Ptolemy. That is correct, but so were 48 constellations listed in Almagest and Tetrabiblos but only 12 were allocated by Ptolemy in the Tropical Zodiac.
3 Numerical Symbolism ?
A symbolic case for a 13th sign is based on 13 rotations of the moon around the Earth per year. However, astrology has more emphasis on Lunations (A complete Lunar Cycle starting at a New Moon) and there are never more than 12 per year. Lunations are Soli-Lunar based on the cycle of the Sun and the Moon.
Another problem with 13 signs - it simply does not fit the model. Every astrologer knows the value and importance of the matrix of 3 modes by 4 elements forming the unique blend of twelve signs.
Ophiuchus has been twice suggested for the Zodiac by astronomers, who know no more about astrology than the average reader of sun sign columns. I know - I met Jacqueline Mitton who proposed Ophiuchus in 1995 in a Press Release promoting a new BBC TV series on astronomy. Mitton, an astronomer and delightful lady told me she and her husband enjoyed reading their 'stars' "for a bit of fun" in the newspapers! The 13th sign was a hoax in 1995 then and it remains a hoax.
Though this outline is accurate to the best of my knowledge, this is only part of the story. My own take is that the mythology of the surrounding constellations are part of the archetypal nature of the sign. So Ophiuchus is really the healing, heroic part of Scorpio, Cetus is related to Aries/Taurus, Orion to Taurus and Sextans to Leo. I hope to publish the full story as soon as I have completed my research.
If you are ever confused about astrology, seek advice from an expert in the field. Don't rely on the media, magicians, sceptics and now after these debacles, not even astronomers. Unless they have studied astrology, they remain amateurs.
More reliable Press Reports on the subject came from the BBC and CNN, simply because the journalists bothered to consult astrologers.
BBC : Have the Zodiac and star signs changed ?
CNN : No, your zodiac sign hasn't changed.
Articles from experts who know their field :
Deborah Houlding (2015) Understanding the Zodiac. And Why there REALLY are 12 signs, not 13.
Frank Piechoski: Astrology 101 - A Zodiac Explanation
Rob Brezsny: Here We Go Again with the Ophiucus Scam
Eric Francis: Attention All Astronomers — The World is Flat
The Inner Wheel: 13 Sign- Not
Jonathan Cainer: Is the Zodiac wrong ?
Prof. Darin Hayton (2011) Science Historian Questions Need to Ridicule Astrology
Diana Rosenburg (2011) Tyson's Zodiac: Are There Really 14 Signs ?
Here's a classic example where following advice from amateurs led to confusion:-
Bad Science : How a best-selling author, Jodi Picoult managed to fall for this hoax and mislead her readers.
1 The hoax first appeared as a publicity stunt for a BBC astronomy show. At the time, I was running the Astrology Shop in central London. This led to a series of interviews from the world's media. Later that day, I started to receive calls from friends and customers around the world telling me that they had seen me interviewed on the main news on CNN, ITV or their local TV station.
2 Ward, Bill (January 2011) Sign of the times: Astrology story soars like a comet. Minneapolis Star Tribune. "Countless people were astonished by the "news" in Monday's Star Tribune in which Minneapolis astronomy instructor Parke Kunkle affirmed that the Earth's "wobble" has shifted the zodiac signs. The buzz has raced across the Web like a shooting star." Had Kunkle explained that there are three celestial positioning systems and that it it is not the Signs that have changed, but the constellations, he would not have caused such misunderstanding. The Tribune adds "Kunkle, meanwhile, is ready to brush off the whole brouhaha. 'This has been,' he said, 'an exhausting hoot.'" However his blunder left some followers of astrology confused and astronomers looking as if they are ill-informed about the basics of their subject and out of touch with the world-view of others. One commentator on the Huffington Post wrote: "It is disingenuous - This is a hoax. Let's promote knowledge of history instead of ignorance and confusion about it."
3 The BBC iWonder article was written by an anti-astrologer comedian who is neither an expert in astronomy or astrology. I wrote to the BBC to point out 23 errors and misleading claims (contrary to the BBC charter). Paul Kettle of the BBC Complaints Management and Editorial Standards explained that article was "from an astronomical perspective and not astrological." and that "The aim of the article was not to conclude that the Zodiac is wrong" and "It does not conclude that star signs are invalid." So why have journalists tried to use the article to claim otherwise?
4 Ten of the twelve signs of the Zodiac have the same names as constellations. Scorpius and Capricornus are constellations and Scorpio and Capricorn are signs of the zodiac.
5 Eugène Delporte originally listed the 88 "modern" constellations on behalf of the IAU Commission 3 (Astronomical Notations), in Délimitation scientifique des constellations. (Delporte, 1930)
6 Homonyms: words of the same pronounciation or spelling but with different meanings. The signs and constellations are also heteronyms: the same spelling but different meaning.
7 "The fourteenth constellation in the set is Cetus. It is a large constellation that dips into Pisces. The Sun passes through Cetus briefly as it ambles through Pisces, but you are not normally informed of this in the horoscope pages." Tyson, Neil de Grasse (1994) Universe Down to Earth Columbia University Press. In a well written article published in 2009 on the Astrology News Service site entitled "Tyson's Zodiac: Are There Really 14 Signs?". Diana K Rosenberg deftly shows that Dr Tyson is in error even on purely astronomical grounds.
8 Luc Désamoré (2011)"My calculations showed that ... Venus passes (not often) through Auriga, Canis Minor, Serpens and also Aquila." Quand les planètes quittent le zodiaque Le Ciel, Octobre 2005, Vol.67, pp.302-316 Also, Aquarius, Capricornus, Crater, Leo, Orion, Ophiuchus, Pisces, Scutum, Virgo.
 Message Index