What’s Astrology Your Sign?
I have a real interest in Astrology, its one of the three magical arts after all, even though the ‘scientist’ in me cannot easily accept the mechanisms often proposed by astrologers to explain why they think it works.
For me I like to consider it for the most part as a mythic, archetypal system, which can and does promote personal reflection.
Many astrologers will point to the ‘fact’ that the ‘system’ is based on the study of patterns and that there are over 2000 years of these patterns which allow for some interesting predictions to be made. That may well be the case, but again the scientist in me recognises that there is a difference between ‘predictions’ made within the context of science and those made within the context of astrology.
That does not mean I totally dismiss the system, as I say I am very interested in its ideas and practice and do ‘cast charts’ to provoke reflection. I simply means I have some questions, questions like this one – what’s your sign?
Your zodiac sun sign corresponds to the position of the sun relative to the signs of the zodiac, constellations, as they appeared more 2,200 years ago!
The ecliptic, or the position of the Sun as it’s perceived from the revolving Earth, passes through the constellations that formed the Zodiac – Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.
So your Zodiac sign is determined by which constellation the Sun was “in” on the day you were born.
Early astrologers observed the Sun traveling through the signs of the Zodiac in the course of one year, spending about a month in each. Thus, they calculated that each constellation extends 30 degrees across the ecliptic.
As one astronomical writer notes:
Around 600 BCE, the zero point was in Aries and was called the “first point of Aries.” (Figure 1) The constellation Aries encompassed the first 30 degrees of the ecliptic; from 30 to 60 degrees was Taurus; from 60 to 90 degrees was Gemini; and so on for all twelve constellations of the Zodiac.
Unbeknownst to the ancient astrologers, the Earth continually wobbles around its axis in a 25,800-year cycle. This wobble—called precession—is caused by the gravitational attraction of the Moon on Earth’s equatorial bulge.
Over the past two-and-a-half millennia, this wobble has caused the intersection point between the celestial equator and the ecliptic to move west along the ecliptic by 36 degrees, or almost exactly one-tenth of the way around. This means that the signs have slipped one-tenth—or almost one whole month—of the way around the sky to the west, relative to the stars beyond.
So according toe Pedro, these are the Zodiac positions which are more accurate:-
Capricorn – Jan 20 to Feb 16
Aquarius – Feb 16 to Mar 11
Pisces – Mar 11 to Apr 18
Aries – Apr 18 to May 13
Taurus – May 13 to Jun 21
Gemini – Jun 21 to Jul 20
Cancer – Jul 20 to Aug 10
Leo – Aug 10 to Sep 16
Virgo – Sep 16 to Oct 30
Libra – Oct 30 to Nov 23
Scorpius – Nov 23 to Nov 29
Ophiuchus – Nov 29 to Dec 17
Sagittarius – Dec 17 to Jan 20
The list includes Ophiuchus, a formation the ancient Babylonians discarded because they wanted 12 star signs, not 13. Which, as critics note, provide further evidence of how pseudo-science simply picks what it wants rather than following through on the observations it actually makes.
Here’s the perplexing thing…
Mystics and the mystical use of systems like Astrology are very clear in their statement that everything is in a state of continual change – yet in some disciplines there has been a reluctance to evolve and develop based upon the recognition of that change. It can appear that whilst the mystic and the natural philosophers were continually questioning, once modern-folks having learned that ideas could be systematically defined they allowed the structure to become fixed, ideas to become dogma and so simply stopped exploring/developing.
So, as I say, I am interested in Astrology, its symbolism and how people react to their charts AND yes, before the professional astrologers shout out I know a ‘birth chart’ is not just about the Sun, but I do question archaic mechanisms which explore what it it and what it mean.
One 2006 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences used data from more than 15,000 people and found no relationship between date and birth and personality – and that does not surprise me as we are far more complex than a one dimensional measure. (By the way I have the same skepticism about so many of the psychological personality profiles that exist).
In closing I’ll quote Pedro again….
Astronomy can explain the position of the stars in the sky but it’s up to you to determine what, if anything, their alignment signifies.