Do you always flick straight to the horoscopes page, but wonder about the science behind it? Well, it’s time to delve deeper as we answer the six questions you’ve always wanted to ask about astrology…
1 I’m an avid reader of horoscopes, but how accurate are they?
Most mainstream horoscopes are based entirely on the Sun signs, otherwise known as the Zodiac, and whilst most will be able to provide a general picture of the month ahead of you, they can also cause confusion. “Sun sign columns are a double-edged sword in some ways. We have them to thank for keeping astrology alive in the public eye but, as any serious student of astrology knows, they are also the basis for misconceptions,” says author of Be Your Own Astrologer Joanna Watters
“A well-written Sun sign column can be surprisingly accurate as long as it’s written by a professional who understands that every prediction has to be offered as a take on current astrology, and that it’s over to the individual to place that symbolism within the context of their own life. Learning to think symbolically starts with the Sun signs and is crucial to the understanding of the craft of horoscopy.”
2 I know lots about my Sun sign, but how does the Moon affect me?
Whilst the Sun signs are the most mainstream form of astrology, the rest of the galaxy can often seem like an alien entity. “The Moon moves through the signs one by one, in order, as the month unfolds,” explains Yasmin Boland, astrologer and founder of Moonology. Where the Moon is in your birth chart says a lot about your current needs and feelings, and can also tell us about our emotional nature.You could say that the Moon works as a sort of a balance with Sun signs. The Sun is the real, essential you – the ego – while the Moon is your emotional side.”
3 What are Houses and Ascendants?
So we know now all about the tangible influence of the Sun and the Moon, but here’s where it can get tricky! “The Houses are the division of a horoscope wheel into 12 sections, each representing a domain that rules the different areas of our life – everything from physical appearance, money, partners, children, friends, health, careers and so on. There is nothing that cannot be located in a horoscope!” Joanna adds.
“The Ascendant is the sign rising over the Eastern horizon at the time and place of birth. It is the beginning of the 1st house and is therefore the front door into the horoscope. This is why the time of your birth is so important – without it an astrologer cannot see where the horoscope starts. It’s like trying to get into a house without a key.”
4 What is a birth chart?
“Putting together a birth chart is incredibly complex and, unsurprisingly, is a dying art” says Joanna. “There are several chart calculators online – you just enter your data of date, place and time – and hey presto, your horoscope appears. In my view, there is little substitute for a real understanding of the mechanics of a chart and how it is created, but unless someone has a passion for this part of astrology it can be a potential nightmare of maths and time zones!
“All astrology starts with the Sun signs – so I would recommend learning as much about these as you can. You will always find yourself returning to their essential symbolism and staying true to their guidelines will keep you on track as you convert each horoscope’s information into particular meaning.
“Also learn your elements (fire, earth, air and water) and modes (cardinal, fixed, mutable). If you have these as fingertip knowledge it will speed you up no end with understanding how the signs relate and whether they are working together harmoniously.”
5 So is it possible to change what’s written in the stars?
Whilst for most of us, reading our horoscopes is an enjoyable experience, it’s not without its drawbacks. “It’s a bit like playing cards – you can only use the ones that you’ve been drawn. However, you can learn how to become a good card player and increase your odds of winning even when you’ve been dealt a poor hand! Horoscopes should be used to enrich your life rather than being used to create fear. It’s pointless thinking ‘Oh no! Saturn is in my Love zone, my love life is doomed for the next two years!’ The best way to use astrology is to influence our actions for the better” – we couldn’t have put it better ourselves!