Sunday, January 23, 2011

Your Sun Sign is Safe Haiku

Math is great if it's
numbers we need, but Shakespeare
didn't write with it.

The recent brouhaha about everyone's Sun Sign being wrong is, to quote the Bard, much ado about nothing. Astronomers trot this same story out every few years to discredit astrology. Maybe they're jealous because they can only count the stars, while astrologers can read them.

The TROPICAL zodiac, which is what western Sun Signs are based on, is not anchored to the actual constellations, but rather, to the SEASONS. Due to precession (the slow wobble of the earth on its axis and the affect this has on the visible sky over long periods of time), the seasons no longer align as they once did with the constellations.

This doesn't matter-- in western astrology, ARIES begins at the SPRING EQUINOX. The zodiac circle around the earth is divided into 12 equal segments of 30 degrees each. From the spring equinox outwards, each sign claims one of these segments. The equinoxes and solstices anchor the 4 Cardinal (initiating) signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn.

The sidereal zodiac--the one anchored to the stars (which is what the articles are talking about) is still used in Vedic (Eastern) astrology--but even it isn't anchored to the actual constellations. The constellations vary in size, from super large Virgo to tiny Cancer, they bump into each other, they share stars. So, even in Vedic (astrology anchored to stars), the zodiac is divided into 12 segments of 30 degrees each. Even the ancients didn't want a zodiac of 13 signs. Complicates the math, besides being unlucky. Thus, we ignore Ophiuchus (which is a crazy big constellation that shares space with Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius) and let that region of the sky be divided equally between Libra, Scorp, and Sadge.

Depending on where our Sun is in the tropical zodiac (the zodiac anchored to seasons) our Sun may actually be sitting among the stars of a different constellation than 12-fold division of the sky our Sun Sign was named after. This doesn't change the tropical sign our Sun is in. The nice thing about the tropical zodiac is that it self corrects for precession.

Many astrologers (myself included) do consider the background stars as well as the tropical signs. The constellation which frames each of our personal Suns will speak--a Sagittarius with their Sun backed by the actual stars of Scorpio will be a Sadge who is in touch with their dark side (Sagittarius is typically described as being "puppy dog friendly"--but Sag Sun backed by Scorpio stars is a puppy who may bite, or at least pee on your rug when you're not looking, if you've pushed them too far). A Libra whose tropical Libra Sun sits against the actual stars of Virgo is still as relationship-oriented as all Librans are, but this Libra will be more interested in analyzing relationships than in personal interactions.

And then we have the "pure" Sun signs--Leos whose tropical Leo Sun actually sits against the background stars of Leo, for instance. These guys shake their mane and strut when you complement them. The Cancer stars backed Leo Suns merely purr, politely. (Both sulk if they don't get enough attention, so don't ignore the Leos in your life).

The stars have stories to tell, and the sky at our birth imprints a unique star story upon our life ... no two people can be born at exactly the same moment, in exactly the same place. If some astronomers don't know how to read the fault lies not in the stars, but in themselves.

Never give your birthdate to an astrologer,
Scorpio sky image generated using Stellarium. (just Google it--Stellarium is free, and fabulous).
Copyright © 2011 Trish Marie, all rights reserved
This message may be freely shared as long as credit and copyright notice are included
('cause even us star-struck astrolgers have to protect our stuff)