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Astrology

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Why Astrology Is Important For You

There are many facets of astrology which add up to it being interesting and
important. Do you have the desire to learn how to understand yourself better,
and to understand how aspects of the universe are significant to your own life,
your relationships, your personality? Do you wish to know in advance what you
can expect to happen in your life as well as how you have the ability to affect
changes which are more desirable to you than to merely "go with the flow"? If
so, gaining a deeper understanding of astrology can lead to all of these
benefits, and more and you will likely decide that it is a very good thing
indeed to know that your life, everything your life consists of, and your
future, are not simply random happenings over which you have no control.

"Know yourself." Many religions teach this, philosophers spoke of this, even
popular books tell of it to know yourself is the number one, basic, most
fundamental factor in having a good, successful, happy life. Knowing yourself
who you are, why you are as you are, your motivations and your purposes is the
first step in learning to develop your positive qualities and characteristics,
as well as learning to overcome and defeat those which are negative, or to
channel them into forms which will be more constructive.

A main point in astrology is learning how all of these factors coincide with
Time when such developments and changes will affect you and your life in the
most positive manner. There is a proper or best time for each and every action
and learning about astrology will help you to better understand this sense of
timing and put it to the best use. Whether you choose to begin your journey
into astrology by means of the generalized horoscopes in your daily newspaper,
or by consulting with a professional astrologer for a reading which is
personalized solely for you, this is the best way to look at the subject that
whatever the readings say for you, it is not a matter of future events which
are carved in stone, but rather like a map which beckons you to navigate it
with your own personal abilities.

Your own personal astrologer can greatly assist you in discovering your
strengths and how to best use them to affect the course of your life. This is a
part of this subject which too few people are aware that astrology is not about
resigning yourself to a ready-made destiny or fate, but a deeper understanding
of your own potential. What a wonderful feeling it will be to not only know
what is ahead of you tomorrow, next month, and years from now, but to also come
to understand that the actions you take and when you take them can play a large
role in the eventual outcome!

Many people believe that astrology is about predicting the future; this is
unfortunate, for such a simplistic view leaves out the most relevant factor how
each individual reacts and responds to each event in his or her life. To look at
predictions for your future, and to become aware of your own ability to affect
positive changes, is an amazing blessing and source of strength!

The Basics of Astrology

To be put quite simply, astrology is the study of the stars. The stars as
referred to in astrology refer to the planets, the sun, and the moon. Astrology
has been used throughout history as a form of entertainment, a part of religion,
and a part of daily life.

Astrology begins with the mapping of the planets, including the sun and the
moon. This map is called an astrological chart. Most often an astrological
chart is designed for someone at birth. To determine the position of the
planets, sun, and moon for an astrological chart the astrologist needs to know
the exact location of the birth, the exact time, and the date of the birth.

The planets found on the astrological chart are the Sun, the moon, Saturn,
Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Neptune, Uranus, Mercury, and Pluto. The earth is not
considered because it is the point in the universe from which we view the other
planets. The sun and moon are considered planets in astrology, which is hard for
some people to remember.

In the astrological chart consists of twelve houses. Each house represents an
aspect of life, such as romance, career, family, etc. Since there are only ten
planets, each astrological chart will have two vacant houses. Vacant houses
represent aspects of life which, for whatever reason, the cosmos do not feel
you need to work on. In other words, you may have mastered this aspect of life
in another life or realm.

The position of the sun also determines your sun sign. This is the first aspect
of astrology studied on the astrological chart. Next, the positions of the
planets are studied in relation to their influence on the sun sign. Finally,
the moon sign and position is studied in relation to the rest of the
astrological chart.

The interpretation of an astrological birth chart as a whole will paint the
picture of the original personality of the individual. The birth chart found
through astrology later in life may not appear accurate. This is due to the
fact that other astrological phenomena in conjunction with life events alter
the personality over time.

Astrology is the study of this astrological chart, as well as the prediction of
the future based on how other astrological phenomena might influence the
original readings. The interpretation of the astrological chart is also a large
part of the art of astrology, and is necessary for accurate predictions.

The use of astrology in predictions is considered an art for a reason. Not only
must the astrology expert interpret the birth chart and the current astrological
phenomena, but the astrology expert must also interpret any astrological
phenomena that may have altered the personality of the individual over time.
Amazingly, life changing events can often be seen using astrology readings from
the time of the event.

Many major events in history can also be marked by astrology readings. For
example, the fall of the Roman Empire was marked by astrological phenomena. The
horror of 9/11 and the destruction of the twin towers was also awaited by those
who study astrology. Even the birth of Christ was marked by astrological
phenemona.

Astrology Is For Everyone!

Granted, the largest number of people who put the most focus into astrology are
adult-aged women. Most women see themselves in terms of being both the "keeper"
the one who is responsible for all of the other people in her life and her
relationships with them; as well as having the generally-female characteristic
of feeling that whether her life is good or bad, that it is her place to be in
the position of affecting positive changes. It is primarily for these reasons
that women make up the majority of astrology-seekers. Through astrology, women
can learn more about themselves, their lives, their associates, and their
futures; and, in gaining such knowledge, can be in the very beneficial position
of assessing their personal strengths and weaknesses, which in turn will provide
many opportunities for taking control of one's life.

Fewer men gain a serious interest in astrology. When they do, it is usually
less a matter of wanting a general overview of their lives than of needing
specific details and answers for specific questions or problems. Men are more
likely to focus their interest in astrology on such topics as how to get a
particular job, how to make business decisions, and questions about whether or
not to relocate to a different area. All of these subjects can be brought up in
an astrological reading, and he can find the answers or solutions which he needs
in order to be better informed and make decisions which are most likely to have
the best outcome for him.

Teenagers and young adults are often curious about astrology. Unfortunately, if
they are not properly informed, they may hold the standard belief that astrology
is basically about predicting the future and little more. Teens can be best
aided by astrology by understanding that the scope of astrology goes far beyond
simple predictions; and, even more important, that even predictions themselves
are only a matter of what is "likely" to occur-- that the person himself or
herself has a great ability to influence what actually does occur, by his or
her own responses to the events which happen each day. Astrology works best
when viewed as a map of possibility, over which the individual has much
influence.

This can be a wonderful asset for any teenager or young adult who is at the
stage in life where he or she wishes to make solid decisions and plans for the
future. The first part is in seeing one's future predictions in terms of what
is likely to occur, and to gain an understanding on how to affect changes to
one's course of action in order to result in a positive outcome. Learning that
one is not helpless, nor bound to a predetermined destiny, is a wonderful
feeling for all but most especially for young people!

The second part of astrology which is very important to youth is being able to
gain a deeper understanding into themselves their specific character traits and
personalities. It can be a good feeling to learn that many others share similar
qualities! And, for a young person who is not entirely comfortable with various
aspects of his or her personality, realizing that it is within his or her own
power to change the less desirable traits and strengthen those traits which
appeal to him or her the most, will go a long way in granting a teenager or
young adult the appreciated state of knowing it is within themselves to improve
what they wish to improve and rely more heavily on the traits which give them
the most potential for a happy, well-adjusted life.

The Importance of Astrology

Many people do not recognize the importance of astrology. Astrology is an
important part of history, as well as our daily lives. Astrology can also
predict future events to some degree. It influences our moods, the moods of
others, and the reactions that we have to everyday occurrences.

The importance of astrology was well known to people of ancient history. Maps
of the stars and evidences of the use of astrology in daily life have been
found in pre-historic cave drawings, ancient manuscripts, and Egyptian
pyramids. The most recent, and possibly the most astounding, discovery about
astrology in history involves the birth of Christ according to the Christian
bible.

It has been determined that the star of Bethlehem was actually an astrological
event, consisting of many stars and astrological meanings. Scientists and
astrologists now believe that it was not a star at all. The wise men from the
east understood that the major event would happen in Judah based on the
alignment of planets within the constellation of the Lion. In other words, the
wise men used astrology to discern the event of the birth, not a star.

The importance of astrology is still well known to many cultures. The people of
India and China put great stock in astrology even today. They practice the art
of astrology in their daily lives, and base major decisions on the science.

In the Western world, astrology has become more of a form of entertainment.
Horoscopes based on sun signs are published in every major newspaper and
magazine across the United States. Horoscope scrolls and booklets can be
purchased in most supermarket checkout lanes. And so-called astrologists charge
$1.99 per minute to get your astrological reading over the phone.

But many people do not understand that astrology in its truest form is actually
of the utmost importance. Astrology is quite simply the study of the planets and
stars and their influence on our lives. These influences are quite real.

Have you ever noticed that around the time of the new moon you have difficulty
making decisions? The phases of the moon actually affect our minds and emotions
much more than many people realize. This is only a small part of the importance
of astrology.

Perhaps you have noticed that your moods change drastically during stretches of
time that seem to have no pattern at all. A study of the planetary movements or
alignments during those times might reveal that a pattern actually does exist.
The position of the planets in your astrological chart at any given time can be
viewed in relation to their position in your birth chart. These comparisons can
show reasons for changes in mood and daily reactions to events.

In short, the importance of astrology lies in the direct influence that the
moon, sun, and stars play in our lives. Our lives are affected by many people
and events. These people and events are influenced by astrology as much as you
are.

When you understand how astrology affects others and yourself, you can begin to
use the knowledge of those influences to your benefit. When your astrological
chart shows that your emotions will be unsteady for a few days, you can put off
major decisions until that time has passed. In reality, the importance of
astrology is really the importance of your life.

Uses for Astrology

Many people feel that astrology is for entertainment only or is frivolous with
no uses whatsoever. However, there are actually many reasonable and accurate
uses for astrology. These uses can be for daily life, or for special occasions
or decisions.

One of the uses for astrology is as old as civilization. Astrology has long
been used to determine the best times for planting and harvest in farming and
other agriculture. Astrology has also been used to determine the best time for
slaughter for cattle and other breeding practices.

Another use for astrology is planning the future. You can easily plan for the
future when you have some idea of what that future holds. While astrology is
far from specific in the nature of its predictions, astrology can indeed
predict certain variables or sentiments that you will need to deal with in the
future.

For example, many astrologists were aware that something terrible was about to
happen in September of 2001. While astrology was not specific enough to tell
exactly what would happen, it was clear that death and destruction were near at
hand. These astrologists urged everyone they knew to take heed of their
warnings, stop all travel, and stay in their homes. Those that listened are
still alive today.

Another use for astrology is in planning daily activities. Certain astrological
phenomena, planetary alignments, and moon signs are good for particular
activities. Some of these phenomena influence our lives to the point where no
activity is best. Knowing the difference can greatly improve your life.

For example, if you know that the moon sign is making you overly emotional for
a few days, you can actively choose not to make major decisions during that
time. In this way, you will avoid making costly decisions that are hard to
reverse later. Additionally, certain planetary alignments can influence your
career for prosperity. When you are aware of these times you can know when to
ask for a raise or try for a promotion.

You can also use these astrological influences to help you in your
relationships and dealings with others. When you understand how astrology
influences your life and the life of others it will become clear when to fight
your battles and when to stand by and wait to resolve the issue. You will also
be better able to determine when emotions are running high versus when a real
issue in the relationship exists.

Finally, you can use astrology to plan events. Certain astrological phenomena
may influence events toward success or disaster. When you plan a wedding,
birth, or other event you can easily ensure success by checking your planned
date against astrological phenomena for that time frame. This will help you
determine if your date is feasible, or if another date would be more
appropriate.

Astrology can also be used to help you enhance the lives of your children. When
you interpret astrological birth charts you can gain knowledge of what your
child's strengths and weaknesses will likely be as they grow. This will enable
you to expose the child to their strengths while helping them overcome their
potential weaknesses. This will help the child to grow in ways that you may not
be able to help them accomplish without this astrological data.

How Astrology Can Be Helpful In Your Life

Astrology can be much more than an entertainment, it can also be very helpful
to you in many situations and many areas of your life. Astrology can be
beneficial when you are confronted with difficulties, dilemmas, and questions;
and it will also serve a good purpose in your average, everyday life. If you
have either specific problems or merely general, basic concerns, gaining
insight into astrology will help provide you with the answers you may be
searching for.

Many people first develop an interest in astrology because they wish to know
about their futures what is on their particular horizon, what to expect in the
day ahead or the coming weeks, months, or even longer. But while this surely is
one of the most interesting aspects of astrology, it becomes even better when
you are advised that the wealth of information which is presented to you in
your readings is not solid, unchangeable fact, but rather more like a map
which, with assistance and determination, you can learn to navigate. Your
readings will tell you what is likely to occur but it is your responses to each
set of circumstances in your everyday life which will determine the ultimate
outcome. Being able to know the "possible future" in advance can be a great
help when you are making your daily choices and decisions.

The subject of relationships is a topic-of-interest to many people who consult
astrology for information and advice. Regardless of your relationship-status,
astrology can be helpful. If you are in a longterm, committed relationship,
such as marriage, astrology can assist you in better understanding your mate,
and better communication. If you are considering a special person as a
"potential," astrology can help you to determine whether you and your special
person are compatible. If you are, as many who become astrology-curious are,
wishing for there to be a significant person in your life, it can help you gain
a better view to what type of person you are looking for, and what kind of
person would be best for you.

Whether you opt for the generalized horoscopes in your daily newspaper or to
consult with a professional astrologer, astrology will give you a much clearer
view into your own personality and its workings. While it may sound odd, or
even impossible, that being born under a certain sign almost universally points
toward specific personality traits and characteristics, if you do a bit of
investigating into what your sign states about you, you may be surprised at how
accurate this information is! In addition, when this information is directly in
front of you to look at, you will then have the opportunity to decide if there
are traits and characteristics which you wish to affect some degree of change
upon, as well as seeing all of the positive aspects of your personality and
focus on them to make choices for such factors as what type of career you are
best suited for.

Astrology is also handy when it comes to relating to other people. Upon
learning the personality characteristics of your own sign, and following that
with the traits of those with whom you interact in your everyday life, you can
achieve a better grasp on the dynamics of interacting. Learning about how each
person's sign-determined personality traits affect their interactions with
others will be a great asset in understanding your family members, coworkers,
and others in your daily life. It will help you to appreciate each person's
strengths; and it will also help you in avoiding possible friction; therefore
creating better relationships and better communication.

Where To Find Astrology

If you have developed an interest in astrology the belief that your
personality, relationships, and occurrences is your life are all influenced by
the position of cosmic objects at the time of your birth there are a number of
sources which can help you gain further information about this interesting
topic, as well as how to incorporate astrology into your decisions, plans, and
your everyday life.

While the most important and well-known factor is your astrological zodiac
sign, it is better, more complex and more accurate if you also know the date,
time, and place of your birth this, which is known as natal astrology, is the
foundation by which astrologers make analyses and predictions regarding one's
life, personality, and future. While there are both differences and
similarities between the Western zodiac and the Chinese zodiac, the main
factors which are taken into account are that Western astrology is based on the
solar year, whereas Chinese astrology is based on the lunar year; and in Western
astrology the month sign is the primary factor, whereas in Chinese astrology the
year sign is the main factor.

There is an almost limitless supply of astrology-related information readily
available. For those who have sparked a new interest, the most basic and
easiest to understand are the daily horoscopes which can be found in most
in-print newspapers and many magazines. These horoscopes, however, are based on
nothing more than one's zodiac sign; and, as such, are very generalized and
"generic." Even some of those who write these syndicated columns occasionally
comment that since they are not personalized to each individual, they usually
fall more into the scope of suggestibility that if you "read in your horoscope"
that something good or bad will happen, it's likely that actual occurrences will
follow in accordance with what you've been led to believe will happen. Books of
the 'My Daily Horoscope' nature can also be found in supermarkets and other
stores these, too, are compiled of generalized information based solely on
one's zodiac sign.

A step above these forms of astrology are "personalized readings." For those
who have a serious belief in astrology, these can be considered much more
accurate, as they are based on one's own personal information specifically, the
location, date, and exact time of one's birth. Free personalized horoscopes of
daily, weekly, or monthly readings can be obtained upon request and by
providing these details; you will then receive these readings in your email
inbox. If you have not already received email advertisements for these
astrological readings, there are countless numbers of links to sites where you
can put in a request.

You can also opt for personal consultations and readings from astrologers who
have been granted accreditation by the American Federation of Astrologers. AFA,
which can be contacted toll-free at 888-301-7630, and is located in Tempe,
Arizona, provides correspondence courses and testing which requires that an
individual has gained solid workable knowledge of setting up astrological
charts, calculating and interpreting horoscopes, various branches of astrology,
etc. A student who has met the basic standards has the designation AMAFA; a
professional who has gained full comprehensive knowledge of the subject is
designated PMAFA. Before consulting a personal astrologer one should decide
what type of information is desired, as many specialize in specific areas, such
as finances, relationships, etc.




Capricorn

If you are a Capricorn (December 22 to January 20), you are a personality to be
reckoned with, but in a quiet, subtle way. These are people who will achieve
whatever goal they set for themselves. They have the grit and determination to
see out a project or an objective, no matter how long it takes. They are
surprisingly witty, when they allow themselves to be, although they're not the
fiery, flashy kind. A Capricorn will always be on time, will always have
positions of responsibility. They make good psychologists because of their
ability to listen to short-tempered people or people on a rant. They have an
ability to stay calm and reasoned in a disagreement or conflict, even though
the other side may be more passionate.

They are deep thinkers who have good memories and a never-ending intellectual
curiosity. In their relationships, they can have a tendency towards
unhappiness. Capricorns set very high standards for themselves, and can be
easily disappointed if others don't set equally high standards.

Professionally, they are strongly attracted to music, although their logical
side also makes them excellent bankers. Some famous Capricorns include Anwar
Sadat and Martin Luther King. Paul Cezanne and Henri Matisse were also
Capricorns. Other famous Capricorns include Richard Nixon, Simone de Beauvoir
and Edgar Allen Poe.

After the Age of Aquarius in the zodiac Great Year (approximately 2000-4000 CE)
will come the Age of Capricorn. It's hard to predict what the human condition
will be by then. Will we have moved on to other planets and solar systems. If
the Age of Aquarius is to be marked by humanitarianism and greater
understanding among the people on Earth, (we hope!), what will define the Age
of Capricorn. Will we achieve the goals of Aquarius. Many people look towards
the new millennium and the beginning of a new era in the Great Year with hope
that we will have learned from the mistakes of the past. Hopefully we will
continue to learn and in the Age of Capricorn will have evolved to even greater
human potential.

Cancer

The sign of Cancer (June 22 -- July 22) has very little to do with that prickly
crustacean, believe it or not. In fact, it's hard to pin down exactly what
constitutes the Cancer personality. The ancient Egyptians perceived Cancer as
the sacred scarab. It was a symbol of resurrection and immortality and they
often placed a carving of a scarab in the body where the heart had been, as
part of the mummification process.

Cancers are very imaginative and intuitive. They make great artists and
musicians. They're not risk takers, and will take the time to contemplate all
sorts of outcomes and probabilities before taking on a new venture. They're
very sympathetic and protective of those around them. They will help out in
whatever way they can, although not impulsively and will temper their
generosity with calculating all the risks first. They're emotional and loving,
and great family and pet people.

In the Zodiac Great Year, the Age of Cancer fell between 8600 and 6450 BCE. It
was a time characterized by the worship of mother goddesses. During this period
alcohol fermentation was discovered and people began to use copper.

Cancers make good journalists, writers or politicians because of their ability
to think and judge independently what they're told. They're good in public
service, perhaps in social service agencies. Cancers are good providers because
they themselves love comfort and a good life. Cancers can procrastinate and can
upset their families with this trait. They're not too good at taking orders, so
positions where they're required to be submissive or subordinate may not suit
them well.

Famous Cancers comprise an interesting mix of accomplishments. They include the
Duke of Windsor and Bob Fosse, Sylvester Stallone, the Dalai Lama, Robin
Williams and Ernest Hemingway.

The best partner for Cancer is Taurus, while the sign with the least potential
for a harmonious relationship with Cancer is Aries.

Aries

Aries the Ram (March 21 to April 20) is called the first sign of the Zodiac. We
think of the beginning of the year as January, because that's the start of the
new calendar year. But this is the Zodiac year, remember, and is governed by
matters more celestial than mundane! March 21 is the Spring equinox, which
signifies the beginning of the Zodiac year. And when you think about it, this
makes sense. Spring is the time of renewal and rebirth.

If you are born under this sign, you can tend to have the same traits as a
young ram. Enthusiastic, adventurous, forthright and energetic. You're
courageous and confident. You could be a little impulsive though, right. Maybe
something of a daredevil. Where the world be though, without daredevils,
willing to strike out and do something completely different. Leonardo da Vinci
is one of the most famous Aries ever born. Think of some other famous Arians,
such as Thomas Jefferson, Booker T. Washington, Francis Ford Coppola, Jane
Goodall and Marlon Brando. None of them afraid to break new ground; all of them
changed the world or their chosen fields in some way.

People born under the Aries sign are passionate lovers and intense friends.
They risk driving people away with their intensity and need partners that can
match them without fueling the fire and creating explosive situations.

Arians make good doctors, athletes and explorers. This isn't to say that people
born under the sign of the Ram are all action, though. They have a softer,
lamb-like side as well and if you're an Aries, make sure you draw on this side
of yourself as well when dealing with other people. You may have difficulty in
certain jobs, because you're an idea person and the person to get things
started rather than finish them up. Surround yourself with people who can
supplement these traits and you're sure to be a success.

Aquarius

Were you born under the sign of Aquarius. What a compassionate and generous
person you are. And did you know that there really is an Age of Aquarius. It
wasn't just a songwriter's concept in the musical, Hair. Just as there are
individual zodiac signs, so are the eras of human history divided into
2000-year segments of what's called the Great Year. We just left the age of
Pisces, which began at the beginning of the Christian era until the year 2000.
It was a time marked by fluid changes in politics and governments. Pisces, of
course, is the sign of the Fish, the symbol of Christianity.

We are now in the age of Aquarius, but only just in the dawn of it, like the
song said. All the wonderful, generous characteristics of the Water Bearer are
not yet symbolic of humanity as a whole yet, as evidenced by the current
turmoil in the Middle East. But there are signs. Remember the Random Acts of
Kindness. Perhaps those were a harbinger of the Age of Aquarius.

If YOU are an Aquarian, then you were born between January 20 and February 18.
You are a humanitarian and more intelligent than most and given to thoughts of
how to make the world a better place. You can be inventive and original, and
you're freedom-loving. You're generous with your thoughts, whether people are
interested or not! You can be eccentric and idiosyncratic, and need a lot of
space, but your heart is nearly always in the right place.

Who's the right partner for the highly intelligent and quirky Aquarian. Someone
who can appreciate their generous qualities and share their beliefs. Someone who
is willing to explore and grow with them. An Aquarian will be happiest with
someone who is open-minded, who is warm and understanding and willing to be a
helpmate. While that may be the ideal for just about anyone, it's especially
important for an Aquarian to be able to have a partner who will share their
passion for creating a better world and their generous nature.

Taurus

Think about characteristics of a Bull other than the well-known phrase of
bull-headed. Taureans (April 21 to May 21) are steadfast, loyal, grounded. They
are stable and balanced. They're smart without being overly intellectual.
They're not likely to strike out for the unknown, but will prefer familiar
territory. They're patient, reliable and loving.

In the workplace, Taureans are good craftspeople, good with their hands. You
can trust a Taurus; they make good managers and foremen. They're good in the
fields of banking, architecture, farming, medicine or chemistry. These are
fields in which you can be creative, but within a framework of stable practices
and science. Taureans are good workers and not giving to goofing off. Because
they're not big risk-takers, they can be trusted with the company finances and
are completely reliable and trustworthy.

In the zodiac Great Year, the Age of Taurus took place approximately 4300-2150
BCE which witnessed the rise of Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations. This
was the era of the Bronze age in Greece, rise of Minoan and Mycenaean cultures.
This was a period characterized by the growth of agriculture, and the building
of pyramids and megaliths. Bull cults were prevalent in Assyria, Egypt, Crete.

Famous Taureans have excelled in all walks of life. They include Socrates,
George Lucas, George Carlin, Martha Graham and Margot Fonteyn, Audrey Hepburn
and Jerry Seinfeld.

As a partner or lover, Taureans are faithful and home-loving, patient parents.
Not given to sexual experimentation. Taureans are grounded in practicality.
They're stable and like harmony. They love pets and the outdoors, and like
biking, hikes and enjoying nature in general.

Every positive characteristic has another side to it, and in the Taurean, this
reliability and steadfastness can manifest itself as jealousy and obstinacy.
Fortunately, they're also highly intelligent and can soon reason their way out
of the occasional dark mood and depression.

Pisces

If you're a Pisces, you probably have a lot of friends, as you have an
accepting and malleable nature that makes it easy for other people to be around
you. A Pisces is more likely to go with the flow rather than swim upstream to
try to change people or their environment.

They can be more emotional, rather than rational and analytical. They don't
thrive in highly disciplined environments. Nine-to-five jobs are anathema to
the Pisces nature. They are drawn to situations where they can use their
artistic gifts and their appreciation of art and nature. They love luxury and
pleasure. They can think on their feet and an enjoy new situations and change.
They are happiest in the fields of music, literature or art.

Who's the ideal partner for the Pisces. Not the rugged, caveman type, for sure.
A relationship with a Pisces will be meeting of the mind and spirit, less so
than the body. Pisces are cerebral and not intensely sexual. The need to be
courted gently. They are intensely loving and loyal and have a monogamous
nature. Don't abuse this rare creature.

If you're a Pisces, you may find yourself occasionally being walked over or
taken advantage of because of your fluid nature. You may need to find ways to
assert yourself that's in harmony with your psyche. Because you tend to go with
the flow and live in the moment, you might have a money-management style that
can leave you short of funds at times. You may need to be stricter with
yourself to ensure that doesn't happen. Next time you're drifting around a
department store, just do a quick tally of everything before you get to the
cashier. Put at least half of it back, if not more. Chances are it will still
be there the next time you have money in your pocket!

Scorpio

Scorpio, the Scorpion (October 24 to November 22), one of the most energetic
and powerful signs in the Zodiac. This is an exciting and magnetic personality,
very passionate and emotional. They are forceful personalities and can easily be
destined for leadership roles. Consider some of the complex famous characters
are Scorpios: Hillary Clinton, Pablo Picasso, Dylan Thomas, both Simon AND
Garfunkel are Scorpios. Others include the poet Sylvia Plath and Marie Curie.
Marie Antoinette was a Scorpio as well.

Scorpios have a better chance of having genius-level IQs than most of the
population; they are intense, critical and analytical. They tend to rebel
against all conventions and can be political extremists.

The best love match for a Scorpio is Capricorn; they understand each other on a
profound spiritual, almost psychic level. Scorpios give their hearts completely
and passionately.

Being so gifted, they can find fulfillment in many employments. Their inner
intensity can result in the ice-cold self-control and detachment of the
surgeon, the concentration of the research scientist, and the heroism of the
soldier. Any profession in which analysis, investigation, research, dealing
with practicalities, and the solving of mysteries are relevant, can appeal to
them. So police and detective work, espionage and counterespionage, the law,
physics or psychology may attract them, and they can become masters of the
written and spoken word. They may be most persuasive orators and find
fulfillment as diplomats or preachers and, if they make the Church their
profession, their inner intensity can express itself in the spiritual fervor of
the mystic or the thaumaturgy.

There is no Age of Scorpio in the astrologers' Great Year, because that will be
some time in the future. What will characterize that era, we wonder? Will
mankind survive that long.

Sagittarius

Sagittarians (November 23 -- December 21) have a positive outlook on life, are
full of energy, versatility, adventure and eagerness to experience the new and
different. They enjoy traveling and exploration; they are ambitious and
optimistic, even in the face of disappointment.. Their strongly idealistic
natures can also suffer many disappointments without being affected. They are
honorable, honest, trustworthy, truthful, generous and sincere, with a passion
for justice. They are usually on the side of the underdog in society they will
fight for any cause they believe to be just, and are prepared to be rebellious.
They balance loyalty with independence.

Sagittarians are usually modest and are often religious, with a strong sense of
morality, though they tend to overemphasize the ethical codes they follow and
worship beliefs about God rather than God Himself. This means that, negatively,
they regard rigid, unloving, intolerant adherence to ritual and conventional
codes as more important than the truths they symbolize or embody. They
sometimes pay lip service to religions and political parties in which they have
ceased to believe because the outward forms satisfy them, yet they may not
hesitate to switch allegiance in politics or change their system of belief if
they see personal advantage to themselves in doing so.

Sagittarius is the Archer and many war heroes were born under this sign. There
are also many artists and entertainers born under this sign, such as Beethoven,
Toulouse-Lautrec and Georges Seurat. Winston Churchill, baseball legend Ty Cobb
and publishing tycoon William Randolph Hearst were all born under the sign of
Sagittarius.

In relationships, Sagittarians are reliable and will almost never betray their
partners. They are generous and forgiving, although they are prone to temper
and outbursts. Professionally, they make excellent teachers and philosophers.
Before the invention of the automobile, they were said to be excellent with
horses. This would make some sense, as the symbol for Sagittarius is a centaur,
half man and half horse.

Virgo

Now sometimes, we're not too sure just how right-on these astrological profiles
are. I mean, consider Virgo (August 23 -- September 22), your intrepid author's
sign. Virgos are universally considered to be very buttoned-down, methodical
and detail-oriented. Geesh. Meticulous and reliable. I have to wonder if my
mother didn't lie about my birthdate. I'm about as flaky and they come and as
far as methodical is concerned, I never do anything the same way twice.

Anyway, for you archetypical Virgos, here's your profile, according to the
experts.
Now intelligent and analytical, we can agree with. It does say that we're shy
and can be difficult to land as a partner. Maybe that's why we're writing this
on a Saturday night when all those Aquarius and Pisces are out there living it
up.

The age of Virgo in the astrologers' Great Year took place circa 13000-10750
BCE. Not too much going on there. It was the end of the Ice Age (well, we're
also considered cool and aloof -- it figures). It was also marked by spawning
the hunter-gatherer culture and clay pottery has been discovered in artifacts
from this period of time. This also marked the first use of agriculture by
Man:er, WOMAN. Virgo IS represented by a woman, you know. The only zodiac sign
that does so.

The best match for Virgo is Capricorn and the worst is Aquarius. One thing some
experts say about the Virgo is that while they appear cool and aloof on the
outside, they may be hiding emotion that is almost too intense. We're so
grateful someone recognizes this that we may have to briefly disappear and weep
in a corner somewhere for a few minutes.

Some of our favorite authors and other celebrated figures were also Virgos.
Leonard Bernstein, Mary Godwin Shelley (author of "Frankenstein"), Margaret
Trudeau and: Mickey Mouse!

Libra

Those born under the sign of Libra, the Scales (September 24 -- October 23),
have a wonderful balance of traits. They're considered to be diplomatic and
urbane, romantic and charming, idealistic and peaceable. Even their darker
characteristics aren't so terrible. They can be flirtatious, easily influenced
and indecisive. Curiously, Libra is the only sign of the Zodiac represented by
an inanimate object, the Scales. Every other sign is represented by an animal
or sea creature or person.

Libra is the very first sign of the astrologers' Great Year, and occurred
between 15,000 and 13,000 BCE. It marked the dawn of Man and his expression of
his condition beyond basic survival mechanisms. This is the approximate date of
the monumental Lascaux cave paintings. It also marks the appearance of humans in
the Americas, crossing from the Bering Strait into North America.

Like the scales of justice that represented Libra, this sun sign makes good
lawyers and judges. They're able to stand back and look at situations with a
critical, objective eye. They're among the most civilized of all the signs,
with elegance and culture among their traits.

As a partner, Libras are willing to bend over backwards to resolve an issue
amicably. The best match for a Libra is a Gemini; they're least compatible with
Capricorns because Capricorns like a little more excitement in life, while
Libras prefer a more laid-back existence. You won't find Libra sitting out all
the dances that's for sure! Very easy going and likeable, you will find Libra's
company a pleasure to enjoy. Even though they are outgoing, they are also
surprisingly peaceful and calm of spirit.

Famous Librans include John Lennon and Jenny Lind, the famous Swedish singer.
Doris Lessing, Luciano Pavarotti, Oscar Wilde and Johnny Carson are just a few
of the Librans who have enriched our lives in the arts.

Leo

Leos (July 23 to August 22) are among the kings of the zodiac. They are
generous and warm-hearted, creative, faithful and loving. They can be prideful
and dominant, however. In Greek mythology, Leo was the lion that was killed by
Hercules as the first of his 12 chores. Leos are spontaneous and extroverted.
Like the king of beasts, they like to be in command and make good leaders. They
have strong intelligence and can be philosophical, even religious.

The Age of Leo in the astrological Great Year was between 10750 and 8600 BCE.
It was characterized by the Stone Age, and the first towns (Jericho).

A group of lions is called a pride, and this is a characteristic of the Leo
personality as well, sometimes to its detriment. But Leos are also highly
self-disciplined and will rarely allow any personality characteristic to get
out of control.

They make warm-hearted and trusting partners, but can be extremely hurt and let
down if this trust is abused. They have a strong sex drive which can make it
difficult for them to stay with any one partner for long.

Leos like to be the center of attention and have powerful egos. They can be
resentful if they're not the center of attention. Leos occasionally need to
remember that less is more and they can attract as much attention if they stop
trying so hard to get it. It's that pride thing, again.

There are many, many Leos in the arts and film. Some of them include Zelda
Fitzgerald and Alexandre Dumas, Andy Warhol and Neil Armstrong, Roman Polanski
and Robert DeNiro.

Which signs are the best and worst matches for the Leo. Surprisingly, the best
match is Aries, although you'd think two headstrong signs like these two
wouldn't make a good pair. But it's their strong character and passion that
makes them a good pair. The worst sign for Leo is a Virgo. Leos tend to be a
little more dominating than is good for a Virgo.

Gemini

Know any Twins? Then imagine they're one person and you'll have an idea of what
makes up the personality of a person born under the sign of Gemini (May 22 -
June 21). Geminis can be contradictory, people with dualities to their nature
that can perplex their friends, families and lovers. They love versatility and
change, but can be flighty and mutable to create interest in their lives. They
don't like routine. Decisionmaking can be difficult for them and they can often
change their minds.

In the Zodiac Great Year, the Age of Gemini occurred from about 6450-4300 BCE.
It was a time when writing and accounting systems were developed and humans
were beginning to trade with one another.

Geminis are kind, affectionate and generous, so long as this doesn't impact
their own lives and comfort systems too much. They have a strong intellect and
love mental challenges. They catch on to new ideas quickly. They have an
analytical side and can see both sides to an issue.

If you're a Gemini, you have some interesting company in your birth sign. Some
of the famous Geminis include President John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe,
Henry Kissinger, Joe Namath and Paul McCartney. Many members of royal families
were born under the sign of Gemini, too. Queen Victoria, King George V and
Prince William, all of England, were or are Geminis.

Boredom is a big issue for Geminis and they can get into trouble looking for
some excitement. But they're very creative and active and should have outlets
for all this energy like artistic projects or exercise or vigorous sports like
racquetball. Because they're always looking for new and interesting
experiences, they can tend to overindulge in food or drink or night life and
club-hopping. Geminis need to remember to pace themselves or they could risk
burning themselves out too early in life.

The Best Books on Astrology

There are thousands of books available on astrology. Some mini-books on
astrology are sold in supermarket checkout lanes. Others are sold in book
stores. But most of the books that you see while out on your daily errands are
some of the worst books on astrology that you can waste your money on.

These so-called books on astrology are often no more than horoscopes, based on
nothing more than sun signs. Some of these books claim to help you with your
relationships, while only providing sun sign information. Astrology actually
encompasses many factors into your astrological readings, and the sun sign is
one small factor of many.

The best books on astrology are those that teach you how to plot your own
astrological chart and readings. These books on astrology are the best way to
learn how astrology affects your life and teach you how to apply that knowledge
to better your life. Below you will find some of the best books on astrology.

"The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need" by Joanna Martine Woolfolk is a great
place to start learning about astrology. This book gives you an overview of the
various sun signs, as well as other factors such as the moon, your ascendant,
and the houses. Additionally, this book on astrology provides extensive charts
by birth date to help you create your own personal astrological chart and
readings.

Using the information you gathered and the charts you created in the last book
on astrology, you can use this next book to predict your future using
astrology. This book is called Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark and
is written by Bernadette Brady. This book will help you understand the
predictive nature of the planets and houses. Using this information and your
astrological birth chart you can easily predict your future using astrology.

You can take this information and apply it to your daily life using the book
Financial Astrology by David Williams. This is one of the best books on
astrology that actually explains how to use real astrological principles to
better an area of your life. This book provides astrological data for past
major financial events, as well as outlines how to use real astrological data
to predict future financial opportunities and windfalls.

Another of the best books on astrology that can teach you how to interpret real
horoscopes is called Aspects in Astrology: A Guide to Understanding Planetary
Relationships in the Horoscope by Sue Tompkins. This book explains why
newspaper and magazine horoscopes are rarely accurate for most people. Sue
Tompkins also arms you with information and charts about how the planets affect
your sun sign. Armed with this information you can interpret mundane horoscopes
to actually fit your astrological chart, and use them to your benefit.

If, after reading the above books, you are still a little fuzzy as to what the
various aspects of an astrological chart are and how they affect you, this is
the book for you. The Complete Book of Astrology by Ada Aubin and June Rifkin
provides the best explanations of sun signs, houses, planets, planetary
movements, the moon, and other aspects of astrology that affect your life.

Astrology In America And Other Parts Of The World

It is interesting to note that while only approximately thirty-one percent of
adults in the United States believe in astrology, research studies show that
fifty-two percent of Europeans consider astrology to be a science.

The main forms of astrology which are predominantly in current practice are
Indian astrology, Western astrology, and Chinese astrology. In the United
States, Western astrology is the most popular. The most well-known aspect of
Western astrology is the zodiac sign; based on the belt of constellations, each
of which was interpreted as resembling various figures, the zodiac signs (or,
also referred to as the astrological signs) are called Aries (the ram), Taurus
(the bull), Gemini (the twins), Cancer (the crab), Leo (the lion), Virgo (the
virgin), Libra (the scales), Scorpio (the scorpion), Sagittarius (the archer),
Capricorn (the goat), Aquarius (the water-bearer), Pisces (the fishes).

Horoscopes, which are the most basic interpretations, are based on which sign
was in effect when a person was born; and whether a person was born on the
"cusp," which means the very beginning or very end of the particular sign. In
addition to utilizing a sign to determine life events and predict one's future,
a sign is also thought to be relevant to learning about specific characteristics
of one's personality and even predisposition toward various potential health
conditions, as one's sign is believed to govern certain parts of one's body.
Odd as it may sound, many who have carefully studied this type of information
have found it to be quite accurate. For example, while every Virgo is not
"practical," "fastidious," and "strong-minded," this trait is indeed a common
factor amongst many who were born under this sign; and while all who were born
under the sign of Virgo do not develop stomach, intestinal, or reproductive
difficulties, many Virgos are indeed more prone to these problems than other
people.

Another form of astrology is Indian astrology, which is also called Jyotisa, or
Vedic astrology. Its foundation is the belief of connection between the
microcosm and the macrocosm the smaller parts and the universal. Although
interest in Vedic astrology is widespread, as it is currently practiced in
India it is a significant part of their culture, as people rely on it for all
of the important decisions in their lives, from business to marriage.

During the last few decades, Indian astrology has become internationally
popular, but it has been a part of India's culture for centuries. Vedic
astrology is said to have first been revealed more than 7000 years ago. Thus,
what is said to have originated with the Brahma has spread in popularity to
such places as Arizona, which is the home of the American College of Vedic
Astrology, currently offering online courses for those interested in learning
how to become certified astrologers. Most astrologers offering Vedic astrology
readings, however, are located in India.

Chinese astrology is based on the calendar cycle, rather than on
constellations. In this form of astrology, the zodiac signs are named after
animals the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey,
rooster, dog, and pig. Going by the Chinese calendar, each of these animals are
assigned to the lunar months. The animals are also assigned to the time of day
during which the individual person was born.

In addition to the animals, there are five elements wood, fire, earth, metal,
water which are believed to modify the characteristics of the animals signs.
One of the main purposes and functions is to achieve balance, and to affect
whatever changes are necessary in order to achieve that balance. Chinese
astrology, also, has begun to attain widespread popularity in America.

Astrology And The New-Age Movement

Learning about astrology is absolutely essential for anyone who is interested
in the New Age movement! As the New Age movement is based on the belief that
everything and everyone in the universe is spiritually interconnected, that
concept lends itself to a wide range of beliefs which promote it, such as the
connection of everything in the cosmos, mystical power known as "energy" or
"energy fields," and, of course, astrology. One particular form of astrology,
quite different from the usual types which are more well-known, is very much
aligned to the New Age movement and its beliefs; it is called Karmic astrology.

Founded by Martin Shulman, belief in karmic astrology is based on the concept
of karma what one specific individual sees and perceives is different from what
another specific individual sees or experiences in the same situation, due to
each having his or her own life lessons to process, lessons which were not
satisfactorily processed in one's past lives. Instead of assessing the
differences of individual persons as being due to each having his or her own
unique personality, mind and emotions, karmic astrology stresses that it is a
matter of one having not properly fulfilled his karmic role in his previous
lives. Karmic astrology is the only form of astrology which bases its
conclusions on reincarnation; and that one's true influence, which covers
everything from one's opinions to one's means of experience, is not coming from
one's present-day life, it's coming from one's past.

The forms of astrology which most people are familiar with Western astrology,
Chinese astrology, Indian or Vedic astrology emphasizes the events in a
person's life and how to affect positive direction. Karmic astrology, however,
views the individual's life as that which has been reincarnated for the purpose
of completing that which had not been completed in his previous life aspects of
himself and his life which he should improve, change, and grow.

In tune with this concept are New Age practices such as "alternative" medicine,
which take numerous non-medical angles such as herbs and massage in the
treatment of medical conditions, and, even more strongly stressed, and even in
the absence of any such diseases or conditions, focusing on the individual
person's need to "heal."

Although it has not been categorically explained, it seems that placing such a
strong emphasis on a person's need to heal is based on the New Age movement's
view of reincarnation that simply being in this life coincides with the Karmic
belief that a person has not gained closure from whatever came before.
Consequently, karmic astrology differs from the more widely-accepted forms of
astrology in that while the focus of the latter is on charting the course of a
person's life and guiding direction for a person's best possible potential, the
focus of karmic astrology is essentially on "fixing what is wrong with" a
person. As such, those who claim to be professionals in the scope of karmic
astrology are far different from the more standard astrologers, preferring
terminology such as "healing" and the misuse of other esoteric language,
frequently referred to as "psychobabble." In other words, karmic astrology
bears very little resemblance to the concepts and practices which most people
know as Astrology.

Astrology And Its Influences

Taking much of the country by surprise, and causing a great number of negative
reactions, was when it became publicly-known that then-president Ronald Reagan
and his wife Nancy not only frequently consulted an astrologer, but based
numerous important decisions on astrology, such as Reagan's chances in the 1976
presidential election, and his eventual choice of George Bush as his
vice-president. While governor of California, Ronald Reagan signed into law a
new chapter and section of the government code, which granted astrologers the
right to practice astrology for compensation. Even more surprising was learning
that a number of previous presidents had also followed this practice as well as
such famous world-leaders as Winston Churchill.

Celebrities are also known to believe in and follow the paths of astrology when
deciding the course of their careers, often being quite outspoken about their
beliefs. David Coverdale, of the popular group Whitesnake, has commented that
he and his wife rigorously follow astrology; actor Robert Downey, Jr., and
singer Britney Spears are also amongst those who consult astrologers on a
regular basis. J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books series, liberally
sprinkles astrological symbolism in her material. "Astrologers to the stars"
occasionally become as much in the spotlight of the public eye as the stars who
consult them.

If world-renowned politicians and stars in the entertainment industry have been
placing so much value on the subject of astrology, is it any wonder that many
average Americans are doing likewise? A recent Harris Poll has concluded that
at least thirty-one percent of Americans have some degree of belief in
astrology nearly half of these being in the twenty-five to twenty-nine-year old
age group, with the belief in this practice falling to fourteen percent for
those over sixty-five years of age.

The highest percentages of American adults who believe in astrology as being a
valid and significant influence in one's life are women, democrats, and those
who have a high school or less education-- yet even Benjamin Franklin professed
and wrote about his own personal belief in astrology, which illustrates that
this subject is by no means limited to any certain categories of individuals,
and that its popularity is most definitely not new, as it has long been
embraced by well-known, respected people in all fields.

Astrology is described as studying the celestial bodies in relation to their
influence on natural events and human experiences. It is called pseudoscience,
proven science, superstition, anti-Christian, and a host of other descriptions
based primarily on individual viewpoints on the subject. But for celebrities,
politicians, world leaders, and a large segment of the population of average
citizens alike, it is frequently a very strong influencing factor in people's
lives.

Astrology, medicine, astronomy

There was a time when astrology was an accepted science and was a part of
medical diagnoses, as much as were a patient's physical symptoms. It's hard to
say whether we've e-volved or de-volved, as we no longer think about living in
harmony with cosmos. We consider ourselves too advanced scientifically to think
that movements in the stars and planets might have a serious impact on our daily
lives and our health.

But are we right. Who is anyone to say that man, with his limited brain, can
truly comprehend the workings of the universe, or how he fits within it.
Western civilization is predicated on conquering, not understanding. But it
wasn't always so.

Astrology is one of the most important historical contexts in which astronomy
developed. The Babylonians carefully assembled tablets of the position of
Venus, as it was believed to denote omens for weather, war, famine, diseases,
rulers and kingdoms. Claudius Ptolemy composed the Tetrabiblos, believing that
astrology could be placed on a rational footing, despite being a conjectural
art like medicine. In practice, belief in astrology meant that horoscopes were
cast for new-born children, prospective spouses and political enemies, public
buildings were opened and marriage and other ceremonies conducted on auspicious
days. Numerous records of astrological practice can be found from the Roman
times and physicians routinely consulted astrological charts as part of the
diagnostic process.

For instance, every sign of the zodiac was considered to rule a part of the
human body: the Sagittarius ruled the thighs, Pisces the feet, and so on. When
the moon was in the zodiac ruling a particular part of the body, bloodletting
from that part was to be avoided, since the attraction of the moon might cause
excessive bleeding. Numerous medical manuscripts and almanacs include the
figure of the 'zodiac man' as a reminder of the specific influence of the moon.
In addition, the power of the moon's pulling power varied by its phases, and
thus almanacs usually showed the phases of the moon.

Astrology Terms

Astrology may or may not be "science," depending on who you ask. But, one
similarity it does bear to science is a large collection of terms. Natal
charts and horoscopes can be as simple as "your sun sign is Gemini." Or, they
can be extremely complex, taking into account exactly where and when the
individual was born, where each of the planets, sun, and moon were positioned
at that moment, and then measuring how each of those bodies related to each
other.

The starting point of any astrology work is the Sun Sign. This is one of the
twelve signs of the Zodiac, and is the constellation the Sun was passing
through when the person was born.

A Horoscope, as far as the public is concerned, is that little nugget of advice
printed with their sign in the newspaper. But the full Horoscope as designed by
the astrologer is more than that. It's a complete map of the planets with
regards to the constellations and each other.

Once the planets have been mapped, then their Aspects can be measured. The
Aspect is the measure of the angle formed by drawing lines between the
planets. The two most important Aspects are the Conjunction (which is a very
small measure, less than ten degrees), and the Opposition (a very large
measure, nearly 180 degrees).

The Houses are equivalent to the signs of the Zodiac, but they're also
dedicated to certain aspects of the person's life. One House is devoted to
finances, another to health, for example.

Each planet orbits the sun at a different speed. Mercury, right next to the
sun, races around it in a matter of weeks, while Pluto plods along in an orbit
that takes centuries. Occasionally, the Earth will pass a planet, and it will
seem to be "moving backwards." Think of riding a fast train while passing a
slow moving one--the slower train will appear to be backing up, even though
it's moving forward. This optical illusion is called Retrograde, and these
periods of backwards motion show up in horoscopes and action.

How to use Astrology to Improve Relationships

Astrology is the study of the stars and their influence on our daily lives. The
study of astrology can allow you to understand how these influences affect your
life and the people around you. This can help you to better plan and deal with
all of your relationships.

The first step in using astrology to improve your relationship is to obtain
your own astrological birth chart. Your astrological birth chart and its
interpretation can help you understand your origins and underlying forces
behind your behavior and reactions to others. With further study of
astrological influences you will begin to understand the best times for you to
make decisions and work through problems that can occur in relationships.

The next step in using astrology to improve your relationships is to obtain the
astrological birth chart of the people that you want to become closer to. These
astrological birth charts and their interpretations will enable you to see some
things about these people that you may have not yet seen. They will also allow
you to learn more about their origins, and the events that may have occurred in
their lives to bring them from this pure personality to the person that they are
today.

With further study of the art of astrology you can learn how the various
planets, planetary movements and alignments, the position of the sun and the
moon affect your moods, reactions to events, and reactions to others. You will
also be able to learn how these astrological influences affect the people that
you have relationships with. This information will arm you with the necessary
tools you will need in order to confront problems in relationships at the most
opportune times.

The next step in using astrology to improve your relationships is to obtain
software that will enable you to track planetary movements, planetary
alignments, and other astrological phenomena. The most helpful astrology
software will also provide descriptions of how these astrological phenomena
will affect various signs and personalities. This information will allow to you
plan discussions, events, and major decisions.

The best thing about using astrology to improve your relationships is that when
you have all of this information you will be better prepared for your own
emotions and reactions as well as those of the people in your relationships.
This will allow you to understand the basis behind the actions, reactions, and
emotions of these people. It can help you understand when you are the cause of
a problem, when they are the cause of a problem, and when astrological
influences are simply making resolution difficult.

When you have this information you are able to better communicate with the
people in your relationships. You will know when to distance yourself
emotionally from decisions, and when you are most likely to have conflict so
that it can be avoided with effort. When you understand astrological influences
on yourself and your loved ones you will be better prepared to deal with
anything that comes your way.

The Importance of the Moon in Astrology

Many people believe that astrology only concerns the sun. This is due to the
Western world view of astrology, which has taken on the form of Zodiac
horoscopes. However, in truth the study of astrology goes well beyond sun signs.

In the Eastern world, such as in China and India, the moon is actually the
primary consideration in studies of astrology. The moon signs and cycles are
used to determine the best time for activities, and is a part of daily life.
This may seem backward to some, but actually results in more accurate
predictions in many cases than Western astrology can ascertain.

The moon plays a large role in astrology and astrological phenomena. The
position and phase of the moon influences the other aspects of astrology,
including sun signs and planetary movements. In fact, the moon influences other
aspects of astrology as a whole.

Envision that astrology is made up of the study of all of the planets and the
sun. The astrological birth chart and the study of how planetary alignments
affect sun signs are based on these aspects of astrology. The moon actually
influences this overall picture, and can cause certain aspects of astrological
phenomena to influence our lives differently than was otherwise predicted.

The moon, for the most part, influences our emotions. In certain phases of the
moon, the predictions made through the study of astrological phenomena that
would otherwise occur fail to happen, because our emotions do not produce the
reactions to the astrological phenomena that would normally be expected. In
other phases of the moon, astrological phenomena of planetary alignments and
their effect on the Zodiac sun signs are not altered from their original
reading.

The influence of the moon on the Zodiac is a study in and of itself. When you
are aware of your sun sign, you can use information about the cycles of the
moon and the moon signs to determine the best time to make decisions or avoid
certain activities. The moon signs are named the same as the Zodiac, but do not
coincide with them.

The signs of the moon cycle each month rather than each year. Each sign has
three phases: ascending, true, and descending. Each sign influences our
emotions differently, depending on our sun sign and natural tendencies. The
phases of the moon also affect our emotions and other aspects of astrology.

When we learn these influences that the moon holds over us and astrological
phenomena, we can use this information to our advantage. For example, during
the new moon most people are not capable of rational thought. Knowing this can
help you to avoid major decision making during the time of the full moon.

There are many books and websites that provide detailed explanations of the
moon and its effects on the study of astrology. There are also many books that
explain the signs of the moon and their effects on sun signs and our emotions.
You can generally find these books by searching your local book store, new age
shop, or Amazon.com.

Astrological predictions

Opinions about astrological prediction are generally divided. In fact, both
views are based on a misunderstanding of the nature of how astrology really
works.

Though it may come as a surprise to the true believer many astrologers believe
that  astrology cannot make precise predictions about your future although
astrology can indeed reveal the tendencies of your future.

   If an astrologer tells you that next Tuesday you will be walking down the
street, and will accidentally trip and fall, breaking your left wrist as it
cracks against a fire hydrant, that would be a pretty precise prediction,
wouldn't it. But no astrologer ever makes predictions like that. More likely,
an astrologer would say: There is some danger of having an accident next
Tuesday; try to be more careful than usual. This is of course not a precise
prediction, but rather a statement, based on certain astrological techniques,
about an increased probability of a certain type of event occurring. This is
the true strength of astrology: not to tell you what is going to happen (since
that is beyond its capabilities), but rather, to inform you about the
probablilities of certain types of events occurring.

Astrology isn't used to predict the future. It's used to help you gain insight
and understanding into the patterns and directions your life takes. It's not an
absolute, but it's an indicator. If you don't like what your astrological or
natal charts tell you, it's certainly within your power to change it. Astrology
can give you insight into one potential destiny, but there are too many
variables, including the decisions you make for yourself, to predict with any
degree of accuracy what will happen in the future.

Aspects of Astrology

There are many aspects of astrology that are not often considered by those who
do not actually study the subject. Most people think that astrology consists of
sun signs. However, there are many other aspects of astrology that must be
considered for the art to be truly accurate and useful.

The Planets

There are ten planets studied in astrology. The number ten is arrived by adding
the sun and the moon. The earth is not counted, because our perspective is from
the earth. Each planet influences both the sun sign and the house in which it
resides in the astrological chart.

Each planet represents the influence that it holds over the sun sign and the
house in which it rules. Saturn, for example, represents the limitations of
man. Jupiter represents leadership and prosperity. The other planets have their
own representations and influences.

Planetary movements and alignments are also very important in astrology.
Various planetary alignments and movements can indicate extreme influences over
all aspects of our lives. For example, when Mars is in retrograde, conflicts
will be more dominant in our lives.

The Houses

There are twelve houses in the Zodiac, or astrological chart. Each house
represents an aspect of our lives such as romance, career, or family. The
houses are very important in the interpretation of astrology. The house in
which a planet resides shows what influences will be held over that aspect of
our life.

Because there are twelve houses but only ten planets, each astrological chart
will have two vacant houses. These vacant houses represent areas of the life
that are unimportant in this life. It is believed that either you have been
successful in that aspect of your life in another life, or other aspects of
life are in more immediate need of attention than those represented by the
vacant houses.

The Signs

The Zodiac sun signs are the most common aspect of astrology. There are twelve
sun signs, based, roughly, on the months of the year. Each sun sign rules for
approximately twenty eight days.

The twelve signs of the Zodiac are well known to most people. They include
Capricorn, Sagittarius, Aquarius, Scorpio, Gemini, Libra, Leo, and Ares, among
others. The sun signs are most often used to create typical horoscopes.

The Moon Signs

The moon also has twelve signs that are used in the interpretation of
astrology, as well as the phases of the moon that are commonly known. The
twelve signs of the moon are named after the twelve signs of the sun. However,
these signs do not meet often.

The twelve signs of the moon circulate monthly rather than yearly. Therefore,
each sign of the Zodiac occurs within its own sign of the moon one time each
month. This may occur for one to three days. It is when the sun sign and moon
sign are the same that the individual's mental clarity is at its peak.

When the sign of the moon is the opposite of the sun sign of the individual in
question, conflict will ensue. Some phases of the moon are detrimental to
decision making regardless of the sun sign held by the individual. In any case,
the moon's energies and emotions influence the overall readings of the rest of
the aspects of astrology.
Ascendant sign

Technically speaking, your rising sign, or ascendant, reflects the zodiac sign
that was ascending on the Eastern horizon at the moment you took your first
breath in this world. This is why an exact birth time is so vital to finding
your accurate rising sign. Located on the cusp of the first house of your
astrological chart -- or at the nine o'clock position -- the rising sign can
exert an influence almost as powerful as your Sun and Moon signs.

If you were to think of your Sun sign as your soul -- your inner personality
and potential -- and your Moon sign as your heart -- your emotional core --
then you could say that your rising sign is your physical self or the face you
present to the world. For example, though your Sun sign might be Taurus, your
rising sign could very well be Gemini. While you're feeling laid-back, others
will tend to see you as a ball of nervous energy and cerebral wit.

At times, your rising sign may act as a mask, hiding some aspect of your inner
self you don't feel like revealing. Your Ascendant sign describes your
temperament, your outward mannerisms and behavior, the personality you put on
public display. It is the part of yourself you are most willing for other
people to see in casual, impersonal situations. Changes here will explain why
even people born on the same day as you will have very different personalities,
different strengths and interests, and different life experiences.

The Ascendant is also called the Rising Sign of a person's chart. Astrologers
use the two terms interchangeably. It is literally the sign that was rising on
the Eastern horizon of the sky at the time you were born in the place where you
were born. This is why it is essential to have both a birthplace and a birth
time in order to cast a completely valid Natal Chart.

Are We A Match?

One of the major reasons people check their horoscopes is matchmaking. After
all, if personality is clearly laid out by a person's sign, then it should be
pretty easy to tell whether or not that person is going to be compatible.

It's not as simple as that, of course. Other factors in a person's horoscope
can influence those basic rules, or even counter them entirely. Just because a
person falls within a sign does not mean they're going to be a perfect match
for the general depiction of that sign. Still, it's fun and interesting to
check for compatibility through a horoscope.

As a general rule, your "perfect match" is likely to be at the opposite side of
the Zodiac from you. That is, Aries with Libra, Taurus with Scorpio, Cancer with
Capricorn, Leo with Aquarius, Virgo with Pisces, Sagittarius with Gemini. Those
signs opposing each other across the Zodiac tend to balance out, supporting
each other's strengths and countering each other's weaknesses -- provided, of
course, that the personality differences can be smoothed over.

As an example, Cancer has a very strong "family instinct." Cancers want to have
a strong and secure home life. This mindset is likely to drive away several
other signs, like dominant Aries or travel-oriented Sagittarius. Capricorn,
however, has a similar attitude towards home and in general, the two would get
along just fine: provided, of course, the Cancer could learn to cope with the
Capricorn's penchant for gloom and depression.

The signs that definitely do not get along are the ones that have a core
difference. Sagittarius is known for traveling, and would drive the
home-focused Cancer to distraction. Detail-oriented and critical Virgo would
grate on the nerves of self-centered and bossy Aries. And bright and cheerful
Libra would never be able to handle a life darkened by shady, mysterious
Scorpio.

Precession and Horoscopes

"Hey, the constellations don't line up anymore!"

When the ancient Babylonians first started tracking the motions of the heavens,
they divided the sky into 30 degree increments and gave each section over to the
rule of a constellation. This is the Zodiac, the band of the sky that all of
the heavenly bodies move through. It's a strip of sky about seven degrees
across. But they didn't count on precession.

The Earth is slightly tilted on it's axis. Because of this, the constellations
don't stay in the same place. Over time, the North Pole slowly points to a
different star, and as this happens, the circle of the Zodiac slowly spins
around the planet.

In a nutshell, the constellations move, but astrology doesn't. Astrologers
measure the sky based on their positions on the Vernal Equinox, and not by what
stars are actually in the sky. So, they might say "the Sun was in Aries when
you were born," knowing full well that the sun was really in Pisces.

This has caused quite a stir in the astrology community. On one side, you have
the astrologers who have adjusted their charts to account for the drifting
constellations. Some of them have even corrected an ancient mistake and added
a thirteenth sign, Ophiuchus, to their Zodiac, who shares his slice of the sky
with Scorpio. These astrologers follow what's called a Sidereal system,
focusing on the positions of the stars themselves.

On the other side, you have the Tropical astrologers. They believe that the
constellations are irrelevant, because they were merely place-holders or handy
symbols that were used to mark the divisions in the original system. Their
view is that the horoscope is designed to measure the influence of the planets
in regards to earth, and not the influence of the stars behind the planets. 
The horoscope is built from the Vernal Equinox, after all, and not from one of
the stars in Aries.

The New Popularity of Astrology

Astrology has been a part of daily life in America for some time, but it was
not always so. The popularity of astrology has ebbed and waned for the last
several thousands of years in the Western World. Only in the last hundred years
has astrology actually become popular once more in the Western World.
Furthermore, it has only been in the last twenty years that serious study of
astrology has surfaced in America.

Astrology actually made its debut in the Western world thousands of years ago
in Mesopotamia. The art of astrology traveled to Greece around 600 BC. The
practice further spread throughout the Roman world, then abruptly disappeared.

With the European "age of enlightenment," also known as the Renaissance period,
astrology once more made an appearance in the western world. The study of
astrology and its use in daily life became commonplace. However, Christianity
and the early leaders of the religion drove out astrology once more.

Astrology did not reappear on the scene until the late eighteen hundreds.
During this time, two prominent astrologists came forward and began publishing
information about their art. This practice reached America in the early
nineteen hundreds, and then continued to spread.

In the late 1930's, the study of astrology became even more commonplace in
America with the publication of American Astrology, a magazine which offered
the first detailed horoscopes. While the magazine itself did not remain in
print for long, the study of astrology and American interest in the art
continued to prosper for some time. Horoscopes have appeared in major
newspapers and later other print media since that time.

However, the actual art of astrology and the serious study of the stars was
once again lost. In the sixties and seventies serious astrologists once more
came to light, and more people began to take the study of astrology seriously.
This was the beginning of what is known as the New Age movement.

Throughout the last several decades the New Age movement has continued to
evolve. The study of occult religions such as Wicca further encouraged the
study and use of astrology in America. Today, astrology is a very controversial
topic in America for some, and a way of life for others.

The popularity of astrology has grown significantly over the last twenty years.
More and more people have turned to Wicca and the occult for answers that they
feel have not been found in Christianity. In these religions people feel that
they have more control over their lives. Astrology is one part o that control.
It is used to plan for the future and make decisions in the present.

Books on the topic have also become very commonplace in America over the last
twenty years. Books no longer cover simple horoscopes and zodiac signs. Books
on astrology that actually teach the art of divination and astrological
charting have become very common and popular. Even though some Christian groups
still rile against the art, astrology is alive and well in America today.

Planning the Chart

The actual drawing of a horoscope is very simple in theory, but carries a
variety of complex calculations. The horoscope chart can be considered a
two-dimensional snapshot of a four-dimensional concept -- because the horoscope
is meant to not only track the locations of the planets in space, but to tie
them down to an exact time, also. It's a snapshot of the solar system at the
moment a person was born.

First, and most important, we need to know the exact place and time that a
person was born. Obviously, not every detail will be known, but the more
accurate the better. The time has to be calculated against GMT, or Greenwich
Mean Time, and the location has to be translated into latitude and longitude.

Why is location important? Because one of the most important aspects of the
horoscope is the Ascendant, or the constellation that was rising at the birth.
That constellation is different depending on where the birth happens. Two
people born at the exact same moment on opposite sides of the planet will not
have the same horoscope.

Next, the astrologer draws a circle (or, in a more modern setting, hits the
"print" button). This circle represents the twelve signs of the Zodiac and the
Houses they rule.

The last thing needed is an Ephemeris. This is a chart that tells the locations
of the planets on a given day.

With all of these pieces in front of the astrologer, he or she is now ready to
create the chart. Using the Ephemeris, the location of each planet is
calculated and noted. The Sun and Moon, though not really planets, are still
counted as such for purposes of the chart. Each planet will fall into one of
the twelve Houses.

After that, lines are drawn to connect the planets so that their angles (called
Aspects) can be measured. Close aspects -- the Conjunctions -- have an amplifying
effect, making their influence stronger, and wide aspects, called Oppositions,
have a countering effect.

Once all of the drawings are done, the astrologer can write out the results, in
language like "Mercury is in your house of Health, conjunct to Venus in the
house of Children."

The Best-Kept Secrets About Astrology

The best-kept "secret" about astrology is that astrology is something which is
open to all people, regardless of age, gender, background, belief, or any other
factors. Not only is astrology not as mystifying nor complicated as it may
appear on the surface, therefore allowing access to this fascinating topic to
anyone who is interested, astrology will provide a nearly-limitless amount of
information and help to anyone who desires it. All it takes is interest,
determination, and the willingness to both learn and put what one learns into
positive action. While on the surface astrology may appear intimidating with
its charts and mathematical data, the essentials of astrology can be easily
understood and put into action by anyone and everyone. One does not need to be
intellectually-gifted or specially trained in any way in order to begin a
personal journey into astrology and reap the benefits of all it has to offer.

In astrology being universally-accessible, this also means that despite popular
view it is not contrary to most people's current beliefs-systems. While those on
some "spiritual paths" may embrace astrology more fervently than others, in fact
astrology being an integral part of some spiritual paths, there are very few
current established beliefs-systems which frown upon or actually forbid the
practice of astrology.

Many people mistakenly believe that believing in astrology as a fact or the
practice of it is "against" their particular religion; in most cases, however,
this is not true. While even routine church-goers or preachers of most
mainstream, Biblically-based religions may hold this point of view, it is
interesting and refreshing to learn that this opinion is not based in fact.

Kabbalah, which is the oldest and most wide-spread aspect of Jewish mysticism,
relies strongly on astrology, both in belief and in practice. It is considered
to be a positive aspect of both religion and of life; and it is something which
those who are deeply committed to their Jewish faith are encourage to learn
about. Astrology is seen as a worthwhile means of learning to better understand
oneself, the world in general, and how we are connected to our world. Rather
than being contradictory to one's faith, astrology is a very large part of it.
Whatever can assist us in our process of learning and understanding is a good
thing.

Amongst the Christian religions, astrology generally has a bad reputation. At
the very least it is considered to be a means of bypassing God and, instead,
relying on something other than God. Those who hold this opinion have
apparently missed the numerous passages in the Bible which clearly use the
terms, for they are not presented in a negative manner.

At its worst, some of Christian belief hold the notion that astrology is
demonic in nature, and directly influenced by satan. This erroneous notion is
based on the opinion that anything which is not directly connected to God must
be connected to his opposing forces; it is similarly based on the belief that
anything of an extraordinary nature must be suspect.

The field of astrology, therefore, is open to nearly anyone who wishes to learn
about it. In doing so, you will be presented with wonderful opportunities for a
much deeper understanding of yourself and your world!

Planets, Moon, Mercury

When most of us think of astrology, we think about our natal sign and not much
else. Do you know what some of the major influences are though, that define
these Zodiac signs.

First and foremost is the Sun. It is the center of all life and represents a
person's personality and spirit. It is the planetary ruler of the sign Leo.

The Moon, on the other hand, gives us our Soul. The Moon is the ruling planet
of the Zodiac sign Cancer. It is very much associated with the mother and with
maternal instincts. In Chinese astrology, the Moon represents Yin, while the
Sun represents Yang.

Mercury rules over Gemini and Virgo. It is the planet of the mind and of
communication. In other words, it is the planet of the idea and the means to
communicate the idea. The planet Venus rules over Taurus and Libra. Venus is
associated with characteristics and principles of harmony and beauty. It is of
course, concerned with love. It is also concerned with the pleasure we derive
from personal possessions.

Mars is the ruling planet for the dynamic Aries, and to some astrologers,
Scorpio, although modern astrologers now determine that Pluto is the ruler of
Scorpio. Mars is the planet that is concerned with the things you want, and how
you go about getting those things. Jupiter is associated with pleasure and
enjoyment. It is the ruler of Sagittarius and is also associated with
principles of growth, religion and higher education.

Saturn is the ruling planet of Capricorn and is associated with principles such
as reality and restrictions, boundaries and rules. Saturn was traditionally the
ruler of Aquarius until the discovery of the planet Uranus. Neptune is the
ruling planet of Pisces and is associated with deception, illusions,
spirituality and psychic phenomena. The planet Pluto is the ruling planet of
Scorpio and is associated with the concept of transformation.

Overview of Western Astrology

"By looking up, I see downward." --Tycho Brahe

The core belief behind astrology is that the positions and the motions of the
heavens influence the lives of the people on Earth.

The 360 degrees of the sky are broken up into thirty-six Decans of ten degrees
each. These decans are grouped in sets of three. Each set is associated with
an astrological sign. The positions of the planets are mapped over this grid.
Using a chart or computer program called an Ephimeris, an astrologer charts the
positions of planets, the sun and moon, and the constellations at the time of
the birth of the person receiving the reading. Once the positions have been
charted, the astrologer can then calculate the relationships among them. 

The astrologer looks for several things. First off, the position of the planets
and constellations are of utmost importance. Then the each planet's position is
noted, with special attention paid to its relation to other planets, the House,
and horizon. Together, this information will tell the astrologer many things
about the person the chart is being written for.

The angles formed by the planets are called Aspects, and they influence human
relationships. The two most powerful aspects are the Conjunction (where the
planets are closest to each other) and the Opposition (where they are furthest
apart).

The Houses were originally defined in ancient Babylon. Each of the twelve
houses covers an aspect of our lives and experiences. For example, the first
house is about Life, and the second, Finance. Each house is also associated
with one of the twelve signs of the Zodiac. When a planet appears within a
house, then that planet is said to "rule" that house, and to influence that
aspect of the person's life.

Charts can be drawn for both people and events.

Origins, Babylonians

The Babylonians are generally acknowledged to have originated the practice and
science of astrology. Their astrological charts enabled them to predict the
recurrence of seasons and certain celestial events. So, in the beginning and
for more than 2,000 years, astrology and astronomy were the same science.

Babylonian astrology was introduced to the Greeks early in the 4th century BCE
and, through the studies of Plato, Aristotle, and others, astrology came to be
highly regarded as a science. It was soon embraced by the Romans (the Roman
names for the zodiacal signs are still used today) and the Arabs and later
spread throughout the entire world.

While earliest astrology was used to bring a sense of order out of apparent
chaos, it was soon employed to predict weather patterns, primarily for
agricultural purposes. It was eventually widened to include forecasts of
natural disasters, war and other events in the affecting the human condition.
Once success in these fields was established, it was a natural evolution for
astrology to be used as a means for advising for kings and emperors and, in
time, the population at large.

The zodiac (which is derived from the Greek word meaning circle of animals) is
believed to have developed in ancient Egypt and later adopted by the
Babylonians. Early astrologers knew it took twelve lunar cycles (i.e., months)
for the sun to return to its original position. They then identified twelve
constellations that they observed were linked to the progression of the seasons
and assigned them names of certain animals and persons (in Babylonia, for
example, the rainy season was found to occur when the sun was in a particular
constellation which was then named Aquarius, or water bearer).

Around the year 2000 BCE, Babylonian astrologers believed that the sun, moon,
and the five planets known at that time (Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, and
Venus) possessed distinct powers. Mars, for example, appeared to be red and was
associated with aggression and war.

Numerology

Pythagoras, the father of mathematics is also the father of esoteric
numerology. He believed that there was an order to the universe and that number
were more than a means of quantifying things. His philosophies included the idea
that each number had an esoteric meaning.

Esoteric numerology, then, is the art and science of understanding the
spiritual significance and orderly progression of all things. Every word or
name vibrates to a number and every number has an inner meaning. The letter and
number code, when properly understood and applied, brings us into a direct and
close relationship with the underlying intelligence and vibration of the
universe.

Pythagoras taught that numbers operate on the spiritual plane. With a few
exceptions, everything can be factored to a number from 1 through 9 and each of
those numbers has an esoteric meaning. It also represents an interval in a
cycle. Pythagoras saw in number patterns and geometrical ratios the
explanations of all natural phenomena, musical harmony and tonal qualities. He
knew that the stars and planets were vibrating entities that produced sound,
which he called the harmony of the spheres.

The only times that life numbers are not coded to the lowest single digit is
when that number is 11 or 22. Ordinarily, 11 would be factored to a 2. But the
number 11 is what's called a Master Number and is extraordinarily powerful in
Numerology. There is, in fact, an entire cult built around the number 11, or
more specifically, 1111. This is a number that refers to End Time, and is a
fascinating study all by itself.

As an example, your birthdate provides the pattern which we call the Life
Lesson. Your name given at birth, when transcribed into numbers with a code
that has existed since Pythagoras' day, can tell you the state of consciousness
that you have achieved in this lifetime and indicate the record of the growth of
your soul as well.

Your personal numbers are pieces of the puzzle that define your existence. When
you delve into numerology, you also delve into the ancient sciences of astrology
and tarot.

Natal chart

In astrology, your natal chart (sometimes called birthchart) is a graph that
shows the positions of the planets and astrological houses in the sky at the
moment of your birth. Your natal chart is much more detailed and accurate than
your horoscope. A popular horoscope considers only the position of the Sun,
whereas your natal chart includes hundreds of pieces of data. Mark Twain once
said: The difference between a good word and the right word is like the
difference between fire and firefly. Similarly, your popular horoscope may hold
some hints of truth, but your natal chart tells us the real story of your
natural personality.

Analyzing the planetary positions and relationships in your natal chart affords
a remarkably profound and revealing glimpse into your natural character, with
its inherent strengths and weaknesses. Among other things, your natal chart
will tell you: A) what type of partner and relationship you seek and will be
best matched with, B) what type of job or career your natural strengths and
weaknesses are best suited for, and C) obstacles that need to be overcome in
your life. Most importantly, your natal chart will help you to understand your
desires, motivations, and why you are the way that you are.

For a natal chart to be accurate, we must know the exact positions of the stars
at the exact moment of your birth. Since the houses of the zodiac revolve one
degree every four minutes, an accurate time of birth is necessary to determine
your Ascendant sign and some planetary aspects. Although you can generate a natal 
chart without these highly time-sensitive positions included, to have a more 
accurate chart that is generated with an exact time and place of birth.

Scams

The world is full of all kinds of people. If we just examine the family and
friends we are close to, we'll see a wide range of values and behaviors and
different levels of integrity. While it's unfortunate, every profession has its
bad seeds. This is particularly true of psychic and astrology scams. Let's face
it. When you're happy and fulfilled, you have little need to delve into why
things are happening to you the way they are. When a relationship is not
fulfilling or you have a run of bad luck, that's when it's easy to get taken in
by scam artists who claim they can help you -- at a price of course.
Additionally, the world of psychics is a much unregulated one. Therefore, there
is no real way to check a psychic's qualifications, or experience (everybody
seems to have 20+ years of experience), or morals. Consequently, anybody can
get up one morning and declare themselves psychic without any problem.

It is important to be able to make the distinction between serious
practitioners and the charlatans. While the following advice cannot guarantee
that the psychic you will choose is a good one, it nonetheless will help you
avoid a good bunch of scammers

Also, there are a few of my clients that have been scammed by very ingenious,
shameless and heartless con artists who have no trouble using personal faith
and Christianity itself as a vehicle to gain a victim's trust and scam them out
of substantial money.

Trust that all that you need and want will come to you easily when you learn
love yourself and live fearlessly again. That will take some time. Be assured,
a psychic can neither hurt nor benefit you by asking for large sums of cash to
help you with a curse ... you'd be better off taking the money and going on a
holiday.

Retrograde

Imagine riding in a speeding train, and passing a slower train. Both trains are
moving straight ahead, but as the trains are passing, the slower train appears
to be moving backwards, at least from the point of view of the riders on the
fast train.

This same effect occurs with the planets. As the Earth passes (or is passed by)
other planets in the solar system, for a while, they appear to slow in their
path across the Zodiac. Then they stop altogether, and backtrack against their
paths for a short while, and stop again. Finally, they get back up to speed
again, and return to where they started.

The entire period -- from the point where the planet started to slow down,
through the backwards motion, until the planet "catches up" to itself and
passes the point where it started from -- is called Retrograde. It's a fairly
common and straightforward event in astronomy, but it takes on a whole new
meaning in astrology.

Retrograde periods are traditionally regarded as times when humans have little
control. This is when things that are fated to happen actually happen.

Mercury, for example, turns retrograde three times a year. From February 14th,
2007, to March 28th, 2007, Mercury is in retrograde. On March 8th, 2007, it
finishes the backwards motion and begins moving forward again.

Mercury rules information -- conversation, communication, thinking and
education. When Mercury is in retrograde, these things will have "glitches"
thrown in -- disrupted communications, collapsed negotiations, and general
misunderstandings, usually because some vital piece of information has been
lost.

Venus turns retrograde every eighteen months. During this period, emotions -
which Venus rules -- become muted. Venus in retrograde is the wrong time of the
year to redecorate, start a relationship, or get married.

The planets beyond Venus have longer retrograde periods, that are further and
further apart (Saturn, for example, is in retrograde from December 6th, 2006
until August 7th, 2007).

Why Typical Horoscopes are not Real Astrology

Horoscopes can be found everywhere. They are in your local newspaper. They are
in magazines. Horoscopes are even found at your supermarket. And, surprisingly,
many people buy and read these horoscopes thinking that they are accurate.

A great many more people think that astrology as a whole is bunk, due largely
to the fact that they recognize that horoscopes are inaccurate most of the
time. These horoscopes are said to be prepared by an experienced astrologist.
Therefore, people see that the horoscopes are fake and think that it is the
same for all astrology. This is how astrology has earned the label of
"entertainment" in America.

In truth, horoscopes are terribly inaccurate, and are largely created for
entertainment purposes. However, this is not a representation of real
astrology. When you think about it, horoscopes cannot possibly be accurate for
everyone. If everyone born within the month of May had exactly the same
personality and exactly the same events happening in their lives, life would be
very boring. Thankfully, everyone born in the month of May is not the same, and
this is why horoscopes are not accurate for most people.

Typical horoscopes are created by studying the position of the planets in
relation to the sun signs. In other words, typical horoscopes are a partial
study of real astrology in which the influence of the planets on a true and
absolute sun sign will affect someone with no other astrological influences in
their chart. However, this is only a fraction of the study of real astrology.
There are many other aspects besides your sun sign that determine your
personality at birth and help astrologists to predict your present and future.

Real astrology is used to accurately predict the future and describe the
personality of people at birth. When real astrology is used to predict the
future, the astrologist begins with a personalized birth chart. Only people
born in the exact same place at the exact same time will have the same
astrological birth chart.

Real astrology is used to plot the birth chart, using planets and stars well
beyond the Sun signs. There are planetary positions, rising ascendants, and the
moon to consider as well. This is why real astrology is so accurate.

When the astrological birth chart is used in conjunction with past, current,
and inevitable astrological phenomena, the real astrology expert can accurately
predict the present and the future of the individual being studied. While the
result is much the same as a typical horoscope reading, the real astrology
reading will be more accurate and provide more specific information that
pertains directly to the reader.

When presented with a typical horoscope, most people are very skeptical about
astrology. However, if you can convince them to obtain the expert readings of a
real astrology expert you may be able to change their mind. When faced with
completely accurate descriptions of the present and future, many people realize
that astrology is in fact a real art and science.

Where to Find Real Astrology Readings

Real astrology readings can be very helpful when planning for your future or
making a difficult decision. However, real astrology readings are also
difficult to find. Although astrology readings are advertised all over the
internet and other media, finding real astrology readings can prove to be a
tricky venture.

You can find real astrology readings at websites online and by calling 900
numbers. Some of the astrology readings you find online will not be real
readings. However, you can find some websites that offer real astrology
readings.

The best way to determine if you have found real astrology readings or fakes is
by the information requested. The astrologist should ask for your birth date,
your birth place, and the time of your birth. Any information that you provide
about your background, personality, or personal life will allow the astrologist
to fake a reading.

There are better places to find real astrology readings, where you do not have
to worry so much about getting a fake. There are two main places that you will
easily find real astrology readings. A third option, harder to find, is also
available.

The easiest place to find real astrology readings is at psychic fairs and pagan
festivals. These events are crawling with those skilled in astrology and other
forms of divination. From these practitioners you will receive none of the
hype. You will receive some of the most accurate real astrology readings you
have ever encountered. You will also find that the prices for these real
astrology readings are somewhat less expensive than the readings you will get
from phone lines and web sites.

Another place that you can easily find real astrology readings is at new age
stores and occult shops. These stores usually have astrologists, tarot readers,
and other divination experts available for readings. These are also some of the
best astrology readings you will find anywhere.

There is a great benefit to using an astrology expert in your area found at one
of these stores or shops. The fact that they are local means that you can go to
them over and over again. When this is possible, you will save a lot of time
and money by not having to start from scratch each time you get a reading. You
will also save a lot of money, because these astrology experts often charge
half what is typically charged at psychic fairs and pagan festivals.

Finally, you can find great real astrology readings through networks of pagan
and Wiccan groups and individuals. Often these practitioners are difficult to
find. However, if you happen to find one, or know someone who is involved in
Wicca or paganism, you can get some of the best astrology readings from these
individuals.

Most often these individuals will charge next to nothing for their services.
They also take the art of astrology very seriously, and do not often use it to
make money. This means that you will get a very lengthy and accurate astrology
reading from these sources.

Zodiac compatibility

So is there anything to zodiac compatibility. Does your astrological sign
really have anything to do with who your ideal mate is. Or who can be the best
friend for you. Is there a reason why some siblings are rivals for life, while
others are as close as twins.

Consider the writer, who is a Virgo, although an atypical Virgo (we think). Her
sister is a Capricorn, and according to the astrology experts, we should be in
tune with Capricorns. And in fact, the writer and her sister and quite
literally opposite sides of the same coin. We have the same dreams! And we know
when the other is in trouble of some kind. We will call each other at odd times,
only to discover that the other was in trouble, or needed help or advice or
counsel. We don't know it consciously, but it just works out that way.

Then there was her husband, or ex-husband, to be more exact. He was a Libra and
perhaps we should have done some research into astrology before we got married.
In one article we read, under Libra, it said "No chance." How true, how true!

So should you make the decision about your life partner based on astrology.
Well, it doesn't hurt to do some dispassionate examination before taking such a
big step. While you might not want to reject someone on the basis of his birth
date, a good horoscope CAN help you out with some clues to his or her nature
that you might not pick up on all by yourself. And when they do something that
completely mystifies you, perhaps a little basic knowledge of astrology will
help you decipher what's going on and help you communicate better. And that's
never a bad thing, no matter what resource you're using for better
communication.

What is a Sun Sign?

The Sun doesn't rise in exactly the same place every day. From our viewpoint
here on Earth, it drifts over the course of a year. It's path through the sky
is called the Ecliptic.

In ancient Babylon, the Ecliptic was divided into twelve equal pieces. Each
piece was named after a major constellation, and the mythology of
the Babylonians, and later the Greeks, defined the traits of those born under
that constellation. This is the Zodiac, and is the center of astrology.
Carefully tracing the position of the sun will show that it moves through each
of the twelve Zodiac signs over the course of the year. This is where the
concept of astrological signs, or "Sun Signs," has it's start. A person's Sun
Sign is tied to the constellation the Sun was traveling through at the moment
of his birth.

The Sun is traditionally associated with will and individuality, so the Sun
Sign covers the overall tendencies and direction a person has in their life. It
covers such things as focus, determination, integrity, and ego. It describes
general tendencies in an individual, like "Capricorns are gloomy" or Virgo is
very orderly," as well as general predictions, like "Sagittarius should learn
tact" and "Pisces should avoid alcohol and drug abuse". This is also the
element that shows how other people will treat this person, almost like a
prediction of their "first impression."

This is only the starting point of Western Astrology, of course. The Sun Sign
is only a very general description, and an astrological reading--a horoscope,
or natal chart--takes the planets and Moon into account as well. For example,
traditionally, Capricorns are very gloomy and depressed. This is a general
trait ascribed to Capricorn, based on the position of the Sun. However, the
positions of the other planets can counter--or sometimes enhance--this
tendency. Complete horoscopes have to account for all of these elements, using
the position of the sun as a starting point.
What is a star chart?

A Star Chart is a snapshot in time.

It's a shorthand drawing, a two-dimensional representation of a
four-dimensional subject. It has to take into account the location of the
person on Earth, the location around the Ecliptic of each of the planets and
the signs of the Zodiac, the "arc" or height above or below the horizon of each
of the planets, and the time all of this occurred. It can be a very complex
drawing.

The Chart has several different elements. First, the spoked circles, looking
like a bicycle wheel, represent the Zodiac and the Houses.

The Zodiac are the constellations in the sky at the time the person was born.
The Chart is an attempt to locate the position of the Zodiac in the sky. This
is the backdrop against which the rest of the chart is mapped.

The Houses are a separate, concentric circle, like a wheel within a wheel. The
Houses are based on the Zodiac, but separate. Think of the circle of houses as
a second backdrop.

Next, each of the planets, the Sun, and the Moon, are all charted and their
positions marked. This, finally, is our foreground.

The first "planet" to be charted isn't a planet at all, it's the Sun. The
reason it comes first is because the location of the Sun determines the Sun
Sign, or the overall sign of the Zodiac for this person.

Each planet (including Sun and Moon) will fall within a House. That planet is
then said to rule that house. Each of the twelve Houses controls a different
aspect of a person's life. If a planet falls within a house, it's a sure bet
that that planet is going to have a major influence over that aspect -- above
and beyond whatever the general tendencies of the person born under that sign
might be.

Differing Views on Astrology

Astrology is practiced differently throughout the world. Some parts of the
world utilize the study of all of the "stars" including the planets, the moon,
and the sun. America has been leaning toward use of strictly sun signs over the
last several decades as horoscopes have invaded virtually all print media. Other
areas of the world, such as China, utilize only the moon cycles in their studies
of astrology.

Astrology is also viewed differently throughout the world. Astrology can be a
very controversial subject in America. You will find people that think that
astrology is completely fake, entertainment only, or absolutely real and
reliable. You may even find people who think that astrology is the work of the
devil. But in many other parts of the world, astrology is viewed quite
differently.

In America, astrology is sometimes used to decide the best time for a wedding
or other event. Astrology is sometimes used in daily life by some Americans,
although many Americans only regard astrology as entertainment and religiously
read their horoscope every week, just to see if it will be right or not. Other
Americans disregard astrology all together, and give the art little or no
thought whatsoever.

However, in China and India astrology is used on a daily basis to determine
what activities should be pursued each day. Certain moon cycles are found to be
best for certain types of activities or decisions in China and India. This is
not unlike the way that farmers once used the cycles of the moon to determine
the best time to plant or harvest. The concept is simply taken beyond the
fields and into everyday life.

Astrology is also viewed differently based on religion. Astrology is a large
part of religious life in the Eastern world. Paganism, a word that describes
all "occult" religions such as Wicca, Druidism, and the Kabala oriented
religion started by Alister Crowley, also embrace astrology as a part of
religious life. These religions are found in America and throughout Western
Europe.

These religions use astrology in every day decision making. They also use
astrology to determine times of "power" or celebration. Many Wiccan and Druidic
rites are based on various astrological phenomena, such as the phases of the
moon. Kabalistic magicians, practitioners of Alister Crowley's Golden Dawn,
also use astrology to determine the best time for rites and rituals.

However, some religions view astrology as evil, or the work of the devil. Both
Judaism and some denominations of Christianity have this view of astrology.
There are many scriptures in both the old and new testaments of the bible that
warn against the study of the stars and divination.

On the other hand, some Christian groups either embrace astrology or fail to
regard the study of the skies entirely in their teachings. There are also
scriptures in the bible that refer to watching the stars and the skies for
signs of the first and second comings of Jesus Christ. Due to these scriptures,
some faiths tend to believe that astrology for the use of divination is against
the will of God, while the actual study of the stars is actually a good thing.
Vermilion Bird of the South

The Vermilion Bird of the South represents the South and the summer season. The
Vermilion Bird isn't used solely in Chinese astrology. It is also depicted in
many Japanese cartoons and comic books.

The Seven Mansions that make up the Vermilion Bird are the Well, the Ghost, the
Willow, the Star, the Extended Net, Wings, and the Chariot.

Each Mansion is then broken up into Asterisms.

The Asterisms of the Well are the Well, the Battle Axe, the South River, the
North River, the Celestial Wine Cup, Five Feudal Kings, Accumulated Water, the
Pile of Firewood, the Irrigation Official, Water Level, the Four Channels, the
Market for Soldiers, the Wild Cockerel, the Grandfather, the Son, the Grandson,
the Palace Gate, the Celestial Wolf, the Bow and Arrow, and the Old Man. All of
these stars appear in the Western constellations of Gemini, Canis Minor,
Cancer, Gemini, Canis Major, Columba, Monoceros, and Puppis.

The Ghost mansion is populated by the asterisms Ghost, Cumulative Corpses,
Beacon Fire, the Celestial Dog, the Outer Kitchen, the Celestial Earth God's
Temple, and the Judge for Estimating the Age of Animals. Here in the West, we
would know these stars as the constellations Cancer, Pyxis, Vela, and Hydra.

The third Mansion, Willow, has only two Asterisms -- Willow and Banner of a Wine
Shop. These are parts of the constellations Hydra and Leo.

The Star Mansion is broken out into six Asterisms. They are Star, Celestial
Premier, Celestial Cereals, Xuanyuan, Maids in Waiting, and the High Judge.
XuanYuan is replaced by the given name of the Yellow Emperor, and these
Asterisms are located in the constellations Hydra, Sextans, Vela, Leo, the
Lynx, and Leo Minor.

The Extended Net Mansion is split into the Extended Net and the Celestial
Temple asterisms. Their stars are in the constellations Hydra and Pyxis.

The Wings Mansion is also broken up into two Asterisms, the Wings and Dongou.

Finally, the Chariot mansion is made up of the Chariot, Changsha, Left
Linchpin, Right Linchpin, Green Hill, Military Gate, the Master of
Constructions, and the House for Musical Instruments. The constellations for
these are Corvus, Hydra, and Centaurus.




Tropical astrology

Tropical Astrology is the old astrological division of the sky. When the Zodiac
was invented, the position of the constellations were written down. But since
then, the whole Zodiac has shifted almost a whole sign due to the Precession,
so whoever was once born a Virgo, is now probably born a Leo -- with the
personality changes that come with it. Tropical Astrology ignores this, and
keeps using the old tables -- which have nothing to do with where the planets
actually are in the sky.

Sidereal Astrology acknowledges the problem with the shifting signs, but digs
itself deeper into the ludicrous: The more sidereal astrologers try to follow
the real division of the sky, the more they are distancing themselves from the
old wisdom. Sidereal astrologers cannot claim to build on ancient knowledge,
but have to change the signs and characteristics over time. They are in turn
making the whole concept of Astrology invalid. The real astronomical signs are
a few days off from the Sidereal system by now -- so not even Sidereal Astrology
is using the correct star signs.

Sidereal astrology uses the actual constellation in which the sun is located at
the moment of birth as its basis; tropical astrology uses a 30-degree sector of
the zodiac as its basis. Tropical astrology is the most popular form and it
assigns its readings based on the time of the year, while generally ignoring
the positions of the sun and constellations relative to each other. Sidereal
astrology is used by a minority of astrologers and bases its readings on the
constellations near the sun at the time of birth.

According to some astrologers, the data support the hypothesis that there is a
connection between heavenly bodies and human events. There are correlations too
synchronous to be mere chance between astrological signs and such things as
personality, emotions and human destiny.

Common Misconceptions about Astrology

There are many common misconceptions about astrology in the Western world.
Astrology in America has been turned into a form of entertainment and is not
taken seriously by many people. However, the truth is that there is a lot of
truth and usefulness in the art of astrology. Here are the three most common
misconceptions about astrology, and the truth behind the myth.

Common Misconception about Astrology Number One: Horoscopes do not work because
astrology is bunk.

The Truth: Horoscopes are entertainment created based on limited aspects of the
true study of astrology. Horoscopes are created using the basic sun signs and
the influences on them from planetary movements and alignments. Since not every
person with a particular sun sign have the same astrological chart, horoscopes
are rarely accurate for more than a handful of people.

Real astrology predictions are made by using individual astrological
information combined with current astrological influences. These in depth
astrology readings are very difficult and complex, and cannot be created
reliably on a mass basis. Therefore, horoscopes serve as a basis for
entertainment and what may happen based on sun sign alone.

Common Misconception about Astrology Number Two: Astrology is an ancient
practice that holds no place in reality, such as Greek and Roman tales of
Hercules and gods and goddesses.

The Truth: Astrology has been practiced since pre-historic times. There have
been maps of the stars and other evidences found that astrology was practiced
by the Egyptians, the Incans, and the Aztecs. Additionally, China and India
have long practiced astrology and used its predictions in their daily lives for
millennia, and continue to do so.

It is even recently understood that astrology played a large role in the
Christian story of the birth of Jesus Christ. The three wise men used
astrological phenomena rather than an actual star to discern the events that
were about to occur and the fact that they would occur in the land of Judah.
Based on this new found information, it is becoming more difficult for people
to dismiss astrology as myth and legend.

Common Misconception about Astrology Number Three: Real astrology is not
practiced in the United States.

The Truth: Much of the astrology practiced in the United States is not a real
study of astrology and is for entertainment purposes only, such as horoscopes.
However, there are still real astrology experts in America. While they are few
compared to the general consensus of astrologists, and may be difficult to
find, there are many of them out there.

The best places to find real astrologists in the United States are in
communities where diversity has not driven out the New Age population. True
astrologists and New Agers can be found in small communities of large cities
and at what is sometimes called "enlightenment festivals." There are also New
Age and occult book stores and other shops where you may find real astrology
experts. Additionally, you can find real astrologists at pagan festivals and
psychic fairs held throughout America at various times of the year.

Love signs

The stars can provide much insight about ourselves, including how, when, and
with whom we are most likely to fall in love. Of course, astrology is not
destiny, so while the one you love may not be a classic match for you in
astrological terms, that doesn't mean all is lost. By understanding the
universal forces that attract you to your lover, you can learn how to make any
relationship work, and better understand your own self in the process.

First consider how accurate your own horoscope is. There are similarities among
many of them, but find the resource that best describes YOU. Then use that same
resource to do a little research on your beloved. You certainly don't have to
reject someone because he's  a Water sign and you're a Fire sign. But, it
can certainly provide some insight into why you two clash, or why you think he's
a wet blanket sometimes.

You can really go into detail about the ideal zodiac mate for you, but it's
hard enough to find someone, isn't it. So don't walk away from that Water or
Earth guy. Use your knowledge to understand him. Maybe you need to borrow some
tips from Air or Earth to help manage the communications between the two of you
or to help resolve conflicts.

There are many really good books and Web sites to help you figure out the
details of your zodiac match. Do a little research. And make it fun! What's
your sign can be a cliche, but if you deliver the line in the right way, it can
also be a good ice breaker. If you're a Virgo, and you're introduced to, say, a
Libra, tell him he's got his work cut out for him. Everyone loves a challenge
and it's an easy way to flirt and start to get to know someone.

Between Two Worlds: Life on the Cusp

Each Sign of the Zodiac has a date range attached. Scorpio, for example, is
October 23d to November 21st of each year. For the vast majority of people,
this date range is just fine, because they'll fit somewhere between those dates.

What about the small number of people who aren't so lucky? What about the
handful of people who are born at midnight on the night of November 21st? Are
they Scorpio or are they Sagittarius?

The answer to that question is "Yes."

People born "on the Cusp" -- that is, right on the dividing line between two
signs -- aren't quite sure which of the signs they are. They will inherit
tendencies from both.

For example, someone born on August 21 or 22 is right on the cusp between Leo
and Virgo. This person could have Leo's advantages, such as the natural
leadership and the drive to conquer and succeed.

However, one of Leo's weaknesses is in the details. When you're destined for
greatness, like Leo is, you don't have much time or patience for little
everyday details.

Virgo, on the other hand, is widely regarded as the most detail oriented of all
the signs. Someone lucky enough to have been born on the cusp between Leo and
Virgo might also be lucky enough to pick up traits from each sign that counter
the weaknesses of the other.

By the same token, Cusp people need to be aware that they could inherit
tendencies and weaknesses that can make the situation worse, not better.
Combining the gloomy depression of the Capricorn with the fear of rejection and
overall sensitivity of the Aquarius is a recipe for disaster.

Horoscopes generally give people a wide variety of traits and tendencies to
think about. Those lucky few born on the cusp between signs have even more
possibilities to think about.

Issues And Problems About Astrology

Current and longstanding issues on the subject of astrology consist of a wide
range of arguments about its negative, destructive nature in general, as well
as negative, destructive practices which are alleged to be associated with it.
While on the practical end of the spectrum one might be duly cautioned about
such factors as unscrupulous individuals who claim to be knowledgeable and
professional in the field of astrology while in fact are nothing more than
con-artists attempting to scam curious and/or desperate potential clients into
paying for their services, an equally-valid argument about the practice of
astrology is that a person may be prone to becoming dependent, and using it in
a negative manner, such as using "what the horoscope says" to rationalize or
justify wrongful behavior and traits which they should be attempting to change.

However, in discussing arguments against the belief in and practice of
astrology, there is nothing that holds more weight, power, and expressing of
influence, than that of the religious sector known as Christian Fundamentalism.
Although both the Old and the New Testaments contain detailed references to the
belief in and practice of astrology, the fundamentalist interpretations of the
subject are decidedly different from the references written in the Bible. While
the Biblical references to astrology range, in various parts and situations,
from pointless and benevolent to wrong to powerful, fundamentalism takes the
angle that astrology is not only Godless but one-hundred-percent evil and
demonically-inspired.

Preferring to categorize astrology in the same terms as other forms of the
occult and supernatural phenomenon, Christian Fundamentalism believes and
teaches that practices as simple as reading one's horoscope in the daily
newspaper is a matter of opening oneself up to the evil spirits known as
demons. Fundamentalists believe that in practicing astrology one is making
himself to be a channel for demons and, therefore, open to all of the power and
influence of satan himself.

Fundamentalist Christians place astrology in the same category as sorcery and
enchantment, connecting the same negative view to all of these subjects. They
state that if a person dabbles in astrology, he will soon find himself under
the control of a "strange, evil power," ultimately becoming fatalistic and
unconcerned about the prospect of his own death.

While some passages in the Bible may speak of the impotent nature of astrology,
such as stating that an astrologer does not even have the power to save himself,
much less anyone else; and that when relying on astrology one's focus shifts
away from his reliance on God, it is generally just the fundamentalist segment
of the population which deems the entire concept to be evil, and choosing to be
influenced and led by satan. It may be interesting to note that the Bible
itself, even where clearly stating the potentially-negative aspects of
astrology, does not make any such connections.

How to Find Reliable Information about Astrology

Finding information about astrology can be very easy to do. However, no all of
the information about astrology found on the internet, in books, and from phone
lines is entirely accurate. There are many inaccurate or inadequate sources of
information about astrology.

For the beginning astrologist especially it can be very difficult to determine
what sources of information about astrology are the best sources to learn from.
Doing a simple internet search or picking up the random book from your local
bookstore may teach you the basics. However, for a more in depth study of
astrology you really want to have accurate and detailed information.

There are several places that you can find excellent information about
astrology. The internet is a veritable gold mine when it comes to finding
information on any topic. Finding accurate information, however, can be a
little more tricky.

The best place to start your search on the internet for information about
astrology is with a Google search for "astrology 101" or "what is astrology."
These searches will bring up websites that explain astrology rather than
websites that are simply trying to sell you your astrological birth chart or
astrological software. However, not all websites you will find through this
search will be good sources of information about astrology.

When you start sifting through the undoubtedly massive list of search results,
you will want to watch for a few things at each website. The website should
provide information about all aspects of astrology. In other words, the
websites you trust for information about astrology should list at least basic
information about houses, ascendants, sun signs, moon influences, and planets
or planetary movements.

Some websites will provide very general information about these topics.
Generally these websites are trying to sell you something such as your
astrological birth chart or astrology related software. However, these websites
can be a good place to get an overview of astrology.

The best websites for information about astrology will be those that do not
sell any products or services, but only provide useful and reliable
information. These websites will give you much more reliable information about
astrology. They will provide in depth explanations, and may even provide charts
of dates and houses so that you can develop your own astrological chart.

You can also find reliable information about astrology in some very good books.
These books are typically found in New Age or occult book shops. Avoid books on
astrology that provide horoscopes or relationship advice based on sun signs.
The zodiac is helpful, but astrology encompasses all planets and stars, not
just the sun.

The best information about astrology will be found in books that outline the
various houses, planets, and ascendants, just as you will look for in web
sites. If you are not sure what books hold the most reliable information about
astrology you can ask the book store staff.

In any case, you should check into several sources of information about
astrology rather than relying on one single source. The variety of information
about astrology that you find will give you a broader understanding of both the
truths and the misconceptions involved with the study of astrology. It will also
better prepare you for a life long study of the ancient art.

Indian Vedic Astrology

Indian astrology is based on the theory of fate. The good and the bad actions
of the past life determine your fate or Karma of your present life, and the
actions of your present life determine your future Karma. According to Indian
astrology a person is born at that place, on that day and on that moment when
his individual fate is in perfect mathematical harmony with the progress of the
stars in heaven.

However it does not preach total dependence on fate. Astrology lets you know
what you were born with, what your possibilities are, the limitations, your
strong points and your drawbacks. What type of life partners and professions
suit you and to expect is also indicated. It also prescribes various remedial
measures to ward off the bad effects and to enhance the good results. Astrology
is your roadmap of destiny. However your fate is in your hands. The scriptures
guide us by telling us what is good and what is bad; what to do and what not to
do; how to do and how not to do. You are given a piece of land and the seeds to
sow. How much effort to put in to it, what amount of manure and water to add
and when how to reap the produce is your job.

After that it is you who have to act using your knowledge intelligence,
discrimination and experience. Fate is like a game of cards where you cannot
help the cards that have been dealt to you but how to play them is in your
hands. You may get good cards but if you play badly you will lose and you may
get bad cards and still may win if you play carefully. Don't blame the roadmap
if you get drunk, drive badly and have an accident!

Curiosity

Where did the practice of astrology originate. Did it evolve in one part of the
world and then become adopted by other civilizations.

When you study the ancient civilizations in the Middle East, Central America
and in Asia, there are remarkable similarities in how they adapted their lives
to be in harmony with the rhythms of earth and the cosmos. Consider that there
are pyramids in Mayan and Aztec cultures, as well as Egyptian ones. And that
many pyramids are constructed around and point to key events in the solar
system, such as equinoxes and solstices.

Similarly, astrology is thought to have developed independently in Babylon and
Central America. The astrology systems in India and China most likely were
derived from those in Babylon.

It's curious that many fundamentalist religions reject the principles of
astrology, because it was, in fact, an integral component of the religions of
Babylon. It was part of the calling of priests in Babylon to predict the future
and part of their methodology for doing so was to interpret events in the sky.
Nothing was considered pure chance and any natural occurrence, no matter how
mundane or mysterious, could be an omen of either good fortune or bad.

The part of Mesopotamia that is now Iraq once comprised Babylonia in the South
and Assyria in the North. Before Alexander the Great conquered the area in 330
BC, the Assyrians were a military and administrative power, and Babylon was the
center of culture. The underlying belief system in both cultures was that there
was a spiritual force behind every act of nature. Heaven and Earth were
complementary systems, with neither one having dominion over the other. But by
the 4th century BCE, this belief system was influenced by the Greek view that
the heavens, and its resident gods, determined events on earth.

Cosmos & Psyche

According to Richard Tarnas, who also wrote of The Passion of the Western Mind,
history is on the verge of a major shift, comparable to the one wrought by
Copernicus and Galileo, but a seemingly antiscientific one: an astrological
turn that can only be understood thorough chronicling planetary alignments as
they correlate to the rise of the modern mind over the last 500 years.
Understanding planetary alignments, for Tarnas, is crucial to the world's
future and requires a genuine dialogue with the cosmos, by opening ourselves
more fully to the other, to ancient and indigenous epistemologies, even to
other forms of life, other modes of the universe's self-disclosure.

The book is filled with philosophical, religious, literary and scientific
thinking ranging from Luther and Kepler through Hemingway and even Hitchcock
and Dylan. Reading it will require a strong background in the history of modern
thought, an advanced knowledge of astrology, a willingness to withhold
skepticism about the role of planetary alignments of the past in understanding
life today and the avoidance of imminent world catastrophe. Tarnas's call to
redefine what we consider as legitimate knowledge will resonate in some
sectors, but it will be a tough sell with the more scientifically hardheaded.

In terms of planetary cycles, our present condition in history is most
comparable to the period five hundred years ago -- that era of extraordinary
turbulence and creativity, the High Renaissance. Not since Copernicus conceived
the heliocentric theory has the human community faced such a profound
realignment of the way we think.

Perhaps it's time for us to move back to the philosophy that man is part of the
universe, not placed here to conquer it. Just as we're finding some older
medical procedures, such as the use of leeches, to have value today, perhaps we
should open our minds to the distinct possibility that astrological forces can
be a powerful influence on our lives.

Claudius Ptolemy

The astronomer Claudius Ptolemy lived from approximately 100-170 CE. Very
little is known of him, including where he was born. Claudius means citizen of
Rome, while Ptolemy means resident of Egypt. Some sources indicate that he was
a citizen of Rome, others that he lived in Alexandria, Egypt.

He was also a mathematician, geographer and astrologer. In a way, he was to his
era what Leonardo da Vinci was to the Renaissance. While many of Claudius
Ptolemy's work has been refuted, his treatises on astronomy, astrology,
geography and music were the foundations from which subsequent scientists built
their theories.

The Ptolemaic system of the universe became the dominant cosmological model for
centuries thereafter, and was not displaced until the seventeenth century by
Kepler and Copernicus.

Modern astrologers consider Ptolemy as the author of one of the oldest complete
manuals of astrology, -- the Tetrabiblos (Greek) meaning Four Books. Although we
know Ptolemy did not invent his methods of astrology we recognize his
contribution as being one of orchestrating the mass of Eastern star lore into
an organized and reasoned exposition. The Tetrabiblos offered a detailed
explanation of the philosophical framework of astrology, enabling its
practitioners to answer critics on scientific as well as religious grounds.

As a leading intellectual of his day, Ptolemy's patronage and approval of
astrology added to its academic respectability. By preserving its credibility
as a science as well as an art, he safeguarded its practice during the medieval
period when many other occult studies were persecuted on religious grounds. He
spoke of astrology with authority and lucidity, establishing the Tetrabiblos as
the definitive reference for astrological students. It was used extensively by
Arabic scholars, who regarded Ptolemy as the final word on the subject, and
later by European ones when it was translated back into Latin in the 12th
century.

Secret Language of Birthdays

If you're a non-believer in astrology, spend a little time with the Secret
Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider and Joost Eiffers. We guarantee
it'll make a believer outta you.

It's a weighty tome, to be sure. Each birthday gets two full pages of on-target
information as well as the usual celebrity birthdates, etc. Now this is a good
book to have. Even better is one of the companion books, the Secret Language of
Relationships.

Describing 1,176 possibilities, The Secret Language of Relationships sheds
light on the classic questions--the hows and whys of chemistry in
relationships. Is there a prime ingredient for love at first sight, a Fred
Astaire and Ginger Rogers of it all. An entertaining exploration of the very
thing we cannot do without--each other--this wonderful volume explains why we
feel the way we do about the people in our lives, and how--if necessary--to
make it better.

You start with a matrix in the front with birthweeks across the top and side.
You match your birthdate on one axis and find the birthdate of your new
beloved. Every match-up by birthweek gets its own astrological prognosis. We
used this book after many, many first dates, none of whom really worked out.

Both of them are fun books to take to work occasionally or have at parties
because they're great icebreakers and a lot of fun to watch people's reactions
when they hear their own profiles.

Other books in the series by Goldschneider and Effers include the Secret
Language of Destiny and the Astrology of Time. If you become more involved with
astrology, you might want to invest in these books. They're well worth it. You
may even want to take a class or seminar in astrology, or join a newsgroup
online. There are so many of them, just do a few searches and you're sure to
find many like-minded spirits.

Elements in astrology

Groups of signs in astrology share certain characteristics that are classified
according to four earthly elements -- fire, air, water and earth. It helps
explain why some signs are more compatible than others.

The Fire signs are Aries (March 21 to April 19), Leo (July 23 to August 22) and
Sagittarius (November 22 -- December 21). Fire people are leaders, dynamic. They
light up everything around them. Because Fire needs Air to exist, Fire signs
are most compatible with the Air signs. Water is anathema to Fire and a Water
person could try to dampen the dynamism and enthusiasm that defines Fire.

The Air signs are Aquarius (January 20 to February 18), Gemini (May 21 to June
21) and Libra (September 23 -- October 22). These are the idea signs, the air
that breathes a spark into a flame. They can't be tied down. They require
freedom of movement and thought.

The water signs of Cancer (June 22 to July22), Scorpio (October 23 to November
21) and Pisces (February 19 to March 20) are characterized by the phrase still
waters run deep. They're emotional and sensitive, given to deep thoughts and
conversations. Just as water can blur an image or hide secrets within its
depths, so do Water signs have secretive emotions and abilities. The Water
signs are most compatible with Earth signs.

The Earth signs are Taurus (April 20 -- May 20), Virgo (August 23 to September
22) and Capricorn (December 22 to January 19). They are stable and consistent.
While not as compassionate as the water signs, they are nonetheless nurturing.
They can be rigid (stick in the mud) and easily stuck in routines. They are
most compatible with Water signs, as Water is necessary for the Earth to
properly nurture growing things. Earth helps Water contain itself, which is
often necessary for survival on the planet.

Mythology of Libra, Virgo, Pisces, Aquarius

Libra is a relatively young sign. 

Originally, in the Zodiac developed by ancient Babylon, there were only eleven
signs. Scorpio took up a double-sized slice of the sky, and was immediately
followed by Virgo. 

The mythology relating to Virgo is very difficult to pin down, because there
are so many maidens spread across mythology. The most common, though, have
been Ishtar, Demeter, or Astraea.

At some point, Scorpio's claws were cut from his constellation and attached to
Virgo as her scales. This made Virgo the blindfolded goddess of Justice we
know today. But that still didn't work, because now Virgo took up an oversized
slice of the sky.

The ancient Romans solved the problem by cutting the scales from both Scorpio
and Virgo and making them a constellation--and a Sign of the Zodiac--in their
own right. Libra remains the only sign that is not a person or an animal.
The sign of Pisces, a faint constellation, has always been known as two fish. 
The Greek myth most likely to be associated with Pisces is the story of how
Aphrodite and her son Heros escaped from the monster Typhon. The pair turned
into fish, and tied their tails together to make sure they weren't separated. 
Even today, many depictions of Pisces show a line or bar connecting the two
fish.

One of the oldest signs of the Zodiac, Aquarius is widely associated with the
Greek myth of Ganymede, the cup-bearer of the gods, and the first mortal ever
to be turned into an immortal. Zeus had a fondness for him, turned into a
bird, and swooped down to carry him off to Mount Olympus as their servant, a
sort of mythological cabana boy. Ganymede is surrounded by water
constellations. Near him are Pisces the fish, Eridanus the river, Delphinus
the dolphin, and Cetus the sea monster.
 
Mythology of Capricorn -- not done

In ancient Sumeria, the sign of Capricorn was often associated with the planet
Saturn and the Sumerian deity Enki. But the full picture of Capricorn as we
know it today comes from the ancient Greeks. In Greek mythology, Cronus was a
Titan, and the father of the gods. 

Just as he overthrew his own father, Uranos, Cronus knew he would be overthrown
by one of his children. So, as each of his and Rhea's children was born, he
swallowed them whole. Hestia, Demeter, Hades, Poseidon, Hera, all of them were
swallowed before they could grow up and threaten his rule.

Rhea wanted children to play with, so when Zeus was born, she wrapped a rock in
swaddling clothes and gave that to Cronus instead. Zeus was hidden away in a
cave and raised by foster parents. There are different versions of the myth. 
In one version, Zeus was raised by a goat-tending nymph named Amalthea or
Adamanthea, and in another, by the goat herself (also named Amalthea), but the
one constant through all of them is that Zeus was raised on goat's milk.
When Zeus was old enough, he released the imprisoned brothers of Cronus--the
Giants and the Cyclopes--who gave him power over thunder and lightning. With
their help, Zeus was able to overthrow Cronus, and force him to spit out Zeus'
brothers and sisters.

The goat's horn later became the Horn of Plenty, or Cornucopia. In some
versions, the goat's skin became the Golden Fleece that Jason and the Argonauts
searched for.

In thanks for tending him as a baby, Zeus placed Amalthea in the sky, as the
constellation Capricornus, the Goat.

Sun sign

Your Sun sign represents the sign of the Zodiac that the Sun was in at the time
of your birth. The Sun rules willpower and ego. It is the core of who you are
and what you are about.

Your Sun sign represents the main direction and focus you want your life to
take and your determination to accomplish what you set out to do. It represents
your personal honesty and integrity, your ability to command respect and
authority and your capacity to impress and influence others.

The beginning and end dates for each of the signs can vary from year to year.
We suggest you take a look at our cusp page for greater information if you were
born on a cusp. People born on the cusp of a sun sign can exhibit
characteristics of both signs.

If the Sun was in the part of the Zodiac called Aries at the time of your
birth, then you are an Aries! Your character though similar to one of the
twelve zodiac elements, will always be unique as a result of who you are and
the choices you make. In fact your character as far as Astrology is concerned
requires that the position of all the Planets (the nine planets in our solar
system plus the moon and sun) are calculated. Imagine that these planets are
the ingredients that can make up a human being, they can all be added in many
different permutations and quantities.

So a professional astrologer takes into account the position of all these
planets in your Birth Chart, using only your time, date and place of birth.
This greater accuracy focuses on your character, problems, and forecasts your
future choices and best most timely solutions.

Skeptics

Skeptics of Astrology often say that horoscope readings are so general they
could apply to anyone; and that people will look for what they want to see and
ignore what doesn't seem true for them, thus deluding themselves that the
horoscope is accurate.

This skepticism would most likely be eliminated if the skeptic actually looked
at a real horoscope done by a competent professional astrologer, using his
unique time and place of birth. But in this second part of the series, we'll
look at an example of how a skeptic of Astrology can come to a false conclusion
and go on saying that Astrology is bunk or fake to others -- by NOT using a real
horoscope to prove his point.

Although astrology will always have its skeptics, they should consider some of
the following before making up their minds.

-- Astrology probably gave birth to Astronomy. There is nothing supernatural
about casting a horoscope, most of it is done according to precise astronomical
and mathematical principles.

-- Many famous scientists have been into Astrology: Tyco Brahe, Karl Jung,
Kepler, Huxley, and Copernicus. Many others remain anonymous.

-- Astrologers do not necessarily believe in fate. They believe the stars impel
not compel.

-- There are 10,000 practicing paid Astrologers and millions of horoscope
followers. There are hundreds of books on the topic. Only 10 percent of
Americans believe there can't be anything to it.

-- Many astrologers believe in a natural synchronicity between the stars and
events. Other countries place even more value in it.

-- It is an undisputed scientific fact that the planets have a measurable
magnetic, gravitational and electromagnetic influence on the earth. Most people
agree that bizarre behavior tends to peak on full moons.

-- Astrology is not limited to natal. There is also electional, horary, mundane,
medical, meteorological, Chinese 12 year and millennial.

-- The vast majority of those who look at their own chart (not just a newspaper
column) find uncanny accurate hits.

Sidereal Astrology

The Sidereal or Eastern system of astrology is based on the position of the
belt of fixed stars and constellations in the heavens, whereas the Tropical
zodiac or the Western astrological system is based upon the position of the Sun
in relation to the Earth. Sidereal astrology is the system of astrology used by
some western astrologers which bases their interpretation around the use of the
sidereal zodiac. It was introduced to the West by the Irish astrologer Cyril
Fagan in 1944 and is practiced by a minority of Western astrologers. Sidereal
astrology ties its signs of the zodiac to the actual constellations and is more
complex, yet more mathematically oriented than Western astrology.

Originally, the first degree of the zodiac was common to both systems. Due to
the peculiarities in the Earth's orbit, however, the belt of stars and
constellations appears to shift in relation to the Tropical zodiac. As a
result, the two zodiacs are drifting apart. This is called the procession of
the equinoxes, and today the difference between the two systems is calculated
at about 23 degrees. Thus, if a person is born on January 1, he will have the
Sun in Capricorn according to the Western system, but according to the Sidereal
system the Sun will be at approximately 16 degrees Sagittarius.

By practical experience the use of the Sidereal method is preferable. It is
mathematically more correct, and it also penetrates into the subtle elements of
nature, such as mind, intellect, and spirit to present a more complete picture
of our soul's sojourn in the realm of time and space.

The Sidereal astrological system notes the strengths and weaknesses that a
person will experience in life, and also recommends remedial measures for
improving our future. The karma or destiny which we are born with has been
destined by activities in previous births. The spiritual astrology of India
suggests that karma is not eternal and can be changed.

How You Can Learn More About Astrology

If you have either a serious interest in astrology, or have simply become
curious, there are so many potential resources that you may take a brief look
at the seemingly-endless supply and become intimidated. How can a newcomer to
the subject of astrology possibly navigate through so much information? The
answer is to begin with the basics. If you are a beginner, and uncertain as to
what "the basics" consist of, some places are better equipped to provide this
information in an easy-to-understand manner than others.

Rob Tillett, of Australia's Astrology On The Web, has been a practicing
astrologer for over three decades. His articles on the Astrology On The Web
website begin with the most absolute basics, all clearly written in a manner
which is easily understood by anyone, and progresses to much more detailed
manners of analyzing. Directed toward those who are newcomers to the subject of
astrology, Mr. Tillett makes it clear that astrology is not a matter of showing 
a person what is nevitable, but how one's own free will plays a most deciding 
role in the events which will eventually come to pass in one's life. This 
information will give the beginner a sense of confidence and strength.

Mr. Tillet also explains in clear language about how astrology works. Without
complicating the subject or risking confusion for the beginner with unnecessary
technical terms, he describes what exists and how everything is connected. Even
the most non-technically-inclined newcomer will be able to understand Mr.
Tillet's explanations of astrology and his descriptions of how it all works.
His articles on the Astrology On The Web site are definitely the best place as
one's first source of information about astrology.

Astrology On The Web is made up of a team of ten people, all of whom are very
well-versed in the field of astrology in general, as well as being experts on a
number of related topics, such as numerology and meditation. While the website
itself will provide a wide range of general information on all aspects of
astrology, you can also order books or personal readings, if you wish. There is
also a message forum where you can share information, questions, and insight
with other people who have similar interests in astrology and its related
fields.

If you are interested in the comparisons and differences between Indian
astrology and Western astrology, the Vedic Encyclopedia is an excellent source
for this information. From the Vedic Encyclopedia you will first learn that
while Western astrology is greatly affected by the modern world, the roots upon
which Vedic astrology was initially based are as strong and continuous in the
present-day as when this form of astrology first began.

To learn more about Chinese astrology, a good beginning would be to read the
books on this subject written by Suzanne White. "The New Chinese Astrology" and
"Chinese Astrology Plain and Simple" will give you the best overview of this
specific form of astrology.

Whether you have already decided which form of astrology interests you the
most, of if you would like to gain a basic understanding of each type in order
to decide which suits you the best, these are three very good sources of
information.

Astrology -- Libra

Libras are represented in the Zodiac by the Scales, the symbol of perfect
balance. Because of this, one would think that Libras are balanced,
even-tempered, and calm. One would be wrong.

Yes, Libra can balance, and when she does, those moments are absolute heaven. 
But there is a space before the trays of the scales balance--that time when the
weights are not even, when a little bit more needs to be added to one side or
the other--and Libra represents that, also. This tends to make Libras a bundle
of contradictions, though definitely not as much as Gemini. 

Libras, as ruled by Venus, are one of the most attractive signs in the Zodiac. 
It's natural for Libra to be warm and friendly.

Libras will drift from one side to the other. At times, they can take over a
conversation, and then just as suddenly turn into the perfect listener.Their
inborn fairness make them a perfect mediator, but after a wonderful track
record at settling arguments they'll choose sides and start a fresh argument
just for the fun of it. When they're balanced, they're easygoing, diplomatic,
and charming. When they're not balanced, they are just as easily gullable and
resentful.

One of a Libra's favorite statements will be something similar to "...but on
the other hand..."

Libra constantly searches for the real truth. They enjoy a good debate, and
won't hesitate to take the other side of an argument soley for the sake of the
argument. They cannot stand the idea of unfairness or prejudice, and will not
hesitate to challenge someone on broad generalizations--and that's the Libra's
weakness. 

A Libra can be prone to indecision. Libras hate to make decisions
without analyzing all of the possible results, and all of that forethought can
be maddening to others, especially those born under more impulsive signs. That
indecision can also lead to the Libra being influenced by others.
Most of all, Libra is a dreamer, who follows her soul wherever it might lead. 
 
Astrology -- Leo
 
Just as the lion is the king of the jungle, Leo is the king of the Zodiac. Leo
is a fire sign, falling right in the hottest part of the summer at the center of
the year -- which is perfect, since Leo loves to be the center of attention.
 
Leo is a born leader, cheerful and optimistic. They conquer obstacles the same
way a lion conquers their foes -- like a hunter, who spots his prey, stalks, and
pounces. Leos tend to be very focused on their goals and ambitions.
 
Leo is a model of generosity, with one of the biggest hearts of the entire
Zodiac. They love to share. They are also the life of the party, always
prepared to order a round of drinks or offer up a hilarious joke.
 
Leos like to do things on a grand scale, with special attention to clothing and
cars. Leos attract attention, and the things they own tend to reflect this.
 
One weakness that Leos need to beware of is arrogance. Being natural leaders,
Leos can sometimes fall into the trap of expecting other people to "take care
of" those annoying details that should be beneath them. Not only are they
natural leaders, they expect to be the leader, and will fight for that position
when challenged. They don't like changes to the routine once their leadership
role has been established.
 
These are the same things that haunt a Leo through a career. Their ambition
makes it difficult for them to "climb the corporate ladder," and the worst sort
of job they can find themselves in is the one where they are "just one gear in
the machine." Their impatience to take the reins will sometimes drive them out
of the workforce and into their own business or entertainment.
 
Leo loves to get in front of a crowd. They are natural class clowns and
show-offs, and professionally or not, enjoy performing or presenting.

Mythology of Taurus, Aries, and Gemini

The constellation Taurus is one of the oldest symbols. It's been associated
with a bull even as far back as Babylonian times. In ancient Egypt, Taurus was
associated with Apis, a bull-like incarnation of the god Osiris. In the Old
Testament, Moses destroyed the Golden Calf. And in ancient Greece, Taurus
commemorated the romance of Zeus and Europa--because Zeus transformed himself
into a beautiful white bull to distract her, and carried her off to the island
of Crete. Their son, Minos, became the king of Crete, and built a maze to hold
another bull figure--the Minotaur, who was eventually killed by Theseus.

Aries is another constellation that has always been associated with a single
image. Babylon, Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Rome, all of them considered Aries
to be a ram. In Greece, Aries was most associated with Jason and the
Argonauts, in the story of the quest for the Golden Fleece.

Jason was a victim of prophecy. Jason's father was killed by his brother
Pelias. Jason was spirited away to protect him, but an oracle warned Pelias
that the boy would return. Jason was raised by the centaur Chiron (who is
represented by the constellation Sagittarius). When Jason challenged Pelias,
the pretender told Jason he would give him the throne in return for the Golden
Fleece.

Jason built a ship called the Argo, and crewed it with the Argonauts, some of
the greatest heroes of Greece. Even Hercules sailed on the Argo. And with
their help, he was finally successful.

Two of the Argonauts were named Castor and Pollux. They were twin sons of Zeus
and Leda; one was immortal, the other was not. They were inseparable. At one
point along the quest for the Fleece, Castor was killed, and immortal Pollux
begged Zeus to let him die as well. Instead, Zeus placed them in the stars,
side by side, never apart.
 
Mythology of Scorpio, Leo, and Cancer

There are many variants of the mythology of Scorpio, but nearly all of them
also include the constellation of Orion, the Hunter. In some versions, Scorpio
was an assassin sent by Artemis to kill Orion. The reasons vary. Sometimes,
it's out of rage at her defeat at his hands. In another, it's to protect the
bull of Taurus, and in another, it's for his bragging of his skills and glory
in hunting (Artemis believed in hunting only for food). And in yet another
version, the scorpion was a punishment for Orion's pursuit of the goddesses of
the Pleiades.

Regardless of the version you like to believe, the assassination of Orion plays
out again and again every night in the stars. Orion is opposite Scorpius in the
sky, so as the scorpion arrives on the scene, Orion "dies" by dropping below the
horizon.

Leo and Cancer both owe their existence--and their deaths, unfortunately--to
the great Olympian hero, Hercules. 

Hercules was charged with killing the vicious and giant Nemean Lion. None of
his weapons could cut through the lion's skin, so he was finally forced to
wrestle it to the ground and strangle it with his bare hands.  

Hercules kept the lion's skin, and it came in very handy. His next task was
the Lernean Hydra, a dragon with seven heads. And, as if multiple heads
weren't enough of a problem, when any head was cut off, two more would grow in
it's place! The Lion's skin helped protect Hercules from the heads while he
set about to find a way to kill it.

Hera, Zeus's wife, wanted Hercules dead. She sent a crab to distract Hercules
from his fight with the Hydra. Unfortunately, Hercules was only distracted
long enough to crush the crab under his foot. Hera placed the crab in the sky
to remember it's sacrifice. 

Where to Find Books on Astrology

Many books containing horoscopes and the like are readily found. You see them
in supermarket checkout lanes and on the shelves of bookstores. But the best
books on astrology, those that actually explain all aspects of the art and how
to apply them to your life, are harder to find.

The best way to find books on astrology is to visit a New Age or occult shop.
When you visit these types of stores you will have two advantages to finding
the books on astrology that you need. The first advantage is that these stores
will only carry books on real astrology. You will not find mere horoscopes or
books of sun signs on the shelves.

The second advantage is that you will have someone to help you find the books
on astrology that are best for you. The attendant at the New Age or occult shop
can easily point out books for the beginner, books for the avid astrologist, or
books for those interested only in astrological concepts. Since books on
astrology can be expensive, it is nice to know that you are leaving the store
with exactly what you came for.

If you do not have a New Age or occult shop in your area you can find books on
astrology on the internet. Doing a search for New Age books on astrology can
bring up many online book stores. If you are unsure what you are looking for,
you can email the store owner or help desk for information.

While you can find lots of books on astrology at Amazon.com, it is best to
visit websites of e-commerce New Age book stores first. Amazon.com will list
hundreds of books on astrology, but not all of them are realistic or helpful.
Many of the books will negate to mention aspects other than sun signs. Other
books will be strictly horoscopes.

This is not to say that you cannot find real books on astrology at Amazon.
There are many great books available on the website. However, if you are not
sure what you are looking for it can be difficult to determine the best books
on astrology from the mere entertainment.

There can be a couple of advantages to buying books on astrology from websites
such as Amazon.com and EBay. Sometimes you can find used books on these
websites that contain extensive notes from experienced astrologers. These notes
can often be extremely helpful in learning the art, and filling in the blanks
left by most books on astrology.

The other advantage to buying used books on astrology is that they are
significantly less expensive. The best books on astrology are rather large, and
can often cost around fifty dollars or more. When you buy these same books used
you can often save as much as thirty or forty dollars.

Another way that you can find books on astrology is to visit a large book store
such as Barnes and Noble. You will have a better chance of finding books on
astrology in these book stores than in smaller book stores. However, you are
more likely to find horoscope books than true astrology handbooks on these
shelves.

The History of Astrology

The history of astrology is actually quite interesting. Astrology has been a
major part of many cultures going back to pre-historic times. Some of the
history of astrology is masked in controversy and mystery, because astrology
was used before tools were developed to see planets that cannot be seen without
the naked eye.

Astrology made its first appearance in pre-historic times. Maps of the heavens
were found on cave walls, much the same as other cave drawings. These are the
most controversial and mysterious of all evidences of the history of astrology.
These cave dwellers could not possibly have had the tools necessary to see the
planets. How did they know where they were?

The next appearance of astrology was in ancient Mesopotamia and other ancient
cultures. These cultures also had extensive astrology charts that cannot be
explained. However, the study of astrology was likely passed to Greece through
trade with these ancient civilizations.

Astrology in Greece expanded to the form that we recognize in the western world
today. Astrology was a daily part of life in Greece, and the Roman Empire to
follow. The names of the planets, the constellations, and the sun and moon
signs are all named for Roman deities and other names.

Greek and Roman scholars were often guaranteed positions in the court of the
current king or emperor. Their knowledge of the stars was regarded as a
necessary part of royal decisions, battle planning, and other aspects of royal
life. However, astrology experts of these times often found their lives ending
abruptly when the current government did not like what they had to say.

For these and other reasons the art of astrology was lost. However, it made a
nice come back in Western Europe during the time of the Renaissance. Astrology
was once more a revered art form, and those who studied astrology were thought
to be some of the greatest minds of the period. However, when the age of
enlightenment ended, astrology once more became an obscure and little discussed
topic.

In the late eighteen hundreds astrology once more came to light. A few brave
souls formed a foundation for the study of astrology. The interest in the study
of the stars became wide spread throughout Western Europe, and spread to America
in the early nineteen hundreds.

In the 1930's, the art of astrology became very common place. In the middle of
that decade, Gerald Gardner formed the religion now known as Gardnerian Wicca.
Wicca, like pagan religions before it, focused on astrology for the use of
divination. Astrology was also brought to popularity in America through the
publication of American Astrology, a magazine credited for the first horoscopes.

Astrology became a form of entertainment for many in America as horoscopes
became commonly found in major newspapers and other popular print media.
However, astrology as an art has once again begun to fade in the Western world.
Christian groups still rile against the study of the stars, and many
"reasonable" people refuse to see any truth in the astrological predictions.
Still, astrology remains a popular study in many cultures today.

A History of Western Astrology

The history of Astrology begins around 2000 BCE, in ancient Babylon. There,
they began to develop a complex system of celestial omens. The priests used
the positions of the planets and the stars to state the desires of the gods. 
They would document the movements in the sky and the earthly activities that
followed them, and build a list of good and bad omens. For example, if a full
moon and a cloudy sky were followed by a great victory over an enemy the next
day, then "full moon with clouds" would be recorded as a good omen. Over time,
this system spread across the ancient world.

The Egyptians were very focused on astronomy, with good reason. The Sun and
Sirius were used to predict when the Nile would flood. Traditionally, Rameses
II is known for defining several of the signs of the Zodiac.

Horoscopic Astrology made its first appearance in Alexandrian Egypt. This new
version of Babylonian and Egyptian astrology focused on the positions of the
planets and constellations at the time of a person's birth. Ptolemy codified
the system in his work Tetrabiblos, and very little has changed to this day.
Through the middle ages, astrology and astronomy were almost interchangeable. 
The majority of the early astronomical observations of sun, moon, and planets
were all done by astrologers. Where much of astrology was forgotten in Europe
during the dark ages, the Persians kept the knowledge alive, and returned it to
Europe with the Renaissance.

With the Scientific Revolution starting in the 17th century, however, the two
began to split apart, with astronomy becoming a science and astrology viewed
more as occult superstition.

In the twentieth century, astrology became popular in the United States around
1900 to 1950. Astrology writers also tried to simplify some of the more
confusing parts, which made astrology more available to the general public. As
a result, today there is a market for astrology books and "sun-sign" predictions.

Greeks -- fundamental astrology

Greek astrology is often, and more properly, referred to as Hellenistic
astrology. It actually originated in Egypt at some point after the conquest by
Alexander the Great and the beginning of the Christian era. Hellenistic
astrology also comprises Byzantine and Roman astrology. It's therefore more a
reference to the general geographic area and an era in history, rather than to
one particular society or culture.

While Hellenistic astrology can't be linked to any one individual or culture,
it is the root of all modern, or Western astrology. There are numerous
documents written in Greek, although some are written in Latin, that are
devoted to natal astrology. This is the branch of astrology that concerns the
individual. Part of the reason that it's difficult to source these documents to
any one individual or culture is that they span a period of time of about 800
years.

But that doesn't mean that important Greek philosophers and scientists haven't
been part of the development of astrology. Hippocrates used astrological
interpretations as part of his medical diagnostic system. Pythagoras studied in
Egypt, and while nothing in writing exists of Pythagoras' theories, he is
attributed with stating that the Earth, Planets and fixed stars revolved around
the sun, thousands of years before Galileo! Later though, his theory was refuted
by Aristotle who declared that the Earth was the centre of the world.

Following Alexander's conquest of Mesopotamia, Greek astrology began to take on
a more personal approach. The Zodiac and planets being made to correspond to
figures from their mythology; the Stoic philosophers are especially receptive
to astrology. Greek astrology influences the metaphysical astrology of India.
In approximately 70 BCE, the Greeks devised the first personal horoscope based
on time of birth and in 30 BCE, the Emperor Augustus had his horoscope charted
and interpreted by Thrasyllus.


Chinese Astrology

According to Chinese legend, the twelve animals quarreled one day as to who was
to head the cycle of years. The gods were asked to decide and they held a
contest: whoever was to reach the opposite bank of the river would be first,
and the rest of the animals would receive their years according to their finish.
All the twelve animals gathered at the river bank and jumped in. Unknown to the
ox, the rat had jumped upon his back. As the ox was about to jump ashore, the
rat jumped off the ox's back, and won the race. The pig, who was very lazy,
ended up last. That is why the rat is the first year of the animal cycle, the
ox second, and the pig last.

The Chinese animal signs are a 12-year cycle used for dating the years. They
represent a cyclical concept of time, rather than the Western linear concept of
time. In the Chinese calendar, the beginning of the year falls somewhere between
late January and early February. The Chinese have adopted the Western calendar
since 1911, but the lunar calendar is still used for festive occasions such as
the Chinese New Year. Many Chinese calendars will print both the solar dates
and the Chinese lunar dates.

A cultural sidelight of the animal signs in Chinese folklore is that horoscopes
have developed around the animal signs, much like monthly horoscopes in the West
have been developed for the different moon signs, Pisces, Aries, etc. For
example, a Chinese horoscope may predict that a person born in the Year of the
Horse would be, cheerful, popular, and loves to compliment others. These
horoscopes are amusing, but not regarded seriously by the Chinese people.

Overview of Chinese Astrology

The Chinese Zodiac is a complex system. It's origins predate Buddhism. The
Twelve Earthy Branches were created first. It is thought they were originally
used to predict planting and harvest time.

Later, the Ten Heavenly Stems were created based on the Chinese myth that the
Earth had ten suns. Each sun was supposed to rise each day, in order. They Ten
Heavenly Stems were created during the Shang Dynasty to mark this cycle.

Today, these symbols overlay the Twelve Earthly Branches and are vital to both
the Chinese calendar and the Chinese Zodiac. In the Zodiac, each Heavenly Stem
has both a Yin and a Yang designation, and each Stem has a relationship with
its Element. The Ten Heavenly Stems are their Element associations are as
followed. (all Stems are listed in Pinyin).

Stem             Element 

ji and y         Wood
bng and dng      Fire
w and j          Earth
gng and xn       Metal
ren and gu       Water

The person's Yin or Yang is determined by the year of their birth, based on the
Chinese calendar. Those years which end in an even number (0, 2, 4, 6, or 8) are
Yang. Odd years (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) are Yin.

It is very important to remember that the Chinese New Year falls on a different
day from the Western New Year. Even though China recognizes the Western
calendar, they do not use it for the purpose of traditional Chinese astrology.
The Chinese set their holidays, astrology and celebrations based upon their
traditional cyclidic calendar. Also, Chinese New Year is based on the flow of
the cycles. It is not the same day or date each year, but always falls
somewhere in the months of either January or Febrary. For this reason, many
people who have birthdays in either of those months may have incorrectly drawn
charts.

Chinese Lunar Calendar

Prior to adoption of the Western solar calendar system, China exclusively
followed a lunar calendar in determining the times of planting, harvesting, and
festival occasions. Though today people in China use the western calendar for
most practical matters of daily life, the old system still serves as the basis
for determining numerous seasonal holidays. This coexistence of two calendar
systems has long been accepted by the people of China.

A lunar month is determined by the period required for the moon to complete its
full cycle of 29 and a half days, a standard that makes the lunar year a full 11
days shorter than its solar counterpart. This difference is made up every 19
years by the addition of seven lunar months. The 12 lunar months are further
divided into 24 solar divisions distinguished by the four seasons and times of
heat and cold, all bearing close relationship to the yearly cycle of
agricultural work.

The Chinese calendar -- like the Hebrew -- is a combined solar/lunar calendar in
that it strives to have its years coincide with the tropical year and its
months coincide with the synodic months. It is not surprising that a few
similarities exist between the Chinese and the Hebrew calendar: An ordinary
year has 12 months, a leap year has 13 months. An ordinary year has 353, 354,
or 355 days, a leap year has 383, 384, or 385 days. When determining what a
Chinese year looks like, one must make a number of astronomical calculations:
First, determine the dates for the new moons. Here, a new moon is the
completely black moon (that is, when the moon is in conjunction with the sun),
not the first visible crescent used in the Islamic and Hebrew calendars. The
date of a new moon is the first day of a new month.

Chinese elements

Chinese Astrology is said by some scholars to be the oldest horoscope system in
the world. However if you trace Western Astrology back to its Middle East roots,
both types are likely to have been born in their current recognizable form
around 3000 years BC, however they stem from entirely different beginnings as
well as traditions and parts of the world.

The 12 animals are further flavored by the pervading element of that particular
year (elements also revolve as a separate cycle). It is said that Buddha is
responsible for the 12 animals as they were the only ones who came to bid him
farewell into the next life.

Chinese Astrology is concerned with nature and its traits, the signs progress
year by year, whereas Western Astrology cycles monthly. The consideration of
Yin and Yang is a very great influence upon this subject, Yin being passive,
female and receptive while Yang is aggressive, male and exploratory. The
various permutations of these 2 essential forces in nature, places,
organizations, events and humanity and the quest to achieve balance so that
both operate together in harmony rather than opposing or canceling each other
out are an essentially Oriental viewpoint and quest, they form the basis of
many Far Eastern traditions and other influences in Chinese Society such as
Feng Shui.

The 12 Animal Signs are : Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit (or Cat), Dragon, Snake,
Horse, Goat (or Sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. The animal ruling year in
which you were born has a profound influence on your life. As the Chinese say, 
This is the animal that hides in your heart.

There are 5 elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water, each adding a nuance
of almost tactile character to the animal sign. Chinese Astrology is based on
the Chinese0calendar year of your birth or the year of an event. There are also
many more nuances involving the month and day.

Constellations of the Chinese Zodiac

The ancient Chinese astrologers worked with little to no contact with those of
the Greek world. This relative isolation means the constellations we know in
the western world are unheard of in Chinese astrology. They have a system
entirely their own.

The astrologers of ancient China divided their sky into 31 sections or regions.
The three sections, which make up the north celestial pole are called the Three
Enclosures. The stars in these areas can be seen at all times throughout the
year. Each of the Three Enclosures has a name and rules a specific area of the
night sky. The first Enclosure is referred to as Purple Forbidden Enclosure.
This section governs the northernmost area of the sky. In ancient China, this
was the middle of the sky. Next is the Supreme Palace Enclosure, which lies to
the east and the north of Purple Forbidden Enclosure. Finally, the Supreme
Palace Enclosure dominates the area to the West and South.

The remaining twenty -- eight regions are together, referred to as the
Twenty-Eight Mansions. Together, these sections are reflective of the movements
of the moon in a lunar month. Each visible star in the sky is assigned to one of
283 asterisms. The name of a star is constructed by taking together the name of
the assigned asterism and the number of the star.

The Twenty-Eight Mansions are grouped into what is known as the Four Symbols.
Each symbol holds an equal number of mansions. These symbols are The Azure
Dragon of the East, The Black Tortoise of the North, The White Tiger of the
West, and The Vermillion Bird of the South.

Each of the Twenty -- Eight Mansions are named in both Traditional Chinese and
PinYin. While the meaning of the names can be translated into English, the
actual names are not.

Traits of the Dragon

The Dragon is the only mythical creature in the Chinese Zodiac. As a symbol,
the dragon holds a special place in Chinese culture. Dragons are placed on
roofs and above doors to bring strength, health, luck and harmony to the
inhabitants. Dragons are said to ward off evil spirits and banish demons to the
underworld.

The sign is traditionally associated with the position of Emperor of China, and
because of that is known to be omnipotent.

Those born under the sign of the Dragon are attractive and lucky. They are
likely to attract wealth and good fortune to their lives.
Dragons are powerful. And they know it.

Dragon people are confident and know how to make an impression. They are
usually the center of attention and thrive in that role. Their natural
enthusiasm and interest often lead them to positions of power and notice.
Dragon people like to do things big. They are intelligent and when they learn
to combine their talents, intelligence and overwhelming energy, the dragon has
no problem fulfilling his, often overly ambitions, goals.

However, the dragon tends toward the negative and this negativity, if left
unchecked, will drive people away in droves. Dragons come across as
ego-centric, rude, arrogant and ill-tempered.

Jealousy is the Dragon's enemy. They must be ever watchful against the tendency
to use deceit and plain nastiness against one they feel has wronged them.
The Dragon is a steadfast friend, offering unwavering support in times of great
need. With a Dragon by your side, you will never feel abandoned.

Dragons lean toward the grandiose in all things. Whether it's money, food,
luxury, passion or power, for the Dragon enough is never enough. But along with
this tendency toward indulgence, the Dragon possesses the ability to learn,
manage and blend the positive and negative traits of this sign.

Traits of the Ox

Ox is the second sign in the Chinese Zodiac. Like the animal they are named
after, Ox people tend to be powerful and steady. Oxen were traditional used to
plow fields, and haul heavy loads. They make good work animals because of their
dependable and patient attitudes. Ox people are considered the same.

Oxen are hardworking and logical, but they need an peaceful and quiet
environment to sift through ideas and feelings in their own mind.

Not only are Ox people dependable, but they crave dependability and routine.
Considered mostly uncreative, Oxen prefer logic and reasoning to emotional
appeals.

The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. This powerful
sign is a born leader, being quite dependable and possessing an innate ability
to achieve great things. As one might guess, such people are dependable, calm,
and modest. Like their animal namesake, the Ox is unswervingly patient,
tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without
complaint.

Ox people need peace and quiet to work through their ideas, and when they have
set their mind on something it is hard for them to be convinced otherwise. An
Ox person has a very logical mind and is extremely systematic in whatever they
do, even without imagination. These people speak little but are extremely
intelligent. When necessary, they are articulate and eloquent.

The Ox is not extravagant, and the thought of living off credit cards or being
in debt makes them nervous. The possibility of taking a serious risk could
cause the Ox sleepless nights.

Ox people are truthful and sincere, and the idea of wheeling and dealing in a
competitive world is distasteful to them. They are rarely driven by the
prospect of financial gain. These people are always welcome because of their
honesty and patience. They have many friends, who appreciate the fact that the
Ox people are wary of new trends, although every now and then they can be
encouraged to try something new.

It is important to remember that the Ox people are sociable and relaxed when
they feel secure, but occasionally a dark cloud looms over such people and they
engage all the trials of the whole world and seek solutions for them.

Traits of the Tiger

The third sign of the Chinese Zodiac is the Tiger. In the Eastern world, it is
the Tiger who is considered the king of beasts, as opposed the lion of the
West. In keeping with the sovereignty of the Tiger, those who carry this sign
are respected and feared. They are said to bring with them power, good fortune
and an air of royalty. Many believe powerful Emperors will be reincarnated
under the sign of the Tiger.

Tiger people typically have magnetic personalities and they usually assume an
air of authority. Other people are drawn to the energy and natural leadership
of the Tiger.

Courageous and fearsome, Tigers will face most situations with confidence and
grace, even when leading others into dangerous or uncertain circumstances.

On the other hand, Tiger people are calm, gentle mysterious and soft. They are
fiercely loyal, and tend to have long lasting, stable friendships, even as
those relationships rock with the moods of the Tiger.

Enthusiastic, determined and optimistic, Tigers are often admired by those who
know them. Tigers are very secure with themselves and their decisions. They are
comfortable following their instincts and enjoy the unpredictable.

Tigers do well in a business atmosphere and do well to start their own
business. Tigers enjoy doing things themselves and thrive under the pressure of
new, exciting experiences. They face the unusual or difficult with unwavering
confidence.

Those born under the tiger are usually straightforward, open and honest.
However, they do not respond well to feeling trapped, emotionally. In this
situation a Tiger will either withdraw completely or will become aggressive and
attack the person trying to corner him.

Once they calm and recover their confidence and security, the Tiger will return
to the situation and try again.

In general, the Tiger is a sound partner, and a reliable friend. Having Tiger
in your life will assure that life is never boring.

Traits of Rabbit

In the Fourth position of the Chinese Zodiac is the Rabbit.

Rabbits are one of the more emotional and sensitive signs. Emotionally
delicate, rabbit people dislike busy or aggressive situations. They will shy
away from competition and opt instead for spending their energy arranging their
private space in the world.

Those born under the sign of Rabbit have a natural ability when it comes to
decorating and entertaining. They have an eye for color and interior design,
and are wonderfully adept when it comes to planning the minute details of a
beautiful event. They always know the perfect place to put that couch, and the
perfect thing to say.

Rabbits are the care-takers of the Chinese Zodiac. Rabbit people enjoy caring
for those around them. They make great listeners and are usually the confidant
of many.

Thoughtful and personable, Rabbits are ideally suited to serve as politicians,
ambassadors or diplomats.

Rabbits fit in well in the world of culture and high society. They are well
mannered and enjoy the finer things in life.

Because of their sensitive nature, Rabbits get along well with many people,
however, in the depths of their hearts, they are reserved and usually prefer to
spend their time quietly engrossed in intellectual pursuits.

The gentle nature of those born under the Rabbit make them timid and anxious.
They are not risk takers. A rabbit much prefers the routine and known to the
unknown.

Sometimes this will lead the Rabbit to miss or pass up new experiences or a
good opportunity. They will almost always choose the safe route.

To the Rabbit, there is nothing more important than calm and security.
Although, when they are passionate about something, a rabbit will step out of
her den and show the strong, confident and unwavering side of her nature.
Rabbit people are patient and slow to anger.

Traits of the Rat

The ancients considered the rat to be a protector. It was thought to bring
material wealthy and prosperity. Aggression, charm, death, wealth, pestilence,
order, war, and the occult were all ruled by the rat.

Those born under the sign of the rat are said to be leaders. The rat is the
first sign of the Chinese Zodiac, through cunning and manipulation, it is said,
the rat was the first animal to reach Buddha when he called the animals together.

Organized and intelligent, rat people are strong willed and ambitious. They
tend to adapt easily to new situations and environments.

However, charming as they may be on the outside, Rat people are also known to
be cold and calculating, even cruel if that is what is need to reach their goal
or promote there personal agenda.

Intelligent, and passionate, Rats make friends easily and tend to chose friends
carefully. They are practical and hardworking and have tight control over their
emotions. Rats do not trust easily, but are fiercely loyal to those few who
manage to win their trust. Sometimes, however that loyalty can get them in
trouble. Rat people are usually quick tempered and vengeful. They will not
thing twice about seeking revenge when they, or someone they love is wronged.

Rats tend to value money and power and will usually use any means at their
disposal to acquire what they want.

Rats fair in business and become injured when others are not. A Rat who feels
they have been deceived is a rat who will look for ways to get revenge.

Those born under the sign of the Rat will do well to learn patience, tolerance.
They should be patient with themselves as well.

Rat people tend to be perfectionists and easily become obsessed with the minor,
often unimportant details of daily life. In order to build their sense of self
and worth, time spend in relaxation is important.

Traits of the Snake

The sixth house of the Chinese Zodiac is the Snake. Snakes are traditionally
considered the wisest and most mysterious of all the signs. They are a bundle
of contradictions.

Snake people are natural communicators and enjoy stimulating and varied
conversations. They easily become bored by every day discussions. To keep the
attention of a snake, you must find interesting, new or cutting edge things to
talk about. Once you lose their attention, there is no getting it back.

Those born under the sign of snake are gifted at evaluating a situation. They
can easily see the underlying nuances of any situation and they use their
innate wisdom to evaluate and make judgments.

This makes them wonderfully suited to work in the financial realm. A snake
would thrive on Wall Street. They also find happiness studying religion,
philosophy, or psychology. They do not do well in repetitive or boring jobs.

Snake people are problem solvers and while they will listen with empathy and
openness to the ideas and opinions of others, they are not influenced by those
opinions. Snake people make up their own minds and stick to their guns.

Sometimes, however, this strong sense of confidence gets the snake into
trouble. They are not good at taking advice, even when they know they need it.
This causes the snake to make mistakes they could have avoided simply by
hearing the experiences of those they trust.

Ever watchful for the new and unusual, the Snake will be the first person to
embrace a new idea or technology. They love the finer things in life, a good
book, superb meal, extraordinary music. However, snakes have no patience for
activities the view as foolish or frivolous.

Snake people are good friends and good citizens. They believe in helping where
they are needed and are patient teachers.

Traits of the Horse

The seventh house of the Chinese Zodiac is the Horse.

Like a wild mustang, horse people are said to be independent, and confident.
They tend to be free spirits who need ample space to run free. They intensely
dislike feeling confined or penned up.

Horse people are good at thinking on their feet. This tendency to be quick
witted combined with natural horse sense means prosperity, luck and happiness
are the horse's pasture.

Giving, attentive and good listeners, horse people make great friends and
partners. They are gentle with the thoughts and feelings of others. Although,
horse people tend to get excited and aren't very good at keeping secrets. They
don't mean to betray trust, their enthusiasm just get the best of them. Horses
are known for their honesty and determination. Horse people know how to set a
goal and achieve it.

Known for being intelligent, most horse people will tell you they are cunning,
not smart. They're great with numbers and have a natural aptitude for
recognizing patterns.

Horse people are the life of the party, the center of attention, and they love
every minute of it.

Do you have an innovative new idea? Go find horse person to share it with. They
will be the first to tell you how wonderful it is. And, they're excitement will
help spur you into action. Who knows, maybe some of their wonderful horse
wisdom and advice will give you a start on making your idea a reality.

Of course, all this energy, enthusiasm, and spontaneity can lead the horse
astray. They are prone to jumping from one great idea to the next, without
finishing much.

Carefree and persuasive, you'd never guess that the horse does such a great job
of hiding their inner feelings and doubts about themselves or their abilities.
Also, those born under the sign of the horse will do very well to avoid those
who carry the sign of the Rat. It could lead to explosive results.

Traits of Sheep

Eight in the circle of Chinese Astrology is the Sheep. Some cultures refer to
this sign as the Ram or Goat.

Whichever you call them, people born to this sign are creative, interesting and
emotionally sensitive.

Sheep have a flair for the artistic. Their innate sense of drama and rhythm
make them great actors and musicians. In fact, almost the entire list of
"famous Sheep" is comprised of well known actors, cartoonists and musicians.
These are beautiful people, who enjoy creating beautiful things.

Sheep people should gift themselves with a career or hobby in the creative
arts. Painting or fashion design, or crafting will provide a terrific outlet
for all that wonderful Sheep energy.

On the same token, Sheep people need to surround themselves with beautiful
things. They can not function when their environment is in disarray or just
plain ugly.

Those for whom the Sheep rules are considerate and respectful They will never
dream of intentionally hurting your feelings, and being sneaky or manipulative
is against their very nature. If a Sheep injures in any way, they will quickly
step up and do all within their power to make amends.

The Sheep can be needy and dependant. They need the approval of their family
and friends and can sometimes demand a lot of reassurance.

Sensitive and loving, Sheep oftentimes have trouble coping with the harsh
realities of our modern world. They cry while watching the news and ache for
the crime or war victim. It doesn't matter that they have never me this person,
or that they are half a world away. The pain and level of caring is the same as
if it were themselves or their best friend.

Sheep tend to avoid confrontation. Tense situations pull at their natural love
of all things. Sheep thrive when they feel protected and loved.

Traits of Monkey

The ninth position on the Chinese Zodiac is held by the ever contradictory
Monkey. The monkey is known across China for honesty, justice, sorrow and
adultery. At the same time, the symbol of the Monkey is worshiped as a "Great
Sage, Equal with Heaven"

Honesty and trust are the top features of this sign. You can trust a Monkey
person with your deepest, darkest secrets and those secrets will go to the
grave with your Monkey. In business, your money, ideas and the very company
itself is well protected in the hands of the reliable Monkey.

People born under the sign of the Monkey are especially adept when it comes to
taking stock of a situation and making good snap decisions. And, the Monkey
person always knows what's going around her. She can hear and absorb
information from others' conversations, making that emergency decision even
easier.

Of course, the flip side is that the Monkey remembers everything you ever say
to them. Of course, that can come back to bite you later.

Intelligence, quick thinking, creative genius make this sign well suited
inventing new ways of doing things and new items. Of course, monkeys are good
at creating trouble, too.

This combination of traits also means the monkey will hold you accountable if
you commit a wrong against them. Their reputation is very important to monkey
people, and they will not stop until they even the score. To outsiders, this
tends to make them look like master manipulators, but really they're not.

The monkey is usually content with themselves and their lives. They have
morals, but they tend to change with the circumstances. This usually has the
tendancy to make a mess of things, but in true monkey form, the monkey person
doesn't stick around long enough to help clean up the mess.

Traits of the Rooster

The tenth sign in the circle of Chinese astrological chart is the Rooster. Like
the reputation of its namesake, people born under this sign are usually
pretentious, and conceited.

Roosters are almost always preoccupied with their looks. You will never find a
rooster with a hair out place, and they are always perfectly dressed. They are
attractive, and they like to dress to impress.

Those born to the rooster will be the first to notice when you wear a new
outfit. And, when they say you look stunning, they mean it. On the other hand,
they are just as likely to notice and comment when you're not looking your best.

For all this preoccupation with looks, the rooster is equally hard on himself.
"You're your own worst critic" describes the rooster perfectly.

Roosters love to be in the middle of everything. They truly shine when all
attention is on them. Throwing a dinner party for fifty of their closest
friends is fun and relaxing for them. Don't forget to bring along a friend or
two, as well. Roosters love meeting and impressing new people. They thrive on
the unexpected.

Attention to detail is their strong point. Roosters revel in the opportunity to
show off their skills with small details. Those with the rooster sign make
wonderful lawyers and doctors.

Roosters are typically traight-forward in their dealings with other people. You
can always count on them to give an honest opinion. Sometimes to a fault. Their
lack of tact can leave others feeling hurt and offended, athough that is not
usually the rooster's intention.

On the other side, rooster people are wise, and compassionate. They are
confident in their opinions and judgments. Brave and willing to help, roosters
are good people to have on your side during a row of bad luck.

Traits of the Dog

Loyal to a fault, the dog is the eleventh sign of the Chinese Zodiac. Dog
people will stand by their family and friends, even when they shouldn't.
Sensitive and compassionate, those with the dog sign empathize with the pain
you feel. They take it as if it were their own. This can lead the dog to make
excuses for those who are less than respectful toward them. Dogs will also
meddle in your personal life, in the name of trying to help. They mean well and
most dogs will understand when you suggest they back off.

Dog people are usually cool headed in a crisis. They are the ones you can count
on during hectic, stressful times.

Honest, strong, intelligent, and practical, dogs will accept whatever fate
throws at them and handle it with poise and grace. You can count on people of
the dog to do their work thoroughly and well.

Of course, there is a negative side to the sign of the dog. To be born under
dog influence is to be idealist. Dog people have a very clear idea of right and
wrong, there is very little room in their heart for shades of grey. Oftentimes,
this makes them intolerant of those who show weakness. Dogs do not accept
weakness in themselves, either.

Dog people tend to come across to others as excessively critical, even picky.
The dog will see every flaw, and their sense of propriety will not allow them
to over look even the smallest flaws. They are perfectionists.

Dog people will do whatever it takes to protect their family and friends and
they are unselfish, and only want the best for those they care about.
Those with the dog sign will do well for themselves if they choose friends
carefully and remember that not everyone deserves their steadfast loyalty.

Traits of the Pig

The last symbol in the circle of Chinese Astrology is the Pig. In western
culture, this sign is often renamed the Boar in order to avoid any negative
association with some of the slang definitions of the word pig.

Trustworthy, dependable, peaceful, and reserved, these are the cornerstone
traits of the pig.

People born under the sign of the pig are quiet and reserved. To strangers a
pig person will come across disinterested and aloof. They make acquaintances
easily, and usually seem to have many friends. However, true friendship is a
matter that must be closely guarded. You must earn the trust of the pig to be
granted the honor of close friendship. They share their feelings with precious
few.

Once you have won the trust of a pig, you will find them to be open and giving.
They cherish their friends and enjoy finding ways to show how much they care.

Their natural honest and dependable nature allows others to trust them easilly,
and they would never even dream of breaking that trust.

Pig people are usually shy. Pigs are content to work behind the scenes, away
from the limelight and they typically do not seek credit or recognition.

Quiet and introspectful, pig people are at home with nature. They would much
rather go for a quiet hike than hang out at the mall. At the same time, they
prefer to be homebodies. They feel secure close to home and do not like taking
risks or exploring new territory.

Pig people are very concerned with what is socially acceptable. They are not
trendsetters, preferring instead to follow rather than lead.

Reflective in nature, pigs will withdraw from a problem or disagreement to
consider the situation. When they return, it will be with an eye to solving the
problem to make both parties happy.
 
Traits of the Element Water

Nurturing yet dangerous, vital and deadly, water is a ripe with contradiction.
In moderate amounts it is a blessing, in over abundance, a curse. Water is the
only element with the ability to put out fire and make things grow and thrive.

Water is vital to our very survival. Without water crops wither and die and
there is no food. The human body, and in fact, all life on Earth is dependant
upon water. Yet, even for life, water has the potential to be deadly. Too much
water in the body leads to water intoxication and even death.

It is, however, a delicate balance. Too little water and all life withers and
dies with the effects of the hot sun. Too much water chokes out needed oxygen
and drowns.

It is for this very reason the element water is represented by the color black.

Water rules intelligence and wisdom. People born under the element water are
uncommonly intelligent and capable. For all their wisdom and reasoning ability,
water people tend to have difficulty making and sticking to decisions. They tend
to over analyze the situation and roll circumstances around in their mind,
examining from all sides. This leads to an inability to make up their mind.

It is said that Water rules the Excretory system and has rule over the kidneys.
Those with the water element should exercise caution with all things pertaining
to their kidneys.

Diplomatic, and intuitive, water people are flexible. They have a special
ability to "go with the flow" and are usually easygoing.

Those with the water element make friends easily and do well in social
situations. They are charming, and compassionate

These traits coupled with the natural flair for communication of the water sign
means those with this element are good leaders, and make good partners.

Traits of the Element of Wood

The element of Wood represents the direction East. Those who are born with this
element tend to yearn for stability and tradition.

In China, wood is also associated with bamboo. Bamboo, of course, is a strong,
flexible, and long shoot which grows in marsh areas. If follows then, that wood
people are flexible, emotionally strong and dependable. A wood person will stick
with you through good and bad times, unwavering of their support.

Wood people are interested in social issues and strive to leave the poor and
helpless of our world with a sense of independence and change. Although, they
can be idealistic and that trait can be the cause of emotional angst when plans
don't follow the perfect path.

Wood people do well in social work or working with children.

Working with others is easy for wood people, as they truly enjoy the process of
cooperation and compromise.

Like trees, wood people seek to expand their roots. They enjoy learning and
thrive in social situations. Wood people do not do well as hermits or loners,
lack of interaction with other people will lead to unhappiness.

Spring is the season of growth and newness. Represented by browns and greens,
spring is the season when life begins and flourishes. The same is said of those
with the wood element. They are sensual, and are able to see the beauty in every
day situations. Wood people will be productive in all they strive to accomplish

Generous and warm, wood people spread happiness, confidence and joy where ever
they go.

However, wood also carries with it anger. Wood people are prone to temper.

History Of Chinese Astrology

The development of Chinese astrology dates back to at least the Zhou Dynasty (
1122 BC -- 256 BC). Some sources claim it began as far back as 2150 BC. The
ancient Chinese astrologers began by using the position of planets, moon and
stars to accurately predict the change of seasons, and flow of the tides. These
predictions were vital to the success of farming at the time, as they were used
to predict the best times to plant and harvest crops.

To help them keep track of passing time, the Ten Heavenly Stems and Twelve
Earthly Branches were created. These important signs we used to mark the
passing of what we know as hours, days, months, and years. During this time in
history, only the elite could read and write, so animals were used to symbolize
each of the Twelve Earthly Branches.

Legend has it that during the celebration of New Year Buddha was to decide upon
the order of animals to be used for the Twelve Earthly branches. He asked all
the animals in the kingdom to join him for a meeting. Only twelve animals
answered the call of Buddha and attended the meeting.

Buddha granted each of those twelve animals sovereignty over an Earthly Branch.
Each animal was to lead the Branch and have influence over those born during its
Branch.

We know the Twelve Earthly Branches as "Years". In the traditional Chinese
calendar, these twelve animal signs repeat themselves in a never-ending circle,
to remind us that time is a constant and has flow.

The Twelve Earthly Branches are, in order, the mouse, ox, tiger, rabbit,
dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

Some ancient Chinese valued the Earth over the stars. These scientists looked
for the reasons behind the natural order of things. They agreed that all things
had a basis in one of Five elements. To their understanding, all things were
made from Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, or Wood.

They examined how these basic elements worked together and against each other.
Wood creates Fire, Fire turns to Earth, Earth creates Metal, Metal creates
water, and water creates Wood.

In the body, wood element rules the liver and gall bladder. Yin people must
take great care to keep the liver in top condition, for this is their week
point. Those with Yang orientation, the gall bladder is the point of concern.

Traits of the Element Metal

Those born in years of the Chinese calendar ending in either zero or one, are
said to have the element of Metal. Combined with the person's animal zodiac
symbol, this is used to define and give clues to the personality and future of
the person.

The element metal is said to be associated with the Western culture, the season
of autumn, the Planet Venus and the color white.

Those born under metal element may have an affinity for Western religion or
yearn to break away from tradition. Being close to Venus means those with a
metal element are typically romantic, sentimental and kind. A metal person will
go out of their way to help you.

Metal governs the lungs. Those with the metal element may be more likely to
suffer diseases of the lungs such as asthma.

Organization and stability are the ear marks of the metal element. Metal people 
approach life with persistence, emotional strength, and unyielding determination. 
A metal person knows their goals and will not stop until those goals are met.

Self -- reliant, sometimes to a fault, metal people can be viewed as aloof and
unconcerned with others.

Metal people enjoy the finer things in life. Fine wine, rich chocolates, the
sweetness of true love all spark the heart and imagination of those born to
metal.

To help maintain internal and emotional balance, metal people should decorate
their homes with things that are beautiful to them.

Metal people need to pay attention to the state of their emotions, as they are
considered prone to depression and suicide. Taking care to bring happiness and
friendship in their life will help decrease this.

Personal space and time for reflection are equally important to those with the
metal element. Beautiful scents, flowers and scenery will ease the emotions and
feed the soul's need for the romantic.

Traits of the Element Fire

Fire is both destructive and nourishing. On a cold winter day, there is nothing
more calming to the soul than curling up by a roaring fire with a good book or
cherished love one. On the other side, there is no other force on earth more
destructive than a raging, out of control fire. Fire nourishes the human body
by providing us heat to cook our food and light with which to see. And, there
is nothing more painful than having a part of your body taken by fire or flame.

Fire signs draw attention to themselves. Those under the influence of Fire have
charm and charge on their side. They have an infectious enthusiasm that makes
them natural leaders, so people just can't help but to follow them.

They take the role of leader seriously, and do it well. For fire people,
managing others comes naturally. They are decisive, compassionate,
understanding yet firm.

Fire people make excellent entrepreneurs. They possess the determination, drive
and plain stubbornness needed to make a new endeavor thrive in today's tough
business world.

Fire people have an innate ability to see through all of the confusing
distractions right to heart of the matter. And, they possess the strength and
determination to successfully navigate themselves and their team through any
and all obstacles. What they can not finesse around, they will burn though.

Those born to the fire element tend to be restless. They need excitement and
novelty to be happy. While they are leaders, they find relationships difficult
because fire often lacks the stability needed to sustain close relationships.

Fire rules the circulatory system and the heart, making these top areas of
concern. Fire people should take special care to maintain these systems. Carve
out time for exercise and meditation each day and pay attention to diet. Fire
people tend to hold their stress and so it is important to engage in
recreational activities the person finds relaxing.

Traits of the Element Earth

Unlike the position of the Earth in our solar system, the element of earth lies
dead center in the Chinese astrological charts. This is probably because
ancients believed the Earth was the center of the universe and all celestial
bodies circled our planet.

People born under the element of Earth seem to feel the universe revolves
around them as well. Self -- centered, ambitious and stubborn, earth people are
used to getting what they want and achieving their goals. Failure is foreign to
them.

Of course, being the center of the universe brings on responsibility to those
who serve you. And, the earth element handles this charge with grace and ease.
Earth people are patient, and thoughtful. They take the time to care for those
around them, and they are skilled at looking at a situation and evaluating what
is needed.

Goals are achieved through hard work and determination. Earth people know how
to plan for the long term and they are stable enough to stick with the plan to
its success.

The stubbornness of the earth element is a double-edged sword, giving those
born under its rule the determination to follow through when things are tough,
and the audacity to defend their point, even when they are wrong.

Earth people understand that when you rule the universe you have an obligation
to serve it as well. Those under this element enjoy service work and are likely
to take on jobs where they are helping others. Good earth element jobs include
nurses, doctors, teachers and therapists.

Those with the earth element tend to have difficulties with the stomach and
spleen. Careful attention to diet is very important, as is chewing food
carefully. Anything an earth person can do to enhance digestion will be a great
aid to maintaining optimal health.

Dragon

The Dragon is one of the most powerful and lucky Signs of the Chinese Zodiac.
Its warm heart tempers its fiery and rambunctious nature. This is a giving,
intelligent and tenacious Sign that knows exactly what it wants and is
determined to get it. Dragons possess a certain natural, charm that ensures
they can always influence their peers and often find themselves the center of
attention in social situations. This Sign is truly blessed, too. Dragons are
considered to be very lucky in love. The Dragon's friends are always keen to
hear what this firebrand has to say and when it comes to dispensing advice, the
Dragon has the floor.

Its ego can get in the way, but even so, this larger-than-life creature has a
knack for creativity and leadership. According to Dragons, it's their natural
born right to lead the way -- because who else could do it so surely and so
well. As lucky as they are, Dragons have a good chance of achieving
considerable material wealth during their lifetimes, although it isn't mere
money that's this Sign's main motivation. Power is what the Dragon wants and
truly believes it deserves. Dragons are quite the opportunists, forever
searching for ways in which to consolidate their considerable power. Contrary
to all this strength and fire, a weakened Dragon is a sad sack, a creature that
refuses to take defeat with even a modicum of grace.

The leadership role is the only one for the Dragon, the better from which to
give orders and be king of the hill. They make solid leaders, too, knowing
instinctively what needs to be done to stay on top. Crossing the Dragon is
never a good idea -- this beast can singe. A valuable life lesson for this
clever creature would be to absorb the principles of flexibility, compassion
and tolerance. Being high and mighty can serve to inspire others, but it also
keeps Dragons from living their lives to the fullest. If Dragons can learn to
balance their quest for success with an appreciation for the little things,
their life will be more than worthwhile.

The most compatible match for a Dragon is the Monkey or the Rat.

Dog

Dogs in both the East and West are loyal, faithful and honest and always stick
to their firm codes of ethics. It's generally quite trustworthy itself --
except for the occasional little white lies the Dog tells in order to make
things go more smoothly. The Dog makes a wonderful, discreet and loyal friend
and is an excellent listener. This Sign tends to root for the underdog and its
keen sense of right and wrong makes it duty-bound to the core. The Dog's motto
seems to be, Live right, look out for the little people and fight injustice
whenever possible.

Dogs can also be rather dogmatic, too. They don't go in for light social
banter; instead, they go straight for home, discoursing on the topics that are
most important to them. At these times the Dog's narrow-minded or stubborn side
can become apparent; this Sign has trouble staying light and calm when an
important issue is at stake. This Sign can also be very temperamental; mood
swings characterize its emotional life and often the Dog needs to run off to be
alone in order to recuperate. Part of the problem is the result of this Sign's
load of irrational fears that turn into niggling anxieties that turn into hurt
feelings and occasional grouchiness. This sensitive Sign needs to warm up to
others over time and gradually learn to trust them. Without that trust as a
foundation, Dogs can be judgmental and coarse.

The Dog's discerning nature does make it an excellent business person, one who
can turn that picky, guarded nature into a keen sense of the truth of another's
motives. Where love is concerned, Dogs often have a tough time finding the right
match. Dogs need to work on controlling their irrational worries and would also
be well-served to relax their mile-high standards, which can sometimes wind up
alienating the ones they love.

The most compatible match for a Dog is the Tiger or the Horse.

Rabbit

Timid and attractive, the Rabbits of the Chinese Zodiac tend to act more like
bunnies, whether they like it or not! This Sign is extremely popular and has a
wide circle of family and friends. Its compassionate nature leads it to be very
protective of those it holds dear, but where romance is concerned, the Rabbit's
sentimentality can lead it to idealize relationships. The sweet, sensitive
Rabbit often ends up giving more of itself to a partner than is realistic or
healthy. The good news is, when this Sign goes off-balance, the Rabbit's core
group of friends and its stable home life help bring it back to center.

The Rabbit is a rather delicate Sign that needs a solid base in order to
thrive. Lacking close, supportive friends and family, the Rabbit might just
break down in tears at the first sign of conflict. Emotional upsets in this
Sign's life can even lead to physical illnesses. Rabbits dislike arguments and
other conflict and will try anything to avoid a fight; this results in
something of a pushover nature. Rabbits can also lapse into pessimism and may
seem stuck in life -- often to mask their insecure natures. Rabbits tend to
move through life's lessons at their own, rather contemplative pace; it's a
waste of time to become exasperated with this Sign's seeming disinterest in
facing its problems and conquering them.

With the right partner -- meaning someone whose high principles won't allow it
to take advantage of this sensitive, giving Sign -- the Rabbit can make an
incredibly loving and protective partner or family member. Rabbits love to
entertain at home and always make sure their house is comfortable and
tastefully-furnished. What Rabbits need most is a stronger sense of self-worth
and the security that comes with it. Their discerning natures, coupled with
some hard-won assertiveness, will help these happy creatures go far.
The most compatible match for a Rabbit is the Goat or the Pig.

Pig

The Pig may be the most generous and honorable Sign of the Chinese Zodiac. Pigs
are nice to a fault and possess impeccable manners and taste. They are
perfectionists and can be perceived them as snobs, but this is a misconception.
Pigs are simply possessed of a truly luxurious nature, one that delights in
finery and nice things (in surroundings, food, lovemaking and otherwise). This
Sign believes in the best qualities of mankind and certainly doesn't consider
itself to be superior. Pigs also care a great deal about friends and family and
work hard to keep everyone in their life happy. Helping others is a true
pleasure for the Pig, who feels best when everyone else is smiling.

A Pig with no one around to appreciate its giving nature is a sad thing indeed.
Pigs are so magnanimous they can appear almost saintly; this can lead some
less-than-well-intentioned souls to stomp all over this Sign, and the bad news
is, the Pig will take the blows.

Pigs are highly intelligent creatures, forever studying, playing and probing in
their quest for greater knowledge. They can be misinterpreted as being lazy,
however, due to their love of reveling in the good stuff; this Sign could
happily spend hours on end making love, napping, taking a long bubble bath or
dallying over an incredible spread of rich foods. Pigs tend to make wonderful
life partners due to their hearts of gold and their love of family. Even so,
Pigs can be rather exclusive, choosing to spend time with those who will
appreciate them most and ignore the rest of the populace. Pigs would do well to
realize that there's more to life than being needed. When they open up their
world to a diverse group of people, they will truly bloom. The most compatible
match for a Pig is the Rabbit or the Goat.

Ox

If you were born in the years 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985 or 1997 then you
were born under the sign of the Ox in Chinese astrology. Our Chinese menu that
we pilfered from lunch today says that you are bright, patient and inspiring to
others. You can be happy by yourself, yet make an outstanding parent. You should
marry a Snake or Cock. Avoid those Sheep.

The Ox is a steadfast and solid, a born leader. It's dependable and has what it
takes to achieve great things. They are methodical, not plunging in without
considering what the right steps are to get a project finished. They believe in
doing it right the first time.

In the business world, because the Ox can be strong leader, it can also be a
bit stubborn or dogmatic. They prefer to lead and don't like to be pushed
around.

While the Ox is smart, trustworthy caring and honorable, it can also be a bit
judgmental and this characteristic can keep them from having the close friends
and relationships that they desire. Some good advice for the Ox is to learn to
value qualities in others, and to listen to what others have to say. Sometimes
it pays just to say nothing.

The Ox's daily horoscope for today: Relatives or friends may provide you with
discreet and effective help. Try to spend more time with your children and
satisfy their needs. Don't forget to play the lottery today -- you'll be then
in a stream of chance. All chances will be on your side and at the highest
point; it's essential that you forge ahead courageously and methodically. The
stars will support your ambitions and will help you be recognized and
appreciated in your work.

Rooster

If you were born in the years 1945, 1957, n1969, 1981 or 1993 then you're a
Rooster. The Rooster is described as a pioneer in spirit, devoted to work and
the quest for knowledge. It is selfish and eccentric and is best matched with
Snakes and Oxen. Oddly enough, the writer is a Snake and her sister is a
Rooster. We do think there's something to this astrology thing!

Roosters are quick thinkers and are practical and resourceful, preferring to
stick to what is tried and true rather than taking unnecessary risks. Roosters
are keenly observers of their surroundings and those around them. It's hard to
slip anything past a Rooster, since they seem to have eyes in the backs of
their heads. This quality can lead others to think the Rooster is psychic, but
that's not generally the case; instead, this Sign enjoys a keen attention to
detail that makes it a whiz at anything requiring close analysis. Roosters make
great lawyers, brain surgeons and accountants, to name a few of this Sign's
possible occupations. Above all else, the Rooster is very straightforward and
rewards others' honesty in kind.

Roosters tend to be perfectionists and expect to be in control, especially over
their appearance. Primping and posing for the Rooster can go on forever. Being
noticed and admired is an aphrodisiac for Roosters, and they can go a long time
on a few kind words. Roosters also adore being out on the town, especially if
they're in the company of adoring friends. The Rooster will also be the
best-dressed one of the bunch -- style counts with this Sign, regardless of the
cost.

Roosters need to learn to value their heart and soul as much as their good
looks. Their excellent people skills and sharp minds are qualities that others
will appreciate as much as a pretty face.

Rat

Now remember, in Chinese astrology, the some of the signs have names that we in
Western culture might not associate with positive human characteristics. Chief
among these might be the sign of the Rat. If you were born in 1936, 1948, 1960,
1972, 1984 or 1996 then you are a Rat!

According to today's Chinese menu, you are ambitious yet honest,. Prone to
spend freely. Seldom make lasting friendships. You are most compatible with
Dragons and Monkeys and least compatible with Horses.

While in the West, we associate rats with sewers, vermin and disease, this
animal is viewed a bit differently in the East. The Eastern rat is appreciated
for its quick wits and ability to accumulate and hold on to wealth. Rats are a
symbol of good luck in the East. It's a stylish and charming sign in Eastern
astrology. It's sharp and funny will take good care of those it considers its
good friends.

While rats are convivial types, they are also shameless promoters of their own
agendas. This Sign's charm and powers of persuasion are often used to their
best advantage. Rats are motivated by money and possessions. They're
quick-witted and sharp-tongued and love a good debate.

Rats enjoy being on the outside looking in, as they like to learn by observing.
They're forever observant, always tucking away information in their brains for
use at some future time if they need it. Rats don't like to be bored and are
always looking for challenges to keep their already-sharp wits even sharper.

The Rat's horoscope for today: You'll have a tendency to exaggerate the
smallest difficulty; there'll be the need to see things with objectivity, and
then you'll feel more relaxed and, therefore, more efficient. Beware of
intoxications, notably by ingestion. Be very cautious and strict in the use of
drugs. If your intestines are sensitive, don't let yourself be tempted by the
vegetarianism fad; this diet is too rich in cellulose and consequently doesn't
suit you. More than ever you'll aim high and you'll concentrate your life
forces on the achievement of your professional ambitions.

Monkey

If you were born in 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980 or 1992, then you are a Monkey in
Chinese astrology. They are desicribed as intelligent and able to influence
people. An enthusiastic achiever, you are easily discouraged and confused. Your
best matches are with a Dragon or a Rat and beware the Tiger.

Monkeys are good listeners and tackle complicated situations with ease. This
Sign's natural curiosity gives it a broad-based intellectual curiosity. Monkeys
have a show-off side that loves nothing more than to impress their friends with
all they know.

The Monkey's world, full reckless energy and revelry, isn't for everyone.
Remember, though, it's not that this Sign is mean; it might just be a bit too
curious for its own good. Monkeys often feel the need to try everything at
least once, which can make for a merry-go-round of relationships.

The Monkey's love of self-indulgence can also lead to other types of trouble.
This Sign may have limited self-control concerning food, alcohol and other
pleasurable activities. It's party time all the time for the Monkey, yet when
it leads to a monster hangover or a shattered heart (generally someone else's,
not theirs), this Sign might actually show a touch of remorse. They won't
flat-out admit the error of their ways, but at least they'll pull back and try
to tone things down -- for a while.

Monkeys must try to learn to think of others ahead of themselves, at least some
of the time. This Sign's world will be more complete once it realizes the world
doesn't revolve around it.

Snake

Being a Snake ourselves, we should be able to recite our Chinese restaurant
placement profile by heart, but here it is anyway: Born in the years 1941,
1953, 1965, 1977, 1989 and 2001. Wise and intense with a tendency towards
physical beauty. Vain and high tempered.

The Snake is an interesting mix of extroversion paired with introversion,
intuitive reasoning paired with business savoir-faire. Snakes are considered to
be lucky with money and will generally have more than enough to live life to the
fullest, regardless of how important it considers money to be; this may be due
to the fact that Snakes tend to be rather tight with cash. They're not stingy;
they're simply more mentally than physically active. Snakes tend to hang back a
bit in order to analyze a situation before jumping into it. Their charming,
seductive quality actually belies a rather retiring nature; this Sign is
perfectly happy to spend the whole day curled up with a good book and, thus,
can be mislabeled as being lazy.

The Snake is somewhat insecure deep down and tend to be a rather jealous,
possessive lover, behavior that can end up alienating loved ones. Despite these
less-than-stellar tendencies, however, the Snake often proves irresistible and
is a generous, loving partner. Slightly dangerous and disarmingly smart, the
Snake's philosophical and intuitive mind generally supersedes logic in favor of
feelings and instinct. Snakes will rely on their own gut reactions and
intuitions before turning to others for suggestions. This makes this Sign a
great hand in any business venture, possessing the caution and smarts needed to
get ahead.

In general, of course, Snakes are generous and genteel, charming and appealing.
Snakes must try to learn humility and to develop a stronger sense of self. Once
Snakes realize that confidence comes from within, they will finally be
comfortable in their own skin.

The most compatible match for a Snake is the Rooster or the Ox.

Goat

If you were born in the year 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991 or 2003 then you are
a Goat. You're elegant and creative, somewhat timid and prefer anonymity. You
are most compatible with Pigs and Rabbits, but don't mix it up with the Ox.

Goats tend to have a hard time with romance; anyone who couples up with a Goat
must know, this Sign has a sensitive streak a mile wide and can be subject to
bouts of anxiety over seemingly inconsequential things. Goats need plenty of
love, support and open reassurance from their lovers. If a relationship is
marked by conflict, the Goat will often pull away -- either physically or
simply by retreating into the safe haven of its imagination.

If the romance is going well, however, Goats won't hesitate to tell their
partner what they need -- and they can be quite insistent about it. This Sign
will definitely return the favor, however; the Goat has a luxurious side that
delights in indulging a lover's every wish. Appearances are also important to
the Goat, which may explain why these folks can spend hours primping and posing.

Goats are generally most comfortable in their own minds (which other, more
linear-thinking Signs may have trouble deciphering). This Sign makes a great
craftsperson or artisan, or perhaps a teacher of New Age studies -- any
occupation that allows its mind the full range of freedom. Goats tend not to be
very well-organized, precluding many more dry business endeavors. In fact, Goats
tend not to be very materialistic in general, finding plenty of riches in their
own imagination. However, especially when in love, the Goat can be quite a
lavish gift-giver.

Horse

If you were born in the year 1942,m 1954, 1966m 197, 1990 or 2002, then you are
a Horse. You're popular and attractive to the opposite sex. You can be
ostentations and impatient. You need people, but should marry a Tiger or a Dog.
Avoid the Rat!

Horses crave love and intimacy, which is a double-edged sword since it often
leads them to feel trapped. Love connections tend to come easily to Horses,
since they exude the kind of raw sex appeal that is a magnet to others. This
Sign tends to come on very strong in the beginning of the relationship, having
an almost innate sense of romance and seduction. Horses are seducers in
general; check out any A-list party and you're bound to find the Horse in
attendance. This Sign possesses a sharp wit and a scintillating presence; it
really knows how to work a crowd. Surprisingly, Horses tend to feel a bit
inferior to their peers, a misconception that causes them to drift from group
to group out of an irrational fear of being exposed as a fraud.

Horses tend not to look much at the big picture; instead they just follow their
whims, which can result in a trail of prematurely ended relationships, jobs,
projects and so on. This Sign really knows how to motivate others, though, and
get a lot accomplished. Once they find some peace within themselves, they can
curb their wandering tendencies and learn to appreciate what's in their own
backyard.

Horses are the nomads of the Chinese Zodiac, roaming from one place or project
to the next. All of this Sign's incessant activity and searching may be to
satisfy a deep-rooted desire to fit in. Paradoxically, Horses feel a
simultaneous yearning for independence and freedom.





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