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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