How often have you heard some people say how amazed they are at the accuracy of the 'star sign' columns, while others dismiss them as having no relevance to their life at all? Others ask, "How can these columns divide the population neatly into twelve equal groups with each group sharing a similar 'fate' each day?"
The vast majority of the general public is aware of their 'star sign', that is to say, whether they are an Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarian or a Pisces.
These are the twelve signs of the zodiac, and to say that you are an Aquarian for instance, is astrology-speak for saying that during the month from approximately 20 January to 19 February each year, the Sun is in that part of the heavens allotted to the zodiac sign of Aquarius. So 'Star Signs' are in fact 'Sun signs': to say you are an Aquarian is to understand that the Sun was in the sign of Aquarius in the month you were born.
Another popular name for these columns is 'horoscopes'. The word horoscope comes from the Greek horoskopus (hora - time, skopus - observer); a true horoscope is a map, a diagrammatic representation of the heavens calculated for the time a person is born, from his or her observation point or place of birth. This map, or birth chart, incorporates not only the sign of the zodiac the Sun is in when the child is born, but also the Moon and planets of our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
The Moon and planets have zodiac signs too. The astrologer also calculates the 'rising sign' which is totally dependant on the time and place of birth, and it is this point that is very important in explaining how you are different from all those other Aquarians, or Pisceans, or whatever, born on the say day you were.
To evaluate the current trends and conditions in the life, the astrologer considers how the planetary patterns in the sky today, or next week or next year, will influence that birth chart. But to do this the astrologers needs to look at all the planets, as well as the Sun and Moon, in relation to all the planets, the Sun, Moon and rising sign of the birth chart.
For the purpose of 'sun sign columns', the astrologer is restricted to considering only a very small proportion of planetary data for the duration of the week or month/s the column covers, in relation to all those people who share the same Sun sign. For this reason, you may look at Sun sign columns as certainly being based on an astrological predictive technique (if done by a bona fide astrologer!) but by its very nature the resultant information can only contain a very small percentage of relevant data. For a truly individual assessment of the current and future trends and influences in you life, an accurate birth chart based on your time, date and place of birth, is a prerequisite.
So, read the Star sign columns and enjoy! But do remember that there's so much more to astrology than just the Sun sign!
Carol Squires, PMAFA, DTASNZ
Personal profile reports
Your are more than just your star-sign! Based on your time, date and place of birth, my personalised profile reports explain where and in what zodiac signs are the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto - and your rising sign - in your birth chart. An ideal introduction to what your birth chart (horoscope) is all about.