Rob Hardy

Silhouette Staff

 

If you are reading this newspaper, you might be like many people who are in the habit of following your horoscope regularly in daily publications and online, and swear by this ritual along with your morning coffee. It might not be pleasant to hear that many of the people who smirk at this pastime actually have some logic on their side, though not for all the reasons they think.

The word ‘horoscope’ is actually derived roughly from a term that meant ‘the hour of our birth.’ So to be curious as to one’s horoscope is to wonder what the cycles of the planets have in store for you based on the exact date and time, as well as place, you were born. Since this is very specific, the faith in newspaper astrology is usually misplaced.

The idea of people being born with a specific sign actually relates to our sun sign – the position of the sun at the time of our birth. We do, however, also have a moon sign, as well as a placement for all the other planets. This means that even though we share some common characteristics with people born around the same time of year, the other differences in our birth chart make us all ultimately unique. That is why some twins can be so alike, and others can still be quite different.

Sun sign astrology became popular in newspapers during the early part of the 20th century, though as you might suspect, even when professionals wrote these columns, focusing on only one part of your life without the whole picture will usually glean almost nothing of value. It is also the way of astrological symbols that the meaning for one sign will at times manifest in quite an opposite way between two people.

If you compare your sign to that of your family and significant others, you probably recognize a shallowness to this analysis based on sun sign alone.

Your first Scorpio boyfriend may have been much more intense than your second – perhaps his moon sign was also in Scorpio. That Gemini girl you’ve been talking to may prove to be less maintenance in the future if she has some other planets in Taurus to bring her back down to earth.

Though this may sound like magic or make-believe, astrology has somehow survived through the ages for thousands of years. It is both a science and an art. First, one must be able to calculate geometrical aspects between planets, and then use intuition to interpret what this means for the person, thing or event in question.

The good news is that if you are still interested in your horoscope after this, you may find it rewarding to read more about it online or at the library, and leave the newspaper horoscopes to those who are content with some light amusement.

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