Some people read their horoscopes for entertainment. Others glance at them briefly and keep them in the back of their mind to see if they "come true." And some get a full chart reading and faithfully read their horoscopes daily, check compatibility reports for potential friends and lovers, and even plan major life events according to how the planets are aligned.
Whichever type of person you are, you've probably wondered exactly how your horoscope is written, and whether or not there's any truth to it. Read the explanations below to find out the answers to your horoscope-related questions!
Q: Are the predictions in horoscopes real?
A: The word "horoscope" comes from the Greek word "horoskopos," which literally means "a look at the hours." Early astrologers in ancient Babylonia based their predictions on the movement of the planets, which at that time were thought to represent the activity of their five gods - Marduk representing Jupiter, Ishtar representing Venus, Ninurta representing Saturn, Nabu representing Mercury, and Nergel representing Mars - in combination with the Moon-god Sin and the Sun-god Shamash, whose movements were believed to affect what was happening on Earth. As knowledge of astronomy and the world in general has evolved, the art of astrology has evolved as well, but the concept of charting the course of the planets in order to interpret potential life events is very real indeed.
Q: How do you determine what you write for each sign's horoscopes?
A: To write the most in-depth horoscope possible, astrologers need the date, time, and location of your birth. When we have this information, we are able to place your Sun Sign on the first house of an astrological chart, then follow the signs in order for each house thereafter, thereby determining what types of issues may affect you at any given time. By looking at the position of the planets, we can study your chart's aspects and determine whether or not you will have a challenging day, month, year, etc. - or if the aspects are lining up in your favor.
Q: What are planetary aspects?
A: The detailed theory of planetary aspects is quite complex, but in a nutshell, when there is a connection formed between planets that are associated by some degree in the Zodiac, they are referred to as "aspects." When the planets occupy the same degree of different signs in a chart, they have a connection that is referred to as either harmonious or challenging, depending on the signs involved or the number of degrees separating the planets. The major aspects commonly referred to are the "conjunction," which is zero degrees and is considered the strongest blend of two energies; the "opposition," which is 180 degrees and considered a very challenging aspect; the "square," which is 90 degrees and largely represents conflicting energies; and the "trine," which is 120 degrees and considered to be an easy and beneficial connection.
Q: Do planetary aspects affect all signs in the same way?
A: When it comes to astrology, nothing affects any two individual people in the exact same way. The planetary aspects have different effects in general, and as we apply these to peoples' Sun Signs, the aspects affect each sign differently. For example, in the Sun square Mars aspect, Mars is the planet of drive and determination, and the square aspect denotes difficulty in this area, so in general, people with this aspect in their chart may have problems with others getting in their way, so the lesson in their life may be to face challenges head-on and be willing to jump hurdles to get what they want. So, does this aspect affect a naturally headstrong Aries differently than a more introverted, sensitive Cancer? Absolutely! We can see a lot less frustration ahead for the Ram than for the Crab, as overcoming obstacles comes much more naturally to an Aries than it does a Cancer.
Q: Sometimes my horoscopes don't come true. Why?
A: Horoscopes are great tools to use as general guidelines for living, not predictions to be followed to a T! In order to write the most detailed and in-depth horoscope possible, an astrologer needs to have a person's birth date, time, and location. Because it isn't possible to have all of that information for every person, most horoscopes are written with a more general audience in mind. Most daily horoscopes are written by using Sun Signs based on the position and effect of the Moon. The Moon changes signs every two to three days, which in turn affects our moods and emotions, so daily horoscopes are written based on where the Moon is, and how that will generally affect each Sun Sign on that day. Monthly horoscopes can add Sun Signs crossed-referenced with planets that change every month or the course of several months, namely Mercury, Venus, Mars, and the Sun. Yearly horoscopes include slower moving planets such as Saturn and Jupiter, and longer-term horoscopes are based on the movements of Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus, which can take many years to move through one sign.
Q: How can I use my horoscopes in my life?
A: When you have a decision to make, do you only listen to one person, or consult one source? Probably not. By reading your horoscope, whether it's daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly, you can get a glimpse into what your world will be like from a planetary perspective, and you can use this information as a tool to help guide and motivate you. Horoscopes can help you open up your mind to new possibilities, as well as options that you may not have considered, and as long as you approach reading your horoscope with an open mind, you can let the planets be your guide to all that is possible.