Business or the armed forces is their natural arena. Aries are self-motivated and are at their happiest when self-employed or running their departments as if they owned them. The next fire sign, Leo, expresses its fire element in a more cultural, creative way. Leos are often gifted painters, playwrights, actors, or designers. But no matter what their occupation, there is always a bit of the performer in Leos. They treasure uniqueness and need to put their individual stamp on whatever they do. Sagittarius, the third fire sign, directs its energy internationally, through the initiative of education, research, travel, and scholarship.
Imparts spirit and energy Aries : March 21 — April Leo : July 23 — August Sagittarius : November 23 — December New Articles from Susan. More from Astrology Zone. Sign Up Now. News You Can Use. Age of Aquarius. Table of Eclipse Dates from to It started as any other January morning.
It was January 14, , and I was excited because I had my special annual talk in New York coming up the next day, where I discuss the year ahead. The event was entirely sold out, so there was plenty to do — updates to ticket sales, flowers to be delivered, guest lists to double-check, discussions with the Club chef, and name tags to print. I had a team working on things with me, and we were all operating at top speed. Things were under control. I had booked a very early hairdresser appointment before a.
My event was to be the morning of the following day, a Saturday. As I walked in, I gave a kiss to my hairdresser on both cheeks and proceeded toward my chair carrying my paper bag of coffee, breakfast muffin, and The New York Times, along with my laptop and cell phone. I was set and planned to handle some last minute details from there. Text messages were suddenly coming in furiously, faster than I had ever seen any come in before.
My office was texting me, too — get back here! What had happened? I worried that a terrible disaster had hit, but was relieved to hear it was not that, but something I never could have imagined or anticipated. Five days earlier, on January 9, a lifestyle reporter named Bill Ward working for the Minneapolis Star Tribune had discovered a previous article dated October 23, , and posted on LiveScience.
The story went on to explain that this was due to a gradual westward shift of the constellations over thousands of years, called the precession of the equinoxes. Ward called on Parke Kunkle, an astronomer who currently holds a seat on the board of the Minnesota Planetarium Society, to make a comment. Basic to all scientific study is proper research, but neither Mr. Ward nor Mr. Kunkle called a single astrologer before going to press. Ward reported that Mr. The story went on to say you were likely a member of the sign previous to yours, so if you thought you were a Virgo, you were probably a Leo.
The media exploded, and the topic began to trend all over the world. The reporter had presented not one, but two, very complex ideas to discuss, each somewhat unrelated to the other: 1 adding a new zodiac sign never done on a whim , and 2 the whole concept of the precession of the equinoxes. The story was clearly made to discredit astrologers, and astronomer Kunkle freely admitted later he had assumed astrologers know nothing about the precession of the equinoxes — but we do.
I knew the Minneapolis Star Tribune story was wrong, but the situation was not an easy one to address because astrologers were now in the horrendous position of having to disagree publically with a scientist and a newspaper journalist to an already inflamed, now doubtful public. The headlines were all very much the same — no matter what sign you think you are, it has changed today, so start reading that other sign. Upon hearing this news, the public was understandably upset, for the article suggested that the astrologers, through their ignorance of astronomy, had duped them.
News of this small story was quickly picked up by bloggers, on Twitter, and on Facebook. Suddenly the story went viral, trending in every country of the world, and my life was being turned upside down. By January 14, five days after the story appeared January 9 and I had seen some casual buzz about it from the Twitterati, a term I use to denote frequent, opinion leader posters on Twitter , every major news organization was calling any astrologer they could find for comment.
Or, I found that my words were edited in such a way that made my response patently wrong, much to my horror when I saw my interviews on air later. Many times the reporter, who seemed so warm and friendly on meeting, was really out to discredit astrology — and me — any way he could.
Because I am trusting, I did not think to put on my armor. Not all journalists were like this, but many were, and it made for a tumultuous time. At CNN, things went so horribly wrong, I did something I swore never to do — I called the reporter afterward and asked that he redo the interview that had already aired. The fact is, the theory of the precession of the equinoxes was not started by the astronomers at the Minneapolis planetarium at all, but was developed in approximately in BC by the Greek mathematician, geographer, astronomer, and astrologer, Hipparchus of Nicaea BC.
It was obvious that if Hipparchus had developed the concept of the precession of the equinoxes in BC, that meant modern-day astrologers have had 2, years to study it — and we did! Hipparchus is credited with founding the precepts of trigonometry, so he was certainly a giant in his time, and of course, that was only one of his discoveries.
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How Hipparchus developed this correct discovery is interesting, so I will describe it here. Hipparchus had been looking at a brand new star in the Scorpio constellation, and the appearance of that star gave him the idea of cataloguing all the stars he knew about — the list numbered over 1, stars. To this day, that list is considered to be remarkably accurate.
Next, Hipparchus looked up observations noted by other ancient astronomers who had recorded those same star positions years before and noticed that those stars had shifted from the fixed points that they had occupied in their constellations.
After he made those comparisons, he must have instantly known he was on to something. Those changes had to be a result of the movement of the axis of the earth in the direction of the apparent daily motion of the stars. This causes the equinoxes to fall ever so slightly earlier than they had the year before.
I need to show you how we fix the position of planets in astrology. In other words, those constellations are not found all over the sky, but in a very narrow band that circles the earth. Remarkably, this holds true in all astrologic theory, whether you subscribe to Western astrology or Vedic astrology, which is practiced in India. One is to draw the equator, the thin circle you draw around the center of earth, separating earth into Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
The celestial equator is important because it provides a standard of reference for positional measurements without the necessity of taking the varying distances of the planets and stars involved. The ecliptic is defined as the path that the Sun will take, as it seems to travel around the earth. This is an apparent motion, not a real one, because of course, the earth travels around the Sun, not the other way around. The ecliptic lies at an angle to the celestial equator, and where these two elliptical circles touch, twice, sets 1 the Vernal equinox, marking the start of Aries, and 2 the Autumnal equinox, marking the start of the sign of Libra.
Now we need a little bit more science, but this next section is easier to understand, and actually quite fun to think about. It involves the three ways the earth rotates — you may never have thought much about it. Lovely, yes? Sometimes we take all this for granted! A third way the earth moves is a little more complicated so I will describe it this way. Imagine a gigantic dinner plate that holds the earth, its moon, and all the planets, all spinning together as a group, our solar system.
You can see it as you remember you were taught in grade school or how you saw those planets aligned at the Planetarium. The earth and all the planets will keep spinning on this big imaginary white dinner plate through all twelve signs of the Zodiac, with the rotation speed of approximately 10 miles per second, in the Milky Way. You have heard of the Age of Pisces and the Age of Aquarius — this is what they are talking about — the departure of the earth from its 2,year visit to Pisces and its recent or impending entrance into the sign of Aquarius.
I say we arrived the minute Sputnik went up in the s. The Age of Pisces saw the birth of Christianity and the age of faith. The art reflected the emphasis of the times, and the beautiful cathedrals came out of the Age of Pisces. Astrologers look to the cultures of the age to help to pinpoint these Great Ages. The earth, as it spins, creates a wobble like a fast spinning top. This means that certain fixed stars, such as Castor, which used to be in Gemini, is now in Cancer.
In Western astrology we use a tropical or fixed zodiac, and refer to the area of the sky named after the constellations, rather than the constellations themselves. Imagine a round piece of fruit like an orange earth with a long metal rod pierced through the orange at an angle signifying the North and South Poles. In some future date, thousands of years from now, it will point to another star altogether, such as Vega.
This refers to one way the earth rotates, in a backward or retrograde motion, through all the zodiac signs, each called Great Years, each of which take a little over 2, years. That will be important for you to know, for it relates to the Great Ages that we will talk about in regard to the Mayan Calendar in the next chapter. You may have heard that earth is moving out of the Age of Pisces, a period of over 2, years of faith and emphasis on religion, to the Age of Aquarius, an age of peace and brotherhood, and also likely to be a time of vast technological change.
While there were Great Ages prior to Leo, we measure those years by what can be seen as emphasized through culture. The Leo Great Year corresponds to the cave paintings of great beauty in Lascaux, France, some of the earliest artwork ever found, and typifies the creativity of Leo. The Age of Cancer showed the initiation of farming techniques and the start of structured housing, and speaks to the home-orientation of Cancer.
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Keep in mind that the earth is spinning in retrograde motion, so that we have the Age of Leo, followed by the Age of Cancer, and so forth, going backward. To put astrology in context, astronomical observation began in Mesopotamia, where prominent constellations were recognized and named shortly after BC. The minutes and seconds of modern astronomical measurement derive from their numbering system. It was the Babylonians who introduced the concept of astrology and the zodiac as we know it today. The Virgin Virgo also is human, not animal, but the word zodiac covered all signs anyway.
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The Babylonians lived in the Great Age of Aries. Finding out that the equinoxes were moving west is the crux of the concept of the procession of the equinoxes. It told us the constellation behind the Sun would shift slightly in retrograde backward motion at a rate of 1 degree every 72 years.
The constellations will continue to keep moving and they will, someday, thousands of years from now, return to the original place they occupied in Babylonia, 26, years before, when astrology was born. Reporter Ward did not call one astrologer for comment prior to going to press. Under this method, the cusp dates get shifted and condensed.
You will note the dates overlap by one day on each end, presumably contingent on the time of day that someone is born. When it comes to a vote on whether Ophiuchus is a sign or not, I am on the side of Claudius Ptolemy, who was another esteemed Greek mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, and geographer. Ptolemy was the author of Tetrabiblos, a landmark work that established much of the tenets of astrology that we still use today.
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Ptolemy, who lived from approximately from 85 to , is considered the father of modern astrology. He knew about the Ophiuchus and Cetus constellations and listed them on his list of 48 known constellations at the time. Ptolemy was among the most distinguished astrologers and intellectuals of his time, and we know he was involved in the debate about whether to list Ophiuchus or not — he voted no. They are not the same. Some people assume that we get our qualities from the constellations, but we do not. We all get our qualities from the planets, and in particular, our ruling planet contributes the most and is of paramount importance.
In a coming section, I will speak about the importance of your rising sign and how important it is for you to know it — once you do, keep your eye on the ruling planet of your rising sign, too. It is simply a beautiful grouping of stars that have been linked into a shape so that you may more easily spot it in the evening sky. We look up and we can see Pisces and the stars shaping two fish swimming upstream and downstream, or we marvel at the beauty of the archer of Sagittarius. Constellations do not give you your traits — the planet ruling your sign gives you those.
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The planets will give you your influences — constellations are not capable of that either. In fact, the constellations are like a calibration system or big tape measure that allows us to refer quickly to where the planet will be traveling at any given time, and to make quick mathematical calculations in regard to the other planets in the sky, whether square 90 degrees or opposition degrees and so forth.
When we refer to a sign, we are referring to a section of the sky that is named after the constellation, not the constellation itself. In astrology it is vital to know the planet s that rules your sign. In the next paragraph, here is a list for you, and if you memorize your ruling planet, you will find this to be very helpful as you read any material on astrology, including this article, or your monthly forecast on my site, AstrologyZone.
You may also want to memorize the planet that rules your sign, once you discover it. Planetary Rulers: Mars rules Aries. Venus rules Taurus and Libra. Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo. The moon rules Cancer, and the Sun rules Leo. Scorpio is the only sign ruled by two planets, the recently discovered Pluto and Mars. Jupiter rules Sagittarius. Saturn rules Capricorn. As you see, each of us has a sign and a ruling planet that bestows talents and gifts, and explains where you get your personality traits. You get those traits, not from the constellation but from the ruling planet associated with your sign.
Cute, but invisible! No one would have any idea of what personality traits to assign to Ophiuchus. Why would the ancient astrologers create such a confusing situation where the name of the sign is the same name of the constellation — but not really related to each other? When the Babylonians designed the zodiac, the constellations actually did line up perfectly with the path of the Sun. As said, in time, the equinoxes have drifted west at the rate of one degree every 72 years.