Precession of the Equinoxes

Precession of the Equinoxes

Precession of the Equinoxes

The Precession of the equinoxes is a process whereby the position of the stars and constellations gradually move in relation to the seasons. This means that the twelve astrology signs that once roughly aligned with the constellations of the same name, no longer do. The rate of precession is one degree every 72 years = 0.838 minutes per year, or more precisely, 50.2675 seconds per year.

The word Zodiac comes from the Greek zõdiakos (animals) kuklo (circle). It refers to the constellations of stars around the ecliptic. The ecliptic is the path that the Sun, Moon, and planets take through the stars as viewed from Earth. Astronomers still refer to the zodiac as this path through the stars and constellations.

Astrologers refer to the zodiac as the 12 equal Sun signs of celestial longitude. Once upon a time, astronomy and astrology were one, and the shaman, druids, or priests simply divided up this ring of stars into varying numbers of constellations depending upon the culture. For example, in ancient Babylon, the circle was divided up into 17 or 18 constellations of varying lengths. In ancient India, this ring of stars was divided up into 27 or 28 lunar mansions of varying lengths based on bright stars.

Astrology is the study of the effects that celestial objects like planets and stars have on us down here on Earth. It was always based on the spatial relationships between the planets and between the planets and the stars. That is why the original zodiacs were star-based. Because some cultures evolved from a nomadic to a farming way of life, a new zodiac was developed based on seasons.

It was a calendar really and was eventually divided up into 12 equal segments which is the zodiac we use today. It was developed around the 7th century BC and as an ecliptic coordinate system, it:

was a convenient celestial measuring device, unrelated to astrological activity…it was being used at that time for the recording of astronomical data, yet observation of the effects of the planets for astrological purposes continued to be related to the visible constellations. [ Heavenly Imprints, Deborah Houlding]

Measuring Device

The 12 equal segments in this calendrical measuring device were named after the twelve major constellations around the ecliptic, Aries, Taurus, etc because they sort of roughly fitted in at the time. It was a very rough fit though, constellation Virgo is 46 degrees in length while constellation Cancer is only 4 degrees long across the ecliptic. Gradually the astrological meaning of the constellations was transferred to this new measuring device and the thing was given interpretive meaning.

The divisions are called sun signs, named after the constellations but now not at all related to them, purely symbolic. What we know as horoscopic astrology today is the result, and most astrology, Western and Vedic, traditional and modern, comes from this. All the rules such as elements, sign rulers, detriment, etc are based on these zodiac signs, or Sun signs.

These abstract ideas were cemented in a book called Tetrabiblos by Claudius Ptolemy (Ptolemy) in the 2nd century AD. He adopted an astronomical calculation concerning the starting point of the zodiac which resulted in a fictitious moving (tropical) zodiac being popularised, which became the basis of the birth of modern Western astrology.

Now astrology shows little resemblance to its origins. The signs of the zodiac we use today do not relate to the constellations from which they derive their name and meaning. The idea of having 12 equal segments reflecting the influence of the stars is nonsense. Even stars within a single constellation can have very different influences, and of course, there are many more constellations to consider that are not on the ecliptic. To make things even more ridiculous, the precession of the equinoxes in the last 2,000 years means the constellations are a whole sign away from the sun signs bearing their name.

Precession Astrology

Precession is the movement of the stars in relation to the ecliptic. They move forward through our tropical zodiac by about 5 minutes every 6 years, so in one lifetime, or 72 years, a star will move one degree forward through the zodiac. This is because the Earth is tilted and moves around this axis every 26,000 years.

Vedic astrologers get around this problem by using the sidereal zodiac, it keeps moving with precession. It’s a patch-up job that tries to resolve the problem by matching the Sun signs to the constellations of the same name. However, this system is still based on the incorrect assumption that these 12 equal divisions reflect the influence of the irregularly shaped constellations. The rules of Vedic astrology are based on this. When the tropical zodiac was developed, zero degrees of Aries matched up with the first star in constellation Aries. Mesarthim, “the First Star in Aries, as at one time nearest the equinoctial point (392 BC)” [Star Names, Their Lore and Meaning, Richard Hinckley Allen, 1889, p.82.]. That star is now at 3 degrees Taurus.

Ptolemy and the Hellenistic astrologers that followed knew about precession but they chose to ignore it.

There was, perhaps, a more pertinent reason why the astrologers of the early Classical period chose to ignore this matter, one that suggests that by covering up this ‘inherent flaw’ of the zodiac, they were also obscuring a philosophical problem that had wider implications…It was tempting indeed to turn a blind eye, to let some other astrologer deal with it in some future generation when it really mattered. [Heavenly Imprints, Deborah Houlding]

It really matters now. Astronomers and skeptics can easily make astrology a laughing stock because of precession and they continually do so.

Johannes Kepler

I use the zodiac at it was originally intended, preferring to use the tropical zodiac to describe the position of the stars and planets. The degrees of the tropical zodiac is a universal way for astrologers to communicate where a planet or star is, that’s all. The interpretation comes from the relationship between the planets – the aspects, and from the influence of the fixed stars. What I’m doing is nothing new.

The great astrologer Johannes Kepler had a solution to this problem – he basically abandoned the zodiac and built his astrological system around the aspects between the planets. He thought that the zodiac itself was merely a human geometry exercise and primarily served to aid the memory of astrologers as they computed aspects in their heads. [The Zodiac: Sidereal Vs. Tropical, Bruce Scofield]

I also correct for precession to work out transits. Robert Hand, one of the most respected astrologers in the world says:

it is possible to treat the tropical zodiac as if it were moving. In other words, one should treat the natal positions of the planets as if they were fixed stars…My own experience has been that in timing an event the corrected positions are more accurate than the uncorrected ones. [Planets in Transit, Robert Hand, 2001, p.29-30.]

Nearly all astrologers continue to use the Sun signs for interpretation but it has to be understood that these interpretations are purely symbolic, not based on our relationship to the cosmos. It is similar in a way to the use of the cards by a Tarot reader, it aids the intuition to help in reading.

Taking the meaning of the signs a step further by using rulerships and detriments, even saying someone is lacking in an element such as fire is fundamentally flawed. Astrology is based on the principle that the stars and planets have an effect on us down here, summed up by the words of Hermes Trismegistus, “As above, so below”. It is the planets moving across the backdrop of the stars which influence our lives, not the planets moving through imagined 30-degree divisions on a piece of paper.

A mistake two thousand years ago took root following the Menai massacre of 61 AD. The Druids, the most feared and revered astrologers of all time, left no writings. It’s all in the mind.

132 thoughts on “Precession of the Equinoxes

  1. Great write up, thanks Jamie. This is something I doubt I will ever see rectified in my lifetime, more’s the pity. Just when I have my head wrapped around one way of thought, be it tropical/sidereal – whole sign/placidus – something happens which makes one or the other make more sense. Pluto moving into Capricorn especially makes sense. You can see some levels of Sagittarius, with the excess then crash, but the timing!!!! Or some argument gets fired up and it turns me off everything completely.

    I have honestly given up thinking about it! What I use works, right or not, as you say, symbolic and it connects with the collective psyche. Skeptics don’t believe anything other than their own opinion. so they can poke fun whereev’s. Astrology will never be respected until ‘astronomers’ acknowledge it, that’s what is needed for science minded people to believe it works. BUT is the question really about what works, or having a working model that PROVES to skeptics that it works? Is it more about validation? I don’t know but astrologer’s sure argue a lot!

    • Well if they’re going to add another sign then everyone should remember that the chinese zodiac also has a 13th sign(The Cat) that was removed. What’s also interesting is that I live in Florida and for years I’ve been telling people that the Winter cold doesn’t hit til about mid Jan and that they should move the months back to line it up. Could this mean we are going to see an extra month in our Year?!?!?! Since I thought of it do I get to name it?!?! Hmm… how about Jeri:) lol
      – Jerry C.

  2. @Karen
    Your right about the symbolism of the signs being etched in the collective psyche, atleast in the modern western cultures. It is not something that is going to be easily reversed and probably won’t be for a very long time if at all.

    Blaming Pluto moving into tropical Capricorn for the financial crisis doesn’t make sense to me. The biggest depression was in 1929 when PLuto was half way through Cancer. The big crash of 1987 had Pluto in Scorpio. The aspects between the slower planets seem to have the influence here. Pluto, Uranus and Saturn in hard aspect occured in the early 1930’s with the great depression.

    I question to why we think tropical Capricorn should have something to do with the economy anyway. Apparently in mundane astrology Taurus and the 2nd house rule the economy. We can say Saturn rules Capricorn and that is strucutres and government institutions, but how did we get to a planet having ownership of a 30 degree sector of the sky?

    The skeptics will never be satified and that doesn’t bother me, but I do care about how astrology is viewed by the general population. When I tell people this is my career I am not happy that most people think astrology is enertainment value at best and charlatanism at worst. We do have a bad image and it is due to those Sun sign horoscopes in the paper and now all over the internet. One in twelve people cannot have the same things going on. To say that more serious astrologer look at more than just the Sun sign is missing the point, they interperet the other planets in those very same signs with the same meanings. It is still based on the assumption that there are 12 eaqual sized and very distinct sections of the sky.

    All indiginous cultures still look at the stars, their mythologies are tied to them and they are in touch with the Earth. We used to do the same, but just as we lost touch with the Earth and are destroying it, we have done the same to astrology.

  3. well, this chicken is going to leave this debate where it always lingers, in the air, and go respect the flow of the Dark Moon and de-clutter.

    Happy New Moon tomorrow!

  4. @Jamie
    Hmm well I know very little about mundane astrology, as it is not a facet that I have studied, so MY logic based on study considers Capricorn the big business/govt sort of thing – so the ingress and the timing makes sense to me via tropical. As do the other years – 1987 with all of the mystery as to why it crashed and 1930 being extremely ‘dramatic’ – totally crabtastic with the drama – the panic etc etc – so it meshes in my mind.

    But when you say Taurus rules the economy, which makes sense, so that puts a new twist on it!

    So, back to personal astrology – what does the removal of the sun signs as a main working base do to an individual who experiences a Sun with no aspects?

  5. Karen :

    what does the removal of the sun signs as a main working base do to an individual who experiences a Sun with no aspects?

    If there are no aspects to the Sun then I would look to any fixed star conjunctions, and chances are there will be one. The influence of the star is used instead of the sign.

    Take for example George W. Bush.

    His Sun is conjunct the brighest fixed star in the sky, Sirius “fame, honors and riches. Sirius in conjunction with the Sun and well placed in the chart will be found to be the case with numerous important and famous personalities. Possibly, the rise in station is made possible by protection from people of influence.” Ebertin p.38. That is a very different interpretation than you would read in any astrology book for “Sun in Cancer”. Much more accurate, no waffle.

  6. OK cool, because that would be me – Sun out of aspect, not George Bush 😛 You add that no aspect issue with the house type issue, and my Sun could go all over the shop.

    I’ll have to check out my Fixed stars out of interest xo

  7. Another topical example is Tony Abbott. Sun in Scorpio? Or Sun on Acrux in the Southern Cross “A deeply religious nature connected with mystical and theosophical interests”

  8. @Karen
    Even is your Sun is not aspected and on no major fixed star it will still be influenced to some extent by a smaller star or constellation. Even if that influence is very small, then the Sun simply is not a big factor in your chart, no drama’s there. Other aspects and stars in the chart will have a greater influence on your life as is the case if your were using signs anyway.

  9. Marina :

    Thanks for that fantastic history lesson Funky 1. Very nicely written. Applause:)))

    Adoration accepted. You may now begin work on erecting a monument in my honour.

  10. Marina :12 is pretty special. And there was 12 apostles too! If you count Judas, he could be likened to the 13th sign Ophiuchus. The sign that was left out of the Zodiac even tho its on the ecliptic.
    I also like to have 12 planets ruling the 12th houses.

    12 is a special number but moreso geometrically and mathematically. It makes working out the major aspects so much easier. 13 is a magical number but not so useful in geometry. Still the Celtic zodiac has 13 signs based on the 13 lunar months in a year.

  11. Thanks for that fantastic history lesson Funky 1. Very nicely written. Applause:))) I did try using western Sidereal for a while, but you just reminded me why I gave up on that one!

    Now the Zodiac signs are etched in our minds because there is something in the 12. And they are 12 very, very potent archetypes.
    I think they absolutely correspond to the months of the year (in the northern hemisphere) and that is why they appear to work. I thought of all my friends and their Sun Signs and they really do fit with their “style”.

    But like clothes, once you peel them off what you are left with is the naked soul and that’s where the aspects come it. Its what we are trying to cover with our Sun signs, like clothes we try to accentuate our good points and mask over the bad ones.

    I do love the signs actually, so I use them as houses. Quite a few other Astrologers use this kind of approach. Mars=Aries=1st house etc etc. If someone has Sun in the 8th I see them as a Scorpio.
    12 is pretty special. And there was 12 apostles too! If you count Judas, he could be likened to the 13th sign Ophiuchus. The sign that was left out of the Zodiac even tho its on the ecliptic.
    I also like to have 12 planets ruling the 12th houses. Now we have Eris (another lady that was left out of the party.)we can do that.

    Here’s my rant on the matter!
    Zodiac signs and national stereotypes

  12. @Jamie

    sheesh I’m just not riding along with great company here now am I.

    Alright, well I had a look and Fixed Star Hamal is in parallel to my Sun. I followed your links here and I can definitely see the interpretation influence playing out in real life. However, I will need to study my moon/merc and moon/mars squares before I make an opinion 🙂 about what I mention below.

    See, I have a great chart but it is strongly challenged. It is like I had this tough karmic life plan that I chose to dive into and was given this attitude in which to work my way out of it. Which is great but it leaves me sporadic and restless, ready to jump ship in the blink of an eye. Except with my babies. My Moon is not a happy Moon and Venus is not that well placed or in strong, positive aspect – so much about my real life experiences with my children comes back to my Cancer Sun. Even using the western sidereal that experience can be explained by Jupiter moving into Cancer – but without the zodiac, it isn’t explained.

    BUT as I mentioned, this is something I will study to completion before I make an opinion and it is just my view after working with astrology that I know and have studied for over ten years now and living my chart for 43 years!

    The other thing that confuses me with losing the zodiac is working with the Nodes. Yet again, having a Taurus North, this could explain to me the mothering twist but it comes back to zodiac again!

    I personally struggle the most with House systems. That annoys me and I wish there could be some sort of accepted consensus there. With the zodiac however, I totally get the visual versus tropical argument and it bugs my sensibilities too. But what keeps me hanging in there regards the tropical system is that whilst it may defy scientific explanation – it still works. It can be debated until the cows come home but it still works – or there would be no astrology websites with keen readers. Yes, horoscopes are damaging but they also open the door for people to take a more serious interest in astrology, which is fab. It is annoying though, that horoscopes astrologers earn more than those who are doing their best to work with the skies in a more traditional/academic way – moving away from the entertainment aspect of it all. That would be nice to see being brought into balance.

    Thanks for this topic and for the food for thought!

    That Fixed stars programme may be in my future one day, you just never know.

  13. @Karen
    I see you are using Sun in Cancer to explain your stong maternal instincts. Instinct and mothering are the Moon more than anything. The Cancer themes of mothering do come orginally from the Moon supposedly ruling Cancer. So I would look to your natal Moon to explain this focus in your life. It does seem strongly asspected from what you say, much moreso than your Sun so it does make sense just based on aspects alone that this is a major theme in your life.

  14. Going to have to agree to disagree Jamie and I do know how to read a chart. I also do know how relevant the Moon is regards femininity and maternal instinct.

    Have a great day!

  15. Jamie – man you’re busy!

    I’ve been liking this post and your comments Karen – so much in there.

    I am with you on astrology and astronomy being one in our past. Navigating by the fixed stars has an instinctive electric ring to it that feels different from the vagaries of the planets. The scientists have been telling us for years that cosmic rays from the stars affects our DNA!

    Am also pulled by the idea that adaptation and survival needs brought out the hunter gatherer to agri-culture shifts – in the face of post glacial rapid climate change (theres hard evidence for a fifty year window in which that climate change happened – thats freaky fast and uncomfortably familiar) – the shamans were there already and I’m sure their roles changed within those shifts, tho I don’t think they put the rings around the animals -fences perhaps.

    Heres a goofy idea….

    How would it be if EVERYTHING changed back then? Theres plenty of evidence to support the otherwise wacky idea that those rapid changes were set off by an axial shift of this planet – the skies orientation/motion would have changed with it and necessitated upgrading the astrology and cosmology we recognise now in the process.

    Wouldn’t this have complicated and diversified the already existant astrological arts and call forth the need for a different kind of precision. Is it in that context that fixing everything became more of an issue (including precession – Earth began to wobble)? Next thing you know you’ve got the ancestors of science telling us how it is. (Can anyone explain why Uranus rotates on an ‘horizontal’ axis?).

    But that old chestnut of the science in astrology – I became interested in astrology in my early teens, just as the mass entertainment industries began to really take over, and was so often put off by the technicalities and what seemed to be formulaic dogma in interpretations even then – no daily horoscopes back then that I remember, but, never was a scientific one-size-fits-all type – not a problem these days tho. Isn’t astrology about resonance…..

    Otherwise seems very quiet out there tonight….and I’m very insomniac at the mo, staying up with the cat – theres a T in my chart formed by Mercury 2 opposite Neptune 2, this squared by Uranus 2, with Pluto 29 and Moon 5 sextiles thrown in for good measure – every transit feels like an electric fog setting off the doorbell in the middle of the night…….

  16. Marina – theres plenty more goof where that came from I can assure you….

    I love this notion. I also love the fact Uranus rotates sideways.
    Talking about Uranus. Who would you say is more Uranian? Me with Sun/Moon/Venus/Mars/MC in Aquarius and Uranus square AC by 1.16degs or Jamie with Sun conjunct and parallel Uranus by 1.22degs.(This is known as Occultation which is an eclipse actually!)

    I guess that would depend which side of bed you got out in the morning, who’s turn it is to do the laundry and whether the kids are playing up!!

    personally, I would want to see the whole charts to make a useful comment but a first impression is that you are more naturally Uranian, which doesn’t necessarily mean it would be obvious to anyone, but you don’t have to ‘put on the trappings’, and Jamie is driven to be Uranian, perhaps from within, although I have the feeling he likes to be in the driving seat of the Uranmobile!!

    If Earth spins like a top then Uranus rotates like a wheel – Earth has its south pole on the ground and Uranus has its tyre tread at base – curious thing, this makes sense if you think of the solar system as being the ground, ie a disc, with the Earth as a gyroscopic generator and Uranus as an electro-magnetic coil in relation to that plane – they each excert different forces on the field and interact with the vibrational network of that field differently – makes Uranus look positively weird tho, which I like BTW…..oh cripes, am I losing it!!?

  17. @ Karen. I don’t doubt your Sun in Cancer has an influence. I have two best Cancer friends and they are very maternal over everyone. One in particular always feeds us very well and is a great host. The signs provide another layer, but the problem I find with them is that because they are so well known people can get lazy and rely on them too much. Especially if you see a Stellium. It forces you out of your comfort zone if you are forced into looking at other factors.

    rob :

    How would it be if EVERYTHING changed back then? Theres plenty of evidence to support the otherwise wacky idea that those rapid changes were set off by an axial shift of this planet – the skies orientation/motion would have changed with it and necessitated upgrading the astrology and cosmology we recognise now in the process. </p

    I love this notion. I also love the fact Uranus rotates sideways.

    Talking about Uranus. Who would you say is more Uranian? Me with Sun/Moon/Venus/Mars/MC in Aquarius and Uranus square AC by 1.16degs or Jamie with Sun conjunct and parallel Uranus by 1.22degs.(This is known as Occultation which is an eclipse actually!)

  18. @Marina

    Thanks Marina 🙂 and it must be universal, no one leaves my home thirsty or with an empty belly! That’s a very good point regards the stelliums, I can see what you mean there.

    I guess the point I was trying to make and was using my data as an example, is that without knowing me and my life experiences, you need more than just aspects to make a solid, cold reading. Using the aspects to my Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars – these would provide an adequate explanation of the difficulties I have faced in life.But not the upswings that I have experienced, thanks to having children or how important my ‘home’ is to me. There is nothing ‘maternal’ or ‘domesticated’ in my asoects at all, in fact, they’re the exact opposites. Having the Sun out of aspect and the traditional interpretation that elements out of aspect scream louder than those that are, really works. But you need houses (placidus gives me a 5th House Sun and whole, a 6th House) or signs (Cancer) to really flesh out the detail, or as mentioned in the Robert Wilkinson article, far more positive, modern twists on the Fixed Stars.

    Thanks again and phew, that’s a lot of Uranian influence floating about with you too!

    • I have been stumbling torguhh astrology book after astrology book, and while I have certainly been enjoying the journey, and picking up lots of wonderful information along the way I needed to pull it all together! Soul Purpose Astrology was the PERFECT book to get my head wrapped around the basic concepts of astrology and how to grasp the BIG PICTURE. I do believe the North and South Nodes are extremely important and the study of them can lift us to higher planes of learning and this book explains it succintly. Margaret Koolman pulls it all together in an easy to read and understand book. I thank her and thank Llewellyn for printing this valuable book. If you are a new or intermediate astrology student OR want a more intuitive way opf learning astrology this is THE book for you. I give it a HUGE endorsement.

  19. @ Karen. I think Astrology is just a tool to access into a persons psyche. I said to Jamie yesterday that I didnt think he needs so many “tools” as it were, to do that since he is I’d say more Neptunian than I am. (He pulls things out of thin air)
    I love using the houses, parallels, and the asteroids to fine tune. I NEED to use Astrology more than him I think. That’s more Uranian than Neptunian.
    So I am more the 18th century Astronomer wearing a frilly shirt surrounded with astrolabs and horarys. While Jamie is the druid standing in Stonehenge just looking at the stars direct.

  20. rob :
    a first impression is that you are more naturally Uranian, which doesn’t necessarily mean it would be obvious to anyone, but you don’t have to ‘put on the trappings’, and Jamie is driven to be Uranian, perhaps from within, although I have the feeling he likes to be in the driving seat of the Uranmobile!!

    Thats very, very true and without even looking at the chart! Thank you for that observation. Made me laugh:))
    Our charts are on the “about marina & Jamie” page. There is a link under our pic on the sidebar

  21. Thanks, Jamie, for this thought-provoking work. As I was out for my run this morning thinking about it and the current Sun in Virgo, this is what came to mind.

    Perhaps it’s unfortunate that the same names are used for the tropical zodiac and the constellations, but there is something fundamentally true about the tropical zodiac that is extremely important in an agrarian society.

    When I first was learning astrology Noel Tyl was my teacher and he very carefully aligned the Sun signs with the seasons. This has always made sense to me. That Aries is the first sign, the sign of beginning things, and its alignment with the vernal equinox rings true for me. That a fixed sign always follows a cardinal sign to set in place what was initiated, and then a mutable sign to transition to the next cardinal position, just intuitively works for me. That the solstices and equinoxes correlate to the cardinal signs in their characteristic descriptions seems ultra-rational and natural.

    It’s always seemed true also that when an infant is born she picks up the pervading atmosphere of the moment of birth, such as the instinctual fear of the darkening of Scorpio, or the harvesting of Virgo, or the hot, bright sun of Leo. I think all people react to these forces of nature on a very deep level, and from this comes a lot of the “meanings” of the Sun signs. Actually I think that all people react to the other planets in the same way but they are so subtle that many people miss them.

    I wonder, not having studied it, whether the meanings assigned to the fixed star constellations have been actually lifted from the seasonal sun sign zodiac!

    What may be the kicker in our time is that we are no longer an agrarian species really, and the natural connection to the seasons is becoming less and less relevant, thereby rendering the tropical zodiac less relevant.

    Thanks for the stimulating post!

  22. Ellen Longo :
    What may be the kicker in our time is that we are no longer an agrarian species really, and the natural connection to the seasons is becoming less and less relevant, thereby rendering the tropical zodiac less relevant.
    Thanks for the stimulating post!

    What a great point! Astrology is constantly changing and it is different from what it was 1000 years ago, so there is no reason to suppose it will stay the set up we have now. Plus our lifestyles have changed so fast even in the last 100 years.
    The point about the meanings of the constellations coming from the Signs. I don’t think that’s the case, but I am desperately trying to research the history, but there is no clear evidence, things have got lost in translation. But Robert Hand says there IS evidence that the Babylonians used a tropical zodiac, but not in the way we do today. It was more like a measuring device and a way of fixing everything to 0 degs Aries and the cardinal points.
    It appears that the signs came from using houses which were a way of bringing the planets down to earth. They made the Signs fit the interps of the houses and just took the names from the constellations on the ecliptic. They have NO relation to the constellations whatsoever.
    In that case it’s the HOUSES that truly represent the seasons, but they are purely symbolic and represent our internal seasonal clock.
    With the Sun signs tho, I don’t think its anything to do with the feeling of the environment around you at birth, other wise all Australian Aquarian’s would feel like Leos?

  23. With the Sun signs tho, I don’t think its anything to do with the feeling of the environment around you at birth, other wise all Australian Aquarian’s would feel like Leos?

    Yes, I’ve often wondered why the signs are not reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. From my way of looking at it, it should be.

  24. It doesn’t make any big difference really because if you are using ‘sun signs’ – an individual is both the ‘light and shadow’ of that axis, or it should be considered at any rate in both hemispheres!

    Using the Modes though, seasons change when it is mutable time, no matter where you are in the world, and we still eat food – so we’re still agrarian 🙂

  25. Karen : ….an individual is both the ‘light and shadow’ of that axis, or it should be considered at any rate in both hemispheres!
    Using the Modes though, seasons change when it is mutable time, no matter where you are in the world, and we still eat food – so we’re still agrarian

    Thats all a helpfull clarification – and, yes, if there is an agrarian shift isn’t it cultural; we can grow tomatoes any time of year and food availability is no longer tied to location – best eat biodynamic from your own back yard!

  26. Hey Rob 🙂 In fact, with the environmental awareness trend, plus the political focus on global warning – we are perhaps becoming more aware of the agrarian cycle. But, alas, some of us, like myself, will always be the vegetable garden’s funeral dirge, regardless of our knowledge about the cycles!

  27. Ellen Longo :

    With the Sun signs tho, I don’t think its anything to do with the feeling of the environment around you at birth, other wise all Australian Aquarian’s would feel like Leos?

    Yes, I’ve often wondered why the signs are not reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. From my way of looking at it, it should be.

    I know when I read my first basic astrology book and how the seasons related to the signs I was very skpetical. Reading about how Virgo I am because I was born in Autumn. I was born in spring! It’s no wonder that Ausies lead the field these days in the use of fixed star. Bernadette Brady, Anne Wright and Rob Tillett.

  28. Jamie :

    Ellen Longo :
    With the Sun signs tho, I don’t think its anything to do with the feeling of the environment around you at birth, other wise all Australian Aquarian’s would feel like Leos?
    Yes, I’ve often wondered why the signs are not reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. From my way of looking at it, it should be.

    I know when I read my first basic astrology book and how the seasons related to the signs I was very skpetical. Reading about how Virgo I am because I was born in Autumn. I was born in spring! It’s no wonder that Ausies lead the field these days in the use of fixed star. Bernadette Brady, Anne Wright and Rob Tillett.

    Bernadette Brady’s book, the Eagle and the Lark, was one of the very first technical books I ever bought, and one that I still use today. I would love to attend her conference in Adelaide but won’t be able to!

    I also thought it was quite ironic that the aussie’s are leading the way regards the Fixed Stars and let’s hope at the end of it, there is modern interps that resonate in more positive ways for the personalised, human condition.

    For me, I have never struggled with the signs or the hemispheres, as I always consider the sun’s position and the relevent aspects as a priority ‘anyway’. Precession confuses me because we have no solid, scientific proof! The argument about house systems drives me nut and it annoys me that I adore whole signs, but have to keep switching back to placidus, or koch to not confuse people

    ……anyway……

    I have honestly loved this conversation, thanks to you both for hosting it. First time any of this has ever been discussed without a stupid argument!

  29. Karen and Rob, how strange this topic of growing things all year came up just now. Last night I had a dream of growing things with an industrial sized hydroponics unit 😉

  30. @Jamie
    Thats cool! This method of farming gives v high yields, can be optimised to the max, organic, is v low waste and gets round the problem of location dependancy – and is very Moon friendly. Wow – great dream – sounds prophetic – lots of healthy inner growth there!

    Re precession – itself is observable and measurable – innit? People been doin so for millenia to try and get a handle on it. Anyhows, if applied, don’t the results bare out the hypothesis…….

  31. I know I have said this already but I msut say it again,
    this is an outstanding website, I cant stop reading!
    Thank you so much for all your hard work and knowledge.
    Diana

  32. This post just got popular again with all the hype about constellation Ophiuchus and the 13th sign in astrology.

  33. HAHAHA Well if your going to add another sign then everyone should remember that the chinese zodiac also has a 13th sign(The Cat) that was removed. What’s also interesting is that I live in Florida and for years I’ve been telling people that the Winter cold doesn’t hit til about mid Jan and that they should move the months back to line it up. Could this mean we are going to see an extra month in our Year?!?!?! Since I thought of it do I get to name it?!?! Hmm… how about Jeri:)
    – Jerry C.

    • You’re in the majority there Lucy. Best way to test it out is to look at your Pluto transits. Write dates in diary for precessed and non precessed to personal planets. Can be inaccurate for transits to AC and MC if the time of birth is out by even a few minutes.

  34. This is a bit much to get the mind around for me. In the now, Uranus is in fact in Aries and because we use a tropical chart in Western analysis, have we have corrected for the inaccuracy of the historical divisions of constellations? I am a bit lost here. How do you approach an interpretation of a modern chart in one of the common systems of house division – say Placidus for example? Are we to not pay too much attention to the house?

    • I don’t know if the tropical chart has been corrected or changed at all since it was invented, except by the Siderealists. Uranus is in tropical Aries but I avoid all the confusion by saying it is on the fixed star Deneb Kaitos in constellation Cetus.

      I don’t use the houses myself but Marina like most astrologers does.I think she uses Koch.

  35. I noticed that the tropical and sidereal charts are the same in 221 AD.
    I actually did charts for the vernal equinox in Athens, Greece.
    Sun went into 0’00 Aries on March 21, 221 AD in both charts, and it was only 3 minutes apart. 6:36 AM for the tropical chart and 6:39 AM for the Sidereal Chart.

    I am thinking that I am just better off without using a zodiac chart.

    I thought about focusing just on aspects.
    I thought about using multidimensional system
    using not only Ecliptic Longitude but also Right Ascension and Declination. The Astronomers use Right Ascension and Declination to locate objects.

    As for fixed stars, well…I wonder about using paran method like Bernadette Brady. She doesn’t believe in projecting stars onto the ecliptic. She also pointed out that Ptolemy measures stars by the Pole of the Ecliptic and that now has been changed to measuring stars by Pole of the Equator by Ulugh Beg.

    There is also the issue of which day to use with the parans.

    She uses sunrise to sunrise which was the Egyptian,Babylonian day
    instead modern day of midnight to midnight.
    I think that it would makes sense to use midnight to midnight because we live in modern day. I feel that our brains are naturally attuned to this day cycle.

    • I think whatever system works for you, works. There are SO many astrological languages, we would go bonkers if we tried to test them all. But you are right in pointing out that as soon as we find a method that we think makes sense or is “scientific” we find something has been altered along the way. All theories about the universe are just theories. Facts change everyday as we learn more, as we grow more. The world and life are not static.
      The best way is to create your own benchmark and test it out empirically. You can present that research to the world and if it resonates then you know you it has some truth. The more people it resonates with the stronger the meme and then it becomes a school of though and a language.
      I have a lot of respect for Brady, but I just do not like parans at all. I like her updated interpretations for the fixed stars and I think they work for the ecliptic method too just like Jupiter is still basically Jupiter whether you use hellenistic or psychological astrology. (With variations I grant you, but the archetype remains the same).
      I think Diana Rosenbergs idea of using starsets is interesting, I have thought about this myself in using decans, there will be a set of stars in each decan, some further away by declination, so they have less of an influence. But I definitely see a bunch of traits from a few of the stars say in decan one of Aquarius that make early Aquarians different from late Aquarians. Then we get onto the zodiac signs which I believe do have some value. I will continue with this line of thought in answering Robbie below.

      • Hi Marina,
        I hope all is well with you and Jamie.

        I have been reading stuff in regards to Cyril Fagan and other Sidereal Astrologers, I feel like I can no longer use the Tropical Zodiac system. I am checking out the Cyril Fagan System with the use of the Sidereal Zodiac and Campanus House system.

        I noticed that the difference between my tropical and sidereal Solar Returns are 10 hours apart. That is a big difference. I am definitely scratching my head and wondering. I am going to pay attention and see how things turn out.

        I am iffy about the paran stuff, and I find myself falling back on the use of ecliptic projections.
        The Sidereal Astrologers do use fixed stars like that. They use Right Ascension with them too.

        I wish that there was a program that does the 13 constellation zodiac. One of my reservations about the Sidereal Zodiac is the fact that it is not the actually constellation zodiac. My Sun is in Virgo constellation and not in Libra constellation even though my Sun is in Libra in Sidereal Zodiac.

        I will probably ending up being like Johannes Kepler, just throw the signs and houses away and just work with aspects. I also like Cosmobiology with its strong emphasis on midpoints.

        • I have been studying the possibility of the Natal chart remain “alive” after death, the immortality of the chart, the Natal chart in the Spirit world, etc. I recently find agreement by using my Natal (Sidereal Zodiac) Chart for June 30, 1969 with Campanus Houses and then I followed by looking at a Progressed (Sidereal Zodiac/True Solar Arc in Right Ascension) Chart for today’s date, July 11, 2019 and I seem convinced, at least for now that this system seems to appeal to the theory of the continuation of a Soul’s Initial Natal Chart to exactly how long? How long would it take for me to reach my exact original birth date and time, and would this be indicative of the potential length of a human being’s Soul’s “lifetime”. I also looked at my Transits (Sidereal/Campanus) Chart, as well as the transits on the day of death for someone close to me, along with his natal and progressed charts (done as above) and the results were in a word, uncanny. He passed away at 45 years old and I can’t help but believe he is still living in this World (for in my opinion, the material and spiritual worlds are one, are side-by-side, both right here!) and this proved to me that at least lookin back in time these charts proved by cluesaand signs to be correct enough. So, why wouldn’t the chart continue for at least 360, to some others say, 26,000 years, with every being having their “reserved time slot” just for them for a certain amount of time? It is interesting and what I enjoy most about Astrology, the potentiality for a myriad of possibilities and new understandings regarding our lives.

          • Hi Brigitte – those are some pretty interesting thoughts and occurrences.
            Astrologer Tad Mann has come up with a theory about the chart of a person after their death, though his Timeline calculation is unique to him.
            It may have been Tad Mann as well, who investigated some famous people, whose creations (for example a piece of music or something they had written), came to prominence after their death, and this showed in their horoscope. It may have been another astrologer, though.
            My personal belief is that we are all immortal.

          • So I don’t actually ‘understand’ this by merely reading it on a conscious level, but at the same time I feel this subconscious deeper understanding of exactly what you’re saying here. I’m pretty green in my studies right now, but this is right up my alley. Do you have a blog or is there any way of getting more knowledge on this from you? Genuinely fascinated to find out more!

        • I’m a beginner in astrology and have found a lot of confusion in the zodiac systems. Neither sidereal nor tropical systems are compliantly astronomically correct.
          I looked into sidereal astrology because it divides the signs up based on the arc degrees that their correlating constellations span but after some though I realized that this division wasn’t correct either.
          I did my own calculations and divided the signs based on how long the sun stays in each constellation and added the 13th sign you mentioned above. I realized after doing this that the other planets do not follow the ecliptic exactly so to get it “right” I would need to do the same thing for each planet. Some planets will go through other constellations too. If I am to continue with this experiment, I will be writing a script to do it for me (I’m currently using pen and paper).
          From this I also realized that the signs got their qualities though years of observation and perhaps the signs have nothing to do with physical stars but with sections of the sky.
          I will probably end up throwing the signs away also.

  36. Thanks so much for this!!! You are saying what I have been saying for a long time! I agree entirely that the constellations of the zodiac are merely a useful reference system, that the rulership, fall, detriment and all that has no basis BUT I dont agree about the elements… I think they along with the cardinal fixed mutable things are valid, due to sub-divisions of seasonal characteristics.
    In the way that we can (presumably) agree that what we refer to as signs do have discernable characterisitcs… and can spot the traits of what is described as the signs, but is actually coming from the earth#s seasons….. I can recognise an earthy, or non-earhty person, a fiery or not fiery one, etc…. but agree quite joyously that these traits are not due to the influence of the constellations.
    Thanks again!

    • I think the point of the post is that Jamie thinks that neither the tropical zodiac nor sidereal zodiac are valid zodiacs for determining signs and traits. He doesn’t that a star-based zodiac nor a season-based zodiac are valid in Astrology.

      “In the way that we can (presumably) agree that what we refer to as signs do have discernable characterisitcs… and can spot the traits of what is described as the signs, but is actually coming from the earth#s seasons”

      What you are referring to is the tropical zodiac, and that is something that Jamie doesn’t agree with.

      He doesn’t agree with the sidereal zodiac which is based on planets against the backdrop of stars

      the tropical zodiac is invalid because of the precession of the equinoxes

      Ptolemy based his Tropical Zodiac Astrology on the Northern Hemisphere seasons without knowing the Southern Hemisphere. If he did know, he chose to ignore it.

      Jamie is in Australia,and so he lives in Southern Hemisphere. He understands the issue with the seasons.

      You can’t just apply Euro-centric model to everything else on Earth.

    • I think the traits are a mix of the seasons and the constellations. I also agree with you about the elements. I definitely get the sense of a fiery or an earthy person. But as I am married to someone of the southern hemisphere it does somewhat turn everything on its head when it comes to taking the season thing too literally.
      I see the astrological wheel more as lunar phases.
      The New Moon
      The Crescent Moon
      The First-Quarter Moon
      The Gibbous Moon
      The Full Moon
      The Disseminating Moon
      The Third-Quarter Moon
      The Balsamic Moon
      It’s the same story. It’s all about cycles and the growth and death of a plant. Tropical astrology was devised in the northern hemisphere. But I do see the polarities in the zodiac as being the same. I see pisces in Virgos and Leos in Aquarians. The mode is the same. Also Causcasian Australians are hardly indigenous I think their cells still respond and resonate with a northern hemisphere system, although I think there could be a case for considering whether the opposing sign may fit them more while they are in the southern hemisphere! Specially stelliums. I feel more sunny Leo in Oz! I can see the Pisces in Virgo Jamie too. I’ll see if he is more Virgo in London when he comes. lol!

      Back to the Moon/seasons analogy. Its 8 phases rather than 12 (Months). But division by 8 was also some of the early house systems. Also the pagan seasons are divided 8fold, in tune with the lunar cycle.

  37. I just found your web site, and I’m getting more exited as I read!
    It was not to long ago I “found out” about sideral astrology, and realized tropical astro is, well, it is just a mockup! So I was kind of discouraged when you refer to the tropicla signs – why don’t you refer to the sideral signs, as they more are in line with the starry sky – and WAS going to ask you about your opinion on sideral astro. And now I find you have discarded even that, and gone back to the true roots – the stars! 😀

    But then I wonder… Are you saying that even sideral astro is off? Are you saying the stars have wondered even more than the 1°/72 year?
    And to be practical: I use this astro program, and have set the 0-point as 15° Taurus, since I found this info somewhere and it resonated with me. But then I use Geocentric calculation. Should this better be heliocentric? Or what? And so where/how do you get your data??

    I want to learn and understand this much more, but I’m still just scraping the top layer…
    Funny thing is I’v always been interested in astrology, but have NEVER managed to learn about the houses, but have only dealt with planets and aspects. I start to think I had some unconscious clue here… 😀
    Would really appreciate some clues, tips, and links to others with your approach, to learn more! 🙂
    Thanks! And… Wow! 🙂

  38. Hi Jamie – I found this interesting page today regarding precession and thought of you because I always liked your explanation. What always amazes me is how different the planets are in the Vedic astrology charts – and yet people always say that both systems work! :o) FYI:

    “… to bring in continuity, we need the Ayanamsha Correction.
    The western astrology follows tropical zodiac – which the Vedic system follows a sidereal one. Throughout the history of astrology in India and other countries of Indian subcontinent, the capabilities of the sages in terms of observation made them realize that there is a slip, or a wobble in the earth’s axis. There was a need of introduction of a factor in calculations called Ayanamsha Correction. This mathematical correction, which amounts to the slip in zodiac over a period of time converts the system from tropical to sidereal. After application of this factor, things fall in place. Sun, according to the sidereal system can really be observed within the zodiac sign that the calculations point to.”
    more:
    http://www.planetarypositions.com/notes/2005/08/27/western-and-vedic-astrology/

  39. “In ancient time, down to as late as the 5th century A.D., all revolutions were computed in terms of the fixed or sidereal zodiac, which is not affected by precession; whereas in modern times these returns are computed with reference to the tropical zodiac invented in error by Hipparchus about B.C. 139 and which the author [Claudius Ptolemy] of the Tetrabiblos (2nd century A.D.) strove to popularize.” http://www.westernsiderealastrology.com/#!tropical-vsidereal-solunars-/c1nbt

  40. Hi Jamie,

    That’s very interesting. It makes a lot of sense. It’s practical and scientific. I do believe in marrying the occult with science; otherwise I will always have a level of doubt about something. I can have much interest in a certain area of ‘the occult,’ but I will always question it. Things have to be realistic. I don’t like to be fooled. You told me some time ago that my closest star is Izar (28 degrees in Libra). Does this mean that I’m a sun sign Libra? My birthday is the 24th October, 1988, Southampton, England at approximately 6:06pm.

    Does this mean that many people are different sun signs to what they thought they were?

    And yes, it doesn’t make sense that the 12 equal divisions of the zodiac are supposed to fit the irregularly shaped and sized constellations. I wouldn’t want to be ignorant and ignore the importance of the stars. It’s just a shame that more isn’t written about my closest star Izar.

    Very curious. A lot to ponder…

    Katie

    P.S: I’m very much interested in astronomy too and in the past, when I’ve looked up at the constellations and observed the differences in the size and shape of the constellations, it has made me wonder, when it comes to the precision of the zodiac.

    • Katie, yes your Sun Sign is Libra, decan 3. You actually have no major fixed stars within orb of your Sun.

      People are always the same Sun Signs but they will have usually have a different constellation. For example you are Libra Sign but Virgo Constellation. Sounds like you would love researching archeoastronomy. You can study it in the UK now, it at some University and run by Nick Campion.
      You will have other stars in your chart for example Moon conjunct Alpherg, Venus conjunct Alkes and Pluto on the astrologers star Acrux.

  41. Hi Jamie, where I’m born on the cusp, does that mean I’m Sun sign Scorpio too? And will I also have Scorpio traits? On these websites where you put your date of birth in, it gives me 1.33 degrees Sun in Scorpio. I don’t mind being a Libra, I’ve just always been used to being Sun sign scorpio (on the cusp). And also, does that mean that I would have Virgo traits too? I can be overly critical of myself, I have worried a lot over the years and I’m a perfectionist like Virgo. My black moon Lilith is in Virgo and also Venus.

    I’ll look into Archeoastronomy. I can’t go on any courses at the moment, as I’m busy trying to run my design business (I’ve only set it up in the last year), but I look into courses in the future. I can always read books for now in my spare time. I will also look up these other stars that you’ve listed.

    • Definitely Sun sign Scorpio but the point is that there are no Scorpio or Libra traits. Signs have no energy so cannot influence you. Look up at night and find 30 degrees Libra. Stars emit the energy, more so even than planets. Planets act like conduits for the stellar energy. degree

  42. So where the Sun is concerned, the energy emitted to me at birth is from Libra 28.06 degrees in Izar. And the Sun aspecting planets in my chart, which are Sun opposite Moon, Sun Sextile Saturn and Sun Sextile Uranus.

    People say; “I’m a Sagittarius… so I’m like this or that,” for example. So that’s not really true? Or someone’s a Sun sign Gemini, so they have a ‘dual personality.’ Sorry for all the questions, but if I didn’t appreciate what you had to say, I wouldn’t ask. My sisters a Sun sign Leo, but has never felt that her personality is like a Leo and I completely agree with her! I don’t feel that I’m that much like a Scorpio either, but feel that my personality is more Libra.

    Thanks for all your input, it’s helping me figure things out! I want to get it right in my mind, if I’ve learn it the wrong way all these years. But I am an amateur at astrology, I don’t know that much about it.

    • Also, should I read up Libra Decan 3 and Scorpio Decan 1 in the future? If someone asks me if I’m a Scorpio or Libra, I don’t know what to say.

    • Those aspects to your Sun describe your personality much much more than any Sun Sign or even Constellation would.

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