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Stars Remain In Their Usual Places; People Panic 468

asheller writes "The Star Tribune tells us the zodiac signs have shifted. Earth's wobble has shifted the signs, a new one's been added and many of us have changed signs. Formerly a Cancer, I've apparently been upgraded to Gemini and am now married to an Ophiuchus, a new sign. What's yor sign? The new Zodiac Chart is pretty interesting." Here are some priceless reactions to this celestial development. As long as the Chinese Zodiac is unaffected, I'll still be able to accurately judge people based on when they were born, so please indicate in comments your (new) sign and birth year animal, so we'll be able to know where you're coming from.
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Stars Remain In Their Usual Places; People Panic

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  • by Suffering Bastard ( 194752 ) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @03:08PM (#34891078)

    I realize this is very likely the least friendly place to express these ideas, but I'll put myself on the firing line for those who may be genuinely interested in what the art and practice of astrology is about.

    All the panic and hub-bub about this finding is coming from a great deal of ignorance about astrology. It's like the criticisms that came from Carl Sagan, where someone with a perspective on science is using demonstrably unscientific methods to put down or even berate (in the case of Sagan) the practice of astrology. It's no different than someone without a background in science claiming that all science is fraudulent due to a few fraudulent scientists.

    Astrology makes its observations from a purely relative perspective from Earth. The sun *appears* to be in the sign of Aries on the Spring Equinox, so we say the sun is in Aries. Whether it is actually in absolute alignment with that constellation is not the claim, nor is it even relevant. Indeed, tropical astrology (what is predominantly used in the West) doesn't use the constellations at all but puts the zodiac as a fixed wheel around the Earth, so that the Spring equinox is always the first day of Aries, even though over the thousands of years since the Babylonians the constellation that aligns with the sun (from Earth's perspective) has moved to Pisces, and is now moving towards Aquarius, hence the coming "Age of Aquarius". That is of course the result of the so called precession of the equinoxes.

    As for the 13th sign, that's old news. Astrologers have been debating the usefulness of Ophiuchus for decades at least.

    Astrology is about understanding natural cycles, in particular the ways in which the cycles of planets and stars synchronize with the cycles of individual and collective human events. It is not about absolute claims of prediction based on absolute alignments. Newspaper horoscopes are, on the whole, a fraud, and not consistent with the true intention and purpose of astrology.

    Hope that clears things up. There's no crisis in astrology, you're still who you thought you were....or not.

  • by xded ( 1046894 ) on Saturday January 15, 2011 @03:36PM (#34891284)

    Shouldn't just matter how stars *were* aligned when I was born? If signs change, they do for newborns...

    Ok, I will stop being rational about this...

"The way of the world is to praise dead saints and prosecute live ones." -- Nathaniel Howe