(This blog originally appeared on Lifescript.com.)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Take a deep breath. Your zodiac sign has NOT changed. You’re still the sign you thought you were when you woke up this morning. Don’t hang up your bull horns and pretend you’re not stubborn, Taurus. Don’t trade in your sexy black negligee just yet, Scorpio. No reason to be meek, Aries. You’re still an adventurer, Sagittarius. But if you were duped by this morning’s “OMG you’re not the sign you thought you were!” story that’s gone viral on the web, consider yourself in plenty of company.
This is merely a false meme that rears its head every few years. (See this story from 2007). Sometimes, bored editors dig up conspiracy theories to draw traffic — that’s what’s happened here. Amazing, with all the important stuff happening in the world (massive floods, fishes and birds falling from the sky, attempted political assassinations, etc.) Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, the current incarnation of the myth is burning up BlackBerries worldwide.
Without overloading you with a bunch of jargon, let’s try to break down why and how your sign is still relevant to your life. Western astrology, the kind we practice, relies on the seasons and position of the Sun for its data – it uses something called the tropical zodiac.
Vedic astrology or Jyotish (practiced in India) uses the sidereal or fixed zodiac. Your sign in Western astrology is very often different than your sign in Jyotish, because the two systems don’t look at the cosmos in the same way. Jyotish relies on fixed stars, and Western divides the zodiac into twelve segments starting at the vernal equinox.
So although the exact positions of the signs of the zodiac have shifted in the last few thousand years, according to Western astrology, an Aries is still an Aries, and so on, and so on. Not that one system is good or bad — they’re both great. Although we study and teach Western astrology, we always encourage our clients to check out Jyotish too, for another perspective. (Want more details about all this crazy tropical/sidereal stuff? Click here.)
The other really important point to keep in mind is this: Astrologers from different cultures have been collecting data based on people’s birth dates for millennia. They’ve been noting the native behaviors and psychological profiles of their subjects, which is where modern astrologers get their basic information from.
In the last one hundred years ago or so, astrology has had an amazing renaissance, in part fueled by computers, which make our jobs much faster and easier. Mined from this rich history and contemporary advances, we can tell you who you are, what you like, whom you’re attracted to, and why. And based on the current positions of the planets in relation to your natal birth chart, we can give you insight into how your life will change, what kind of challenges you’ll face and how you’ll grow. (Also, when you might fall in love, break up, get a new job, have a child, etc.) We look at patterns and archetypes, and help you understand your own inclinations and motivations. And we think that’s pretty down-to-earth.
So, friends, the sky has not fallen. While we’re at it, we’d like to remind you that the world isn’t going to end on December 21st, 2012. But that’s a blog for another day . . .
In the stars,
xoxo The Saturn Sisters
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