Search the FAQ Archives

3 - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z - Internet FAQ Archives

[alt.astrology] FAQ Part 3/11: Astrological practice

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 - Part7 - Part8 - Part9 - Part10 )
[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Zip codes ]
Archive-name: astrology/astrology/part3
Posting-Frequency: fortnightly to alt.astrology
Last-modified: 2001/06/02
Version: 3.1
Copyright: (c) 1996 LMP McPherson, 2001 Sherilyn
Maintainer: Sherilyn <>

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
All opinions on astrology are those of the original author, and
are NOT those of the maintainer.

       *** Questions about how astrology is practiced ***

3.1) Is the Sun-sign all that is important for assessing 
     personality and for prediction, or is there more to 

Answer: The most common misconception about astrology is that it
divides people into 12 categories, "Sun-signs" (and may subdivide
them further by Moon-sign). This misconception comes from the
popular practice of publishing "horoscopes" in newspapers and
magazines for different Sun-signs, and the sale of popular books
containing predictions for people of a particular Sun-sign.
Unfortunately, all such horoscopes provide nothing more than
entertainment. Valid predictions cannot be made on the basis of
the Sun-sign alone.

In actual practice, astrology involves determining the exact
position in the zodiac (not just by sign, but by degree and
minute, that is, the specific part of the sky) of the Sun, the
Moon, and 8 planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn,
Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) at the time of a person's birth. The
zodiacal degree of other points and bodies, such as the Moon's
North and South Nodes, asteroids, Uranian points, and Arabic
parts, are included by some astrologers. One also calculates the
positions of 12 "houses" which are specific to the exact place
and time of birth. The location of planets in these houses and
the sign on the cusp of each house are important sources of
information in chart interpretation. One also looks at the
angular distances in the zodiac between each pair of planets;
certain specific angular distances, called "aspects," are
considered meaningful. All of this information is necessary to
determine the astrological influences present at a person's birth
and to formulate predictions for the future. The sign in which
the Sun and Moon fall is only one very small part of the picture.

This does not mean that people who write horoscope columns
necessarily just make things up out of thin air. They usually use
certain astrological concepts, but the application of these
concepts to sign positions of the Sun rarely produces valuable
information. To see why, let us look at what typical "Sun-sign
astrologers" might do. First, they assume that your Sun is
roughly in the middle of the sign. They then look to see if any
planets are making aspects to the Sun on the day/week/month in
question, and they interpret these aspects. If your Sun is at the
beginning or end of a sign, these aspects will be irrelevant in
your case. In addition, there may be aspects to other planets in
your chart that will affect you strongly, and some of them may
even have an effect opposite to the effect of the aspects to your
Sun. Sun-sign astrologers might also set up "houses" by assuming
that the sign your Sun is in is the first house, the next sign is
the second house, and so on. They then look to see if any planets
are currently in each "house". A serious astrologer would
calculate the positions of houses using data about the exact time
and place of birth, and these houses rarely coincide with the
Sun-sign astrologer's zodiac-sign "houses." So the Sun-sign
technique will only work at all for people who happen to have the
Sun and several other planets in the middle of one sign, and
whose first house also happens to begin at 0 degrees of the same
sign. Such people are extremely rare, so for most people
"horoscopes" will be useless.

3.2) How can one predict the nature of a relationship using 

Answer: The most common technique for determining the nature of a
relationship is called "synastry." This involves comparing the
positions of all the planets in two people's charts. One looks to
see where one person's planets fall in the other person's houses,
and one compares the positions of planets in the two charts to
see whether any pair of planets is separated by a number of
degrees in the zodiac that is considered meaningful. (These
meaningful distances between planets, e.g., 0 degrees, 180
degrees, 120 degrees, 90 degrees, and so on, are called

A couple of newer (and still experimental) techniques exist for
studying the nature of a relationship. One is called the
"relationship chart" (created by Ronald Davison); the chart is
cast for the place in space and time that is exactly half-way
between the two people's birth places and times. The second
technique is called the "composite chart" (made popular in the
seventies by John Townley and Robert Hand). The Sun in this chart
is at the mid-point of the two people's Suns, the Moon is at the
mid-point of the two people's Moons, and so on for all the planets.

The nature of the synastry technique to be applied depends on the
nature of the relationship contemplated and also on whether the
relationship is between male and female or people of the same

If two people are contemplating marriage, the technique used is
different than it would be if they were contemplating a business
relationship. The technique is also different when evaluating a
parent-sibling relationship or a superior-subordinate

As a simplistic example, for marriage, a Sun in Aquarius (female)
is an excellent match for Sun in Leo (male) (Sun's position taken
alone -- neglecting other planets for purposes of discussion), as
long as the two people operate on a spiritual level. This has the
potential for the highest type of marriage.

However, if it is a father-son relationship where the father has
Sun in Aquarius and the son (especially the first born) has his
Sun in Leo, they will cause each other frustration to no end.

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 - Part7 - Part8 - Part9 - Part10

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index ]

Send corrections/additions to the FAQ Maintainer:

Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM