Thursday, January 20, 2011

All's well in astrology - you do not have a new Sun sign!

I've received a few panicky emails of late asking - "am I now a Virgo? Thought I was a Scorpio?" Well, nothing has changed. Don't believe the stories floating around the news and internet. A colleague of mine Michael Morrison, (who is an awesome photographer ) who is studying Creative Visualization with me at SVA asked me to explain what was going on. So, of course I asked Dave to explain it. Always turn to a Virgo when you need something done perfectly and in detail. (And then discuss its deeper meaning with a Scorpio) Thank you Dave! Enjoy:

The Sidereal zodiac
This has been known and understood by astrologers for 40,000 years.

What the article is referring to is the Sidereal zodiac (the zodiac of fixed stars or fixed constellations), which is what Vedic astrology uses.

What western astrologers use is the Tropical zodiac, which is based on the moment the Sun (in its apparent orbit about the Earth – a path called the ecliptic) passes through the plane of the celestial equator (the earth’s equatorial plane extended in space).  This moment is the Spring or Vernal equinox and defines the sign Aries (usually March 21).  30 degrees later the sun enters the sign Taurus and so on.

The Tropical zodiac is both a physical and mathematical construct based on the moment of the Vernal equinox and does not stay in sync with the Sidereal zodiac (which is where the actual fixed star constellations are).

When considering the Sidereal zodiac the Sun does enter (over time) a different star constellation at the Vernal equinox as the earth wobbles slowly on its axis over 26,000 years (called the precession of the equinoxes).

Today the Sun is perhaps about 7 degrees within Pisces as a fixed star constellation at the Spring equinox (though this point is debatable.  If true, in about 400 more years we will enter the Age of Aquarius with regard to the Sidereal zodiac.  Some people believe we have already entered the fixed-star constellation Aquarius.  There is no universal agreement on this).

It takes about 2100 years for the Sun to precess through each constellation.  This precession however does not affect the Tropical zodiac which by definition only is concerned with when the Sun crosses the celestial equator, and this is always March 21 (give or take a few hours).  So this article is incorrect in its conclusion (it is not clear in what it is trying to explain either).  No one need change their Sun sign or any other sign, unless your chart is calculated in the Vedic system (or other Sidereal system).

Wise astrologers say:  Both systems work.  Choose the system you are drawn to.  Each is a myth or symbolizes a myth.  Once again the ego will typically choose an identity among myth choices, but perhaps the intuition senses which one to align with if choosing to practice astrology or look to it for guidance this incarnation.

2 comments:

  1. Great, thanks for clearing that up!

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  2. Your welcome - what confusing mess. But alas, the Virgos save the day.

    My friend and astrologer Virginia Bell also wrote a great article - worth a read
    http://tinyurl.com/4onpqce

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