Some time ago, NASA published an article telling us that astrology is a non-scientific garbage because the time that the Sun spends in line with the actual constellations named the same way as the zodiacal signs differs from the time that it is said to be in those signs astrologically. And that those times are different now that they were thousands of years ago when astrology first emerged. And that there are actually thirteen signs and not twelve. And that the Sun spends different amounts of time in front of different constellations. All that is correct, and yet this argument is about as valid as the Soviet propaganda one that said that there's no God because astronauts went "up there" and saw no God above the clouds. Of course, the vast majority of the popular "horoscopes" are total garbage, but this does not mean that astrology as such is as well. And the people at NASA simply did not bother to familiarize themselves with the basic principles of astrology.
So, here is a couple of words about those basic principles. Astrology deals with cycles and their interactions. The main cycle is in the Earth - Sun relationship, and thus is about the four seasons. Each season, like everything in the world, has three stages - being born and developing, being mature and maintained, being aging and eventually dissolved and gone. These stages correspond to the cardinal, fixed, and mutable astrological signs, respectively. Each season gets three signs - a cardinal, a fixed, and a mutable. Spring starts on the spring equinox, with the _astrological_ (not astronomical!) cardinal sign of Aries, goes through a fixed sign of Taurus, and then eventually dissolves (in preparation for the coming summer) during the mutable sign of Gemini. Then the summer starts on the summer solstice, etc.
Again, these astrological signs correspond to certain ranges in the Earth - Sun relative positions (and thus the seasons and the predominant flows of certain energies). Their correspondence to the particular constellations does not have to be exact. In the first approximation, one can say that the constellations on the sky could be drawn completely randomly, just for the convenience of following the process. Just like the dial of a clock could be arranged and decorated in any way, and the movement of the clock's arms does not _define_ or _cause_ time to go forward but rather provides a way of following the passage of time.
In reality, the change of the direction of the Earth's axis with respect to the constellations does matter in astrology, but this is a finer issue that is signified by saying that the Mankind is living in the Age of Pisces, the Age of Aquarius, etc. But that is a different story. The main annual solar cycle relates to the seasonal Earth - Sun relations and does NOT change from year to year.
Here is link to the the NASA article:
This entry was originally posted at http://whocares1970.dreamwidth.org/772350.html.