Sun Signs

“Horoscopes May Be Bad for You”

Image from Telegraph article

Just when I start to think that astrology is gaining respect in the mainstream an article like this comes along that shows how newspaper predictions are still confused with astrology:

Astrology may seem like harmless fun – but a new study suggests following your star sign could be bad for you.

Consumers who read their horoscope daily were found to be more likely to exhibit impulsive or indulgent behaviour when their zodiac was negative, the research suggested.

Already this article in the Telegraph is all kinds of wrong.  First of all, there is no such thing as a “star sign” – the signs of the zodiac are “Sun signs” – the signs that the Sun travels through on its path (called the “ecliptic”) as we observe it from Planet Earth.  Second, the zodiac is the collection of Sun signs that form the band of the ecliptic.  We don’t have a personal zodiac.

A number of participants were presented with unfavourable star sign readings and asked to choose between either going to a party or cleaning their home.

Participants who selected going to a party were seen as having made an indulgent decision and those who chose to clean their home were categorised as having made a virtuous one.

The study found that those who had read a negative horoscope before making their choice were more likely to choose going to the party over the more virtuous activity.

Researchers had expected participants to chose a more virtuous action to prevent the unfavourable outcome presented in their horoscope.

“Conventional wisdom might suggest that for people who believe they can change their fate, an unfavourable horoscope should result in an attempt to improve their fate,” the authors of study, Hyeongmin Kim of Johns Hopkins […]

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By |2013-12-13T06:19:05-05:00December 13th, 2013|Sun sign astrology|4 Comments

“Confessions of a horoscope writer” and why I’m not one

horoscopesSomeone posted this article on our astroblogger Facebook group:

Until recently, I had a dirty little secret. I write horoscopes. Or at least, I used to. Now it’s not such a dirty little secret because a) I’ve just told you and b) there aren’t that many horoscope clients left in my portfolio any more, anyway. But back in the day – oh yes. I was the BBC Slink teen astrologer for 13 years until the site closed last year and provided daily teen horoscopes throughout that time. … ; You might think that this was a track record to be proud of. My husband, bless him, certainly thought so and would waste no time in telling people proudly about my various clients while I smiled through gritted teeth and quickly changed the subject. I wasn’t particularly proud; not ashamed either, exactly, but, well, embarrassed. You see, as a professional astrologer. I know better than anyone that sun sign horoscopes are by their very nature generalisations at best and at worst a load of tosh. Telling someone that I was writing them made it sound as though I – and worse, every other member of my profession – truly believed that all Scorpios were going to win the lottery on Thursday, but not before their Leo partners had ditched them for the next door neighbour and run off to start a new life on the Costa del Sol. Bracing myself for the “but you don’t actually believe all that stuff, do you?” question, it was easier to just move off the subject than try to defend *real* astrology and point out that I was just writing horoscopes because it paid well.

The word “horoscope” has […]

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By |2020-09-19T11:52:32-04:00July 24th, 2012|Astrology, Sun sign astrology|6 Comments

Sun Signs and the Olympics

Generally, research projects based solely on the Sun signs of individuals are not very successful.  The astrological chart is so complex and includes such a wide variety of influences that the Sun sign is often dwarfed by comparison. But this article, sent to me by a reader (thank you Tracey!) is quite fascinating in its detail and statistical significance in correlating Sun signs to Olympic specialties.  Kenneth Mitchell, a British statistician, was not expecting to find astrological correlations when he began his study of the birthdates of every Olympic winner since 1896 and discovered that those born under the sign of Pisces “received 30% more medals than expected by chance” in water events like swimming and polo, a 1 in 100,000 probability. .

Mitchell evidently knew nothing about astrology when he began this project, and when he saw that those born under an Aries Sun had a higher number of Olympic medals than expected he looked up Aries in Google.  Learning that Aries was associated with Mars and war, he looked first at Olympic events that were martial in character.  Beginning with Shooting, he found a 1 in 60 level of significance that went up to 1 in 250 when the women’s events were excluded.  When he combined all of the “martial” events, such as wrestling, archery, etc., the result was a 1 in 20,000 probability. When these events were added to the Aries results in skiing, shot puts, rope climbing, handball, lacrosse etc., the result was over 1 billion to one probability.

One of his more interesting findings is that Aries women did not have a significantly higher percentage of medals, unlike their male counterparts.  This likely suggests that the Aries drive is muted somewhat in women, either by […]

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By |2019-05-11T07:33:07-04:00August 21st, 2008|Astrology|Comments Off on Sun Signs and the Olympics

Social self vs Essential self: ascendant conflicts

8458801_sA few days ago I pondered the fate of Owen Wilson as it relates to his possible ascendant, and the conflicts that we often encounter between our persona as represented by the ascendant with the rest of our birthchart.

Martha Beck speaks on this issue from a psychological perspective:

I base all my counseling on the premise that each of us has these two sides: the essential self and the social self. The essential self contains several sophisticated compasses that continuously point toward your North Star. The social self is the set of skills that actually carry you toward this goal. Your essential self wants passionately to become a doctor; the social self struggles through organic chemistry and applies to medical school. Your essential self yearns for the freedom of nature; your social self buys the right backpacking equipment. Your essential self falls in love; your social self watches to make sure the feeling is reciprocal before allowing you to stand underneath your beloved’s window singing serenades.

This system functions beautifully as long as the social and essential selves are communicating freely with each other and working in perfect synchrony. However, not many people are lucky enough to experience such inner harmony. For reasons we’ll discuss in a moment, the vast majority of us put other people in charge of charting our course through life. We never even consult our own navigational equipment; instead, we steer our lives according to the instructions of people who have no idea how to find our North Stars. Naturally, they end up sending us off course.

If your feelings about life in general are fraught with discontent, anxiety, frustration, anger, boredom, numbness, or despair, your social and essential selves are not in sync. Life design is […]

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By |2019-05-11T07:32:24-04:00September 2nd, 2007|Consciousness|Comments Off on Social self vs Essential self: ascendant conflicts