January 20, 2011 at 5:23 pm #36383
No wonder the horoscopes in the paper are always wrong 😉
A Minneapolis astronomer has created shock waves on the internet by suggesting the signs of the zodiac are all wrong.
Parke Kunkle, a director of the Minnesota Planetarium Society, told a US newspaper interviewer that the Earth’s wobbly orbit means it’s no longer aligned to the stars in the same way as when the signs of the zodiac were first conceived.
The ancient Babylonians based zodiac signs on the constellation the sun was in on the day a person was born. But the moon’s gravitational pull has since shifted the Earth on its axis and created a one-month shift in the stars’ alignment.
That means when astrologers say the sun is in Pisces, it’s really in Aquarius, and so on, said Mr Kunkle.
The story was published in the Star-Tribune of Minneapolis and quickly went viral, with thousands of people fretting on social networks that their sign might change.
Among them was Heather McGowan, 26, a student from Winnipeg, Manitoba, who got a red Aries symbol in a black maple leaf tattooed between her shoulders when she was 19.
“Go figure seven years later there’s a possibility that I am no longer an Aries,” she said, though she remains sceptical enough that she hasn’t considered changing tattoos.
But Mr Kunkle, who teaches at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, has said that all the hubbub is based on “2,000-year-old information.”
He said he can’t understand why his explanation of how a well-known wobble in the earth’s orbit throws off astrology charts turned into an internet sensation.
“Astronomers have known about this since about 130BC,” Mr Kunkle said while sitting in his office, where the phone rang constantly, as he said it had been since the article came out.
“This is not new news. I have no idea why it went viral this time,” Mr Kunkel said. “Almost every astronomy class talks about it.”
Shelley Ackerman, an astrologer and spokeswoman for the American Federation of Astrologers, said she’s been swamped with emails from worried clients whose signs would change under the new system. Miss Ackerman said she advises the clients not to overreact.
“This doesn’t change your chart at all. I’m not about to use it,” she said. “I’ve told all of them not to worry about it. Every few years a story like this comes out and scares the living daylights out of everyone, but it’ll go away as quickly as it came.”
Miss Ackerman said there are an infinite number of ways to divide the constellations, and that scientists are continually discovering new stars and solar systems. Astrologers don’t change their systems for every new change, she said.
“Just as in medicine when there are new discoveries you don’t change the entire system, you just work with it to see if and where it fits into existing system,” she said.
Kate Agliata, 36, a freelance writer and mother of two in Birmingham, Alabama, says she’ll stay true to her original sign, even though she may now be a Pisces.
“Let’s just say I won’t be swapping out my Aries coffee mug anytime soon,” she said, though she allowed it might make for heavier horoscope reading. “I have a feeling that from here on out, I’ll feel inclined to read Pisces as well.”
Mr Kunkle said he’s got a few angry calls, including one from someone who said, “Please give me my sign back.”
But he said he was having fun with it, patiently answering phone calls from journalists all over the world.
Maybe it will make people more interested in the science of astronomy, he said: “I hope people go out and look more at the stars.”
SOURCE: http://www.telegraph.co.ukJanuary 21, 2011 at 7:16 am #36384
This is not only not news to astronomers, it’s also not news to astrologers in the West, nor in India. (China I don’t know about.)
In the West most astrology is Tropical astrology which does indeed not factor precession. But there are many arguments by Tropical astrologers why that still works. There is also however a movement towards so-called ‘Sidereal astrology’ which gives you a different sign as noted, and also works somewhat differently. In the west the most important sidereal astrologer is probably Kenneth Bowser. He claims the Babylonians thought sidereally and it’s only during the Ptolemaic era that the sun signs became fixed in date.
Don’t miss the Dawkinsian undertone in the reporting — culturally speaking that is the real story.January 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm #36386
Depending on the astrology system, it may be that the Earth is seen as the center anyway, so the sun and star positions are relative to it.
An interesting note was to see that both people who had markings of their astrology signs were Aries, perhaps revealing something about that sign. I had a friend once who was an Aries and he got piercings and wanted a Spiritual related tattoo.
Very interesting.January 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm #36388
Thanks for the replies. Up until two days ago I knew a hair more than nothing about astrology and now know two hairs. At the moment I will not try to wrap my head around the sideral/tropical debate.
Good pickup about the Aries people.January 24, 2011 at 3:11 pm #36390
0Nonnth,good to hear from you.
My one the high level inner alchemy adepts (who completed allthe way up through heven & Earth Alchemy) is Patrick McLeod.He hasdeveloped a sidereal -Hindu + Taoist sytemof reading that is really interesting.
You can contact Parick at email@example.com if you want a reading,or subscribeto hisnewsletter.
mJanuary 24, 2011 at 11:42 pm #36392
Below you can find the dates for tropical vs. sidereal astrology
(found on Wikipedia).
Under both tropical and sidereal astrology, I’m a Scorpio.
Under IAU sidereal, I’m a Libra.
In principle, I don’t think anyone is strictly, discretely,
one of the 12 (or 13) zodiac classifications.
It’s more likely a distribution, or quantum packet if you will.January 24, 2011 at 11:53 pm #36394January 25, 2011 at 7:29 am #36396
Likewise. I just passed by to refresh my memory on some of your older posts here, esp. about the Sami, and noticed this conversation. I don’t make use of astrology personally.January 25, 2011 at 7:30 am #36398January 26, 2011 at 1:45 am #36400
For me it makes no difference…I’m the same sign regardless of the system as it falls within the middle of all the ranges.
I have noticed that people that seemingly completely lack one element in taoist (earth based) astrology sometimes are dominant in that element in Western (planet based) astrology. Interesting that the lack of elements on earth is balanced by a more celestial level.
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