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The Basics of Astrology
In these pages, we try to answer usual, frequent and important questions visitors asked about our Personalized Daily Horoscope and astrology forecasts.
The questions come from the two million people who visit our website each month, and who, for the majority of them, receive our Free Horoscope every morning.
The topics addressed are as follows:
Here are the answers. We will regularly add to these pages as we receive our visitors' questions.
1. What is a Daily Horoscope? Is it hogwash?
This is a fundamental question. Indeed, 95% of available horoscopes are just a load of hogwash. After WWII, in the early '50s, Astrology became fashionable again. The leading weekly magazine ELLE was the first to offer a Horoscope column as a response to the emerging trend and in order to increase its sales. The Editor-in-Chief requested a volunteer among the staff to write twelve texts each week. It was obvious that the volunteer had never read a single astrology book... In those days, as nowadays, the texts available in the media were totally outlandish, and produced by their author's fantasy only.
There are cases where some authors do not hesitate to go so far as to use phoney techniques in order to gain a semblance of justification. However, nothing can elude the fact that 600 million people share the same sign, 200 million share the same decanate, and no one experiences the same thing because the position of the Sun is not, by far, the sole factor that must be considered. Moreover, the margin of error is huge because the forecasting principle is primarily based on the planets' exact position!
In the written press, the radio or many Internet websites, there is a plentiful supply of Sun sign, or Sun sign and decanate horoscopes (sometimes, in order to produce lengthier texts, each sign is cut into 3 parts, known as decanates). Whether they are provided with technical justification or not, this type of horoscope is very harmful and outlandish.
Why outlandish? Because no serious astrologer can claim that being an Aries of the 3rd decanate is all it takes to experience such and such event in the coming week or year. This glaring hoax is reprehensible because astrology is not based on the sole position of the Sun, but on a whole set of subtle parameters such as planets, houses, signs, aspects, rulerships, etc.
When astrologers dare to publish a book on the horoscope for any given year, or when they write in the specialized horoscope press, we let you guess the reasons behind. They are strictly potboilers. It is a sad practice because it considerably harms astrology and we can only condemn it.
The obvious problem with the media is the lack of interactivity, since it is impossible to analyze each case in particular, be it for a reader, a radio listener or a television viewer. Therefore, serious horoscopes cannot be cast, we mean horoscopes based on the exact natal chart, we will deal with them later.
Actually, the right thing to do would be to dismiss all Sun sign and decanate horoscopes, once and for all. Then, horoscope calculations for a day, a month of a year would be exclusively made by specialized software programmes available on the Internet or installed on individual computers.
But it is most likely that the Sun sign horoscope fashion will endure. Astrology forecasts, no matter how fake and fiddled, are good sale boosters. Nobody has the courage to denounce them because they involve huge amounts of money. As regrettable as it is, they vindicate the mocking of astrology detractors, as far as Sun sign astrology is concerned.
Serious horoscopes exist. They are computed on the basis of two interrelated components: on the one hand, the exact natal chart, which always requires the place and time of birth, and on the other hand, the actual position of the planets for the period considered, for instance, one day for daily horoscopes, or every consecutive day for yearly horoscopes.
A whole set of rules is used to compare the planets' position on a given day with your natal chart, which makes it possible to deduce the effects that you are most likely to experience in terms of willpower, emotions, feelings, health, etc., and in various areas such as romance, career, daily life, family, friendships, etc. Some effects have a cyclical occurrence, whereas some others are long-lasting and non-repetitive. Pluto takes approximately 256 years to travel round the Zodiac. Therefore, he will contact your planets by conjunction only once in your lifetime.
In conclusion, it is definitely possible to cast a daily horoscope using your natal chart's exact data and parameters. No astrology book, no Internet website, no radio station, no television company releasing Sun sign and decanate horoscopes, can do so seriously: it is a swindle, pure and simple!
Whenever you come across a website or an advertisement offering free Sun sign or decanate horoscopes, it is very simple: run away and never go back. It has nothing to do with an astrology website, it is a marketing website trying to lure you with texts that have nothing to do with astrology, the worst thing being that they sometimes offer a semblance of justification. We can never repeat often enough that without the exact date and time of birth, a horoscope with a 10 or 30 day margin of error is nothing but sheer charlatanism.
Astrotheme offers a genuine free personalized daily horoscope, directly displayed on your computer.
2. Why are some texts sometimes repeated from one day to the next?
Because the influence of fast planets usually lasts roughly 3 days when they transit a planet of the natal chart by conjunction. For other major aspects, the duration is of one or two days.
The so-called fast planets, Mercury, Venus and the Sun, move at the speed of 1 degree per day. For this type of transit, the exactitude required is roughly + or - 1 degree, either side of the exact aspect. Therefore, it is only logical that the same texts are repeated for three or four days, as long as the transit's influence remains active. It is not a bug!
The Moon travels an average distance of 13 degrees per day. Thus, she may stay two days in the same natal house, and three days in some rare cases. Here also, there is a repetition, and it is very normal.
Mars covers 1 degree in two days. However, like Mercury and Venus, Mars can move backwards, or retrograde, which is not the case for the Sun and the Moon. Seen from the Earth, during their retrogradation, planets may contact a given point of the Zodiac three times. Therefore, the influence described in our reports may last many days, sometimes one or two weeks.
In other words, whenever an influence plays out during several days, we indicate it accordingly. It is not a bug, nor a programme blunder. It is because a horoscope does not consist of texts randomly gathered - as for the people who release Sun sign or decanate horoscopes, as you may have guessed - but a diary of energies having an effect on you and obeying duration rules of astronomical nature, and not fashion or marketing rules!
With slow planets, namely Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, we deal with longer-term forecasts and not with the Daily Horoscope, which is volatile by nature and mainly indicates secondary feelings that may not be translated into facts. In astrology, longer-term forecasts are based on slow planets' transits, with their lasting effects, which cause more significant feelings, and therefore, are more likely to bring about events.
3. What is the difference between a longer-term Forecast and a Daily Horoscope?
As indicated by its name, a Daily Horoscope displays the influences for short periods, between one and several days. It is the result of the influences of fast planets' transits - the sky of the day - affecting the natal chart. As explained above, those short periods may be extended to a fortnight. In general, they will bring about feelings rather than events.
The vocation of a Daily Horoscope is not to "foresee" events, contrary to longer-term forecasts as such, which are based on slow planets' transits and their "strong" influences.
4. Is it really possible to foresee events with a horoscope?
It is obvious that the forecasting topic constitutes the one million dollar question. This is what can possibly be answered in a few lines and with utmost caution.
To begin with, it must be stated that there are three schools of thought, regardless of the astrological system used (tropical, sidereal, domification, etc). Firstly, those who believe that astrology, like clairvoyance, can foresee events in precise and fatalistic ways. Even when they are careful, their works reveal their fascination for some sort of pre-established written destiny. The French astrologer Hades is a good illustration of this category.
Secondly, those who adamantly refuse to use astrology for forecasting purposes because they deem it not precise enough or inappropriate. They often limit the use of astrology to psychological analysis or couple's compatibility delineation. At least, they acknowledge the value of astrology to a certain extent, particularly in terms of time-saving, compared to any other method aiming at understanding whom one is dealing with, or in which areas two persons have a chance to get along well.
Finally, the middle way, the people who consider that astrology can be efficiently used to forecast while, at the same time, remaining very cautious because these people have understood that, in their endless course around the Zodiac, the planets send aspects (or transits) to the natal chart, thus creating energies that cause more or less powerful feelings, deep in us. And those feelings will indirectly provoke, or not, events.
For this third school of thought, to which Astrotheme belongs, astrology is not about fatality, it is not a book where everything occurring on Earth or in our life is written. It is a flow of energies that activates in us what is already enshrined in our natal chart and may bring about actions or specific types of events, depending on the intensity of the said energies.
Feelings reach a significant level of intensity whenever the transit involves planets that are in aspect in the natal chart (planetary resonance). In turn, these feelings allow events to manifest, again indirectly, in our life.
In the chart of a male native, for instance, positive transits on his natal Venus, his Moon or any natal factor related to his 5th House, make him inwardly more available, lighter in the sentimental area, his daily well-being or his pursuit of pleasures. Then, this state of confidence and lightness allows meaningful encounters to take place. In the case of a hard transit on the factors mentioned above, a reflex of danger and fear will prompt the native to protect himself and appear more distant, and as a consequence, he will miss the opportunity to find his soul-mate. Here, it is important to underline that, although it is not always the case, happiness and self-confidence usually make you very attractive.
It is very clear that determinism in terms of events does not exist, or at least, it is sifted through the filter of our feelings. Likewise, nothing can occur which is not already anchored in our natal chart. Unfortunately, this is a principle that many astrologers tend to ignore. We always insist upon the fact that prior in-depth understanding of the natal chart is of fundamental importance for accurate forecasting.
Without detailing the elements that ought to be examined in order to foresee events, the quick yet cautious answer to the question could be: yes, it is possible to foresee important events. We must show genuine humility, and review all the various existing hypotheses. Let's take the example of a female native with the Sun in the 6th House who has a favourable transit of Uranus in conjunction with her Sun: it may indicate an encounter with the man of her life, since the Sun symbolizes men in general, possibly the future husband, and more generally, relationships with males. Or, disruptions in her daily and professional life. Or both, at the same time, that is, meeting with her soul-mate and changing her professional environment or her lifestyle.
It is obvious that caution is required when identifying the area where transits are likely to play out. Sometimes, it is easier. However, in order not to say any nonsense, as often as possible, natal planets in Houses ought to be examined. This is what we do on Astrotheme Website. We also systematically issue warnings regarding areas affected by the influences at work. To the best of our knowledge, we are the only ones to do so, among all the francophone astrology Internet websites. Our Grand Horoscope 2014, our Detailed Quarterly Forecast, Detailed 12 Month Forecast, and our 12 Month Forecast include all these elements. They offer a wealth of information on feelings and the possibilities to translate them into events.
We believe that all our astrological Forecast Reports are tremendously helpful.
5. Why are some areas not too precise?
The answer is in the preceding text.
6. Why are some transits ignored?
Interactions between transiting slow planets and natal slow planets do not produce significant individual effects.
The specific case where a super-slow planet coincides with a personal point of the natal chart is significant, and therefore, it does not belong to the category we just described above. Therefore, our programme will process only the transit over the personal point. So, it is not an oversight.
Several other transits are not displayed because the corresponding effects are not reliable enough. Transits on the natal chart's angles (Midheaven, Ascendant, Descendant and Imum Coeli) are displayed only when they form conjunctions or oppositions. Opinions diverge within the community of astrologers, and although it is easy for us to display all the minor and major aspects, we believe that their effects are more than dubious and we feel that we should not lapse into excess and vagueness. In our new Detailed Forecast, all the cases of transits are interpreted: transits to slow and very slow-moving planets, fast planet's transits, transits to the Ascendant ruler, recurring transits - repeating a natal planetary link - detection of afflicted planets in the natal chart with selective processing of transits by conjunction,transits to the angles interpreted for the five major aspects, etc.: with our new Detailed Forecast, it is the very tool used by professional astrologers that is made available to you.
7. Sometimes, there is almost no activity for a given day. Is it normal?
Yes, indeed! A transit is a link between the actual planets on the day considered and the planets of your natal chart. It is an analogy with the natal chart's aspects, which are considered in a stand-alone chart, whereas a transit, like synastries, involves two charts. In other words, transits are angles formed between actual planets and natal planets and personal points (Midheaven, Ascendant, Descendant and Imum Coeli), which bring about - or represent, depending on the school of thought - influences on feelings, or indirectly on events.
In astrology, a certain gap in exactitude, or "orb", is accepted. A transit is active when it occurs within the allowed orb. (0 degree for the conjunction, 180 degrees for the opposition, 120 degrees for the trigone, 90 degrees for the square, 135 degrees for the sesqui-quadrate etc.). When transiting planets do not form any particular aspect with planets or personal points of the natal chart within the allowed orb, they are not active any more. They become active again later on, on a different part of the natal chart, as they progress in their course around the Zodiac.
Therefore, it may happen that no active transit influences the natal chart during several days. In such a case, it is normal not to display anything. Our purpose is not to offer texts picked up at random in order to please. However, we always provide the meaning of the Moon in the natal house with a special feature: depending on the celestial state and the interaction between the actual sky and your natal chart, we compute the daily positive or negative influences of the Moon, in addition to her transits over your natal planets and personal points.
To sum up, each day is loaded with different energies. Sometimes, influences are plentiful, sometimes there is none. There may also be several overlapping influences, each of them indicating a different tendency. Transits are at the image of real life and our daily emotions!
8. Next to the transits there are a variable number of yellow or red stars. What is the significance of those?
The yellow colour indicates a soothing and conciliating aspect, and the red colour, a dynamic and tense aspect. The red aspects enable you to evolve, to take action, and to learn to turn your "weaknesses" into assets through your life experiences. The yellow aspects are innate strengths on which you rely in order to grow better with the former... And stars indicate the strength of the aspects.