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Basics ?

  1. Oct 27, 2004 #1
    i know many of the viewers will disregard this message, but to anyone out there who is knowledgable in ancient wisdom i humbly ask:

    regarding astrology from a scientific perspective, i understand that the tilt of the earth is changing approximately 1 degree per 70 years, and this in turn affects the position of the observable constellations above any point in the night sky. astrologers call it the precession of the equinoxes. if calculating ones zodiac for the time of birth, how would this affect the dates regarding the divisions of the 12 signs?

    also, would the fact that one lives in the southern hemisphere affect ones birth signs? if so is there a formula to apply to them in order for correction.

    sorry, i have not yet found an astrology site that is not burdened by dogma and nonscientific assumptions. thanks. :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 27, 2004 #2


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    Given astrology is not a science, it is highly unlikely you will find any astrology site that is not burdened by dogma and unscientific assumptions. No offense intended, but you came to the wrong place to ask that question. Please read the guidelines before posting here.
  4. Oct 27, 2004 #3


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    To make a division of the ecliptic in a way that it matches always with the constellation that lies behind the sun one shall of course consider the precession of the equinox.

    But astrology does not proceed that way: the "astrological signs" are detemined dividing the ecliptic in twelve different zones, independently of the constellations behind them. Thus, the sign and the constellation may not match (the do not match, indeed). I think there are different astrological "branches", depending on whether precession is taken into account or not.
  5. Oct 27, 2004 #4


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    There are two wings of astrologers. The most popular wing (including the silly sun sign horoscopes in the newspapers) keep the zodiac houses where they were in Babylonian New Empire times, around 2400 years ago. Most of these astrologers couldn't even explain to you the issues of precession. The minority school have the houses lined up with the current position of the constellations ( and the first point of their Aries is encountered by the Sun at the Vernal Equinox). They pride themselves on being scientific because of this, but of course that's just fantasy.
  6. Nov 4, 2004 #5
    oh yee oh yee, hail science and all its 'facts'......i wish open minds were more common. :smile:

    of course the 'silly' horoscope stuff is crap. if one seriously studies the concepts involved with astrology i think there is some profound truth to be learned. but go ahead do what you do.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2004
  7. Nov 4, 2004 #6


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    I actually looked into a lot of astrology one time. I saw nothing that looked like honest, real exploration of the universe, and just bags of rationalization for methods originally derived from Babylonian mythology. Whether you do planetary aspects or natal houses, it's just mindless repetition of pre-scientific fantasies. It's the flat earth philosophy applied to the heavens.
  8. Nov 4, 2004 #7


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    Early astrologers were truly men of knowledge. That knowledge was scientific and the power in that knowledge was in its predictive nature. If you had a good calendar, you could predict seasonal floods and provide advice about the best times to plant crops, etc - things that are very valuable to an agrarian society. In societies that value astronomical phenomenae - especially in a religious sense (which would be impossible to separate from secular beliefs in many societies), the ability to predict or plausibly explain such phenomenae also conferred power on those with that knowledge.

    Try to remember that the mysticism that infuses astrology had its roots in the ignorance of those who had to rely on the predictions and pronouncements of the astrologers. The astrologers had knowledge and skills that were beyond most people, and even princes and kings were often in awe of them. For agrarian societies, accurate calendars could make the difference between having a strong, dominant empire, or a weak society ridden with crop losses, famine, and political instability.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2004
  9. Nov 6, 2004 #8


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    From humble to sarcastic in 2 posts. Nice. I suppose "open mind" means "agrees with you".

    As a general guideline, astrology is discussed in the skepticism forum. I'll move this thread.
  10. Nov 6, 2004 #9


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    It's a difference between having an open mind and a big hole where the brain ought to be..:smile:
  11. Nov 6, 2004 #10
    Astrology has its root in pattern-seeking, which is an evolutionary survival mechanism. Pattern-seeking can lead to scientifically valid conclusions, but history has shown that it also leads to superstitions, beliefs in supernatural and magic, and correlations that are invalid. In astrology, the correlations are invalid. The positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars simply do not correlate with or determine the outcome of daily events on the surface of Earth. And those horoscopes in the newspaper? They are purposely written vague and unclear so as to apply to anyone reading them.

    So, there is a profound truth to be learned here: People, being natural pattern-seekers, believe in astrology out of an evolutionary tendency which enhances survival. Survival is enhanced by providing a psychological blanket of comfort and security in an uncomfortable, insecure world.
  12. Nov 25, 2004 #11
    WARNING: content of post may offend some viewers. :surprised

    mmmm psychological comfort... the empowering aquired by way of knowledge is inevitable. there is no point denying it. i would suggest taking control of ones actions and realising that cause and effect is infinitely complex and karma is possible.

    what i write is not literal. what is? language is a code like any other, attempting the representation of an interior/exterior reality.

    i suppose all i was attempting to do with the original post was to spur interest outside of the logical, rational system many are enslaved within. logic is powerful, but sometimes it can be misleading. people tend to become scared of the unknown, and can then rebel against it, labelling it 'evil' and other such subjective opinions.

    yes, there are better ways of doing things but only compared to ones own cultural bias'. to a culture who uses magic and spiritual methods of healing, divining etc., a logical mindset would be a hindrance. and anyway, if it works it works.
    catching up needs to occur in order to accomodate the vast examples of experiential phenomena and mind constructions.

    turbo-1, good points. it is interesting what you say about the accepted practical aspects of astrology. that leads into wise (wo)men apparently tapping into these cycles and influences, having some control over them.

    i am not sure of the truth content in this statement. i was almost certain the moon had influence over tides. doesn't the sun heat the surface of the earth and the organisms on it?

    one could take it further and start to measure the gravitational pull jupitor has upon earth, i also read somewhere that jupitor emits more energy that it recieves from the sun. is this true?

    thanks for the feedback, plenty of opinions are better than one. :wink:
  13. Nov 26, 2004 #12


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    I'd be more inclined to call them astronomers than astrologers - but astronomers had to be astrologers too because if you knew a little astronomy and could predict floods, the King wanted you to predict the outcome of wars, sexes of babies, etc. Trouble is, give the wrong answer and you might lose your head.

    It was only after Galileo that astronomers were really free to just be astronomers.
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