Astrology and Astronomy

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Astrology and Astronomy

Postby Explorer » 06 Jul 2011, 16:17

Say... astrologers, I've got some questions for you :grin:.

I've calculated a chart for today, using Astrolabe (http://alabe.com/) and checking it with 'Lunabar'.
They both tell me that the Moon is 22 degrees in Virgo. But when I look at the stars, I mean for real, the Moon isn't in Virgo at all, it is in Leo.

So...I also looked at the sun, and according to astrological calculations it is in Cancer (Crab), while in reality, according to astronomical calculations, the sun is right smack in the middle of Gemini (Twins).

The same for the other planets in view, Mercury is in the middle of Crab, not Leo. Venus isn't even near Crab, but at the Bull side of Gemini. And Mars is in Taurus the Bull (a beautiful sight, those two red 'eyes' of Mars and Aldebaran near each other), not in Gemini as the charts predict.

This picture shows what I mean. The white box is 'astrology', the star field is 'astronomy'.
http://uilennest.net/pics/astrology_astronomy.jpg

This deviation is not some dark secret that I just discovered, it is a known feature of astrology. It is caused by something called 'precession of the earth axis', a slight wobble that causes the orientation of our planet to change in space over the years. This was unknown when astrology was invented, so it is not taken into account in the system (at least not in the western system). So everything is somewhere else than astrology predicts, and the gap widens every year.

Now my question to people who use astrology is, doesn't it bother you that the planets are in reality somewhere else than your charts predict?
Did you know this anyway? And if you did, how did that change your views about astrology? Does it matter? Why? Why not?
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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby Hennie » 06 Jul 2011, 17:11

This is all long known to western astrology.

The zodiac is calculated in accordance to the spring equinox. At that moment the virtual circle of the zodiac is calculated, taking this moment as the start of the zodiac, that is 0 degrees Aries. 30 degrees further the sign of Taurus starts etc.
The reason for this is that the zodiac is calculated as seen from the earth with the most important object, the sun, as starting point at the exact moment of the start of spring.

The actual stars are called the constellation, so the constellation of Aries, while the calculated Aries is called the sign of Aries.

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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby Explorer » 06 Jul 2011, 18:55

The zodiac is calculated in accordance to the spring equinox. At that moment the virtual circle of the zodiac is calculated, taking this moment as the start of the zodiac, that is 0 degrees Aries. 30 degrees further the sign of Taurus starts etc.
The reason for this is that the zodiac is calculated as seen from the earth with the most important object, the sun, as starting point at the exact moment of the start of spring.
In astrological theory yes, thousands of years ago also in the sky.
But these days the Sun is not even near 0 degrees Aries at that moment. It is somewhere else (see picture).
I'm not trying to discuss how the systems work, I know how they work.

I am interested to hear how people feel about that 'well known' discrepancy between astrologically calculated planet positions and the real positions in the sky.
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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby Hennie » 06 Jul 2011, 19:09

Nico, try read again.The position of a planet in a 'constellation' is the same in astrology and astronomy. The sign in which the planet resides is different. The planets are standing in a sector of the 'zodiac of the earth' with its own 'flavour'.
You don't (won't) get the difference between a 'constellation' and a 'sign', it seems.

The 'zodiac of the earth' is calculated anew for every following year, indeed slightly more diviating of the constellations with the same name.

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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby Explorer » 06 Jul 2011, 19:26

Nico, try read again.The position of a planet in a 'constellation' is the same in astrology and astronomy. The sign in which the planet resides is different. The planets are standing in a sector of the 'zodiac of the earth' with its own 'flavour'.
You don't (won't) get the difference between a 'constellation' and a 'sign', it seems.

The 'zodiac of the earth' is calculated anew for every following year, indeed slightly more diviating of the constellations with the same name.
yes, I understand that, constellation is the astronomical term, sign is an astrological synonym.
The questions remain the same, do you understand what I ask?
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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby Hennie » 06 Jul 2011, 19:39

Sign is NOT a synonym of constellation. In dutch it is difference between 'sterrenbeeld' and 'sterreteken'.

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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby Explorer » 06 Jul 2011, 20:33

Sign is NOT a synonym of constellation. In dutch it is difference between 'sterrenbeeld' and 'sterreteken'.
What about answering some of the questions?
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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby skh » 06 Jul 2011, 21:38

Nico,

every few years, some magazine, or these days, online magazine "discovers" that the astrological zodiac is no longer in sync with the actual constellations (or maybe never was, I'm not Babylonian). They always try to make a big deal about it, but the fact is so well known it even made it to wikipedia:

http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dierenriem ... astronomie
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zodiac#In_modern_astronomy

Also, a scientific deconstruction of astrology, if that's what you're after, would probably be more on-topic in Skeptical Druid.

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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby Explorer » 07 Jul 2011, 06:09

Nico,

every few years, some magazine, or these days, online magazine "discovers" that the astrological zodiac is no longer in sync with the actual constellations (or maybe never was, I'm not Babylonian). They always try to make a big deal about it, but the fact is so well known it even made it to wikipedia:

http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dierenriem ... astronomie
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zodiac#In_modern_astronomy

Also, a scientific deconstruction of astrology, if that's what you're after, would probably be more on-topic in Skeptical Druid.

peace /|\
Sonja
I'm not after a scientific deconstruction of astrology, because astrology is comething completely different. It isn't science and it isn't astronomy, it is a divination technique.
My questions are clear. Answering them is apparently a lot harder. Which is also an answer in a sense.
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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby skh » 07 Jul 2011, 07:34

Nico, which questions do you think are hard to answer? These:
Now my question to people who use astrology is, doesn't it bother you that the planets are in reality somewhere else than your charts predict?
Did you know this anyway? And if you did, how did that change your views about astrology? Does it matter? Why? Why not?
?

As you haven't discovered anything new to western Astrology (which Hennie already pointed out), what about "no, it's beside the point, yes of course, no, why should it, no, it doesn't, why do you want to know anyway?"

I _could_ imagine that astrologers may be tired to discuss the same thing over and over again, and see no need to justify themselves to strangers on message boards. Also, you might have seen that this subforum is pretty dormant, there might even not be any astrologers lurking around waiting for a good controversial discussion to participate in.

Really, what do you expect? That people confess, oh gods, they had no idea, Astrology isn't real!?

peace /|\
Sonja

[Edited: typo]
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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby Explorer » 07 Jul 2011, 11:06


As you haven't discovered anything new to western Astrology (which Hennie already pointed out), what about "no, it's beside the point, yes of course, no, why should it, no, it doesn't, why do you want to know anyway?"

I _could_ imagine that astrologers may be tired to discuss the same thing over and over again, and see no need to justify themselves to strangers on message boards. Also, you might have seen that this subforum is pretty dormant, there might even not be any astrologers lurking around waiting for a good controversial discussion to participate in.

Really, what do you expect? That people confess, oh gods, they had no idea, Astrology isn't real!?
No, I expect some normal answers, about the awareness that people have who use this as a tool.

Astrology is rather new for me, unlike astronomy, but I have studied it quite indepth the last year. So I am investigating its merits, weak points, strong points. Like anybody with a bit of a brain would do before taking stuff for granted. And I run into this strange problem, that the planets and stars are not aligned in the same way.
I've seen people trying to calculate real alignments of stars/places at a certain time IRL. And ofcourse that didn't work, and if you know about this issue then it becomes obvious why that didn't work, but I didn't know that then, nor did anybody else present. I only found out when I did the calculations myself and ended up somewhere else in the sky.
There are things to learn here. Like that you apparently can't use astrology to calculate real alignments. What else is there to learn about this?

I get VERY weird reactions from you two. Immediately in some kind of defence, am I touching some painful issue or something?
If you are 'too tired' to discuss the same thing 'over and over again', then what the heck are you doing in this thread?
I haven't discussed this subject before, and I am interested in doing so. Nobody forces you to watch.

What I would have said, if I was an astrologer, is that its apparent accuracy is not meant to be significant in astronomical or physical terms, but purely on the level of divination. And if you look at the title of this forum then you see 'Arts of the Seer', does that ring a bell? Astrology has a lot more detail than the tarot for instance, so what does that mean then? Can it be used on another level than the Tarot for that reason? How? I've been tempted to start using astrology as a divination tool for that reason. But I also decided not to, because I don't need that level of detail in divination. This the sort of intelligent discussion that I hope for. Because I'm not only in astronomy, I am also a druid who uses divination.
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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby Lorraine S. » 07 Jul 2011, 11:16

It is around 6:00 a.m. here and for some reason, this caught my eye after just communicating with someone about how simple-minded I really am. :grin:

Nope, it doesn't bother me that the planets are aligned differently than astrology charts any more than it bothers me that we use the Roman calendar rather than the Mayan one! I take it all in stride and acknowledge that astronomy relies more on explanations and astrology more on predictions.

I look at the stars and say, "Oooooo, how beautiful!" And I look at my astrology chart and say, "How cool is this!" It doesn't matter to me that the two seem to contradict each other at this juncture in time. At some point, they didn't and perhaps at some point in the future, they won't again. It is what it is, ya know? I am trying very hard not to let my tendency to overthink get in the way of saying "How beautiful!" and "How cool!"

Now back to enjoying this wonderful coffee, a mix of vanilla and hazelnut. It is kind of like mixing astrology and astronomy, a bit sweet and a bit nutty, wouldn't you say Nico? :wink:

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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby Hennie » 07 Jul 2011, 11:20

If you have studied this in depth, you didn't seem too good a student, otherwise you would know the difference between a constellation and a star sign.

I' will grant your plea and will no more contribute to this discussion; I think you have had your kick already.

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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby Explorer » 07 Jul 2011, 11:44

If you have studied this in depth, you didn't seem too good a student, otherwise you would know the difference between a constellation and a star sign.

I' will grant your plea and will no more contribute to this discussion; I think you have had your kick already.
playing the druid clown again Hennie?
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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby Explorer » 07 Jul 2011, 12:00

If you have studied this in depth, you didn't seem too good a student, otherwise you would know the difference between a constellation and a star sign.
I will teach you a little bit of logic.

These three statements are exactly the same:
- The sun doesn't show up in the field of stars that is indicated with Aries as the chart predicts
- The field of stars 'Aries' is not in the same place where the sun is.
- The real location of the sun relatively to the stars, is not the same as the astrological locations relatively to the stars at the same moment in time.

What you say is that the real location of the sun is called 'constellation', and that the astrological location is called 'sign'. Fine, good, I know that.
What you also say, is that they do not match, that they are different. Which is *exactly* what I also say. We are saying the exact same thing, just using different terms and a different view. You say it from an astrological perspective, I say it from an astronomical perspective. But we say the exact same thing.

But you don't see it, and stubbornly try to make it in some kind of annoying antagonizing argument that doesn't exist. Like I said before.

This is not a debate about the numbers or the system, but about how people approach this difference.
So far, Lorraine has been the only one who answered these questions.
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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby skh » 07 Jul 2011, 13:20

So far, Lorraine has been the only one who answered these questions.
I have, haven't I?

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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby owl » 08 Jul 2011, 05:44

Now my question to people who use astrology is, doesn't it bother you that the planets are in reality somewhere else than your charts predict?
Did you know this anyway? And if you did, how did that change your views about astrology? Does it matter? Why? Why not?
Nico,

Yes, I find it strange that the planets are not where the charts predict.

Yes, I had heard about the differences for years and years. But, would forget about it, since I am only a casual user of astrology.

No, it did not change my view of astrology.

"Does it matter?" - from my engineering mind, I would have thought that some great Astrologer would have fixed it by now. Then again, it is not meant to be an astronomical tool.

I believe that you pointed out that astrology is a predictive/divination tool. I agree. If it works as such, leave it alone, IMO.


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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby illion » 12 Jul 2011, 17:35

:hiya: , Nico.

I discovered the same thing as you a few months ago, and just couldn't get it out of my head.
I think that the problem is that most people like me, and probably you, think that astrology is a divination system based on the stars and the planets' transits through the star signs. It is clearly not. Astrology is a divination system based on the earth's position in the universe as it spins, and the planets' positions in relation to the earth.

I think it is very unfortunate that astrologers use the same names and symbolisms for the constellations as for the signs, because it gets so confusing. It really has nothing to do with each other. And to call different positions of the earth in the universe for "star constellations" are so misleading. It makes me think that once upon a time, these signs fitted the constellation system. The ancient astrologers probably thought that they were reading the stars themselves, but now we know that they didn't read the stars, they read the earth's orientation in the universe.

That is at least what I got out of my small studies of the subject. I don't know if I actually answered your questions, and I am not much of an astrologer either, just a little bit interested in the subject.

It doesn't really change the results of a prediction, so I don't really care that much about what I found out. I DO think it is a nice thing to know how the system works, and I didn't like to find out that I had misunderstood the basic parts of it in so many years. I only found out when I was really trying to dive into the astrology and really practice it. I practice astrology in a different way than the traditional astrologers anyway, but I think it is important that people know what astrology is based upon. Many hobby astrologists only read tables with numbers, and haven't actually found out or thought much about it.

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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby Explorer » 12 Jul 2011, 19:23

:hiya: , Nico.

I discovered the same thing as you a few months ago, and just couldn't get it out of my head.
I think that the problem is that most people like me, and probably you, think that astrology is a divination system based on the stars and the planets' transits through the star signs. It is clearly not. Astrology is a divination system based on the earth's position in the universe as it spins, and the planets' positions in relation to the earth.

I think it is very unfortunate that astrologers use the same names and symbolisms for the constellations as for the signs, because it gets so confusing. It really has nothing to do with each other. And to call different positions of the earth in the universe for "star constellations" are so misleading. It makes me think that once upon a time, these signs fitted the constellation system. The ancient astrologers probably thought that they were reading the stars themselves, but now we know that they didn't read the stars, they read the earth's orientation in the universe.

That is at least what I got out of my small studies of the subject. I don't know if I actually answered your questions, and I am not much of an astrologer either, just a little bit interested in the subject.

It doesn't really change the results of a prediction, so I don't really care that much about what I found out. I DO think it is a nice thing to know how the system works, and I didn't like to find out that I had misunderstood the basic parts of it in so many years. I only found out when I was really trying to dive into the astrology and really practice it. I practice astrology in a different way than the traditional astrologers anyway, but I think it is important that people know what astrology is based upon. Many hobby astrologists only read tables with numbers, and haven't actually found out or thought much about it.
It is actually much simpler.
They did originally mean to calculate the same thing, the positions of the planets in the constellations.
And they started the count at the spring equinox, when the sun entered the constellation of Aries. And they never strayed from that again, it became 'tradition'.

The trouble is, that back then, about 1600 years ago, they didn't know that the earth axis wobbles a bit while it spins, leading to all the constellations describe a big circle every 24000 years or so. And today that circle has turned so much that the sun doesn't enter Aries at the spring equinox, but Pisces. And all planets shift in exactly the same way (because it is not the planets that shift, nor the stars, but the earth axis, so everything else seems to shift relative to that).

It is not an error, but a choice. Astrologers these days actually calculate the correct locations of the planets first, using our (astronomy algorithms. And then they shift everything to make it start at Aries. Because that is their tradition. (sounds a bit weird huh? but that is how it often is with traditions, you don't think, you follow).

And then you can do two things, care about it, or don't care about it. And I'm interested to see which people understand this and how they deal with it.
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Re: Astrology and Astronomy

Postby illion » 12 Jul 2011, 20:33

As I've understood it the constellations didn't describe that circle, but the signs did.

Do I understand it if I say that they (1600 years ago) started the count at the spring equinox, when the sun entered the constellation AND the sign of Aries, while today the astrologers start the count at the spring equinox when the sun enters the constellation of Aries AND the sign of Pisces?


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