Kathryn Asks:

“In the past year or so, I’ve been doing natal charts for friends, and hope to do so one day as a business. One thing I don’t quite understand is the method of daily horoscopes you see in the newspapers. I understand that these are based on Sun Sign characteristics, and it seems to me that based on that, you could probably write just about anything regarding a certain area of life. Could you shed some light on this? Also, when these horoscopes are calculated, are they based on a “natural Zodiac chart” (i.e., Aries = First House; Taurus = 2nd house, etc.). I would like to learn more about accurately charting transits and predictive astrology.

Kevin Answers:

Kathryn,

As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not a big fan of Sun Sign columns, and don’t consider them to be real astrology. To be fair, many Sun Sign columns are written by extremely talented astrologers, who do so because, frankly, it pays well, and it’s quite difficult to make a living full-time as an astrologer. This in no way changes the fact that they are entirely worthless as a predictive tool and should only ever be considered to be a somewhat entertaining diversion.

Predictive astrology is difficult enough even when it’s based on accurate individual birth data. Making predictions based on Sun Signs alone is precisely as valid as making predictions based on hair color.

I’m sure that there are many different techniques for writing Sun Sign columns. Most do work with variations on the “Natural Zodiac” taking the Sun Sign to be the 1st house and then placing activity in other signs in the appropriate relative life areas. For example, consider Mars entering Virgo: for a Leo, this might be viewed as activity relating to finances or resources (Virgo = 2nd House); for a Pisces, however, it would probably have to do with relationships (Virgo = 7th House). Oftentimes, the sign ruler is used to gauge activity for that sign. The challenge, of course, particularly with daily horoscopes, is that the planets generally move so slowly that their influences, at least the important ones, last for days at a time, and sometimes even weeks or months at a time. I expect that many daily horoscope columns work extensively with the faster-moving inner planets (Mercury and Venus in particular). I also expect that just as many of these columns are entirely made up and don’t even have a peripheral foundation in real astrology.

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