Zodiac Sign, Wobble, Apples & Oranges

Well, here we go again: misinformation redux.

In the 2020 February 22nd – 23rd issue of The Wall Street Journal an article by Jo Craven McGinty offered misinformation about astrology as presented by Dr. James B. Kaler, professor emeritus of astronomy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. This mind-altering information, truly misinformation, was nothing new. Back in 2011, the same erroneous information was asserted by astronomers at the Minnesota Planetarium Society. In both cases, the astronomers insisted that the zodiac signs have changed, forcing each and everyone of us to possibly shapeshift into a preceding zodiac sign rather than the one into which we were born.

Utter nonsense. As a professional astrologer with an international clientele for the past fifty years, I feel compelled to correct the misunderstanding projected by these astronomers.

Their claims are not new. Their claims are not startling. And their claims are not a discovery.

On the contrary, their claims show a total misunderstanding of the connection, or lack thereof, between astronomical constellations and the zodiac signs.

So, let me explain and clarify. And to do so, we might want to bear in mind the concept of micro-perspective and macro-perspective.

The Zodiac Signs are defined by the Seasons of the year. The beginning of Aries occurs at the time of the Vernal Equinox, the beginning of Spring. The four Cardinal Signs represent the four cardinal points or the beginning of the seasons: Aries, Spring; Cancer, Summer; Libra, Autumn; Capricorn, Winter.

On a micro level, on a personal and individual level, the Signs into which we are born are related to the seasonal variations. And NOT the backdrop of the constellations.

On a macro level, whereby we see the Sun vis-à-vis the backdrop of the constellations, there has been a variation based upon the precession of the equinoxes, or the earth’s wobble. Due to gravitational pulls from the moon and the sun on our ellipsoid-shaped earth, our earth tends to wobble as it revolves around the sun. If one were to extend a line from the earth’s axis outward, that axis would describe a circle in space. But from the earth, it looks as if the heavenly bodies are revolving through the heavens, while the earth remains motionless. If we were to watch the relative movement of the sun and the constellations year after year, it would appear that the sun is moving at a slower rate than the constellations. Recognize, however, that we are considering apparent movement, movement as seen from our earth perspective. Noting the position of the sun relative to a fixed star, we would find, after approximately 25,920 years, the sun and fixed star to be in the same relative position they occupied 25,920 years earlier.

This wobble of the earth creates what is referred to as the Great Year, the Sidereal Year or the Platonic Year whereby it takes the Sun some 25,920 years to come back to its ‘original’ point. And if we consider the twelve zodiac signs, each ‘epoch’ or human era is seen as being approximately 2,160 years in length.

The present era is the Aquarian Age and earlier eras were seen as corroborative of Astrological Ages. Prior to the Aquarian Age, we had the Piscean Age, a time when personal salvation was achieved through the grace of master teachers. During this era, we had such teachers as Buddha, Confucius, Zoroaster, Lao Tse, Jesus Christ, Mohammed. This Age with its symbolism of Pisces had the two fishes interlinked by a connecting bond, one fish swimming upstream into the spiritual, the other fish swimming downstream into the material. Epitomized by Christian theology, this Age depicts many symbols of water and fish. We had Jesus walking on water, turning water into wine, making his disciples ‘fishers of men’, casting bread upon the water, and the early Christians drawing the lines of the fish in the sand to signify their connection to their faith.

Prior to the Piscean Age, we had the Age of Aries and during this Age we see many depictions of the Fire Sign and its symbol of the ram. Yod-he-vau-he appears to Moses in a burning bush. The shofar, the ram’s horn, was used to signal festivals. Lamb’s blood was placed on the door mantle in order for the angel of death to pass over. And when Moses descended from the Mount and saw the Israelites worshipping a graven image, the image they had created was that of the golden calf, a symbol not of the new age of Aries but rather the preceding age of Taurus.

From a macro perspective, the precession of the equinoxes does show this movement of the sun vis-à-vis the constellations and gives an indication of that particular cultural epoch. On a micro perspective, the seasonal changes give an indication of our Sign of the Zodiac and our personality characteristics.

In this day and age, a time when knowledge is to be available to all of humankind akin to the Aquarian symbol of the water bearer pouring knowledge and understanding upon the land, true inquiry has been lost to superficial learning and information, sometimes accurate, sometimes not, as provided in wikipedia, websites, blogs and consensus opinion.

These astronomers have no true knowledge of astrology, much less even studied the subject, but rather often cast it off as mere superstition.

While it would be preferable for specialists to stay within their own realm of expertise, it goes without saying that people like to muck about in areas of which they have little true understanding.

It’s a sign of the times, but we should avoid buying into the semblance of assuming that we are speaking about the same thing when, in truth, we might be talking about apples and oranges.

These astronomers’ claims are much ado about nothing…