So, you've decided to check this stuff out for yourself have you? Excellent, congratulations, you've made the leap from presumptuous, hard-headed laziness to level-headed objective skepticism. Glad you could make it, what took you so long? I too am a skeptic, although admittedly, my skepticism isn't what it used to be in the beginning. This astrology stuff is, as Tweety Bird so eloquently put it, "mighty twicky, puddy tat." I'm assuming, because you've decided to go this far that you aren't necessarily interested in getting into astrology, you just want to know the truth: Is there something to this stuff or isn't there? I'm also assuming that, being intelligent and objective enough to have taken this step, you are NOT interested in MY opinion on the subject, nor are you interested in anyone's OPINION but your own. If this is the case, I will try to give you enough background information in this section to play around with the ideas and concepts, maybe form your own hypothesis as to how it may or may not be possible. Hopefully, there will also be enough information about specific, observable phenomenon for you to start experimenting on your own.

It is ONLY through experimentation and observation that we can know the TRUTH. Not through articles in Nova and Scientific American(favorites of mine), nor through the Crystal-powered rantings of Madam Zandelini and her Flying Orbs of Mystic Karmic Consciousness(although I hear she makes a mean veggie calzone) Through experience, and by drawing rational conclusions about that experience only. It is why kids still stick their tongues to flagpoles in winter, and why they don't listen to their parents warnings about taking such risks. We have to know for ourselves to know the truth. Sadly but truly, to do otherwise is to risk forming our opinions around other opinions and prejudices rather than around the truth.


Astrology 101

Q: Doesn't astrology teach that people are the same? That there are only twelve types of people?
A: No it doesn't. In fact, astrology teaches that only in VERY rare instances are two personalities similar enough to be called "the same". Even then the two people are not the same. Not even for identical twins. Astrology teaches that there are similarities that are likely to be found in people born under similar planetary influences. The Sun sign is the 'planetary' influence most commonly referred to. It is because Sun sign descriptions are the easiest to find, that many folks believe that astrology teaches that people fall into twelve completely predictable types. Since it is the only exposure they get to astrology, they believe that this is the sum of astrological teaching. It is also because Sun sign description are just the TIP of the iceberg, that some people find that their Sun sign description doesn't fit them.

Q: What is a Sun sign?
A: Sun sign is the term used to describe the sign of the zodiac that the Sun was in, relative to the Earth at the time of one's birth. In astrology, everything is relative to the position of the Earth. Perhaps it would be better if I physically described the signs of the Zodiac first.

Q: Fine, but you already told us that the zodiac is a belt around the Solar system which is divided into twelve signs, right?
A: Yes I did, but I believe it's important to be able to visualize it from an Earthbound perspective in order to give you, the reader a better understanding.

Q: Fine, whatever. Ok, so what are the signs of the Zodiac in physical terms?
A: Thanks. You'll understand why we took this detour in a moment. As I mentioned, the Zodiac is a belt of divisions that surrounds the Solar system. From our view here on Earth, we face all twelve signs of the zodiac every single day as the Earth spins on its axis. Visualize, if you can, that from Sunrise to Sunrise you have faced each of the twelve signs of the Zodiac once. In fact, this is because your side of the Earth has faced all 360 degrees of the Solar system within an approximately 24 hour period. Doing the math, we find that each sign of the Zodiac represents a 30 degree portion of the circumference of the solar system. It also represents a 30 degree portion of the Earth's rotation in one Earth day. When we say that a planet (in astrology the Sun and Moon are called planets. This hails back to a time when everything was thought to revolve around the Earth) is in a particular sign, what we really mean is that if you drew a line from the Earth to that planet, the line would go through the sign that represents that particular angle of the sky.
The signs of the Zodiac are as follows:
Aries = 0 - 30 degrees / Taurus = 30 - 60 degrees
Gemini = 60 - 90 degrees / Cancer = 90 - 120 degrees
Leo = 120 - 150 degrees / Virgo = 150 - 180 degrees
Libra = 180 - 210 degrees / Scorpio = 210 - 240 degrees
Sagittarius = 240 - 270 degrees / Capricorn 270 - 300 degrees
Aquarius = 300 - 330 degrees / Pisces 330 - 360 degrees

Q: Wait. Those are angles. What about the dates that they always talk about when they mention the signs of the Zodiac?
A: Ahh now we can get back to your Sun sign question, because those dates are the times when a line drawn to the Sun from the Earth falls between the various angles represented by the signs.
So when we say that someone is born under a certain sign, we are speaking of their Sun sign, or the time when the Sun was at THAT particular angle relative to the Earth. For instance an Aries Sun sign means that a line drawn to the Sun from Earth would fall between 0 and 30 degrees on the ring around our solar system that is the zodiac. The Sun sign is of particular importance to astrology.

To quote 'The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need':

"The Sun is the most important and pervasive influence in your horoscope, and in many ways determines how others see you. The position of the Sun in your birth chart governs your individuality, your distinctive style, and your drive to fulfill your goals in life...
Another analogy is that your horoscope is a painting of you. The characteristics of your Sun sign are the broad strokes that the artist first lays down on the canvas..In the same way, your Sun sign delineates your general character...Yet a typical remark often made to astrologers goes something like this: 'I'm a Capricorn, but when I read those descriptions of Capricorn, they don't describe me very accurately.'
Remember, the Sun sign is just the start of your portrait, the broad strokes. You also have a Moon in your birth chart, and it's probably in a different sign from the one the Sun is in. You have planets in your chart and each may be in a different sign. You are a complex and unique combination, unlike anyone else. Any attempt to give an accurate description from only a Sun sign falls into the kind of error that H.L. Mencken was referring to when he remarked that 'for every complicated problem, there is a solution that is short, simple, and wrong.'
Only by studying the entire birth chart can an astrologer begin to get a complete picture of a personality. Even then, there is certain latitude for error simply because human beings are not carved in stone. We change a little every day and with every person we meet. Love, tragedy, success--each circumstance of life alters us.
However, the essential person remains. And the Sun sign is the outline of that essence."

The Sun is said, in astrology to exert the greatest influence upon us, therefore one's Sun sign is considered of primary importance in determining one's personality and motivations. This wasn't always so, at one time, astrologers considered a person's RISING SIGN to be of equal or greater significance than one's Sun sign.

Q: Ok, so what's a Rising sign?
A: Your Rising sign or Ascendant is the sign of the zodiac that was on the eastern horizon at the exact moment of your birth, as viewed from your place of birth. Imagine, if you will, that you are looking to the East at the horizon. Imagine that this horizon is a Rising sign indicator and that whatever sign is beyond that indicator is the Rising sign. As I've already mentioned, as the Earth spins on its axis, it goes through all 12 of the zodiacal signs in a single 24 hour period. So the horizon falls in each sign for approximately a two hour period before moving on to the next sign. Astrology further divides this two hour period into degrees, minutes and seconds of each sign. Within four minutes, one degree is passed..this equates to approximately 69 miles of movement per degree at the equator. Less at more northerly or southerly latitudes. The point being that a difference of 4 minutes, or less than 70 miles between peoples' times or places of birth can change the influences or sign of their Ascendant, according to astrology. In fact, only people born at the same geographic location at the exact same second will exhibit IDENTICAL traits, again, according to astrology. Your Ascendant is credited with defining many attributes of your personality. It is considered one of the most influential factors in your birth chart to modern astrologers, third only to the Sun and Moon signs.

From 'The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need':
"Your Ascendant is the sign that reflects your outward demeanor and to a great extent determines how the outside world looks at you. The word outer is significant in defining your Rising sign, for this is the sign that represents your outer personality. In modern terminology, it is your image. Very often your Ascendant is what the world first sees in you, the impression that you first make on other people...Your Rising sign has been likened to the door of a house, the entryway that visitors first see and must pass through in order to look into the house itself.
In my own work as an astrologer, I have found that the personality you outwardly project is almost always a perfect blend of your Sun sign and Rising sign...
In many respects, your Ascendant is the sign that makes you feel most comfortable physically...It is your mask of outward appearance. Like any mask, it may hide your real face, but more likely, it is simply a part of your real face. It is the face that you most easily and naturally show to others."

The Ascendant is a necessary starting point for building any natal chart, which is why the time and place of birth must be known in addition to the date of birth. The entire chart begins at the Rising Sign.

In addition to being the face you present to others, the Ascendant is credited with influencing your PHYSICAL APPEARANCE, a claim which I found to be of PARTICULAR interest in my research.

From 'The Only Way To Learn Astrology Volume III':
"When you run into people who have a rudimentary understanding of astrology, they will frequently confront you with: 'Tell me what I am.' They are of course referring to their Sun sign, but the more you study astrology, the quicker you realize that the Sun is just one of the important factors that makes you uniquely YOU. The same principle applies to appearance. In fact the physical body is more often described by the Ascendant than by the Sun, or at least a blend of the two. But party games aside, there is an important reason to learn what some of the physical characteristics of each sign are and how to judge a possible Ascendant: If there is any doubt about the time of birth, your astrological knowledge of appearance can make the difference..You must always blend the Sun sign, Ascendant and Ascendant ruler, as these three seem to have the most effect upon the actual appearance...Racial, ethnic and hereditary factors must be taken into consideration."

Q: You're telling me that people with certain signs in common look alike?!
A: Believe it or not, I HAVE found very disturbing and uncanny similarities between people born around the same time of year, or with the same Rising sign. It's NOT one hundred percent, but appears to be true more often than not, at least with caucasian people. As quick examples, I have found the following to be frequently be true:

Many TAURUS people tend to a flatness of their overall facial bone structure that is unmistakable once you have seen it. Imagine taking the nose, lips and chin off and lightly planing the skull even from brow to chin area. Now replace the facial features and you have the general idea (although only observation can do justice to this eery similarity). Also I've noticed a tendency to wide flaring nostrils on Taurus Sun sign persons. See also Audrey Hepburn and Cher (although her face has been altered the flatness is still definitely there.) Boxer Joe Louis as well. My son exhibits these same physical traits and he has a Taurean Sun.

SCORPIO Rising (or Sun sign) tendency (in the caucasian and Latin American folks that I've observed) is to a prominent nose and slightly bushy eyebrows. Hillary Clinton is an excellent example as is Leonardo DiCaprio. I am a Scorpio Rising, and my pictures are available online. (I also exhibit the cleft chin which astrologers claim is characteristic of Librans. I have a Libran Sun sign.)
www.gnarf.net/users/dafremen/RTFSTUFF/daf.jpg & www.gnarf.net/users/dafremen/RTFSTUFF/REI.htm
My longtime friend BigLizrd is a Scorp and exhibits these same characteristics. His webpage can be found at:

CANCER persons tend to a roundness of the face. Again, as in the case of Taurus, this is difficult to describe. It is not a FAT roundness, but a bone structured roundness that is especially noticeable from the cheekbones back toward the ears. I submit Ernest Hemingway and Meryl Streep as examples, along with my wife who can be seen on the above mentioned webpage, REI.htm

There is a VIRGO tendency to an almost triangular lower jaw shape. The chin, although not pointy per se, does seem less than boxy in many cases. See Hugh Grant, Richard Gere and Mother Theresa or your local Virgo friend to get an idea of what to look for.

Try to notice, not how the faces differ (we already KNOW that they are different people) but how they are similar. The resemblance should pop out at you. Then take that with you as you do your investigation. I'm almost certain that you'll be shocked by the number of people with these signs who share these physical traits. There are more, but we should probably move on. As a general rule, anyone born at sunrise or slightly after (both Sun and Ascendant in the same sign)will almost definitely display these characteristics.
See zodiac.fragzaintskillz.com and Professor Seward's book for more examples.

Q: What is a Moon sign?
A: The Moon sign, as you've probably guessed is the sign behind the Moon when it is viewed from Earth. It is, as in the case of the Sun sign, the sign that is pointed to by a line that is drawn from the Earth to the Moon at any given point in time. In the case of birth charts, it is the sign the Moon appeared in at the time of your birth, whether or not it was visible at the time and place of your birth is irrelevant. Your Moon sign is also said to be quite significant in astrology, second only to the Sun. This seems to jibe with the scientific evidence which has these two bodies exerting strong influences over the natural world here on Earth. It is said to represent the emotional side of your personality. If your Sun and Ascendant form your conscious personality, the Moon determines your subconscious or instinctual personality and behaviors.

Again, quoting 'The Only Astrology Book You'll Ever Need':
"The Sun sign is the part of you that is most apparent on the surface; it is what others see. The Moon sign is the part of you that you see. In astrology the Moon stands for emotions, instincts, the unconscious. Whereas the Sun represents your will, the Moon represents your instinctive reactions...In essence, the Moon represents the side of you that reacts before you have time to think.
The distinction in astrology between the influence of the Sun and the Moon is a forerunner of Sigmund Freud's theory of the ego and the id in human personality. According to Freud, the ego is a person's consciousness (symbolized in astrology by the Sun), and the id represents a person's instinct(the Moon).
In many ways your Moon personality is the one you keep hidden. Human beings tend to disapprove of instinctive behavior. We call it uncivilized, primitive, animalistic. Thus, in certain respects, your Moon personality is a part of yourself that you find disturbing. It is your inner core, which feels hate or jealousy, broods and is fearful, and has fantasies that you often deny even to yourself.
Of course this is not the complete picture of the Moon's influence on your personality. It is also your Moon side that can spontaneously feel and express joy and pleasure, the side that reacts to emotional stimuli...The Moon is inextricably linked to what might be called your reaction to your environment, for the Moon has rulership over the five senses--sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.
In astrology, the meaning of the Moon can become very esoteric. The Moon also stands for infancy, childhood, your dreams, memory and your past. All these words might be summed up as your inner psyche."

And again:
"Because the Moon holds dominion over the emotional sphere, it influences your receptivity to others and also how others feel about you..Many people ask me, 'How can two people who have the SAME Sun sign be so different?' I usually answer this question by asking another question: 'What are the Moon signs of these two people?' "

It is clear that, according to astrology, we find within our Moon sign, the Beast within that we often do not understand about ourselves, if our Sun sign and/or Ascendant conflict with our Moon sign. If however, we have our Moon in the same sign as our Sun, we can find an inexplicable inability to control those negative portions of our personality that we can plainly see as well as an exaggeration of those qualities, often accompanied by a reinforcement of our positive qualities. My research is only cursory in the area of Moon signs. I have been impressed with what I have seen thus far but it's simply too hard to get objective answers about traits that people often can't even see themselves. I have included this basic description of Moon signs simply to round out your general understanding of very basic astrological concepts.

User24 will it? 030912
User24 will it? 030912
I meant to say that twice you see. will it, will it?
boom chaka chaka chaka
bom-bom boom boom
will it, will it?
dancing fool needs to why'd you stop? I was just starting to shift these arthritic hips?! C'mon man rip out the rhythym! 030912
Dafremen Indeed it will. Also..the link to Professor Seward's book is now:


The link to my pictures is now:


And I will finish insights_into_sagittarius before I leave.
Dafremen Oh...and finally and for truly. If ANYONE would like a free computer generated birth chart to aid them in their investigation, I have an excellent program and would be happy to send that to you.

My email is: dafremen@hotmail.com
I will need you Date, Time and Place of Birth
girl_jane Daf-it's odd that this showed up today. In my comp/research class we are to pick a topic in which we are interested-something we would like to study for the semester and write pages upon pages of information.

I chose astrology, and I had you in mind as a person to use as a reference. I'll be e-mailing you sometime.
randomly recent ! 040110
green yeah but i don't slit my wrists ... i sit through hell
and just hope.
what's it to you?
who go