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How Does Astrology Work?

This article was written by Stephanie Clement on May 31, 2002
posted under Astrology

Astrologers use the birth chart and other calculations to consider every kind of question imaginable. The most frequently asked questions are about romance or finance and career. When will I marry? Will this relationship last? Will this business deal work out? When? What is in store for me next year? Astrologers also use charts to answer such questions as Where is my lost necklace? Who will win the Super Bowl? A few astrologers are having better success predicting the weather than the weatherman, and much further in advance!

You might read books or obtain a computer-generated interpretation for specific reasons:
To learn more about yourself – your strengths and challenges
To understand and overcome the limitations
To explore your dreams and how they fit into your life
To compare your chart to another person to see how well you will get along
To determine careers that are most appropriate to your birth chart, and to the stage of your life at the present time
To answer medical questions
To find lost objects or answer other very specific questions
To forecast trends for the coming six months or year
To select a place to live (geographical location)
To learn about your spiritual development and mission
To relate to your children better
To gain understanding about anything that arises in your life, and to deal with transitions more effectively

What else? The stars are the limit – and they provide limitless potential.

I’m just a beginner. Can you recommend a real beginner book for me?

There are many books on the market, so this is a good question to ask yourself. Shop online in Llewellyn's online store, where you will find a variety of astrology books, including Astrology for Beginners. They are written by professional astrologers who have studied their craft and are interesting writers as well.

Do I have to learn all that math to do astrology?
No, you don’t have to learn the math. Before the age of computers, astrologers had to calculate every detail of the chart, but now you can find reasonably priced computer programs that will do all the calculations, or you can get charts through services. It is important for you to learn enough about how charts are calculated to know if you are looking at an accurate chart. Here are some pointers:

Is the Sun in the right part of the chart for the time of day? The chart resembles a clock, but for a 24 hour time period. The top of the chart is noon, the left side is about 6:00 a.m., the right side about 6:00 p.m., and the bottom is midnight. The Sun should appear in the approximate part of the chart for the time of day – 3:00 p.m. is in the upper right hand section of the chart. Daylight or war time will affect the placement to some extent, but this is a good rule of thumb.

Are the outer planets in the right signs for the year you are looking at? The outer planets move slowly. Pluto can be in the same sign for as long as 30 years. Saturn takes about 28 to 30 years to go through the signs. You can expect all the charts for several years to have the outer planets in the same signs, and you can check these placements in tables, or compare charts to see if they are close to the same.

Does the printout tell you the date, time and place that were used to calculate the chart? Is that information correct? If the printout does not contain this information, then you may want to obtain a chart that does. If the information is correct, then you can figure the chart is correct. This of course, assumes that you have a good quality program, based on accurate mathematics.

How do I decide if I want to learn astrology or not?

Try one book or book with CD-ROM program. You probably don’t want to invest in a complete library of astrology books at first, but you can start with a beginning book. If the material fascinates you – if you want to get the charts of all your friends and family and examine them – then you have the makings of a future astrologer. If you are really more interested in your own chart, you still may want to get other books on specific subjects that you want to learn more about. Astrology is a valuable self-education tool too!

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