19 March 2010


First of all, yes it's a load of bull. There are a lot of people out there who have covered the details of it better than I: see Phil Plait (I love you) here, or Dean Burnett here. If you believe that the astronomical position of the stars when you were born have some sort of effect on your life I have a bridge to sell you. Also some snake oil and the true blood of Jesus.

Even if you do believe in the hocus-pocus involved here, I've got fifty bucks that says you're not even doing it right.

Yeah, that's right - you're doing your wrong thing wrong.

Astrology is based on where the sun seems to be in a certain predefined set of constellations on the day you were born. Thus the sun was in the constellation Pisces when I was born in late February. As the earth revolves around the sun, the sun appears from our point of view to move through these constellations.

Y'all probably knew all of that, at least in passing fact. At some point you opened a newspaper, saw a strange looking word next to a set of date encompassing your birthdate and found out it was your "star sign". You've spent a fair portion of your life aware of your "star sign" even if you don't give a fig and think it is as silly as I do.

Except you're wrong.

Wrong wrong wrong.

The astrological calendars that were cobbled together were done so several thousand years ago. Which is all great and good if you're Sumerian*, but if you're a modern person like me it doesn't do you much good.

Stars, you see, move. They're moving and we're moving and the position of the stars in the sky is constantly changing. Enough that you might even notice a couple in your lifetime. Barnard's Star, for example, is practically rocketing across the sky at a rate of about 10 arcseconds a year (click for the wiki article which has a great graphic of Barnard's movement across the sky). That's a lot, for the record.

What it boils down to is that while a few thousand years ago if you were born in late February you would have been and a Pisces like me, these days the sun was more likely to be booking it through Aquarius when you were born. The first is your and mine astrological star sign, the second is our true astronomical star sign. Neither have any effect on your life by the way.

Basically, if you want to believe in astrology you get down with your bad self. I will continue to make fun of you and make very low estimations of your intelligence. But at least get it right.

*I don't know, and I don't care enough to look it up.


  1. YES!

    Girl we are on the same wavelength! I was talking about this very same exact mutha'** thing this afternoon with a friend who just couldnt wrap their little head around what I was saying.

    I love my friend, but I also love coming home to twitter to find people, like you, I can relate to. people who get it.

    You are awesome.

  2. Wait... OMG. According to your chart, I'm a Capricorn, not Aquarius. Wow, you're right... this changes everything.

    Okay, I almost wrote that with a straight face. I do get some credit for that, right?