Astrology Is Not Signology

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I have come across the term “Signology” the first time on twitter, and something suddenly clicked in my head: I finally had a word to describe something that I had always regarded as a degenerate—fallen—form of Astrology.

But what exactly is Signology? In essence, it is a simplified form of Astrology based on the concept that a person is represented by their Sun Sign. You can hear everywhere people asking: “what’s your sign?”, or complaining about that “Gemini friend” of theirs. Well, they are talking about the Sun Sign here: the zodiac sign in which the Sun was at the moment of their birth.

Most people do not even know it, because “your sign” (who cares about the Sun) is very easy to spot: all you need is your date of birth and a magazine. Just flip through it and check the date ranges you find in the horoscope page—et voilà! You now have your esoteric identity, ready to entertain youTwitter .

And please, don’t get me wrong. I may be sarcastic but I don’t think there’s nothing wrong with that. In the end it’s just a game right? Occasionally, everybody reads horoscopes just for fun. That’s fine. But Astrology is something different and I can be very annoyed when I meet people who actually believe in general horoscopes.

The truth is that Astrology is a very complex subject which requires years of study and experience. But through general horoscopes Signology makes it easy and consumable, not unlike any other entertainment product.

I personally struggle with this, because doing so people literally do not recognize our job. A drunk lady (actually a friend of my friend) once approached me in a bar asking me to tell her the horoscope, stretching the palm of her hand towards me! I laughed, answering that I’m not a palmist! All you need is self-irony, sometimesTwitter .

So, what’s Astrology good for? Here’s a simple list of what you can do with this precious tool:

  1. Natal Chart Readings: you can think of this chart like a snapshot of the sky at the very moment of your birth. Its main goal is to improve your self-knowledge, helping you to better understand how (and in which area of life) each part of your personality expresses itself.
  2. Sinastry: a set of techniques which compare two Natal Charts in order to better understand the relationship between two individuals. It is often used for romance, but it can also apply to friendship, partnership and family issues.
  3. Solar Return/Progressed Charts and Transit Analysis: these techniques allow us to be aware of the influence of the astral energies on the different areas of our life (a.k.a. the Houses). They can be conveniently used as a guide to face the month, the year or the present period of life wherein we stand.
  4. Horary Astrology: Astrology can also be used to perform hardcore divination, giving sharp answers to specific questions. No self-knowledge is required. The astrologer interprets the stars at the time when the question is asked (you can think of it as a Natal Chart for the question). The response is either right or it’s wrong.
  5. Mundane Astrology: it is Astrology applied to the destiny of Nations, based on the horoscope set up at the time of their official inauguration. Natal Charts of prime ministers and other prominent political figures are also used to predict their choices on mundane events.

This is only a small part of what you can do with Astrology. As you can see it deals with very delicate and complex topics, all of which require continuous study and deepening. In conclusion, I hope with this article to have helped some of you to get a bigger picture about what Astrology is, and why we can’t simplify it to some kind of luck-forecast system.

Why General Horoscopes Don’t Work

Let’s face it: everybody reads horoscopes sometimes. They are fun and intriguing, and as far as they are used as entertainment I think there’s nothing wrong with that. But when it comes to real forecasts, Astrology—that’s for sure—is a whole different thing. And I know this is an unpopular point of view, but if you want to understand how astrology predictions really work you need to read this.

First of all, all predictive techniques use, as a starting point, your Natal Chart—the astrological chart of the moment of your birth (your exact birth time and location are needed). This means forecasts are made specifically for the individual. On the contrary daily/weekly/monthly horoscopes make general predictions, giving trends for the twelve signs of the zodiac based on the planetary transits of the moment.

So, what’s wrong with that? The fact is that general trends about specific areas of your life (such as work, love, money, children, etc.) have very little to do with your Sun sign (“I am a Leo”). In fact in astrology these areas of life—aka the houses—are determined by the Ascendant, not by the Sun. Sun sign based horoscopes are inherently wrong—there is no other way to put it—so if you want to get a general prediction at least be sure to consult a rising sign (Ascendant) based horoscope!

The bad news is that you’re still going to get a general forecast that probably doesn’t have anything to do with you. This because transits are the only thing taken into consideration. Unfortunately this is the last thing we want to look at when we are making a forecast properly.

Think of transits like the minute hand of the watch; you also need the hour hand to know the time. Indeed, we can say that the hour hand is far more important. In the same way we need to know first what’s the hot topic of the year (through Progressed and/or Solar Return charts), then we can approximate the forecast looking at the month (Progressed and/or Lunar Return charts) and finally the transits themselves, which make sense only in the bigger context we were able to picture so far.

I personally struggled with general horoscopes—whether I should write them or not—because in a way this is what astrologers are supposed to do. People expect you to do it. But I can’t do something that—so far, at least—goes against my intellectual honesty. If you think they are valid please let me know why in the comments, I am openminded and I’d like to hear different opinions on the matter which—as far as I’m concerned—is not entirely closed yet.