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    Re: Horoscopes
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2005 Apr 21, 18:29 EDT
    Fred you wrote:
    "I thought horoscopes were based
    on the heavenly configuration as 2000 years ago, not the current
    configuration. "
    The astrological signs are not the same as the constellations of the same name. In fact the signs have a simple and unambiguous definition: they are 30 degree bands of ecliptic longitude beginning at the Vernal Equinox. Herbert knows more about this, but it was apparently standard for astronomers up through the end of the 18th century to list the positions of the planets in terms of "S.D.M.S.", that is, the sign, and degrees, minutes, and seconds within that sign. In the very early 18th century editions of the Nautical Almanac, this is how the positions of the Sun, Moon, and planets are listed (this was something else I posted about the first month I was on this list). Astronomers dropped the S.D.M.S. system; astrologers kept it. In a real sense, a "sign" is nothing more than an extension of the usual degree, minute, second system on a larger scale, albeit with a step of 30 instead of 60. So when an astrologer tells me that the Sun was in Gemini when I was born, that implies that the Sun was in sign 3 which means that its ecliptic longitude was between 60 and 90 degrees. On a star chart, that covers the stars of the constellation Taurus which is what has led to the misconception that the astrological signs are out-of-date. The names have "precessed", yes, but the signs still work.
    Astrologer look at a few key bits of astronomical data:
    1) where were the Sun, Moon, and planets in terms of the signs (30 degree bands of ecliptic longitude).
    2) where were the Sun, Moon, and planets in terms of houses (30 degree bands of local hour angle).
    3) what were the angles between the heavenly bodies. These are called aspects and when they match up with certain "magic numbers", e.g. 30, 45, 60, 90, they are relevant to the client's chart.
    It's really a form of numerology. Is it nonsense?? That depends... how much money ya got?
    By the way, I mentioned once that I was born on the exact same day (and year) as the actor Johnny Depp. Because of this coincidence, he and I have almost exactly identical data for items 1 and 3 above (positions of the heavenly bodies within the signs and the relative aspects of them). But since we were not born at the same local apparent time (as far as I know) we have different houses, item 2 above. And clearly they make all the difference in the world since he is a sexy, famous, talented movie star, and I am... not. 
    42.0N 87.7W, or 41.4N 72.1W.
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