In your stars

June 16, 2002|by KATE COLEMAN

"The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,

But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

- from Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare

On the first day of this summer, astronomers place the sun in Taurus.

So says Rod Martin, planetarium resource teacher at the Brish Planetarium of the Washington County Public Schools system.

Astrologists have it in Cancer, he says.

The science teacher says the difference comes from the fact that some astrologists don't account for something called "precession of the equinoxes," the occurrence of the equinoxes earlier in each successive period of the earth's revolution. The earlier occurrence is caused by a slow wobble of the earth's spin on its axis.


That argument is a favorite weapon of critics of astrology, says Sandra Walker, an astrologer in Hagerstown. She knows about precession. She takes "wobbles" into consideration.

Martin, an officer in the local astronomy club, Tri-State Astronomers, says astrology can be fun as long as you don't take it too seriously.

"Everybody has choices," Walker says.

She defines astrology as a study of heavenly cycles and cosmic events as they are reflected in the earthly environment. Cosmic events are not causing things to happen on earth; events are happening on earth - at the same time. Patterns revealed in rhythmic motions of the planets help astrologers shed light on everyday life, she adds.

Walker points out that although there are different approaches to astrology, there is general agreement that there is a connection between the heavens and earth. Astrologers look at the relationships of the heavenly bodies and see patterns in people's lives.

Jeanne Mozier became acquainted with astrology about 30 years ago in Washington, D.C., when her husband suggested she attend a lecture. The Berkeley Springs, W.Va., businesswoman and author has a background in research and analysis.

"It was one of those things - instantaneously - I knew I had done before," she says.


Yes, Mozier is talking about past lives.

"When I learned astrology, it was as if the perfect analysis system fell into my lap."

Mozier uses astrology in several different ways. She's never done astrology professionally - partly because she does so many other things.

She uses astrology in non-individual ways, analyzing the news and doing annual socio-economic analysis trends for each coming year. She has a Web site:

When Mozier does do charts for individuals, her purpose is to give them their most perfect pattern. She helps them to see their purpose in life according to that pattern. "Here's the best you can be," is what she's saying.

"I don't believe people change," Mozier says. "You can become more of what you are."

Marcia George, who also lives in Berkeley Springs, calls herself an intuitional astrologer.

Textbook astrology is too boring; she doesn't walk in "lock step" with that stuff. For her, astrology is a tool. Numerology is another of her tools: She looks at numbers in a person's birth date and the numerical values given to letters in his or her name.

Astrology and numerology are not fatalistic, George says. They demonstrate the patterns a person is in.

"My purpose is to affirm a person ... ideally to help them say, 'By gosh, I'm doing what I'm supposed to,' ... to help them adjust, to shine a light on their path, to help them live their life to the best of their ability according to their belief system - not mine."

In ancient times, astrology was closer to astronomy, Martin says. Astronomers were held responsible if something didn't go well, he adds.

Even today astronomers are considered frauds by some and in league with the devil by others.

George looks at astrology as kind of a road map.

Say you want to go to California. You can head west or go to AAA and get one of their detailed trip tickets.

For Mozier, astrology is explanatory - an "operations manual." She imagines God thinking about where he should put the operations manual so people could find and use it. He decided on the sky. "Surely they're gonna look up there."

Astrologers cast - or draw - charts or horoscopes showing the position of the planets in relation to the earth and stars. A natal or birth chart shows where things were at the moment of a person's birth.

The chart is made up of circles - one of which is the zodiac, a belt-like zone divided into 12 sections or signs, each for a period of time:

Aries, March 21-April 19

Taurus, April 20-May 20

Gemini, May 21-June 21

Cancer, June 22-July 22

Leo, July 23-Aug. 22

Virgo, Aug. 23-Sept. 22

Libra, Sept. 23-Oct. 23

Scorpio, Oct. 24-Nov. 21

Sagittarius, Nov. 22-Dec. 21

Capricorn, Dec. 22-Jan. 19

Aquarius, Jan. 20-Feb. 18

Pisces, Feb. 19-March 20.

In astrology, earth is the center circle, the place on which we stand.

There are 10 "planets" - Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.

There are 12 houses - identified by numbers - 1 through 12.

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