The birth of the daily horoscope
It was in 1938 that the first newspaper horoscope column was written – soon after the birth of Princess Margaret in England. Richard Harold Naylor, (1889-1952), who was then the assistant to the society astrologer Cheiro, was requested by the Sunday Express newspaper to come up with some predictions based on the princess’ birth chart. Not only did he oblige, but he also came up with forecasts for those born on each day of that month. The response of the public was rather enthusiastic, and thus, the horoscope column was born and became a staple of daily newspapers, tabloids and women’s magazines.
Basing the column on Sun Signs was a practical idea as the Sun journeys through the zodiac for a month or 30 -31 days every year. This meant that people could easily find their Sun Signs if they knew their date of birth. The Sun is one of the most important elements in a person’s horoscope, whether one follows Western or Vedic astrology. Though other heavenly bodies also exert an influence on the lives of human beings, they are variable and hence cannot be used for making general predictions.
The technique behind daily horoscopes
It was during the 1990s that newspapers finally began hiring real astrologers for writing the horoscope columns which were being written by junior sub-editors earlier. Astrologers who pen such columns use simple techniques to write their predictions. They observe the movement of the various planets in the sky. These movements are called transits. They also take into consideration the new and full moons, which are believed to influence the events that happen in the next two weeks. A person born in a particular Sun Sign will experience a new moon during their birthday month, which is regarded as a time for new beginnings. They will also experience a full moon six months later when the things that began six months earlier finally come to fruition. There will also be many Lunar and Solar Eclipses every year. These too are important and indicate times when events will speed up. There might also be clusters of events.
Daily horoscopes are based only on the Moon’s movement and its aspects to other planets on a particular day. It does not take into account many crucial factors which need to be considered – such as one’s individual birth chart specifically made for a person, based on time, date, and place of birth. The angles of the chart – the ascendant, midheaven, descendant, nadir (or IC), etc. are also important. Other important factors include the planets in the birth chart, the aspects they make to each other, the aspects made by planets in transit to the planets in the birth chart, etc. but these are not all for there are many other things too to be considered like the yearly solar return chart and the aspects that planets in transit make to the solar arc directed chart.
The ‘natural wheel.’
Many newspaper and online predictions are based on the “natural wheel.” This represents a horoscope that is drawn up with Aries on the ascendant (1st house). In an accurate and actual birth chart, one’s ascendant might or might not be Aries. The sign on the ascendant is based on the time, date, and place of birth. Some people may find that it is more accurate to read their ascendant sign than predictions based on the Sun sign. When one has to make important life decisions, a proper birth chart is important.
Difference between Sun, Moon, and Rising (Ascendant) Signs
As most daily horoscopes are based on Moon Signs, the predictions tend to be general in nature. To understand why, one should understand the difference between Moon sign, Sun Sign and Ascendant or Rising Signs.
Sun Sign: The Sun sign is the constellation in which Sun can be seen from the earth at any given time. As the Sun will be seen in the same constellation for thirty days, two individuals born within 30 days of the Sun’s transit between constellations will have the same sun sign. For example, we know that the earth takes one year to finish one revolution around the Sun. Since we are observing this from the earth, the Sun will be seen in 12 different constellations during the 12 months of the year.
Moon Sign: This is the sign or constellation in which the Moon can be seen from the earth at any given time. The Moon takes 28 days to finish one revolution around the earth so that the Moon will be seen in the same constellation for 2.3 days. Thus, two people born between 2.3 days between the Moon’s transitions will have the same moon sign.
Rising Sign (Ascendant): This sign is the eastern point of the sign or constellation that can be seen from the earth at any given time. The earth takes 24 hours to rotate on its axis, so the eastern point of the sign seen from the earth will change every 2 hours. Thus, we can see that the rising sign of a person depends on the time of birth. This is the reason why astrologers give so much importance to the ascendant or rising sign in predicting the things that will happen in the life of a person. Now, why did our ancestors choose the sign that rises on the eastern point as the rising sign? It’s because of the Sun which rises in the east.
To sum up, the Sun Sign will be the same for all people who were born in the same month whereas the Moon Sign will be the same for all those who were born on the same day. The rising sign will be unique based on the person’s time of birth. One’s real birth chart, however, will reveal thousands of permutations, making them quite different from someone of the same sign born some days earlier or later than them or in another year. The time of birth also plays an important role in the birth chart.