Still working at a student newspaper, although, I was told, it had a greater circulation and better distribution than the local newspaper, at the time, the local paper reached 20,000 subscribers and maybe twice that for newsstand sales while the student paper, it was a big university, had almost daily distribution over 100,000. Publication cycle was four or five times per week in the academic year, the fall and spring semesters.
No facts to verify,
But what I was told? Horoscopes were second only to sports in terms of newspaper readers, the illusionary popularity contest. Since I’m not much on sports that don’t involve fishing poles?
“The die was cast.”
Where I started. The idea was borne out of a TexMex place that was in a — then — marginal side of town. I was supposed to have a fishing pole with little stars dangling from the end, and therein is part of the origin story for “Fishing Guide to the Stars,” the putative name for my horoscopes. Around — little more than 20 years ago, the whole shebang got moved to its own URL, astrofish.net, where it’s been ever since.
I’ve been casting charts since the really late 1980’s, and I penned(1) my first tabloid-style horoscope in cold-water bedsit in the student barrio in Tempe, AZ.
But reading charts is an acquired skill that took much longer to understand. The intro is planets, lines between, and cosmic interplay between those planets, their orbits, and the planet earth, as we all roll along in passages around the sun itself.
“No, seriously, can 1/12th of the population really be the same, each week?”
Yes and no. Different interpretations, but the energies are always there.
Hit the high points, for starters, what’s the best point to start with? That logical fallacy begins with the assumption that all 12 signs merely refer to just Sun Signs themselves. There are three, easy to understand, points of reference in a natal chart.
- Sun Sign
- Moon Sign
- Rising Sign
What these elements stand for? Take it from the top?
The Sun Sign is the slice of the heavens that was once defined by that constellation, the sign is named for. Means that, in my example, Sagittarius is the 30 degrees as defined by where Sagittarius was, pretty much exactly, about 2,000 years ago. Each slice of the heavens, the “sky,” is proportioned into a 30-degree wide slice, named for a constellation. Really? A lot of this technical material is covered in better detail in my BareFoot Astrology. The name of the location is chosen from a constellation.
The sun sign, in my astrology and understanding, represents a basic essence of the person. Flavor, colorings, shadings, tastes, emotions, the basic building blocks of a person’s psyche and soul. Drives, wants, needs. Where we start with who we are. Most basic element, the foundation. But wait! There’s more, much, much more!
The moon sign is split, and I go into greater detail elsewhere, but as an element, and when reading real astrology, the moon’s easiest interpretation is the emotional side of a person, the underpinnings of the way we feel stuff.
In more finite detail, a strong female presence (not gender specific), just a strong female presence is part of the moon, while the strong male presence is part of the sun, as a way to see it. However, when put in a pressure cooker, the moon’s “flavors,” the trends and likely emotional shadings, become clear — and then become the driving force.
One of the first astrology text that I read, studied, digested, then abandoned, was based solely on the rising sign, the ascendant, the slice of the heavens that was on the horizon at birth. I’ve heard it put two ways, the rising sign is how we see the world, or the rising sign is how the world sees us. I prefer the latter but I’m not one to fight with my buddies and their words.
In an ideal horoscope chart, each sign gets 30 degrees of the sky and that means each house gets 30 degrees, but in our imperfect world, and the math gets difficult at some points, there’s variations. These variation bring the perfect order of “One sign, one house” model to an end. The correlation fails. Still, as a starting point? The rising sign, if known, is the easiest place to remember — and — remember to read.
When reading horoscopes, especially like mine, knowing, then reading, as it fits, the sun, moon, and then rising sign is a big help. There’s a certain amount of coloring, or greyscale, shadings, gentle nuanced expressions that enhance — or detract — and reading the appropriate elements helps.
Read one’s sun sign, first, then I would suggest moon sign, and finally, rising sign, if known. By no means exhaustive, it does give a quick overview to what the planets are suggesting, and after all, isn’t that what this should be? A guide to the stars?
(1) There never was a “pen” involved, I’ve always composed on computers, and that was in a nascent page layout program that has one-tenth the power of just about any current word processor. But it was cool, at the time, and the scopes were written to fill space on the front page of a newsletter — true story