Before getting into it, I just wanted to preface this piece by saying that if you believe in astrology, turn away now! I come at it with my biases and am rude to the subject. Now, with that said…

Ahh the reading of one’s psychology through the motion of planets and stars, peak science. Welcome back everyone to ya boy, Joe Van, and my thoughts on given topics. Today we are covering astrology, not to be confused with astronomy, a natural science that studies celestial objects and phenomena. Where astronomy uses mathematics, physics, and chemistry in order to explain the origin and evolution of the macro-verse… astrology (as a pseudoscience that claims to divine information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the movements and relative positions of celestial objects) uses tarot cards, newspaper pages, and apps; all done by con artists and true believers.

The similarities between these subjects are their objects of interest: planets, moons, stars, nebulae, galaxies, and comets. Where they differ is on the relationship of these objects to us humans here on Earth. Astronomy makes no claim that our universe has any pulling effect on our psychology, except to poets when they look up at a clear night sky. Astrology has been dated to at least the 2nd millennium BCE- or ‘Before Common Era’, and has its roots in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Many cultures have attached importance to astronomical events, and some, such as the Hindus, Chinese, and the Maya, developed elaborate albeit arbitrary systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations.

Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems STILL IN USE, can trace its roots to the 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from where it spread to Ancient Greece, Rome, the Arab world and eventually Central and Western Europe. And one can see why it spread as far as it did. Aside from giving divine meaning to our every moment, it stroke peoples’ egos. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person’s personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects. So now let’s get into the nitty-gritty.

horoscope is an astrological chart or diagram representing the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, and astrological aspects meant to chart significance at the time of an event, such as the moment of a person’s birth. The word horoscope is derived from the Greek words ōra and scopos meaning “time” and “observer”.

The tarot is a pack of playing cards used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe, and is still used today for that function. BUT, in the late 18th century, some tarot decks began to be used for divination via ‘tarot card reading’, or cartomancy, leading to custom decks developed for such occult purposes. The earliest evidence of a tarot deck used for cartomancy comes from an anonymous manuscript around 1750 which documents rudimentary divinatory meanings for the cards.  The popularization of esoteric tarot started with Antoine Court and Jean-Baptiste Alliette in Paris during the 1780s, using the Tarot of Marseilles. Regular French tarot card players abandoned the Marseilles tarot (a type of deck) in favor of the Tarot Nouveau around 1900, resulting in the Marseilles pattern now mostly being used by cartomancers.

Now let’s pivot back to the big picture. The zodiac is an area of the sky that extends approximately 8° north or south (as measured in celestial latitude) of the ‘ecliptic’, the apparent path of the Sun across the Earth over the course of the year. The paths of the Moon and visible planets are also within the belt of the zodiac. In Western astrology, and formerly astronomy back in its infancy of science, the zodiac is divided into twelve signs, each occupying 30° of celestial longitude and roughly corresponding to the constellations: AriesTaurusGeminiCancerLeoVirgoLibraScorpioSagittariusCapricornAquarius, and Pisces. These astrological signs form a celestial coordinate system, or even more specifically an ecliptic coordinate system, which takes the ecliptic as the origin of latitude and the Sun’s position at vernal equinox as the origin of longitude. So there you go! That’s the origin of latitude and longitude!

But what does it all mean? Can a website really tell me what kind of person I am due to what day I was born? You might as well ask yourself this: can a medium really talk to your dead loved ones by guessing letters of their name? It is… unfortunately… a trick. Or is it? Technically, if you follow the words of your tarot card reading to the letter then it did actually come true! You acted exactly as the stars predicted, but in doing so all you really did was commit a self-fulfilling prophecy. And EVEN if you didn’t follow your daily predictions to the letter but have found that external actions brought you to a place where many if not ALL of the things predicted came true, would that make it real and not a trick? Well unfortunately, that process of evaluation is called confirmation bias. When you want something to be true, you will find ways that it is and ignore other aspects that would say it isn’t, even if you’re not doing it consciously.

Isn’t it easier to understand that non-intelligent patterns exist in the universe, than imagine that elaborate celestial plans are being conducted to bring you love or good fortune? It doesn’t mean you should not get those things, just that if you did, it had nothing to do with the alignment of large object in space. There is one thing I’ll give you in that regard though; apparently rape and murder statistics go up on nights with full moons. We know the tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon, so what else could that pull be capable of? Irritation? Perhaps. Regardless, the world is endlessly fascinating without it having to have divine plans behind it, or have it be about you in some way. So with that, I shall say fin!

Thank you again so much for being here. I will endlessly appreciate your time with me. I love you all to no end, and remember to keep thinking!


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