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Sagittarius – Zodiacal sign with pre-Hellenic roots

English: Sagittarius: one of the twelve zodiac...

Sagittarius: one of the twelve zodiacal signs ornating the chevet of the church Saint-Austremonius of Issoire (12th century), Auvergne, France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sagittarius (November 22-December 20) is the 9th and a fall sign of the zodiac, symbolized by the archer and associated with the planetary ruler of Jupiter. Its earth element is fire.

In mythology the sign can be traced to the legendary battle between the Centaurs and the Lapiths.

Persons born under this sign are said to be level-headed, optimistic, lucky and adventurous. Some sites say that Sagittarius enjoys philosophical discussions.

Negative aspects of Saggitarius are often cited as over-ambition and destructiveness.

Woody Allen, Walt Disney, Mark Twain and Sinead O’Connor fall under this sign.¹

Like all the signs of the zodiac, I take commentaries about alleged zodiacal characteristics with a grain of salt. It’s not that I am narrow-minded. I can conceive the possibility of a psychology that includes cosmological interconnections. However, my cosmology includes realms far beyond the stars and planets (i.e. the created, visible universe).

Those extra realms are heavenly realms (not “the heavens” as in the stars above). And for me, the heavenly heavens are incomparably more powerful, direct and beautiful than the possible influences of a planet, sunspot or what have you.

But, I would argue, one has to get there in one’s spiritual formation to appreciate this.

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¹ A few more celebs:


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Sani (Shani) – Hindu planetary god

Sani (or Shani) is a Hindu planetary god who burned off Ganesha‘s head with a powerful glance.¹ As a baby, the sun was eclipsed when he first opened his eyes. Because of his cosmological influence, Sani is an important figure in Hindu astrology (which differs from other astrological belief systems).

Embodied in Saturn, Sani is the lord of Saturday, with shrines and temples in various Indian locales. travel photography India – Sani Festival, Zanskar valley via Flickr

¹ Ganesha’s head was replaced with an elephant’s head, as it remains today.

Mantra to Get Over Guilt Feelings

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Sylvia Chan – Scorpio Birthday Cupcakes

Scorpio (October 23 – November 22)

Astrology is premised on the belief that there are meaningful connections among astronomical events, the human mind, and the world around us. The belief evolved over the centuries, starting in Mesopotamia, it was later influenced by Hellenistic culture and spread through the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

What we read in the papers and online today is mostly, in my opinion, sheer fancy. I have heard of people simply “making stuff up” for their astrology column in magazines. But many people still buy into the belief, which for the most part seems harmless if not taken too seriously.

Western astrology carves the night sky up into

12 astrological signs, each covering 30° sectors of the ecliptic, starting at the vernal equinox (one of the intersections of the ecliptic with the celestial equator), also known as the First Point of Aries. The order of the astrological signs is Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces

Scorpio is the eighth and a fall sign of the zodiac, symbolized by the scorpion and associated with the planetary rulers of Pluto and Mars. Its element is water.

The Wikipedia Astrology Portal’s section on Scorpio tells us that

In western astrology the sign is no longer aligned with the constellation [Scorpius] as a result of the precession of the equinoxes

Two Women with the Signs of Libra and Scorpio....

Two Women with the Signs of Libra and Scorpio. Engraving, only state; sheet (trimmed): 11 5/8 x 8 in. (29.5 x 20.3 cm). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In astrological lore, Scorpio’s are said to enjoy social power and be full of passion (to include sexual passion) and worldly ambition. Bill Gates and Hillary Clinton are prominent Scorpios.

Although I don’t really believe in astrology as a predictive or decision-making tool, if someone finds the mythology of astrology helpful in learning more about themselves in the here and now, then I could see it as a useful tool.

I’d say the same with the Tarot and I Ching. Some might say I’m being narrow minded on this point. But in actuality, I’ve been through many of the divinatory paths and realized they could only take me so far. After years of “reading the cards” and “tossing the coins” I simply got bored because the predictions never came true. In time, I realized I was just playing a game of wish-fulfillment. But when the game proved to be just that — a game — I tired of it in favor of the reality of being loved and guided by the higher graces of God.



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Painting Jautis (Taurus) in the twelve-paiting...

Painting Jautis (Taurus) in the twelve-paiting cycle Zodiakas (Zodiac). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Taurus (April 20-May 21) is the second and a spring sign of the zodiac, symbolized by the bull and associated with the planetary ruler of Venus. Its element is Earth.

Taurus originally was associated with the constellation of the same name but “in western astrology, this sign is no longer aligned with the constellation as a result of the precession of the equinoxes.”¹

The bull symbol is based on ancient Mesopotamian astrology and Greek myth.² It symbolizes power, materialism, stubbornness and practicality. From Venus, Taurus is said to obtain a fierce loyalty to loved ones.

Henry Fonda and Queen Elizabeth II fall under this sign. » Astrology


² Ibid.

Taurus at Twitter »

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Virgo, the virgin or maiden

Virgo, the virgin or maiden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Virgo ( August 22-September 22) is the sixth sign of the zodiac. A summer sign, Virgo is symbolized by the idea of the Virgin and associated with the planetary ruler of Mercury. Its element is Earth.

The Latin term virgo means “maid,” “maiden,” “virgin,” or “girl,” and also refers to the constellation called Virgo as well as an aqueduct near Rome.

Astrologers and other believers in astrology claim that Virgos are not stereotypically prudish virgins. Instead, they say that Virgos can be highly refined, unmarried sensual beings who enjoy privacy and solitude.

From Mercury, Virgo is said to obtain a thirst for knowledge. Prominent Virgos are Sean Connery, Michael Jackson, Stephen King and the pop star, Pink.

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Zodiac (Greek: zoidion, an image of an animal)

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The Zodiac is derived from the visible part of the night sky, divided into 12 equal portions (each 30° of celestial longitude based on the ecliptic). It contains the 12 major constellations associated with the 12 major signs of astrology, as well as the 12 major stages of transubstantiation as outlined in medieval alchemical lore.

The zodiac was in use by the Roman era, based on concepts inherited by Hellenistic astronomy from Babylonian astronomy of the Chaldean period (mid-1st millennium BC), which, in turn, derived from an earlier system of lists of stars along the ecliptic.[1] The construction of the zodiac is described in Ptolemy‘s vast 2nd century AD work, the Almagest.[2]

The term zodiac derives from Latin zōdiacus, which in its turn comes from the Greek ζῳδιακὸς κύκλος (zōdiakos kyklos), meaning “circle of animals”, derived from ζῴδιον (zōdion), the diminutive of ζῷον (zōon) “animal”. The name is motivated by the fact that half of the signs of the classical Greek zodiac are represented as animals (besides two mythological hybrids).

Although the zodiac remains the basis of the ecliptic coordinate system in use in astronomy besides the equatorial one,[3] the term and the names of the twelve signs are today mostly associated with horoscopic astrology.[4]

Astrology has been variously championed, questioned and lampooned, but in India commercially obtained horoscopes are frequently used to determine suitable marriages, a practice stemming back for decades.

As Calcutta grew in size and the social composition of the city became more mobile and diverse, matrimonial advertisements and marriage bureaus that served the function of matchmaking as well as various other types of marriage-related services such as matching horoscopes seemed better suited to the needs of the urban householder. In fact, many matrimonial bureaus combined the task of brokering marriages with astrological functions. Advertisements such as the following littered contemporary newspapers and journals: “Undertake marriage negotiations of respectable families-Jyotirbid Pundit K. Samajpati B. A. (Medical Astrologer)-Residence, 4 Guruprasad Chaudhury Lane, Calcutta” (Amrita Bazar Patrika, November 14, 1929, n.p.). Others were even more precise, stating, “if you send your date, year, and place of birth to the address below, you will be provided with your horoscope at the lowest possible price-Sri Motiranjan Kabyatirtha, P.O. Sarutiya, Jessore” (Bijali, February 18[1922]:6).²

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² Rochona Majumdar, “Looking for Brides and Grooms: Ghataks, Matrimonials, and the Marriage Market in Colonial Calcutta, circa 1875-1940,” The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 63, No. 4, (Nov., 2004: 911-935), p. 920.

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Astrology [Greek: astron (star) + logos (discourse) = “discussion on stars”]

Astrology is an ancient method of divination and forecasting, premised on the belief that there are meaningful connections among astronomical events, the human mind, and the world around us.

Originally developed in Mesopotamia (Babylonia and Assyria) for the benefit of ruling kings, ancient Hellenistic culture popularized and individualized the practice.

The ancient Chinese and Indians practiced astrology and astronomy, which from classical to medieval times were mostly indistinguishable. Indian astrological writings first appeared around 100 CE, presumably from the influence of Greek astrology.

English translations of the Old Testament appear to condemn astrologers quite often. But only in one instance is the translation definite (Isaiah 47:13-14). Contemporary astrologers often note that the Three Wise Men who came to honor Jesus were also stargazers, and their visit was predicated on their interpretation of the night sky.

Early Muslims also practiced a kind of holistic astrology and astronomy, without any clear-cut distinction between the two but by medieval times a sharp distinction appears. Astrology is described in the Koran as sorcery, a practice that apparently renders prayers ineffective for 40 days.

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The prominent Saudi scholar, Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen (1925-2001) said that astrology deals with illusions instead of fact.

Astrology is a kind of sorcery and fortune-telling. It is forbidden because it is based on illusions, not on concrete facts. There is no relation between the movements of celestial bodies and what takes place on the Earth.¹

Ptolemy and Kepler both studied astrology. Although frowned on by the Catholic Church, astrology persisted during the Renaissance. In 1549 the Protestant John Calvin wrote a “Warning Against So-Called Judicial Astrology” and in 1586 Pope Sixtus V officially condemned all forms of divination.

Astrology continued, however, until about the 17th-century, at which time it was effectively marginalized. Never to fully vanish, it reappeared in postwar North America in various mass media, such as the daily newspaper.

In 20th century Japan, astrological beliefs influenced birth rates. Birth rates actually lowered in 1966 as the Japanese hoped to avoid having babies during an inauspicious year.² Contemporary Hindu marriage ceremonies often summon astrologers to determine the most auspicious hour for the performance of the matrimonial ceremony. 21st century online astrologers like Jonathan Cainer combine proven business methods with astrology to increase traffic to their websites.

A possible contemporary critique of astrology would be that it places too much emphasis on the visible universe at the expense of our mysterious God, whom many have reason to believe is beyond the observable universe. Beyond yet immanent, that is. And this immanence is said to give the Lord a power far greater than any astronomical event.

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In fact, theists argue that the immanence of the Lord could override any other kind of influence, be it psychological, sociological, or astrological. But pantheists who see God as “The Universe,” probably won’t get this. They’ll likely think this kind of critique is narrow-minded,³ when arguably it’s the other way around. Many people say the universe is about as big as a handbasket, figuratively speaking, in comparison to the Lord.

Again, that’s hard for some folks to comprehend. How could infinity be a big as a handbasket? But those who apparently have been given true belief or claim to have experienced revelations from the Lord say exactly that. And they also say that some will not understand unless they, too, take the next step and God grants them true belief or, perhaps, a revelation or series of revelations.

¹ cited at


³ In fact, some folks are so narrow-minded that they don’t even read up on or consider ideas if they happen to contain standard philosophical and/or theological concepts. The result? They limit their intellect to some of the New Agey pop fluff that’s out there today.

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