Here are three horoscopes for the same day. Can you guess which star signs they are for?
1) "You are full of energy and always raring to go. It can become difficult to discipline you when you are challenged."
2) "Your quick action will be essential for creating a safer environment for the people you love."
3) "You might not get the things done that you want to do today."
They are, in fact, all Aries from different sources. If somebody dropped the box of readings on the floor, nobody would notice.
If you want to know the trajectory of your life, a horoscope will give you little more than vague aphorisms that could apply to anybody. In short, there is no connection between the movement of the constellations and your personality or your fate.
Evidence of astrology practice goes back to Babylon as far as the third millennium BC, with the oldest known organised system from the second millennium BC. Different systems emerged in India, China and Central America.
By the 4th century BC, the Babylonians had a fairly reliable system for predicting planetary movements. Their detailed observations were a foundation of modern astronomy.
And of course, native cultures throughout the world have been observing the stars for far longer. The Canberra suburb of Giralang is named after the Wiradjuri word for 'star'.
There are a lot of constellations - 88 in all. The 12 signs of the zodiac are those in line with the sun over the course of a year. But that's only if you exclude the awkward fact that the sun also sweeps through Ophiuchus. To align 12 calendar months with the zodiac, they chose to omit Ophiuchus. Today, the notion of a ''new'' constellation pops up regularly.
Then there are a few oddities with timing. The sun points to Scorpius for only 7 days, while it points to Virgo for 45 days. To make it worse, the meandering of the Earth's axis over 3000 years means that the constellations no longer line up.
For instance, for a person born on December 25 in Roman times, the Sun would have been pointing to Capricorn, while in 2020, it would be pointing to Sagittarius.
Curiously, your birth month can make a difference to your future success, although it has nothing to do with constellations. One study concluded that ''that the number of CEOs born in June and July is disproportionately small relative to the number of CEOs born in other months''.
Another reported that ''those born just after the cut-off date for starting school are likely to outperform those born just before in reading and maths...''
The effect appears to relate to the greater age and confidence of being more mature than your peers.
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