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I grew up thinking that Astrology had a lot to do with Astronomy, but the more I learn about astronomy the more I realize how astrology is (even more) ridiculous. I never thought twice about how the date ranges were evenly split into 12 month long segments.
The classic date ranges are supposed to tell you where the Sun was at the moment you were born, but they can be way off (or not even include your constellation at all).
This work by Eric Teske is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
If you look at the picture below, you will see blue lines radiating from Earth, dividing the space around it into 12 equal segments. To understand how the Horoscope Dates change, let's fast forward five months to June 3, 1980. When I was learning Astrology, this illustration really helped me understand what a Star Sign means. The days around the moment the Sun moves from one Zodiac sign to another are called the cusp, and people born at the cusp of two Star Signs generally have attributes from both signs. But remember, like I mentioned before (and this belief is not just my opinion, it's shared by many published astrologers dating back hundreds of years), if you are born on the day the Sun moves from one sign to another, you should consider yourself of two Star signs.


On the rest of this page I'll show some of the discrepancies in various Horoscope Date tables, and provide evidence to support my hypothesis that the only way to really know what star sign you are is to calculate it.
The following image is my favorite example that shows the sky split into 30 degree arcs, radiating from earth. Instead of using an antique tool to determine where the planets are relative to Earth, I use the VSOP87 planetary theory by Bretagnon and Francou. Now that we know how one's sign is calculated, the impossibility of a perfectly accurate table of dates becomes clear. Neither the service provider nor the domain owner maintain any relationship with the advertisers. I figured that the typical date ranges represented the position of the sun in the constellations at some point in the past, and that people ascribed some kind of meaning to that. But once I started to learn about the night sky and the constellations, it became obvious that the Sun, Moon, and planets only pass through small segments of some constellations, and spend weeks in others.
To tell where the Sun actually was at the moment of your birth, just download Stellarium and go back in time to find out.
While I don't do a lot of these, I'm not opposed to it - especially if the content is relevant to this blog. As you learn in School, the planets in our solar system orbit the Sun, and your Star Sign is where the Earth and Sun are when you are born.
In the following picture, all the planets have continued on their orbit around the Sun, and now, because Earth has moved, the 12 Zodiac segements (the blue lines) have moved as well - and the Sun is in the segment ruled by Gemini. If you were born when the Sun was in the middle of a Zodiac's sector, where and when you are born doesn't really matter in terms of your Star Sign. My Star Sign calculator below will let you know if you are at a cusp, or if you have one whole sign.


It's too complicated to get into here, but if you would like to learn more this Wikipedia page is a good place to start.
In case of trademark issues please contact the domain owner directly (contact information can be found in whois). It's bit confusing to explain in words, so the following image shows where the Sun and the Inner Planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) were on January 3rd, 1980. If you are born near the cusp, to get your exact Star sign you need to plug in the time and location of your birth into an Ephemeris.
Of course, we now know that the planets do not orbit Earth, but this is reason why the different Zodiac signs are Geocentric (based on Earth's position).
The red borders define the borders of the constellations' regions in the sky - sort of like counties used to determine a celestial address. This is because time zones, your location and many other factors will determine what sign the Sun was actually in. It shows an ancient tool, with the planets in each Zodiac sign radiating from Earth in 30 degree arcs. In the following charts I've summarized data from 8 different publications, each referenced below. These are same degrees used in my Calculator (although I have rotated mine by 180 degrees).



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