The Way of the Stars (Issue 1)

Greetings, my friends!

In this first entry, I would like to reproduce the first issue of my astrology column at The Daily Spell. In this edition, I mostly introduce the subject of astrology, and plan a little of the road ahead. This will be a weekly series.

“To She Who Reads the Sky, my Lady Urania, do I dedicate these words.
May by your inspiration our souls learn to dance with the stars”

Merry meet, my friends! Let me welcome you to this new astrology column. On this issue, I will tell you a little about what astrology is, and describe to you the grand theme of the column.

What is Astrology?

Astrology is the science and art of looking at the Sky, and finding a correlation between the movements we observe there and the events that happen down here on Earth. It is a science, because it has a very definite method of study, and a way to test its results, but it is also an art, into which the intuition, sensibility and skill of the astrologer are at the heart of the interpretation.

As astrologers we use math, astronomy, mythology, history, psychology, philosophy and our own intuition in order to interpret the stars.

Astrology has a deep history, going back to the early civilizations of Mesopotamia, Hellenistic Greece, India and China… It reaches us through the cultural filter those civilizations, and through Roman Europe, the middle ages and the Renaissance. It has benefited of the advances in astronomy and physics, and from the influx of ideas from the New Age. It is, today, a vibrant field of study, dedicated to unraveling the messages of the stars.

Astrology 101.

The basic concepts of western astrology are centered about three main groups of symbols: the signs of the zodiac, the planets and the houses. Each week from now on, I will lead you on a grand tour… touching every one of these symbols. We will learn about them, and how to recognize them on our daily lives. But what are they? In a few words…

* The zodiac and the ecliptic: As the year passes, the Sun “moves” in the sky, relative to the distant stars. The path the Sun described in this movement is called “the ecliptic”. Near this path, this great circle, there is a region of about 9° north and south where the rest of the planets move. This is the zodiac, and it is home to twelve great constellations whose names we inherit from the ancient Greek.

* The Signs: They are sections of the ecliptic, exactly 30° long, which in ancient times were coincident with the great constellations of the zodiac. We start marking the signs from a very special point in the sky, the place into which the Sun crosses the Equator from south to north. This is the Vernal Point, and marks the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. For astrologers, it is also the “zero point” of Aries. From there, every 30°, we name the rest of the signs: Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. After Pisces, the circle is closed, and we are in Aries again. The signs are great symbols in the sky; they represent the archetypes of being, the motivations, the ideals and desires.

* The Planets: They are the main actors. They are “moving stars” in the sky. Their names are Roman, and while we now know that the modern definition of planet excludes some of them, the astrological tradition still considers them all in the same group. We have the luminaries: the Sun and the Moon, the “inner” or personal planets: Mercury, Venus and Mars. Then come the “social planets”: Jupiter and Saturn… and then, slow, hidden, subtle and powerful, come the transpersonals: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The planets are the action in our lives, they act and change and transform. They bring the signs alive by their presence.

* The Houses: the Planets and Signs are far away from us, they belong to the outer skies, and so they are abstract and general. In contrast, the houses are tied to the Earth. They are divisions of space and time, that bring context and meaning to the majestic drama of the planets and the signs. Each of the twelve houses covers an aspect of our lives (for example, the 3rd house corresponds to our siblings and cousins and our short travels, or the 7th house, the house of marriage, of associates and legal contracts and societies.).

If we imagine a universal theater, then the Planets are the actors and the action, the Signs are the scripts and the motives for action… and the houses are the theater itself, the place into which the action takes place.

The road ahead

We will learn more about all of them, of their dance and their expression, of how we can grow by becoming aware of them… how to look at the sky and marvel once more of the diversity of life.

We will start with the Signs, next week, and later we will move on to the Planets and the Houses. If you have questions, don’t be shy and ask, you can reach me at, or you can visit my blog: I am exited about this journey, and feel honored of having all of you as my travel mates. See you next week!!


  1. Comment by Pandera on June 29, 2007 7:33

    I have never been interested in more than a superficial understanding on astrology until I received your teachings in my Daily Spell email.

    I can understand more than I ever felt like understanding about astrology because of the simple and direct way you teach it.

    Thank you. Merry met,Pandera

  2. Comment by The Mage of the Many Shadows on June 29, 2007 13:31

    Merry Meet Pandera!

    Thank you for your kind words :)
    I am honored to be of service. Astrology is a beautiful and very subtle art. Let me know if you have any questions.
    May the stars shine on you,


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