Ask Real Astrologers: Which Horoscope Is More Accurate?

This week’s question comes from Dee in New Zealand:

In my boyfriend’s chart, the recent eclipse in Cancer fell in his fifth house. When reading some horoscopes for that week, I noticed that for Virgo, the eclipse was apparently in the eleventh house, and it was Pisces whose fifth house would be activated.

Now I am a bit confused as to how the houses work and wondering whether it would be more accurate to attribute a Pisces horoscope for him. I realize the beginning of his fifth house is at the end of Gemini, but when you look at it, most of the fifth house is taken up by Cancer. So is Cancer in his fifth or is Gemini his fifth house “ruler?” Or both? And does that mean both Virgo and Pisces horoscopes would be accurate? I have really got myself confused over this one and hope you even understand my question!

Aquarius expounds . . .

Pat’s response:

Oh, yes, Dee, we understand your question! It made me chuckle, actually, because Neith and I have written a lot about why Sun sign horoscopes are of limited usefulness. Your boyfriend’s chart is a perfect example.

As you note, your friend is a Virgo. In astrology, we say that Virgo is his Sun sign, because the Sun was moving through the sign of Virgo at the time of his birth. However, we also have a Rising sign (or Ascendant), which is the sign that was on the eastern horizon at the moment we were born. In your friend’s case, that was 28 degrees Aquarius.

The horoscopes you read in newspapers, magazines, and online are written by Sun sign, not Rising sign. So for your Virgo boyfriend, the astrologer puts 0 degrees Virgo on the Ascendant, 0 degrees Libra on the cusp of the second house, 0 degrees Scorpio on the cusp of the third house, and so forth. Sun sign astrologers have different techniques for writing horoscopes, but the most popular method is to look at transits to the solar houses. In my opinion, this is usually not very accurate, and it leaves astrology open to very valid criticism.

Even though your boyfriend is a Rising Aquarius, his first house is taken up mostly by Pisces, and that’s why his chart appears to be more like a Pisces, and he will get the most out of Sun sign horoscopes if he reads for Pisces. This won’t be 100-percent foolproof, but he may get pretty good results a lot of the time.

If you’re interested, you can find out more about Sun sign horoscopes in an article in my archive.

I hope this clears up some of your confusion, Dee, and thanks for the really great question!

Libra ponders . . .

Neith’s response:

Dee, thankfully you do have a birth time for your Virgo, because that clarifies matters considerably. This is also a great opportunity for you to learn more about how astrology works.

Another way to double-check which house is activated by the eclipse is to review what the dominant themes in his life are right now. The fifth house traditionally is associated with Leo, so we’re talking children, creativity, romantic encounters, and the desire to enjoy life a little.

It is so easy to get lost in the forest of details with astrology that one is often further ahead to stay with the simplest explanation. My rule of thumb is always to check to see if a transiting planet forms an aspect of two degrees or less to natal planets, the Ascendant or the Midheaven. If there aren’t any aspects, then relax!

This has been a very busy eclipse season, and naturally the most dramatic events are those being reported on various astrological blogs. Do keep in mind there are millions of folks around the world whose lives were not disrupted at all.

Remember to have fun with your study of astrology, Dee! It has a lot to offer just about anyone.

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