PRECESSION OF THE EQUINOXES – The Heavens Move!

Diagram Precession of the Equinoxes

The Earth’s Wobble & Shift

One of the heinous crimes astronomers often accuse astrologers of is disrespecting the fact that the positions of the constellations have “moved” and that they are behind where astrology based on the tropical zodiac claims them to be.

While it is true that, due to the Earth’s wobble on its axis, the Zodiac appears to move in an anticlockwise direction by one degree in around 70 years, it doesn’t really do so. Scientifically and astrologically, this apparent occurrence is known as the Precession of the Equinoxes.

What actually happens is the Earth’s position relative to the heavens shifts slightly as it wobbles. The shifting process describes yet another of those great circles in the sky from which the symbolic language of astrology draws inspiration. The Precession of the Equinoxes creates a cycle of around 25-26,000 earth years.

Astrology accounts for this process by assigning an Age of approximately two thousand years to each of the zodiac signs. We are now transiting from the Age of Pisces into the Age of Aquarius … and that is another story for another post!

Astrological Ages

Sidereal and Tropical Zodiac

Astrologers who practice Vedic principles do work with the precession shift. They calculate their horoscopes according to the Sidereal Zodiac, which follows the apparent changes in the Earth’s position relative to the star groups on which the zodiac signs are based.

But most Western astrologers base their calculations on the constant, never-changing Tropical Zodiac. Why? Simply because it seems to work, and also perhaps because it provides a sense of eternal, unchanging structure against which to interpret the confusing, chaotic, ever-changing world we live in.

TEXT & GRAPHICS © PAULINE GEROSA 2020 ASTROLOGY ORACLE

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