Fortescue's Forecasts for You
Welcome, witches and wizards, to my column! For this issue of SerpenTimes, I would like to dispel some misinformation that I know has frightened you all. Fear not, my friends! Your humble astrologer is here to set things straight.
Some of you have been told that the zodiac has changed and your star sign may have changed as well. This is not true! Don't you believe this horrible untruth for one second. Some of you may have even heard that NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration – has included a 13th sign named Ophiuchus, of all things!
NASA? Are they a group of Astrologers now? Yeah, I didn't think so.
If you're curious about the dates these so called Astrologers have created, well, here they are:
Capricorn: January 20 – February 16
Aquarius: February 16 – March 11
Pisces: March 11 – April 18
Aries: April 18 – May 13
Taurus: May 13 – June 21
Gemini: June 21 – July 20
Cancer: July 20 – August 10
Leo: August 10 – September 16
Virgo: September 16 – October 30 = 6 weeks??
Libra: October 30 – November 25
Scorpio: November 23 – November 29 = 1 week??
Ophiuchus: November 29 – December 17 = Ophiu who??
Sagittarius: December 17 – January 20
Any Astrologer who knows his or her stuff can tell at one glance how silly this is. First, look at the dates of each sign. They vary wildly by really differing lengths! Sagittarius lasts longer than one month, while Scorpio only gets one week? Does this really make sense to anyone? Second, each sign falls into one of four elements: Fire, Earth, Air, or Water. Ophiuchus isn't connected to any element at all! Third, each sign has its opposite sign. Aries and Libra are opposites, for example, as are Cancer and Capricorn. Ophiuchus? No opposite sign for this one!
And, I have to tell you, I was born on February 12, while Luna Lovegood was born on February 13th. We are Aquarius, through and through. We tend to be creative and off-beat, loyal, independent, and opinionated. We are certainly not Capricorns, who can be reserved and, at times, pessimistic and distrustful.
So, what's the deal? Have you been seeing yourself under the wrong sign all this time? No! Let me explain why.
There are two different systems of Astrology: The Sidereal System of the zodiac, also known as Vedic System, most commonly used in India and the Tropical System of the zodiac, used in the western world. Neither of these systems use the constellation Ophiuchus. NASA may like it, but since they are not astrologers, I say we can throw it out completely. The only reason they threw it in there is because this constellation is much larger in size than Scorpio, which is also why they shortened Scorpio's dates to one week. Not a good enough reason. Begone, Ophiuchus!
Now that that's over and done with, let's compare the actual systems most commonly used in Astrology. In the Vedic System, zodiac signs can sometimes shift, but they do not shift in the Tropical System we use. The Vedic Systems are based on the constellations and where your Sun, the planets, and asteroids were located in at the moment of your birth. This system uses 9 planets: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Rahu-Ketu, which is the two nodes of the Moon. Also, along with the twelve constellations, it also includes twenty-seven lunar constellations.
The Tropical System, which most western Astrologers use, was created by the Greeks and Babylonians over 2000 years ago. Because the sun is the center of the solar system and the earth's relationship to the sun is the most important thing, instead of using the constellations, they used the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn to set the dates. The beginning of the Vernal Equinox, which in tropical astrological has been set at March 21, is also the beginning of the first sign of the zodiac, which is Aries. The Tropical System uses the planets listed above and also includes Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. It does not include constellations, even though the signs were named after them.
There is much debate about which system is the most accurate (I'm not including the zodiac sign of Ophiuchus, because no actual Astrologer does). My column focuses on Tropical Astrology because I'm most familiar with this system and because I think out solar system has a more direct effect on our lives than the constellations do.
If you'd like to learn more, this website goes into a bit more detail. It also includes a chart that lists the days and dates when the Sun seems to actually appear to be in each constellation and compares it to the Tropical Astrology dates (the one western Astrologers such as myself use) and the Sidereal Astrology dates.
Until next time.....
Welcome to my summer forecast! I know everyone is excited to find out how their time away from Hogwarts and their breaks from school work are going to go, and as usual, I have all the answers! So let's dig in, shall we?
If you'll think back to my October 2019 column, the planet Mercury was in Retrograde for most of November. Retrograde simply means Mercury was really close to the sun and was speeding past the earth even faster than normal. To the ancient Astrologers, when this occurred, the planet appeared to be traveling backwards, and thus they labeled it “Retrograde.” Makes sense, right? Well, Mercury is doing it again! This time, it will last for three weeks, from June 18th to July 12th. All those warnings I gave in October still apply. Mercury rules communication, and because the planet is in Retrograde, communication will be going haywire. What kind of communication, you ask? All of it! Reading, writing, talking, buying, selling, and computer coding. But wait, there's more!
The planet Venus is in Retrograde until June 25th. Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto are all in Retrograde, and joining them in this backwards state will be Neptune on June 23rd. Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto are all in the sign of Capricorn as well, and this hasn't happened since the year 1284! Capricorn is the sign of leadership, ambition, and hard work. Jupiter focuses on knowledge and truth, while Saturn and Pluto are known for endings and rebirths. The Saturn and Pluto combination is especially dynamic and forceful when it comes to karma.
If all of this sounds scary and ominous, well, you're right! I'm expecting changes in how much of the world operates and how we go about our own lives. Expect huge transitions. Karma rearing its head. Many endings, but rebirths as well.
I'd give you specifics, but my crup ate my star chart. Sorry about that! I will say this, though. It does get better! In December, Jupiter and Saturn move into Aquarius and Saturn and Pluto end their co-rulership.
Change is good, right? Now is the time to re-evaluate your life and if necessary, change directions. Move forward, not backwards. Don't be like Mercury! Or Jupiter, Saturn, or Pluto, for that matter.
Until next time! Enjoy your summer!
Welcome to this issue's column! I bet I know what you're hoping to learn: because it's March, and March is the month of green, you're wanting to hear all about how good fortune awaits you! Will you win the lottery? Get a raise at work? Finally meet mister “he'll do because he's rich?” Well, guess what? I have no idea. But I do know about other forces which will impact our lives this month.
There are two planetary aspects we need to become aware of for March. The first concerns Power (do I see some excited coiling and hissing from my fellow Slytherins?) while the second emphasizes Rule-Breaking. Very interesting combination, don't you think?
To start us off, Jupiter is in conjunction with Pluto. Let's look at these terms individually, shall we? In Astrology, “conjunct” simply means that two planets are both found in the same zodiac sign. Those planets mix their energies together and this energy affects life on earth. The planet Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system and represents expansion, increase, and, at times, excessiveness. It is a planet of leadership and authority. Pluto (still a planet in Astrology) symbolizes transformation, death and rebirth, and the subconscious mind. Capricorns tend to be ambitious, disciplined, dependable, and loyal, but also pessimistic and rigid. Voldemort and Severus Snape, as well as many Slytherins, are Capricorns.
When we combine all of the ingredients of our cosmic soup, we see two ways of looking at power: power over others and power over ourselves. If you are an ambitious sort and wanting to expand your reach and position, now is an excellent time! Arise, go forth, and conquer! If you are wanting to develop greater self-discipline and self-mastery and reach those goals you never before thought possible, your time has arrived!
Our next focus is on the planet Saturn. Saturn was previously in Capricorn, but is currently entering the rule-breaking sign of Aquarius. Aquarius folks tend to be original, independent, humanitarian, and dogmatic. Think Luna Lovegood, Arthur Weasley, and February Fortescue. While Aquarius tends to be creative, vision and mind-oriented, Saturn is very grounded and pragmatic, and these two can be a wonderful combination. This is the perfect time for making your humanitarian visions a reality, whether it's to visit a homeless shelter or serve in a soup kitchen. Aquarius also speaks to the creative side in many of us, so now is the perfect time to begin that book you've been putting off writing!
Overall, a very positive forecast, wouldn't you say? Until next time!
Be strong, my friends! I have some truly awful news: Mercury will be Retrograde in Scorpio, 31st October to 20th November! OK, just calm down, it's only twenty-one days. We can survive this!
For the uninformed, allow me to explain. “Retrograde,” despite how the word appears, does not mean all students who study the planet Mercury during this time will fail the grade they are in. That, while unfortunate, would be a much better fate than the one awaiting us! Actually, Mercury is going to be really close to the sun and for those twenty-one days it will speeding past the earth even faster than normal. To the ancient Astrologers, when this occurred, the planet appeared to be traveling backwards, and thus they labeled it “Retrograde.”
Mercury is the planet closest to our sun. Everyone knows that, right? But, did you know Mercury is also a ruler? Oh, yes. And when Ruler Mercury goes Retrograde, the planet lays down for a nice, long nap and everything Mercury rules tends to go haywire. What does Mercury rule, you ask? Communication. ALL communication. Reading, writing, talking, buying, selling, computer coding.
What, precisely, does this mean for YOU? Sadly, quite a few things. In fact, there are so many things you should never do when Mercury goes Retrograde.
Mercury will be Retrograde in Scorpio. If you yourself are a Scorpio, born between 23rd October and 21st November, then everything I've said applies doubly for you! Oh, you're going to have a difficult twenty-one days. Hang in there! As for the rest of us, Scorpio is a water sign, which gives us a small clue as to how we can survive this upcoming catastrophe: if we absolutely have to make any decisions whatsoever during this time, we should choose our gut feelings over our intellect. The guidance of that still, small voice will be the best chance we have to make it through these trying times with the least amount of chaos.
Until next time, when we'll learn all about one of the biggest Astrological events of our lifetimes: the Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto Conjunction.