Double Vision: How Does Astrology Work?

I am often amazed by how people really do exhibit the nature and traits of their zodiac signs, myself included. My question is, how can it be that people born in a certain sign all seem to act the same way? Why do our sun signs influence our behavior? How does this work?



Astrology is a fascinating science. The fact that the Sun and surrounding planets in our solar system influence a personís nature has been apparent for centuries; it was even studied by the ancients thousands of years ago.

When babies are born, they are highly sensitive to light, sound and everything around them. At the exact moment of their birth, they are imprinted by the details of the experience and absorb every influence present. The location of the Moon and other planets at the time of a person's birth thus has a profound impact on that individual.

Because the sun is the largest body within our solar system, our sun signs have a great impact on our personalities. Just as our environments affect our development, the signs we're born under exert a powerful influence on us. For instance, if we had both been born in Hawaii, we would be more likely to take up surfing than dog-sledding and would naturally gravitate toward summer clothing over winter wear. Though the influence of the sun and planets is more subtle than this, it often shows up in direct correlation to the thoughts, behaviors and preferences associated with each sign of the zodiac.

I think of an astrological natal chart as being similar to an LP or CD. The position of each planet creates a permanent skip or marker in the chart that is activated each time another planet crosses over it. This is the reason some of us are more sensitive to the changing phases of the moon or other aspects that land on our natal markers.

If you keep track of which sign the sun is in at any given time, you will notice that it affects everyoneís actions - even if they were not born under that sign. For example, people tend to buy real estate, focus on financial issues, or gravitate toward physical activities more when the sun travels through an earth sign (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn). During the sunís journey through a water sign (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), people tend to turn their focus to more spiritual and emotional pursuits.

Of course, there are some people who don't act like their sun signs. When this happens, it's usually because the sun was in a hiding position when they were born. People who are born with the sun located in the twelth house of their chart or during a solar eclipse will tend to take on the traits of their rising sign instead. Because all the planets and their locations have a direct impact on a person's nature, it's helpful to have an astrological natal chart drawn up to get the full picture.



In Chinese astrology, we supposedly share traits with everyone born in our year - how is THAT possible?!

Of course, just because I bring healthy skepticism to astrology doesnít mean I donít enjoy reading my horoscopes! I find them to be sources of wisdom and inspiration, often carrying meaningful and thought-provoking spiritual messages. I appreciate Susynís horoscopes here at Kajama and I receive Rob Brezsnyís free will astrology by email. Heís the author of one of my all-time favorite books: Pronoia is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings.

I am not a professional astrologer, so I will try to answer your questions from the perspective of my own field of expertise: psychology. In my view, you could say that all people fit all of the astrological sign descriptions, and you could also say that no one fits any of the astrological sign descriptions.

All people fit their own sign description and every other sign description because all traits are human traits. To make my point, I will create a simplified version of the Zodiac: Leos breathe, Capricorns sleep, and Virgos tend to enjoy eating. Iím being silly, of course, but if I use the traditional descriptions, it still works: Cancers value family, Libras seek balance, and Taurus folks enjoy earthly comforts. We all fit ALL of the descriptions at least some of the time!

There is another phenomenon at work here. When we approach a task with the preconceived notion that there could and should be a match, we are much more likely to find that match. Weíll ignore items that DONíT fit and notice those that do. The human mind is suggestible and is prone to create order from chaos and find meaning in randomness.

There are four Sagittarians among my circle of friends and family. If I pick any one of them and look at the list of Sagittarian traits, I would have to say: yes, yes, yes and yes! Of course, though we share general human traits, each one of us is also unique. If I wrote a detailed description of each of them, they would all sound very different, for each one of us is as unique as a snowflake.

You mentioned sun signs, which are what daily horoscopes are based upon. I understand that professional astrologers also prepare more specific, personalized horoscopes as determined by the date, time and place of your birth. While this ancient art may seem to be remarkably insightful and accurate, I believe my psychological perspective is just as valid.


Many times in life we hear, "You will always have what you NEED, but not necessarily what you WANT." Your spirit must have needed to experience the feeling of leaving your human body, and the suggestion in the next chapter of Sylvia Brown's book was all it took to get you there.

Even though you hadn't read it yet, your SOUL recognized the title of that chapter as something it had been seeking, and your soul, knowing that you had that reference to read after your experience, got with it and out you went!

While I don't usually recommend her books, Sylvia Brown has a wide reaching and powerful effect on lots of people. A Gemini like you would be able to relate easily to her writing and put it to good use. Synchronicity - you gotta love it!

I like your description of "getting caught." That's exactly what it feels like, isn't it? One minute you're free and hovering above the room, and the next minute, ZAP! back down into your corporeal form you go!

As a little kid, I loved that "feeling of return." With practice, most of the time we can control that event, but sometimes, when our physical ears hear a distracting noise or something else occurs to knock us back into reality, back we go. With practice you will be able to control your return better.

I find it interesting that you were visiting your mother-in-law and not someone in your own genetic family. Evidently, you and your husband got married for reasons that are even deeper than love. His family's interest in "psychic stuff" will nurture your children in such matters and help them to grow into their own abilities.

You'll never have to be concerned that when your daughter visits them, she'll be discouraged from exploring her own psychic life and power. My parents encouraged me to develop my psychic senses in a time when it wasn't nice to even discuss such things in public. Heck, it's STILL not considered a great topic at the dinner table in some families!

Your kids will get to talk about it ALL and ask questions and read and study. This is going to give them such an edge in life! Talk with your husband about how you want to present this to your kiddos, so that you are united in your approach and ready to tell them their experiences are all natural and okay.

A word or two of warning: Geminis often have difficulty staying grounded in REAL LIFE. Don't get so strung out on your ASTRAL life that you neglect what you're doing here on Earth.

You are at the beginning of a long journey to learn where your power really lies. Try to be patient with this process and take your time.