It seems you didn't read the contents of the links very well???. They are
actually critical or astrology and astrologers!...Never mind..
We acknowledge that astronomers groan whenever astrology is brought up and to
include the tropical zodiac in Stellarium is rather like leaving it open to
encourage astrology. On the other hand there appears no fear that use of
Stellarium will encourage promotion of Chinese, Inuit, Polynesian etc
"astrology", as these constellation themes are also included. While Western
astrology played a historical role in astronomy - more so than most of these
other sky cultures - it is curious that it's role is vehemently written out of
astronomical references wherever possible. Bit of the Oedipus complex?
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I am a little surprised by your comment Martin. You seem to be suggesting
Stellarium is somehow playing favourites to non-western sky cultures? There
are no extra features for non-western sky cultures. In fact the Western sky
culture was the only one with artwork for most of Stellarium's existence,
and is still one of only two - the second being Inuit, with just a handful of
images, Furthermore, Western is the default sky culture.
Just because we don't want to add extra features for astrology in the Western
or any other sky culture, doesn't mean we're somehow picking on astrologers -
any more than we're picking on alchemists by not adding a recipe for turning
lead into gold. Stellarium is not an alchemy program. Stellarium is not an
I frequently get emails from astrology enthusiasts regarding the "wrongness"
of Stellarium in one way or another, invariably based on misunderstandings of
basic astronomical concepts. An example conversation usually goes something
Them: Stellarium has the Sun in the wrong place
Them: No, at the time of my birth, the Sun is in Libra and it should be in
For the first first 20 or so of these conversations I tried very patiently to
explain about precession and to cross check Stellarium with other sources.
After typing out long, polite emails not mentioning astrology for fear of
upsetting them, a reply frequently comes...
Them: But you've got the Sun in the wrong place. I'm a Virgo.
I know exactly what you mean .i get fed up with insistent ignorance on the
same points, and I appreciate that Stellarium has "Western" constellations and
that it began with these. I was however thinking more about the ecliptic
coordinate overlay .in the same manner as the equatoriaI overlay, similar to
that in Skymap Pro.
I should add that teach astronomy at the Adelaide Planetarium and use
Stellarium with the Mirrordome system. I often get questions about
signs/constellations and a little tad frustrated that I can't use Stellarium
to graphically illustrate the "why" and "how" of it to answer them.
Wow this thread is full of conflicting ideas, so here goes, I think the Alignments shown in the stellarium is the true astrology. If you go out into nature, during the night you will see the entire sky light up, you will see more stars then you would if you were in the city. However if you are in the city and you look into the sky you only see a handful of stars, these do include the 14 constellations in which the Sun travels through (our perspective), odd that these handful of stars have light strong enough to penetrate our cityscape.. (Like Taurus currently, no matter which city, so long as its not foggy or overcast you will always see it (if its in your portion of the sky at the time). Personally I always found myself not fitting within the descriptions of Capricorn, However Sagittarius fits me like a tailored suit, and oddly enough I have the Sun, Moon and 3 Planets all directly in the Sagittarius Constellation. While reading the traits of the archer one re-occurring one is dark black hair, with red hairs protruding from the beard, as they are the element of Fire.. which I do. (only person in both extended families with this trait). Oddly enough my best friend also born on Jan 6th same day as me, but one year before has the same trait, bright red hairs from a black beard with black thick hair. (only one in his family with that trait (both extended families).. The examples go on, I urge you to discover something odd like that from your astrologic research, then please contact me with your findings so I can have it join my collective of astrologic research. The Indians still use Vedic Astrology, (same as what you see on stellarium), the babylonians were the first to divide us into 12 groups, its a more divisible number then 14.
You bear a delirium, that has nothing to do with reality.
A few thoughts to share....
On the side of science there a large large issues the very clearly dismiss astrology. First let's look at heliocentrism. Why would the stars be set to affect us in the solar system when presumably intelligent life with a personality would also exist in other galaxies? Another criticism others have mentioned from time to time is that the gravitation influence of the doctor or midwife that delivered each of us was stronger than the planets - and while the electromagnetic influence communicated by reflected light is stronger (you can see the planets after all) the curve of the earth blocks planets below the horizon from even the most sensitive measurements and the kinds of physics dealing with things that pass through the earth indicate no significant amount of such things would originate from the planets. Then there is the problem of affecting a personality from those very dim sources of light rather than lanterns or lights all around us that are far brighter because they are near us. Science has measured an impact on life from how much full light of day and night affect us but nothing in the direction of tiny sources of light in a particular geometry around us even when we aren't looking or it's impossible for the light to reach us.
Now let's explore the flip side of the coin a bit. As has been suggested and is visible from more examples there are a lot of 12s out there suggested as something affecting the course of lives and peoples. Whatever the history of western culture other forms have 12s too - hindus.... And in ways even distinct from the suggestion of the specific formulation of astrology. Consider the 12 apostles of Christianity. In Islam you have the 12 Imams. And so on. Why twelve? Science does not easily suggest any answers. And there are religious and quasi-scientific and powerful personal stories of near death experiences that suggest life after death, and influences on life as we know it from life as we don't know it. If cultures often have 12 paramount figures associated with the prophet-founder of a religion which gives birth or revolutionizes a culture then it may be worth considering an "astrology" that has nothing to do with the stars or constellations in themselves - that typical astrological interpretations are fragmentary memories of stories told to represent cultural heroes carved into archetypes of figures who may actually still be affecting a people from the after life for those that believe.
Now this isn't going to settle anything. That's fine. I hope for no more than to give some people alittle more to think about.
Do you really believe to that crap?
There are cases where cultural knowledge turned out to have some basis in fact even if the people made up explanations that had nothing to do with the facts. Are we any different?
Astrology is pure bunkum designed only to fool the gullible into forking out money. If you believe in it it is your problem and nothing to do with Stellarium.
Western (more precisely 'tropical', as mentioned before) astrology as we know it does not concern how the stars & constellations backdropping the sun/moon/planets might effect a personality, but rather how the arrangement of the sun/moon/planets around the earth might effect a personality.
Matthew Gates, I truly enjoyed your example conversation and I can relate very strongly to it. (Duder:"Input my birthday!". Me:sigh,"Here we go..") However, it seems to me that these examples favour the position contrary to yours. Imagine how easy it would be to explain that there are in fact two Zodiacs: (1) a perceivable ring of constellations up in the sky, and (2) an imaginary measuring tape around the earth, and that at one time they aligned!
To suggest a program needs to be forked for the addition of a simple grid is wild to me. As was mentioned, astrology and astronomy are historical relatives. When was it they 'forked'? 17th century?
I hope considerations will continue for the sake of easing and clarifying the aforementioned discrepancy between two uses of the same word, 'zodiac', and I would not be upset if the latter was labelled 'pseudo'.
Thank you for your time.