Neil Spencer, author of the astrology classic, True as the Stars Above, analyses the month of October as Saturn changes signs. For an individual interpretation of your October horoscope please visit his website.
Opponents of astrology often complain that the idea of a planet ‘in a sign’ is a nonsense, that the stellar constellations have no real borders, and that as the constellations are zillions of miles distant from our solar system, the concept is antique gibberish.
Their complaints are not without a point. The twelve constellations of the zodiac are wildly different in size – Pisces sprawls, Cancer is compact – and the division of the ecliptic (path of the planets) into a dozen sectors is certainly conceptual rather than a physical reality.
And yet, when trying to divide a circle, the system of twelve is the only logical way. Try to imagine a compass constructed on the decimal system, or try slicing up your pizza into ten, and you’ll see the problem. Circles need to be divided by two, three, four and six. They naturally acquire 360 degrees, which is divisible by all those primary numbers. The ancient world understood this perfectly, and the system of ‘sacred geometry’, of which astrology is a part, was the result.
This simple numerical fact blows away the bogus concept of a ‘13th sign’ which astrology’s enemies periodically raise, with ‘Ophiocus the Serpent’ claimed as the interloping sign. The constellation Ophiocus exists, though it is barely on the ecliptic, but you can no more have 13 signs than have a clock face with 13 numbers. Ophiocus off!
The idea of 12 signs of 30 degrees (12 x 30 equals 360) has particular pertinence this month as Saturn, the timekeeper, changes sign, moving from Libra into Scorpio. It’s a conceptual shift alright, but even if zodiac signs hold no meaning, Saturn’s position on the 360 degree circle is real and measurable (like other celestial bodies) and can be compared to the corresponding dates of the calendar – 210 degrees of the circle equals November 23 for example – while for astrologers down the millennia, Saturn has a very specific meaning.
Human beings tend to seek harmony rather than discord, and astrology is an attempt to create it through consideration of the heavenly sphere. As the old man of the hills put it, ‘As above, so below, that the unity of the whole be maintained.’ Hallelujah to that.