i may not be a libra, but i’m still charming as hell

There are only so many times I can title a post “mind blown. AGAIN.” But alas, it happened, AGAIN, this time with the help of a computer program called Stellarium that has installed within it the night sky as we know it (or rather don’t), and includes all its galaxies, stars, and planets starting from thousands of years ago and as predicted thousands and thousands of years into the future.

So, fun fact: all of us reading this, and yes I mean ALL of us reading this, are not the zodiac sign we think we are. Our zodiac, or astrological, sign is assigned to us based on what constellation the sun is in on our birth date. I am a Libra because on October 19th the sun is said to have passed through the Libra constellation in the sky. Seems easy enough. Except that on October 19th the sun does not pass through the Libra constellation. It passes through Virgo.


Well, fun fact, part 2: the Earth is wobbling like a top through a cycle that takes 26,000 years to complete. This wobbling, called precession, causes a shift in the position of the zodiac signs relative to Earth at the rate of about one constellation every 2,100 years.

What does this mean?

the sky on october 19th, 473BC
The Sun in Libra, October 19th, 473BC

It means that whatever sign the sun was in over two thousand years ago, it is now in the sign just preceding it. We checked this by comparing the sun’s position in 473BC to where it was on the actual day of my birth, and sure enough, roughly 2,500 years ago on October 19th, the sun was in Libra (see above) – correct by today’s standards and horoscopes. However, fast-forward to 1984 and the evidence shows I was not born a Libra after all, but instead with my sun mid-Virgo (see below).

the sky on october 19th, 1984
The Sun in Virgo, October 19th, 1984

“But (suspending our logic regarding the validity of astrology for the time-being) the Libra description totally works for me!”

Yes, and so it should for everyone under the Libra sign actually born under Virgo: if our personalities are governed by the time frame of our birth, labeling it something different shouldn’t induce, nor presuppose, a different personality.

Good enough?

Sure, until you remember that the Libra’s most important characteristic is derived from its namesake – how does the desire to be fair, just, and balanced, carry over to the Virgin constellation when the Libra is the symbol of the Scales??

I guess it’s a good thing we don’t need to preoccupy ourselves with such trivial things. And all us proud Libras (Librae?) can rest at ease knowing we’re diplomatic and wickedly charming after all.


“Born under a bad sign: Astrology.” Astronomy special issue:Atlas of the Stars 2010. Print.

mind. blown. again.

Last year, my uncle, newly passionate about astronomy, blew my mind. He showed me the size of the universe, the galaxies, what’s out there and it was so completely uncomprehendable I was practically rendered speechless.

Yesterday, the telescope came out again. I saw Venus reflecting so brightly that I almost had to shield my eyes, Jupiter with its rings and its four moons – brilliant, how spherical the moon really is and the craters lining its face. And that’s when I learned why we see the moon’s phases the way we do.

How are we not taught this in school?

Apparently this whole time what I thought was the cause is what’s better known as a lunar eclipse. Incorrect. It has nothing to do with the earth blocking the sun and thus casting a shadow on the moon. I feel dumb. I now have detailed scribbles in my journal outlining the different positions of the moon and the sun in relation to the earth and what effect each position has but I’ll be damned if I can explain it to anyone in turn. Mind = blown. Again.


Want another fun fact? This one’s about stars.