What are horoscopes?
Everyone knows what horoscopes are, right? It turns out, no. We get asked about horoscopes more than anything else.
These daily horoscopes, or sun-sign astrology are just one small part of an astrological reading. "Horoscope astrology", (or "Sun sign asrtrology") is what most people think of when they hear the term astrology. The simplified astrological system of sun signs focuses solely on the position of the sun at the time of a person's birth.
As the Earth rotates around the sun, the sun is spatially positioned within one of twelve zodiac signs. Because the sun moves through these signs, our astrological signs are also known as "sun signs" or "star signs" -- even though most people simply refer to it as their "sign".
In sun sign astrology, the sun is seen as the most important of all the heavenly bodies, with almost all traits and characteristics descending from this one astrological position. Most astrologers see sun sign astrology as overly simplistic, and see the sun as just one piece of a much larger astrological chart. (For a complete astrological chart reading, see iFate's free birth charts)
History of daily horoscopes
Where did this simplified "daily horoscope" version of astrology come from? While the study of both astronomy and astrology are thousands of years old, the simplified "sun sign" astrology of daily horoscope columns didn't appear until relatively recent times.
It was the advent of this simplified astrological system of "horoscopes" based only on the 12 signs of the zodiac which allowed astrologers to "pre write" horoscopes for large audiences rather than the prior (more detailed) technique of drawing complex birth charts for individuals.
William Lilly first penned these simplified horoscopes in London in the 17th century, but it wasn't until the 20th century that daily horoscopes first made their way into daily newspapers. The first newspaper horoscope appeared on August 21st, 1930 when London's Sunday Express published a series of 12 "star signs". The column was a spectacular success, and attributed with many uncanny predictions. With that simple addition to the regular Sunday newspaper, the universally known "horoscope column" was born -- and with it, the world of astrology was changed forever.
Today there are countless flavors of daily horoscopes. They include "Love scopes" or romantic horoscopes, financial and money-related horoscopes, health-related horoscopes, weekly horoscopes, monthly horoscopes and countless other permutations.
What's the first sign of the zodiac?
While most horoscopes share very similar traits, one common point of contention is "Where to start?"
Because the zodiac is a circle, it is of course possible to start at any point, but there are two traditional starting points for listing the signs of the zodiac (and your daily horoscopes):
For many astrologers, Aries is considered to be the first sign of the zodiac because it references the season spring, and symbolizes fresh growth, new beginnings and fertility. The ancient Roman calendar also began with March, so Aries was once the logical first choice in the sequence of zodiac signs.
It wasn't until Julis Caesar became emperor of Rome and changed the first month to January, that our modern calendar began. For those of us who prefer an astrological system that lines up evenly with our calendar, we begin the order of astrological signs with Capricorn.
Have you seen your tarot horoscope?
Ready to merge the two worlds of astrology and tarot cards? iFate's ZodiacTarot "tarotscopes" merge astrology and tarot with a freshly pulled tarot card for each sign daily. Stop by our tarot horoscopes page and check your sign now.