what exactly is "astrology"?

You've probably heard people talk about horoscopes and compatibility and things like that. You may have even heard someone say something like, "Oh, I could never date him - he's a Gemini, we're so incompatible."

 

Astrology is all based upon the position of the sun, stars, and planets at the moment of your birth. Currently, this website only considers sun signs - the sign that corresponds with the day and month of your birth - but it's important to remember that moon signs (which influence how you act in relationships) and rising signs (which influence how you appear in public) can also play a big part in your astrological peronality! If you're interested in learning more, or in finding your moon and rising signs to seek more detailed information, there are a number of wonderful websites that can help you create a complete birth chart.

 that's cool, but...what's my sign?

ARIES

mar 21 - apr 19

in a word: lively

LEO

jul 23 - aug 22

in a word: confident

TAURUS

apr 20 - may 20

in a word: persistent

VIRGO

aug 23 - sep 22

in a word: perfectionist

SAGITTARIUS

CAPRICORN

nov 22 - dec 21

in a word: adventurous

dec 22 - jan 19

in a word: ambitious

GEMINI

may 21 - jun 20

in a word: sociable

LIBRA

sep 23 - oct 22

in a word: balanced

AQUARIUS

jan 20 - feb 18

in a word: original

CANCER

jun 21 - jul 22

in a word: intuitive

SCORPIO

oct 23 - nov 21

in a word: passionate

PISCES

feb 19 - mar 20

in a word: sensitive

 wait - what was astrology like in  regency england?

In the eighteenth century - which saw a huge intellectual movement led by people like Newton and Hegel - astrology saw a definite decline in popularity.  As Nicholas Campion suggests in his History of Western Astrology, both religious and non-religious intellectuals alike began to view astrology with pronounced  skepticism (178-9).

 

Shocking, I know.

 

Although there were certainly mystics and occultists who clung steadfastly to astrological ideals even during the Enlightenment, astrology saw a resurgence in widespread popularity at the turn of the nineteenth century.  Right around when Jane Austen was born in 1775 (on December 19th - she's a Sagittarius), astrology caught the interest of serious intellectuals in mainland Europe.  Soon enough, it once again gained interest in the UK, mainly in the the sensitive literary circles of the Romantic Poets (205). This popularity was helped along by the publication of Freemason Sibly's A New and Complete Illustration of the Celestial Science of Astrology between 1784-1788.

 

While it's unclear whether or not Jane herself was interested in something as occult as astrology, it is certainly not unreasonable to believe that she was at least familiar with the art!

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