Sunday, January 16, 2011

The 'New' Zodiac

Okay, don't panic. Many people are talking about how our zodiac signs have changed virtually overnight. But, that's simply not true. If your a Pisces, like me, you remain a Pisces. Well, that is if you follow Western astrology. 

There are different astrological charts being used today. It is believed the Babylonians developed the first astrological and astronomical charts around the 2nd millennium B.C. They created the 12 houses of the zodiac which represent different areas of our lives. This chart gave birth to different systems of piecing together a horoscope.

Western astrology is based on the Tropical zodiac. This system is based on the Earth's position to the sun. What that means is our signs are based on the seasons not the star constellations. There are 12 houses, more commonly called signs. The start of the House of Aries is fixed to the spring equinox and the other signs follow in order of procession. 

But, it's the stars that have changed, not the seasons, due to the gravitational pull of the moon which has made the Earth wobble on its axis.  Our perspective of the stars is no longer the same since those first charts were drawn in ancient Babylonia.

Star astrologists work by the sidereal zodiac, which is more popular in Eastern cultures. They use astrological charts based on the constellations in the sky. Because the constellations are continuously changing due to the tilt of the Earth, the dates for this zodiac change, too. These are the astrologists that are most effected by the inclusion of the 13th sign called Ophiuchus, pronounced (Ooh-FEE-yew-kus), and known as the Serpent Bearer. This sign was discarded by the Babylonians because they wanted an even number for an equal-house zodiac. Tradition has basically stayed the same even though astronomers and astrologists knew of Ophiuchus's placement. 
Tropical Zodiac
Sidereal Zodiac

Updated Sidereal
Mar 21-Apr 20
Apr 15-May 15

Apr 18-May 13
Apr 21-May 21 May 16-June 15

May 13-June 21
May 22-June 21
June 16-July 16

June 21-July 20
June 22-July 23 July 16-Aug15

July 20-Aug 10
July 24-Aug 23
Aug 16-Sept 15

Aug 10-Sept 16
Aug 24-Sept 23
Sept 16-Oct 15

Sept 16-Oct 30
Sept 24-Oct 23 Oct 16-Nov 15

Oct 30-Nov 23
Oct 24-Nov 22
Nov 16-Dec 15

Nov 23-Nov 29

Nov 29-Dec 17
Nov 23-Dec 21 Dec 16-Jan 14

Dec 17-Jan 20
Dec 22-Jan 20
Jan 15-Feb 14

Jan 20-Feb 16
Jan 21-Feb 19 Feb 14-Mar 14

Feb 16-Mar 11
Feb 20-Mar 20
Mar 15-Apr 14

Mar 11-Apr 18

This information is as accurate as I can make it from my research. The sidereal dates are always changing and I had some difficulty in locating dates to compare with the current set without doing the mathematical calculations myself. The set I used here are from charts I found from 2002. I wanted to demonstrate the difference in the movement of the star constellations. Any mistakes made are my own.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Visit to the Black Rose blog

Did you make any New Year's resolutions for 2011? I'd love to hear about them. I'm at TWRP's Black Rose blog sharing a few of mine. Why don't you stop over for a visit? It's only a click away...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In Loving Memory

Yesterday was my mom's birthday. In loving memory of her, I'm posting these pictures to share with you. She was a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and teacher. She touched so many lives during her short time with us. I miss her everyday, especially now that I have children of my own. At the same time, I know she is with me; she's a part of me, a part of my children. And I dedicate my writing career to her, since she was the one responsible for my book addiction. My memories of her always include a book in her hand (mostly those bodice rippers from the '80s!). The very first romance I read came from her library. She always encouraged me to follow my dreams. She kept a ready supply of books for me to read and paper and pencil for me to write. After her death I discovered in her notebooks that she had written a few stories, too. Romance, of course. Apparently, writing romance is in the genes and something I was born to do.

Happy Birthday, Mom! We miss you so much!

Patty Zimmerman
January 11, 1958-August 23, 1989

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Learning the Tarot

I bought a deck of Tarot cards recently and I've decided this year I'm going to learn how to work with them. I've always had an interest in tarot, since my husband has been reading them for years, but I've never tried them for myself. After searching online and in the bookstores, I've found a deck that calls to me. Originally, I was going to get a Rider-Waite deck, since that seems to be the classic version that the other decks are based on. But, my husband has that and I wanted something different. One uniquely my own.

The Mystic Dreamer Tarot deck by Heidi Darras is just my style. I love the dreamy, fantasy artwork. It's just beautiful. And every time I look at the cards, I see something new, something that I find interesting or something that resonates with me when I'm reading them. 

I'm also reading :

This is a great book for beginners, like me, since I know so little about the tarot such as its history and how to work with it.  Reading the tarot isn't so much like fortune-telling as I thought, but more like a tool for your intuition. You ask a question and focus on it and then place the cards in a specific spread. There are several different spreads in which to lay the cards for a reading. From a single card to a multi-card layout, each card represents an individual message. But, when the cards are put together, the meaning they convey may answer your question as you recognize certain symbols or meanings. 

I already see potential for how this might help me work on the stories I write. Sometimes in the process of plotting, I might get 'stuck' either with a plot point or a how a character responds to a certain situation. Instead of putting the story aside to let my subconscious work on the problem in its own time, I'm going to try to work with the cards to assist me in solving whatever problem arises.  

My husband has a great talent with the readings and he's been invaluable with teaching me how to see what the cards represent. So far, I'm trying to keep it simple, until I get a 'feel' for the layouts and learn the meanings of each card. In the meantime, I'm learning to focus my thoughts and energy and I'm having fun in the process.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Tarot Predictions

Every year, my husband does a tarot reading to predict what the New Year will bring for us. He's remarkably accurate with his predictions. He's not a professional, but he's very talented when dealing with the cards and their interpretations.

Last year's predictions:
-I would be pregnant and it would be a girl
-It would be a while before he found employment

He read the cards on January 1, 2010. I found out I was pregnant in February and I delivered a baby girl in September (our first girl after having two boys). My husband had lost his job due to his company downsizing in 2009, he didn't find another job until August 2010. 

Could be coincidence? Simple luck with his accuracy? Maybe... But, I don't believe in coincidence. Here's another example from previous years.

-He predicted I would be published (I am)
-For a reading he did for a very close friend of ours, the cards told him our friend would be married within a year (okay, he was married within 2 years but he met his wife-to-be within a few months of that particular reading)

His 2011 predictions:
-we have money coming to us (perhaps a lottery winner in the near future??)
-my responsibilities are going to increase, I'll need to maintain and exercise my organizational skills
-despite having a financial gain, it will not bring him happiness

Well, that's good and bad, isn't it? It would be great for us to have money again, the last couple years have been a strain on us financially. But, money doesn't bring happiness, does it?

I have my own tarot cards this year. Yesterday was the first time I used them. My reading seemed a little murky and confusing, so I'm not counting that yet. I think I need to practice a bit more before I can give any readings, for myself or others. That's something I plan to work on this year. I'll review this post in December and see how close he came to this year's predictions.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Happy New Year!! Welcome 2011! May you be infinitely better than last year.

I have to say, many wonderful things happened in 2010 that I will never ever forget. My first book, The Witch and the Wolf, was published in July. I've been writing for several years, many more than I care to count, so finally seeing a dream come to fruition was a major accomplishment. My oldest son started preschool. This was a major step for both of us and I'm proud to say we're both adjusting remarkably well. Of course, I had a much more difficult time than he did! And, my third baby (a girl!) was born in September. Any year I have a baby is a wonderful year! I've had three fantastic ones so far! lol

So, in counting my blessings, I'm hoping to add many more this year. I figure listing a few goals I'd like to accomplish would be a great way to help them along.

1. After having three wonderful children, I've added on a few of those baby pounds. I'm hoping to lose some of that with regular exercise and healthy eating. I already do, for the most part, just not regularly. This year, I'm taking a step-by-step approach and hoping to maintain it for a longer duration than I have in the past. My goal is to knock off 30 pounds by the end of the year. Or fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans, I can be happy with that!

2. I have writing goals that I want to accomplish. Some projects have been set aside for one reason or another and I'd like to dust them off and see what can be done with them. I want to have two new novels written this year and a number of short stories and/or articles. I'm committing myself to submitting one project a month, or until it gets published!

3. I also have a massive to-be-read list. I'm a member of GoodReads and I'm addicted to reading challenges. I'm trying not to overwhelm myself with reading this year. I'm only going to participate in one or two (okay, maybe three) challenges at a time. After all, I should be writing more than reading, right? Well, I'm hoping to find a happy medium this year. Perhaps I'll try using my TBR reads as a reward system instead of an actual goal.

Well, that's my list for now. I have many other goals that I'm considering. Learning a new language is one, teaching myself a new hobby is another, as well as buying a minivan and eliminating my household clutter.  I'll probably add those to the list at a later date. Right now, I'm just concerned with taking it one day at a time and enjoying every moment of it.

What about you? What's on your list of resolutions this year?