Today, astrology may not be equally concerned with the art of predicting major world events through the influence of planets and stars. It is, however, just as focused now as before on how the zodiac signs, represented by months and seasons, influence human temperament and inclinations. Many opponents of astrology have commented on the inflexibility of traditional astrology, and have questioned (reasonably so) how the zodiac signs can work similarly for people born in Australia, for example, as for people who were born in Europe or Northern America. In the northern hemisphere, the sign Aries marks the beginning of the spring equinox. In Australia or equivalent southern hemisphere locations, the sign of Aries will instead mark the beginning of the autumn equinox, since April in (some parts of) Australia means it won't be long till the leaves turn red. Does this mean that Australian children born under Aries will be more like their Libra opposites, temperament-wise, in Europe or America?
There are astrologers of today who argue for the validity of the above. They believe that, for example, people born in Aries in the southern hemisphere will indeed be more like Librans of the northern hemisphere. Simply because the zodiac sign colouring of personality is directly influenced by the physical seasons of the earth. People born when the Sun of spring is breaking through the world will always be more quixotic and adventurous, no matter what zodiac sign they belong to.
I can easily see the "logic" of this approach. In fact, I almost wish I could believe the truth of it, because of its simple beauty. But I am not a supporter of this theory. I just don't believe it's true. I have seen no indications of it being correct, and I don't think there's astrological empirical evidence to back it up. For many of the ancients, the zodiac as we know it was the same as the constellations of the sky. But the zodiac is in fact a mere abstraction. The perfect 30 degree longitude of each zodiac sign is by no means equal to the constellations which were their inspiration. The zodiac is a celestial division of the sky, separate from the astronomical reality of the constellations and from the actual seasons of the earth. The zodiac signs are symbols, and as symbols they have taken on characteristics of seasonal changes. But their influencing of personality is not a result of these changes.
What is it then? I'm not sure. What I do know, or what I am personally convinced of, is that the psychological archetypes represented by zodiac signs keep their profound meaning and influence over human temperament and personality. Perhaps the ancients were wrong from the beginning, believing that it was an unknown force from the Sun and planets and the actual seasons that lay its mark upon us. Perhaps it was only ever symbolical / psychological.
But an alluring alternative to this suggestion relates to the fact that the whole human condition has undergone vast changes over the millenniums and centuries, and that astrology correctly depicts this transformation. The evolution of the human has been mainly an evolution of the mind, of the psyche. It seems reasonable to think that we started out as mainly "physical" beings, ignorant of the future expansion of the mind-world. Understandably ignorant, because it just wasn’t a reality yet. And astrology always remained side by side with this evolution, initially conditioning world events and personality traits in a more direct and natural way. Why? Because astrology was never a phenomenon separate from the human condition. It was a result of it, just as much as the other way around.
A person is a mind-bendingly complex conglomerate, a snapshot in time of a shared psychological, physical and symbolical history. We are what we think, we are what we have been taught, and most importantly - we are what we feel and experience.What comes first, the chicken or the egg? The becoming something because of our experiences, or the experiencing something because of what we have become? In this mystery of finding the source of identity and character, astrology is merely a little helping light through the tunnel. Its core inexplicability is nothing isolated - it is also the inexplicability of life, and of being.