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Johannes Kepler's horoscope for Wallenstein, to which he added: "I only set up the horoscope when I was sure that my work was calculated for someone who understands philosophy and is not incompatible with superstition."

The horoscope ( agr. Ὥρα, hora , "hour", and σκοπεῖν, skopéin , "watch"), u. a. Also called birth image and in older times called nativity , is the most important aid in astrology . The main elements of a horoscope are usually the ascendant and the medium coeli as well as the horoscope houses , celestial bodies such as the sun , moon and planets and their aspects to one another, the zodiac signs and lunar nodes . The horoscope drawing shows the solar system from a geocentric point of view (earth view) in a merely two-dimensional perspective , whereby the place for which the horoscope is created is taken into account according to geographical longitude and latitude. The bases are astronomical calculation methods of celestial mechanics . In the past, the ephemeris and so-called house tables (for calculating the horoscope houses) were used for the calculation; today, astrology software is mostly used that makes use of it.

In astrology the word horoscope only means the graphic and the tabular representation, in the public it is sometimes also understood as so-called newspaper horoscopes (see section types of horoscopes ).

In a known review with a control group and proper blinding , natal chart interpretations did not show any hits beyond chance. This is confirmed by various other scientific tests and evaluations, also for other horoscope interpretations and forecasting methods such as forecasts. In addition, personality descriptions and predictions can be kept so general and vague that many people will feel they are accurately described by what is known as the Barnum Effect .


Typical old form of a natal chart: Horoscope for Johannette Maria zu Wied (1615–1715), daughter of Count Hermann II. Zu Wied (1581–1631) and Juliane Elisabeth zu Solms-Lich (1592–1649). Handwriting on paper, Obere Grafschaft Wied, 1615

Astrology evolved antique initially as mundane , since Hellenistic astrology areas were still BC natal astrology , the Katarchen horoscopes for the best time of a public or private action-launch as well as the so-called theme mundi to a kind of 'Ur Horoscope' for the legendary time of the world creation. Currently, astrology is usually only understood to mean natal horoscopy.

In ancient times the horoscope was originally the entire sign of the zodiac ascending on the eastern horizon and later exclusively the ascending degree of the ecliptic on the eastern horizon, which is now called the ascendant . The observation of the ascending sign of the zodiac has its ancient origins in the ancient Egyptian observation of the so-called deans rising on the eastern horizon, each with 10 ° expansion, groups of stars that allowed time to be measured and of which there were 36 in ancient Egyptian times. Probably superimposed in the 3rd century BC In Ptolemaic Egypt the 36 deans, each 10 ° expansion, with the 12 Babylonian signs of the zodiac , each 30 ° expansion, which since then each contain three deans. With the development of the ascendant as the starting point of the 'total' horoscope probably in the time of Ptolemaic Egypt also from the 3rd century. v. From the 12 zodiac signs from the ascendant onwards, the earliest horoscope houses or 'places' in the horoscope emerged, which were therefore identical to the zodiac sign sequence from the ascendant onwards. Correspondingly, in the horoscopes before AD 200 one finds only the correspondence of the 12 places or houses of the horoscope with the 12 signs of the zodiac in the horoscope.

In contemporary astrology, the entire graphic representation or drawing is referred to as a horoscope, which contains all the factors relevant to interpretation and has changed a lot in the course of history.

The probably oldest horoscope graphic in western astrology with the representation and naming of the ascendant dates from the first half of the first century AD and was found in Egypt in the 19th century. Since Ptolemy , the use of the tropical zodiac has become established in the western hemisphere, which begins with the vernal equinox , while in "Vedic" (Indian) astrology the shift in the vernal equinox has been ignored since ancient times.


Today horoscopes are mostly colored graphics. In the past, in Europe - as in some cases in Asia today - the celestial bodies were drawn in a square, whereas today they are arranged in a circle. In Western astrology, the following main elements are usually found in a horoscope:

Claimed derivation

Until the 18th century, astrology was often based on the assumption that there was a 'physical' effect of the positions and movements of the celestial bodies on the sublunar sphere and thus on the earth and all earthly nature, thereby on the human community and ultimately the People themselves. From the European-Christian early Middle Ages, often referred to as 'natural astrology', the heavenly bodies were supposed to have an effect on, for example, the weather, agriculture and in medicine, on all material and physical things. On the other, far less clearly understood 'physical' side, there was especially the previously controversial natal chart astrology with its alleged impact on people's lives, which often claimed to be able to predict future developments in individual human life and the often enough actually or allegedly repeated long-standing, far-reaching astrological experiences in their interpretations. A more esoteric understanding, already handed down from the transition between antiquity and late antiquity and especially effective in astrology from the 20th century, is formulated in the Hermetic Tabula Smaragdina as a law of analogy: “As above, so below.” This worldview was and is more of a religious nature in a broader sense.

According to astrologers, a natal chart can help explain a person's life plan (disposition, opportunities, character , fate) or, in the case of an event, the quality of time (causes, effects, meaning). In the opinion of other astrologers, the time quality at the moment of birth of a person (or the time when an organization such as a state, for example) was founded primarily describes the initial energy with which a life (or, for example, a state) begins. In this respect, information about basic properties and developments can also be read later, which can be used again and again as long as a person is alive or an organization exists. The newly born person is exposed to an energy field on all levels (physical, mental, spiritual), which gives them the theme of their life.

The natal chart as an astrological character analysis is intended to serve self-knowledge , at least along the modern, western and ego-centered mainstream of psychological natal chart interpretation. The majority of psychologically oriented astrologers see a horoscope as a spiritual-symbolic model that is based on synchronicity or simultaneity according to rhythms. It is not thought in causal logic, but in analogies , as in psychoanalysis , dream analysis and graphology .

Horoscope types

The character- defining quality of time using the example of the birth chart of Barack Obama , who was born on August 4, 1961 at 7:24 pm in Honolulu . Outer ring: 12 signs of the zodiac; inner ring: 12 houses with the symbols of different stars. Red lines ~ disharmonious, green and blue lines ~ harmonic angles (aspects).

“The horoscope is the astronomical sketch of the heavenly situation at the moment of a person's birth as seen from the place of birth. This birth picture shows the position of the stars in their course through the zodiac as well as their positions in the force fields / sectors / zones, also called houses. [...] The horoscope, related to a person, is a means of interpreting personality: in psychological practice a personality test. "

In contrast, newspaper horoscopes only evaluate the sign of the zodiac in which the sun is at birth; therefore, from an astrological point of view, they are not horoscopes and do not offer any horoscope graphics. The astrologer and psychoanalyst Fritz Riemann criticizes this as trivializing astrology , which has nothing to do with horoscopy. According to Riemann, the statements of such horoscopes address the wishes and expectations of readers or give vague warnings. Newspaper horoscopes contain generally valid, vague statements which the reader is very likely to believe to be correct (see Barnum Effect ).

Birth horoscopes and hourly astrological question horoscopes belong to individual astrology , as they deal with the individual. Synastria, composites and combinations are part of the individual astrology when using natal charts. Oral anhoroscopes and political horoscopes are part of oral astrology as they deal with collective and natural events such as weather and natural disasters, with countries and their rulers (as part of a collective, a community), with the establishment of states and parties, elections and currency introductions, etc. .

Natal chart

The "classic" among the horoscopes: Under the specifications of birth, time of birth and place of birth that is radix (lat. "Root", horoscope) calculated. Along the mainstream of modern, western natal astrology, one can read out character and other personality traits from the natal chart. Originally, in early epochs of human history - as in ancient Babylonia - the fate of those affected was prophesied in brief sayings ('omen' astrology) from the observation of the connections between the heavenly bodies and events in human life. At the time a ruler was born, the planetary status was recorded and attempts were made to read the fate of the newborn from it. Special planetary positions applied z. B. as a sign of the great power of the new ruler.

Hourly astrological question horoscope

Hourly astrological question horoscope, here for example on the question: Will I lose my job?

Hourly astrology is a very old branch of astrology , which is about answering a specific question from a horoscope. This is created for the moment of questioning and (mostly) at the location of the astrologer. Most of the questions relate to a decision or an event about which there is uncertainty, for example in the area of ​​health, work, partnership or travel. The interpretation is based on the rules of classical astrology. For example, only the old rulers of the signs of the zodiac are used - although the modern planets Uranus , Neptune and Pluto can certainly play a role in the interpretation - and the aspects are divided into “good” and “bad”.

When making the interpretation, the astrologer does not usually consider the horoscope in its entirety, but primarily special signifiers that are related to the question. It can only be a few planets , signs or houses .

Oral and political horoscope

Modern oral horoscope: Donald Trump sworn in on January 20, 2017, 12 noon.

Oral anhoroscopes and political horoscopes are created for non-personal events. This includes, for example, the establishment of a state, a company or an association, a party or organization, elections of all kinds, share issues, laying of the foundation stone and coronations, the opening of events of all kinds, swearing-in and inauguration of politicians, for example, ship christenings and currency introductions, commissioning of technical facilities , Assassinations and catastrophes, etc. As with the natal chart, you need a place and an exact time. The interpretations of these horoscopes differ fundamentally from the natal chart, but also from the interpretation of an hourly astrological question chart. They therefore require special knowledge.

Oral astrological prognoses at the beginning of the year and interpretations of oral horoscopes keep making headlines in the media. Systematic reviews of the prognoses show that published oral anastrological prognoses were mostly wrong.


In practical astrology, a composite is a relationship or partner horoscope generated from 2 or more horoscopes, which is calculated from the arithmetic mean of the spatial positions of 2 identical planets. For example, if A is the coordinate of the planet Venus of person 1 and B is the coordinate of Venus for person 2, then the coordinate of Venus in the composite chart is (A + B) / 2. With this method, due to the 360 ​​° circle, the Horoscope two midpoint positions between the two averaged horoscope factors, one in the short and one in the longer path between the two horoscope factors, with the midpoint position of the shorter path being taken into account in the composite. The composite is an artificial, fictional horoscope, it also leads, especially with the position of Venus and Mercury in the composite, to actually not possible elongations to the composite sun. Because it is not based on any real possible data, hardly any methods and forecasting methods can be used with the composite horoscope that would have to be derived from the composite.


In astrology, a combination is a partnership horoscope that is calculated from the arithmetic mean of the times of birth and the coordinates of the places of birth of two people, which creates, so to speak, a new, real birth time and place of birth, a new, independent 'birth horoscope'. The aim of a relationship between two individuals is to be interpreted with the combination; it is used like a normal natal chart, e.g. B. in the calculation of transit, solar horoscopes and solar arc progression etc. It represents one of the methods of relationship astrology in addition to composite and synastry and is somewhat more difficult to calculate.


Synastry of the natal charts of two people: Loki Schmidt (outside) and Helmut Schmidt (inside). Red lines ~ disharmonious, green and blue lines ~ harmonic angles (aspects) between the stars of the two horoscopes

The word synastry is derived from the Greek prefix syn (together) and the Greek word stem astro ( star ). Synastria are not a separate type of horoscope, they are created from two or more horoscope images. If the natal charts of two people are placed on top of each other, there can also be more natal charts, then one often speaks of a synastry chart or a partner picture.

In the synastry interpretation, two natal charts are calculated and compared. The horoscope of person B is placed around the horoscope of person A. Now the aspects between the planets and horoscope axes such as ascendant and medium coeli of both horoscopes are calculated. In addition, it is looked into which houses and on which axes of the second horoscope the planets and axes of the first fall and vice versa. The aspects of both partners show z. B. on the flow of energy between them. A synastry can be created for everything that is related to one another, for example for mother and child, for siblings, colleagues, friends or for a couple in love.

The horoscope houses

The exact point in time and the geographical location for which a geocentric horoscope is calculated determine the position of the “houses”, also called fields, which are calculated from the snapshot of the earth's rotation. The houses are the representation of the geocentric point of view of the zodiac from a geographical point . The degree of the ecliptic that just rises above the horizon is called the ascendant (ascendant) and marks the beginning of the first house. This is followed by three houses to the point of the lower culmination of the zodiac, i.e. the lowest point below the horizon, then three houses to the just setting point of the zodiac (Descendent, DC), three houses to the upper culmination, and finally three houses back to the Ascendant. Because of the angle of around 23 ° 26 'between the plane of the earth's orbit and the equator , the houses are generally of different sizes on the ecliptic.

Depending on the astrological school or direction, the houses are partly calculated according to different systems, which can lead to deviating or even contradicting statements. There are at least a dozen, probably more than 20 to possibly 50 different house systems or house divisions. One house system is that according to Campanus von Novara , others according to Porphyrios and Regiomontanus , Placidus de Titis or Walter Koch . In the case of the equivalent system , the houses are shown from the ascendant of the same size in 30 ° sections. With the other systems, the houses are of different sizes depending on the projection plane used. The ascendant marks the top of the first house, from which the rest are counted counterclockwise. The houses follow one another as 1st to 12th house.

Forecasting methods with horoscopes

The solar horoscope or solar is probably the most frequently used forecasting method with a horoscope in western horoscope astrology . It is usually created on the basis of a natal chart. The term 'solar revolution', which was sometimes used in the past, makes it clearer that the solar horoscope is calculated for the exact return of the moving sun to the sun's position in the natal chart . With the exact return time of the moving sun, an independent horoscope, an independent horoscope graphic is constructed either on the place of birth or often on the current place of residence of the person concerned. According to astrological tradition, it should be enough with temporal transitions of up to three months for astrological predictions about events and life developments from birthday to birthday. The solar is often interpreted both on its own and in synastry with the natal chart.

Often the lunar or lunar horoscope is also used for astrological predictions, as is usually the case with solar, derived from natal charts . The basis for the calculation is the exact return time of the current moon to the position of the moon in the natal chart. An independent horoscope is then created, as is usually the case with solar for the place of birth or the current place of residence. According to astrological tradition and practice, the lunar is more suitable for 'fine prognoses', especially for the emotional or inner development of the person concerned according to the astrological qualities of the moon, in the period from moon-return to moon-return, i.e. for four weeks. In many cases, analogous to the solar, it is interpreted independently as well as in synastry with the natal chart.

In the progressive horoscope, progression , there is a temporal correspondence. According to this, the first day of life (24 hours) after the birth corresponds to the first year of life (365 days). The 30th day of life corresponds to the 30th year of life, etc. The positions after the birth of the sun, moon, lunar node, MC and ascendant as well as the planets can be calculated at any point in time and result in a new horoscope. It is called a progressive horoscope and is often interpreted in synastry with the natal chart. The progressive positions of the sun, moon and MC also symbolize time indicators for the year (sun p), for the month (moon p) and for the day (MC p).

Solar arc direction : sun progressive is a sun position. A day of life from birth is counted as a year of life; the first day of life corresponds to the first year. The seventh day, the seventh year, etc. Every position that the sun reaches in days after birth is called a progressive position of the sun. The angular distance between the sun radix and the sun progressive is called the solar arc . This is the individual management sheet for each person. All natal factors are directed with the solar arc. Correspondingly, the solar arc direction is usually combined with the natal chart, set in synastry, because in the solar arc horoscope itself, due to the same solar arc - for all horoscope factors such as the planets and houses - neither the house position of the planets nor the aspects between them to change.

The direction of the solar arc is justified with the assumption that the sun symbolizes everything physical as a form or vessel. For humans, the sun symbolizes the whole body with all physical, spiritual and spiritual characteristics. The body carries the human soul. That is why body and soul belong together. The person on earth takes part in the earth's journey (movement) around the sun. That is why all other natal factors can be directed with the solar arc.

Scientific classification

The tradition of creating horoscopes is based on the idea that conclusions can be drawn about future events and about a person's personality from the position and movement of the heavenly bodies. This assumption was considered scientifically plausible well into the 17th century. The astronomer Johannes Kepler , for example , who was the first to know how to calculate the planetary positions important for horoscopes at the hour of birth, also earned his living as an astrologer. Despite these improvements, the predictions' poor accuracy did not improve. From the 17th century onwards, in the course of the Enlightenment, there was a skepticism towards the astrological perspective. Astrology quickly lost its status as a science and was added to superstition . The conception of the structure of the universe and the effective forces on which the horoscope was originally based is now outdated.

In response to the recent boom in astrology since the late 1960s, scientific studies were carried out in which statements by astrologers who made them based on the interpretation of natal charts were checked. One of the most famous studies is Shawn Carlson's double blind test, published in 1985 in the journal Nature . Here, as with all other known scientific tests, natal chart interpretations do not show a hit rate that goes beyond chance. In addition, a natal chart, for example, is often interpreted differently by different astrologers and astrology directions, sometimes quite differently and sometimes even contradictingly. Therefore, from a scientific point of view, the creation and interpretation of horoscopes or natal charts does not serve to gain knowledge. Birth horoscope interpretations - and predicted events - are mostly based on so general and imprecise interpretative statements that many people feel that what has come to be known as the Barnum effect is described as being correct .


  • Andrea Bachmann-Stein: Horoscopes in the press. A model for holistic text type analysis and its application. Lang, Frankfurt am Main [a. a.] 2004 (= work on discourse and style, volume 8); also Diss. Saarbrücken 2004, ISBN 3-631-53526-0
  • Katja Furthmann: The Stars Don't Lie: A Linguistic Analysis of the Type of Text Press Horoscope. V & R Unipress, Göttingen 2006, ISBN 978-3-89971-323-7
  • Stephan Heilen : 'Hadriani genitura' - The astrological fragments of Antigonos of Nikaia . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2015.
  • James Herschel Holden: A History of Horoscopic Astrology . American Federation of Astrologers, Tempe 2006.
  • Andreas Hergovich: The psychology of astrology . Publisher Hans Huber, Bern 2005.
  • Otto Neugebauer ; Henry-Bartlett van Hoesen: Greek Horoscopes . American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia 1959.
  • John David North: Horoscopes and history. Warburg Inst., Univ. of London, London 1986, ISBN 0-85481-068-4 (Warburg Institute surveys and texts / University of London 13)
  • Francesca Rochberg: Babylonian horoscopes . American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, PA 1998, ISBN 0-87169-881-1 (Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 88.1)

Web links

Wiktionary: Horoscope  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Horoscopes  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Lars Steen Larsen / Erik Michael / Per Kjærgaard Rasmussen: Astrology - From Babylon to the Big Bang Theory, Böhlau Verlag Vienna / Cologne / Weimar 2000, page 119, ISBN 3-205-99186-9
  2. The ancient Greek word ὡροσκόπος (horoskopos) originally only referred to the ascending degree of the ecliptic ( ascendant ) for a certain moment and place in an event, e.g. B. for the birth of a human.
  3. The term cosmogram is mainly used in cosmobiology and does not depict a horoscope graphic in a 360 ° circle, and accordingly has no 'houses' or classical aspects .
  4. Jürgen Hamel : Concepts of Astrology . Verlag Harri Deutsch, Frankfurt am Main 2010, p. 302, keyword 'Horoskop'.
  5. Article 'Horoskop' in the astrological online lexicon 'Astrowiki'; accessed on December 1, 2018.
  6. Article 'The Horoscope and the Interpretation' of the astrological publishing house and astrological consultancy firm 'Astrodata'; accessed on December 1, 2018.
  7. See also a survey from 2001 by the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy , Future in the Stars? ; accessed on December 1, 2018.
  8. ^ Shawn Carlson: A double-blind test of astrology . In: Nature . 318, No. 6045, 1985, pp. 419-425. bibcode : 1985Natur.318..419C . doi : 10.1038 / 318419a0 .
  9. Hergovich, Andreas: Die Psychologie der Astrologie offers a detailed overview of the publications of empirical, scientific reviews up to 2005 . Verlag Hans Huber, Bern 2005, ISBN 3-456-84195-7 , p. 85-135 .
  10. Wolfgang Huebner : Astrology. In: Hubert Cancik , Helmuth Schneider (ed.): The new Pauly. Encyclopedia of Antiquity . Volume 2. Stuttgart 1997. pp. 123 f.
  11. Stephan Heilen : 'Hadriani genitura' - The astrological fragments of Antigonus of Nikaia . Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2015. S. 637f, S. 691, S. 693.
  12. Otto Neugebauer ; Henry-Bartlett van Hoesen: Greek Horoscopes . American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia 1959, p. 18.
  13. Article on the oldest horoscope with tracing, accessed on January 3, 2017
  14. Jürgen Hamel : Concepts of Astrology . Verlag Harri Deutsch, Frankfurt am Main 2010, p. 134, keyword 'Astrology'.
  15. ^ A b Annelies van Gijsen: Astrology I: Introduction. In: Dictionary of Gnosis and Western Esotericism , ed. Wouter J. Hanegraaff , Leiden 2006, p. 109 f.
  16. Gertrud I. Hürlimann: Astrologie: A methodically structured textbook, Oesch Verlag Zurich 2002, 10th edition, page 18f, ISBN 3-0350-1501-5
  17. ^ Fritz Riemann: Lebenshilfe Astrologie - Thoughts and Experiences, dtv Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag 2005 (20th edition), page 47, ISBN 3-423-34262-5
  18. Jürgen Hamel : Concepts of Astrology . Harri Deutsch publishing house, Frankfurt am Main 2010, p. 310, keyword 'individual astrology'.
  19. Jürgen Hamel : Concepts of Astrology . Verlag Harri Deutsch, Frankfurt am Main 2010, p. 424, keyword 'Mundanastrologie'.
  20. Bernhard Firgau: Praxisbuch mundane . Chiron Verlag, Tübingen 2007. S. 13ff.
  21. See, for example, the 2016 forecast evaluation by the Society for Scientific Investigation of Paraweek eV , accessed on December 15, 2018. The evaluation includes a. Oral astrological prognoses.
  22. Andreas Hergovich: The psychology of astrology . Verlag Hans Huber, Bern 2005, p. 74.
  23. James Herschel Holden : A History of Horoscopic Astrology . Tempe / USA 2006, p. 65, p. 144 f., P. 158, p. 187 f., P. 261.
  24. Kocku von Stuckrad : History of Astrology . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 2003. p. 28.
  25. Jürgen Hamel: Concepts of Astrology . Verlag Harri Deutsch, Frankfurt am Main 2010, p. 380, keyword 'Luanarhoroskop'.
  26. Kocku von Stuckrad: History of Astrology . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 2003. p. 28.
  27. ^ Alfred Witte: The progressive annual horoscope. "Astrologische Blätter", Linser-Verlag, Leipzig, 6th year, issue 2, May 1924, page 38. And in Alfred Witte: The human being - a receiving station for cosmic suggestions. Ludwig Rudolph (Witte-Verlag), Hamburg 1975, page 97. ISBN 3-920807-11-1
  28. ^ Carlson Shawn: A double-blind test of astrology . In: Nature . 318, December 1985, pp. 419-425. doi : 10.1038 / 318419a0 .
  29. For the scientific reviews of natal chart interpretations, see the review article by the social scientist and astrology critic Edgar Wunder in the popular scientific journal Brain & Spirit , 2008, Issue 3: The Art of Astrology . Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  30. Andreas Hergovich, Die Psychologie der Astrologie , Verlag Hans Huber, Bern 2005, offers a comprehensive and still up-to-date overview of the empirical research efforts for the purpose of checking astrological statements, especially also on natal chart interpretations, in German.
  31. ^ OJ Mason, K. Budge: Schizotype, self-referential thinking and the Barnum effect. In: Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry. Volume 42, Number 2, June 2011, pp. 145-148, ISSN  1873-7943 . doi: 10.1016 / j.jbtep.2010.11.003 . PMID 21315874 .