Do horoscopes really define a person

Astrology: How do horoscopes work and can you believe in them?

What will happen in the new year 2015? Many people ask horoscopes for this. That means boom for astrologers at the moment. Nobody can definitely answer what will happen in 2015. For everything else related to horoscopes, here are some of the most important questions and answers.

What is it actually, a horoscope?

Roughly speaking, a look at the stars at a specific point in time. "The horoscope is like a snapshot of the precisely calculated planetary levels," says Heidi Treier, who works as an astrologer in Cologne. The star interpreters try to deduce fate from this. The horoscope at the time of a person's birth is particularly important for astrologers - this is why they need precise time and place information. "Experience has shown that in 50 percent of cases the information given by mothers about the time of birth is inaccurate," says Treier. She advises going to the registry office. The current planet status is also included in a daily forecast. "You can then derive a trend from the combination," says astrologer Petra Dörfert.

How do the astrologers get the planetary data?

Classically, they look it up in rather thick tomes. "The star positions are noted in these for each day - all for midnight," explains astrologer Treier. The information from the books can then be converted to a desired time. Of course, there are now computer programs for this. Such advice can sometimes cost several hundred euros. Horoscopes that are sorted according to the zodiac signs only use the rough position of the sun at birth.

Who Believes in Horoscopes?

More like women. In a 2012 survey by TNS Infratest commissioned by Reader's Digest magazine, 31 percent of the women questioned said that they believe that the stars have an influence on their lives - even if it is not the only one. Of the men, only 15 percent agreed with this statement. On the other hand, more than every second man declared that he did not read horoscopes and did not believe in any influence from the cosmos. Only 28 percent of women saw it that way.

How long have horoscopes existed?

Astrology is ancient. "The idea that you look at the movements of the sky and deduce what is happening is very old. It already existed in Mesopotamia in the 2nd millennium before our time," says the science historian Arianna Borrelli. Belief in the power of the stars only really began to shake with the Renaissance. More and more people voiced criticism and, in short, thought the work of astrologers was nonsense. "Criticism prevailed from around the 18th century. After that there was always a revival - but no longer as a scientific discipline," says Borrelli.

Is there still criticism of astrologers today?

Plenty, which also has to do with the fact that there are some dubious figures on the market. The German Astrological Association, for example, asks its members to sign that they will never prophesy a time of death. "It becomes problematic if you take the prognoses too seriously. You try to banish the imponderable - but the future cannot be banished," says psychologist Werner Gross, who heads the working group on religious psychology, spirituality and psychomarket at the psychologists' association. "When a prophecy occurs, it is almost more problematic than a prophecy that does not occur. Then you may start to believe in the nonsense." dpa / AZ