5 Questions for the AstroTwins

Books for Better LivingBy: Amy Leibrock via Books for Better Living

I'm not much of a follower of astrology, but I have to admit that whenever I read a profile of my sign, it rings eerily true. To get the goods on how astrology works, we caught up with Tali and Ophira Edut-aka the AstroTwins-professional astrologers and authors of Shoestrology.

Books for Better Living: We'll admit it-some of us at BBL are skeptical about astrology. I'm a cancer, but not all cancers can have the exact same personalities and problems that I have, right? Could you explain how astrology works?

Astrology Twins: The horoscopes that people read in magazines and newspapers only touch on one aspect of astrology-the "sun sign." There's plenty of merit to those predictions, but they are definitely broad and generalized. To really get the juice out of astrology, you must run a birth chart (you can do one for free on our website astrostyle.com). This is basically a snapshot of where all the planets (plus the moon) were in their orbit at your exact moment of birth; kind of a freeze-frame of the sky from our vantage point here on Earth. The planets' location in the sky is associated with one of the 12 zodiac signs, and we interpret from there. For example, we are Sagittarius sun signs, but when we were born, the moon (emotions), Venus (love), Mars (drive) and Mercury (communication) were all in the mystical sign of Scorpio. We attribute this to our fascination with life's mysteries, such as astrology. OK, our obsession!

More From Books for Better Living: 6 Ways to Soothe Your Senses

BBL: How can astrology be helpful in daily life?

AT: Knowing your birth chart helps you understand your factory settings, if you will. For example, Saturn will reveal where you'll have the biggest challenges, but also where you can find wealth. Jupiter illuminates your luck. Understanding how you're wired according to the stars is information that can be used for personal growth and evolution. You don't have to be stuck with a cosmic destiny; you can understand your unique challenges and learn how to overcome them. Also, where the planets are in their orbit will reveal a lot about trends that are coming up both in our personal lives and in the world. This can be immensely useful for planning. We use a guide called an ephemeris to track the planets and see what sign they are orbiting through. Some planets help with daily shifts, others govern longer cycles. The moon will change signs every two days, Mercury every three weeks, Saturn every two to three years.

BBL: Speaking of world events, I've heard that Mercury will be in retrograde on Election Day and that the last time that happened was when Bush and Gore were running. What could this mean for this year's election?

More From Books for Better Living: Does Natural Deodorant Really Work?

AT: We might be demanding a recount! Mercury passes the Earth in its orbit three to four times a year. From our vantage point here, it's almost like the illusion of two trains passing at different speeds, where one appears to go backwards. So when a planet passes Earth, we call it a retrograde. Mercury is the messenger planet, associated with the travel of information. Signals notoriously get scrambled during Mercury retrogrades. That Bush-Gore election was a prime example. Our recommendation: Pay extra close attention to the lever you're pushing in that voting booth!

BBL: I remember hearing about how astrology charts suddenly shifted and the dates of signs changed. What is this all about?

AT: It's true that the constellations have shifted, but they were actually just markers of each of the 12 30-degree turns the Earth makes in its circular, 360-degree orbit around the sun. So traditional Western astrology still works, we just don't have the constellations as our visual signposts anymore; we have to rely on geometry. There is a lot of math in astrology-it's complex!

BBL: What if you do not feel the typical stereotypes of your sign apply to you?

More From Books for Better Living: 5 Questions for Nate Berkus

AT: This is usually explained by the birth chart. Like we said earlier, we are Sagittarius sun signs, so we read a lot about being happy-go-lucky travelers. While we definitely have those traits, the Scorpio influence trumps that. Like Scorpios, we often find that we like to get anchored in once place rather than bounce around the globe. So for people who don't fit their sign, go to our site and run a free chart-you'll be amazed by what is illuminated by the other planets in your chart, especially in the moon sign which rules the emotional temperament.

Follow the AstroTwins on Twitter @astrotwins.

Related Articles From Books for Better Living:
How to Harmonize Your Mind, Body and Life With Autumn
Homes That Inspire: 'Handmade Houses'
6 Ways to Make Music With Your Kids