Texas Cheerleader Scandal

 

Some describe the Texas cheerleader scandal as a case of “girls gone wild”, and others would say that it’s a case of parenting gone badly. Either way, no one denies the behavior and antics of the 2005 senior cheerleaders on the North McKinney High School squad were a serious problem.

 

The Allegations

 

The seniors on the North McKinney High School squad, known as “The Fab Five”, caused a scandal to erupt when they posed in racy photos while wearing their uniforms and posted the photos on MySpace. However, what was shocking was that the photos were but a simple reflection of four years of bad behavior from the girls known as the “Fab Five”. Upon further investigation, Harold Jones, a Dallas attorney hired to investigate the situation, found numerous parties at fault, including the administration and the cheerleading coach. Lifetime network made a movie about the girls’ antics as well.

 

 

 

Cheerleaders Behaving Badly

The infamous photos depicted the girls in a variety of compromising situations. Girls in bikinis sharing bottles of booze with other girls, girls in risqué poses giving glimpses of their underwear and the final straw: the Fab Five posed (in uniform no less) at a Condoms to Go store holding candles that were shaped like a penis. One of the girls appeared to be simulating oral sex. The photos were posted on MySpace.

 

While the Fab Five photos became the center of the media storm, it was Michaela Ward, the cheerleading coach, who was forced to resign when, according to her, all efforts to discipline the girls were undermined by the administration.

 

However, when Harold Jones began his investigation, he noted that the photos were merely depicting what had become a four year tyranny of the Fab Five. One teacher said that the girls were so untouchable, gang members were easier to deal with. Resisting all discipline both in the classroom as well as on the squad, it seems that the girls were enabled to the highest degree.

 

Where Were the Parents?

Perhaps one of the most sited quotes from Harold Jones’ final report on the entire incident was that he was struck by the hesitation of the adults in the situation to step up and be adults. Notably, Linda Theret, the principal of North McKinney high school, was also the mother of one of the cheerleaders. She was accused of not only failing to discipline the girls, but also of covering up their antics to allow them to stay on the squad and continue behaving badly.

 

 

 

Michaela Ward: Whistle Blower

Since the girls refused any sort of discipline, they went through five coaches in three years. It was Michaela Ward who was their final coach, and it was her that brought what she felt was a culture of entitlement to a halt. Perhaps making the school administration look worse, they released a public attack on her character and accused her of making false allegations. She still remains friends with some of the girls and actually works for one of the girls’ parents. She sued the school district and in many ways became the scapegoat goat of this story.

 

Who’s At Fault in the Texas Cheerleader Scandal?

 

Who is at fault in this story really depends on whose side you believe. Now that there has a been a full investigation, most people are inclined to believe Harold Jones and note that what was missing was a lack of adults willing to be the adult. He sites:

 

Michaela Ward for befriending and enabling the girls

Linda Theret, the then-principal of North McKinney High, for covering up scandals and failing to discipline the girls

Other teachers for choosing career advancement over stepping up (He notes that teachers were being verbally abused and bullied and could’ve said something to the district, but did not so as not to affect their careers.)

The girls for simply being disobedient and running amok

The assistant principal for looking the other way

The media for running amok with a story and sensationalizing it to make more money

According to Jones, no one in this situation is innocent. However, every tale has several sides.

 

The Girls and Their Families

The girls note that their coach, Michaela Ward, was their buddy and tried to get chummy with them. According to the girls, Ward never disciplined them.

 

Linda Theret

Theret lost her job as principal over the incidents. However, she maintains that those who were in authority over her resisted her efforts to discipline the girls.

 

Michaela Ward

According to Ward, she was the only solid voice of reason in the situation. She certainly walked away in the best shape. While the district and the media slammed her character, she is still coaching cheerleading and working on her Masters. She sued the school district for wrongful termination and defamation, but eventually dropped the suit.

 

Parenting Gone Badly

 

Regardless of how you look at the Texas cheerleader scandal, there is little doubt that the girls should’ve been given firmer boundaries and that their parents, including Linda Theret, needed to step in. What is especially sad about the situation is that it all was preventable had their parents done the right thing earlier. Now the girls have gone on to college and reports are that they are doing well.

 

 

How Long to Wait Before Having Sex? Tips from an Expert

 

An important question every person and couple faces is how long to wait before having sex when dating. Sex is a very wonderful experience, but it can also cause a lot of pain as well. Relationship expert Aline P. Zoldbrod, Ph.D., or “Dr. Z.” as she is also known, says that if you want emotionally fulfilling sex within a relationship, there are many things you should consider before having sex. Dr. Z is a licensed psychologist and a certified sex therapist. She is author of the book, Sex Smart, and has a private practice just outside of Boston, MA.

 

The Emotional Dangers of Having Sex Too Early

 

LoveToKnow (LTK): The media often portrays sex and dating as having no risks besides pregnancy or disease. Is that all you have to worry about when having sex? Are there any emotional dangers?

 

Aline P. Zolbrod (AZ): Yes, there are most certainly emotional dangers when you have sex with another person. In some ways, it’s easier to have mind-blowing, exciting sex with a stranger. But if it is intimate and emotionally satisfying sex you want, that usually comes from having sex with someone who you trust–someone with whom you can communicate; especially, someone that you can ask to touch you in a certain way or in a certain place.

 

 

Looking at the statistics on alcoholism, family violence, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse and neglect, it is clear that at least a quarter of men and women in the U.S. have grown up in families where they learned it is not safe to trust others. In my book SexSmart, I talk about being able to trust as an important ingredient in being able to have emotionally-connected sex with another person.

 

When you have sex too early in the dating process, you’re essentially having sex with a stranger. You risk getting hurt emotionally. If you come from a background where you already have experienced others as untrustworthy and not interested at all in your feelings, experimenting with empty or disappointing sex can further your general feelings of alienation from others, vulnerability, and depression.

 

Emotional Dangers for Women

LTK: What specific emotional dangers should women be aware of?

 

AZ: Women need to be honest about what they want in life, not just tonight, but looking down the road a few years. If you’re a woman and you just want casual sex, in most cases, you won’t have any trouble finding it. But my rule for my female clients is, “Remember, it’s not about who wants to SLEEP with you tonight, it’s about who wants to DEAL with you, long term.”

 

It’s tough to be a woman nowadays. Most of us have had periods where we feel unattractive. However, as they get older, past high school and even college, many women who previously felt unappealing finally come into their own look, but there’s a danger in this new found allure.

 

 

I see women get intoxicated by their sexual power over men, but at the end of the game, it’s often the women who lose.

 

It’s amusing and flattering to dress up and go out on the town and watch the guys drop at your feet. It’s amazing and almost addicting to access your inner Venus, Goddess of Love. Guys are so visual, and if you look good, they can be putty in your hands. However, at the end of the night, if he “fell into your trap,” you “get him,” you have sex, and then, you get treated shabbily and get discarded, you didn’t win, you lost.

 

My practice is full of wonderful women who make bad sexual choices when dating. For women who are looking for an emotional, committed relationship, it’s dangerous to your future mental health to have a lot of experiences where you have been used sexually. It makes you bitter toward men, and your bitterness is apparent when you talk. It might turn off a future guy, one who actually likes you for your personality and might want an intimate and committed relationship.

 

Emotional Dangers for Men

LTK: Can men get hurt emotionally by sex as well?

 

AZ: Sure, and they do all the time. It comes as a great shock to men, since they go into casual sexual escapades thinking that there is no such thing as bad sex. But there are some stupid and shallow women out there, and they can say mean things–about your physique, your staying power, you name it, and you won’t forget what they said. Also, men’s erectile abilities are much more vulnerable to psychological attack than most men realize. So, if you meet up with a cruel, drunk, or exceedingly uneducated or demanding woman (however hot she may be), she does have the capacity to say something that will give you sexual insecurity going forward.

 

Bad Sexual Experiences

 

LTK: How might a bad sexual experience in a past relationship affect future (or current) relationships?

 

AZ: Feelings about whether one is lovable, sexually competent, or sexually appealing are central to self esteem. I’ve heard more than my share of stories of horrific sexual experiences, ones which do lasting damage. People tend to think that actions are more important than words, but cruel comments about one’s sexual prowess or about body parts or shapes stick in people’s minds, potentially forever, creating insecurity in future sexual relationships.

 

If you run into a partner who rudely criticizes, for instance, the shape of your breasts, the kind of stimulation you need, the length of your penis, etc., please run the other way. By the way, these kinds of negative sexual experiences can be treated and often cured. A treatment technique called EMDR is helpful here.

 

LTK: Are some people unaware that they had or are having a bad sexual experience? What signs or symptoms should individuals look for?

 

AZ: I find that people do recognize a bad sexual experience, but there are people who have one after another bad experience sexually and find that they cannot stop this self destructive pattern. I do find that there are people who compulsively use sex as a means of trying to find love, or as a means of working through some other conflict. Here are a few signs of bad sexual experiences:

 

The person treats you like an object

You feel depressed afterwards

You obsess about whether you have just contracted an STD or AIDS

You feel ashamed or regret it

You keep the extent of your sexual activities from your friends and family

You felt degraded by what you did or how you were treated

You wanted to say no to any part of the experience but didn’t

Great Sex or Great Love?

 

LTK: Do some people confuse sex with love? How can you tell the difference between “great sex” and “great love?”

 

AZ: This is the million dollar issue. If you jump into sex early in dating someone, only time can help you tell whether what you are experiencing is great sex or great love.

 

Sex addles our minds. The chemical baths our brains are soaked in when we experience lust seem to shut down our rational thought processes. Lust sure feels like love. The massive amount of oxytocin released during sex in women seems to cause women to bond more strongly and disengage with greater difficulty once a relationship has progressed to a sexual dimension.

 

Let’s face it, flirting and going out to a nice restaurant, a ball game, or an exciting concert is fun and exhilarating with all but the most boring companion. If you do have fun, you have just established whom you can have fun with under the very best circumstances and nothing more.

 

Love is forged in the flames of enduring trying times together. So, try not to get sexually attached prematurely, and just wait and see. Life’s ups and downs are so reliable that you’ll soon see how much your dating partner cares about you.

 

How to Handle Pressure When You’re Not Ready

 

LTK: If someone in a relationship doesn’t want to have sex yet, what should he or she do if their partner pressures for sex or threatens to break up?

 

AZ: Have a long talk with them about what sex with you means to them. Talk about what it means to you. What would you need to have, in the realm of assurances, to want to have sex with them? If after that, you can’t come to a meeting of the minds, you could get some outside help, particularly if you suspect that you’re being unreasonably neurotic or inhibited. But if you feel it’s not a match, and you are unmoved in your point of view, then throw them back and keep fishing.

 

Are You Ready?

 

LTK: What is the best way for a couple to determine they are emotionally ready to have sex?

 

AZ: This is a huge question and there is no right or wrong answer. It would depend on each person’s values. Certainly, make sure that you match up on the fun vs. future relationship dimension. And if you’re serious about the future, slow down and gather data about the person–their values, their ideas about what a future life should look like, etc.

 

Assuming that they are interested in a serious relationship, then along with the discussion about birth control, medical histories, etc., they should consider the following:

 

You should know that they are who they say them are

You should know a lot about them and their family

You should feel that this person “gets” who you are–that they know how you think and what you feel about a range of important topics. This comes from having spent enough non-sexual time together in conversation with each other.

You should feel that the two of you have important things in common other than just sexual attraction

 

Understand what role sex would play in the entire context of your relationship.

You should understand and agree together as to whether this will be sexually monogamous.

You should feel emotionally intimate enough with them to talk about what you like and don’t like sexually.

How Long Should You Wait?

 

When trying to determine how long to wait before having sex when dating, Dr. Z’s advice will help you figure out what is best for you and your relationship. For more information about Dr. Z, to learn more about her books or to find contact information, visit SexSmart.com.

 

 

Sex Contracts

 

If you’ve dated in the last couple of decades, you’ve probably come across the concept of signing a pre-sex contract as a means of protecting yourself against possible legal repercussion.

 

 

 

Why a Sex Contract?

 

With the growing awareness about what constitutes a sex-related crime, men in particular are looking for ways to protect themselves against any misconduct charges or unwanted pregnancy that may result from dating and sexual relations.

 

Misconceptions

 

One of the most common misconceptions about a sex contract is that it will protect you against rape charges. No matter how many contracts your date signs, the option to say “no” cannot be signed away. However, a sex contract may at least provide proof that your partner did at least initially agree to sex; and while it is unlikely it would prevent you from being charged with statutory rape, at least you can prove that you have asked the question.

 

A sex contract is also not likely to absolve you of your legal and financial obligations in the event of a pregnancy. The court is likely to argue that a woman does not have the legal right to sign away a child’s right to support.

 

What a Contract Can Do For You

 

The legality of a pre-sex contract is debatable. Even so, it does serve a purpose when dating. A carefully considered contract will make sure you and your partner have a mutual understanding of what is about to happen, any sexual health issues you may have, and what sort of birth control is in place.

 

Some common issues addressed in sex contracts include:

 

Marital Status

Confirms parties are of legal age of consent (this will vary by state)

Birth control methods

Disclosure of sexually transmitted diseases

Actions permitted during intercourse

Acknowledgement that your partner’s judgment is not impaired by alcohol or drugs

Sex contracts for those who enjoy fetishes, extreme lifestyles, and role-playing may be more explicit and include such issues as safe words, who may participate, boundaries, or costuming requirements.

 

 

Sex Contract Samples

 

Learn More About Sex! SOURCE

At Sex-Contract.com you can find contracts designed for:

 

Consent from a Straight Man

Consent from a Straight Woman

Consent from a Lesbian

Consent from a Gay Male

Legal Disclaimer

 

Remember that a sex contract may or may not provide you any legal protection in a court of law. If you are concerned about protecting your legal rights, consult a local attorney and educate yourself about the sex laws of your state.For more information, visit:

 

SexLaws.org

Victims of Crime

Teens Health Date Rape article

BBC News article about new date rape legislature in the UK

 

 

In Conclusion

 

While many may argue that sex contracts take the romance out of dating, it is important to ensure that both you and your partner understand the ramifications of intercourse before you begin. A contract may be just the thing to help take some of the awkwardness out of what many might consider an embarrassing situation. By taking the time to treat sex as a serious act that may lead to serious consequences, you may actually be opening the door to better communication with your date; and better communication can lead to a more enjoyable sexual experience for both of you.

 

 

Things Girls Hate About Guys

 

If you get on her nerves but are not sure why you should become familiar with the things girls hate about guys. Knowing what makes her tick – and ticks her off, will help you avoid conflict in your relationship.

 

 

 

The Things Girls Hate About Guys

 

Love relationships have their exciting moments like the first kiss and the first caress, but over time certain activities seem less “cute” to women and more irritating. The same natural tension that is titillating in the beginning can wear thin on both parties. Since men and women communicate and process information in different ways, this is often a source of contention. For women who have a strong desire to talk and exchange “feelings” this difference may be frustrating. There is no hard list of all the things girls hate about guys but there are some general dislikes you should be aware of.

 

Saying I Love You

Girls like hearing genuine affirming words like “You are beautiful” but more importantly they need to hear, “I love you.” On the other side of the coin, saying “I love you” before, after or even during sex does not count.

 

Refusing to Talk

Women not only like to talk, they need to. Refusing to talk because you are mad or you are ignoring her is inconsiderate and her needs are not being met. Girls hate it when you do not answer your phone, return a text or walk away during a disagreement.

 

Does Not Call

When a guy does not call as promised, girls take it personally, especially if the two have been intimate. Regardless of how casual the relationship, call when you promise, or do not promise.

 

Being Ignored

If friends come over, do not ignore your wife or girlfriend. This move is disrespectful and shows how much you do not care. Your friends will take their manners from you.

 

Insecurity

No one likes dating a clingy, insecure guy. Girls hate it when guys call constantly, ask dozens of nosy questions and give ultimatums. Jealousy is also a huge turn off. Ladies prefer men who display quiet confidence but avoid sounding arrogant. She does not want to hear a list of all your accomplishments.

 

Bad Language

Many girls do not like listening to salty language. Show some respect for your girl and display some manners by using proper language. Many women do not find cussing sexy and prefer not to be around uncouth people. Skip the cuss words when hanging out with your girl.

 

Poor Hygiene

Drowning yourself in cologne to mask bad body odor never works. Girls dislike being around guys who do not take care of themselves. Shower daily and wash your hair. Also, brush your teeth frequently. Take pride in your appearance by dressing in trendy clothing and get a nice haircut. If the two of you cross the path of one of her family members or a friend, then she may feel embarrassed. Being intimate with someone who smells is never pleasant either.

 

 

 

Lying

Women hate being lied to and many women see lying as a valid reason to cease a relationship. Telling lies about where you have been or whom you were with will never pay off in the end. Lying about your job, your family or your past is also a big no-no.

 

Most things girls hate about guys can be reversed. Turn her head by being a good listener and by acting like a gentleman.

 

 

13th Astrology Sign

 

The news media rocked with the announcement of a 13th astrology sign discovery. While the world buzzed with this news, astrology experts yawned.

 

How It Started: Sensationalism Creates Confusion

 

Media sensationalism seems to be responsible for presenting the 13th sign as a brand new discovery when, in truth, it simply regurgitated a very old, not-so-newsworthy tidbit. In fairness, perhaps it was a discovery for those who weren’t familiar with the lines that separate astrology from astronomy.

 

Controversy Erupts

The news that there is a new 13th astrology sign, was accompanied by even bigger news; that everyone was actually a different sign from what they believed. While this seemed like an amazing revelation to the general population, especially anyone with limited astrology knowledge, astrologers simply shook their heads. A deep misunderstanding of astrology and astronomy was the real culprit of the controversy and subsequent confusion.

 

Who Said There’s a 13th Sign?

The story began in what seemed to be a routine interview with Parke Kunkle, Minneapolis Community and Technical College astronomy professor. The interview centered around star precessions through constellations, which is the natural shifting of constellations in relationship to the earth turning on its axis. During this interview, Kunkle discussed the precession of stars over the last three thousand years and mentioned that the sun now resides in a different constellation.

 

Media Blitz

What followed the interview was a worldwide media blitz fueled by social networking. Those who didn’t understand the difference between astronomy’s constellations and astrology’s zodiac signs jumped to the conclusion that if the sun was in a different constellation, all of the astrology zodiac signs must also be in different constellations. Further incorrect conclusions were then drawn that every person who’d ever looked up their astrological sign had the wrong sign.

 

Astrology Not Really Based on Constellations

 

If you understand astrology, you quickly realize after reading about Ophiuchus, the supposedly new 13th zodiac sign, that it’s like comparing apples to oranges, or in this case, constellations to astrology signs. Since Ophiuchus is a constellation and not an astrological sun sign, it’s incorrect to call it an astrological sign, since it has nothing to do with tropical astrology.

 

Constellations Versus Astrology Signs

To understand why there isn’t a 13th sign in tropical astrology, you must first understand the difference between constellations, astrology signs and sidereal astrology.

 

 

 

A constellation is a group of stars usually visible in the night sky. Historically, these groups have been depicted in various shapes and patterns, known as the zodiac. This is a term shared and used by both astronomy and astrology, but that’s where the similarities end. Perhaps it’s because both sciences share the same term that some people confused the 13th sign with astrology.

 

Understanding an Astrological Sun Sign

 

Astrology is a season-based system that recognizes the four seasons of nature: winter, spring, summer and fall. These seasons are earth-bound, meaning their relationship is with the sun’s movement, not the movement of constellations. Each of the four seasons contains a group of three sun signs (quadruplicities) that create a total of 12 zodiac or sun signs. The quadruplicities are cardinal, fixed and mutable. These twelve signs are separated from each other by 30 degrees to complete a 360 degree circle. Each degree is assigned a specific characteristic.

 

Cardinal signs represent seasonal changes:

 

Aries (spring)

Cancer (summer)

Libra (autumn)

Capricorn (winter)

Fixed signs are unchanging:

 

Taurus

Leo

Scorpio

Aquarius

Mutable signs are changeable:

 

Gemini

Virgo

Sagittarius

Pisces

These are some very simplistic and basic principles of astrology, but quickly demonstrate how they have nothing to do with star precession through constellations.

 

Ophiuchus, the 13th Sign

 

Ophiuchus is neither a newly discovered constellation nor is it significant to tropical astrology. Ophiuchus is just a constellation and is depicted in modern symbolism as a human male holding a snake (constellation Serpens) in one of his hands. To put Ophiuchus into perspective, it helps to know a little more about the historical references of this constellation and the history of astrology. Claudius Ptolemy (90 AD – 168 AD) is credited as being the father of astrology. In his astrology doctrine, Tetrabiblos, he discusses only 12 zodiac signs, but is aware of Ophiuchus, the constellation, along with all the other constellations.

 

Did Astrologers Just Ignore Ophiuchus?

Many people incorrectly assume that astrologers simply chose to ignore the 13th sign, citing all kinds of probable reasons. However, it’s clear from Ptolemy’s writings that the 13th sign was never lost or forgotten. It simply isn’t a zodiac sign and has no place in the tropical zodiac wheel.

 

Tropical Versus Sidereal (Vedic) Astrology

Almost 2,000 years ago, a group of astrologers decided to change from a tropical (earth-based) astrology system and created a fixed-star astrology (constellation-based) form. In doing this, they chose to add Ophiuchus, a fixed star constellation, into their new astrology system, increasing the number of signs to 13. This is the most important thing to understand about the difference between tropical and sidereal astrology.

 

Another very important difference is that in order to create this new constellation-based astrology, the sidereal astrologers assigned the sun signs to specific stars. For example, Aries was no longer the fixed ecliptic beginning point of zero on the astrological wheel of the 360 degrees.

 

What It Means for Your Chart

You may wonder what significance Ophiuchus has in regards to your individual astrological chart. Unless you follow sidereal astrology, it has absolutely no significance or impact on your astrological chart. Your sign hasn’t miraculously changed overnight. Once the fog masking this controversy clears, it’s easy to see that this is simply a case of two differing factions in astrology; the western/tropical system, and the Vedic/sidereal system. It’s up to you to decide which system rings most true, and which you prefer to use.

 

Moving Beyond the 13th Astrology Sign

 

The 13th astrology sign misunderstanding certainly rocked many people’s perceptions about which sign they were, if for only a brief moment. It also opened a door for educating the general population about astrology and helped clarify what it is, and more importantly, what western astrology isn’t.

 

 

Constellation Sagittarius

About Constellation Sagittarius

 

Constellation Sagittarius can be observed from the northern and southern hemispheres between June and early September. The Romans named this group of stars Sagittarius from the Latin word for arrow, Sagitta.

 

 

 

In the Eye of the Beholder

Many modern stargazers believe the constellation Sagittarius actually resembles a teapot instead of the Greek centaur aiming his bow and arrow toward Scorpio.

 

Follow the Milky Way South

The constellation Sagittarius is compromised of bright stars that make it easy to observe. You can find it in the center of the Milky Way just between Capricorn (horned male goat) and Ophiuchus (snake-holder).

 

Abundance of Nebulae

You will discover an abundance of nebulae and open star clusters with Sagittarius.

 

Nebulae: This is the plural word for the Latin word, Nebula, which means cloud. A nebula is a cloud of hydrogen gas, plasma and dust found in outer space.

Open Star Clusters: Clusters are composed of thousands of stars that were created within the same giant molecular cloud. These stars are bound together by gravity and are only found in spiral and irregular galaxies where there’s still star formation activity.

You can use any of the following as astronomical points of reference in locating the constellation Sagittarius:

 

M-8 – The Lagoon Nebula

M-17 – The Omega or Swan Nebula

M-20 – The Trifid Nebula

M-22 – Globular cluster

M-24 – The Small Sagittarius Star Cloud

Black Hole Connection

Sagittarius A* is one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way that’s located in the center of the constellation Sagittarius. It’s believed to be the location of what scientists call a super massive black hole. However, scientists can’t view Sgr A* clearly because of massive clouds of cosmic dust that cloak the Milky Way.

 

Associated Lore

 

The Archer

In Latin, Sagittarius means archer and is the ninth astrological sign in the zodiac wheel. This masculine, mutable, fire sign is ruled by Jupiter. The icon symbol for Sagittarius is an arrow.

 

Mythology

The Archer was a centaur which was a half-man and half-horse Greek mythological creature. The centaur’s torso was human while the lower body was that of a horse. The Greek mythological hero, Chiron, was said to be the immortal king of the centaurs. However, some versions of the myth say he was not truly a centaur.

 

 

 

Chiron was born out of wedlock to the Greek god, Saturn, and the sea nymph, Philyra. Saturn would transform into a horse whenever he wanted to be with his mistress, Philyra. When Philyra became pregnat with Chiron, the baby was born half-human and half-horse. Chiron was regarded as a birth defect, not a centaur. His mother abandoned him and he grew up alone until Apollo took him in. This may account for Chiron being so different from the other robust, drinking, wild centaurs.

 

Chiron became a reputed sage. In fact, he was considered so wise the Greek kings sent their sons to train with him in preparation for their future roles as kings. Hercules was one of his students and accidentally shot Chiron with a poison arrow during a misunderstanding with the centaur tribe.

 

Chiron was unable to heal his wound and endured great suffering. In his quest to find a cure, he became the father of the healing arts. Eventually, he asked the gods to let him replace Prometheus. (The gods had condemned Prometheus to an eternity chained to a rock where every day an eagle would tear out his liver and eat it. Every night, Prometheus’s liver would grow back. This was Prometheus’s punishment from taking fire from the Underworld and giving it to the humans. Hercules had pleaded with his father, Zeus (Jupiter) to release Prometheus should he find someone willing to take the condemned man’s place.)

 

Chiron felt that by taking Prometheus’s place, he could transform something tragic into something positive with a beneficial result to mankind. Zeus (Jupiter) exalted Chiron into the stars to honor the centaur’s noble spirit. Chiron became the archer with his arrow pointed toward Scorpio’s heart, ever watchful to make sure Scorpio could never harm anyone.

 

Astrology: Sagittarius

 

In astrology, Sagittarius is the ninth sign in the zodiac wheel. If you were born between November 22 and December 21, then your sun sign is Sagittarius.

 

Traits and Characteristics

Sagittarians are very loyal friends. They are full of energy and are always thinking. Sagittarians are freedom-lovers, second only to Geminis.

 

Other traits:

 

Positive thinkers

Adventurous

Athletic

High moral code

Risk-takers

Optimistic – Often blindly

Courageous

Sense of Justice

Can be blunt

Constellation Sagittarius: More Than Myth

 

The uniqueness of the constellation Sagittarius and its cosmic mysteries are appropriately assigned to the intriguing mythological creature, Chiron, the Archer.

 

 

Constellation Scorpio

The constellation Scorpio is mired in myth, and shines brilliantly in the nighttime sky.

 

The Constellation Scorpio

 

The word “Scorpio” itself is Latin for “scorpion”, and the constellation of Scorpio sits snugly between Libra (on its west) and Sagittarius (on its east). Luckily, it’s one of the easier constellations to find because it hosts a bevy of bright starts, including:

 

Antares

Dschubba

Sargas

Shaula

Lesath

Since the constellation sits almost at the very heart of the Milky Way, it contains a number of what scientists consider “deep sky objects”, like that of:

 

Messier 6 (the Butterfly Cluster)

Messier 7 (the Ptolemy Cluster)

Messier 4

Messier 80

Consider, as well, some of the following facts:

 

Abbreviation: Sco

Right Ascension: 16 hours, 53 minutes and 15 seconds

Declination: -30 degrees, 44”

Covers an Area of: 497 square degrees

Meteor Showers: Alpha Scorpiids, and Omega Scorpiids

Bordering Constellations include:

 

Sagittarius

Ophiuchus

Libra

Lipus

Norma

Ara

Crona Australis

Take particular note of the star of Ophiuchus. This is referred to (in reference to Nostradamus and the Maya) as the thirteenth or “secret” sign, and is depicted as a man holding a serpent.

 

 

The constellation Scorpio was of particular importance to both Nostradamus and the Maya because it, along with the constellation of Sagittarius, is housed at the heart of the Milky Way, the “seat” of galactic power. Moreover, it should be noted that both Scorpio’s “tail” or “stinger” and Sagittarius’s “bow” point directly to this “serpent” constellation.

 

General Scorpio Characteristics

 

Each sign has certain general characteristics associated with it. Scorpio no different:

 

Elemental: Scorpio, and by extension, the constellation Scorpio, is a very elemental sign. What this means is that factors that fall under this sign’s domain are often stripped down to their purest form. This includes any of the astrological houses, planets and aspects related to Scorpio.

Secretive: Scorpios tend to be quiet, and some of the other more boisterous zodiac signs may interpret this as secretiveness.

Survivors: Those with this astrological sign are born survivors, and even when pushed to the brink, they will usually find a limitless reserve of strength.

 

 

Myth Associated with Scorpio

 

Scorpio rules the cycle of life, death and birth, and many of the myths associated with the constellation Scorpio reflects this. One such myth deals with the adventures of Gilgamesh. This is one of the oldest hero stories, dating back to Sumeria in 2,100 BC. It’s also known as The Myths of Aquarius and Uranus.

 

All about his ability to test his mettle, Gilgamesh, a Sumerian king, takes a journey that requires him to cross treacherous territory that’s guarded by two lions (Leo), a bull (Taurus) and “scorpion men”. After battling the two lions, Gilgamesh is then forced to walk through a thirty-six mile tunnel that has no light whatsoever.

 

Once Gilgamesh emerges from this dark passage way, he comes upon a magical, glittering place where jewels are literally hanging off the branches of the trees. It’s this journey though darkness and the subsequent rewards of enlightenment that are representative of the trials and tribulations of Scorpio.

 

Putting It All Together

 

The constellation Scorpio, along with Sagittarius, is one of the more intriguing in the sky if only because it contains so many layers. The symbol itself, the scorpion, evokes very powerful emotions of replusion and fear. However, when that imagery is combined with some of the ancient text and myths, the plot thickens. No matter what school of thought you follow, be it astronomy, astrology or both, one thing everyone can agree on that is that this zodiac sign and its constellation continue to fascinate the imagination.

 

 

Constellation Virgo

Constellation Virgo is the sixth zodiac sign and the second largest constellation.

About Constellation Virgo

 

Alhough the sun sign birth dates for Virgo are for those born between August 23 and September 22, the constellation Virgo does not appear in the sky until around mid to late September and is visible until mid to late October.

 

Finding the constellation in the sky may be a bit difficult without the aid of a telescope since most of the stars in this large constellation are relatively faint except for its leading star, Spica. The name Spica means “ear of wheat” and this star is the 15th brightest in the sky. In order to find Spica, all you have to do is follow the curve of the Big Dipper’s “handle”.

 

Finding the Constellation Virgo

Once you’ve located the Big Dipper’s handle, create an imaginary arc to the next brightest star. This is the star Arcturus. Next, create another imaginary line straight down and slightly to the left from Arcturus to the next brightest star. This star is Spica in the constellation Virgo.

 

Major Stars in Virgo

Aside from its largest star, Spica, Virgo is home to some of the brightest stars in the universe, including:

 

Zavijava: Also known as Beta Virginis, Zavijava is the fifth brightest star in the universe.

Porrima: This star is also known as Gamma Virginis and Arich. Porrima is a binary star, so it’s actually made up of two stars.

Auva: Also known as Delta Virginis, this star is easily visible with the naked eye and ranks 11th of the brightest stars.

Galaxies in the Constellation Virgo

 

There are over 2,000 galaxies within Virgo. These galaxies are referred to as the Virgo Galaxy Cluster. The galaxies in Virgo were first discovered by French astronomer Charles Messier. Messier catalogued his Virgo Galaxy Cluster findings as well as many other nebulae and star clusters in his Catalog of Nebulae and Star Clusters, published in the late 1700s.

 

 

Markarain’s Chain

The group of galaxies located at the center of the Constellation Virgo is named Markarain’s Chain. This chain is said to contain at least eight galaxies (some astronomers argue that there are more).

 

Markarain’s Chain is the nearest group of galaxies to the Local Group of galaxies, which includes the Milky Way. Many astronomers believe that at least seven of the galaxies are original to the chain while the others have been drawn into the chain via its gravitational pull.

 

 

 

The gravitational pull of the constellation and its galaxies affects the Milky Way. Although the Milky Way is currently gravitating away from Virgo and its galaxy clusters, many astronomers state that the Milky Way will eventually begin gravitating toward Virgo’s galaxy clusters.

 

Virgo Lore and Mythology

 

Being the only female figure in the zodiac, Virgo has ties to just about every major goddess in folklore and mythology including:

 

Ishtar

Isis

Demeter

Ceres

The most well known story is the one of Demeter and her daughter Persephone.

 

Demeter and Persephone

The earth goddess Demeter is the sister of Zeus. Zeus ordered Demeter to marry Poseidon, but she refused and instead married a mortal who was a farmer. Upon finding out that his sister had defied him, Zeus killed the farmer and impregnated Demeter with their daughter, Persephone.

 

All the gods and goddesses loved Persephone, including Hades. One day while Persephone was out picking flowers, Hades opened up the earth and Persephone fell in. The god of the underworld had fallen in love with Persephone and decided to keep her as his prisoner.

 

Meanwhile, Demeter searched for her daughter all across the earth, but did not find her. As a result of her despondence, all the vegetation on the earth began to die. Zeus, tiring of everything on Earth dying, sent Hermes out to bring Persephone back. Hades agreed to let Persephone go, only if she hadn’t eaten anything since she had been in the underworld. Persephone had just eaten seven pomegranate seeds (the number varies) before Hermes came to retrieve her.

 

It was Rhea, the mother of Zeus, Demeter and Hades, who came up with a solution: Persephone spends half the year with Hades in the underworld and the other half on earth with her mother. During the time she spends with her mother, the earth flourishes. When she has to go back to be with her husband Hades, plants, trees and flowers begin dying due to a depressed and despondent Earth Goddess Demeter.

 

As a way of pleasing his sister and preventing everything on the earth from dying, Zeus created a picture of Persephone in the stars, known as the constellation Virgo.

 

 

Egyptian Astrology

The history and contributions of Egyptian astrology to the current field of astrology remain relatively unknown to the Westernized world. Although astrology is largely considered a pseudo-science, it is interesting to note that it developed in a similar fashion as the legitimate sciences; through constant theorizing, testing and revisions. The Hellenistic zodiac system that consists of twelve signs has, in many ways, been influenced by Egyptian astrology, as is the modern day approach to predictive and client-centered astrology.

 

 

 

About Egyptian Astrology

 

Egypt today has its own form of astrology that largely resembles the Greco/Roman classical form. There are websites and astrologers that use an individual’s birth date to determine which Egyptian god exercises authority and influence over a person’s psyche. In many cases, the subject’s astrological profile closely parallels his western natal reading, which is not too much of a surprise. Western astrology has many ties to Babylonian and Egyptian astrology. Chinese astrology is slightly more independent in it’s approach, since different animals are used to interpret similar results.

 

Still, the average reader will experience some astonishment regarding how complicated astrology can appear. For a pseudo-science, there are many calculations, revelations and measurements involved in a single birth reading. Again, this really shouldn’t be much of a surprise, since many of the first astrologers were originally astronomers employing heavy speculation to their field.

 

Tour Egypt.com delves deeply into the exact history of Egyptian astrology. The first astrologers were a group of baru-priests who resided in Egypt and acted as advisors for kings and important individuals. It was common for people during this time to worship the planetary entities of the sky, such as the sun, moon and any recognizable planets at that time — notably Venus. These planets were considered to be influenced by the gods or thought to be gods themselves, and the baru-priests would read the skies frequently to determine the outcome of future events. Hence, Egypt was no different from other cultures who employed predictive astrology as a way of unveiling the mysteries of the universe.

 

 

The Role of Ptolemy

The Egyptian system of astrology was nowhere near as complex as modern day astrology because it had not yet developed to such a point. The influence of foreign invaders and surrounding cultures, along with certain newfound astronomical precepts, would help advance Egyptian astrology into something far more elaborate. One of the most integral contributors to the cause was an Alexandrian mathematician named Claudius Ptolemy. By the time Ptolemy entered the scene, Egyptian culture had already been heavily influenced by the Hellenistic Greeks and, later, Roman occupation.

 

Ptolemy is famous for several works, the most influential amongst them being his Tetrabiblos, a four volume work that assessed and relayed his astronomical and astrological research and opinions. Ptolemy identified many stars and constellations in his day, but his astrological work is notable more in his listing of the various influences specific planetary alignments had over events, people and such. It is from this work that the aspects and angles of modern astrology draw their origin. Ptolemy also postulated ideas such as the planets themselves being responsible for certain energies and effects over countries and individuals. His work is heavily theoretical, but it is easy to see how his ideas have morphed, but continue to play out, in Western astrology.

 

Unfortunately, Ptolemy supported the idea that the universe revolved around the planet earth. This false hypothesis was damaging enough to the field of astronomy, and it took numerous centuries for the scientific community to rectify such assertions. Still, Ptolemy’s work in Alexandria has been foundational for astrologers, even today.

 

Modern Egyptian Astrology

 

The average American can experiment with the simplest ideas of Egyptian astrology today over the Internet, where many sites will identify an individual’s ruling Egyptian god by entering their date of birth into a database. The simple forms of Egyptian astrology match certain dates to an Egyptian god and display how this god’s nature affects an individual’s psyche. Unlike Western astrology, that has the periods of the zodiacal influence divided over twelve approximately month-long period of time, the divisions of time in Egyptian astrology can have three or four governing entities/periods within a single month.

 

You can identify your Egyptian star reading at So Feminine.co.uk, but do note that such astrological conversions are the equivalent of the in depth Western sun sign reading and cannot represent the complexities of a full natal chart.

 

 

Essentials of Predictive Hindu Astrology

 

Essentials of predictive Hindu astrology contain some very different principles than those you may be accustomed to finding in western Astrology.

Western and Hindu Astrology Differences

 

Western astrology addresses planetary influences that affect your personality and drive your choices in life. A western astrology chart is a map of the psychology behind your actions, relationships, career and other life arenas.

 

In contrast, Hindu astrology, also known as Vedic astrology, is based on the Vedic religion which actually created Vedic astrology to help guide followers along their spiritual paths. This is accomplished only when you understand the role of karma in your life.

 

Hindu astrology focuses on how you act and react to life situations. It also assists you in gaining a better understanding of your soul’s progression in this lifetime and the lessons you’re meant to master through certain obstacles and challenges. Hindu astrology is considered a predictive astrology since it can be used to predict stages and events in your life that you’ll either accept or refuse. It’s through the exertion of free will that you create more karma. It’s this cycle that your soul strives to break.

 

Understanding the Concept of Karma

There is a common misconception that karma is payback time when, in fact, it isn’t sinister. Simply put, karma is the result of actions, thoughts and attitudes you’ve held in previous lifetimes. Karma is known as a cause and effect result. The Western concept of good and bad karma is simply a way people attempt to comprehend the cause and effect of action or inaction. Karma is truly an opportunity to recreate past scenarios or create new ones. Since your birth chart is a reflection of your past life and karma, it can reveal how your past likes, dislikes and habits carry over into this lifetime.

 

The Essentials of Predictive Hindu Astrology

 

There are sharp contrasts between western and Hindu (Vedic) predictive astrology. For example:

 

Western astrology uses the tropical zodiac while Hindu uses the sidereal zodiac; this means your Vedic astrological sign may be different. Other differences include:

 

Cusps: There are no cusps.

Dashas or Dasa (planetary cycles): Your life is defined by ages or periods (Dashas) that are governed by specific planets.

Moon sign: Your moon sign is also more important than your sun sign.

Planetary influences: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto aren’t used in the Vedic astrological system.

Rising sign: The ascendant sign is the most important sign in your Vedic chart.

Yogas (yogakaraka): This system of 27 yogas defines the relationship of planetary placements.

 

 

North and South Nodes Importance

In Hindu astrology, the South Node is called Ketu and the North Node is known as Rahu. The North Node is significant because it’s your karmic goal in this life. The South Node is the residual from your past life that often translates into a deep desire during this life. A Vedic astrologer can help you see how you might fall into the comfortable patterns of behavior from previous lifetimes and advise you how to avoid negative ones.

 

Four Vital Accomplishments

There are four basic vital accomplishments you’re destined to fulfill this lifetime, and they are addressed in your Hindu astrological chart. These four life purpose goals are given as:

 

Artha: (Governs houses two, six and ten) This basic attainment of wealth isn’t just about money; it’s also about fulfillment obtained through abundant spiritual, emotional, physical and mental life experiences. Gaining self is the greatest wealth you can achieve.

Dharma: (Governs houses one, five and nine) The life force (Dharma) challenges you to discover your role in life. Dharma means that you understand what you were born to accomplish and go after it. While this includes career, it’s also about everything you do in life that builds you into the whole spiritual person you were intended to be.

Kama: (Governs houses three, seven and eleven) The Hindu god of love is your ideal in giving love back to the world. To achieve kama, you must become successful in your various relationships.

Moksha: (Governs houses four, eight and twelve) Liberation is the goal of Moksha in your chart. It isn’t always easy to free yourself of the bonds that desires and base needs create. Your Vedic chart reveals the areas that challenge you the most in discovering freedom from self-imposed bonds.

The Five Essentials of Jyotish

 

Jyotish is sanskrit for lord of light, illumination or, in the case of Vedic astrology, science of light. It’s often used as the name for Vedic astrology. There are five essentials of predictive Hindu astrology, also known as Jyotish, that every Vedic astrologer is expected to embody.

 

Technical proficiency: This is a must for any astrologer. Jyotish is considered a science and gives extensive technical information that lays the groundwork for understanding Hindu astrology and interpreting astrological charts. In addition to the basics, an astrologer learns how to perform calculations, recognize dashas, and perform other necessary tasks such as non-computer calculations and chart drawing.

Continual practice: Practical application of technical knowledge is necessary in order for the astrologer to become proficient and gain experience. The general belief is that by studying the astrology of past events (lives) of notable and famous individuals, the astrologer can learn without the pressure of accuracy, as well as by reading for people the astrologer may know.

Jyotish guru: Everyone benefits by having a teacher (guru); this is especially true when it comes to learning astrology. Another person’s experience and perspective can give you a new way of seeing things. The word guru isn’t coincidental since “gu” translates as darkness and “ru” means remove, which is truly the function of a Jyotish Guru.

Spiritual practice: Vedic astrology is a spiritually-based science; even though you learn the methodologies, you must also add your own brand of insight into your readings and interpretations. While the guiding force of the conclusions you draw are scientific, the practical application of those principles will ultimately be intuitive.

Ethical orientation: The astrologer is charged to always be ethical in practices. The objective is to always be of service to others and ever watchful over the welfare of others.

Understanding Hindu Astrology

 

When learning Hindu astrology, it’s important to understand the nuances that make it a cohesive science.