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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

horoscope The astrological chart of the zodiac, done from a geocentric point of view, upon which the positions of the Sun, Moon, and planets are located for a specific time and date. If that date is a person's birth date (or, indeed, even the “birth” date of a nation, company, idea, event, or animal) the chart is a “natal” horoscope, used by the astrologer to predict important characteristics of that subject.
      Each astrological sign is said to confer certain general characteristics. The rising points of the heavenly bodies, their relationships to one another, and various other correlations are all believed important. Events in the subject's life, conditions of health, and fortune are said to be found in the horoscope.
      Definitive, carefully conducted tests of the idea have shown it to be false.
      The first written horoscope dates from 409 B.C., and it is a Mesopotamian specimen found among less that twenty known from that period.
      See also astrology and zodiac.



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