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Astrology has always fascinated me.

Maybe it was growing up in a family where my aunt reads our tea leaves and tells us what our future holds from the symbols she sees, or maybe it's the off-hand way we seem to know (maybe ''unfairly judge'' is a better phrase) a person by their star sign, or the way we use phrases like ''Oh, well that's the Libra in me. Indecisive. My symbol is the scales, you know.''

More than most of us would like to admit being guilty of flicking to the back of a magazine and scouring what our star signs say.

And why do we do it?

I find I'm drawn to them more in times of uncertainty – be it with a job or a boyfriend or something else.

It's like we can't make sense of life, so we look to a higher power, something bigger than ourselves, to tell us what's really going on and what was best to tackle things.

It is kind of soothing, like a reassuring friend saying over a glass of wine, ''Look, everything's gonna be ok.''

So why is horoscopes and Astrology, in general, experiencing a resurgence in interest? 

Astrology can be defined as the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial objects as a means of divining information about human affairs and terrestrial events.

Dating from the 2nd millennium BCE, Western astrology focuses on the twelve horoscopes that divide up one calendar year and show a person's personality and traits e.g. I am a Sagittarius so I am free-spirited, although I can be blunt.

Obviously, not everyone's personality fits into these twelves boxes; with astrology, you have to take into account the time you were born as that gives your rising moon and sun. 

Kate Arbon has been an astrologist for more than two decades and offers personal, one to one and telephone readings as well as holding workshops, forums, and classes. 

SHEmazing spoke to her about how the demand for readings has grown. 

She says that ''It has partly to do with a sign of our times – people are generally taking a greater interest in their own personal development and the metaphysical aspect of their lives. There is also greater interest in meditation, mindfulness, yoga, healing and a range of other areas that explore the psycho/spiritual realms.''

Which makes sense – but what is the one big thing that makes reading your daily star sign (no matter where you are) so accessible?

Yes, the World Wide Web.

Kate says, ''The Internet has made Astrology, and Sun Sign Horoscopes in particular, very accessible. There is a mass of "pop" Astrology available now online. I do see a lot more good quality work being put out in the last few years as well, and that's very encouraging.''

That should make you feel better about scouring your Refinery29 horoscope every day.

However, although so much info about our star signs/moon signs/how compatible Libra's are with Aries is online, we shouldn't take it all to heart.

Kate continues, ''As a professional Astrologer, it's sometimes frustrating to see so much superficial information being presented, often giving people a very poor impression about Astrology. But with the rise in interest it's even more important for serious and traditional Astrologers to keep getting themselves heard too, so at least something of substance is also available for those who want to look a bit deeper!''

So astrology appeals to us as a generation because we're interested in self-exploration and, as Kate puts it, ''looking for meaningful answers and guidance in a fast-changing, uncertain world.''

So if want to travel down this road of self-discovery and use horoscopes as a guiding light, how can we tell if an astrologer is the real deal?

Kate says that firstly, a serious professional Astrologer will be available for direct contact, even if it's just via web messages or email at first. 

She continued, ''A lot of work goes into a genuine chart reading. The cost should reflect this, so expect to pay for 3-4 hours work even if your consultation is only 60 – 90 minutes long. Anything too cheap probably isn't the real thing.''

So what are the signs then that you 're being scammed?

She said, ''A real Astrology reading will require your birth details and not just your "Sun Sign" Avoid the Tarot Astrology combinations if you want something genuine. Tarot is one thing and has its value but true Astrology readings are a completely different thing and are totally personal.''

Like anything, when it comes to astrology there are always skeptics – people who think horoscopes and rising moon and tarot readings are absolute rubbish. 

Kate says that part of this is understandable although that being dismissive of a complex subject which has an ancient lineage as having no validity, shows ignorance.

Her advice to these people?

She says,''Offer them the opportunity to become informed. I've seen many skeptics go away informed and intrigued. My answer to skeptics is that you have the choice to either remain ignorant or give it some study, but don't voice a strong opinion on something you know so little about.''

That seems fair – and tbh we're kinda intrigued too – surely there must be something in it?

But hey, maybe that's just the curious Sagittarius in me talking. 

Feature image source: Pinterest

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Are you having a bit of a bad week? Feeling a bit off and find that things just aren't going your way? 

Well, if you're into horoscopes (or you just want an explanation for the fact you spilled coffee over yourself THREE times this week), then we could have the answer. 

In astrology circles, Mercury is in retrograde – strange answer, we know. 

And what exactly is a retrograde you might ask? Well, it's an astrological 'phenomenon' that happens when the planet's orbit intersects with Earth and is moving backwards in the sky (it doesn't actually move backwards, it's just an optical illusion, science fans). 

This retrograde can happen up to three times a year, and according to astrologists it's a time when basically, everything goes wrong – because when planets aren't aligned, astrology fans believe that everything the planet conducts is out of sync at the time. 

And, because Mercury is the planet associated with travel, communication, information and commerce, during the retrograde, there's confusion, chaos and miscommunication in these areas.

Saying this, less than 30 percent of Irish actually believe in astrology, so many might not be convinced by this argument.  

But if you are, we've got good news; there has already been a retrograde in January and May of this year – and the one going on at the moment is due to end tomorrow, so no harm done! 

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If you swear that all Taureans are stubborn, or all Aquarians are intellectual, you might not be as off the mark as some people might think! 

A new study has shown that our season of birth could have an impact on our personality traits and how other people react to us. The research, which was carried out in Hungary, could help scientists figure out why some people are more prone to mood disorders than others.

Here's the breakdown – see if you fit!

Born in spring:
Extremely positive and optimistic, sometimes excessively so. Maybe you always look on the bright side, or maybe you can't bear to see the bad side of those around you.

Born in summer:
Again, you have a lot of positivity, but you're also more likely to have mood swings than autumn and winter babies. You're no stranger to stress or anxiety.

Born in autumn:
Compared to winter kids, you're not as prone to depression, so you'll probably adapt better to significant life changes and move on from things quickly.

Born in winter:
Winter babies are calm, cool and collected – they're far less likely to get irritable than those born at other times of the year. So while the driver in front of you is frantically beeping his horn during that traffic jam, you're happily bopping along to the new Taylor Swift song and enjoying a few minutes' break from driving.

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