Last week, I said that I liked to use the zodiac in my character creation/development process, along with some other personality types and tests.
I do not, by the way, use this for any sort of predicting the future. For me, astrology is about the exploration of self and understanding the inner workings of a person’s id and ego. But then again, I’m a Scorpio which rules the chthonian principle, or that of the unseen nature and the inner workings of the planet, cosmos and the human subconscious.
Here are some recommendations.
I usually start with:
Darkside Zodiac is the zodiac for those with a dry or grim or even cynical sense of humor. This is not the happy sunshine side of the zodiac signs. This is where you read everything bad about yourself that you don’t want to know. The reason I like the Darkside Zodiac (other than my offbeat sense of humor that is,) is because Stella Hyde acknowledges the other aspects of your Zodiac birth chart. She includes how the Rising, Moon, Mars and Venus affect your sun sign. A lot of other zodiac books don’t do this.
I then move onto:
Yes, this little book is jam packed full of information on the western and eastern zodiac signs. For an “encyclopedia” it’s really quite comprehensive. Every sign starts with a list of positive and negative attributes. It goes on to list some associations and then proceeds to detail the sign’s physical appearance, how it manifests for male and females and how even a young child of that sign would behave. And if you’re writing something that is contemporary, the Eastern section of the encyclopedia can help you narrow down the year your character was born.
The next books I like to use for broad characterization are:
Sextrology is an in depth look of how astrological signs manifest in the sexes. A male Aires and a female Aires are two totally different personalities even if they were born on the same day. (Of course, location and year also affect the other parts of the chart as well.) Sextrology is about more than just sex. Though sexual preferences and relationships are definitely covered. Sextrology goes in depth about what house of the chart each sign rules, how that influences what is most important to them. Sextrology is about the mind, body and soul of the astrological signs, their psychology, physiology, mythology and relationships before it even addresses sex and sexuality.
Cosmic Coupling is a jump off book from Sextrology. In Sextrology, like most astrology books, they have short sections on sign compatibility. What Cosmic Coupling does is take those short sentences and expands upon them. It’s 450 pages covering every type pairing in the zodiac be it hetero or homo sexual with one to three pages dedicated to each pairing divided into three headings; Chemistry, Compatibility and Carnality. Cosmic Coupling doesn’t shy away from the problems that couples can face. It’s not all sunshine in Sextrology! But it is also very honest about if work is put into these relationships, most of them can work out.
I honestly do not recommend one of these books without the other. I tend to grab Sextrology and then if I know that this person is going to be in a romantic relationship, I go and pick up Cosmic Coupling too just to see what type of troubles I can put them into. And because I’m a strong proponent of knowing Venus signs as well, I like to read up on the character’s Venus signs to see if that influences them.
Lastly, I like knowing my character’s birthdays:
Bad Birthdays is the average astrology book with an interesting twist. It goes into detail about how each day of the astrological sign displays different behaviors. Sure, they can be rather general. But there are amusing anecdotes about celebrities and important things that have happened on that day. And like Darkside Zodiac, this book requires an odd, morbid or even cynical sense of humor. There is a light side encyclopedia with this same premise. The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider and Joost Eiffers. I used to have a copy of this and I can also recommend it. It also uses playing cards/tarot and numerology. However, in comparison to Bad Birthdays, it’s a thick, huge, book. And I think I unloaded it in one of my moves.
Colorstrology is a kind of like owning a rainbow flipbook that happens to have birthdays written on them. Everyday of the year is assigned a Pantone color. Today is Orchid Haze. The day is assigned three descriptive words and short paragraph about being born on that day and how the color benefits you. Honestly, I bought this book because it was a fun concept. And I like pretty colors.
I have other Astrology books and they are all right. They aren’t as useful as the ones I’ve listed above.
If you’re interested in ever trying to find out more about your own astrological chart and what it means. I recommend going to http://www.alabe.com and getting their free chart, then using these books to help you understand what it means and how the signs relate to each other. A more technical book about astrology is The Astrology Bible by Judy Hall.
Happy character planning or learning about yourself.