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Thread: Working on an Astrology series. Need some input.

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Working on an Astrology series. Need some input.

    It's a high fantasy + alternative Earth setting based on a medieval era. Each sign has its own planetary house, godly ruler, distinct appearances, and abilities. Tell me about your sign and what you think your primary role in your house would be.

  2. #2
    The King and Queen of Cheese BenPanced's Avatar
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    I'm not quite so sure about this. There are many, many books on astrology that could provide much of the information you're requesting (vague generalities can easily be anthropomorphized, I'm sure). I have some misgivings about it because it sounds like you're asking others to do the work for you, leaving a potential tangle of sharing credit wide open.

    Just my .02.

  3. #3
    Mildly Disturbing Filigree's Avatar
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    To see what another writer has done with this precise setup, try 'Point of Hopes' and its sequels by Melissa Scott. Completely different world and astrology.

    This M/M space opera
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenPanced View Post
    I'm not quite so sure about this. There are many, many books on astrology that could provide much of the information you're requesting (vague generalities can easily be anthropomorphized, I'm sure). I have some misgivings about it because it sounds like you're asking others to do the work for you, leaving a potential tangle of sharing credit wide open.

    Just my .02.
    I'm simply asking for opinions. It doesn't mean I will take and work with them. It is only for consideration.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Filigree View Post
    To see what another writer has done with this precise setup, try 'Point of Hopes' and its sequels by Melissa Scott. Completely different world and astrology.
    Thanks! Will check it out.

  5. #5
    There's a stick up there Kjbartolotta's Avatar
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    Zodiac by Romina Russell does a good job of this. Remember, sun signs aren't everything!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kjbartolotta View Post
    Zodiac by Romina Russell does a good job of this. Remember, sun signs aren't everything!
    Thank you! Will check that out too!

  7. #7
    There's a stick up there Kjbartolotta's Avatar
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    Forgive me if I'm revealing an interest in an embarrassing and thoroughly reviled topic, but I assume what you're trying to do is brainstorm some ideas based on the twelve signs. Fun idea! BenPaced is right, there are millions and millions of books and websites on the subject of the signs. I particularly like Alan Oken! Also, if you can handle dense and ramble-y, I guess I'd advise anything Jung wrote about astrology, or any of his less out-there pupils. Coming up with sign kingdoms is pretty easy, there are infinite varieties though most would fall into easy cliches.

    Like so:

    Ares- Mountain dwelling, fractious Proud Warrior Race Guys
    Taurus- Dull, prosperous plains-dwellers
    Gemini- Educated city-states
    Cancer- Sophisticated, water-dwelling matriarchy
    Leo- Roman-like empire
    Virgo- Mysterious, elf-like kingdom
    Libra- Artistic state devoted to neutrality
    Scorpio- Aggressive state devoted to war and magic
    Sagittarius- Romany-like culture of rogues and artisans
    Capricorn- Stern state devoted to law and power
    Aquarius- Strange country run by philosophers and crackpots
    Pisces- Dreamy, mystical ocean people

    And, feel free to do what you want with those, but I would encourage you to read about the signs try to avoid falling into easy archetypes. Signs have some pretty complicated personalities, and their meanings have changed and distorted quite a great bit over the millennia. I think the thing I'd be careful about is not letting it feel like a gimmick, astrology themes have been done before and coded factions can get a little boring if they don't feel realistic and organic. Astrology themed kingdoms should be ancient and mysterious, complex and cryptic, filled with things that seem significant but are actually meaningless, or vice versa! Just my IMHO, it's an entertaining thing to think about.

    Also, don't forget there's a 13th sign!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kjbartolotta View Post
    Forgive me if I'm revealing an interest in an embarrassing and thoroughly reviled topic, but I assume what you're trying to do is brainstorm some ideas based on the twelve signs. Fun idea! BenPaced is right, there are millions and millions of books and websites on the subject of the signs. I particularly like Alan Oken! Also, if you can handle dense and ramble-y, I guess I'd advise anything Jung wrote about astrology, or any of his less out-there pupils. Coming up with sign kingdoms is pretty easy, there are infinite varieties though most would fall into easy cliches.

    Like so:

    Ares- Mountain dwelling, fractious Proud Warrior Race Guys
    Taurus- Dull, prosperous plains-dwellers
    Gemini- Educated city-states
    Cancer- Sophisticated, water-dwelling matriarchy
    Leo- Roman-like empire
    Virgo- Mysterious, elf-like kingdom
    Libra- Artistic state devoted to neutrality
    Scorpio- Aggressive state devoted to war and magic
    Sagittarius- Romany-like culture of rogues and artisans
    Capricorn- Stern state devoted to law and power
    Aquarius- Strange country run by philosophers and crackpots
    Pisces- Dreamy, mystical ocean people

    And, feel free to do what you want with those, but I would encourage you to read about the signs try to avoid falling into easy archetypes. Signs have some pretty complicated personalities, and their meanings have changed and distorted quite a great bit over the millennia. I think the thing I'd be careful about is not letting it feel like a gimmick, astrology themes have been done before and coded factions can get a little boring if they don't feel realistic and organic. Astrology themed kingdoms should be ancient and mysterious, complex and cryptic, filled with things that seem significant but are actually meaningless, or vice versa! Just my IMHO, it's an entertaining thing to think about.

    Also, don't forget there's a 13th sign!
    Thanks for the suggestion! I will check those astrologists out. I'm not sure how legitimate the 13th sign is, though. Perhaps it can be of interest, however, not really being seen as equal as the others. Hm...

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    I'm a Libra and I would imagine a planetary district based off my sign would be a very opulent one. People living in Libra-Town (I'm sure you've got a much nicer name for it:P) will spare no expense in making their homes and buildings the most beautiful. Each house would have a green lawn and extravagant gardens, interiors clean and decorated to a T. Arts and culture would be a priority, and citizens of this place would likely see plays, concerts, movies (if this tech is in your novel), and also read a lot, as well as participate in these events. There would be many social events, in which Librans would try to outdo each other with their sense of style.

    Families and relationships would likely take on a polyamorous or serial monogamous style of living, although many would be staunch traditional romantics as well and stick to one partner. Either way, the institution of love, in every form, would be widely celebrated. A very strong justice system would also be in place, and many Libra dwellers would be active in whatever social ills plague your planet.

    For further info on other signs as well as tinier details, I'd recommend getting a big detailed book of each of the signs and their basic personalities, and then hone in on individual characters using internet info such as "The Signs as X" posts. Such posts are usually found on Tumblr, and basically give out how each sign would react in an endless number of strange and/or improbable situations.

  10. #10
    Sailing in a sea of mushroom... Nerdilydone's Avatar
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    Taurus- Dull, prosperous plains-dwellers
    ...Can we talk about Taurus? Taurus is probably the most underrated sign, creatively speaking. It gets dismissed as an inspiration on Project Runway, the Taurus guy on Homestuck is the lamest, and the Taurus girl in the film What's your Rashee (Bollywood rom-com) is nuts. I don't buy into the whole astrology thing, but I'm technically a Taurus, and I'm sick to death of Taurus being the pathetic one.

    A place to start off for Taurus is of course the cow. Cows are large creatures, capable of injuring people, and yet they also provide a variety of dairy and meat products. This is a contradiction of danger versus provision, of the violent bull versus the tame, content cow chewing on grass. So I guess the Taurus-types must be the risk-takers, the explorers and pioneers, the people who go forward despite apparent danger and have minimal desire for the non-pragmatic clothing. Like, they're going to be the first in line to explore a dangerous cave or create a town in a dangerous wasteland.

    Also, I don't imagine they'd have much in the way of government. They'd be the somewhat more disciplined self-government types, more liable to subject themselves to family values than distant monarchs. Probably they'd have sheriffs and governors, and maybe a king who's more like a title-holder than anything else -- the guy whose job is to deal with the governments of the other signs.

    Taurus should be all about personal, individual strength, as well as family strength and loyalty. And probably they'd be the ones to find cool artifacts and resources to sell to people who live in safer lands.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdilydone View Post
    ...Can we talk about Taurus? Taurus is probably the most underrated sign, creatively speaking. It gets dismissed as an inspiration on Project Runway, the Taurus guy on Homestuck is the lamest, and the Taurus girl in the film What's your Rashee (Bollywood rom-com) is nuts. I don't buy into the whole astrology thing, but I'm technically a Taurus, and I'm sick to death of Taurus being the pathetic one.

    A place to start off for Taurus is of course the cow. Cows are large creatures, capable of injuring people, and yet they also provide a variety of dairy and meat products. This is a contradiction of danger versus provision, of the violent bull versus the tame, content cow chewing on grass. So I guess the Taurus-types must be the risk-takers, the explorers and pioneers, the people who go forward despite apparent danger and have minimal desire for the non-pragmatic clothing. Like, they're going to be the first in line to explore a dangerous cave or create a town in a dangerous wasteland.

    Also, I don't imagine they'd have much in the way of government. They'd be the somewhat more disciplined self-government types, more liable to subject themselves to family values than distant monarchs. Probably they'd have sheriffs and governors, and maybe a king who's more like a title-holder than anything else -- the guy whose job is to deal with the governments of the other signs.

    Taurus should be all about personal, individual strength, as well as family strength and loyalty. And probably they'd be the ones to find cool artifacts and resources to sell to people who live in safer lands.
    Taurus is severely underrated! I definitely want to give importance to all the signs. In the society I write, they are all of equal value. I would never call Taurus dull. Taurs are awesome!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmeliaMae View Post
    I'm a Libra and I would imagine a planetary district based off my sign would be a very opulent one. People living in Libra-Town (I'm sure you've got a much nicer name for it:P) will spare no expense in making their homes and buildings the most beautiful. Each house would have a green lawn and extravagant gardens, interiors clean and decorated to a T. Arts and culture would be a priority, and citizens of this place would likely see plays, concerts, movies (if this tech is in your novel), and also read a lot, as well as participate in these events. There would be many social events, in which Librans would try to outdo each other with their sense of style.

    Families and relationships would likely take on a polyamorous or serial monogamous style of living, although many would be staunch traditional romantics as well and stick to one partner. Either way, the institution of love, in every form, would be widely celebrated. A very strong justice system would also be in place, and many Libra dwellers would be active in whatever social ills plague your planet.

    For further info on other signs as well as tinier details, I'd recommend getting a big detailed book of each of the signs and their basic personalities, and then hone in on individual characters using internet info such as "The Signs as X" posts. Such posts are usually found on Tumblr, and basically give out how each sign would react in an endless number of strange and/or improbable situations.
    Thanks! I already look to Tumblr for astrology posts. They are my source of self-esteem!
    Also my society is medieval. Libra definitely is romantic, however.

  13. #13
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    I'd like to put in a word for my people, the Scorpios. We are not 'devoted to war'. We just don't take much crap and if the rest of you don't back off... well, things happen.
    Also, probably a monarchy, because that way we don't have regular fights over who's running the kingdom. Okay, there may be scheming, backstabbing and efforts to undermine/ignore the actual king, but at least we know who to point at if things go bad.
    I'd like to think of us as being proud mountain folk. Small groups are best, because over a certain population, the bickering, infighting and "You talkin' to me?" gets in the way of getting anything done. Fortunately for the neighbours, this tendency stops us from forming a large army and 'expressing our opinions'. But if we did have an army, it would be the best army! It would be yooge!

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    Quote Originally Posted by frimble3 View Post
    I'd like to put in a word for my people, the Scorpios. We are not 'devoted to war'. We just don't take much crap and if the rest of you don't back off... well, things happen.
    Also, probably a monarchy, because that way we don't have regular fights over who's running the kingdom. Okay, there may be scheming, backstabbing and efforts to undermine/ignore the actual king, but at least we know who to point at if things go bad.
    I'd like to think of us as being proud mountain folk. Small groups are best, because over a certain population, the bickering, infighting and "You talkin' to me?" gets in the way of getting anything done. Fortunately for the neighbours, this tendency stops us from forming a large army and 'expressing our opinions'. But if we did have an army, it would be the best army! It would be yooge!
    Huh. Well I already know what I have in mind for Scorpio. Don't you worry, though. They are definitely important. And YUGEEEE.

  15. #15
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    Nobody loves us. In the Western zodiac, we're a scorpion. In the Eastern, we're a rat. This is why we don't wear 'our' symbols much.

  16. #16
    Sailing in a sea of mushroom... Nerdilydone's Avatar
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    Scorpios are all rats? I thought that was based on years, not months.

    Not that I'm an expert, or anything.

  17. #17
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    If you mean the chinese zodiac, then yes it's based on years. Not all scorpios will be rats.

    There's nothing wrong with Rats anyway. All the years are good and bad, both.
    Happiness, is just a word to me
    And it might have meant a thing or two
    If I'd known the difference.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harlequin View Post
    If you mean the chinese zodiac, then yes it's based on years. Not all scorpios will be rats.

    There's nothing wrong with Rats anyway. All the years are good and bad, both.
    I'm a rat year. Specifically a water rat. It's not bad, but my friend? He's a dragon. Hard not to be envious. My wife is a monkey year, which is fortunate since rats and monkeys are pretty compatible.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by crownedroman View Post
    I'm not sure how legitimate the 13th sign is, though. Perhaps it can be of interest, however, not really being seen as equal as the others. Hm...
    Legitimate? The sun doesn't pass through those twelve constellations on those dates anymore. So even if you firmly believe in astrology, the existing system is thousands of years out of date, and the 13th sun sign is more "legitimate" than the twelve existing -- and inaccurate -- sun signs are.

    I would think if your story's world is based on astrology, with real physical effects associated with when a person is born, then the system would be need to be based on the real universe, not a calcified set of rules that is divorced from reality (like Western astrology now is).

    Think about how involved some of the debates in the Christian church get, for example. Religious schisms form, and scholars argue, and heretics scream, about about all sorts of subtle points. If your whole society is based on a set of rules derived from the sky, and the sky has changed, then society is going to argue about how to handle that fact, and there will be some pretty serious differences of opinion.
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  20. #20
    Sailing in a sea of mushroom... Nerdilydone's Avatar
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    Dude, "legitimate" as in classical. You can't get on Sailor Moon's case just because the Greek gods aren't real, so you can't get on this story because astrology isn't real. It's just for fun. Relax, and just talk about the 13th sign, if you care so much.

    Edit: Or I could find a link to a good site.
    Last edited by Nerdilydone; 08-08-2017 at 08:48 PM.

  21. #21
    Benefactor Member Manuel Royal's Avatar
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    Are you more interested in Babylonian astrology (available in a simplified form in a typical newspaper "horoscope") or maybe Chinese or other Asian forms? If you're starting from scratch, it'd be interesting to combine aspects.

    I've toyed with the idea of positing that astrology somehow was based on reality, adding FTL technology, and then imagining what interstellar travel would be like in a universe where every star somehow has a magical influence on events and personalities of people living thousands of light years away.
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    Three of a perfect pair. AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
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    I'm thinking this should be ported over to the research forum (both for a wider audience, and so others can benefit), but I'm going to go ask the mod over there, first.

    ETA: Moved to research from novels!
    Last edited by amergina; 08-09-2017 at 05:40 AM.
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  23. #23
    is watching you via her avatar jjdebenedictis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdilydone View Post
    Dude, "legitimate" as in classical. You can't get on Sailor Moon's case just because the Greek gods aren't real, so you can't get on this story because astrology isn't real. It's just for fun. Relax, and just talk about the 13th sign, if you care so much.
    I am no dude, and how about you run your own life? If I want to discuss a point, I will.
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  24. #24
    Three of a perfect pair. AW Moderator amergina's Avatar
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    Not my forum to mod anymore, since I moved the thread, but a friendly little remember that if you take issue with a post, there's a happy little report button that looks like a triangle with an exclamation point. It's better to use that then get into an argument in-thread.
    Done: Syncopation -- Rockstars! Kink! Reunited snarky enemies to lovers!
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manuel Royal View Post
    Are you more interested in Babylonian astrology (available in a simplified form in a typical newspaper "horoscope") or maybe Chinese or other Asian forms? If you're starting from scratch, it'd be interesting to combine aspects.

    I've toyed with the idea of positing that astrology somehow was based on reality, adding FTL technology, and then imagining what interstellar travel would be like in a universe where every star somehow has a magical influence on events and personalities of people living thousands of light years away.
    I'm doing Western! And my story is medieval high fantasy, not anything sci-fi. But your idea sounds cool!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdilydone View Post
    Dude, "legitimate" as in classical. You can't get on Sailor Moon's case just because the Greek gods aren't real, so you can't get on this story because astrology isn't real. It's just for fun. Relax, and just talk about the 13th sign, if you care so much.

    Edit: Or I could find a link to a good site.
    Thank you for the link! Your post is helpful, thank you. <3

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