So I am also over at Burrowers, Books & Balderdash today, and I am ALSO talking Astrology there, but THERE, I am applying it to ME. (post goes up at noon GMT) But HERE, I am applying it to WRITING.
I did this once before, but I think I had about 40 followers back then, and my use has changed. I am going to START with a pet peeve of mine...
[And yes, I'm aware of the tilty shifty thing and thirteenth probable sign. My thinking is THIS though. Over many centuries, trait clusters have been observed... those still exists. Maybe not related to the zodiac animal we thought, but they are there, so I like it as a tool ANYWAY].
Characters with the WRONG Birthday!!!
I GET that not all people BUY Astrology, but that doesn't stop it from bugging the HECK out of me if an author bothers to give a character a birthday and they give one COMPLETELY incompatible with their personality.
There are a lot of signs with wiggle room in a lot of domains, but... a shy and retiring fire sign? Aren't gunna find one. A super emotional or sensitive should be water, but they HAVE to fall within a feminine sign (water or earth).
JK Rowling did a pretty darned good job with birthdays. Not all of it was apparent up front (though some of it was). Harry (her brainchild) shares her birthday (July 31), which was probably brilliance for keeping consistency. He is a Leo... but not the 'show stopper' Leo... say that Ginny is. Hermione the Virgo (Sep 19).. DUH—every answer in a book---MAD in Half Blood Prince that Harry gets better Potions results by following ALTERNATE rules... total Virgo (says the woman married to a Virgo). Even Ron as Pisces (Mar 1)... Pisces is the LAST of the Zodiac signs and so can be a bit reckless... ideas hopping lines between light and dark... (life and death)--look at this in light of his doubt in Deathly Hallows. The only DIFFICULTY with her placement is Harry (the Leo) and Hermione (the Virgo) should have more trouble getting along—those two signs are notoriously incompatible. But then Hermione is REALLY on the cusp of Libra, so perhaps her sense of balance makes the difference.
Even her sub-characters... Draco as a Gemini? Yes. James as an Ares (ABSOLUTELY—had to be a fire sign... so did Sirius). Remus as Pisces.
My only quibble with her placement is Luna. She pegged Luna as a Leo, and Luna is an Aquarius if ever I saw one... completely set and comfortable being 'out there' with her ideas.
Aries: this is the sign of ME ME ME. Lots of charisma, often leaders... but can be vacuums.
Taurus: playful, leisure (and beauty) loving, stubborn.
Gemini: smart, flexible, fickle
Cancer: Persistent, supportive, needy
Leo: Generous, charisma of a more generous sort than Aries (think cult leader), hot headed
Virgo: Smart, organized, picky
Libra: Fair, even-keeled, indecisive.
Scorpio: playful, loyal, secretive.
Sagittarius: Lucky, fun, the only sign with no negative trait which is annoying.
Capricorn: Hard working, genuine (less inclined to games than other signs), paranoid (in a security oriented way)
Aquarius: unique, free spirited, detached.
Pisces: Intuitive, open, reckless
Broadly, the feminine signs (red) seek some form of security and the masculine (blue) seek some form of recognition.
So how do I use this in MY writing?
I typically write my character FIRST (a few scenes to see how they act—a profile of what I know they NEED) and then I assign them a compatible birthday. If I CAN, I like it to have a personal meaning... the birthday of a friend or family member... but then I use what I KNOW of that sign to drive responses that weren't part of that original profile but come up... for instance a girl's crush is talking to another girl... does she CARE? Is she JEALOUS? Does she walk up and join? Is the motivation for that reminding him she's there, or is she that comfortable? (or oblivious to the potential?)[I use this example because romance is never my primary plot... if I DID write romance, I'd probably choose a sign with this in mind... feminine signs are more possessive and inclined to jealousy, other than that chest-pounding property kind... really AIR is the only one sort of oblivious (re: secure enough they don't really feel threatened)--the rest of us get jealous in some form or other unless we have life lessons that train us differently—or in my case, a collection need and recognition I can hardly get jealous when I expect him not to]
Do any of you consider Astrology when you write?