Astrology Links and Birthdate-selection
I'm an astrology nut. Have been for longer than I can remember. It's fun and harmless, and there's always lots of great ways to use it.
The past few years, I've used it as a way to help me determine birthdates for characters that don't have them when I need them. Helps me come up with random personality traits I might not have otherwise thought of, and narrows down the date so I don't choose one at random.
Whether or not you actually believe in astrology, it's still fun to play around in, so I thought I'd write up a post of good sites to look at for various astrological/birth sign information.
Keep in mind, these sites have a tendency to disappear at random, so the links here are quite likely to just stop working. If they do, let me know, and I'll try to find a better link, if one exists.
The Birthday Calculator: Not so much astrology, though it includes it, but random miscellanea about your date of birth. Lots of random odd stuff here, but kind of fun to look through, and might inspire something you hadn't considered.
Western Zodiac Signs AKA Sun Signs. These are the ones everyone "knows," even when they don't remember their own sign, or others, this is probably what they're thinking of, at least in the US.
Star Signs Explained: A good, if very basic site that provides an outline of the sign along with element, planet, stone and a few other pieces of information.
Hogwarts Sun Signs: One of my favorite sites for making HP characters with no birthdate, because it gives each house's version of each sun sign, making placing characters and/or dating characters much easier.
Harry Potter Horoscopes: An interesting site I found in my search today looking for good Astrology sites. This one lists each sign by character, and associates that sign to the character.
Star Wars Zodiac: Not sure where this one came from, as I'd never seen it before today, but kind of fun. Like the HP Horoscopes above, associates each sign with a character from the movies.
Eastern Zodiac Signs There are a few different versions of this, because each country that uses it has a slightly different variation of animals. The best-known version is, of course, the Chinese, but Japan and Korea also have their own versions.
Useful in determining a year for a character to be born, if you need to narrow it down between two or three, and can't decide.
Chinese Zodiac Signs: Gives a good basic overview of the signs, with year-dates listed from 1924 to 2019.
12 Chinese Zodiac Signs: Includes a Zodiac calculator to find a specific sign, and gives information on how they originated. The signs themselves include a good overview of the sign and also a forecast for the current year.
Chinese Horoscope: Gives the signs sorted out by element (there are five in Eastern Mythology, Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, Earth), and gives a small summary of that sign within the element.
Other Zodiac Systems There are other Zodiac systems, though most you can find online are just mythologies that are then overlaid the Western Zodiac above. Still, some hold some interest, and are worth at least looking at.
Celtic Tree Astrology: There are other sites that have Celtic signs, but they pretty much just use the Western Astrological dates, which bugs me. I like this site because it breaks it down into weeks, which helps narrow down a birthdate for a character.
Birth Totems: Native Astrology, though this does seem to break a little from the obvious "overlaid Western" version. I don't believe this is in any way something actually used by natives, but it is interesting to look at.
Egyptian Zodiac: This one seems to be slightly different from the norm, though I've not looked into it too deeply. Shows two segments for each sign, rather than one.
There are also Mayan and Aztec (aspects of the same, like the Eastern Zodiac forms) Zodiacs. I've never played with them at all, so I didn't list them here, especially as they seem much more complicated. They look to correspond much more precisely to the actual date of your birth.
And something a little different: Date Numerology I use this to determine an exact day. This is very basic numerology, and not the life-path numerology stuff, which is much more complex. It goes strictly by the day of your birth.
Usually, before I start this process, I have at least a vague idea of the character in mind. At the very least, a couple of personality traits, and occasionally (if an HP character) a House.
1 - Year. Usually this is easy enough, but if the character isn't in a set year, I glance through the Chinese Horoscope to determine a good year to put them in.
Example: Rodolphus Lestrange was never given a birth date in the books, but we can assume he was at least near his wife's age. Bellatrix was born in 1951 according to JK Rowling, so we should assume he's within two years of her birth, so 1949 - 1953.
Looking at the Chinese Zodiac, 49 is Earth Ox, 50 is Metal Tiger, 51 is Metal Rabbit, 52 is Water Dragon, and 53 is Water Snake.
Earth Ox seems a bit too peace-loving for Ro. Metal Tiger seems better, but still very positive (though keep in mind, most horoscopes read more positively than negatively, and try to take that into account). Metal Rabbit might fit, depending on whether you see Ro taking the background because he wants to be there, vs because Bella pushed him there. Water Dragon seems too lucky and powerful a sign for someone who spent decades in Azkaban (and even more under his wife and Voldemort's thumb), so that's out. Water Snake, on the other hand, might be practical enough to be the Rodolphus who allowed Bella to guide his steps, not necessarily realizing where it would lead him.
Because of the peaceful aspect of the Snake, I'm inclined to go with the Tiger, which would make him 1951, like his wife.
2 - Month. I narrow down the month using Sun Signs--usually the Hogwarts Sun Signs, though if the character isn't in the HP universe, any sign listing will do. This helps me narrow down my choices to a couple of months, if not one.
Example: Ro seems to fit the signs Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Capricorn. We'll narrow more with the next step.
3 - Week. If I still need to narrow things down further, I use the Celtic Tree Signs, as they go by week, and thereby cut out several possibilities.
Example: Taurus corresponds to April 20 to May 20, Leo to July 23 to August 22, Scorpio to October 23 to November 21, and Capricorn December 22 to January 19. From those, we can look up the corresponding Tree Signs. I'll only focus on the actual dates that correspond to the signs we've chosen when dealing with the tree-signs.
The best fits for Ro to me seem to be Spruce, Rowan, Cherry, Poplar, Birch, Dogwood, Juniper and Broom. For my purposes, I'm going to cut out Rowan, Poplar, Birch, and Juniper. Which leaves me with Spruce (1/1 - 1/10), Cherry (5/13 - 5/20), Dogwood (10/23 - 10/30) and Broom (11/13 - 11/21)
4 - Day. From there, I usually have a handful of dates that will work, and I use Birth Day Numerology to find an exact day.
Example: From here, we take the dates of the above-given trees. After this, it's mostly personal preference based on the above. If I just go with the the ones I think fit him best, that leaves me 1, 8, 10, 13, 19. Spruce, Cherry, or Broom. Capricorn, Taurus, or Scorpio. In 1951. Given my tendency to put Slytherins in Scorpio (a very bad habit), I think I'm going to choose something different and make him a Taurus, and give him 13 (unlucky number, a good way to point to his luck at ending up in Azkaban), so I end up with the birthdate of May 13, 1951.
Not sure if it will help anyone but I wanted to put it out there. I know it seems like a lot of work, but depending on how important that date might be, it can come in useful, especially when it makes you think about aspects of the character you might not have otherwise considered.