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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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How to Learn Astrology

Posted: 22 Jan 2020 08:00 AM PST

Astrology is not the same thing as astronomy, although they are sometimes confused. Astrology is the study of the alignment of planets, often at the time of a person's birth. People create and read astrological charts to help them identify personality traits—good and bad—and to gain insight into the events of their lives. Anyone with an interest in astrology can learn how it works and apply the principles to create and interpret astrological charts of their own.


[Edit]Mastering the Basics of Astrology

  1. Identify the 12 zodiac signs and their related sun sign dates. Most people are familiar with sun signs, since these are commonly thought to be significant for determining one's individual traits. However, all of the astrological signs are present on a person's astrological chart at the time of their birth. They just appear in different positions depending on the time of year. The sun travels through all of the signs of the zodiac as the year progresses. Its alignment with each sign is as follows:[1]
    Learn Astrology Step 1.jpg
    • Aries: March 20 to April 22
    • Taurus: April 21 to May 22
    • Gemini: May 21 to June 22
    • Cancer: June 21 to July 22
    • Leo: July 21 to August 22
    • Virgo: August 21 to September 22
    • Libra: September 21 to October 22
    • Scorpio: October 21 to November 22
    • Sagittarius: November 21 to December 22
    • Capricorn: December 21 to January 22
    • Aquarius: January 20 to February 19
    • Pisces: February 18 to March 21
  2. Look at the sun, moon, and planets that are incorporated into astrology. Astrology incorporates the positions of the sun, moon, and other planets in earth's orbit. Where each is positioned on an astrological chart will affect the meaning of the chart. When you look at an astrological chart, you will see symbols for:[2]
    Learn Astrology Step 2 Version 2.jpg
    • Sun
    • Moon
    • Mercury
    • Venus
    • Mars
    • Jupiter
    • Saturn
    • Uranus
    • Neptune
    • Pluto
  3. Look at the zodiac as a 360 degree circle to identify aspects. Aspects in astrology are the way that the planets align with each other in relation to their position around the earth. If 2 planets are in aspect in an astrological chart, they may form an angle, overlap, or be opposite each other. This changes the significance of their positions and you will have to interpret their positions in relation to each other. The 4 major aspects to look for on an astrological chart include:[3]
    Learn Astrology Step 3 Version 2.jpg
    • Conjunction, which is when there is 0 degrees of separation between 2 planets and they overlap.
    • Sextile, which is when there is 60 degrees of separation.
    • Square, which is when the planets form a 90 degree angle.
    • Trine, which is when the planets form a 120 degree angle.
    • Opposition, which is when the planets are at opposite sides of the chart or have 180 degrees of separation.
  4. Identify the astrological symbols or glyphs. Before you can create or read a chart, you'll need to know what all of the symbols on the chart mean. There are symbols for the planets, astrological signs, and special points and angles, so it can get a little complicated. Study the symbols and try drawing each one yourself to help familiarize yourself with them.[4]
    Learn Astrology Step 4.jpg
    • For example, the sun symbol is shaped like a circle with a dot at the center of it, while the moon looks like a crescent.
    • Aquarius' symbol looks like 2 parallel wavy lines, while Taurus looks like a bull's head with 2 horns on top of it.
    • The north node symbol looks like a pair of right side up headphones, while the south node looks like a pair of upside down headphones.

[Edit]Going Deeper into Astrological Concepts

  1. Learn about the different astrological houses. The houses are arranged on a wheel like the signs of the zodiac, but they are not the same thing. The houses correspond to the hours of the day on a person's birth chart rather than to a time of the year. Depending on the time of a person's birth, they might have different traits associated with each house.[5]
    Learn Astrology Step 5.jpg
    • 1st house: Self
    • 2nd house: Money and possessions
    • 3rd house: Communication
    • 4th house: Home and everything associated with it
    • 5th house: Children, creativity, and the pursuit of pleasure
    • 6th house: Daily work, service, health, and sickness
    • 7th house: Marriage and relationships
    • 8th house: Joint finances
    • 9th house: Philosophy, religion, law, and education
    • 10th house: Status, reputation, and honor
    • 11th house: Community, friends, and large groups
    • 12th house: The subconscious mind, memory, and habits
  2. Look for the rising sign and its significance. The rising sign, also known as the ascendant, is the sign that appears in the first house on an astrological birth chart. This will vary depending on the person's time of birth. A person's rising sign will indicate personality traits that are more apparent to other people than to that person. The rising sign may also impact the person's actions and their lasting impact on the world.[6]
    Learn Astrology Step 6.jpg
    • Note that your rising sign can be different from your sun sign. For example, you might be a Taurus with a rising sign of Gemini, or a Pisces with a rising sign of Leo.
    • You need to complete an astrology birth chart to find your rising sign.
  3. Develop your knowledge of the 4 zodiac elements. Understanding the elements will make it much easier to interpret an astrological chart since these are the underlying traits of each zodiac sign. By committing these to memory or at least developing a good understanding of them, you will gain a deeper understanding of how astrology works and how to apply it. The 4 elements and their associated traits include:[7]
    Learn Astrology Step 7.jpg
    • Fire: Associated with Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. Fire signs are quick to act and take risks. They are often extroverts, energetic, and physically active. However, they may also be impatient, insensitive, and selfish.
    • Air: Associated with Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. Air signs are thoughtful, social, and love learning. They are often articulate, understanding, and objective. However, they may also be unemotional, impractical, and hyperactive.
    • Water: Associated with Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. They are responsive to energy, deeply emotional, nurturing, calm, and compassionate. However, they may also be shy, oversensitive, vindictive, and moody.
    • Earth: Associated with Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Earth signs are practical, realistic, cautious, efficient, patient, and hard-working. However, they may also be slow, unimaginative, and stubborn.
  4. Determine if a sign is yin or yang to find its polarity and qualities. Yin and yang are opposites and all of the zodiac signs correspond to one or the other. In general, yang signs are more active and assertive while yin signs are more passive and receptive. Yang is typically associated with masculine energy while yin is associated with feminine energy. By knowing what signs are yin and what signs are yang, you can gain some additional insight into the meaning of a sign.[8]
    Learn Astrology Step 8.jpg
    • Yin: Virgo, Taurus, Capricorn, Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Yin signs are also more likely to be passive, introverted, withdrawn, and reactive.
    • Yang: Aquarius, Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, and Sagittarius. Yang signs are also more likely to be direct, outgoing, extroverted, and giving.
  5. Study astrology to gain additional knowledge on the subject. There are tons of ways that you can deepen your knowledge of astrology even further if you want to learn more. Some options you might try include:
    Learn Astrology Step 9.jpg
    • Reading books on Astrology
    • Taking an astrology class in-person or online
    • Attending a local meetup or other group to meet other people interested in astrology
    • Using online resources to help you understand astrology's concepts, such as the Astrology Dictionary:

[Edit]Putting Your Astrology Knowledge into Practice

  1. Learn how to create an astrological chart. Making astrological charts is a great way to learn more about astrology and practice your skills. You can create charts by hand, use a computer program, or create them online with a free website. You can make a birth chart or natal astrology chart for yourself or someone else, or create charts for different events.
    Learn Astrology Step 10.jpg
  2. Read the results of the charts you create. Use the knowledge you have gained about the different zodiac signs, planetary aspects, and elements to help you interpret a chart. Keep in mind that astrology is not an exact science, so don't worry if some aspects of your reading seem a little off. You will gain more insight and improve your chart readings with time.[9]
    Learn Astrology Step 11.jpg
    • If you create an astrological chart using a website, then it will also provide interpretations of your chart.
  3. Write horoscopes based on your astrology findings. If you create a chart and want to boil it down into a forecast for the day, week, or month, then you might try your hand at writing horoscopes. This is a way of succinctly describing what the planetary alignment indicates for different individuals. It's a fun way to practice your astrology skills and continue building your knowledge.
    Learn Astrology Step 12.jpg


  • It takes a while to master all of astrology's concepts. Try setting aside at least 15 minutes daily to study astrology and practice some of the techniques you have learned.


  • Never use astrology alone or to help you make major life decisions!


How to Roll Tamales

Posted: 22 Jan 2020 12:00 AM PST

Tamales are a traditional Mesoamerican dish made from masa dough and steamed inside a corn husk or banana leaf. Although both methods taste delicious, they each require a bit of practice using your hands or a tortilla press. Luckily, the techniques are pretty simple and easy to learn!


[Edit]Using Corn Husks

  1. Submerge your corn husks in hot water for 2 or more hours. Start by placing your husks into a baking dish or large bowl. Afterward, cover them with hot water and weigh them down with a bowl or plate so that they're completely submerged. Let them sit for 2 hours or until they are pliable.[1]

    Roll Tamales Step 1.jpg
    • When your husks are done soaking you should be able to bend them without causing them to break or crack.
  2. Simmer hot water in your pot and steam basket. Place your steam basket into the pot and add water until it reaches the base of the steamer. Afterward, place a lid on the pot, put it on an element, and turn your stove dial to low heat until it simmers—you'll know it's simmering when the water starts to bubble slightly.[2]

    • If your bubbles are large and vigorous, the water is boiling—turn down the heat.
    • Low heat is typically 2 to 3 on your stove dial.
  3. Drain your corn husks and dry them. Squeeze each husk gently to remove any excess water, which can make them sticky. Afterward, wipe each one dry with a clean paper towel.[3]

    • Always dry your husks before rolling them.
  4. Spread ¼ cup (32 grams) of masa dough over the husk with your hands. Place your drained corn husk onto a flat, clean area with the bottom—or wide edge—facing you. Now, spread your masa dough across the husk so that it's about thick, taking care to leave a border at the bottom.[4]

    • If you can't get all the masa dough across the husk, don't worry—focus on making sure it's thick.
    • Always roll your tamales with the smooth side of the husk facing upward.
  5. Spread ¼ cup (32 grams) of masa dough over plastic with a tortilla press. Place a plastic tortilla bag onto your open tortilla press. Start by rolling your masa dough into a small, compact ball. Now, place the ball into your plastic tortilla bag so that one piece of plastic runs across the top and the other runs underneath it. Afterward, bring the top plate of the press onto the top of your dough and then press the handle overtop the plate while applying downward pressure. Finally, open the press, remove the plastic lining, and place your dough onto your corn husk.[5]

    • Pat down the ball firmly with your middle, index, and ring finger before pressing it for better results.
    • Make sure your tortilla is about thick.
    • Leave a border between the bottom of the husk and the dough.
  6. Spread 1 tablespoon (14.8 grams) of filling through the center of the dough. Scoop your choice of filling into the center of the tamale. Now, use the back of the spoon to spread it in a vertical line down the center of your dough.[6]

    • Common tamale filling includes beef, green chile, Yucatan, Mexico del Sur, black bean and cheese, and seafood.
  7. Pull the corn husk together until the dough meets. Hold each side of the corn husk so that your hands are parallel and the dough is a vertical line directly in front of you. Now, bring both sides of the husk together until the dough touches as it hovers over the filling.[7]

    • Use your fingers to press the dough together from underneath the corn husk.
  8. Wrap the dough firmly in the husk. Start with the left or right side and then continue with the other. Take care to avoid getting any piece of the husk stuck between the dough and filling.[8]

    • Don't wrap the dough too tightly or you'll ruin the tamale's shape.
  9. Close the top of the husk onto itself. The top of the husk is the empty, tapered side—fold this portion over the part of the husk that holds your tamale. For smaller tamales or those that aren't staying closed, tie them off with butcher's twine.[9]

    • Repeat this process for each tamale.
  10. Freeze your tamales or steam them for 2 hours. If you're not ready to eat your tamales, place them in the freezer. If you're ready to eat them, place them into a covered pot of steaming water for about 2 hours and enjoy![10]

    • Tamales are ready to eat when the dough sets and they can easily be pulled from the husks.
    • Cool your tamales for 15 minutes before eating them.
    • To eat them later, store tamales in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or the freezer for 3 to 4 weeks.

[Edit]Using Banana Leaves

  1. Cut your banana leaves into pieces. Start by rinsing your leaves with cold water to clean them. Afterward, remove the stems from each leaf. Now, cut or tear them into square pieces. Take care to keep the edges as straight as possible when cutting or tearing them.[11]

    Roll Tamales Step 11.jpg
    • Use a clean pair of scissors to cut your leaves if you don't want to tear them into pieces with your hands.
  2. Pass your banana leaves over a stove burner to decrease their stiffness. Turn your gas or electric stove burner to low heat—2 to 3 on the dial—and hold the leaves over the flame until they soften. You should see the color change from a drab color to shiny, which is a sign that the waxes are melting off the leaf.[12]

    Roll Tamales Step 12.jpg
    • Don't heat your leaves too much—keep them about above the burner.
  3. Add ¼ cup (32 grams) of filling onto the banana leaf. After adding your filling, pat it down with your fingers into an oblong strip approximately halfway up the leaf and to the right.

    • Keep about between the right side of the filling and the right side of the leaf.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons (14.40 grams) of beans and 1 strip of cheese to half of the leaf. Use your spoon to flatten out your beans and cheese and press them to one side of the leaf. For the best results, press them toward the half to the left.[13]

    • Skip the cheese if you're not a fan of dairy.
  5. Roll your banana leaf into a vertical tube over your filling. Start by using your right hand to hold the banana leaf vertically and fold it over the tamale. Keep this part pressed down and fold the other side over the top. Now, fold the bottom up and the top down and tie the leaf closed with a small strip of banana leaf.[14]

    • Don't worry too much about the shape of your tamale—as long as it's sealed and closed, you're good to go!
  6. Steam your tamales for 75 minutes and serve them. Add a bit of tomatillo salsa for a great taste! Just be sure to give your tamales about 10 minutes to cool prior to serving.[15]

    • Store your tamales in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or in the freezer for 3 to 4 weeks.

[Edit]Things You'll Need

  • Corn husks or banana leaves
  • Baking dish or large bowl
  • Plate
  • Steamer basket
  • Measuring cup
  • Large pot
  • Measuring spoons
  • Small bowl
  • Tortilla press (optional)


How to Become Ambidextrous

Posted: 21 Jan 2020 04:00 PM PST

Most people are naturally inclined to use one hand as their dominant hand. However, you can also train yourself to be able to use both hands equally well. The first thing you have to do is get used to using your non-dominant hand for daily activities. Then, move on to practicing the fine motor skills involved in writing and drawing.


[Edit]Getting Comfortable with Your Other Hand

  1. Do exercises to strengthen your non-dominant hand and fingers. Your non-dominant hand is most likely a lot less strong than your dominant hand, which makes it harder at first to become ambidextrous. Lift some light weights with your non-dominant hand every other day, with a focus on keeping a tight grip to work your hands rather than your arms. Use heavier weights as you go to continue strengthening your hand.[1]
    Become Ambidextrous Step 1.jpg
    • Lifting weights is one of the best ways to strengthen your hand, but you can also use a grip exerciser to work out your hand.
    • You may also benefit from juggling or simply tossing a ball up into the air with your non-dominant hand. This will make you more comfortable using that hand while also developing better hand-eye coordination.
  2. Use your non-dominant hand to work the computer mouse. There are lots of benefits to switching your mouse hand, but one of the main benefits is that it increases the dexterity in your non-dominant hand. Simply move your ordinary mouse over to the opposite side of the computer and use it as you normally would from here on out.[2]
    Become Ambidextrous Step 2.jpg
    • You can also opt to invest in an "ambidextrous" mouse from a tech store, but it's much simpler to just use an ordinary mouse.
  3. Start performing small daily tasks with your non-dominant hand. Use your non-dominant hand to do things like brush your teeth, open doors, put on accessories, or clean up around your home. Do this as consistently as you can to make using your non-dominant hand feel less awkward.[3]
    Become Ambidextrous Step 3.jpg
    • Try to do as much as you can with your non-dominant hand, such as applying soap and shampoo when you bathe. You may not realize it, but you probably do most of these small tasks with your dominant hand.
    • Make sure to brush your teeth correctly when using your non-dominant hand. If you're not comfortable brushing with this hand, you may inadvertently underbrush.
    • If you play an instrument, try playing with your non-dominant hand instead of your ordinary method of playing.
  4. Eat and cook with your non-dominant hand after a few days. Use your non-dominant hand to move pots and pans, to stir food, and to serve it. Hold your silverware with your non-dominant hand and use it to move the food to your mouth. You may have to do this slowly at first to avoid dropping the food, but it will get easier with time![4]
    Become Ambidextrous Step 4.jpg
    • It's best to spend a few days getting used to performing small tasks with your non-dominant hand first, since cooking with boiling water or other heated materials can be a bit more dangerous.
  5. Tie your dominant hand behind your back to be even more immersive. This method will force you to exclusively use your non-dominant hand to do everything. This is a great way to make your mind and body quickly adapt to using this hand, but you may want to do it after a few days of practice first.[5]
    Become Ambidextrous Step 5.jpg
    • The easiest way to do this would be tie your dominant wrist with rope, then tie the other end of that rope to the belt loop on the back of a pair of pants. This is a bit difficult to do by yourself, so you may need to have someone help you.

[Edit]Writing and Drawing with Your Non-Dominant Hand

  1. Hold a pen or pencil with your non-dominant hand the same way you would with the other hand. Write with your good hand in the mirror to see how it would look writing with your other hand. This gives you a clear visual cue to the method and helps your brain to picture the same action for your non-dominant hand. Then, practice holding the pen or pencil with your non-dominant hand so that it feels more comfortable.[6]
    Become Ambidextrous Step 6.jpg
    • Don't "claw" your hand. It may be tempting to grasp the pen as tightly as possible, causing your hand to ball up like a claw, but this will only stop you from writing effectively and can end up hurting your hand.
  2. Start by tracing the alphabet with your non-dominant hand. This will "introduce" your other hand to the ordinary movements involved in writing in a very easy way. Aim to produce straight lines and clean curves, but don't worry if you make a lot of mistakes at first. Perform this practice routine for at least 10 minutes a day until you feel comfortable making clean movements.[7]
    Become Ambidextrous Step 7.jpg
    • Your hand may strain at the beginning, but just take a break and try again later. The tension will eventually go away.
    • Be sure to trace out the alphabet using your non-dominant hand in lowercase, uppercase, and cursive letters (if you know cursive).
  3. Move on to writing letters without tracing and drawing simple shapes. Pin down some paper and start drawing butterflies, vases, symmetrical objects, letters, shapes, and whatnot. Although you may think your writing is awful at first, write a couple of lines every day from the start. You will only get better with practice![8]
    Become Ambidextrous Step 8.jpg
    • It may be helpful to buy a handwriting book designed for children and follow along with the exercises. Using your non-dominant hand to color in a coloring book is also a good idea.
    • As you do this, pay attention to which letters you struggle with the most and spend some extra time practicing them.
  4. Practice writing your name and full sentences. Your name will be the writing movement that you're probably most familiar with, so it's a very good set of letters to practice on. Try writing out a 3- to 5-sentence paragraph every day to get more comfortable with writing at length with your non-dominant hand.[9]
    Become Ambidextrous Step 9.jpg
    • Don't keep writing the same paragraph every day. Write a different one every day so your non-dominant hand doesn't get used to one paragraph only.
  5. Be sure to practice writing every day to improve your skills. Practice these techniques daily for at least a month, maybe longer. Soon, you'll be writing much more comfortably with your non-dominant hand, with very few mistakes.[10]
    Become Ambidextrous Step 10.jpg
    • Try keeping a daily journal that you write in exclusively with your non-dominant hand.

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[Edit]Quick Summary