Walter Berg (astrologer)
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Berg was born Barry Parkinson in Chorley, Lancashire, England on 28 October 1947. Between 1988 and 1994 he wrote extensively for electronic repair manuals and produced course material for science education.
In 1980, while studying and practising astrology Berg became acquainted with astrologer Jeff Mayo and collaborated with him on several projects while developing 13-sign astrology.
In 1989 he began writing "The Evening Sky", a monthly New Age and cultural astronomy feature syndicated to local newspapers, schools, colleges, universities, and released onto the Packet Switched Radio Network. A monthly guest on BBC Eastern Counties and Three Counties Radio, independent Horizon and Chiltern Radio was the 'expert spokesperson' on numerous national radio and television networks. He received a COPUS award from the Royal Society in 1993 for work Promoting the Public Understanding of Science.
Berg published The 13 Signs of the Zodiac in 1995, which sold well in the UK. The 13 Signs of the Zodiac was published in Japan in 1996 in a translation by radio host Mizui Hisami (水井久美), and the first edition sold out within days. Throughout 1996 Berg appeared each Monday on Fuji Television's Big Today programme networked nationally to an audience of nine million. During 1996–97 Berg wrote for major Japanese magazines and produced a weekly column in the broadsheet newspaper Sankei that he continues to write. Berg has constructed 13-sign profiles for many 'A’ list Japanese celebrities and politicians.
The introduction of a 13 sign zodiac by Berg explains the appearance of Ophiuchus in Japanese pop culture, especially in the Final Fantasy series (Ophiuchus is the final Stellazzio coin collected by Queen Stella.) In 1995 Berg proposed a symbol for Ophiuchus which has come into comparatively widespread use in Japan. The symbol looks like a letter U with a superimposed tilde. In 2009, it was suggested for inclusion in the Unicode standard as part of an emoji extension. The symbol has been added to the Unicode Miscellaneous Symbols codepage (U+26CE ⛎) as of version 6.0 (October 2010).
In 2008, he published (under Barry Parkinson, his birth name) a book combining traditional 12-sign horoscopy with the concept of blood group based personality types popularised in Japan in the 1970s by Masahiko Nomi, resulting in a system of 48 personality types.
Western tropical astrology has long been detached from the constellations eponymous of the signs, due to the axial precession of the equinoxes over the centuries since the introduction of the zodiac by the Chaldeans. By contrast, in sidereal astrology the astrological signs remain attached to the constellations, while the vernal equinox has moved away from Aries over time. Sidereal astrology has traditionally only been practised in Indian Jyotisha, but it has been introduced in western astrology by Cyril Fagan in 1944. A small minority of western astrologers have since followed Fagan and used a sidereal system as in Indian tradition. The Indian tradition also uses 12 equal-sized signs; the distinction is in where the signs start.
Berg breaks from historical tradition to combine sidereal astrology with the IAU's official constellation boundaries defined in 1930, creating a 13-sign system. This results in astrological signs that correspond directly to the time the Sun spends in their eponymous constellations. For example, the Sun spends forty-five days in Virgo and only six days in Scorpio. The 13th sign is Ophiuchus, where the Sun passes during the first two weeks of December.
|Sign||Traditional (tropical) dates||Dates based on the IAU constellations
(as of 2011)
|Aries||The Ram||21 March to 20 April||18 April to 13 May|
|Taurus||The Bull||21 April to 20 May||13 May to 21 June|
|Gemini||The Twins||21 May to 21 June||21 June to 20 July|
|Cancer||The Crab||22 June to 22 July||20 July to 10 August|
|Leo||The Lion||23 July to 22 August||10 August to 16 September|
|Virgo||The Virgin||23 August to 22 September||16 September to 30 October|
|Libra||The Scales||23 September to 22 October||30 October to 23 November|
|Scorpio||The Scorpion||23 October to 22 November||23 to 29 November|
|Ophiuchus||The Serpent Bearer||29 November to 18 December|
|Sagittarius||The Archer / Centaur||23 November to 21 December||18 December to 20 January|
|Capricorn||The Sea-goat||22 December to 20 January||20 January to 16 February|
|Aquarius||The Water Bearer||21 January to 18 February||16 February to 11 March|
|Pisces||The Fish||19 February to 20 March||11 March to 17 April|
Berg argues that the movement of stars, planets, comets and asteroids through space affects the solar magnetic field; this in turn affects the geomagnetic field influencing collective and individual electro/chemical/biological systems. Human bio-resonant systems are able to tune into particular astro-resonant cycles. When constructing charts he uses dimension z in addition to the x and y coordinates which form the geometric patterns. The z co-ordinate is allocated an energy value of varying strength.
- The 13 Signs of the Zodiac, HarperCollins (1995) ISBN 0-7225-3254-7
- Your Brilliant Guide to the 1999 Total Solar Eclipse, Sigma Press (1999) ISBN 1-85058-676-4
- Your Universe and You: Your Brilliant Guide to the Night Sky, Sigma Press (2000) ISBN 1-85058-731-0
- Under Starry Skies: Tracing Our Cosmic Heritage, uvshift (2001) ISBN 0-9540211-0-X
- 13星座の星占い (The 13 Signs of the Zodiac), Shodensha Co. Ltd (1996) ISBN 4-396-10374-3
- 13星座で本当の自分がわかる (13 Zodiac: Personality), Fusosha 扶桑社文庫 (1996) ISBN 4-594-02029-1
- 13星座・恋愛占い (13 Zodiac: Love), Fusosha (1996) ISBN 4-594-02092-5
- 天空の企て (Voice of the Heavens), Fusosha (1997) ISBN 4-594-02276-6
- 円卓の騎士占い (Knights of the Round Table: Fortune), Fusosha (2003) ISBN 4-594-04118-3
- キング・アーサーと円卓の騎士占い (King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table: Fortune), Fusosha (2004), ISBN 978-4-594-04654-5.
- (as Barry Parkinson バリー・パーキンソン) 「血液型×星座占い」 48ランキングで本当の自分が分かる! Blood Type × Horoscopes: 48 True Rankings, Understand Yourself!, Fusosha (2008) ISBN 978-4-594-05806-7.
- Mizui & Watanabe (1996). '’The Official Bergian System'’. p28. Fuji TV publication Fuso Corporation.
- Mizui & Watanabe (1996). '’The Official Bergian System'’. p33-56. Fuji TV publication Fuso Corporation.
- OPHIUCHUS (U+26CE) Font Support http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/26ce/fontsupport.htm.
- 忘却からの帰還 Return from oblivion http://transact.seesaa.net/article/110187362.html.
- New astrological sign: Professor finds horoscopes may be a little off kilter a 14 January 2011 article from the Los Angeles Times