From newspaper horoscopes to online readings and beyond: The changing face of discovering your future.

Some of us more than others, hold firm to the idea that the alignment of the planets can tell us more than we realise about our fortunes and our future. Whether that relates to a potential new job, the health of friends and family, a windfall of one kind or another, or perhaps a new love in our life or whether the one we're with is really 'the one'. How many times do you meet someone who has certain character traits and you intuitively know their star sign even before they tell you? Many people put all of this down to chance, whereas to varying degrees, some of us hold true to the idea that there is more than meets the eye to this and that we gain from having an open mind.

Millions of us each and every week – in fact often every day - check our stars in a newspaper or online (perhaps at ;)) and on occasion these columns can be insightful and really hit the nail on the head for us. Some of course take it more seriously than others and if you're in that latter category, opting for the more modern approach of an online reading might be a good way to gain more personalised insights. It could gift you a glimpse into your future and the decisions you should or could be making. No matter your star sign, whether you're fire (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius), earth (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) or air (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius), it's only natural to want guidance regarding what the next chapter of your life might hold and how to be a positive driving force in bringing about a better future.

If you're new to online readings, they're really quite simple and I will try to fill you in on what to expect from an online astrology reading. You are essentially required to give basic information about yourself (your star sign is ascertained from your birthday, place of birth etc) and an indication of what area of your life you need guidance on (love, financial, employment, non-specific.. the list goes on). From here you will receive insights based on this information, the position of the planets and the advisors general 'feel' of your interaction.

There are a great many talented astrology advisors out there, some with experts in particular fields, others with a fully rounded view regardless of your question. It's important when deciding who to receive your reading from that you get a good feel for your selection – sometimes it's 'meant to be'. Often advisors offer a blurb concerning who they are, their history with astrology and what they hope to bring to your communication. This can be really helpful to read before deciding upon your selection. Another tip I'd offer is that much like on any website nowadays, many psychics / astrologers are quite heavily reviewed. This gives you the opportunity to get a feel for what others think of them and therefore a better idea of whether they are the right one for you.

Once you've decided who you want to advise you, be sure beforehand as a way of saving money to have a very firm idea of what question or questions you are looking for guidance on in your life. The more clarity you add to the conversation, the easier it will be to receive advice that is really central to the issue at hand. Another potential cash saver is the fact that many astrologers offer a few minutes totally free. Where this offer is available it can be a great way to 'dip your toe in' so to speak and get a feel for the person you're asking advice from. If you decide that they're not for you, then you can try another and hopefully achieve a better match. Many sites have a format where you can browse through a number of (in fact sometimes into the tens or hundreds) psychics and so you're sure to find a good fit before long.

Ultimately, whatever your star sign, the aim of using an online astrologer is to nudge you in a certain direction, to show you what influences are driving forces behind your current and future situations and how best to create the future you are looking for. It's only part of the puzzle but could well be a meaningful part for you and if it's not an area you've investigated previously, then is one that is certainly worth exploring.

So we've covered newspaper horoscopes and bespoke online readings. It really does make you wonder what the future will hold. Perhaps virtual reality readings, as that does seem to be the way that technology is going. Wherever it goes, it creates further opportunities for us to look into our lives in new and interesting ways and to have a say in the direction we want to head in!