Astrology is against horoscopes

The Cat is angry


Note: If there are astrological terms that you do not understand consult my glossary.

This time the skeptics are right

In our days the word “astrology” to most people is associated mainly to horoscopes that appear in newspapers, magazines or in some tv programs, rightly adversed by the skeptics of any kind.

Real predictive astrology is based, in a way or another according to the techniques used, on the birth chart of the person, so on the exact position of all the planets, of the ascendant, the other house cusps at the moment of birth and still other elements.

And the horoscope? The horoscope is based only on the sign in which the Sun was situated observing how the planets are dealing with that estimated position. Some astrologers try to make their horoscopes a bit more accurate by differentiating the horoscope of any sign by decades, that is they divide the sign in thirds, making a lightly different prevision to those born in the different fractions of the sign (Saturn just entered in Aries won’t make a trine with a Sun at the end of Leo for the whole year).

This poses two problems:

1) If the Sun, among the other things, represents our essential nature, at the same time it can represent much different things according to the house that it rules in the chart, comprised your enemies… your horoscope was full of good promises and instead were your rival to prosper? Maybe this is the solution to the mystery.

2) It is ignored the position of the other planets and all the element of your birth chart. It could be that, the planet that is in a position theoretically bad for people born in Scorpio, is doing a benefic transit to your Venus, maybe also much more precise than the contact that it would be having with the Sun, and so in reality the things are going well to you or in any case better than has been thought.

So horoscopes do not work and can not work, save for some rare cases, half-way between a coincidence and the exception that confirm the rule.

The least that we can do about horoscopes is that they are an extremely imprecise instrument.

In practice paying an astrologer for a horoscope is like paying an architect to build a lego’s house; and yet I heard that the most economically successful astrologers are those that do horoscopes… would you pay a world-class chef what he earns in two months just to heat a single frozen pizza you bought at the discount store round the corner?

The mass market

Why then horoscopes are so widespread? Because they are fit for the mass market: the astrologer can publish his horoscopes in any magazine or newspaper and what he wrote will have about the same validity for all readers born under this or that sign, without worrying about ascendant, Arabian lots etc of the individual birth chart.

The reader, on his part, doesn’t need to worry about the exact hour of birth, even the place isn’t necessary; is he born on 15th of April? He is Aries and reads his horoscope, these columns give the days intervals of every sign (but who is born just at the first or last day of a sign should pay attention, sometimes, calculating the real birth chart, he can have some surprises).

On their part it seems that newspapers and magazines keep horoscope’s columns to ease the things after all the bad news they talked about.

The most used technique (the only I know) is done considering the solar sign as 1st house (that, in fact, represents ourselves), the next sign as the second house (material and moral resources) etc and, from the position of the planets in the various signs, reaching a result.

Has this system a technical value? No.

Astrologers and horoscopes

Does this means that the astrologers that do horoscopes are all charlatans? Not really, some of the astrologers that I esteem most have written horoscopes at least for a limited period of their life (and others, whose techniques I do not esteem, refuse doing horoscopes for reasons of professional ethics), but they are the first to be conscious that what they are doing is bereft of real valour, if they do that is for other reasons such as facing economical difficulties or simply grabbing an opportunity, it seems that sometimes are the magazines’ editorial staff themselves to contact the astrologers to ask them of managing their horoscope.

Notwithstanding the fact that I found also some astrologers that says of having received good feedbacks from the public about the value of their own horoscopes, usually among the professionals the discussion is not about if the horoscopes work or not, but if it is a good idea doing them or not.

Those advocating this practice, avoiding economical reasons, say simply that this is useful to make remember that astrology exists, keeping it alive and give it public awareness.

But obviously making predictions bereft of any real value surely can’t put astrology in a good light; this illustrious discipline is instead trivialized and brought into a farce.

We can also take the example of Russia. There astrology hadn’t found any space in the culture of the Soviet union (notwithstanding the fact that Stalin had a personal astrologer) but, with the regime’s fall, astrology flourished and now Russia is one of the countries where it is most accepted (I have to admit that also horoscopes are now rather widespread there).

About my personal experience, notwithstanding I had been interested since years on spirituality, I had always been diffident about astrology exactly because of the horoscopes, only reading by chance a book on the matter I realized that astrology is a serious thing.

To conclude I have to inform you that some horoscopes are not even done by real astrologers. This has been told by Bernard Eccles, an English astrologer that regularly publish horoscopes, in an interview published in:

He began his horoscope’s career sending some horoscope forecasts to a woman’s magazine. The editorial staff answered asking him of managing the magazine’s horoscope column; he then asked naively <<Who does it now?>> And they replied: <<We make it up.>>

Believe in astrology, not in horoscopes.

- The Cat