I meet a lot of people who, for a wide variety of reasons, dislike astrology. I don’t care too much about this. But I do care that I find myself answering the same questions over and over again. So on one of those nights that I should have been sleeping, I tossed and turned and came up with 13 things astrologers wish muggles understood about astrology. Then I figured a lot of other astrologers might also be tired of answering the same questions. So, being the nice person I am, I decided to write them down.
Without further ado. . .
It’s not all Sun Sign columns you know! The history of astrology itself is a massive topic. Then of course, there’s cultural astrology (astrology from different cultural perspectives). There are also different branches of astrology: Natal (the interpretation of the birth chart), Synastry (the astrology of relationships), Electional (choosing a time to do something like a wedding or book launch or store opening), Mundane (the astrology of world events), Forecasting (predictions of all sorts), Horary (answering a specific question using astrology). . .and these are topics just off the top of
Refer to point #1. If you ever meet an astrologer who claims to know everything about astrology, run far, far away as fast as you can. As for the rest of us–yeah, we huddle up and speak the language when we’re together because we are so few and far between. This is why we hug each other so much. We also read a lot. The majority of astrologers I know are total book hoarders. We invest a lot of time and money in our astrological learning and we tend to be VERY generous when it comes to sharing our knowledge.
Not all astrologers like Sun Sign astrology. They feel it is too general and they will probably tell you they have better things to do with astrology. I used to hate Sun Sign astrology too and here’s my story. Although I’m not as anti Sun Sign astrology as I used to be, I have chosen to stop writing for free. This is less for financial reasons than for time reasons: Sun Sign columns are out of date almost as soon as they’re written. As I’ve just agreed to a 3 book publishing deal with The Wessex Astrologer, I need to be more focused. And, um, I just spent a very depressing afternoon deleting my past Sun Sign posts as they have absolutely no value whatsoever.
We know what “Precession of the Equinox” means, we don’t think everyone fits into twelve
neat categories and pretty much all astrologers know Ophiuchus isn’t the 13th sign (and we know better than to confuse signs and constellations). A lot of astrologers find it pretty funny that so many sceptics run their mouths about astrology but actually know NOTHING about it! What are they afraid of? Oh and for your enjoyment, here is a blog where I take down Matthew Syeed for piping up about astrology.
Oh and predictions. Everyone makes predictions. The weatherman makes predictions all the time and is paid very handsomely for his efforts–whether he’s right or wrong. But when an astrologer gets it wrong. . .
I teach children and for a long time was banned from telling anybody I was an astrologer because the school had a Christian ethos (if you want to read the whole story, here it is). But it was part of my job to make predictions. These predictions were basically made on the trajectory direction of a pupil’s progress over time. I’d like to say I got it right all the time but every now and again miracles and disasters happened. It’s a similar thing with astrology–you can’t always account for free will. And, um, I’m not responsible for every other astrologer’s bad call either.
Think about how an artist might react if given a palette of colours and a blank canvas. Certain techniques might be shared between artists but style would vary widely. Again, refer to point #1. I’ve never met an astrologer who works the way I do, agrees with all my opinions or who likes all my stuff. If I ever met this fabled beast, I’d have to slay them just because I’d think they were taking the piss. And in reference to point #4, there probably are a few Astrologers who use Ophiuchus as a 13th sign (the rest of us laugh at them behind their backs).
Yeah, we can read this. Where does it come from? Some guy or gal with glasses, a lab coat and a posh degree from Oxford or Harvard spent long hours and a lot of daddy’s money doing calculations so we astrologers can use the information for nefarious purposes. And speaking of nefarious purposes—despite what you may have learned in Sunday School, the
majority of astrologers aren’t practitioners of Satanism and we don’t sacrifice virgins at the Vernal Equinoxes or partake in cannibalistic practices. Unlike certain other religions. Ahem.
Oh and a lot of us don’t make claims to be psychic or use Tarot cards, palmistry, crystal balls or the innards of birds or other methods for divinatory purposes. By the way, stop asking us if we “believe” in astrology: we don’t “believe” in it–we “practice” it. Lots and lots and lots.
AND STOP HOLDING OUT YOUR HAND FOR A FREE PALM READING WHEN I TELL YOU I AM AN ASTROLOGER!!
What is it with that? It makes me wonder what you’d do if I told you I was a proctologist.
By the way, I am a palmist as well–it’s the cheek of expecting me to do it on my night off (for free) that annoys me.
Some of us love them and some of us avoid them. But they exist all over the world. Just check out a group of western astrologers in saris and sherwanis at Krishnamurti Institute of Astrology conference in Kolkata India. In recent years, I’ve been to astrology conferences in the US, South Africa, Serbia, Italy and Australia (plus online in South America) for astrology conferences.
Yep, astrologers are everywhere! What do we do? We hang out together and learn astrology, eat decadent food and drink way more than we should. But mostly we’re just glad to see each other again.
If you’d like to find out more about astrology conferences, you can read my reviews of the best ones I’ve been to. But essentially I’ve found out there are thriving astrological communities everywhere. And with astrology capturing the imagination of Millennials, that interest is only going to continue to grow. Sorry Professor Brian Cox.
I’m a fairly well rounded astrologer (in more ways than one, ahem) but my specialism is Astrology and Education. I even wrote a book about it and as this is my blog, here’s a link to said book. And some information on astrology and education workshops I hold.
Because astrology is such a vast field, it’s pretty safe to say no two astrologers are the same.
My big day was when I realised there was more than just the Sun involved in astrology. Here’s a youtube clip of a recent interview where I talk about how I got into astrology. By the way, just because Chris Turner and I look like a Pepto Bismol explosion at a pharmaceutical factory does not mean all astrologers like the colour pink. And no, it’s not my favourite colour either (it’s green as you asked).
Well, I teach Physics to teenagers so I know the difference between nuclear fusion and nuclear fission and I could do a pretty good job explaining how a star is born too. Kiss my ass Brian Cox and Dara O’Braian.
Astrology classes are expensive, hard work and don’t guarantee you can make a living from astrology. But I did choose to do formal astrological degrees (and whinged the whole way through the course). That’s my diploma from The Faculty of Astrological Studies to the left.
The MA from Cultural Astronomy and Astrology from Bath Spa is my other degree. I’ve also studied Hellenistic Astrology with Dorian Greenbaum and electional and horary astrology with the School of Traditional Astrology and Deborah Houlding (who does Skyscript).
By the way, very few astrologers make their living exclusively from astrology. Out of the hundreds of astrologers I know of, only a handful don’t have a day job to fund travel, courses and materials. Every now and again I add up all the time and money I’ve spent on astrology courses and I think I could have pursued a PhD in something useful but most days I’m happy with my decision to follow my heart.
OK, this is one of my pet peeves. Mercury is retrograde around 2-3 months of the year. Good luck not using public transport or the postal system for all that time.
Whilst it’s true astrology is everywhere, it’s a pretty good idea to check out an astrologer’s qualifications before you invest your money. Ask them about their training and their approaches. Better yet, try to get a word-of-mouth recommendation for them. Written reports are pretty easily generated and they’re cheaper than face to face consultations but they lack personalisation.
Just so you know.Muggles” is my rather affectionate term for people who don’t know anything about astrology outside of Sun sign columns. I’ve written about how to go from being a Muggle to being an astrologer on another post.
**”Retrograde” motion is when a planet appears to be moving backwards against other bodies within its system. All the planets can be retrograde but Mercury seems to be the celestial whipping boy for lost post, computer malfunctions and train delays. I had a tirade about this too which you can read about here.