Tricks of the Trade

Back in the days when I was posting on my personal astrology blog, The Pisces Chronicles, a reader posed this question:

One thing I’d love to know is this: When preparing daily/weekly/monthly horoscopes, how do astrologers choose exactly what they want to aspect in the horoscope itself for each sign, what they want to highlight, when there is so much happening in the skies. Each astrologer seems to see a different picture or have a different interpretation. (Thanks to Windwhisperer).

While there are basic “rules” in astrology, each astrologer has his or her own unique lens through which to view the Universe. Eric Francis, for example, has done groundbreaking work with the centaurs, a group of planetoids orbiting between Jupiter and Neptune. Because he has studied these bodies in-depth like no one else, it’s natural that he uses them in his forecasts and so sees things that others don’t.

Then there’s Michael Lutin, who has worked extensively with the lunar nodes and incorporates them into his horoscopes.

Still others like to use the asteroids Juno, Pallas, Vesta, and Ceres (which recently was reclassified as a dwarf planet), especially when writing for women.

For the most part, though, astrologers who write daily, weekly, and monthly horoscopes use aspects between the ten planets, including Pluto, which has not been “demoted” in astrology. Where we differ is in which aspects on any given day we consider to be the most important and how we approach Sun sign astrology, which is the basis for most free horoscopes that you read in newspapers, magazine, and on the Internet.

As an example, let’s take a look at today, this week, and this month.

Normally, writers of daily horoscopes use lunar aspects, because often that’s all there is. Today (February 4), the Moon opposes Venus and Uranus, trines Mars, squares Jupiter, and then is inconjuct the Sun and Neptune. Some astrologers might pick the most interesting of those and use it for all 12 signs, while others would select the aspect most appropriate for each sign. For Pisces, we most certainly would concentrate on Venus and Uranus, which are now in Pisces. For Capricorn, we might choose to use the Moon-Mars aspect . . . or not.

Let’s say I’m writing for Capricorn, and I decide to go with the Moon opposite Venus and Uranus. I might write that Cap could have an unexpected meeting with someone from a foreign country and could end up having a romantic fling. However, if I chose the Moon-Mars aspect, I might say that Cap was feeling restless and needed to get out for a vigorous run around the block.

Of course, those two aren’t mutually exclusive. While out jogging, Cap might bump into a tall, handsome stranger walking his dog in the park.

If we’re looking at the week ahead, we’ve got Venus conjunct Uranus on Wednesday, the Sun conjunct Neptune on Thursday, Venus square Jupiter on Friday, and the Sun opposite Saturn on Saturday, plus all the lunar transits.

What would I decide to concentrate on? Well, if I were writing for Cosmopolitan magazine, I’d definitely go with the Venus-Uranus conjunction, which is conducive to love at first sight and fast, casual affairs. I might also mention that diets would need close watching on Friday.

If I were writing for some kind of New Age publication, I’d most surely mention the Sun-Neptune conjunction, which is highly creative and intuitive. For general readership, I would emphasize the Sun-Saturn opposition, which is pretty heavy, although I’d balance it out with one of the lighter aspects.

Likewise, looking at the month ahead, I’d pick what I considered to be the dominant energies. Personally, I’d pick Mercury retrograde in Pisces and the building tension of the Saturn-Neptune opposition at the end of the month, and I’d tell each sign what to expect.

Of course, all of this is based on Sun sign, which many astrologers don’t consider to be real astrology. My own opinion is that it can be very accurate, depending on how it’s done. But even in this, astrologers differ. Some base their forecasts on the movements of the planets through the solar houses, while others use house rulerships. Still others use aspects to the Sun sign. All get slightly different results.

One of my favorite Sun sign astrologers is Susan Miller. She was my role model for learning astrology back when I first started writing Sun sign horoscopes. Susie can be uncannily accurate, but what I really like about her is that she gives you the astrological basis for her predictions. Some readers don’t like it when astrologers do this, though. They don’t care about planetary movements; they just want to know, “What does it mean for me?

Windy, I hope this answers your question. If not, fire away!