The Dalai Lama’s visit to Seattle this week has me thinking about astrology’s bad public image and what, if anything, can be done about it.
As an astrologer, I tend to hang around other astrology sites, where we argue about things like the correct application of the lunar nodes and whether Pluto’s entry into Capricorn means another American Revolution. I get a stark dose of reality when I wander to other sites, where discussions of astrology are marred by flames essentially accusing anyone who believes in astrology of being a stupid idiot or worse.
The two groups that seem to have the worst view of astrology are Christian Conservatives and the liberal Left. The first is predictable. The second is more puzzling, especially when intellectual types are so quick to embrace Eastern philosophy. It’s acceptable, if not downright fashionable, to be a Buddhist and to revere the Dalai Lama. Tickets to his appearance are the hottest in town.
But heaven help you if you believe in astrology, a “superstitious pseudoscience.”
This unfortunate view may be largely due to a gross misunderstanding of what astrology is – and what it isn’t – which is perpetuated by the Sun sign horoscopes in newspapers and magazines. I never attempt to “convert” anyone, but I’ve won over a few people simply by explaining what astrology is and how it is best used.
Neith and I made a conscious decision that, no matter how much traffic our site would generate if we offered Sun sign horoscopes, we will not do it. Yes, we are commercial, but we also believe strongly that astrology is an important tool for self-discovery, which in turn leads to evolution of the human mind. Sun sign horoscopes are not consistent with our mission.
Sun sign horoscopes are a relatively new invention, having been created in the 1930s as a marketing tool to sell newspapers. As a result, millions of people now identify with their Sun signs, and most people don’t know what a Rising sign is or why it’s a better forecasting tool. We may offer Rising sign horoscopes in the future, so stay tuned…
Meanwhile, millions of people who ridicule astrology do so with foregone conclusions more appropriate for a Baptist revival than for a gathering of rational, intelligent beings. These are people who pride themselves on being “open-minded,” and yet on this topic, their minds are slammed shut with frightening finality. Although we don’t want to be so open-minded that our brains fall out, expanding the mind does require additional space.
If any of you have any thoughts about why this apparent paradox exists, we would love to hear from you. (For those of you who haven’t registered, it’s quick and easy!).
Love and blessings to all,