Tuesday, February 01, 2011

People Who Should Know better

Wow, there's been a lot of bad press about astrology lately with the appearance of Ophiucus resulting in some tall stories being spread by people in the scientific community on respected television channels - namely the BBC - who really should know better. As astrologers we are not so much concerned with proving whether astrology works or not but more with the outrageous claims that amuses/infuriates us most: that astrologers earn huge amounts of money from a very gullible public. This public, namely You, appears, from what the scientists are implying, to be extremely stupid. What an insult to both you and astrologers. They also claim that we do readings in the same manner as a sun-sign column which means that 1/12 of the population will all have the same chart! This is total poppycock - to put it very politely - because all consultations are based on a time, place and date of birth, or by horary astrology - asking a question of the astrologer at a given time.

Astrology is a very complicated process that is taken very seriously by astrologers. Yes, some of us do write columns but we do so in a way that presents astrology in a respectable light in a bid to rise above some of the rubbish columns written by journalists. Yes, folks, journalists. You know those columns that are so brief and vague and without any astrological terminology to back up the data being presented. Newspapers and magazines know that astrology sells and that's why they have picked this little acorn this time around. You only need to look at the rubbish being spouted about Ophiucus to see it has gone viral. Please, dear public, don't fall for this!

A sincere person discrediting a belief, would begin his research by discovering exactly what happens when an astrologer prepares for a consultation and what they charge. Since this outrageous claim is that all astrology is based on your sun-sign (something that was invented by NEWSPAPERS to SELL NEWSPAPERS in the 1930's), he would find there is at least 2-3 hours work spent on calculating and pondering the symbolism in a chart. And that's before the client shows up for their 1-2 hour consultation. Doesn't take a rocket scientist - excuse the pun - to work out that this means that for 4-5 hours work they might get paid anything between $100-$200 - a mean average of say $30 an hour! Then we get to minus tax off that!

Yes, there are telephone lines that charge by the minute, but you will not find a genuine astrologer running one - you will find they are being run by people who claim to be psychic and use the word astrology - yes based on your sun-sign - to do a "reading". It's ironic that these same lines are being advertised on the Guardian's website, where discussions have been taking place between astrologers and "scientists". These lines are the equivalent to those scam emails one gets claiming to be your bank and asking for your password.

Some very intelligent people on the Guardian's forum came up with the claim that some papers get their journalists to write a year's worth of starsign columns and to vary the content each year so that no one will notice. They then go on to ask "how can astrology work?" Oh. My. God! They don't even realise that what they are saying here is: that a journalist wrote the column with NO ASTROLOGER IN SIGHT. This should set the alarm bells ringing straight away! Blaming the poor old astrologer because astrology doesn't work when not one single astrologer has been consulted? Wow, I think they have shot themselves in the foot there!

Even if you think astrology IS a load of old bollocks, you can still lobby for quality television maintaining its standards. Please feel free to add your voice to the growing list of people who are outraged by the lack of professionalism and knowledge displayed by media and scientific fields.


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