Monday, February 5, 2007

Astrological musings...

   Several weeks ago I came across the web site of am Astrologer by the name of Lynn Hayes. I don't remember what series of links led me to her, but the entry in her blog I lit upon was called Skepticism without magic: an empty prison. In it, she claims to have been pursuing skeptics for years, offering free readings to anyone who doesn't believe in Astrology. She says:
"I am fairly certain that most skepticism arises from a disbelief in "sun sign" astrology and horoscopes, yet not one skeptic has ever taken me up on my offer which would demonstrate the difference between newspaper horoscopes and a real astrological consultation. There is no doubt that a certain amount of skepticism is a healthy thing and keeps us from falling into the Neptunian abyss of illusion and fantasy, but what is it that would prevent someone who doesn't believe in astrology from being willing to explore it a little further?"
Needless to say, I was skeptical.
   I dropped a comment on that entry, accepting her challenge, and requesting she contact me in order to provide a reading. After some crossed wires, and a short email exchange, she sent me her reading, which I reproduce in full below.
Below is a snapshot of your astrological chart, this is not comprehensive but just a brief mini-reading of what I see here.  Please let me know what you think and whether I can publish your comments.
Your Sun is in Aquarius, and while the Sun is the biggest single piece of the birthchart it is only one part of a complex array of symbols.  Each planet or luminary (Sun and Moon) represents an aspect of our personality, and is viewed against the backdrop of the zodiac which describes the way that aspect of our personality expresses itself.  The space of the birthchart is divided into twelve houses, each of which describes a sphere of existence that is likely to be the arena in which issues regarding those aspects of our personality find their fullest expression.  It is the time of birth which sets up the house structure, and because we don't know exactly what time you were born and because oflimited time I will not be addressing the houses in this report.
The Sun represents our soul's quest; our mission on Planet Earth.  With the Sun in Aquarius, you are here to perfect your own completely unique and brilliant expression of the mind.  Aquarius is an air sign, and it is involved with matters of the intellect. There is a far-reaching vision that is fair and just and a strong idealistic sense of justice and freedom.  Aquarius is the revolutionary and the inventor - there is an affinity for the unusual and the path not traveled.
All of that idealism can serve to create difficulties in our personal lives, however, which sometimes unfold in messy ways.  In your chart, Mercury and Venus are in Aquarius along with your Sun which shows that your mental function (Mercury) and your ability to relate to others (Venus) are expressed through the Aquarian lens as well.  Mercury in Aquarius is logical and innovative - a brilliant thinker who often seems to download new ideas rather than learning through conventional means.  The sign Mercury falls in shows what we think about as well as how we think and communicate, and for Aquarius that means thinking of new ways to accomplish old goals.  Aquarius rules technology, which after all is a *new* way of communicating, and this is a placement that is excellent for computer programming or other such technological skills. Venus in Aquarius carries that idealism and desire for innovation into the sphere of relationships.  There is a desire for a relationship that may defy convention - perhaps a long-distance relationship or one where each partner has a great deal of freedom. 
The yearning for freedom is a theme in your chart - your Moon falls in Aries, showing that you seek to be nurtured (Moon) in a way that preserves your autonomy and ability to express your own needs (Aries).  The Moon shows the emotional nature, and in Aries there is a need for self-preservation and adventure.  This is not a placement that demonstrates a great deal of compassion orempathy, that is not how you are wired.  In fact, other influences in your chart (Saturn and Chiron in Pisces and Neptune on the ascendant square the Sun) indicate that you are actually quite sensitive but that it is difficult for you to integrate that sensitivity into your personality in a way that doesn't feel vulnerable or painful.  You are far more comfortable with the reason and logic of your Aquarian nature than that vulnerability and it is not uncommon for us to submerge aspects of our personality that give us discomfort. 
Your Sun is squared by Jupiter, showing that you have a great deal of confidence and actually quite a bit of luck, although you may not always be aware of it.  Jupiter is in the earthy sign of Taurus, which shows a love of nature and a grounded sense of your abilities.  The square of Jupiter in Taurus which dislikes change to the Sun in Aquarius which is born for change indicates an inner conflict - part of you craves stability and material wealth (Taurus) and part of you resists becoming enmeshed in convention (Aquarius).  This does, however, give you a deep inner power that over time becomes less of a conflict as you resolve the two inner needs.
You are in the middle of a process of change as transiting Uranus opposes Uranus in your natal chart.  This happens to everyone at about age 42 and is called the "Uranus Opposition," one of the "midlife crisis" transits, or planetary events.  Uranus is the planet that rules Aquarius, and it is involved in creating change and breaking up old stale patterns that are holding us back.  Everyone experiences this process differently - for those of us who resist change and take the safe path, the Uranus Opposition can be very destabilizing as we become driven by a deep restlessness and urge for something different.  Marriages can break up under this transit, we become frustrated by our jobs as Uranus urges us to break out of routines and live a more authentic life.  This began for you in April (you would have started feeling it in early March) and continued through August of last year.  You are completing the process now and by March it will be behind you. 
You are going through another of the "midlife crisis transits" at the same time - the square of transiting Neptune to Neptune in your chart.  Because Neptune drives us to seek an inner life that goes beyond the material world, these cycles can also be destabilizing but in a different way.  We can become confused and feel that our ship has lost its rudder as Neptune urges us to look within and find a true experience of the divine.  This has nothing to do with religion, which is a more intellectual process than an experiential one.  This has to do with aligning with an inner knowledge and faith.  Because Neptune squares your Sun in your birthchart, this is also setting off issues around your own sense of yourself and who you are in the world.  This cycle began back in 2005 and will continue through next year. 
   The first thing you will notice about this reading is how crammed full of alleged astronomical data it is, with Jupiter squaring Neptune, and Pluto entering Uranus. If you can get past all the technobabble - the accuracy of which I am not in a position to comment on - what is left is a series of statements that do, indeed, sound a lot like one might read in a newspaper horoscope. 
   I snipped out a couple of said statements, and put them into a poll on Thursday past, in which over thirty of you were kind enough to vote. According to the results of that poll, those two statements, pulled at random from my personalised reading and allegedly describing me specifically, also very accurately describe almost three quarters of my readers. (At time of writing, the results were 78% very accurate for the first question with 33 votes cast, and 68% very accurate for the second with 32 votes cast - which reminds me - which one of you jokers only voted in one poll?)
   I must say, Lynn, you have failed to convince me that your astrological readings are any more than just a series of generalized platitudes designed to be more or less accurate for the widest possible audience, accompanied by a landslide of astronomical references intended to fool the reader into thinking there is some kind of scientific basis underpinning it. I know Lynn will remain as unconvinced as I am, and simply declare that I am being "closed minded." In response I can only state that all the evidence is on my side, and while I am open to taking a closer look at astrology, the reading she provided me with today won't be the thing to convince me to do so.
   Here's why:

   The above video demonstrates my complaint about the reading Lynn prepared for me exactly. Were I to strip out the references to my astrological sign, and present that reading to just about anybody, they would most likely attest that it described them quite accurately, as we have seen by my informal poll. For more information about the many tests of astrology that have taken place over the years, visit Skeptico's article, What do you mean, "test" astrology?
   OK, Lynn, I took your challenge. Will you take mine? E-mail me for details if you are interested.


princesssaurora said...


be well,

simianfarmer said...

I stopped reading less than halfway through and just skipped ahead to your bit.


tenyearnap said...

Dude, I went through a Uranus Opposition at 42 also. Luckily that can be cured with lots of sex and whiskey. Get drinkin' buddy.--Cin

teeisme57 said...

Which 1st Lady was it that used to consult an astrologer?

sazzylilsmartazz said...

Frankly, I think you should tell her to kiss Uranus.
My bad - but astrology is just another money making religion.

sazzylilsmartazz said...

To answer Teeisme - wasn't it Lady Bird Johnson?

plittle said...

  I don't know about Lady Bird, but it was pretty well known that Nancy Reagan had as astrologer either on staff, or on retainer in the White House. Of course, the astrologers would have you think that legitimized them, rather than the truth, which is quite the opposite.

bhbner2him said...

Personaly, I don't know if it's always bunk or sometimes "real".  Makes no difference to me.  The Bible tells me to stay away from such things and trust the future to God and my choices.  -  Barbara

sazzylilsmartazz said...

You're right Paul. 'Twas Nancy Reagan. I had to look it up out of curiosity. Here is a link I found. Oh, BTW ... it's true the scriptures forbid astrology and that was the major reason for concern at the time along with the fact she spent megabucks.

sazzylilsmartazz said...

Sorry, the last link didn't work well. Hope this one does.  

gehi6 said...

I have not been able to believe in astrology because I do think the readings are so general they really have little meaning.  The kind of psychic pickup that interests me is that which comes from knowing the people around you very well which can then lead to some unusual information passed through dreams and the like.  But intense accurate observation with one's own eyes and mind are necessary I think for any significant psychic pickups.  Astrology for the masses is not too exciting.   Gerry    

barryleiba said...

Barbara:  Oh, yes, the bible CERTAINLY makes more sense than astrology, ah, yup.  Hm, compare this (from above)...

"The square of Jupiter in Taurus which dislikes change to the Sun in Aquarius which is born for change indicates an inner conflict."

...with this...

"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man."

MUCH more sense, indeed.

aleclynch said...

Our planets must have bumped up against each other a little bit, Paul. I actually have a yearning for freedom, too! What are the odds?

I wonder, back when most people were lucky to live to be 40, what people thought of the fact that everyone goes through one of those mid-life crises' at 42.  Or do the planets change as better nutrition and health-care come along?


bpslider45 said...

Hey Paul,
I took your poll (and answered both questions).

I answered "no" to both questions because while aspects of each question could apply to me, the positive answer, "This statement describes me very accurately" seemed too absolute to allow me to answer that way.
I could not say that either described me VERY accurately.
"Not at all" was also not applicable but I'd rather claim to less , than more virtue than I feel I have.

Point here is, both polls offered statements that could describe anyone to a certain degree but also no one absolutely (or no one I've met... or want to).

When I first read the "polls" post I wondered where you had pulled such vague and unrealistic statements from.

Question answered.
And as far as I'm concerned, your point has been made.

dpoem said...

Sometimes a star is just a star...


rebuketheworld said...

Well, Paul when you made the comment at her blog, did she know you were a skeptic? If so, or if your arguments were made relaying this, she had a head start. I should do this with her. As far as this general personality draft, I find it interesting that most of it is centered around the pursuits of intellect.  You should do a dummy request and see what you get. Say your a follower of a really big Christian church,lol...

OH, when she said this, "perhaps a long-distance relationship or one where each partner has a great deal of freedom", this is sooo me....  

"there is an affinity for the unusual and the path not traveled."

Well, Paul, you are a rebel. This one fit.

schhowie said...

Astrology is the ancient practice and study of the stars and planets. Its history goes back to Babylonian times. Astrology is not the same as astronomy. Astronomy studies only the science of the planets, stars and universe.

<a href="">astrology, horoscope</a>

plittle said...

  I'm sorry, schhowie, but I find your comment to be incomprehensible. Astrology is the study of the stars and planets, but astronomy is the study of *only* the stars, planets and universe? Am I just slow?