According to someone who, atypically, puts their real name (we assume) to a blog post: “Whether or not astrologers have a good understanding of astronomy, they are still for the most part fraudsters.” – Joe Bauwens.
This all started with a BBC program or actually several, featuring Dr Brian Cox. I wrote a blog post on this myself, which has attracted a few comments. But these are mild compared to the wars raging on other blogs. The Astrological Association in the UK have been busy with the representation of astrology on the BBC for a long time, but after a few choice comments from Cox, they decided to mount a petition, asking the BBC to adhere to their own code of practice which suggests fair and balanced representation of controversial topics. The response to this has been quite amazing, also appearing on Facebook and here too in the Netherlands where it has been reported in the press.
Added to that and the question of the 13th sign Ophiuchus raising it’s head again (yawn), here in Holland my friend and fellow astrologer, Elizabeth Hathway, wrote a post about a big fire that occurred here in Moerdijk. Her blog is for astrologers and she was talking of the eclipse in early January. The press, in the form of the newspaper Spits, picked up on it and published an article entitled “The eclipse is responsible for the fire” (with similar reactions to those mentioned above). This is absolutely not what she said and most of it is out of context. But how journalists treat information is old news. They ended with “the eclipse has no comment” which I must admit gave me a chuckle!
I want to give a taste of comments on two Guardian articles. One was by a journalist, Martin Robbins, and one by Dr Rebekah Higgitt, who like Robbins, is against astrology although hers is a more measured and reasonable view. See links below for original articles. I really want to look at the phenomenon of what’s going on here but I would like to give you an idea of what has been said first. Many people are surprised when I say that astrologers have been subjected to this sort of thing for years and are used to it. What is different is that we are starting to fight back.
A small sample:
The Robbins article referred to ” ‘respected astrologer’ Angela Cornish”.
Steve Hill: “Respected astrologer: my nomination for oxymoron of the year. Angela, in case you missed the point here, astrology is rubbish. And you should be truly ashamed to be making a living out of persuading ignorant suckers to give you money. Go and get a real job that is of some tangible benefit to humanity.”
Another from Aztec. One of Cox’s statements was that astrology is rubbish : “Saying that astrology is rubbish is not a personal view. It is a fact. An objective statement uttered in the light of evidence. No one has any reason to apologize for saying that.”
KattyNerd has quite a lot to say, a sample: “These ideas have no credibility whatsoever. Astrology isn’t scientific, it isn’t really even pseudoscience, it’s just dressed up mumbo jumbo that deserves no respect at all. So I’d say that I’m in general agreement with MarshallStack– let’s take the piss out of them, they don’t have any ideas that are worth taking seriously.”
SinceisGolden – so we know where he/she stands: “Dara O’Briain and Brian Cox hit exactly the right note, and the astrologers haven’t stopped whining since. Astrology shouldn’t be critiqued, it should be heaped with contempt.”
And another couple of my favourites who take the opportunity to have a go at homeopathy just for good measure – after all it is the same as astrology: “How do you educate people whose minds have been filled with the nonsense of astrology, creationism, homeopathy and the like? That is the question I would be very much interested in debating and not the question IF astrology and the like are nonsens, because to any sane person that goes without saying.” layman02.
And the last one from Kyza06; “A scientist who practices homeopathy may well have utmost respect for his peers and the peer review method etc, but it doesn’t change the fact that what he’s doing is bollocks. Astrologers may well have a huge degree of astronomical skill, but they use it in a superstitious way. This is where the ‘They’re idiots’ part comes in.”
As I write this I have heard that astrologers have been censored from the Guardian blog and called spammers. Deborah Houlding, a very respected astrologer, was blocked because she referred to her own site which Robbins incidentally had also done (Skyscript with lots of excellent and free information). She may be allowed to return if she changes her behaviour. She has posted the deleted post on her own site which is polite and informative. So she has now registered an official complaint. It’s getting really exciting! If a little weird.
It’s pretty clear where I stand on this but I don’t have a problem with skeptics. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I don’t try to push astrology on anyone who is uninterested. It’s the certainty and the vitriol behind the comments that I object to from people who don’t know anything about the subject. I do expect people to respect my choices – they don’t have to agree with me. But this argument is really mostly about that old chestnut science vs. the rest. Or more scientism. So why now?
It is also interesting to note that many of the Brian Cox, Dara O’Briain fans took the time to sign the astrologers’ petition using degrading names – very scientific and grownup! And they accuse us of needing to get a life. Yes that is a judgment on my part.
Back to where we are…
As this is the Aquarius post, I want to come back to my favourite planet (I know we shouldn’t have favourites but … oh well), that is associated with Aquarius, Uranus. As I mentioned in the last post, he’s very much around and is being fuelled and made bigger by Jupiter, that master of judgment. He’s also starting to get into an argument with Pluto as I mentioned last time, giving the current tensions in the world a pretty nasty twist. Don’t want to say I told you so, but I did say there would be revolution in the air! Tunisia, Egypt, Universities – come to mind. It’s getting scary out there. And I see these blogs as (albeit a minuscule) part of the same themes.
Uranus is a planet we associate with revolution but I want to use him to take a look at what might be behind all this upheaval. This is an energy that can be very innovative. However, innovation requires change and many people are fearful of that. If we look at the current world situation, we can see that change would mean losing power for a lot of world leaders. This is happening and will keep happening. This energy is just starting and continues until 2015. The man in the street and in our case, the astrologer, is taking back his power – there is finally a vent for all the abuse over many years.
Assange as an Example
If we take just one planet, Uranus, we can explore a little more in depth what rebellion might be about. Let’s first take Julian Assange. He is a very Uranian person born with the Sun (representing what he wants, where his heart is – I would say his vocation), combining with Uranus. I would interpret that as someone rebellious, who wants to be different, who wants honesty and who is happy to use unconventional methods to be seen as special. To be authentic to himself he needs to express this energy somehow.
Going psychological on you for a minute, Assange has a history of attending many different schools, breaks from his parents, in particular his father. Breaks with father is often seen in this planetary pattern. If this type of child is not valued in their youth for being different, special, unusual or quirky, they become the outsider. The black sheep. They feel rejection and this is often resolved by an unconscious decision to not put down roots or commit to anyone. It’s safer to say ‘I don’t need anyone’, than to feel the pain of not being seen and valued for who you are or to have someone abandon you, which is what happened to Julian. He is a typical case of this type of abandonment.
This has an effect later in life. Commitment issues arise, or an overwhelming urge to get to the truth, to not be fobbed off or lied to. To show that you are not stupid. I think Julian Assange really is trying to get to the truth. He wants to show he is special, clever and different. His intentions, as he sees it, are good. It is fascinating astrologically to see that his favourite target is the US. The Sun (father) in his chart is in the same place as the Sun in the US chart. This is maybe unconsciously pay-back time for Daddy. He has to prove that he is right and not stupid.
Waking us up
But like anyone trying to change the system or bring in controversial ideas, he is the target of hatred and vitriol and possibly false accusations. The case in Sweden he will answer to again this month, seems rather flimsy. And hearing the amount of frightening comments about him in the US ( e.g. Palin’s “He should be hunted down like Osama bin Laden”), I understand why he is not keen to go there. He has already changed something in the world though. Uranus is about expanding awareness and he has started to wake us up. There are things being brought to light which cannot be avoided.
The shooting in Arizona is another example. Gabrielle Giffords is a politician who was trying to do things in a new way, shown in her horoscope by Uranus – this time highlighted with the planet of action, Mars. For whatever reason, what happened to her is a wake-up call for us all. The US will have to deal with gun possession. And the amount of political mud-slinging. What we say and think does matter! Uranus coming into Aries is a huge wake-up call as I have said before. It is the start of a jump in consciousness.
When we have these jumps in the world or in our own lives, we can get it wrong or overreact. If we suddenly become aware that someone is using us, cheating on us or treating us like idiots, our shock often causes an initial reaction similar to that of the Tunisians and the Egyptians – to take to the streets and rebel, no matter what the consequences. We are often annoyed with ourselves for not understanding something. Revolutions are powered by brave people who no longer care what the outcome might be for them personally. Like crimes of passion, there is no option. Sometimes this is the only way that change can happen. Uranus is a cold and heartless, if objective planet. He needs to be, to attain his goal of a mind-shift. However there will always be the other side holding on for dear life. Like someone being caught having an affair, regimes will deny, promise they will be better and give up their errant ways. But knowledge of the affair changes something. There is no going back. It has to be dealt with. As with Assange, a sweeping under the carpet of anything suspicious that is not transparent, will eventually need to be handled. Like the sexually abusive priests.
My therapy teacher always used to say – we can deal with the truth, no matter how painful. It’s the lies that make us crazy.
Aquarius is a funny sign. It wants to be different, but it is also the sign of friends. It is the sign of ‘isms’. We rebel but only if we are part of a group of like-minded people. Safety in numbers. This brings me back to the blogs. My suspicion is that because we are becoming a society where the technology is so widespread, we are becoming alienated from real contact. If there is an easy target, like astrologers, with a backing from popular figures, perhaps people get encouraged to express their frustration knowing they will be part of a group. Perhaps like a sort of initiation, the more nasty and clever and different we can be, the more we might get noticed. I imagine most people on these blogs don’t know anything about science or astrology, and care even less. But it does give an outlet for putting others down and judging others. Maybe they can then feel better. I hope so but it doesn’t get us any further with our real problems.
Oh dear – I need to change my beliefs…
Voltaire, that man of many wise quotes such as “Prejudices are what fools use for reason”, also said, “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” I totally agree, if we really believe something deeply, we will do pretty well anything that agrees with this belief. No-one can easily change their beliefs. It’s too scary. That’s why scientists will always want proof for astrological principles (note demanding proof for astrology is meaningless – it’s like saying prove biology). And astrologers, having seen astrology working in their lives, are not inclined to throw it out. However we do really need to look at what we believe if we are going to move on.
I read this quote from Voltaire when I came across a book by Rahasya Poe. He talks of the consequences of our belief systems. We automatically make judgments all the time based on what we believe. If something doesn’t fit into our system, such as astrology for many, it is uncomfortable. It is different, wrong and we need to get rid of it. A more conscious Uranus might take the time to be awakened by an idea different to our own. But this is difficult.
I was aware of this the other night when I was watching an excellent BBC documentary on making wills. There was a couple struggling to satisfy the demands of the Koran and still be fair to their children who are being brought up in Britain. My immediate reaction was – a. people can decide for themselves what they do with their money. b. how ridiculous that boys should get twice as much as girls. c. how even more ridiculous that wives get an eighth of the inheritance.
However on listening further I understood the logic of it. When everyone knows the system and there are family responsibilities that everyone accepts then it makes more sense. Now it would take a bit more for me to agree with it if you live in Britain, but understanding it allowed me not to judge it. I have a different background so it would be difficult for me to accept. However there is no need for me to rush to a blog and be vitriolic about the Koran!
Uranus Rules…. ok?
So to get to know Uranus goes something like this
1. shock 2. anger 3. righteous rebellion 4. perhaps destructive rebellion
Here’s where many get stuck. What needs to happen next is a new idea. Perhaps even a new belief system. Belonging to a new group and especially a new creative spurt. That way you get innovation. But it involves soul-searching and questioning and often the most painful, being true to yourself which often means feeling alone. Until you find a new group. As we can see in Egypt and Tunisia – there is safety in numbers. But an innovative soul needs to give direction.
And being wrong is not something we like to admit, especially about deep-seated beliefs. Just look at the blogs! But we need to admit that we could be, very hard for an Aquarian like me! We need this everywhere, in all countries and also in our own lives. The RSA – the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce – one of my favourite sites – has the slogan at the moment of ’21st Century Enlightenment’. This is exactly where we are – the original enlightenment in the 18th Century coincided with the discovery of Uranus. Uranus entering Aries again now, the first sign of the zodiac, means that we must have a new start. Indeed a new enlightenment, the jump I mentioned. Are we up for the challenge of what our times are demanding?
Interesting Websites of the Month
The original articles from Martin Robbins and Dr Rebekah Higgitt mentioned above.
The other two are also well worth a watch although these are slightly longer. Both from the RSA site:
Kathryn Schultz – Being Wrong
Matthew Taylor – an RSA Animate on 21st Century Enlightenment
Quotes of the Month
“A woman mistook me for Brando. I tried to dissuade her but she kept coming back insisting I was Brando.”
Burt Reynolds, an Aquarian.
“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
Robert McCloskey, author, illustrator children’s books.