New Moon in Leo: Sun sign astrology columns

As astrologers we each have our style, preferences, and orientation for our practice. Every month, we choose a question about our professional astrology practice, and collect your responses here.
Katerusko
 
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New Moon in Leo: Sun sign astrology columns

Postby Katerusko » Mon Jul 04, 2016 8:00 pm

We know that popular Sun sign magazine columns are both a blessing and a curse for the profession of astrology – they make the general public aware of astrology, but expose a very superficial aspect of astrology, and sometimes deceptively so.
And yet, they are a good bread winning tool for the astrologer.
What do you think should happen with these Su sign columns to better support the credibility of astrology?
Eliminate them? Regulate them? Let them be? Other suggestions?

Katerusko
 
OPA supporter
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:46 am
Full Name: Kate Rusko
Location: Montreal, Canada

Re: New Moon in Leo: Sun sign astrology columns

Postby Katerusko » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:00 pm

Roderic

Bring readers in a bit with an appropriate disclaimer.  Readers are sufficiently educated these days enough to understand simple disclaimers that qualify what time period, parameters (i.e., "for Taurus Sun and rising"), and/or general line of thought for the set of readings in front  of them.  When no disclaimer is added, even seasoned astrologers can sometimes find themselves confused (e.g., is that meant for this month, for the solar transit, or the entire year?), especially if there is a word left out - publishers sometimes do this for space - or if there is a typo.


Charles Jameson

Eliminate them! 

To me, they are un-necessary. Sun sign columns are superficial, glib and meaningless. I see absolutely no value in them.

Sun sign columns give astrology’s critics something to grab on to. And it does nothing for our wish for astrology to be taken seriously as a well-respected and historically significant body of knowledge.

I don’t know why we still consider Sun Sign columns to be worthy of consideration by anyone seriously interested in the astrology.

Although it might be lucrative, in all seriousness I could never write a column that will make comments about 1/12 of the world’s population. How could it possibly have any accuracy at all?

To me, Sun Sign columns are one of the biggest obstacles we face to getting astrology taken seriously. 

We have behind us a huge body of knowledge spanning several thousand years. And yet, some of us think a bit of trivia by way of Sun Sign columns is ok. 

I know many will disagree with my views, and that’s ok. I just want astrology to be considered by the world for the fantastic tool that it is. I believe we sell it short by connecting it to pithy columns in newspapers and magazines.

Would a lawyer, physicist or other professional happily have a superficial version of their wisdom touted as meaningful to 1/12 of the population every week? We are no different. 

After 20 or more years studying astrology, I have not seen any meaningful justification for Sun sign columns. 


Marjorie Lutz

Encourage them!!  Sun Sign Astrology is entertaining, and it keeps astrology in people's minds.  That way, people can have the fun of knowing what their Sun Sign is, and get a bit of fun interest from it.  Trying to regulate Sun Sign Astrology would be like regulating the astrologer's mind -- or like herding cats!


Mary Lewis

Let them be. Do nothing. Do what you do well and let others do what they do.

Also, many an astrologer was initially attracted to astrology by reading a sun sign column somewhere.


Donna Young 

I can't think of a single way that regulation of what people write is possible, and I don't know that I would like a world where that restrictive. 

A well written sun sign column is like gold to us. It's what gives people their first taste for astrology and sometimes fuels a desire to learn more. It's something that even those who claim not to believe in astrology can identify with, and that's an important first step in educating about everything else that it truly is. 

The one thing I will do when I find a particularly horrible column - and by horrible I mean one that is obviously not written by an astrologer - is to write a letter of complaint to the editor. We need to stand up for our right to be credibly represented, and there are many who are very good at that job. Recommending our peers who excel in that work would serve us better as a profession than to start turning against each other. 


Sue Minahan

Astrology gains by focusing on constructive criticism of the Sun columns. Build not destroy.

The sun sign columns do actually contribute towards maintaining the public's interest in astrology.  In past years, I can testify that for myself and my husband.  In my case, it was a treat for my very soul to recognize some element of the metaphysical world printed in the mainstream's consciousness.  For my husband, he has an opportunity to explore a tidbit personally, to test and discover how it may apply and therefore builds credibility upon his own experience.

Regardless, I feel it is important to keep in mind the long legacy of the newspaper astrological columns that over decades have created a following. Because, fact is astrology columns would not be in the paper if there was not an active public market that supported their inclusion.  We wouldn't throw out school because the classes were not instructed with the the latest information.  Wouldn't it rather be wiser to expand upon the infrastructure?

Thus, my suggestion is to utilize the long established market to further educate the AWARENESS of the complexities of astrology.  

One possibility may be to give links to educational sites promoting astrology.  Of course that ultimately may be the paper's choice or the astrologer creating the column. There are many options, including OPA.  But, competition is an element that builds proficiency.

My personal best choice is to systematically add a simple line to the existing Sun Sign horoscopes (edit it however, but something to this effect) -- 

  "Remember, the sun features one indication of your horoscope.  Full astrology readings clarify the unique factors specific to your birth chart, using the date, time and place of birth."

Surely both Astrology and astrologers suffer from negative uneducated biased consensus attitudes.  But a statement piquing the curiosity and interest of the consumer provides a worthy pathways towards the acceptance astrologers crave for the great insights of Astrology.  Just as there are many types of restaurants, movies or automobiles -- perhaps our task is to create further options for the public to discover the full realm of Astrology insights.

In recap, it is in knowing that it is a process of awareness and education that creates further opportunity both for the consumer and for the professional.  An information line expanding upon the depth of astrology immediately signifies more to the plot. Secondly, creating a link that gives umpteen astrological reference sites might be a worthy service -- such as us! OPA!  


Vinnie Scotti

I don't believe the solution to this is one specific thing. Maybe a little bit of everything, even educational regulations codified in to the regional laws( codified in to federal law would be great, but this is not possible what so ever with were astrology stands as a credible science right now) And yes some sun sign horoscopic forecasting techniques are great, then other times a sun sign column will say " your luck number is 6 and you will benefit from meeting a Scorpio today" witch is just useless rubbish . So I guess I'll answer it like this- I believe in spiritual and physical evolution. Evolution yes but not as a pseudoscience were we get these notions of social Darwinism,witch look at a neofeudal societal system as natural law. Evolution in the truest sense is based on what is called symbiosis and love, if you read the work of Darwin you might be surprised at how often he uses the word love, and symbiosis is another word for cooperation,like when a dead tree stump creates a nutritious environment for a new patch of mushrooms, or when a society helps with sanitation in a ghetto so all of the society rich and poor do not have to worry about the spread of diseases witch can upset the ultimately upset the ecosystem. But yes there grisly is an element of the " unfit" being weeded out from the biosphere through evolutionary processes( and I might add  weeded out of the noosphere as well) but this "unfit" in truth  is an extremely  smaller portion of the whole then has been emphasized in so-called social Darwinism . So if real astrologers at all levels of experience keep the culture healthy cooperative and use the virgoian tools of putting effort into this I would think things would naturally unfold evolutionarily healthy hence the not so fit sunsign astrology would go thru a die off ....this I guess is a little oblique and abstruse but oh well, I hope it stirs some cr8tive juices.


Arlan Wise

Let them be. 

For many people, myself included, Sun sign columns are an introduction to astrology. We astrologers find it sad and demeaning that they are published on the same page as the comics, but, it is better to have astrology visible in the daily papers at all then not to have them there. 

Some Sun sign work is very very good astrology. When I was starting to learn astrology, I read Patrick Walker every week. At that time he was published in TV guide. I realized that he was saying things that were true and giving good advice. I think he was one of the best astrologers of his time and I honor his memory. He is an example of how Sun sign columns reach and teach people and keep astrology in everyday consciousness. 

I do not think there should be any judgement about any style of astrology as long as it follows Hippocrates statement of "Do No harm". I would hate to see anyone think they have the authority to say that Sun signs astrology should be eliminated. 


Vanessa Couto

I think Sun Sign columns - good or bad - keep a door open for astrology in the larger world stage. I believe that the Sun Sign columns are doorways, although some of them are better than others and could do with some serious improvement. Still, they serve to keep astrology in the public eye. 

However, for them to serve as more than a doorway into astrology, but serve more as an invitation for one to enter and dive deeper into understanding astrology, or if nothing else, to at least go get their birth chart read, then I believe it comes down to the writers of such columns. With the increase of very good astrologers out in the professional field, it is perhaps a matter of incentive and encouragement to have more of them use their talents also to write good solid Sun Sign columns. Perhaps instead of dismissing Sun Sign astrology as the disreputable relative in the astrology family, there should be more of an encouragement and a better understanding of how we can use/leverage Sun Sign astrology to help astrology reach (and perhaps regain) more people and relevancy in our culture. 

So for those astrologers that have a good writing bone in them, or are interested in taking the flag out further into the field, perhaps they can be next ones to take on the mantle of writing good Sun Sign columns, thus elevating the conversation across the board. 


Alexandra Karacostas

I think some sun signs columns are actually good. I used to write one for years:-). I used to refer to my columns as “cocktail astrology”. Indeed, they are general, but if the reader knows their ascendant, which is something I stressed, the column can be more meaningful. Especially if it is accompanied by a short piece sharing what the current celestial “weather” is. If the column is primarily focused on romance and $, it often spins into the nonsense we too often see.

If you are a serious astrologer, treat whatever you write with respect, and be thoughtful in what you say! These columns often serve the purpose of introducing lay people to astrology. As astrologers, let’s support them in being as good as possible.


Carol Dimitrov

I believe that that Sun Sign columns have a place in the introduction to astrology. What I would love to see is a disclaimer of sorts: that the sun sign is a step to see how our lives are connected to universal energies. The sun sign is a generalization and does not include the other signs, planets or cycles that are in our natal birth chart, and that one should consult a professional Astrologer for specific information pertaining to their actual date, time and place of birth for personalized and detailed information.

I think that would open people up to realize that there is much more to astrology, and those who love to read sun sign columns would consider learning more about the depths of astrology.


Kay Taylor

Let them be. They bring people into astrology. Many of them are very well written and have validity.


Kathryn Andren

Sometimes I am too busy writing Sun Signs columns I don’t have time to reply to the OPA QOTM! Let them BE. Why eliminate them when they provided education, entertainment and curiosity for thousands of seekers? Who qualifies to create the rules for regulation anyway? 

For astrologers who are also writers, know that there are some well paying writing jobs to provide this service! (next on-line article available August 1 - 7 for Brides magazine)

The good news about Sun sign horoscopes is that it peaks peoples interest and curiosity about astrology. The benefit from these engaging columns is it can attract new clients for the author and inspire new students to study field of astrology. 

For years I dismissed Sun sign horoscopes when I first began my professional practice. Then, I was offered a writing contract recently to write daily love  horoscopes. I learned horoscope writing can be a fun, creative challenge! Astrology writing taught me to be a better astrologer.  I research the aspects patterns each day for a month, while using the whole sign house system to create supportive suggestions. 

Here are few tips I have learned for astrology horoscope writing: 
Offer supportive suggestions based on real aspect pattern.
Make your writing useful, engaging and kind.
Do no harm - do your best not to offend anyone.


Stephanie Telesco

I believe and have witnessed that having Sun sign information is valuable.  For many people these Sun sign comments are their first "opening" to astrology.  I think it would be wonderful if there was a "addition"to all Sun sign columns noting that one's Sun sign is just that, a single piece of information from one's vastly richer and more informative birth chart.  Then, the author could offer information on how to learn more! 


Kristen Schifferdecker

Some readers need it simple. Astrology is hard to keep simple. 

Personally, I cannot in my right consciousness do sun sign horoscopes. What I've found that works for me is to talk about the transits and offer "considerations" to integrate in your own life. I find this way gives power back to the reader, which is an essential part of astrology getting over its "this is entertaining and fascinating" wrap. 

But those sun sign columns do keep people closer than not to astrological interest. So if an astrologer feels good about doing them, I say go for it. Maybe, though, we should encourage our colleagues to let on that there's more to their readers too, though.


Susan Falk

I have ambivalent feelings about sun sign columns as I know that a lot of people read them and love them and there are astrologers that need the income from them.However,I think that many people get a very limited and distorted view of astrology because of them. I would like to require the writers of sun sign columns to put an introduction to their columns explaining that Astrology is a lot more complex and individualistic than the sun sign as each person has all of the other planets affecting them and the interaction of those planets and only by having a real astrological reading by a competent astrologer can a person really understand the dynamics affecting them. I think the sun sign columns would also be more on target if they divided the signs into thirds but that would make the column too long.I myself had a disdain for astrology when I only knew about sun sign columns and before I had reading of my own chart from a very good astrologer.


Patrick Lewis

I think they should leave it as it is.  It isn't a bad thing, even though it is inaccurate, and it keeps people interested in Astrology.  It is a great advertisement for all Astrologers.  I always tell my clients that it is a waste of time.  For we all are composed of more then a Sun, [ego].  We have 9 other important planets, and a Rising Sign to take into account.  If they want to better understand the newspaper reading, then they have to look at the 3 signs.  The position of the Sun, Moon and their Rising Sign.  One will say, "go to the beach today", the next one will say,  "go to the mountains today", and the third will say maybe, "don't go anywhere today stay home".  Maybe a person could do all three things.  But Michele Golagan, has proven it is all a waste of time.


Öner Döşer

In Turkey, as far as I know all newspapers and many magazines have astrology columns. Especially by the end of each year, yearly forecasts boost the circulation of the newspapers and magazines. So, astrological forecasts are irreplaceable for those printed media! If a newspaper or a magazine does not publish those forecasts, the publishers worry they will fall behind the others.

Before answering the question if Sun sign columns support the credibility of astrology, if they should be eliminate or regulated, I would like to tell you my experiences on this topic. 

In 2003, I was offered to write the daily horoscope forecasts in a newspaper. When I went there for the interview, I was shocked to hear that this column was written by a person who does not know astrology. I knew that this was the case with some newspapers and magazines however I was surprised to hear it anyway. I told them I would accept to write this column if only they give me a half page where I write the daily forecast but allocate the most part for writing about the daily planetary movements and giving general information on astrology. They accepted this and my column attracted great attention. After six months, I stopped writing there as they had some radical changes. I did not accept other offers as no one provided me the same conditions. 

Nowadays, the majority of the astrology column writers in Turkish newspapers and magazines are the ones who know astrology. Many graduates of our school also write sun sign columns for the printed press. I advise them to do the same thing as I did. Some persuade the editors but some cannot. They feel they have to write only sun sign forecast in order to gain recognition but I believe this is not a good idea.

The same thing is also valid for the sun sign forecast made on TV or internet. In 2007, I received an offer for making weekly sun sign forecast for an online television. I told I would accept this offer if I would project the astrological chart of that week at the background and I would make my forecast through telling the positions and the aspects of the Moon and the planets and thus helping the audience learn about the signs, planets, houses, aspects and some basic astrological terms. First, they did not accept this and told me that the audience would not understand those terms and they would not be interested in learning the details as they are result oriented. I told them that I was an astrology teacher and I wanted to introduce astrology to the people and finally they accepted to try it. 

Beginning from the first week, we got a high rating. After a few weeks, as people liked my section a lot, they asked me what we could do more. I proposed them to prepare videos telling about the eclipses, Mercury retrograde, the link between the body and signs and planets (medical astrology), some techniques like Synastry, some important planetary cycles and their relations with mundane events. I also told them, by the beginning of each year I could prepare videos on predicting mundane events and I did. For example, how will Turkish economics be affected this year? What about politics? What is in store for European/American economics and politics? Which parts of the world will the eclipses affect this year? Later on, we prepared videos on some specific topics like 2012 phenomena. We also had some videos introducing astrology education and people became willing to learn astrology after these efforts. 

Within 5 years between 2007 and 2012, the videos I presented were watched for 22.500.000 times and I received a thank-you note from the publishers. I was also appreciated for contributing astrology in the television show that I were invited. I sometimes made some forecast based on sun sign but in addition to this I always gave information on astrology for gaining a better understanding. I always told people not to act based on sun sign predictions and there were many other crucial parameters. In some TV show that I was invited, I told them that I would not mention anything on the signs but I would only make astrological inferences on politics and economics.  Sometimes I proposed to participate in the show together with another astrologer friend who is good at sun sign predictions and such proposals were all accepted. In many TV shows, I mentioned events both in Turkey and around the world, current astrological factors and on what astrology is and how it should be used and my friend told about sun sign predictions; in the end the audience was informed on different aspects. Through respectful and courteous remarks I made at those shows, I succeeded to bring astrology at a reliable level. 

Why I tell you all about those? If you want to make astrology widely known, you may achieve this through using the opportunities in the right way even if you have to begin with sun sign astrology. In my point of view, sun sign astrology opens the door for reaching more and more people. If you enter through this door and use this opportunity to explain what astrology really is, you may reach your target. I believe, the best solution is to use sun sign astrology as an opportunity to reach mass audience and direct it in the right way; for a better understanding of astrology.


Margarita Logovatovskaya

Most of the texts appear similar and blurry, since there are used common phrases and wording, therefore, deprived of their pesonality such astrological texts do not carry the semantic weight. Many tpeople doubt the astrology, since writing does not reflect the truth. But on the other hand, people are interested in reading forecasts, they read them to get a grain of response to their questions. I think that would be good to give a description of the general position of the planets, transits, retrograde planets and other parameters that affect everyone equally. Especially, highlight tense periods, moon time without course, the full moon, new moon, eclipse. It is necessary to give such knowledge to help practically, and not clog your head with unnecessary information.



Dmitriy Paramonov

Astrology is the Uranus. Law and order - the Saturn. As soon as we start to restrict, structured with, or attempt to direct the force to live by the rules of astrology and astrologers, so soon we fail. Astrologers do not obey the rules, as each astrologer sees the truth on your own. Astrology severals thousands of years and all the while it quietly gets along without "rules of the game." On the other hand, we can see the other point, as soon as the rules, so everything collapses immediately. It should be understood that the free spirit and the law are incompatible.


Dawn Glinski

I think removing the Sun sign columns would be a big no-no for our society and for future generations. They're a source of enjoyment for many people and provide a basis from which to learn more, for those who are so inclined. Since astrology isn't taught in schools (and I think it's a darn shame, but I'll leave that for another discussion)  how will people learn about astrology and themselves? They need to be introduced to it somehow. We need to continue to illuminate and educate. In addition to Sun sign columns a monthly Moon sign column might be a good addition and a natural transition for people, as they already acknowledge it's effects on personality, "I've had the strangest day today - must be a full Moon". If we start to slowly integrate other planets and their functions into pop culture, strangers to astrology would get familiar with the basic meanings of planets other than their Sun; Increasing visibility would be increasing awareness. While the internet has helped with this immensely, I feel that we need to do our part and carry the torch for future generations. It's up to us to validate the importance of astrology just as astrology has done for us.


Maurice Fernandez

I have nothing against the lightness (or superficiality) of the Sun sign columns, some are done with great subtlety and insight. Let us remember that the Sun IS the center of our planetary system!

…and keep in mind that any product that is intended for the masses is diluted in quality and depth, but it has its place.

What we should certainly eliminate are FALSE and deceiving columns, basically writers who do not truly use any astrological references to write their columns, but make up stories, for purely entertainment purposes, under Astrology Sun sign banners. This is dishonest to begin with, but also immediately damaging to our profession.


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