Astrological Musings

I wrote this post a couple of years ago but thought I would repost it in light of comments on the John Edwards story, and for a reminder myself!
Astrologers usually follow a code of ethics in their work, just as most professions do. The National Council for Geocosmic Research, one of the oldest astrological associations, has a code of ethics on their website that includes some of the following standards of practice:

Avoid making statements that could cause harm through confusion, misunderstanding or fear. This includes predicting the client’s death, the death of someone close to them or other disaster.

Make predictions with appropriate qualifying statements, not as final pronouncements. Although our egos would all like to be Nostradamus, it is more helpful to the client to prepare them for a climate of change rather than predict, no matter how accurately, specific events.

Disclose to the public only that information which is publicly available without permission. It is generally thought acceptable to publish birth data which is available in the public records, but when discussing the chart of a third party with a client it is unethical to include personal information that is not in the public domain.

The code of ethics of the American Society of Vedic Astrologers includes a specific reference to the charts of public figures:

Interpretations of the charts of public figures are confined to areas that are considered public domain due to specific achievements or notoriety as revealed in interviews, published documents, or recorded observations. When interpreting charts of public figures, astrologers refrain from making slanderous comments. Information should be presented in a manner that is respectful to the individual whose chart is being discussed.

A reader was concerned that a profile I wrote about Tom Cruise was disrespectful and made assumptions based on my opinions about him, and I really pondered this. I do have a fascination for gossip (Gemini rising in my own chart) and the lives of public figures which fuels the writing of this daily column. My Scorpio Mercury isn’t content to learn the superficial details – I want to understand what motivates people, what makes them tick. In doing so, I am writing about people I admire as well as those I don’t feel respect for and it is often tempting to use the astrological signatures to express criticism of that indidividual.

My greater goal in these pages is not only to explain character traits through the astrological profiles but also to demonstrate the pathways that each individual can follow to maximize the potential found in their birthchart and take advantage of the gifts and challenges that have been given to them in order to achieve greater wisdom and self-understanding. If I fall into the gutter and miss the mark, I expect you all to let me know!!

photo by William Schick, courtesy of Corbis.

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