Oh My Stars

I have recently received a number of requests from readers to discuss politics on this blog. There are a couple of reasons why I will not be touching that subject here, with or without a ten-foot pole.

As you may have noticed from the shrill howling noise emanating from the news and from your Facebook friends and from your Twitter feed, the U.S. Presidential Election process is well underway. Even though I’m Canadian, I have always taken a great interest in American politics, in much the same way football is of huge interest to others. Also, the way some people are big fans of NASCAR : everyone loves a good crash, right?

As much as I enjoy American politics, and as much as I may comment on the subject in my personal life (and professionally, but only when asked to by a client) I want to make it entirely clear that I will not be doing so here on Beliefnet. There are some good reasons for that.

First of all, this is simply not the place for it. People come to Beliefnet for religion and spirituality and guidance. Want kosher cooking tips or Presbyterian jokes? We’ve got you covered. But if you prefer to brawl over politics you’ll quickly find that there are lots of other places on the Internet, or in your personal life, to do so.

More importantly though, there is the matter of objectivity. Like almost any other endeavor, astrology can be misused if you’re not careful… or if you are inclined to misuse it. Using astrology to back up your own pre-existing biases is a misuse of astrology.

I am a member of a Facebook group that looks at current political news stories through the lens of astrological analysis. There’s lots of interesting stuff there, but even within the context of professional astrologers trying to behave professionally, brawls and disagreements break out all the time over politics. And yes, I’ll admit I sometimes enjoy that sort of thing.

However, in order to function as a truly professional astrologer, one needs to be objective about the subject being approached. Yeah I know: there have been plenty of times I’ve written about someone like, Kanye West or Leonard Nimoy where my personal opinions could not help but sneak in. I’m far from perfectly objective about some things.

But in order to do a proper reading of someone’s birth chart and transits, an astrologer has to strive to be objective. This can be trickier than it sounds: many of us will at times read too much into something that simply is not in the birth chart. Your astrologer’s last major breakup was with someone who had Moon in Virgo? Well then obviously, if your new romantic partner has Moon in Virgo it’s bound to end just as horribly, right?

No, of course it isn’t. Just because that schoolyard bully who made your life a nightmare when you were a kid was a left-handed Lithuanian, does not mean that all left-handed Lithuanians are terrible people. Astrologers must be on guard against that sort of thinking… especially when giving professional advice to others. An astrologer who gives you false information based on his or her own prejudices is not doing either of you a favor.

True Story: a number of years ago I got into an online argument with another astrologer who insisted that President X (no names!) HAD TO BE the Antichrist because his Sun was conjunct the asteroid Lucifer. Yes, there is an asteroid named “Lucifer” (Why? Mostly because it was the 1,930th asteroid discovered, and all the good names had been taken long before that). So of course everything else in President X’s chart has to back up that one horribly trivial and (frankly) stupid detail.

I myself was born with Lucifer near the Ascendant. I assume this means I always look like hell. I leave it to your imagination as to where the (insignificant but real) asteroids named Doctorwatson, Mr. Spock, Jabberwock, and Monty Python are in my chart (beats me) and what if any effect they have on me as a person (none).

This is why you will not be seeing any political opinions from me here, astrologically based or otherwise. This is not the place for that sort of thing, and perhaps more importantly: there is no point in either buttering you up unnecessarily if you agree with my viewpoint, or offending you if we disagree on that one subject.

Most importantly: my reputation like that of any other astrology ultimately rests on the accuracy of my information, and if I’m reading my biases into your reading, then I’m really doing a reading more for myself more than you, aren’t I?

Having said that: I’m sure that you and I and everyone reading this is in perfect agreement. Politician X would be a disaster if elected President, and Politician Y is the only sane choice. I’m glad we can all agree on that.

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