Beliefnet
Oh My Stars

Johannes_Kepler_horoscopeDear Mr. Kearney:

This is in response to your letter to the editor of the Frankfort Kentucky State Journal, dated January 15th of this year.

Your reaction to “Planting by the signs,” written by Phillip Case, highlights a number of misunderstandings that skeptics of astrology often seem to have. I’d like to clear some things up for you.

First of all, you make a statement about confusing the scientific with the supernatural. Strictly speaking, “supernatural” is defined as something attributed to a force beyond scientific understanding or the laws of nature. Lumping astrology in with werewolves and vampires is a fun rhetorical trick to dismiss astrology, but kind of misses the point.

I may be an astrologer, but I’m as big a fan of science as anyone. Who in their right mind doesn’t love and respect brain surgery or the internet or a microwave burrito?

Phrenology and the practice of throwing virgins into volcanoes to ensure a good crop may have come and gone, but astrology is still very much with us. That doesn’t necessarily make it true, but it should make astrology a worthy subject for scientific investigation. The problem is that anyone attempting to secure the funding required for a proper scientific study has to face the general academic opinion that astrology is nonsense. This is akin to a scientist of the 1700s laughing it off if a shaman offered him willow bark tea to “drive out the demons of pain in his head.” That same scientist would be very unlikely to do the research that would have led to the discovery of salicin, which is now a common pain reliever.

Just because science has not proven something to be true does not make it false. That is a fallacy called scientism, and it is as easy for rationalists to fall into it as it is for religious extremists to fall into dogmatism.

Your statement that “during the time when astrology prevailed, it was assumed the Earth was flat and at the center of the universe” is a common misconception. Although in some times and places that was the prevailing view, many ancient cultures noticed the shape of the Earth’s shadow passing across the face of the Moon during a Lunar Eclipse and correctly deduced that the Earth is round. In my experience, the Flat Earth/geocentric arguments that are used to dismiss astrology demonstrate a lack of understanding of both astrology and ancient history in general.

Also, I’m sorry it had to be an astrologer who broke this to you, but your statement that “every star is located within a constellation, just as every city in the United States is located in a state” is inaccurate. The stars of any given constellation don’t usually bear any particular relationship to each other as far as their physical location. We’re simply going by the patterns the appear to form in the sky from Earth. If you were to relocate a few light-years away to a planet orbiting another star, you would be seeing different constellations.

That might sound like an argument against astrology, but it’s actually not. Astrology concerns itself with the movement of the planets through a specific sector of the sky that we call the Zodiac, or the plane of the ecliptic if you are an astronomer. We divide the Zodiac into 12 segments, based only in part on the actual visible constellations in that portion of the sky.

if you’d like to learn more about the common arguments skeptics use against astrology, please click here where I’ve written about them in detail. Those arguments don’t stand up under scrutiny nearly as well as you might think.

Although, personally, I suspect you are not inclined to do so. Had you referred to the “Planting By The Signs” group on Facebook referenced at the end of the article you were criticizing, you would have seen that there are a lot of people who find that using astrology as a guide to planting and gardening does actually work. That may not be scientific proof, but it’s certainly an indication that something or other is going on.

Yours truly,
Matthew Currie, astrologer.

PS: You may have noticed the illustration at the top of this blog entry. It is the astrological birth chart of Johannes Kepler, one of the pivotal figures in Western science. He’s the guy who discovered the laws of planetary motion and was able to correctly describe how the planets move around the Sun. That birth chart, by the way, is in his own handwriting. Kepler, like Isaac Newton, was also an astrologer.

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matthew currie astrology star trek discovery(Lots of places on the Internet will tell you how astrology works. Today, I present a special look inside the thought processes of an astrologer, annotated here with **)

Season 2 of Star Trek Discovery premieres today on CBS All Access in the United States, and frankly I’m a little worried… but not for the same reason most fans are worried. I’m not concerned with the things that usually bother the fans. Fans love to complain about how many new iteration of Star Trek violates “canon” (“it’s already been clearly established that nothing can achieve warp 10, yet the USS Voyager did it. What the heck is with that?”).

Frankly, I’m worried because of the astrology.

(**No, the astrology is actually pretty good for it, and there have already been positive reviews. You’re just fretting because there are four planets transiting opposite your Moon right now and you’re sleep deprived.And you’ve already used the word “worried” three times. Damn, buddy, you might as well scream I HAVE MOON IN CANCER OMG sixty times until you hit your word count!)

If you are unfamiliar with Star Trek’s birth chart, please click here and have a look at my previous article on it. One thing you may notice is it the actual first public showing of Star Trek was two days before what is commonly accepted as Star Trek’s “birthdate.” And the transits for the season premiere of Star Trek Discovery have me worried.

(**That’s because you’re not objective about it. Aren’t you always warning other astrologers about doing their own readings? What’s that line you always use with them? “Even the world’s best surgeon shouldn’t take out his own appendix?” Also: that the fourth appearance of “worried.” You DO know how to use a thesaurus, don’t you?)

Overall, Star Trek’s transits are pretty good and will be for the next couple of years. The Saturn Pluto conjunction that is coming up is in an excellent place for Star Trek, there are at least three Star Trek series currently in development, one of which features the return of fan favorite Jean-Luc Picard, played by Patrick Stewart.

(**Quit agonizing about them screwing up the Picard series! They aren’t even filming it yet!)

But it would be a mistake to overlook Saturn recent transit over Star Trek’s Midheaven and square its Ascendant. Season One of Star Trek Discovery got a decidedly mixed reaction, and underperformed by the usual Star Trek standards. Yes, a lot of fans hate the new series and want to see it get canceled. However, I for one respect the risks the show has taken with the formula.

(**Oh, like the risk you’re taking now, messing with the standard astrology blog format? You haven’t slept properly in days. And now you’re just rambling in public. Go take a nap before the how comes on!)

In conclusion: the astrologer is a geek.

(**Yeah, we know. Now get some sleep)

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matthew-currie-astrology-HEALINGToday: some personal musings on the nature of my line of work, and specifically the emotional issues one encounters. If you want hard-and-fast astrological data, feel free to drop by next time.

Chiron, the body in the solar system which astrology considered to be most associated with “woundedness,” is receiving some nice aspects in the next week. Now might be a good time to address some long-standing emotional issues, and part of that might involve reaching out to someone else. But there is a caution here: just as some people with chronic illnesses can be sold snake oil in the promise of a cure — beware fake gurus.

Being an astrologer, or doing readings of any kind for a living, can be a strange hybrid of counselor and psychologist and priest. In this line of work we frequently come across people who are experiencing difficulties in one or more departments of their lives, and quite often those difficulties are of a deep psychological or emotional nature. This is why I believe astrologers should cling to the ethical standards we expect (but admittedly don’t always get) from counselors, psychologists, and priests.

Although we deal with wounds and healing all the time in this line of work, there is a noteworthy minority in the New Age Community —

(Personally I can’t stand that term, but I think we’re stuck with it. When I hear it or see it, it makes me think of something like “Oh, you want the New Age Community? Go south on Maple Street and turn left between Chinatown and Little Italy. When the traffic lights are encrusted with quartz crystals, you’ll know you’re there.”)

— There is a noteworthy minority in the New Age community that appear to thrive on seeking out people’s wounds and then keep them open (or reopening them) as often as possible.

For example, I know of a couple who run a training course that claims to be able to help you find your Twin Flame. This, in and of itself, seems like a good and noble thing. In practice, it seems there is an entirely different result being achieved.

This couple (let’s call them Jack and Shelly ) teach courses on how to attract and keep your Twin Flame. That’s all fine and well, but a look at their Facebook page (at least the one they have open to the public) has a troubling tendency to have more members complaining about how their twin flame ran off, won’t answer their calls, will have nothing to do with them, have taken out a restraining order against them, and so on.

A bit of this is to be expected I suppose. Humans are complicated creatures and as Shakespeare observed, “the course of true love never did run smooth.” It’s also natural that people are more prone to complain about things publicly than they are to constantly announce that everything is awesome over and over again (check out Yelp some time if you don’t believe me). So I decided to dig into Jack and Shelly’s operation just to see what they were teaching.

Much of it appears to be a simple combination of self-esteem boosting exercises, self-hypnosis, and general cheer-leading. No problem with that sort of thing, right? In fact, I think that sort of thing could be pretty useful.

But I keep coming back to how many of the people on their Facebook group are seeking guidance as to why their Twin Flame ran off and left the country, or married someone else, or blocked their phone number, or whatever. These particularly badly behaved Twin Flames are referred to as “runners,” and if you are facing such a situation, Jack and Shelly (or one of their assistants) will gladly message you to provide help. For a price.

I have yet to establish whether or not this particular assistance is included in the cost of their Twin Flame courses… which will set you back well over $2,000 US if you sign up for all of them.

Somehow, I suspect it’s not.

I don’t really like picking on anyone else’s business model in the New Age Community, but this particular situation smells uncomfortably like a con job to me. So I did a little digging, and sure enough: Jack and Shelly’s names appear alongside terms like “pyramid scheme” and “multi-level marketing” more than once on the Internet.

Hopefully this is not just my cynicism speaking, but I think that if your family doctor is much better at ripping open stitches over and over again so you keep coming back than he is at sealing wounds — and he keeps billing you for it — you might want to find yourself a different doctor. The same should apply to any astrologer or tarot card reader or life coach or whatever who wants to dwell too long on your “woundedness” but never quite manages to help you find your own correct path to finding healing.

There’s good money in snake oil, it seems — but little or no benefit to the customer. Beware fake gurus.

Want to know how to work with the current and future energies to get maximum benefit? Feel free to write me about it!

CLICK HERE to find out how you can get a personalized, informative, life-changing consultation that will help you take charge of your life in the next year!

CLICK HERE to join the OH MY STARS Facebook Fan Page, and get exclusive content, an additional discount on a reading, and more material on blog entries!

source: flickr.com

source: flickr.com

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Matthew Currie is still recovering from quincunx-induced head trauma. In his absence we present answers to your questions from a guest blogger we’ve featured here before, astrologer and author of several pointed and angry Yelp reviews Ilsa Spamalot. CLICK HERE for Part One if you haven’t read it already, because otherwise you’ll never become a better person.)

Dear unworthy astrology acolytes:

Once again I have taken time out of my busy schedule to translate the will of the Universe into terms you can understand. Specifically, I am answering people’s most commonly asked questions, at least according to Google Search Autocomplete. If you do not find the guidance here that you seek, you may need to sign up for one of my courses. Or perhaps you are doomed. You won’t know until you sign up for the course either way, so start with that.

How do I get a Libra man in bed?

Look nice. Act nice. Smell nice. Then ask him if you would like to go to bed with you. This works the vast majority of times, and can often turn into a significant relationship with a Libra. That is, until he cheats on you, of course.

How do I get a Scorpio man back?

It is a well-worn cliche that Scorpios are overly intense, over-sexed, and deceitful. Like many overused cliches, it is absolutely true. Thus, it should be fairly easy to get a Scorpio man back. Call him up and ask him if he can come over and help dispose of a body. When he comes over, tell him you want to have sex with him. A Scorpio man will always go for this because it gives him the opportunity to cheat on you yet again afterwards.

How do I get a Sagittarius man to like me?

Laugh at his jokes. Listen to what he’s blathering on about at any given time and occasionally smile and nod and say that’s really interesting. Before you know it, you’ll be cheating on his current girlfriend with you, and with hard work and determination one day you will be the girlfriend that he cheats on.

How can I tell if a Capricorn man likes me?

If a Capricorn man likes you, he will do a number of uncharacteristic things, like express sensitivity or spend money on you. Once he’s done that, all you need to do is to demontrate to him that a relationship with you would be both beneficial and cost-effective. Then he will go back to cheating on you with his co-worker or accountant.

How do I attract an Aquarius Man?

Show him your uniqueness. Perform a native Peruvian dance for him while wearing accessories made out of recycled tin foil. Tell him that the act of physical love is a way of tuning into the Universal Cosmic Consciousness Vibration, and that’s why cheating on his current girlfriend with you is the right thing to do, until he goes ahead and cheats on you.

How do I get a Pisces man into bed?

Easy. Go to any bar on a slow weeknight and approach your intended Pisces (bonus points if he remembered to take his wedding ring off). Start a conversation. Be charming. Let him know that you are sympathetic to his complex emotions and that he is your One True Love. Well, for tonight, anyway.

Want to know how to work with the current and future energies to get maximum benefit? Feel free to write me about it!

CLICK HERE to find out how you can get a personalized, informative, life-changing consultation that will help you take charge of your life in the next year!

CLICK HERE to join the OH MY STARS Facebook Fan Page, and get exclusive content, an additional discount on a reading, and more material on blog entries!