Oh My Stars

matthew currie vox explainer astrologyDear Vox:

(Yes, I know Vox is not a person so I believe I am directing my comments to Lexie Schapitl and anyone else involved with the Vox Explainer on Netflix.)

I’ve really enjoyed your show on Netflix. For one thing, for the first time in my life I now understand how cricket is played thanks to your work. That was something I was afraid I’d never actually grasp. But I admit I got a little nervous when I saw that you were covering astrology. Ask any astrologer what kind of coverage our work gets in the mainstream media, and you’re likely to hear a lot of complaints. Usually that coverage turns into either a hit piece or, almost worse, one of those empty-headed things that used to run on the History Channel (“Did extraterrestrials invent the washing machine? Probably not, but you be the judge!”). But I thought your Explainer was pretty good overall. You did a nice job of covering the history and rise in popularity of astrology.

I do have a few nitpicks. Like for example your description of what the ascendant is didn’t really make sense, and when you were speaking about Mars in “the romance House” the chart being shown actually had Mars in “the career House,” house. I don’t want to come across as the astrological equivalent of one of those guys from the comic shop yelling something at the screen like “that’s not how vibranium works!” or whatever.

Having said that: I do have two main points of contention that I’d like to bring up to you.

First of all, one of the popular misconceptions spread by skeptics is that astrology doesn’t work because the birth chart depicts Earth as the center of the universe. Knowing that the Earth is not the center of the universe doesn’t invalidate an astrological birth chart. First of all, regardless of where the center of the universe is, when you do a reading for a person that person is the center of their universe. If that explanation is a little too poetic for you, consider this: I am now looking at a map of Manhattan’s subway system. According to that map, Prince Street station is the center of the universe. No, I do not believe that New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority believes that’s the case, despite what this map looks like. Besides: any New Yorker can tell you the real center of the Universe is Grand Central Station.

Second, the idea that astrology is not “scientific,” and is therefore not valid. One of the problems with scientific validation of astrology is that frankly there is very little material to work with. Mainstream science in general, having decided that astrology is nonsense, doesn’t do a whole lot of research on the subject. If you want to keep your job as a professor, you probably don’t want to get caught looking for grant money to study the validity of something that all your peers think is stupid.

Carl Sagan thought that astrology was nonsense, but he had the intellectual honesty to admit this, when asked to sign on to the “Objections To Astrology” document you mentioned:

“…in the end [I] found myself unable to sign, not because I thought astrology has any validity whatever, but because I felt (and still feel) that the tone of the statement was authoritarian. It criticized astrology for having origins shrouded in superstition. But this is true as well for religion, chemistry, medicine and astronomy, to mention only four. “

If you have a headache and a shaman comes to you and says that drinking willow bark tea will drive the pain demon out of your head, you’re likely going to think he’s nuts. That is, unless you realize that willow bark tea contains salicin, which is a natural pain reliever. Whether or not something is “scientific” pretty much boils down to whether or not a sufficient number of scientists have studied and confirmed it. This does not apply to astrology, at least not yet. In the meantime, myself and a lot of other professional astrologers will carry on making people’s, clearer, and happier places without that particular stamp of approval. And I say this to you as a huge fan of science myself.

Also: the whole “your Sign has changed over the last 2000 years” and “now there’s a new Sign called “Ophichus”? Well, (A) we know and (B) no there isn’t. CLICK HERE for more information on it.

So, setting all that aside: overall I enjoyed your presentation, although having a knowledgeable astrologer look over your script before you went into production would have probably resulted in a much better and more accurate product. But again, I enjoy your work and I hope you keep it up.

PS: Now if only you can explain how banking really works, that would be great, thanks.

CLICK HERE for a review of the arguments skeptics try to use against astrology, and CLICK HERE for Eight Things Skeptics of Astrology Don’t Get.

Want to know how to work with the current and future energy 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!

Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus