One of my pet peeves in the world of Astrology is the proliferation of generalized horoscopes. There are also a multitude of erroneous blog posts, Facebook status updates and Tweets dealing with the daily motion of the stars, planets, luminaries, etc. and how it applies to people on an individual level. For instance, just because transiting Mars is making a challenging aspect to transiting Venus does not mean that people on an individual level will face some strife in their personal relationships on that particular day. Aspects between transiting planets should be taken on a mundane level–i.e. reserved for whole populations, nations, the world, etc. Aspects between transiting planets are also used for horary, financial and electional astrology. To get a view of what can affect a person personally, an astrologer has to reference that person’s natal (birth) chart. Even events such as Mercury turning retrograde and solar/lunar eclipses may not directly impact an individual unless a sensitive point of the natal chart is triggered.
Any astrologer will tell you that not all Scorpios are created equally and the same goes for any zodiac sign. They will also tell you that one has to take the entire natal chart into account before making judgments, interpretations and forecasts. However, many still churn out these daily, weekly and monthly horoscopes that appeal to the masses even though they are not a reflection of reality or true Astrology for that matter. Sometimes these horoscopes contain a degree of accuracy, but more often than not, they don’t ring true for many folks. Some astrologers being all too aware of this pitfall will try to legitimize this practice by stating that the sign of one’s Ascendant and Moon can also apply to the particular horoscope. This in my opinion, is a weak attempt to reduce the margin of error that is inherent in generalized horoscopes.
It really irks me when some astrologers or horoscope writers include the house positions; a practice which is totally bogus since one only knows the actual house positions when given the time of birth. This practice of using the houses stems from placing the sign in question on the Ascendant and deriving the house positions from there. So for instance, the monthly horoscope email you receive may say that Venus is traveling through your 5th house, but in reality, according to your natal chart, Venus is actually moving through your 10th. This is why I can’t get down with this practice.
It’s this very practice that gives fodder to skeptics as they wag their finger at glaring inaccuracies. Generalized horoscopes also promote the ever-pervasive notion that Astrology is a mere form of entertainment for the masses.
I have been guilty of patronizing this questionable practice in my early days as I used to subscribe to Astrologer, Susan Miller’s monthly horoscope emails. Sure her horoscopes are semi-accurate for the most part and she even breaks the signs down by decanates (i.e. “if you were born between the 20th and 30th of April, read this section”), but they still do not produce the stunning revelations and jarring insight of an actual astrological forecast. There came a day when I had to unsubscribe since this practice is not in accordance with my belief system. I also found it disconcerting that the American Federation of Astrologers resorts to providing monthly horoscopes. These horoscopes are actually less accurate than Susan Miller’s.
So why do so many astrologers write these generalized horoscopes when they are aware that it is mostly bullshit? I believe it comes down to a need for consistent engagement. They want to keep customers, followers, and fans engaged and generalized horoscopes are the most common way to achieve this goal in this industry. It’s called Sun Sign Astrology, a watered down version of the real thing. Sun Sign Astrology is basically like this: “You’re a Leo, so for this week, all Leos will have some kind of difficulty at work”. As you can see, these blanket generalizations can’t possibly apply to every Leo under the Sun. Sun Sign Astrology is a fairly new phenomenon, not coming on the astrological scene until 1930. From Wikipedia: “The astrologer R. H. Naylor was claimed by his newspaper to have predicted the crash of the R101 airship. This led to pressure on Naylor to come up with a simplified system of astrology suitable for a newspaper column. After some experimentation, Naylor decided on sun signs”. Thus, Sun Sign Astrology was created specifically for the masses and tailored for news publications. Sun Sign Astrology is idealism at its worst.
I cannot compromise my integrity and engage in the practice of writing generalized horoscopes even if it means an increase in website traffic or conversions to sales. I place a high value on authenticity, accuracy and the truth. Even if a major media publication offered me substantial compensation for providing this type of column, I would decline. It would be akin to selling my soul. Generalized horoscopes do the science and art that is Astrology a great disservice and many traditional astrologers like C.E.O Carter, John Frawley, and William Lilly have shunned the practice for this very reason. My aim is to uphold the integrity of Astrology and preserve some of its traditional rules and guidelines. I am after all a Capricorn (tradition, realism) rising with my Moon in Capricorn in the 1st. My Sun, Mercury, and Neptune are in Sagittarius (Honesty, Preservation) and Uranus (Truth) is on my Midheaven. Sure, I am somewhat of an idealist with all of that Sagittarian energy, but I am more of a staunch realist and I intend to stay that way.