Dateline: Cable Television Land, Two Astrologers recently succumbed to lethal doses of Astrologer’s Disease. If you are a professional, beginner, well seasoned or in between or if you are a zealously rabid fan of the divine science of astrology, perhaps you might want to check yourself for symptoms. The symptoms include but are not limited to:
Need to be right.
Need to be seen as authoritative and knowledgeable
Need to convert skeptics, nay sayers and non-believers
Love of hearing oneself speak
It was bound to happen. Months ago I became aware of a solicitation from the producers of Showtime’s series Penn and Teller’s Bullsh!t. In my Galactic Times, I offered cautions to my colleagues and readers, especially those newer to the field and less aware of the vicious, contemptuous efforts of “scientifically thinking” skeptics to put us in our place: Do not go on this show. These guys are professional magicians, they’re skeptics and they’ll manipulate the tape they shoot however the hell they please. It is impossible to go on the show of these astrology/New Age haters and come out looking good.
It did happen. Last night I ran into the Bullsh!t show addressing astrology and using two astrologers – one of whom I’ve met at conferences – the other maybe – I’m not sure. You can catch the show should you want if you have Showtime. Or perhaps Showtime is streaming it online, I haven’t checked. Been too depressed.
The show baited these astrologers into behaving worse than students in astrological pre-school. They ended up guessing the signs of previous relationship partners, providing a list of career options that made it appear they were suggesting “any field will do.” The astrologers came off like carnival weight guessers, experiencing an unusually off day. Thus, the show made these well-meaning astrologers appear to be superstitious fops and neglected to render the star gazers any chance for rebuttal. Penn and Teller sought out experts against astrology, too. Of course, the experts hired by the show to offset the validity of astrology were an astronomer who doesn’t believe in astrology and that’s pretty much that, and a psychology teacher hell bent on “proving” astrology does not work in his psych 101 classes with a scientifically flawed, biased experiment. Penn and Teller further cited and offered homage to the Amazing Randi, magician and skeptic extraordinaire as a patron saint of debunking. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Blinded by fame and a television role, likely solicited on Craigslist, our colleagues set out to prove astrology right, once and for all. Did they set us back? Hard to know. Those who watch Bullsh!t and I often do, mostly for a laugh and to see what the “competition” is doing, know that if Penn and Teller dislike something, no matter if rational or not, they can prove it fits the title of their show. That’s what they do. Actually, in a couple of shows, I was aligned with what they were thinking… ah, that was a couple of shows of the scores of shows presented. Regardless, it is entertaining… the purpose of television, right? Hopefully a minimal number of “on the fence” believers viewed the show.
As I watched last evening, I was reminded of the quote attributed to the great scientist-alchemist-spiritual sciences guy, Sir Isaac Newton. Newton allegedly said, “I, sir, have studied the matter. You have not,” or something very close to that. I wasn’t there and cannot verify complete accuracy of the quote. The truths be told, skeptics, even if they (skeptics) study the matter, nearly all skeptics will not turn about to believe in astrology.
In the late 1970′s as astrology rode the waning crest of a wave of incredible popularity, I was fortunate to live in San Diego where Michel Gauquelin, the great skeptical researcher who converted to astrology after a fabulous research study (an glowing exception to the above), teamed up with computer genius, chart service provider and astrological data compiler, Neil Michelsen. One day, a panel discussion held by the local astrology group was interrupted by a member of a skeptics group, Dennis Rawlings. All astrologers need to know what happened after that. Use this link and devour every detail of the long story if you ever plan on attempting to convert skeptics.( http://cura.free.fr/xv/14starbb.html) Study and create concise rebuttals to the infamous Objections to Astrology signed by 192 scientists, including Nobel Prize winners (insert impressed ooh and aah here) way back when in 1975. If you won’t do at least this, button it on behalf of astrology, please. Please!
One cannot convert the nonconvertible. Astrologers attempting to do so become as unattractive as the zealous Christians, missionaries and skeptics that astrologers commonly judge as narrow minded, bigoted and unspiritual.
Astrology has nothing to prove. Those who study it know its accuracy and value. It doesn’t matter if according to my numbers based upon reactions to blogs I wrote on the Huffington Post that 80% of the population holds severe contempt for the field. Those who reach out to use what we have to offer we can serve, and in so doing, work to shift collective consciousness one person at a time. It’s not going to help our cause if we look like bumbling idiots on national (maybe even global) television.
While professional astrologers understand the merit of interactive client sessions and point out that one never goes to a doctor to declare, guess where I hurt, it is also understood that a barrage of superfluous information seeking to create a track record of accuracy is a superlatively flawed technique. Good astrologers have nothing to prove and are past the point where they’ll claim a client doesn’t know what they’re talking about if they disagree with an astrological claim made based upon their horoscope. Experienced and/or media savvy astrologers know the futility of attempting to teach an old, subjectively biased dog new tricks. Perhaps the triple conjunction in Aquarius offered all astrology a potent message: If you want to create an enlightened planet, do not go door to door. That’s what missionaries do. When people show up and ask for what we can offer, render it. Otherwise, please, do not waste pie hole muscles on those who cannot believe.
There’s still time. Cure yourself of astrologer’s disease before it’s too late. The Age of Aquarius hinges on the fulcrum of such cures.