Last week I treated myself to a tour of another one of Arizona’s astronomical wonders, Kitt Peak Observatory. This amazing facility (there’s a photo tour on my website, available with the Kitt Peak Adventure link) sports more optical telescopes (twenty-four of them) than any other facility in the world and fleshes out its array with two radio scopes. This is the stuff that Galactic Astrology, Dwarf Planet study and Co-Orbital and Near Earth Object awareness comes from!! It’s true, we as astrologers need to stay tuned into the latest and greatest breakthroughs in astronomy. Indeed, at an observatory you can come to appreciate why astronomers think and feel about the Dwarf Planets and Pluto as they do. And you can find out that Comet Holmes was not blue at all.
Not only that, 2009 has been declared the Year of Astronomy. Evidently, the astronomical community seems determined to increase public awareness of the mysteries of the heavens and the benefits of their profession. Maybe it’s motivated by budget cuts. It would appear that a lot of money previously allocated to astronomy has been redirected elsewhere. It’s too bad when you think about it, maybe even a bit of a tragedy. Between Kitt Peak and Lowell Observatory’s LONEOS search programs, astronomers diligently search the skies for Near Earth Objects and the subgrouping thereof, PHO’s – potentially hazardous objects. This project serves to provide us with a heads up of possible collisions of objects with Earth that could be catastrophic. Ah, let’s be clear, these are the real objects that might strike Earth, not the fictional Planet X/Nibiru.
Okay, so why isn’t this the Year of Astrology? Every year there’s an internal effort made within the astrological community to promote astrology. Typically this consists of astrologers dedicating time to lecture at special events or donate products and services that feed the coffers of astrological organizations that do little to help astrologers… let me note one exception here, AFAN – the Association For Astrological Networking, has in the past provided fabulous legal support for astrologers battling city ordinances that attempted to group astrologers under the auspices of archaic witchcraft/bunko regulations. By and large, however, astrologers receive little benefit from their professional organizations. Unlike the Writer’s Guild there’s no health plans (though I did battle for that unsuccessfully two decades ago when on the AFAN Steering Committee). And unlike the National Writers Union, there’s no assistance with industry issues. A number of years ago, about a dozen astrologers were unceremoniously and illegally fired by a major Internet provider. The attitude of the firing company was “What are you going to do, sue? You’re astrologers.” Using the arbitration assistance of the NWU, we secured our due pay and retained intellectual property rights for the price of union membership… and astrologers not even members of the NWU were included in the settlement. But this is all internal stuff. What about the perception of astrology in the outer world?
I am often chagrined by the proclamations made by astrologers to the public. We have the ugly infighting over whose house system is best, whose zodiac is superior and like the astronomers, what the Hades do we now do with Pluto? Part of the problem with the latter issue is that most astrologers lack knowledge of the history of Pluto being plutoed and also have little to no knowledge of the Kuiper Belt and Trans-Neptunian Objects. When interviewed by a major newspaper about the discovery of the Dwarf Planet Eris, the reporter reported being appalled by an interviewed astrologer who disregarded Eris without even knowing what she is.
Perhaps it’s better that we engage no massive public outreach this year. Maybe there should be Saturn in Virgo laws passed saying that each astrologer should at least know the names of all the “planets,” classical, gaseous and dwarf. Maybe it’s astrologers’ turn to “reach across the aisle” to astronomers. We contend that most astronomers objecting to astrology know little to nothing of astrology. That’s largely true. Similarly, astronomers contend that most astrologers know little to nothing of astronomy. Sadly, that’s very true. When astrologers cannot intelligibly discuss the bodies in our solar system, realize flawed astronomy assigned by those intending to perpetrate doom and gloom hoaxes, or fail to grow with the known scientific discoveries, we have little hope of serious regard by the public in general.
But 2012 is coming. With it you can expect that astrologers will be called upon by the media to render opinions on the Galactic Alignment, Harmonic Convergence, completion of the Mayan Calendar and more. Preferably, the media would rather the wild-eyed, disheveled, more than eccentric look and equally “out there” proclamations of what is to come. So, how about we declare 2011, the Year of Astrology!? As we all know, that will be the year that reality-driven Saturn aligns with the planet Haumea and opposes the planet Eris, which clearly lead us to the cusps of the mass consciousness shifting promised by the Haumea-Eris oppositions of 2012.