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Stargazing: Astrology is not the same as astronomy

Stargazing: Astrology is not the same as astronomy

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Quite often when speaking to a group of people or just in casual conversation with a budding stargazer I will be asked “how long have you been an astrologer?”

I will admit there is an historic connection between astrology and astronomy, but there is absolutely no connection between astrology and myself.

Both astrology and astronomy owe their beginnings to observational science but later went their separate ways, with astrology moving toward mystical speculation while astronomy continued forward as a legitimate science.

From an historical perspective, the ancient “art” of divination from the motions of planets and stars has been around since the Greeks adopted it from the Babylonians in the sixth century B.C.

As the physical science of astronomy learned more and more about the realities of the universe, astrology suffered a decline and by the early 20th century was being defined in many parts of the world as the ancient “art” of foolish superstition.

While most astronomers deride astrology as a pseudo science, it is interesting to note that some of the greatest minds on Earth have felt compelled to jump into the debate on one side or the other. It is also interesting that the issue has never been resolved.

It is this one fact that bolsters astrologer’s arguments that since it has never been disproved, how can it not be real?

In today’s fast-paced world, astrology has been acquiring a bit more popularity and influence with more than three-quarters of all newspapers in the United States, including The Daily Nonpareil, offer their readers daily horoscope columns.

I once read “of all the occult sciences none appears as scientific as astrology.” It all seems so scientific.

Like a magician who endeavors to distract his audience’s attention from what he is really doing by elaborate flourishes and rituals, the astrologer’s magic does not even come into play until he goes to interpret the “chart.”

It is here that the magic in astrology rests in the interpretations, in the assignment of planetary influences, in the magical correlations between zodiac sign and events here on Earth. “As above, so below” goes the astrologist litany.

I find it extremely difficult to believe that our daily activities are pre-ordained merely by someone looking at and “reading” someone’s palm or consulting a particular alignment of the planets and stars.

In a recent “horoscope” is was looking at, I counted 12 “might,” four “could,” six “maybe,” eight “if,” but not one single “will.” That tends to make me a bit skeptical as to the accuracy of the predictions.

Several years ago, I wrote a column on a similar subject as today’s, and I posed this question: “If it were possible to be able to foretell the future merely by reading the stars, why must some psychics rely on fees from phone calls for income when all they need to do is to divine next week’s Powerball numbers?

On another subject, our “sister’ planet Venus has transitioned from the eastern early morning sky to the late western sky where it becomes our evening “star.”

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