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Title: Newspaper Horoscopes; Sun-Sign Guides, and Pure Bunkum Date Published: by Clarke Fountain
Bio: Clarke Fountain

Clarke Fountain has been studying astrology with varying levels of intensity since the 1960s, is a U.S. Navy veteran, and gave his first professional reading in 1977 in San Francisco. After years of doing every kind of job under the sun, he earned an M.A. in Buddhist Studies from the Naropa Institute (as it was then called) in 1989 and at that time became involved with aspects of publishing. Astrology has been one of the few consistent threads in his otherwise extremely varied life, and he is delighted to have the opportunity to serve the astrological community as the Editor for “Astro Talk Online Astrological Magazine.”

 

I have this much good to say about newspaper horoscopes: many of them are written in an entertaining fashion; a few of these daily columns are even being written by responsible and well-trained astrologers.

HoroscopeEven if a responsible astrologer is writing the daily sun-sign newspaper horoscopes, it is a bit like trying to funnel the ocean into a ketchup bottle. What you have in the bottle is authentic ocean water, but it sure as heck ain't the ocean!

For the most part, these daily blurbs are entertaining and they may have a bit of coincidental meaningfulness, just like fortune cookies. But whatever they are, even if they are based on astrological principles at the outset, they aren't astrology.

There is a certain comforting familiarity to the notion that we all belong to one or another of the twelve sun-signs, and that this actually means something. Then, the notion that there is something to the daily horoscopes in the newspaper that applies to one or another sun-sign is charming; at least one portion of the paper is addressed specifically to you (or your Sun-sign tribe).

The trouble is, as I must take pains to repeat: while all this stuff may be based on astrology, it's not astrology. Just as "fact-based" television shows may be based on real-life without being the genuine article. Generally, those shows are watered-down, cleaned up and very simplified versions of whatever they're based on. If you're lucky, the producers got the facts more or less straight and didn't rearrange their sequence just for dramatic effect.

Sun-Sign anything is fraught with difficulties, no matter what. Even if the guide, book, or newspaper horoscope is based on real astrological principles and insight. Why? What does "real" astrology have to offer that Sun-Sign stuff doesn't?

For one thing, the many thousands of years of astrological development universally indicate that your Sun sign is only a tiny part of the picture which defines you and your life. In many cases, it isn't even the most important factor. For example, some authorities put considerably more weight on your Moon, its placements, and on something called the Ascendant.

My Moon? Is somebody joking, here? Nosirree. The moon changes signs approximately every two and one-half days. On the day you were born, it was in one of the twelve signs. So were all the other planets. And astrology says that all the planets matter.

So, what's an ascendant? Loosely speaking, it is the sign rising on the eastern horizon at the moment of your birth. That's something that changes every two hours or so, depending on a lot of other factors.

Do you see where I'm headed here? Your birth is a very specific event, which took place at a particular time and a particular place. In fact, an experienced astrologer can take a copy of your chart without birth times or locations on it and get pretty close to where you were born and when, just from the Ascendant and related information, and the positions of the planets.

Real astrology can be very specific. Sun-sign astrology can't be. Do you have everything in common with all the people in your state, or are there significant differences between you? The same thing applies with regard to Sun-signs.

So, enjoy your daily horoscope in the newspaper by all means. Some of them are very entertaining. Just don't be misled into thinking that you're dealing with full-fledged astrology here. At its best, Sun-sign astrology is "ocean-in-a-bottle."

If you want to know what is happening in your life on a day-to-day basis, based on genuine astrological principles, you have several choices. Your best choice might be to consult a well-trained astrologer. You can find many through sites all over the web.

One of the easiest things to do is to get one of the many astrological reports for a given time period put out by reputable software companies. Many of these can be ordered on-line. Our site offers a few, but ours are by no means the only ones out there.

Finally, you could study astrology yourself: even as a beginning astrologer you will get more out of your daily transits than you are likely to get from simple Sun-sign stuff. There's a wealth of information out there on the web to enable you to learn the fundamentals of astrology, and there are a lot of reputable software companies out there that offer beginning and professional-level programs. Call them, write them, and by all means check out their websites.

 

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