Astrology is not a religion, it is the study of planetary motion and the correlation of those to our life here on Earth. Belief is a word that means a feeling that something exists or is true, especially one without proof – it does not relate to the study of astrology, therefore I don’t believe in astrology.
Do you? Astrology has gained a reputation through horoscope columns and our collective efforts – do you like how our profession is viewed? One of the most popular misconceptions is that people view it as a subject we need to believe in, but astrology is not a faith.
The simple statement – I believe in astrology – increases the dubious reputation of our profession.
The general public has one major forum for learning about astrology, which also forms the main knowledge base for forming an opinion about astrology – daily, weekly and monthly horoscopes.
When members of the general public encounter astrologers they are likely to state that they either do or don’t believe in astrology. How do you respond?
I recently presented four lectures on “Psychology and Astrology” to 150 students in a grade 12 psychology class at the request of their teacher. What these two subjects have in common was the basis of the talk. Prior to presenting the talk I had several lengthy conversations with the teacher, who is quite religious.
One major concern she had was that the community at large should not be offended, as many of her students come from very devout families. I was expected to approach the topic from a professional and academic perspective suitable for her 17-18 year old students. I was asked to prepare an extremely detailed written outline (script) of my lecture to be vetted by the principal of the school.
In the 77 minutes allotted I presented a sound definition of astrology – what it is and what it isn’t. I define astrology as a language of symbols not as a science due to the fact that it does not meet the current standards of scientific scrutiny nor as an art as it has too many scientific components and can be learnt without artistic talent. I gave the students a brief history of astrology describing how and when it was taught at universities and where it can be studied now.
Isn’t it great that we have the Kepler College to add to our professional credibility?
I discussed the basic Briggs-Myers personality types and compared those to the astrological archetypes, which I described in more detail. In addition I talked about Carl Jung, astrology and mythology. In order to demonstrate the difference between a newspaper horoscope and the actual horoscope I showed the students Trumps’s chart and illustrated the limited scope of sun sign astrology by leaving only the Sun visible on the overhead transparency.
I received 150 thank you letters from the students when I returned from the OPA conference. Let me share some of the comments from these young adults to demonstrate why I think we should not state that we believe in astrology.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for visiting our class on behalf of the astrological community” “Your lecture was both interesting and informative”. “I have found a new respect for astrology, I always thought that horoscopes in the papers were too vague and that could only mean that astrology was not valid.” I didn’t know you could study it as a profession and that it had such a long history. “I was quite intrigued by the Sun and Moon signs, the element classification of the symbols; I was thoroughly impressed with the complexity of astrology.” “I see it as more of a science now and not as some type of religion.” These sentences represent the most common statements.
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to teach 150 young adults that astrology is not a parlour game but a serious study. I was able to demonstrate that astrology is a valuable tool, and to assure the students with religious convictions that this wasn’t my faith either. I have always made a strong statement to anyone who’ll listen that I do not believe in astrology but I use it as a tool to help me understand life in all its aspects.
Is this nitpicking with words? I don’t think so, because our statements define the basic premise of why we practice astrology or why we study it. If we take professional pride in our choice of careers then I think we serve our community better by defining astrology accordingly. Did you notice that some of the students pointed out that they viewed me as a representative of the astrological community? How do we represent our profession?
Words are weighty and choosing the right ones extremely important. Please consider how to replace the – I believe in astrology – statement with something that does not imply faith or beliefs. Remember I was regarded as the representative of our community, and every time we discuss astrology that is how we are perceived. We are the ones who created sun sign astrology, stated that astrology is something we believe in, and we are the ones who have given and continue to give astrology its reputation for better or for worse. Do you believe in astrology – I do not