“If you believe in Astrology, you’re a…”

Via on Mar 15, 2013

“Yes—it tells us that you participate in the mass cultural delusion that the sun’s apparent position relative to arbitrarily defined constellations at the time of your birth somehow affects your personality. ” – Sheldon Cooper

mirror stars

“If you believe in Astrology, you’re a Neandrathal,” someone once said to a friend of mine.

Nothing’s wrong with Neandrathals, mind you—they came up with the Paleo diet first, after all.

I used to date a girl who was a professional astrologist. She knew her stuff. Her mom was even more of a pro. And they got accused, all the time, of, you know, being grown ups who chose to… astrology_discovery

…not only play, but believe in something akin to D&D. Are they more or less than myth-believers? You know, fundamentalists?

Archetypes? Mercury is swift? Gods? Your character and fortune, both daily and monthly and lifelong, is connected to some arcane reading of the stars?

He’s a jerk, but he voices what many feel:

On other hand, I am stardust. Literally. And, friend, read Kant. Or, as with Ginsberg, the revelation of the sunflower (was that it, I can’t remember?).

More, via Bill Nye, who’s awesome, and kind:

More self-serious debunking:

In any case, if your bliss is to find your calling through the order of the heavens, find those who know what they’re talking about, and point their knowledge toward the good of others. Like this guy.

I’ll leave you with this, a great quote from that great master of the archetype, good ol’Joseph Campbell. It’s unrelated, and yet…like your heart and future, and that of the heavens, it’s connected, somehow:

“If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are—if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.”

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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26 Responses to ““If you believe in Astrology, you’re a…””

  1. Scott Robinson YesuDas says:

    "An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star!" ~Shakespeare, King Lear

  2. Jennifer S. White Jennifer White says:

    I absolutely agree with you about the complete sham of sun sign horoscopes (i.e. what you read when you're a Scorpio) and the general reality that Astrology shouldn't, if you use your thinking mind, make sense. However, the accuracy of a specific natal chart is uncanny and also very unique. (I, for example, have an identical twin sister born two minutes apart, and our charts are quite different, explaining our own differences in personality and life experiences.) Also, is that the talking head from Pee Wee's Playhouse? ;)

  3. Saranpal says:

    The problem with these commentators/scientists is that they are looking at the sun sign astrology only. But a complete birth chart is much more complex and there are many relationships between the planets and their placements in the horoscope. So, the sun-sign astrology from the papers doesn't work because there are so many factors that influence how that sun sign expresses itself. I think the most compelling argument is the one where everyone is given the same horoscope interpretation and they all think it fits. Yet its not clear whether they received a full horoscope interpretation or an elaboration of the characteristics of a particular sun sign. The horoscope in full shows the energy present, not what the individual will do with that energy, or how s/he will respond to it, which accounts for differences between people. The horoscope does not show the consciousness of the individual, so there are many possible responses to the same enegy yielding many different consequences/outcomes….As far as the shifting of the constellations because of the earth's wobble: I can't speak to that, but any good astrologer could.

  4. Saranpal says:

    A good astrologer does not predict so much as describe the landscape and suggested possible responses based on the strengths and weaknesses in the birthchart. In terms of timing, one could look at the energy in the chart and suggest times that would be better supported than others for particular activities, and yet still, given our free will, and a little creativity, we humans are capable of a wide range of responses.

    • rko says:

      The weather report, the terrain topo map, even the car's driver's manual all in one report, handy to keep in the glovebox on a roadtrip,just to be taken out when you need an extra boost.

  5. Werd says:

    Though the planets SEEM far away, we are connected to them considering we are in the same solar system and made of the same stuff – if you look at Astrology from a scientific perspective it makes a lot of sense. If the moon can have an affect on the ocean, why not our bodies too which are composed of between 55 – 75% water depending on your age and health. Perhaps our lives are not so complex and it is a lot more simple than we think: that every thing in our universe is a reflection in of itself, the male and female energies that exist here exist everywhere – that our experiences of emotions (anger, love, jealousy).. that these energies may have emanated from other celestial beings (aka planets).. who knows right? The Earth gravitationally interacts with the sun, moon and other planets so if we are a part of this earth – logically it makes sense we are also affected. I'm a skeptical believer but the fact that I've got a good record for guessing peoples signs after meeting them, it is kind of creepy even for me. (Ya 1 in 12 chance you say.) I say it's all about gravity/energy baby!

  6. elephantjournal says:

    Via FB: "Apparently, these science types don't "believe" in Astrology. Here's why:"

    Bret: Per Breszny: In his book Cosmos and Psyche, Richard Tarnas says the planets don't emit invisible forces that shape our destinies as if we were puppets. Rather, they are symbols of the unfolding evolutionary pattern. Just as clocks tell time but don't create it, the heavenly bodies show us the big picture but don't cause it.

    Quoting Greek philosopher Plotinus, Tarnas writes, "The stars are like letters that inscribe themselves at every moment in the sky. Everything in the world is full of signs. All events are coordinated. All things depend on each other. Everything breathes together."

    It always pains me to see people I genuinely admire struggle so mightily with the concepts represented in astrology, such as when Neil Tyson DeGrasse comes off like a fool when attempting to "debunk" the Dec 21 2012 galactic alignment. Or when I see Bill Nye making such a preposterous comment as was linked in this article. The problem comes from their being half-right. Yes, they are right about portions of their assertions, but they always try to use this and instead of incorporating it into the kindergarten-level understanding of the universe that astrology affords us, it attempts to eradicate its pseudo-cousin, and ALWAYS comes out looking worse for it. Astrology is just an antiquated iteration of data extrapolation and interpretation. When deGrasse makes those comments that are so popular on YouTube that there is no such thing as the galactic cycle and its symbology to the Mayan people, he just comes across as uninformed. And same with Nye who makes the ludicrous argument that we're all a sign away from our actual sun sign. This works off the assumption that there isn't precise data available on the glorious Internet which gives you exact ephemeris calculations. Why is the data that science uses to attack these time-honored fields, which despite being somewhat outdated, serve as valuable tools for teaching the nature and context of our existence and the universe in general always the laziest science of them all? I am sure that DeGrasse is a great scientist and objective, rational analyzer of important data, but why does his attack on Mayan cosmology seem more like a pissing contest that is fundamentally flawed in its narrow perspective? And why can't we put this motherfucking issue to rest? Brezsny said it best, (albeit vis a vis Tarnas): Clocks reveal time. They don't create it. The heavens reveal aspects of our big picture. They don't enforce it or cause it. Done. End of story. Period. Fin. Au revoir. Thanks for playing, Objective Reason!! See you in the future when you lose the bug up your butt and get down off that high horse. Here's a cookie. Please recycle.

    When great scientists attempt to discredit astrology, they do so by following a failed line of logic. It appears to a rational person that astrology is irrational and a prime target for their debasing, but it appears as such only to a lazy mind who has not taken the necessary time to discover the source of its chagrin. These debunkers often fail to realize that, similar to an iceberg where only a small portion is visible, the root of their ire is actually much more "true" than is generally given credit for, and in fact comprises the foundation upon which our modern knowledge rests. It is literally an act of shooting one's own foot as knowledge tries desperately in vain to draw boundaries between itself and the wellspring from whence it came. It is truly the mark of a shallow mind. Ugh!

    Don H Ol' Anton said it best, do what thou will, shall be the whole of the law….. (as long as no harm comes to others)

    Tim W I think he was quoting Aleister Crowley.

    Don H Probably, but no one "spoke" it quite like Anton lol

    Yoga for Cynics When someone asks my sign, I'll say (for instance) "I'm a Sagittarius." They'll say "I knew it!" To which I respond: "Actually, I'm a Capricorn," to which they say "Okay, I knew you were either a Sagittarius or a Capricorn." "Really, I'm a Leo." "Oh, yeah, now I see it…" "Not that, either. Libra." "Well, that explains it…" Basically, it seems, I can run through all twelve and they'll still insist that each one is proving their system right.

    • paul says:

      I like Yoga For Cynics' response to lie and use their lies to justify what YFC already believes… "no really, I meant to do that!"

    • rko says:

      We are all the entire zodiac. That is, we all have Leo, Saggitarius, Capricorn… all of them in our chart. So you are a Leo in some way, a Capricorn in some way, etc. It is the ways that are nonrandomly distributed.

    • Jennifer S. White Jennifer White says:

      Good points. I know, from my perspective, I actually read natal charts in high school and college for a living. I was also a student of science in college. My husband (then boyfriend) always stood up for what I did when my science cronies would rag me on it, because, he said, if you stop with the b.s. sun sign stuff (which is the only thing anyone knows, and why it never fits, makes sense, has merit), the deeper elements of astrology (which is what astrologers are sticking up for) work. They do fit and make sense (whether they hold merit is the debate I guess).

      My husband now holds several degrees in Physics and Math, and he's the most intelligent working scientist I've ever met—and he still realizes the weight that stands behind real Astrology. What peeves me, is this division of science as something that it's not. Science is not people sitting around with calculators and glasses held together with tape, thinking they know everything and have all the answers. Sure, they might be sitting around with calculators and nerdy glasses, but a true scientist is someone who above all questions and seeks answers.

  7. swati jr* says:

    Science is just another ideology to "believe in". I'll stick to the ancient methods, thank you. The Vedic seers were far ahead of where "modern" thinkers think themselves to be currently. Kinda funny really.

    • BS Detector says:

      Riiiight, because the magic box your talking with disembodied entities through is a product of these "ancient methods"… Does this mean this technology, which is the product of scientific inquiry mind you, doesn't work for you because you don't "believe" in it? The sciences have little to do with "belief" and a lot to do with observation and evidence. If you're so gung ho about "sticking to the ancient methods" shouldn't you be living somewhere far away from modern society? Shunning modern amenities like central heat and air, light bulbs, modern medicine and dentistry, grocery stores, bicycles, ovens, microwaves, cell phones, the internet, salons, treated water, etc., etc… You aren't "sticking to the ancient methods", you're a fraud.

  8. paul says:

    It's about use, not the support any system may have towards what is true and real: if I cared about living things, I'd much rather people "believe" in astrology, rather than whatever it is doing science is; human's science is better for the short term human, not life.

  9. Ben Ralston Ben_Ralston says:

    When I was born my Father had my Astrological birth chart made up by a famous English astrologer, a friend of my Grandmother.
    I read it for the first time 15 years later, by which time much of what had been written had come true (including precise predictions about when certain things would happen and the effects they would have on my life – and for how long!, the one specific part of my body that would be injured – right ankle, strengths and weaknesses of my personality, etc).
    It really blew my mind…

  10. Danielle says:

    As above, so below….Your birth chart not only shows the karma you brought into this lifetime, it shows your dharma as well. When interpreted correctly it can be used to help you better understand who you are, why you do the things you do, and how you can begin to change certain patterns that continually hold you back from living the best life you dream of!
    http://www.healingpaige.com

  11. Jodeen says:

    Mekka lekka high mekka chaney ho…..

    long live Jambie….

    great post.

  12. nikki says:

    yeah, very interesting. we actually post a lot of astrology on Glad.is (just because it's our mission to support all teachings, philosophies and points of view to allow people to make their own decisions.) I personally have not been such a big believer, but find myself very interested in Kabbalistic astrology. They use the Hebrew calendar (vs the Gregorian calendar) and take into account both the positions of the sun and moon…I don't know enough about any kind of astrology to really advocate it's use in daily life or not, but I'm certainly curious.
    And I do find a lot of truth in many forms of ancient wisdom from Buddhism to Astrology or Cosmology (and not the daily horoscope stuff in the newsletter…but the deep knowledge that we are of the universe so it is natural that we are intrinsically connected to it. And I am sure that we (I mean "I") have a spiritual relationship with the universe.) We are running this article now on the 12 Days of Aries (Kabbalah) on glad.is which is pretty interesting: http://glad.is/article/new-moon-in-aries/

  13. Soulshine says:

    Michael Shermer DEBUNKED by astrologer on his own show!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6k7xa1NrCc

  14. Balakrishnan says:

    In vedic astrology, the horoscope drawn at the time of birth is a karmic balance sheet showing the karma which the soul has chosen to experience in this birth : jyotish or vedic astology is a set of road signs set up by a Divine(and therefore benevolent ) intelligence to guide us on the journey of life.Like all road signs it is fairly simple to understand. …If you need validation get your horoscope read by any moderately competent astrologer….if you don't fine…and yes,you have to be an alert and controlled driver irrespective of whether you choose to read the road signs.

  15. Jordan says:

    In india,people fix their marriage based on astrology..people are destined to live with respect to the position of the planets somewhere in the solar system when they were born..

    It cant get worse than that..

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