Stop Right There: What You Absolutely Need to Know Before Reading Your Horoscope. ~ Eleanor Tara


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I have been afraid to publish this article, because I share an unpopular point of view that won’t win me many friends.

But recently elephant journal promoted yet another highly popular set of weekly horoscopes, and I just couldn’t stay silent anymore.

So here goes…

When I tell people I’m a Vedic Astrologer, they either can’t wait to learn more, or they look at me blankly, trying to conceal the fact that they don’t think very highly of Astrology.

I used to feel the same way.

Before I had my first reading, I only knew about Astrology through daily, weekly and monthly horoscopes that I’d read in magazines or on websites. They never resonated with me and usually my eyes would glaze over by the first overly generalized statement.

(For a wonderfully hilarious exception to this rule, check out the world’s best horoscopes on The Onion.)

Some people find that horoscopes really apply to them. To these people, I recommend reading a book about cold reading to understand how that’s possible.

Through the world of published horoscopes, Astrology has become an amusing parlor trick, often banished by discerning readers to the same category as a Magic 8-Ball or a carnival fortune teller.

I wish I was only talking about cheap astrology found in tabloids or spammy websites, but I’m not.

Even reputable astrologers who publish general horoscopes are misleading you, and are giving astrology, an otherwise priceless, ancient science of divination, a bad name in the process.

Why would an astrologer lead you astray?

Well, people love horoscopes. They love to peer into the crystal ball for free and receive guidance. Publishing free horoscopes, which many people are looking for, is a great way to gain notoriety and to become a sought after professional astrologer, which far fewer people are looking for.

Some astrologers who write horoscopes may be aware that they are writing fiction, and many simply haven’t been properly educated. It’s not an easy thing. Astrology is a complex system, and learning it requires countless hours of diligent study and practice, as well as a very good teacher who once did the same thing.

When done properly, Astrology can be an instant doorway to a life of clarity, peace, and self understanding. It can show you everything from your life purpose, to your wedding date, to your ideal spiritual path.

What is needed is your exact birth time in order for an astrologer to make meaningful predictions.  Accurate astrological predictions require your rising sign, as well as the location of all the other planets at the time of your birth.

The writers of general horoscopes not only don’t know your birth time, but they don’t take into account your birth year, or even the day. They lump together everyone who was born in the same month of any given year, and then make wild generalizations based on what’s happening in the sky.

The only thing people born in the same month definitely have in common is the sign where the sun is located. The sun’s location at birth has some importance to your life, but nothing predictive in nature can be determined without knowing where the other planets are, as well as many other key pieces of information.

Someone may as well publish horoscopes for “New Yorkers living in California” or “Actors with Brown hair.”

Some Astrologers do publish horoscopes based on your rising sign. This is at least a step in the right direction, but they still have no idea where the other planets were when you were born. They also base their predictions solely on where the planets are in the sky currently. It’s almost worse, as it gives more convincing information that is completely inaccurate.

I often compare the dumbing-down of astrology in pop culture to the movie, Idiocracy, where the population becomes progressively less educated and winds up thinking that plants prefer to drink Gatorade and that the most entertaining, muscular man should be President.

Astrology has brilliant roots, but not everyone tends to them with equal reverence.

The reality is that if you have important questions about your future, you can get them answered through Astrology.


Just find your exact birth time and a well-educated astrologer to read your chart. A good one will spend an hour or two examining your chart before meeting with you to shed light on your biggest life questions in hopes of illuminating your path.

The results could be tremendous, if you’re willing to give Astrology another chance.


Eleanor Tara is a Vedic Astrologer and former Vice President at the Warner Music Group who went from working with the world’s biggest pop stars to reading the actual stars. After awakening to her true calling, she took every personal development training she came across in a quest to learn how to help people find their way more easily than she did.  She found the answer in Vedic Astrology, an ancient, sacred art of self-understanding and divination, and now helps people get clarity and peace on their path by answering their deepest questions about their lives. To learn more or to schedule a reading, visit Visionary Readings.


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Assistant Ed: Paula Carrasquillo/Ed: Bryonie Wise

{Photo: via Nadia on Pinterest}


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7 Responses to “Stop Right There: What You Absolutely Need to Know Before Reading Your Horoscope. ~ Eleanor Tara”

  1. james says:

    thanks for sharing!

  2. Gino says:

    Hi E…

    I am trying to see your point about how your understanding of Astrology would make your readings more accurate/relevant than "generic readings." I think I am hearing you saying that knowing the exact time you were born can make a reading more relevant. I am trying to understand how any of that could help with any kind of "predictions." Astrology may be useful in many ways, but as a predictive tool… I'm highly skeptical.

    "It can show you everything from your life purpose, to your wedding date, to your ideal spiritual path."

    I don't buy that. I think my objection is that that is the same promise "generic" astrologers make. And while you're critical of their lack of input as they make predictions, I'm critical of the possibility of getting anything predictive from astrology.

    Your emphasis on the specific date of someone's birth makes me think that you're saying that Astrology is closer to "hard science" (my words, not yours), rather than a "spiritual art." I'm curious as to what you would say to that?

    I can imagine how astrology could be helpful: Where astrology becomes like a series of props and symbols, for some wise person to help another explore their life (particular past/present) in qualitative ways. That sounds feasible/credible to me. I don't, however, see how a chart can help anyone predict an individual's *future* life events. Especially with any specificity.

    For contrast I would point to something like studying Birth Order (how your birth order influences your personality), which I am convinced *can* have some predictive success about a personality type. Not "facts" or "predictions," but tendencies in a person's life. Birth Order works as it has some Darwinian properties that show how your personality is shaped by relationship to your siblings and competition for parental attention, and how that drives each child into somewhat predictable "tendencies" for each birth order (how first borns share characteristics that last borns do not). There's a lot of good "science" that supports birth order as a guide, and even there… would never suggest that birth order could help illuminate your "life purpose" or a date of some event in your life.

    As a means of taking you out of your *fact based* thinking, I think astrology could help you see different sides of yourself (at the level of meaning and personal symbolic language). That could be highly valuable. As an "instant doorway" to anything future-based or predictive — no.

    What would you say to that? Am I misunderstanding you?

    • Eleanor says:

      Dear Gino,

      Thank you for your thoughtful inquiry and feedback! It is always a pleasure to engage in intelligent discussion about this fine scientific art (artistic science?)

      With regards to predictions, I can speak mainly to Vedic Astrology, my primary area of practice. (Western Astrology is based on a different zodiac and is not the same).

      Vedic Astrology (see… for a more in depth explanation) was directly cognized by the great seers and sages of India 5000+ years ago, for the purpose of mapping the unfolding of each individual's karma. (So far, a spiritual explanation…)

      Mapping karma means mapping specific events, and knowing how & when they will occur, which is where the divination comes in.

      Over thousands of years, millions of charts were studied and many methods of calculating these events were systematized into 'rules' that can be applied to each chart. (Now more scientific – Mathematics was developed in order to make astronomical calculations for astrological purposes!)

      The study of Vedic Astrology involves learning these rules and how to apply/interpret them to each chart in order to make predictions. This is both a science (based on the rules) and an art (interpretation of an infinite number of factors in each chart and knowing what to focus on.)

      One way you know you're sitting with a great astrologer is that he or she can pinpoint specific events from your past (this is a lot hard to chock up to confirmation bias than future predictions…), like when you switched careers, got married, moved, etc.

      It would certainly be hard to believe unless you experience it for yourself (or witness it happening for someone else). I did not believe in astrology at all before I had a Vedic reading that blew my mind.

      Does that answer your question?

      Thank you again for your insights on the value of astrology, and for sharing your point of view.


  3. swati says:

    Eleanor, I certainly commend your commitment to Jyotish. It's something we have in common. I am the author of the horoscopes you mention in your article and I do have some different thoughts on what you mention here.

    For one thing, I do have a disclaimer on ALL my posts that states:
    "These horoscopes are meant to be used as a broad overview of the current transits and obviously do not address the specifics of an individual’s unique chart."

    You are right, there is no way a "generic" horoscope could be exact because it is not based on the specifics of the individual's birth chart.

    What I'd like to reiterate is that my posts, my studies of the planets, the nakshatras, the transits, the emotional responses etc that we all have to these grahas, DO show tendencies for each rising sign based on their current trends. This is both common sense and what any good astrologer knows to be truth. There is no "misleading" here. I am simply offering each rising sign tendencies. It's really that simple.

    Fortunately my clients, as well as the thousands of people that read my horoscopes weekly, find them to be a great resource, a true help for them as they navigate their days and weeks, their emotions and their unique paths. My horoscopes are helpful not because they are "predicting" anything, but because they remind us that the planets DO have an effect on us- emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually- and as a result it can be helpful to know there are resources and solutions when the clouds get too heavy. This is one of the many gifts Jyotish has brought to my life and I am so grateful to share my work with others. For me this is very dharmic and truly a win/win.

    Be well and many blessings,

    • Eleanor says:

      Dear Swati,

      Many apologies for not responding or acknowledging your response earlier, but I am just seeing your comment now.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your point of view. I honor that you are doing your work with the best of intentions and with an understanding that this is dharmic and aligned for you.

      Most of all, I love that you are bringing people closer to Jyotish by sharing some great information with them, particularly when you speak about the general landscape for the week.

      However, I respectfully disagree that the pieces you write for each sign reflect astrological reality.

      Certainly, everyone feels the movement of slow movers like Saturn or Jupiter or Rahu Ketu into a new Rasi or Nakshatra, and each lagna may have SOME common experience around this. But to extend this to the fast movers, other than to note the waxing and waning of the Moon, is unlikely to yield accurate results.

      We may all have emotional responses to particular grahas, but that depends what Dasa we are in, the condition of our manas/moon, the strength of our lagna lord, and so many other factors we don't have access to without a birth chart. Gocara (Transits) is not meant to be used ahead of Bhava or Yoga Vicara, and for good reason.

      If someone really wants to use Vedic astrology to navigate the heavy clouds, they need to go see a trained Vedic Astrologer and have a reading, in my humble opinion, not read a general statement that may not apply to them. Isn't that why you have your disclaimer?

      Many blessings to you,


  4. Christina says:

    I’ve been learning astrology and so I was having a really hard time understanding why there were general horoscopes because it just didn’t make sense and so I did a search and came across your article. I was very happy to come across your article. Thank you very much for writing this.

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