Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Why Intellectual Dishonesty is Hurting Astrology Today

Why Intellectual Dishonesty is Hurting Astrology Today

9:45 PM 9/19/05 Mon

In light of my recent essays regarding the very real and palpable Left leaning view extant in the American Astrology Community today, and noting that my essays in this regard have raised a bit of a ruckus, I'd like to take things a step further in this essay, why I posit that intellectual dishonesty is hurting Astrology today.

There are several key points/themes that I would like to address myself to, that are often brought up in various astrological circles, and that I feel are at best spurious if not out and out dishonest. They are as follows:

1. Wanting no discussion about anything "other than Astrology"

2. Affirmative Action Astrology (and I'll explain exactly what I mean in a sec)

3. Taking a "No-Judgement" view with Astrology

4. Taking a so-called intellectual/academic approach in Astrology groups and forums (what I called Pseudo-Intellectualism)

5. Claiming to want Astrology to be more relevant to the general public

Let's address these points one by one.

Wanting No Discussion About Anything "Other than Astrology"
If you're part of an online community of astrologers and the like, you're bound to hear this partyline. Sometimes, there is a certain spin put on it ("this is a forum for learning astrological principles, etc."), but what is really meant by this is that whoever is calling the shots simply doesn't want to deal with the implications of that which was brought up. This can be for a variety of reasons, but usually it's due to what I call the "selling soapsuds" quotient. By that I mean, that oftentimes, many of these folks who own forums and the like use these as vehicles to peddle their wares and/or services, so if you mention something that might piss some or all of their potential clientele off (with, say, wanting to know the astrological implications of Class or Race, etc.), off with your head. As for the whole "learning" line, well, let's just look at it this way: in this age of Internet search engines, easy availabilty of computers and widespread access to astrology books and information from here to next Sunday, anyone who wants to learn the rudiments (or finer points, as the case may be) of Astrology can do so, often for FREE. And if neither the profit motive nor the so-called interest in learning motive doesn't do the trick, there maybe some other esoteric (or egocentric) reason given. What such folks need to do is be very upfront about the fact that they arean't really interested in dealing with, say, the Career/Vocational situation in ALL its dimensions, but instead are just interested in hawking their wares on "how-to" see a doctor, lawyer, Indian Chief in the chart. Or that they are in reality a Leftist in astrological drag, and so get all hot and bothered when someone asks hard astrological questions on the political front or presents something astrologically relevant on a current and hotly charged topic such as abortion. Chalk it up to all my years in Sales, or maybe just a liftime of growing up in the Hood, but nothing is worse than someone trying to get over by playing a bad game of Three Card Monty.

Affirmative Action Astrology
By this I mean, the idea or notion that ALL Astrology (and by extension, astrologers) is equal; even more to the point, the idea that all astrologers are equal, and that we must respect all points of view even if some don't make any damn sense at all (and we all know it). NOT!!! Take for example, the Solar Return. This is a method that has been around for ever, and even though folks who've worked with Astrology for eons know that a clear use of Transits trumps a Solar Return any day of the week, still we have to put up with this notion that Solar Returns are as viable a method as Transits. Ugh. The reality is that there are some astrologers that are good, others great, and a whole lot that just suck. But of course, you can't say that nowadays, because "astrology isn't supposed to be competitive". Of course, those who espouse such a view are either ignorant of Astrology's past (where guys like Lilly jockeyed for position all the time against other well known astrologers) OR they're being intellectually dishonest. It's one thing to simply and clearly state your view, that as a member of the Astrological Left, you don't think there is a such thing as a good or bad astrologer, or that some astrological systems and ideas just don't work as well as others; but to try to present them as Manna from Heaven is really a stretch at best, downright disengenuous at worst.

Taking A "No-Judgement" View With Astrology
Oh, I love this one. That's because it's yet another example, astrologically expressed, of the Left. If you're on the Left, you're in essence a Relativist - "eveything's relative", which translates into, everything's the same, which translates into, nothing is better or worse than something else, nothing is good or bad...and in astro-counseling terms, you simply cannot make a judgement about someone's behavior because, well...nothing's good or bad, it just is - right? Rubbish. Astrology's history, East and West alike, are full of examples where the astrologer clearly explained where the native went in one direction when he/she should have gone in the other and so on. If you're an astrologer that simply sees no inherent difficulty with Outer Planets, for example, then I'm pretty sure you're a "no value judgement" astrologer. What's really interesting about such folks though, is that their value judgemental hackles suddenly raise to the rafters when someone such as myself comes along - I guess the no judgement approach only goes but so far.
Taking A So-Called Intellectual/Academic Approach in Astrology Groups and ForumsThis is kind of a reiteration of my first counterpoint above, because those who claim that they want a more academic approach to Astrology often does so with the "no discussion other than astrology" canard. These folks wouldn't know academics if it pistol-whipped them in broad daylight. I say that because one of the hallmarks of the Academy is the free and open Debate of Ideas - and many who espouse such a view want anything but. I like to think of them as astrologers with a Soviet twist, you know, Astrological Totalitarianism. Yeah, yeah, I know, there's Kepler and there's the ACVA, and there's this and there's that group and so-and-so. Okay. But just you try to bring up some of the points I've made in previous essays, and you'll see what I mean (and this has happened with regard to some of my colleagues who scoffed at my thoughts in this regard; they're starting to wear yolks on the grill now). Pseudo-Intellectualism is rife in the Astrological Community today.

Claiming to Want Astrology to be More Relevant to the General Public
On its face, along with the posturing of many astrologers nowadays, this line above almost sounds credible; then you take a look around and you don't see ANY of the same folks who want to be relevant to the public speak to anything that actually means something to that same public. Take the Hurricance Katrina aftermath - where are astrologers on that one, especially the whole range of issues with respect to the Black and Poor? Okay, maybe that one's too heavy. What about the deal with Judge John Roberts? Nada. Or Cindy Sheehan? MIA. Everybody talked about Natalie Holloway, but no one said a word about Latoyia Figueroa - even though pregnant women get killed by their hubbies/boyfriends all the time. Wassup wit dat??? See my point? If you really want to be regarded by the public, you have to be willing to deal with the issues and topics and things that are IMPORTANT TO THEM. No once cares much about a bunch of astrological mumbo-jumbo that even died in the wool astrology wonks like me yawn at. That's why I spend so much time dealing with things in a public intellectual sort of way rather than tying all my time up dealing with insider baseball so to speak.

I posit that until astrologers get real honest with themselves and each other, more and more people will get turned off to it, NOT because of the Religious Right, NOT because of folks being scared by the "occult" nature of it, but because so many astrologers keep falling further and further away from where the bulk of humanity is, which is the Real World.

That's it.



Blogger Charlie said...

Define real please. And maybe using astrology in an intellectualy dishonest way is the way ahead. after all they do know the future.

12:23 PM  

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