For years, I’ve wondered about the usefulness of astrology. I learned the basics as a child, and I’ve always wanted to believe the stars and planets could provide guidance for us. They were placed there for a divine purpose, after all.
I remember in vivid detail the day I first discovered astrology. I was eight years old, and like so many other eight-year-old girls, I wanted a horse of my own. No amount of begging or pleading seemed to work, however.
Now, keep in mind, this was a long, long time ago, so far away in time, it might as well have been in a different world. It was a different world back then, especially in a little town with fewer than 5,000 people. Children had more freedom and less fear. Maybe that was a good thing, maybe not, but it’s how life was back then.
As was my usual habit, I walked that day to one of the town’s two drugstores. Marietta Drugs sat on the corner of Marietta and South Street. It was a popular after-school “hang-out”, even for the very young. For most kids, it was the soda fountain that lured them in. For me, it was the magazine stand and book racks. Oh, how I loved browsing!
It was there on that fateful day that I first discovered Zolar’s Astrology.
Zolar, I have since learned, was not one man, but two. Bruce King had been a successful securities salesman, and after studying astrology, he founded a publishing company and set out to revive the ancient science and bring it to the forefront of society. After his death in 1976, his understudy, Robert Donald Papon, became the “new” Zolar.
In the 1960s, King, as Zolar, was called “The Dean of Astrology”, a title conferred upon him by the New Yorker magazine.
When I picked up my first issue of Zolar’s monthly astrological magazine and thumbed through the pages, I was thrilled by what I was reading.
- “A good day to promote personal projects.”
- “Favorable for personal relationships.”
- “Excellent day for pursuing your cherished ambitions.”
Of course, not every day was excellent, favorable, or even good. Some were ranked as “fair”, and cautions were noted.
- “Put personal projects on hold today.”
- “Difficulties could arise in communicating with others.”
- “Don’t expect cooperation today.”
I read with growing interest, realizing how valuable this information could be. It was exactly what I needed, guidance on when and how to make my dreams come true. I had only to choose the right days, I thought, and I could surely persuade my mother — or my kind-hearted grandfather — to buy that horse I so desperately wanted.
I bought the magazine — I think it cost a quarter — and hurried home, eager to show it off. After all, I shouldn’t be the only one to benefit from such a miraculous discovery. Everyone deserved happiness. Everyone needed to know that this easy-to-understand, day-by-day guidance was available and could be purchased right there from the magazine stand at Marietta Drugs.
Mother laughed when I showed her. “It’s just astrology,” she told me. “It doesn’t really mean anything.”
No, it didn’t. I never got that horse I wanted.
In looking back, I’m surprised by my mother’s attitude and her casual dismissal of astrology. She was born under the sign of Aquarius, and true to her sign, was always open-minded and far-sighted in her thinking. She believed in all things supernatural. But for some reason, somehow, astrology had fallen below her line of sight.
It irked me, to be honest. I was angry that something I found so important, something which held so much promise and excitement for me, could be so easily cast aside by my mother. Much like Zolar himself, I set out to bring astrology out of its shadows. I was determined to spread the word to others and make them aware of this incredible source of knowledge and awareness available to all.
I learned the planets, the houses, the aspects. I devoured books on natal charts, studied moon signs, and learned progressions. I did more, too. In my usual zealous way, I gathered all my friends around and taught them about the zodiac. I needed to prove that astrology “worked”.
Yet even as I touted its virtues, I saw, too, the inherent flaws of astrology. It could be approached in two very different ways:
- Sun-sign astrology provided quick, convenient guidance. It was easy, and it was generic, with “personalized” daily advice intended for the masses. Not really so personal at all.
- Natal-chart astrology provided more detailed predictions, more personalized insights, but required far more knowledge than most people had, and also demanded a great deal of time.
I had a choice, it seemed. Settle for the quick and easy variety, or spend so much time casting my horoscope charts and studying aspects that I really wouldn’t have time left over for living my life. I opted for the quick and easy readings, but it didn’t feel quite right. I knew there was more to astrology. What was the point in skimming the surface and leaving all the in-depth insights uncovered?
Long story short, I stopped following Zolar. I put my astrology books and magazines aside, and I returned to being a somewhat “normal” child again. Yeah, right. Like that ever happened.
Still, my interest in astrology has remained a part of who I am. Although I joke about being “born under the sign of the turkey” (since I came into this world on Thanksgiving Day), much of that attitude is an act of deflection. I’m hedging, you see. It’s my way of saying, “Well, yeah, I know about astrology, but I don’t really believe all that mumbo-jumbo, you know.” I’m saying it without saying it. I’m leaving some cosmic door open.
Earlier this month, I decided to do something I’ve long intended to do: conduct an ongoing experiment to determine whether or not astrology can be a useful tool in how I manage my life experiences. I’m talking here about the quick and easy, generic, sun-sign form of guidance, the kind you find in every major newspaper across the country, the kind that appears in popular magazines, the kind you’ll find splattered on a dozen different websites in cyberspace.
- Can these sun-sign predictions be accurate?
- Does astrological “advice” serve any purpose?
- Is the guidance too general to be of use?
I wanted to explore these questions, have a chance to look at the daily guidance for my sign, and mull things over in my mind. I created The Archer’s Arrow, a blog for my personal explorations of astrology. There, each day, I make note of the guidance for my sign, and I share a few personal thoughts. The next day, I return and provide a quick update, noting whether or not the predictions/advice had any meaning or significance for me.
What’s been the result? Of course, it’s far too early to come to any real conclusions, but I think I’ve been surprised at how accurate the “generic” predictions have actually been. In the first week, there’s been only one day that I called a complete MISS. For the most part, what I’ve read in my daily horoscope has been a good reflection on what’s been going on in my life.
For the curious, here’s my latest analysis from my on-going experiment.
Here are a few other links to check out.
- Astrology: A Liberating Concept of Human Development (sagmind.wordpress.com)
- Findyourfate.com Offers the Ultimate Astrology And Solutions For Everyone In The Upcoming Year 2014 (listfree.org)
- A Few Words on “Cookbook” Astrology (sagmind.wordpress.com)
- Astrology: The Fundamentals (uglydays.us)
- How Does Astrology Work? (discoveringwisdom.com)
- Picking A Date, Astrologically (cosmictuesdays.wordpress.com)
- An Astrologer’s Journey by Kelly Lowe (anoveldesignblog.wordpress.com)
- Your Astrological Natal Chart is Perfect for You! (consciousastrology.com)
- Astrology & Our Multidimensional Selves (sagmind.wordpress.com)