Oct 23, 2020


Astrology: #9
Joseph Szimhart
Cults in the Occulture
October 10, 2020


Astrology by most accounts is the queen of the occult arts of divination that include Tarot, Kabbalah, and reading tea leaves. I first seriously explored astrology in the late 1970s, getting my first professional reading of my horoscope from Alan Oken at his Voice of the Turtle gift shop in Santa Fe NM. I needed to know my rising sign, moon and sun signs to apply for entry into the Keeper of the Flame fraternity of a large Theosophy-based sect run then by Elizabeth Prophet. Astrologers seek precise information about birth time and place to better “read” your star chart or horoscope. After I defected from Prophet’s cult in 1980, I learned how to cast a horoscope using an ephemeris, then got a good idea how to do a reading from professionAl astrologers I knew.

One old astrologer told me she only had to glance at a person’s chart to do a reading. “It is all intuitive,” she said. After two years of research I found that astrology is horrible as a predictive tool and totally unreliable reference as to a person’s character. 

Astrologers who know how to read a chart with its thousands of relational aspects can easily get most customers to agree with a reading. It comes down to an influence game. Astrology can effect national decisions. I point to how in 1948 the New Indian government had to consult an astrologer for the auspicious moment when to sign their declarations of independence from Great Britain. After Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981, his wife Nancy consulted a celebrity astrology to names dates and times when the president could safely travel, thus causing havoc and unnecessary delays among White House staff decisions. Time Magazine had a cover feature in 1988 about “Astrology in the White House.” I mention that fundamentalist Christians have published books against astrology saying it is deceptive and is a tool of the devil. Skeptics have proven that astrology has no basis in reality, though it remains a popular psychological and cultural means for self reflection among young adults with a resurgence of interest since 2014. I warn that astrology can be easily overvalued and cause harm in relationships as well as decision- making.

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