My Education as an Astrologer
By ShyDavid, November 13, 1998CE

Starting in my youth, and continuing into my young adulthood, I studied astrology a great deal. I had well over 300 books on the subject, and some 50 audio tapes. I wrote an astrology program (ASTR5) and distributed it throughout the USA and internationally (this program can still be found on many FidoNet Bulletin Board Systems). I was a member of ISAR (International Society for Astrological Research) and I attended UAC (United Astrology Congress) for four years. I performed two astrological studies: one on 65 AIDS victims, and another on 1,069 atomic bomb events throughout the world. I learned how to read natal charts, novian moon charts, solar return charts, primary arc progressions, secondary progression charts, semi-diurnal arcs, composite charts, synastry, horary, and I even developed a new technique I termed "ascentional returns" for making daily predictions. I attended weekly SCAN (Southern California Astrological Network) meetings for over a year. I spent a few days at "Zip" Dobyn's house being entertained by her stories and her vast library (books covered every wall in her house), and eating her corn bread. I've flirted with Francois Gauquelin.

Even though I became extremely proficient at reading astrological charts, and I amazed my friends at the task of reading their charts, I never for a moment thought, let alone believed, that astrology is valid. It is not.

During these 12 years, I never even once found any validity in astrology. I found, again and again and again, that astrology only "works" because people believe it does, not because it does. That is, I, as the astrologer, would do a reading of a person's natal chart, or a couple's composite chart or synastry comparison, and the client would believe what I said, and even accept blatant falsehoods and errors, because she or he wanted desperately to believe astrology is valid. The point is, astrologers can say anything, and make any kind of claim no matter how false or absurd, and the client will work very hard to believe the astrologer's words.

I did not come by this realization suddenly. It took me a while to figure out the mechanism by which astrology "works." That mechanism is the desperate need of the client to believe astrology is the answer to their problems. The greater the problem, the greater the willingness of the client to believe that which is absurd. All the astrologer need do is develop what is known as "cold reading techniques" whereby guesses are made, and the client's mind races to try and make that guess "fit" her or his situation. Even when the guess is grossly wrong, the client often believes that it is correct and that they just do not yet understand how.

About ten years ago I finished my study of astrology. I discovered that what one sees in the sky has nothing at all to do with human events here on Earth. What the astrologer sees in the chart is an impotent fabrication, unrelated to reality.

That is not to say that all astrologers are deceiving people; it just means that the majority of astrologers are deceiving themselves. While it is true that many astrologers know damn well that their trade is fraudulent, the majority by far do not: the latter are to be faulted for their deliberate ignorance, not their ethics.

Yes, deliberate ignorance. I cannot count the number of times I sat with astrologers discussing the trade, where only positive "evidence" (consisting only of anecdotal testimonies) was discussed and the massive evidence against astrology was dismissed out of hand (and the subject quickly changed). The very large majority of astrologers (out of those who believe astrology is valid, i.e. not including the ones that know astrology is false) have not only no interest in the evidence against astrology, but an active abhorrence and aversion of this evidence; they have an avoidance mechanism that steers them clear of the facts. Having invested so much of their time, money, and self-importance in astrology, to finally look at the conclusive evidence that demonstrates astrology is completely, utterly invalid, engenders far too much cognitive dissonance for the believing astrologer.