Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 25 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 6/21/21

Licensed Astrologers

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments
Message James A. Haught
Become a Fan
  (1 fan)

This piece was reprinted by OpEd News with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

(Daylight Atheism - May 31, 2021) (The Charleston Gazette, Aug. 14, 1995)

The solar system is relatively flat, occupying an imaginary plane in the sky called the ecliptic. Planets waver 8 degrees on each side of the centerline, in a belt called the zodiac. As the Earth travels around its orbit through the year, 12 different constellations of stars come into the zodiac area.

Centuries ago, ancient mystics thought the position of these constellations, plus the whereabouts of passing planets, were magical signs and portents. They charted the dates when the constellations were hidden behind the sun, and listed supernatural conditions supposedly caused by each passage. Especially, the celestial positions at the hour of a person's birth were believed to cast miraculous influence over the individual.

Today, every reputable scientist says astrology is nonsense. If planetary positions influenced lives, each child born in New York on a certain day would have the same personality and future.

Worse, the charts devised in ancient times -- and still used today -- are invalid. Shifting of Earth's orbit has caused the constellations to enter the zodiac at different dates. For example, on March 23, when the charts say Aries is the all-powerful constellation, the sun actually is in Pisces.

Remember in 1987, when astrologers and other mystics announced "the Harmonic Convergence," an alignment of planets coinciding with the ancient Mayan calendar, which was supposed to transform the world with "galactic beams" of psychic energy? Nothing happened. A skeptical woman I know called the event "the Moronic Convergence."

The staid Encyclopedia Britannica says astrology is "devoid of intellectual value." It says scientific astronomy discoveries "eradicated a belief in astrology among the educated" and caused astrology to become a "pseudoscience continued among non-intellectuals... becoming more and more fraudulent."

Astrology is little different from palm-reading, crystal-ball gazing and Tarot card fortune-telling. Yet it remains immensely popular. That's why this newspaper publishes a horoscope every day. But we mean it only for fun and entertainment. (Ours is written by Jeane Dixon, a psychic notorious for erroneous predictions.)

For example, we printed a report about a West Virginia counselor who holds all the college degrees required for a state counseling license, and supplements her psychological advice with horoscope reading. Some other licensed counselors are uneasy about it. The director of the National Board of Certified Counselors said: "No accredited counseling program teaches the use of astrology in counseling...."

It's a controversial area. Earlier this year, former West Virginia counselor Lynn Hartz was sentenced to prison for false billings to insurance companies. Among other evidence, witnesses testified that she charged for tarot card readings and identification of "personal angels and spiritual animals."

As for horoscopes, they're harmless when regarded only as amusements. But when they're taken seriously -- by ex-President Reagan or anyone else -- it's disturbing. A recent proposal to license certified astrologers should be defeated, because it would give them undeserved status.


Rate It | View Ratings

James A. Haught Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

James A. Haught is editor emeritus of West Virginia's largest newspaper, The Charleston Gazette-Mail.  Mr. Haught has won two dozen national news writing awards. He has written 12 books and hundreds of magazine essays and blog posts. Around 450 of his essays are online. He is a senior editor of Free Inquiry magazine, a weekly blogger at Daylight Atheism, (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Feeding 7.7 Billion

Megachurch Mess

Religion-Tinged Politics

deadly labor struggles

The Dreams that Stuff is Made Of

Coal Mine Wars

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend