544 Comments

To judge astrology based on partial and superficial research about it is something sad and surprising coming from you. The astrological characteristics of a person do not depend solely on their sun position, as this poor research made it appear. The natal astrological chart is much more complex than what you presented in this outrageously superficial article. The person's sun position is influenced by many other planets. A respectable scientific inquiry should take into account the intricate system of astrology and not focus on a single planet in isolation. You need to assess the validity of astrology on its own terms, considering its complex system of operation. A Leo individual can perfectly be introverted if their sun is in certain interactions with other planets. You need to assess the validity of astrology on its own terms, considering its complex system of operation. For example, a Leo individual can perfectly be introverted if their sun is in certain interactions with other planets. The perspective you brought to astrology is as shallow as you made it seem.

Expand full comment
author

Unfortunately, these claims about the planets violate the laws of physics. An astrophysicist explains it here-- please read with an open mind: https://neildegrassetyson.com/books/1994-05-horrorscope/

Expand full comment

Whoah, I just realized that I'd been talking like this author for half a century, three decades of that aloud, then two decades in my head, and then silence for a while, and I don't believe it anymore. And haven't for a long time. "The science is clear" and "correlation" and all that stuff sounds so sophomoric now. So untried. Blustery even. Far more likely is we have no idea, and stars impinging upon our affairs is as likely as the next thing in this feral multiverse. For starters, we live in a universe where things change when you observe them. Study the double slits and be wise, young one. Why astrology would give a rat's arse what science thinks of it is now beyond me. Science is an overly earnest juvenile project that when applied broadly to civilizations destroys planetary surfaces. As an education format it's a project for institutionalizing and ramifying incuriosity. The idea that science, especially pure science and all that fantasized perfection of the method, is in any position to criticize astrology, is like the village witch criticizing the town witch for superstition. Something there is amongst all witches that is beyond reckoning by devotees of science. Take your eight-hundred likes and be off. Double-slit and be wise.

Thank-you to Adam for reminding me how glad I am to be away from the West's reigning religion.

--Thor

Expand full comment

well said Dr. David.

To add, Science exists within astrology, not the other way around.

Also, science is fundamentally dualistic. Astrology is Holistic. Science's fundamental axioms are insufficient to "understand" astrology.

Expand full comment

"For starters, we live in a universe where things change when you observe them."

No we don't, because this is a misconception of how the collapse of the wave function works originating in confusion of what an "observer" means, because in physics, it does not have to be a person or living being at all, and you cannot expect the common English meaning of a word to be the same in physics.

"Thank-you to Adam for reminding me how glad I am to be away from the West's reigning religion."

I don't see how your pseudoscience and wilful misunderstanding of physics to support what you want to be true is any different—how is it? You've just swapped Scientism for Barbarism when you could have chose the path less travelled.

Expand full comment

Emma, Emma, Emma,

I hear this over and over from people who think they've got a handle on the collapse of the wave function. They seem to think that anyone who strays from what's taught in high school is envisioning some cartoon version where an entity roughly analogous to spirit or the universe is sitting off to one side with giant binoculars as the designated observer and watching the collapse of the wave as one would take in a vista from a California beach.

To which I say: that may also be true.

I'm not sure that people who anthropomorphize the observer or assume someone else is doing so should be trusted with the task of observation, but I would ask you to observe your grammar. My little essay here for you, Emma, is going to be on the theme of observation. Are you ready?

Your implication that plain English doesn't work on physicists may be more true than you think. I don't have time to work through your whole note and try to cull out what you might have meant despite your sloppy presentation and binary eagerness to box me into your Scientism/Barbarism matching set, Emma. I will say that you have fewer typos than most, and that's not nothing these days. I taught at Princeton in the same century as Einstein, and I should tell you that my social life in New Jersey was with physicists. I'm sorry if I didn't make my affection for theoretical physicists clear. It's because I like physicists, on the whole, that I would be happy to save them from their academic training and free them to less blustery certitude and more openness to the strange. All physicists imagine themselves as keeping up with the latest revisions, but having grown up with them I know how difficult it is for them to break from a preachy billiards-ball old-fashioned Newtonianism. What they think of as laws are more likely some observations that were temporarily consistent enough for them in a certain period of their life that they transferred some comforting metaphors from the legal realm to nurse themselves to sleep. In laboratories you can't look down deep into the Peruvian night sky and see the infinite terrors that lurk. The road less travelled indeed. A laboratory is a box is a nursery, a space that's enclosed enough that no one has to dwell upon the infinitely barbarous potential of the endless 'verses. As I say in one of my standup routines: "multiverse: same as the first. A little bit louder and a little bit worse." Next time I'll ask: are there any Emmas in the audience? I mean Jesus, Emma, did you really use the word "pseudoscience" without irony? I have a rule: anyone who uses that word without facetious intent has declared that they ought to be the butt of many a joke. I'd tell you some, but I'm going to save them for Friday night. Not sure you'd even get them.

For the nonce, I'll treat that word as a philosopher rather than as a standup, and just ask you to think about its putative intent. What it thinks the other thinks. Your deployment of the word implies that I was trying to be sciencey but that I failed and lapsed into falsity. It's such an arrogant way to think about the intentions of others, Emma. So maybe brush that bit up. You could call me a barbarian, but to impute pseudo-ness to me implies far too enthusiastically that I was aiming for science in the first place.

Your "No we don't, because" seems to be the foundation upon which you're hoping to establish the rest of your note, but it's bollocks, isn't it? My sentence is a general claim about a universe where things change when you observe them. And you say no, and your support is one thing. Just one instance. Hmm.

Let's review, Emma. I speak of an entire universe characterizable a certain way. You say my general claim is false because...of one thing. You see the problem?

I'm lookin at you, Emma. Perhaps you will remain obdurate and immutable, the unchanged Emma who knows that somewhere someone down through the wires is looking at her. Well, good for you. Be the rock, the unmoved center of one sort of universe. But I'll see a hundred, a thousand entities today who will be changed because I have offered them my gaze. That's a version of a universe in which I live and move and have my being. It's a bit feral, this world. Rambunctious and surprising and rife with barbarians.

--Dr. David Thor

Expand full comment

When Emma said I was involved in "wilful misunderstanding of physics," I'm seeing her say this and she's stomping one foot in frustration.

Well gosh darn.

Expand full comment

Science is the religion of matter.

Expand full comment

Please post that again, but without using electricity.

The means do post using any means riding upon a generator, DC or AC power (much less an inverter!) or Maxwell's equations. Further, do not used devices based on binary logic, such as a computer, router, or anything using a digital logic device. Be sure not to use the photelectric effect, that Einstein's. Big E was a _theoretical_ physicist.

Eagerly awaiting your next post!

Expand full comment

I did.

I guess you didn't get it.

You seem like someone who doesn't get a lot of things.

Expand full comment

We seem to be talking past each other, so I will disengage. All the best, or whatever works in your world.

Expand full comment

No, we didn't talk past each other at all. You wish we did. You tried to insult and you got bested at it. But we didn't talk past each other. You lost with your first insult, and then you lied with your second post. Pretty simple.

Expand full comment

The claims about planets no more "violate the laws of physics" than does the quantum discoveries of non-locality, the particle-wave duality, or the lack of discrete causality. Neil Degrasse Tyson needs to bring his understanding of physics up to date. As do you.

Expand full comment

The way I'm visualizing this is Adam was wearing a tight blue uniform and he got off his Harley and issued a ticket to you for violating the laws of physics. See you in court, pal.

Physics--it's the law!

Physics--don't leave home without it!

[Adam doesn't strike me as the jokey type, so it makes it funnier]

[For my best Tyson joke, see my other note abovebelow][me, I'm always violating physics. I got so many moving violations I can't even pay them.]

Expand full comment

too soon?

Expand full comment

Definitely too soon, bro. People don't like it when you make jokes about science.

Expand full comment

That is so spot on! Why don't they explain the double slit experiment. Because they cannot. I don't agree with him taking his likes and be off but probably said in jest. Read Biocentrism by Robert Lanza. Life creates the universe and not the other way around! Sabrinalabow.substack.com

Expand full comment

Unfortunately, Neil made an assumption here:

"The basis for modern day astrology is quite simple. Its premise is that the relative positions of the Sun, Moon, planets and constellations affect you and the events in your life—especially your social and financial life."

At least, Jyotish - the Indian system of astrology - does not say this.

If you have a fever, the thermometer will indicate it. The thermometer is not the cause.

There is a practical reason why some astrologers say, for example (making this up), that it is your Saturn that caused your business income to go down. Blaming the failure on a planet far away - on which you have no control - frees you from the emotional turmoil of blaming oneself or others. Once the emotional turmoil settles down, one can think clearly and see what to do about the present situation.

Expand full comment

Lol! Nice try. Could have come up with a better word salad

Expand full comment

But Degrasse Tyson makes several factual errors about information commonly known to astrologers, like the fact that it is not the star constellations themselves that determine the houses of the zodiac, those are just convenient shorthand. The sky is divided into 12 equal sections, the boundaries of the houses are not determined by the relative sizes of the constellations or anything like that.

Also, the method of action for astrology is not physical, through the effects of gravity or light. The effect happens to your astral body, not your physical body and is transmitted through what western astrologers refer to as the Astral Light. Obviously a materialist would deny the existence of an astral, etheric, or mental body out of hand, but it’s simply the case that these are things that astrologers think about, so it makes sense that a materialist refutation of astrology would fall flat.

Expand full comment

My best joke about NdGT is this:

Did you know that humans share 97% of their DNA with buffoons?

Expand full comment

I came her to be sure the astrophysics explanation that debunks astrology was shared. It cracks me up that the earth's wobble means nobody is the "star sign" they think they are! Thank you for including this.

Expand full comment

This is a misunderstanding of the zodiac. The signs actually are based on the seasons, not the constellations they were named after 2000 years ago. The signs and constellations don't line up anymore, but it doesn't matter, because tropical (Western) astrology isn't using constellations in the first place. It's just a naming convention. You could call the signs 1 through 12 if you wanted to. Western astrology is not based on stars, it's based on the solar system and Earth in relationship to it.

Sidereal astrology (a different branch) does use the constellations, and they do still "line up" in that system.

Expand full comment

Glad to have a mystic nerd queer neuropatriarch subverter clear up the pseudoscience for the rest of us, lest we get the wrong idea about astrology from the astrophysicists.

Expand full comment

You're welcome. 😊

Expand full comment

I just re-read her insult and it's pretty funny. Kids these days, sheesh. Lose an argument and all they can do is insult.

As a standup comedian (retired prof), I'm here for the laughs.

Expand full comment

Good Emma, bad Emma (M) is just acting childish like that because I repeatedly and exhaustively trounced her in my very long comments responding to her after she attempted to insult me. Pretty sure she didn't know when she tried to insult me that I used to be a Princeton professor and I'm very used to truculent undergrads pouting.

Expand full comment

There's a good girl now. Run along and play while the adults talk.

Expand full comment

I came her too.

Expand full comment

Oh, boom. I don't think Monica liked your joke, bro.

Expand full comment

It's not that. No one even knows what a typo is anymore, and if they did, they wouldn't care. People are talking into phones, the machines interpret that phonetically, spitting out hilarious claims, and the people making the comment don't even read themselves. They can't read themselves, and they expect other people to do so!

Expand full comment
deletedMar 16
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

"Science evolved by constantly disproving itself"—no kidding, that's the point of science and how it's meant to work in theory, constantly updating itself to new parameters whenever it fails to describe what occurs in nature. Your refutation doesn't say anything negative about science, if anything it makes a good case for it.

Expand full comment

Don't forget to take your booster. After all, the science is settled. It's safe and effective. Good riddance LOL

Expand full comment

Hey Dabbas, what up? Nice to see you down here in the deep basement of the comments.

Your booster comment was a good jab!

Expand full comment

Agree that this debunking seems flawed. Did astrology ever claim to be correlated to the Big Five personality traits? Of the responsibilities that a psychologist might have in dispelling myths to help society, I don't think astrology makes it up there (I'd equate astrology to sports fandoms, but I'd love to see research on how astrology is worse 😊). Even if it's harmful in extreme situations, more generally, astrology (and Myers-Briggs) gives people a vocabulary and an easy way to share deeper things about themselves.

As a casual appreciator of astrology (I don't know anything more than the superficial stereotypes of zodiac signs), I think it's possible that if a child's birthday is competing with Christmas vs. if it's Jan 5, people are exhausted from family gatherings and the weather is bad vs. if it's right after the school year in the summer and people want to celebrate, over time these differences could shape a person's view of themselves and what attention they can expect from others. Significant cultural dates are often related to seasons (planetary alignments!). Anyways, I think it's nice to leave a place for wonder.

Expand full comment

There’s an amazing place for wonder that exists within science! You don’t even have to leave the lab! Can light time travel? Are the smallest part of reality just resonating frequencies giving us the illusion of matter? What is past the edge of the universe? Quasars?? Binary black hole systems?

If you’re having trouble finding “wonder” without believing in retrograde gobbledygook then you need to practice with your imagination.

Expand full comment

you are just an atheist yelling at people for being Christian. life is crazy man sometimes making some things up helps humans cope. If youre interested though astrology is very much based in reality. Its based around how we are positioned in space and time, which scientists study about planets all the time. Earth experiences seasons and measures years by how we move around the sun. Scientists ponder how planets interact all the time and astrology doesnt deny science. if you dont want to buy into this perspective then just simply dont but the condescending attitude people develop towards astrology is tired.

Expand full comment

No. It’s not. It’s tired to you because you want to be left alone to worship Mother Earth in the garden of Eden or whatever. It’s magical thinking. Plain and simple. There are no such things as :ghosts, big foot, chupacarbra, curses, voodoo, black magic, spirit animals, spirit journeys, totemic animals, phrenology, leaching, volcano gods, werewolfs, vampires, talking snowmen, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus and the Easter bunny. Oh right. And astrology.

It’s tired because you don’t like hearing it. It doesn’t make it any less true whatsoever. The tiredness of an argument has no bearing on truth. Astrology has as much evidence behind it as, and let’s just go full Godwin’s here, naziism.

Expand full comment

1) yes being left alone would be nice

2) "astrology has as much evidence behind it as, and let’s just go full Godwin’s here, naziism." im gonna let you marinate on that one.

Expand full comment

By all means let me marinate. And I leave everyone alone. They just have to stop replying.

I did say I was going full Godwins. Is that not in your star chart? Listen. If astrology is in anyway real then the gloves are off right?

Mormonism, Scientology, voodoo, black magic, the Greek pantheon, vampires, lizard people, werewolfs. They have the exact same amount of evidence backing them up. 0.

If astrology is real then all of those things have an equal chance of being real? Would you agree or not? If not, why? You’re certainly not extending the same belief to them? Why not? Is it because you find the arguments for those things being real lacking??? Congratulations! Now you’re me! Just with something else.

So yeah. If you are gonna come at me with “sacred cow”. Nonsense. Then I am going to spend my time tipping that cow over.

Expand full comment

Right. That Stephen guy seems to be yelling at someone for something. I gather that he likes labs. Laboratories are boxes where we don't have to look at stars and fear infinity. I'm actually enjoying his rant with his lists of things that apparently go together. I wouldn't want to slow him down.

Expand full comment

Alt Write, I think it would be interesting to compare beliefs about astrology in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. Maybe, what is attributed to alignment of celestial bodies by predominantly people in the Northern hemisphere is related to seasons, daylight, etc. Experiments are always helpful, no matter where our beliefs fall. People born in "wintry" months in the Northern hemisphere are more prone to MS (and other debilitating illnesses), this could have been misattributed to "atrology". I think all experiments are best done in multiple ways from multiple perspectives. A great deal of folk belief is grounded in actuality. Magically, Jesus was born on a popular Roman holiday even though historical documents show the census in other months. We all cling to our "science" but I agree, let humans cope as best they can.

Expand full comment

Serious questions about letting humans cope as best they can.

Is it moral or ethical to lie to someone about one’s ability to speak to their dead relative?

No one can scientifically talk to the dead. At all. This is known. But people who claim to be and to will always use the “can’t you just let us bring closure and peace of mind to someone grieving”. My question is is that ethical to do? To lie to someone just to make them feel better.

Because in my eyes astrology is just a lie that makes someone feel better.

Expand full comment

"The vaccine prevents transmission".

Are all lies dangerous?.. you decide. Sometimes, people just need the confidence to leave their house.

Expand full comment

Well, in many people's eyes the theory that men can menstruate and that breast milk from transgender women is better for babies are also lies to make certain people feel better, so... 🤷

Expand full comment

What does Christianity have to do with belief in astrology and the Myer-Briggs? This connection is new to me, I didn't think criticising the latter two had anything to do with the former.

If you don't want people to be condescending toward astrology, I don't know why you have to make a condescending comparison to Christianity and say it's just "making some things up [to] help humans cope," which is about as insulting as it can get having known intelligent religious people without being religious myself.

While you aren't doing it yourself, many into astrology here are equally condescending and dismissive of science, so it's not exactly one-sided.

Expand full comment

i said the commenter was 'an athiest yelling at a christian' to acknowledge that people will believe whatever they want at the end of the day, I wasn't being literal.

Christianity is a perfect example of a belief. It is not real to many people yet many of us live in a very much christian reality. i have never seen someone in astrology force it on me yet the commenter is mad at the dangers of astrology... i have not seen one example of real world danger from astrology. i have seen real world danger from christianity.

Expand full comment

Adam if you’re worried about anyone being a 9/11 conspiracy theorist or any of that extreme it’s your #1 supporter here 😂 I like your work content man but I genuinely agree with all the top comments.

Expand full comment

Maybe 9/11 conspiracy theorist is a hit far. Let’s change that. I would say a predominant number of people who believe in astrology are prone to magical thinking. And to accepting things without evidence. I would love to see a rubric comparing people who believe in astrology to people who take Netflix “””””documentaries””””” at face value without any direct curiosity. This I have seen. It’s very very easy to, with very little cunning at all, trick, bamboozle, graft, con, and fool people who believe in astrology. Maybe a better example of astrology as a gateway to believing anything might be something like “goop” the nonsense health company. Though I can imagine showing “loose change” to people who already believe in astrology and people who don’t and I imagine the people who believe in astrology would, if showed that masterpiece of editing, absolutely over-index as 9/11 truthers.

I also imagine there is a massive overlap of astrology believers and say viewers of shows like “ancient aliens”, “decoding the past”, “monster quest” etc. in fact I know a lot of those people and yeah it seems based on anecdotal evidence that belief in astrology is almost always packaged with something else that is nonsensical. It could be 9/11. It could be the idea that the world is run by the Illuminati. But sometimes it’s just “coffee enemas can cure cancer because it washes out ‘toxins’” and that probably is more likely amongst believers in astrology. Sure they’re not the only ones who believe that nonsense. But I imagine they would over index.

Either way. Astrology believers are free to believe it. Just as I’m free to believe that astrology belief should invalidate you from serving on a jury as it’s a pretty good example of a persons critical thinking skills and ability to weigh evidence and not be tricked by flowery prose.

Expand full comment

Astrology belief invalidates for jury. Now that is some useful information. I guess I'm an astrologist now.

Expand full comment

Have you taken your daily booster? It's safe and effective! Have you eaten your bugs? Remember, eating bugs will make the weather more stable and stave off global warming. Trust the experts 🙏 The science is settled

Expand full comment

I love global warming!

Expand full comment
Mar 10Liked by Adam Grant

Do you have any research literature to back these claims?

Expand full comment

Spoiler: no, they don't.

Expand full comment

lol. What? It’s made up drivel. He said it in a nice way. I won’t. It. Is. Made. Up. Drivel. It’s as made up as all the stories about mount Olympia.

Expand full comment

welp i see why this piece went viral these guys are fighting tooth and nail for astrology in the comments

Expand full comment

Well said

Expand full comment

I truly wish Substack had a dislike button.

Expand full comment

Now we’re talking! This message creator reeks of resonance and knowledge. Adam, we all try in life. You too.

Expand full comment

I agree. Scratching a very superficial surface of astrology, and I would be interested to hear their opinions after they have read Astrology reference books, rather than other studies that superficially test astrology theory. It is not wise to take advice on astrology from people that have done almost no research into astrology itself.

Expand full comment

Whoah, I just realized that I'd been talking like this author for half a century, three decades of that aloud, then two decades in my head, and then silence for a while, and I don't believe it anymore. And haven't for a long time. "The science is clear" and "correlation" and all that stuff sounds so sophomoric now. So untried. Blustery even. Far more likely is we have no idea, and stars impinging upon our affairs is as likely as the next thing in this feral multiverse. For starters, we live in a universe where things change when you observe them. Study the double slits and be wise, young one. Why astrology would give a rat's arse what science thinks of it is now beyond me. Science is an overly earnest juvenile project that when applied broadly to civilizations destroys planetary surfaces. As an education format it's a project for institutionalizing and ramifying incuriosity. The idea that science, especially pure science and all that fantasized perfection of the method, is in any position to criticize astrology, is like the village witch criticizing the town witch for superstition. Something there is amongst all witches that is beyond reckoning by devotees of science. Take your eight-hundred likes and be off. Double-slit and be wise.

--Thor

Expand full comment

Well said…🌷

Expand full comment

Show peer reviewed studies supporting astrology or have every single seat.

Expand full comment

Show peer review studies supporting the claim that breast milk from transgender women is best for babies.

Expand full comment

Honestly, this is such an uncompelling article. It shows a total lack of knowledge about astrology and it is honestly condescending speaking to an audience about a topic you have 0 knowledge on and infantilizing with the little nods to each sign sprinkled in. Astrology is a way more complex system than the sun sign astrology you are writing about here. The research is so weak. Actual astrologers should be tested for accuracy in describing key areas or themes in peoples lives based on their unique charts, not frickin sun sign astrology. I like a lot of your content Adam, but sometimes you make me roll my eyes. And for the record I’m not a conspiracy theorist. Your point about causation sounds more like correlation. Show that astrology leads to believing 9/11 was planned if astrology is a gateway drug. Boring article and I’ve seen it all before. 1/10

Expand full comment

The best skeptics are those that try to understand fully that which they don’t understand. Otherwise, you’re just ignorant, which is fine, just say that instead.

Expand full comment

I'm a student of astrology and if I have learned one thing that I'd never thought of before it's that the origins of astrology has nothing to do with science. Astrology is a divinatory tool. It's a symbolic language, a different way of seeing things, non rational with no need for evidence or proof. What a relief to be able to live open to the possibility that not everything can be explained by logic. To try and explain it with science is to miss the point. Planets don't cause things to happen. It's got nothing to do with physics. Planets are simply signs of what is already in process.

Expand full comment

I know nothing about astrology but your comment makes sense. It drew the ire of the flak-flak donnie character who's been going through not reading what people say but if he or she suspects you're not sciencey enough he or she says the same thing about "peer" review. In your case, that's pretty ironic.

As for peer review, what I say is this: I did, and I don't like them. Lol. --david

Expand full comment

hi Dabbas, I first thought of my peer review joke while writing to you. Thank-you!

Expand full comment

Can you share where and what you studied specifically? I'm interested thank you ☀️

Expand full comment

Nightlight Astrology! Hellenistic ( Traditional) Astrology taught by Adam Elenbass will teach you all of this as well as how Astrology is in part based on time, and the seasons observational changes that everyone can witness. From his site " my vision is to educate and train a new generation of astrologers, while also deeply honoring the ancient philosophical and theoretical roots of tradition."

He offers tuition assistance if needed. Very in depth and the best courses I've taken. I'm in year 3 now ✨🌌 Highly recommend. I believe year one is starting again in June or may have just started. https://nightlightastrology.com/courses/

Expand full comment

Agreed

Expand full comment

I have a question. How much can you tell about someone based on the date and year of their birth? Come at me with an honest answer because I have a follow up question.

Expand full comment

Honestly reading some of your other replies - I think you wouldn’t respect anything I say. You’ve already said people like me waste our lives and that it’s drivel, so not pursuing this.

Expand full comment

The astrology I use and people I learn from appreciate and understand free will, life experience, and various other factors that impact the life a person will lead. I do not believe it fixes who a person is, but it does offer insight and self-awareness. I really don’t understand why you had to interact the way you have.

Expand full comment

It offers insight and self-awareness because it asks people to think about themselves; whether the insight is correct, or the awareness of self actually valid is another question.

Expand full comment

Whether anyone’s self-reflection or personal insight is valid is also another question.

Expand full comment

No. It doesn’t. It doesn’t offer anything except a master class in graft.

Expand full comment

I’m not sure where I wouldn’t listen. I’ve had dialogue with other individuals who were respectful towards others, had different opinions, and we had nice conversations. I haven’t at all waited my turn to preach, that is literally what you just did. You literally just “answered for me” with an answer I wouldn’t have given. And you also implied I’m too dumb for math, affirming my point that you wouldn’t be respectful.

Expand full comment

And you have yet to say if anything I said was wrong? I assumed you’re not good at math simply because you believe in something that has absolutely no basis in it.

I asked you gave a “I’m on a pedestal and better than this” response. (Which you think sounded reasonable but was just passive aggressive) but please what answer would you have given. Surprise me! Shock me!

You aren’t because deep down you know whatever you answered would have been puddle shallow. Believing in this drivel is comforting because it makes you feel control but also makes you feel special. That’s how all these pseudo religions work. You get to have “secret truths” that others don’t know. And that’s a form of social power. Then sprinkle in a few anecdotes like for instance.

“I know Steve! He’s a cancer. And he acts just like I would predict!!” Rinse repeat a dozen times and you have all the “evidence” you need.

Listen. Believe whatever you want. There shouldn’t be a law or anything. But I also wouldn’t trust you even remotely on a jury, or put you in charge of anything that requires deep critical thinking skills.

But yes saying “I can make stereotypical assumption about people based on when they were born” is utter and complete nonsense. And I’m sorry but you’re not allowed to get mad when people say that.

Expand full comment

Yes, it would be nonsense if astrology actually worked that way. It doesn't. You have 10 planets in 12 signs and 12 houses. That's 1440 combinations. (Oh look, math!) Add in all the other chart points - fixed stars, asteroids, theoretical bodies, etc, -- and aspects between planets -- and you get an almost infinite number of combinations. Of course a horoscope is general--it's written for 1/12 the population. A full natal chart is very precise to the person (if interpreted by a skilled astrologer).

The argument you *should* be using is "but how come babies born in the same hospital at the same time don't have the exact same lives?". Then we'd get to talk about the use of symbolic language and how there's not a 1-1 interpretation of what "Saturn conjunct Mercury in Gemini in the 4th house" means for each and every person. We'd then move on to discuss soul evolutionary stages, free will, and how not everything is represented in a chart.

But actually, what you *really should* be arguing is how there are so many different astrological systems, some are sidereal, some use different house systems, and the symbols don't mean the same thing in different systems. Oh, and also? All these symbols are based on the view of the solar system and stars *from Earth*. Planets obviously don't actually move backwards (retrograde). And then you'd realize *it's all symbolic and every astrologer knows that*.

So *then* we could get to the *really interesting* question of, "What the hell kind of reality is astrology implying then???". And that's when you'd realize that astrology is a spiritual system, not "pseudoscience". It's not science at all. Science only describes objective reality, and astrology describes *both objective and subjective* reality *at the same time* which implies they are actually reflections of each other.

And then you're realize you were completely mistaken about what astrologers believe because you never did any research to understand it. You just went on some assumptions and stereotypes. The exact thing you're railing against. Isn't it fascinating how that works? The thing that bothers you in others is often a reflection of your own consciousness. Almost like God is inviting you to grow by showing you yourself. And then maybe you'd ponder if that's how all of reality works, if we aren't just different facets of God learning to know ourselves and remember who we really are. And maybe you'd realize that time-space reality only exists for that purpose--and it's not really real. And all that really matters is how we use this life to grow and evolve our soul.

Well, maybe you wouldn't go that far. But I hope you would. Because that's what astrology is actually for.

At the very least, maybe you'd come up with some better arguments instead of just calling us stupid.

Expand full comment

no such thing as a soul

no such thing as a god.

time-space is real, and testable

I don't buy into people claiming my attitude is just a weird self fulfilling prophecy.

I am not mistaken, I have just witnessed mental gymnastics. Same as Mormons and scientologists do. In fact I would say on the whole scientology has a more solid foundation. Mormonism as well.

for a bonus round:

There are no ghosts

there are no spirits

there is no karma

ley lines do not exist

spells are not real

Chakra? lol

Chi is not real.

Aliens have never visited

there are no past lives

Expand full comment

"skilled astrologer" lol

Expand full comment

You’re right. But that’s not because I’m an ass. It’s because you won’t say anything respectable. You also wouldn’t listen. You’re just waiting your turn to preach. Regardless. Lemme answer that for you.

You believe in an ideology that if given certain immutable (this means unchangeable) characteristics of someone , in this case their day/time/place/year of birth that you can make a generalized guess as to which way their personality might lean.

Now I like math. Do you like math? Maybe not. Maybe math is a bit much. But let’s make that summabitch a match problem. Let’s take each variable and break them down then create an equation. You’re saying this.

Date+ year+ time+ star alignment = predictable and patterned traits?

I don’t think people would argue that definition to much. Okay. Let’s simplify those first 4 things and just call them immutable characteristics. So our next formula looks like this.

Immutable characteristics=predictable patterned traits.

I’d say that’s fair. Well since we now have a variable we can now replace the term immutable characteristics with any other immutable characteristics. For instance based on this problem we could also say.

Skin color = predictable patterned traits.

But wait that can’t be right. That sounds racist! Interestingly. Yes. Saying you can in anyway pass any judgement (and yes saying someone will be more or less compassionate based on birthdate is definitional passing judgment) based on immutable characteristics is a slippery slope I’d advise you to get off of.

Expand full comment

And I have another question: how much can we tell about someone based on their preferred pronouns, meat consumption and boosters taken. Genuinely curious. Thank you in advance. Asking for a friend.

Expand full comment

well meat is delicious and honestly the more violently the animal dies the better it tastes. It's even better to look the animal in the eyes as you kill it. The screams are especially delicious. Listen if you're not going to take this, or life, seriously neither am I. I made a very cogent easy to understand point. Also if you were curious and asking questions you would have used a question mark. It looks like "?" you might have to hold the shift key to make it if you're on a keyboard.

www.skepdic.com start at A, begin reading, generally you want to go top to bottom and left to right. Those group of letter make words and those groups of words make sentences. You got this. Mute.

Expand full comment

Stunning and 🅱️rave! Slay queen 💅#staywoke

Expand full comment

Honestly there is no peer reviewed research supporting astrology

Expand full comment

A peer of mine reviewed and supported it, so...

Expand full comment

There you go. The joke is peerless.

Expand full comment

You may not be a conspiracy theorist, but I’m sure you also believe in pseudoscience alternative healing

Expand full comment

I think some alternative healing can help, but I also believe in science, vaccines, medicine, etc.

Expand full comment

How about aliens, vampires, ghosts, or any crypto zoological creatures?

Expand full comment

I grew up as an alien in America, true story. Green card.

Expand full comment

I do, but I'm pretty sure that's not the full name of it.

Expand full comment

Your point is well taken, but I am hesitant to take on any worldview in which the "others" who believe the "nonsense" need to be "corrected." The air of certainty with which we engage in dialogue about explorations of the unknown could use some re-thinking. The strong and powerful have preyed on the weak and vulnerable for too long. Would we also call an ancestral or indigenous belief system harmful? Simply because it collides with the evidence provided by our broken, depressed, war-ridden, divided modern culture?

When people who tend towards the mystical are judged and dismissed by the powers-that-be, we leave people nowhere else to turn for community, connection, and exploration. In my limited perspective, the gateway drug to conspiracy theories is the ongoing inaccessibility of "the evidence," which is often still reserved for elite groups of "smart" people and used as a mechanism for looking down on their fellow humans.

I long to live in a world where mystic and scientist can engage in open-hearted explorations of the unknown. That requires compassion, not judgment.

I invite you to re-think this post, offering a little more compassion to any person who turns to their most available source of information through times of difficulty and uncertainty.

Expand full comment

Very well said. Your first statement is key. And also loved the invitation to rethink, something Adam literally wrote the book on :)

Expand full comment

True! ha. Thanks, Lindsay, may the force be with you!

Expand full comment

This was such an articulate, intelligent and compassionate reply. Thank you.

Expand full comment

That is very kind! Let's be Substack friends, is that a thing? ha

Expand full comment

Yes, let’s!

Expand full comment

Hey McKinley, a soft answer turneth away wrath. Well said. I'm a little more feisty but I like what you said. I hope we meet up farther down the road. --david

Expand full comment

Let's connect! Thanks for the engagement. I'm new to Substack so I didn't really know what I was getting into with a comment, ha.

Expand full comment

Do we defend spirit mediums who lie to families for money that they can speak to their dead relatives next?

In the name of having an open mind?

Expand full comment

No we don’t defend con artists, we find ethical practitioners, because they do exist.

Expand full comment

They think they’re ethical. Even if they don’t know they’re lying they still are. Let me be honest. People do literally believe that they can speak to the dead. They can’t. They’re just instinctively using centuries old techniques on pliable minds.

What is an ethical practitioner? Ethics, to me, requires due diligence. Ethics requires people to be very careful.

Ethics doesn’t enter into to this conversation imho.

Expand full comment

How on Earth would you know if they could speak to the dead or not? It's literally unprovable.

Expand full comment

No it's actually very provable. You find someone who can talk to the undead, you isolate them in a room. You then have them speak to a ghost with absolutely no clues as to the subject. You can then double blind that. You could also blindfold the supposed psychic and ask them to ask, through the """"ghost"""" what they see.

The truth is the burden of proof does not fall on me. It falls, as it always does, on the claimant. No one who claims to be able to speak to the dead has ever in any real way even remotely proven their claim. Thus it is not just correct, but also purely honest to say that no one can speak to the dead. Any other statement, even in good faith, is an outright lie. That lie being out of ignorance, or malice doesn't change the nature of it as a lie.

Expand full comment

Actually, all kinds of people have proven NDEs, reincarnation, and many other things in this realm. I am not sure you have really investigated this. It sounds more like you believe they can't be true, and are then insisting that therefore, nobody has proven anything to be true. But it doesn't sound like you've actually looked into what research is out there on these topics beyond superficial "debunkings".

Expand full comment

Do we support child groomers who dress as drag queens and read stories to kindergarden kids in the name of having an open mind?

Expand full comment

Nope, we don’t

Expand full comment

Then. “I invite you to re-think this post, offering a little more compassion to any person who turns to their most available source of information through times of difficulty and uncertainty.”

Because it sounds like that line could be used to justify spirit medium scams.

As the greatest author to live, Terry Pratchett, once said “the trouble with having an open mind,of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.”

Expand full comment

I think that's a fair concern. I think I am trying to communicate the need for compassion for the scammed, which is not the same as defending the scammer. I appreciate you looking out for people who may fall into a scam, I don't want any person to get scammed. Unfortunately, scams are laced throughout our culture and are not reserved for the realm of mysticism. It's a problem with every industry, not just the stuff that is "woo woo." There are plenty of "conventional" means by which people get scammed. I do not intend to defend any scammer. In your example of a grieving family who is "duped" into a spirit medium who lied to them I do not defend the scammer. The hinge point is whether or not the family found the service healing or not. Who am I to judge how someone else handles a difficult loss? A loss that wasn't mine to experience.

The crux of compassion is to understand that I am not the other person. If that means they believe in things that I don't, that's okay. I also hope that topics of exploring the unknown are not off the table for discussion, in fact I'm encouraging it. I am raising the point that our WHOLE culture could use some compassion, which includes scientists who "know better" than their fellow humans.

We're all just figuring stuff out and all of us are better off when we can discuss and explore the unknown without being judged as stupid or less than. I appreciate you commenting and following up. I can see your concern.

Expand full comment

IMHO astrology sets people up to be scammed. Outside of it being just made up. It’s the worst aspect of it. It’s why the article talked about 9/11 conspiracies. Which, sure, might be too far.

But no one ever only believes in astrology. Can you tell me someone who believes in astrology and also doesn’t believe in: ghosts, cryptids, mythical creatures, psychics, telekinesis, aliens, etc. it’s always a package deal. And that’s because there is something deeper going on there.

Astrology does not make in anyway a compelling argument. It would stand up in no ethical court of law. But people glom to it. Which means it’s not the belief. It’s something in their head that wants to manifest a more magical world than they think exists.

I actually see astrology as a severe lack of imagination. It’s a substitute for an imagination. If you have an imagination and you work it out and practice with it astrology becomes clear. It’s just someone long ago playing pretend for lack of better answers. That’s it. Pretend. Not having an imagination is also what makes people glom onto conspiracy nonsense.

Expand full comment

Jung, who developed "active imagination" techniques in depth psychology, used astrology with all his patients and thought it was superior to psychology. When I compare the benefit I've gotten from years of therapy to the benefit of years of astrological study, I have to agree with him.

You clearly aren't engaging with people who have a deep relationship with astrology. You're just engaging with people who read their horoscope and who are vaguely superstitious. They are apples and oranges.

Expand full comment

Respectfully, this point, “In my limited perspective, the gateway drug to conspiracy theories is the ongoing inaccessibility of "the evidence," which is often still reserved for elite groups of "smart" people and used as a mechanism for looking down on their fellow humans.” is completely factually incorrect. We have greater transparency in evidence right now and more people have better access to evidence right now that at any time in human history and conspiracy theories are at an all time high.

Expand full comment

I agree that there is more access to evidence...but that doesn't mean that any one person's evidence ought to be used as leverage against another human who could be understood rather than judged. I'll probably just keep circling back in this discussion because I'm not trying to defend any particular belief. I'm not making a stance for or against astrology, I'm making a stand for compassion. The very way we engage in discussions about the mystery of life is what I'm challenging. I'm challenging any person's certainty in their perspective and the manner in which the evidence is interpreted for them. All evidence passes through one's personal filter of pre-existing beliefs and experience. We all do it, it's not bad or wrong. It happens equally to practitioners of astrology and nay-sayers. This is not a call to defend any actions brought up in this comment thread ("groomers" or "mediums"). No counter-example in this thread represents the ideal that I'm actually supporting, which is compassionate discussions. A renewed effort among all of us to share and hold space for other's perspectives of the unknown. I'm calling for a release of our certainty that our one perspective holds all the answers for the rest of humanity. This is a call to compassion, not a defense of any belief.

Expand full comment

Better to be a porn addicted nihilist who doesn't believe in anything bur consuming product and getting excited for next product as well as support the current thing. Check mate religious zealots!

Expand full comment

The only part of this article that I enjoyed was the talk about the societal implications of people adopting astrology (and other systems) without critical thinking. Aside from that, I feel that this reeked of bias and lack of understanding of the millenia-old discipline of astrology. It seems like the author didn't even bother to do any research beyond pop astrology and sun signs. I would love to see a critical analysis of astrology that comes from a depth of understanding of this system rather than a position of scientific and moral superiority.

Expand full comment

Yes and yes

Expand full comment

Ok I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt the superiority here. That’s a major red flag for me.

Expand full comment

Is Scientology real?

Expand full comment

Scientology is a real cult if that’s what you mean, and I write about it in my Substack and also provide extensive resources. LRH largely borrowed ideologies from a variety of spiritual and religious traditions as well as scientific paradigms and then just made up his own doctrine. Prior to creating Scientology, it is reported he also spent time with Jack Parsons, head of an OTO linked to Aleister Crowley and practicing dark magic (and abuse). You can also watch Leah Remini’s documentary series. However, Scientology and astrology have no relationship and astrology is not part of Scientology’s doctrine, (or any religious or spiritual doctrine). Astrology is largely defined as an art and philosophy. And I’m not familiar with the practice of debunking art and philosophy. So again, confused about the relevance of your comment. In any case, I won’t respond further. We are capable of doing our own research and making our own decisions on what we believe to be true or not - and it is our right to do so. “Freedom

Of Thought” is article 18 of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Expand full comment

So because something is old it must have weight?

Expand full comment

I’ll be honest. People who don’t believe in astrology, imho, are morally superior. Am I wrong?

Expand full comment

This was a very disappointing read. Anyone who knows anything about astrology knows you can't just take your sun sign and base all permanent personality traits off of it. Many who subscribe to astrological ideologies do so responsibly. Many do not base major life decisions off their horoscope or where the planets lie. To suggest that all who prescribe to astrology are easily misled and don't know what they're talking about is really disappointing, coming from you. This article sounds like you read astrology for dummies and wrote it. Really disappointed.

Expand full comment

Anyone who knows anything about astrology has wasted a lot of their lives.

I worked with 22 year olds who wouldn’t date certain signs. Like literally swipe left immediately. Which is embarrassing.

Imagine if people took one immutable characteristic of someone and judged the totality of their existence on it.

Oh wait. People do do that they’re called racists. The only difference between astrologers and racists is they use star nonsense instead of skin color to make broad, bold, unproven, and usually quite contradictory statements.

Expand full comment

The first line of your comment shows me the type of bias that you're bringing into this discussion. How people choose to use their time is up to them and whether or not it helps them is for them to say, not you. That being said, 22-year-olds are known for doing a lot of questionable things. No one is saying you should exclusively based on astrological signs - that's obviously flawed and if I have to explain that to you... there might be a bigger issue here. I also don't know how you manage to make this about race but it sounds like you don't really know what you're talking about. Have a nice day!

Expand full comment

No. I do. You’re talking drivel. Absolute drivel. If astrology is real then everything is real. Maybe it’s time to reinstate Deuteronomy. All those laws about stoning people must be real. There’s no evidence that aren’t!!!!

And if you couldn’t follow how I made it about race you’re dumb.

Expand full comment

People who believe In astrology are used to just believing things based on nothing. It’s called magical thinking. It’s turning them into spiteful hateful little assholes.

Expand full comment

Um. You're the only one being hateful here.

Expand full comment

Dating is entirely based on choice, however random or arbitrary it may seem to someone else.

Expand full comment

You’re oversimplifying it. Sure saying is random. But judging someone based simply on when their birthday is no different the pre-judging (this is where the term prejudice comes from. To pre judge) someone based on any other immutable characteristic. Like race.

Expand full comment

This is a very surprising post. In Think Again, you said "Thinking like a scientist involves more than just reacting with an open mind. It means being actively open-minded. It requires searching for reasons why we might be wrong—not for reasons why we must be right—and revising our views based on what we learn.” Sadly you are not practicing what you preach here. When racism, sexism, xenophobia, and other actual harmful (in some cases deadly) biases are rampant, astrology does not feel like it falls in the same category as "harm." And the notion that there is a mind, body, spirit connection between humans and the universe is an ancient belief system and in dismissing this you are discounting centuries of indigenous wisdom that in my opinion is a lot more helpful and inspiring than an astrology takedown piece.

Expand full comment
Mar 10Liked by Adam Grant

He is most certainly practicing what he preaches. With all due respect did you read the full post? He addresses this early on saying that he is partial to evidence, inviting anyone to change his mind.

Expand full comment

It seems like if someone is going to write an article debunking something, it is incumbent on them to have learned about it a little more deeply. I think a lot of the pushback people are presenting here is that it is clear he didn’t make a fair attempt to learn about the practice. Which if he doesn’t want to is fine, but I just think it would then be a bit audacious to write an article debunking it. He presented some studies that have been done, but the practice is not well researched because people want to write it off at a superficial, mainstream face value. Most of the practiced astrologers I’m aware of would not expect the studies done to have yielded anything because sun sign astrology is very surface.

Expand full comment

Exactly. Sun sign astrology tells us very little. Looking at any one placement in any chart in isolation says very little about anything. It's all about relationships.

Expand full comment

Yes. Real ones. And nothing to do at all with unchangeable characteristics.

Astrology is a belief in prejudice. Definitionally. It exists was a way to pre judge. Which is prejudice.

Prejudice isn’t always bad mind you. But it’s not a slope you want to be skating around on without a care in the world.

Expand full comment

If he took the time to find a good astrologer and had a reading with an open mind, he might find the "evidence" he's after.

Expand full comment

Agreed

Expand full comment

Very well said & I agree.

Expand full comment

You had me until - religion can’t be falsified. Because we all know that it can and it has been - for centuries no less. This post reeks of privilege and cultural insensitivity. Let’s see the data on the harms of organized religions starting with Christianity.

Expand full comment
Mar 10Liked by Adam Grant

I think he just meant there’s no way to prove/disprove an afterlife. Or any other miracles that we can’t test scientifically - like claims in the Bible (or whatever religious text) that we would have had to have been there to observe.

Expand full comment

That’s a pretty big assumption. The quote is ‘religion can’t be falsified’. But constellations can? Ask any anthropologist and they’d tell you astrology is a form of spirituality. It is not for Adam Grant or any person to claim what people can or cannot have spiritual faith in. He makes many valid points about its disingenuous Western interpretations but his quote clearly lineates that what he deems to be ‘religion’ (I’m assuming organized here) is truth (because it ‘can’t be falsified’ which I do not agree with) and that astrology and the zodiac (which have origins from Mesopotamia linking them to polytheistic religions such as Ancient Greek, Egyptian…) are not truth. The stars, constellations and solar system at large, have been constants for humanity for centuries. They are part of our universe, something more concrete than fables of mythical sons of God. These shared waymarkers in our skies have roots much deeper than Marie Claire’s horoscopes - by throwing centuries of religious beliefs that are tied to them, centuries of human experience - he insults and does a disservice to history, to humanity, and to this so-called ‘data’. Do better Adam Grant.

Expand full comment

YES YES YES CHRYSSE!

Expand full comment

Wow. What a well written response! Well done.

Expand full comment

No. It wasn’t.

Expand full comment

This reeks of the myth of the noble savage.

Expand full comment
Mar 23·edited Mar 23

Stephen, perhaps you should Google what the myth of the noble savage actually is. Or perhaps you lack a moral compass and think slavery is a joke? Either way your comment is in poor taste.

Expand full comment

Organized faith is not beyond comparison here. Adam Grant can ‘observe’ the manmade wars, genocide, disease, famine, and death as a result of organized religion. If he’s going to ‘analyze’ one form of spirituality I think it’s only fair to ‘analyze’ others. Particularly big ones that dictate and influence the world’s calendars, time schedule, holidays. There is a plethora of white papers at his disposal on the subject.

Expand full comment

Astrology is about far more than sun signs and personality. Each natal chart is infinitely unique and nuanced.

Astrology is an archetypal language and a form of wisdom that helps us navigate our lives. It can be used to study life cycles and identify patterns that give meaning to our experiences as we process them. It can help us sense the eternal within the midst of impermanance. The planets don't cause things to happen - they are symbolic mirrors.

The word psychology means study of the soul/psyche and astrology is one means of circuambulating and contemplating the soul. By contrast, the language of science, which plagues psychology with its case studies, jargon, and metrics "insults the soul," as depth psychologist James Hillman wrote. "It would sterilize metaphors into abstractions. We are made ill because *it* is ill."

Science has become the litmus test for what is true or not. But for some of us: "Our conception of the universe is profoundly altered if we consider it holistically, as a living system, rather than as a meaningless body of inert matter with a machine-like operation. Human beings can then be seen as integral parts of a larger cosmic organism, as vital components of the living cosmos. We are not, in this view, just inhabitants of a random universe, blindly moved by mechanical forces; rather, we are intimately connected parts of a larger organic whole." (Keiron Le Grice)

P.S. The archetype of Virgo does not mean spinster. It isn't about chastity and in the Greek world simply meant "unmarried." The original meaning of the word means, essentially, "one-in-herself." The Virgo symbol in astrology represents the process of making a crop edible and the care and concern taken to improve things. Virgo knows when something is ready to be harvested and is attentive to the details because its livelihood depends on how well the harvest does. Virgo has a genuine desire to improve things.

Expand full comment

I don’t think that’s right about Virgo. All the Virgo’s I know can’t farm worth a shit.

Expand full comment

Yeah, it's almost like you avoided all the comments telling you that everyone has a full chart and not just one sign.

Expand full comment

I also tend to avoid scientologists when they tell me scientology is about more than Zenu, and volcanoes and aliens. Sure, if you say so.

Expand full comment

I don't care. I get it I apologize. I guess "real astrology has never been tried" what profound argumentative logic! I bow.

Expand full comment

Boom! De🅱️oonked! Astrology weirdos BTFO'd epic style with facts and logic. Here's an updoot...

Expand full comment
Mar 10·edited Mar 10

I’m very surprised with this quite superficial critic to astrology. I’m not an expert but I can tell this does not encompass the complexities of astrology but rather perhaps researched the 3-line newspaper version of a Sunday horoscope. Also, for some people (not my case) astrology it’s almost like a religion. To go head-on against such a topic in a superficial way is the shortest path to losing credibility, and does nothing but create division along those who comment: those who believe and those who don’t. Perhaps a great marketing strategy to boost engagement?

Expand full comment

Yup, just commented about this. Pretty unethical marketing strategy, as is the case with most things these days…

Expand full comment

What would have made this a well-rounded article for me and shored up your claim that you are open-minded (at least based on the quote about you at the top of the article), would have been to hear about your personal experience going to an astrologer. There is no curiosity in this article. Only judgment.

Expand full comment

Any astrologer worth their salt will tell you that the way energy was moving in the universe when you were born (which is difficult to see as wholly irrelevant to those who understand that we are all energetic beings) is a set of data to be leveraged for self awareness. NOT a “sentence” or static description of your personality. There are no unbending definitions. Just context. Context that many people find comforting and useful during transformation processes especially. Maybe in China it’s “harmful” when used as a generalization but it’s a crazy stretch to say this crusade (pun INTENDED - religion has hurt FAR more human lives than astrology with its inherent artifice as the weapon) of yours is helping change anything actually damaging. So disappointing.

Expand full comment

lol. What? My god the mental gymnastics here are making me wince. Religion sucks-too! See. That too is important. It means also.

Expand full comment

Love it, but get ready for the onslaught of angry believers!

Expand full comment

I wouldn’t say angry. I’d say, as a fellow writer, disappointed is the word. If I’m writing about something I don’t know about, better be sure I will spend months researching and understanding the subject matter before publishing. To do otherwise is irresponsible, holds no integrity for the craft (of writing and psychology) and as we can see here, creates division. And definitely what the world needs more of right now is divisiveness.

Expand full comment

Lol present!

Expand full comment

I have been studying Astrology, Numerology, Mayan Astrology, Tarot for years, not as a practitioner but as a hobby. I really wanted to understand why so many feel there’s truth on all of these languages. And maybe that’s the thing: these are just languages to access the imaginary world we all live in. Sure, you’ll say Science is very real but still, as humans, we live in an imaginary world made of a shared horizon of meanings that are not always scientifically true. So… this means everyone is living a fantasy? Yes and no. So I will disagree Adam with your thesis that people who uses Astrology to explore their feelings and personalities is lacking of a critical mind: I bet is actually the opposite. They’re invested in being critical but they’re just using a different set of tools to access that reality. Sure: now it seems obvious that those tools can’t be as precise as other tools scientists have developed right? But that’s also part of our common horizon of beliefs for contemporary culture. Science is not perfect either, it’s also evolving and recognizing mistakes. So maybe, all of these very ancient languages have something useful in them that made them survive over the years, because the most amazing thing is that Astrology doesn’t have an institution that works to keep it from oblivion, it’s being kept alive by people. All the knowledge is free and easy to access. Nobody needs to pay good money to learn Astrology so it’s not “protected” and “gatekeeped” by institutions. It’s very democratic knowledge as well. But it’s complex and often people just over simplify: same happens with many sets of information, you know it. So don’t ditch Astrology just yet: have you studied the correlations between all of these languages? It’s quite fascinating. Maybe it’s just that they’re describing something we don’t have all the means to understand with our other ‘more scientific’ languages yet: energies, invisible bonds, amazing coincidences and happenings. I wonder if you really gave this a proper look, because the people you’re describing as “astrology fans” is not the people I know. I got me thinking that maybe is really culturally dependent: Americans don’t talk Astrology the way Indians do, or the way Argentinians do. Not all can speak and understand the language. It’s like me asking for directions in Paris.

Expand full comment

Yes, so well said.

Expand full comment
Mar 10·edited Mar 10

This is one of those posts that I’ll save and flag and Evernote…and generally keep anywhere I’ll go to look for it. *Thank you* for finding this data! The power of suggestion is so strong and yet so many of us (me included, I’m sure!), think we’re immune.

But I’ll save this article for another reason: how gently you broke the news to believers, and presented your case without disparaging them. As I say in my work, people want to be seen as smart, capable and good — and that’s especially true when you’re upsetting their assumptions.

Expand full comment

Yes! It causes damage. When my husband had a stroke, a friend of mine who believes in this stuff gave me this horoscopy thing about what it meant. It was about him hiding, being anxious, etc. I was so angry…like I really needed to hear that. Well, it turned out the source of his stroke was a heart birth defect. Friendship has never been the same since. What I found as just quirky, exploratory hobby before for me became a question of character.

Expand full comment

I hope your husband had a good recovery. Would you have treated someone that prayed for your husband from a faith other than yours with equal disdain. We all believe different things than other people. Sometimes the words upset us, sometimes they help. Do you think your friend had malice in their heart?

Expand full comment

It was not done out of malice, however I have a difficult time with anyone evangelizing anything when someone is in a stressful situation. I wasn’t asking for spiritual comfort, why cross that boundary? Just asking what I need would have been welcome and enough.

Expand full comment

What about Jehovah witnesses? They won’t get medical treatment for their children at times. Believing in prayer. Do they deserve disdain? I believe they do.

Expand full comment

Some members of a religion have brought measles and polio to our country even though we have done everything in our power to protect children. I suppose I believe in interfering only when children's health and well being is on the line. If a Jehovah's Witness adult does not want a transfusion or antibiotics I suppose it is as irresponsible as filling a prescription for wildly addictive (and deadly) opiates. Unfortunately, adults get to choose if it impacts them and it costs our country millions/billions. I would adapt a protocol of taking action on items impacting children as they are early in their lives or impacting the most dangerous medical decisions (opiates, standard American diet). Otherwise, we all lie to ourselves, some people are just meaner or more selfish about it.

Expand full comment

Horoscopys are dangerous and should be stopped before somebody gets seriously injured! People these days place their trust in random stuff and turn away from serious critical thinking. 😔

Expand full comment

Your biased and flippant tone belies the fact that the roots of mathematics and science are linked to thousands of years of astrology. There is so much more than the common perception you described. Please step back from commenting on what you don't understand.

Expand full comment

What is being misunderstood?

Expand full comment

Respectfully, I am not going to get into a back and forth.

Expand full comment