The art of reading (and writing) horoscopes

Last week, I got a question from a long-standing client who visited a sidereal astrologer recently. (Funny thing is that this sidereal astrologer and I have been seeing some of the same clients for 8 years, but we’ve never met. I hope to meet her one day soon.)

For those who don’t know, sidereal astrology uses slow moving “fixed” stars to determine “actual” positions of the constellations referenced in what we call the 12 signs of the Zodiac. The astrology most know is called tropical astrology and it attaches the seasons of the year to the Zodiac. So, for most, the first day of Spring is the beginning of Aries.  In sidereal astrology, it’s the 6th day of Pisces.  For many sidereal astrologers, they perceive their Zodiac as the true Zodiac. I’m not going into get into that debate today. My client’s question holds more of my attention:

“When I’m reading daily/monthly horoscopes should I now look at Taurus or continue looking at Gemini assuming that most people do not use sidereal?”

There’s a lot packed into that question, but here are some of my responses from the email correspondence with my client.

Horoscopes are tricky, and I say that as one who writes a lot of them. For starters, like anything else, you have to read an astrologer whose writing suits you. I can’t read everybody’s work nor can I write for everybody.
Second, some astrologers may write inadvertently more to parts of your chart besides your Sun, moon or rising sign. For instance, when I used to write horoscopes, I never related to my own sign when I read my own work. (You might know or remember that I’m a Scorpio.)  Something shifted. Now I feel Scorpio, Capricorn and Leo speak to me, in that order, more frequently.  Capricorn was most surprising since my patron for my Scorpio planets, Mars, is in that sign. But my moon is in Leo and I have a Pisces rising. Pisces in most horoscopes never appeals to me. However, some people feel that most horoscopes speak more to the rising or the Sun. Rarely seems true for me.
Do you read horoscopes for the sidereal? My advice is to try it with different horoscope writers and see what works for you.  Most astrologers are tropical, but perhaps, if you’re hooked into the sidereal frequency, their horoscopes for Taurus, Cancer will speak to you. There is no science behind reading or writing horoscopes. It’s all art. Play, and see what you find out.
My client’s reply was that this was confusing. I understand how it could be. This was my next response.

I suspect it’s confusing because horoscope writing is an act of literature, even poetry inspired by astrology. So you’re thinking, perhaps, literally. That one must read what’s for one’s sign and that’s that. And that’s not true. What’s interesting, since you have all 12 signs in you (but perhaps not all your planets in one of the 12 signs), is that you will relate more to some signs than others. This mostly depends on your chart. Now, which chart do you use? Again, read different astrologers horoscopes and see who speaks to you and in what signs, maybe even using your Sun/Moon Sign (Gemini or Taurus) or Ascendant (Leo or Cancer) as an entry point. I don’t read or write for my sidereal chart, because it doesn’t overall speak to me or those I know. But I do know that it speaks to some folks and that’s what counts.

There is no one form of astrology, and I’ve tried a lot of them, including sidereal. (And I don’t know if your sidereal astrologer said anything about why she uses sidereal astrology, but many sidereal astrologers say that they do it because it’s the TRUE position of the constellations. Well, just know that’s a hotly debated & contested sentiment. I could go on about that issue, if you want. But I sense now you just want to find sources that speak to you and help.)
You can think of the difference between sidereal and tropical astrology like the difference between AM/FM radio. Both use the same knob, but have different focal points, landing at different stations. (One is also more popular than the other, at least in the West.)  If you want to read more sidereal horoscopes, then you might try googling it and checking out the Vedic/Indian sites that come up.  I don’t know too many Western sidereal astrologers and definitely not many who write horoscopes.  So I won’t be able to help more than google, I’m afraid.  I think you’ll have better luck with Indian horoscope sites. I’m fairly certain those horoscopes are written for siderealists, mostly.
Of course, the key thing is going by a chart. But horoscopes are good for eliciting thoughts and ideas when you don’t have a chart or an astrologer to break it down for you when you can’t yourself. Writing and reading horoscopes is like the art of making and watching movie trailers.  Ultimately, trailers get you to want to see more of particular movies and movies in general, presumably at the theater where you’re viewing them. With horoscopes, we astrologers hope to get people more curious about their charts.
However, I’ve come to think about horoscopes in a completely different way since writing them regularly for the last few years.  For me, and a few other horoscope writers I know, they are conversations to folks of particular signs inspired by astrology or something else entirely, like Rob Brezny documents in his book, Televisionary Oracle. It may be unnerving to read horoscopes that aren’t always literally derived from charts or current positions of planets in the sky, whether we know charts have been cast or not. (Not all horoscopes in periodicals are even written by astrologers or people who know the first thing about astrology. Could be an intern looking for a lucky break who has a degree in eco-journalism or history.) But the truth for ALL forms of astrology, be it horoscopes in periodicals or live chart readings with accomplished astrologers, is whether it resonates for the person reading a horoscope or being read.

Some astrologers think horoscopes are bullshit and are ruining the art. I understand their concern. Hell, I used to be one of those astrologers. But then I realized that horoscope writing is its own art, inspired by astrology–not necessarily about teaching astrology itself.  It’s also true that astrologers have trouble deciding what exactly is BS in our art, whether it be talking about reincarnation in evolutionary astrology, the supposed antiquated thinking of classical astrology or the putative mushiness of modern psychological astrology.  It might be best to drop cries of BS altogether and stick to what works for folks and examining the philosophical basis for it. Just a thought

Of course, there are those who think that horoscopes in periodicals is all there is to astrology. But these may also be the same people to whom horoscopes never speak. Or worse, they have little curiosity beyond sources they read or trust, for whatever reason, be it out of a fixation on scientistic thinking, religion or wholesale ignorance. But I still think the poesis of horoscope writing is that it’s a great, popular way to think about thorny issues in daily life out loud. It’s a way to reflect on who we are, regardless of whether it’s sidereal or tropical. I’m sure most astrologers don’t seriously believe that they’re writing for everyone born under a particular sign on a particular day. When I write, I’m writing for the people I know or have a feeling of knowing. I write what I see from charts, and it’s always amazing to hear the feedback of how it resonates in their lives.  Yet I know it’s not true for everybody, even if they read all 12 signs of my horoscope column.

Not everyone can write for who you may be, but the great thing about reading horoscopes is that you are the final authority on what speaks to you. And that’s what’s most important–what speaks to you, not the sign that’s supposed to speak to you. Whether sidereal or tropical, seek that. You might have to read all 12 signs of a particular writer, if you don’t know your chart, or you’re fortunate to find a writer or set of writers who speak to your Sun, moon or rising sign. But the art of reading horoscopes is very correlated to the art of writing them: goes with what moves you. If nothing does, move on or move away.

One Response to “The art of reading (and writing) horoscopes”

  1. Amit Lamba Says:

    Very interesting Read . I Agree that Daily Horoscope is Definitely and Art . and Not all Astrologers are proficient in that Respect .

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