The Realist Astrologer: Why I Don’t Write Generalized Horoscopes

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One of my pet peeves in the world of Astrology is the proliferation of generalized horoscopes. There are also a multitude of erroneous blog posts, Facebook status updates and Tweets dealing with the daily motion of the stars, planets, luminaries, etc. and how it applies to people on an individual level. For instance, just because transiting Mars is making a challenging aspect to transiting Venus does not mean that people on an individual level will face some strife in their personal relationships on that particular day. Aspects between transiting planets should be taken on a mundane level–i.e. reserved for whole populations, nations, the world, etc. Aspects between transiting planets are also used for horary, financial and electional astrology. To get a view of what can affect a person personally, an astrologer has to reference that person’s natal (birth) chart. Even events such as Mercury turning retrograde and solar/lunar eclipses may not directly impact an individual unless a sensitive point of the natal chart is triggered.

Any astrologer will tell you that not all Scorpios are created equally and the same goes for any zodiac sign. They will also tell you that one has to take the entire natal chart into account before making judgments, interpretations and forecasts. However, many still churn out these daily, weekly and monthly horoscopes that appeal to the masses even though they are not a reflection of reality or true Astrology for that matter. Sometimes these horoscopes contain a degree of accuracy, but more often than not, they don’t ring true for many folks. Some astrologers being all too aware of this pitfall will try to legitimize this practice by stating that the sign of one’s Ascendant and Moon can also apply to the particular horoscope. This in my opinion, is a weak attempt to reduce the margin of error that is inherent in generalized horoscopes.

It really irks me when some astrologers or horoscope writers include the house positions; a practice which is totally bogus since one only knows the actual house positions when given the time of birth. This practice of using the houses stems from placing the sign in question on the Ascendant and deriving the house positions from there. So for instance, the monthly horoscope email you receive may say that Venus is traveling through your 5th house, but in reality, according to your natal chart, Venus is actually moving through your 10th. This is why I can’t get down with this practice.

It’s this very practice that gives fodder to skeptics as they wag their finger at glaring inaccuracies. Generalized horoscopes also promote the ever-pervasive notion that Astrology is a mere form of entertainment for the masses.

I have been guilty of patronizing this questionable practice in my early days as I used to subscribe to Astrologer, Susan Miller’s monthly horoscope emails. Sure her horoscopes are semi-accurate for the most part and she even breaks the signs down by decanates (i.e. “if you were born between the 20th and 30th of April, read this section”), but they still do not produce the stunning revelations and jarring insight of an actual astrological forecast. There came a day when I had to unsubscribe since this practice is not in accordance with my belief system. I also found it disconcerting that the American Federation of Astrologers resorts to providing monthly horoscopes. These horoscopes are actually less accurate than Susan Miller’s.

So why do so many astrologers write these generalized horoscopes when they are aware that it is mostly bullshit? I believe it comes down to a need for consistent engagement. They want to keep customers, followers, and fans engaged and generalized horoscopes are the most common way to achieve this goal in this industry. It’s called Sun Sign Astrology, a watered down version of the real thing. Sun Sign Astrology is basically like this: “You’re a Leo, so for this week, all Leos will have some kind of difficulty at work”. As you can see, these blanket generalizations can’t possibly apply to every Leo under the Sun. Astrology represents Life and Life is never that simple. Sun Sign Astrology is a fairly new phenomenon, not arriving on the astrological scene until 1930. From Wikipedia: “The astrologer R. H. Naylor was claimed by his newspaper to have predicted the crash of the R101 airship. This led to pressure on Naylor to come up with a simplified system of astrology suitable for a newspaper column. After some experimentation, Naylor decided on sun signs”.  Thus, Sun Sign Astrology was created specifically for the masses and tailored for news publications. Sun Sign Astrology is idealism at its worst.

I cannot compromise my integrity and engage in the practice of writing generalized horoscopes even if it means an increase in website traffic or conversions to sales. I place a high value on authenticity, accuracy and the truth. Even if a major media publication offered me substantial compensation for providing this type of column, I would decline. It would be akin to selling my soul. Generalized horoscopes do the science and art that is Astrology a great disservice and many traditional astrologers like C.E.O Carter, John Frawley, and William Lilly have shunned the practice for this very reason. My aim is to uphold the integrity of Astrology and preserve some of its traditional rules and guidelines. I am after all a Capricorn (tradition, realism) rising with my Moon in Capricorn in the 1st. My Sun, Mercury, and Neptune are in Sagittarius (Honesty, Preservation) and Uranus (Truth) is on my Midheaven. Sure, I am somewhat of an idealist with all of that Sagittarian energy, but I am more of a staunch realist and I intend to stay that way.

~Rahbinah

sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_sign_astrology

 

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Florence Ballard At a Glance: Tragic Songbird

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Florence Ballard, founding member of the R&B group The Supremes was born on June 30, 1943. She died on February 22, 1976 at 10:05 am. I’m not sure of her time of birth, but I have it at around 2:10 pm which seems pretty accurate considering her life circumstances. This would place her Ascendant in the sign of Libra–one of the hardest Ascendants to have. With the birth time set to 2:10 in the afternoon, this places the transiting Ascendant at the time of her demise right on the 8th cusp–the 8th being the house of death. At the time of her death, the transiting Ascendant was also making a quincunx to her natal Ascendant if my assumption is correct. The quincunx aspect (150 degrees) often deals with health conditions and the Ascendant deals with the physical body. 

Now regarding her natal chart profile, Florence Ballard’s Sun and Moon were both afflicted by Pluto, the planet of death. Pluto also wielded great influence over her Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn. Pluto can lead one to prominence, but when there are challenging aspects between Pluto and other planets and points of the natal, there is often an aversion to the trappings that come with fame and popularity. Pluto’s negative influence can cause someone to be very suspicious and wary of others–unless they are close family and friends. With Florence Ballard’s Sun in Cancer and birth number being 30, she was not built for a high profile career in the limelight. She craved the safe and familiar over the glamour and prestige of a singing career. People who are born on the 30th, need to spend ample time alone in introspection. Regular meditation helps to keep them centered. People given the stamp of 30 also need to develop their spirituality in their current incarnation as they will often find the material world to be severely lacking in terms of personal fulfillment. What’s interesting is that all of Ballard’s planets are in personal signs–from Aries to Virgo which would also make it difficult to successfully navigate the world at large. As some Astrologers would say, she had some unfinished business stemming from her early home life. At the age of 16 Florence was raped at knife point by an acquaintance which I’m sure left some deep emotional and psychological scars. Chiron, the wounded healer is right next to her Venus. 

Pluto interacting with sensitive points in the chart also leaves one open to manipulation and underhanded tactics. It is widely known that Florence Ballard who was the founder of The Supremes was floored when Diana Ross became the undisputed leader (Diana Ross is an Aries) and the trio’s name was changed from The Supremes to Diana Ross and the Supremes. The final straw for Ballard occurred when Diana Ross usurped her solo performance of the song “People”. 

On the day Ballard was ousted from The Supremes (July 1, 1967) as a result of performing on stage drunk and belligerent, she had some very challenging transits going down including Mars opposition Mars, Chiron opposition Neptune, Saturn square Sun, and Uranus/Pluto squaring her Moon. Her Solar and Venus Returns occurring simultaneously. It was all down hill from there for the most part. 

Ballard’s South Node was in Aquarius which can bring karmic-induced medical conditions involving the circulatory system. Florence Ballard died from a coronary thrombosis or blood clot in one of the major arteries. At the time of her death, the transiting North Node in Scorpio was making a square to her South Node in Aquarius. With natal Venus, Chiron and Pluto in Leo, she may have not just died from cardiac arrest, but also a broken heart. 

Florence Ballard also had Saturn conjunct Mercury and the Moon in her natal chart which creates a lot of opportunities to live out one’s karma. Saturn’s influence also made her more of a loner than a gregarious personality. Saturn also brings with it depression, despair, poverty, and limitation. 

Did Ballard really have a chance at overcoming her challenges? In my opinion, no. She was one of those souls whose script was basically written by the hand of fate before her birth. She simply had to show up and play her assigned role. There was little she could do to escape her circumstances with Pluto and Saturn bearing down heavily upon her natal Sun, Moon and Mercury; Chiron pressing on Venus. This says a lot about the concept of Free Will. 

Florence Ballard was certainly destined for fame as evidenced by Venus, Chiron, Pluto and the North Node being colored with Leo. However, the fame was short-lived and not even desired by Ballard. She just wanted to sing. It was the nice trine she had between Mars and Venus which gave her the motivation to take her strong vocal talent to the stage, but when her Venus (represented by her partners–namely Diana “The Boss” Ross, and peacekeeper Mary Wilson) was irreparably marred by a string of unfortunate circumstances she lost her will to thrive and succumbed to addiction, domestic violence, poverty, and disease. Such as sad, short life for a beautiful songbird. 

Addendum: I pulled a Tarot card to represent a message Florence Ballard has for the world:

The Sun: She wants us to know that she is happy that her name continues to shine on despite her leaving this earthly realm in a tragic way. She wants focus to be on the positive aspects of her life. She was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. 

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~ Rahbinah

source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florence_Ballard; Unsung documentary: The Story of Florence Ballard