As of October 1, 2023 I am ending a nine-month stint as the horoscope columnist for an online news website. It has been an interesting and sometimes frustrating experience. Overall, I’m glad I did it and glad I’m moving on. Now seems like a good time to explain my thoughts on newspaper/website horoscopes.
I admit that I read any horoscope I see. I usually read the horoscope for my Ascendant (this is the most likely to be accurate on any general horoscope) and my Sun sign, sometimes my Moon sign and usually the signs of my family and friends. It is fun, can be encouraging to read, and is definitely entertaining. That said, horoscopes are not the same as professional, personal astrology.
Horoscopes are general by nature, and that is why they are difficult to write. Real astrology is not general. Astrology is based on precise calculations and an analysis of how the results of those calculations synthesize and manifest for a specific person or situation. When writing horoscopes, the astrologer has to use a very limited number of factors and attempt to be relevant to the broadest number of people. The results are sometimes, although rarely, spot-on for the reader. This is why anyone reading a general horoscope should take it lightly, seeing the horoscope as a type of fortune cook