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Astrological Community: how healthy?
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john



Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 617
Location: Lancashire, England

Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 7:12 pm    Post subject: Astrological Community: how healthy? Reply with quote

Hello
A recent discussion on the Philosophy Forum raised some questions about whether there is an Astrological Community. This has lead me to ponder about the size of such as a community and to ask others to share their thoughts.

If people participate, I appreciate that this may evolve into various reasons being raised, such as the growth/shrinkage, age distribution, etc. and what this may mean to ‘astrology’ over the coming years. At this point it is an enquiry on whether people have similar experiences and possibly concerns.

In my part of the world there was a time when there was standing room only in our local meetings. The numbers have diminished and other astrology groups in the region have ceased to exist. Interested beginners have come and gone, which I feel is for a variety of reasons. When this issue is raised in interviews with high profile astrologers there appears to be view that the ‘community’ is ageing. Is this something those on this forum agree with?

There are younger astrologers; we actually have people who were born after our local group was established, which is encouraging, but the net result is still a reduction in people being drawn to this ‘world’. I, and undoubtedly others, will have views as to why this may be happening and also what could be done but I hold back on this, certainly until others have had a chance to express their experiences.

I am told there are good news stories around the world, Eastern Europe for example, but I don’t know the history or details as to whether this is relatively small or if it is large numbers. I am not aware if the national Associations have ever disclosed information about membership numbers?

Should there been reason to be concerned about possible ageing and reducing numbers of astrologers or is this just a myth and should be of no concern?
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 3723
Location: vancouver island

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi john

i guess everything looks like a philosophical conversation to me, including this. i don't think it matters.. does it matter if no one notices the sun rising in the morning? some will say it does and some will say it doesn't.. the sun is still going to rise regardless. i feel the same way about astrology.. ebb and flow.. back and forth.. good times, bad times..

as for the health of the astro community, that is going to be relative too.. i see a lot of astrologers wanting to learn a certain system which could be defined as a category - trad or modern for example, and then continuing on to not really want to understand the basis for either.. that would be unhealthy for the wider astro community.. ultimately astrology is going to reflect the personalities that are involved in astrology, especially those that are more publicly known for whatever reason - head of an association and etc. etc..
put this back in the philo section if ya want..
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Mark
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 5147
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John wrote:
Quote:
Should there been reason to be concerned about possible ageing and reducing numbers of astrologers or is this just a myth and should be of no concern?


Hello John,

You raise some excellent points here. This is a topic I have wanted to discuss here before so I am glad you raised it.

Although I am not sure if you just mean professional astrologers or those involved more generally in astrological associations? I am going to assume the latter as it is an issue I can discuss with some insider insight.

I definitely detect a similar decline in terms of organised astrology groups and Associations here in the United Kingdom. I cannot discuss other countries. It would be interesting to know if this is happening across Europe or the US /Canada/Australia too. I have noticed a lot of the dynamism of the astrological community in Europe these days seems to be coming from eastern Europe. I have lost count of the impressive number of eastern european astrologers I have seen posting on forums.

In terms of the situation here in Scotland there has been a decline in both overall numbers and the demographic of those getting involved is getting older. Our Association formed in 1974 so we have a fair bit of history with which we can monitor trends up here over nearly 40 years. Its clear talking to some of our veterans that the the halcyon days were definitely the 1970s and 1980s. In those days we could easily count on 20-30 people attending a weekly meeting. Nowadays we meet fortnightly and 15 is considered a good attendance. More often we have less.

I know the other main astrological Association here in Scotland has been struggling too and there was serious discussion about it closing down recently. I have also heard that numbers at the UK Astrological Association conference has dropped over recent years.

I do think historically, the 70s and 80's was probably one of those generational growth spurts for astrology comparable to its revival in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Just now though we seem to be in a distinct era of overall decline hre in the united Kingdom. I personally, dont think this is just due to the recession. Although it hasn't helped. This does raise real concerns about the future of astrology. As Chair of my Association I see the overall age of our membership getting older ( that includes me!). A lot of time and thought has been given into ways to attract new and younger members but overall we have not been able to reverse this trend.

There are exceptions. London and the Bristol-Bath area are strong hubs of UK astrology. However, the astrological community in the rest of the UK seems to be shrinking.

So what has caused the decline? There is no single explanation but a few ideas...

The Alternative Supermarket-There is now a vast array of 'alternative' activities people can get involved in nowadays. For example, Reiki, Runes, I Ching, crystals, Tai Chi, and Tarot. These options were not so prevalent in the past. Astrology is just seen as one of a myriad of available options today.

The Time Factor. Compared to most other systems of divination astrology takes a considerable amount of work and study. I think many people today want something easier and less demanding. For example Tarot card reading is very popular and study groups on that are easy to put together. No prior knowledge is required. Compare that to astrology where a detailed knowledge of glyphs, planetary symbols and chart configurations is required before one can work with it. Just as our culture has moved to 'convenience foods' we have also arguably moved to 'convenience divination'.

The Internet. The internet has been a great boon for self study but it has arguably harmed more traditional Associations that hold regular meetings. Many people favour self study they can do at home when it suits them in contrast to turning up at meetings. We also see the phenomena of the astrological 'lurker' nowadays who study astrology on the internet but see no real need to interact with other astrology students face to face.

The Scientific Materialist Meme: Here in the UK I detect growing hostility to astrology from a more militant sceptical mindset that constantly wants to use the appellation 'pseudo-science' to astrology.

Mark
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Last edited by Mark on Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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lihin



Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 470
Location: Mount Kailash

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:28 pm    Post subject: Is astrology a 'mantic art'? Reply with quote

Good afternoon,

As mentioned in the parallel thread, methinks it incorrect to assume an 'astrological community', however defined.

Some of those who consider themselves 'leading contemporary astrologers' have directly contributed to the 'alternative supermarket' by themselves classifying astrology amongst the 'mantic arts' (or 'sciences'). However, even in horary astrology the placement of the planets at the moment of the astrologer's understanding the query and registering the time is NOT an outcome of hazard like that of drawing cards from a shuffled stack, casting sticks, gazing into a crystal ball and the like.

Nearly all professional astrologers from Hellenistic antiquity until the 20th century including for example Mr John Worsdale (England, 19th century), would have been aghast at such a classification. In my humble opinion astrology is NOT 'just another method of divination' aggravated by being difficult to learn. However, since there have been no academic standards of astrology in Europe since about the beginning of the 19th century, anyone is free to term 'astrology' whatever she or he whims and wishes.

Fortunately, some contemporary astrologers like Mr Robert Zoller have not tired to emphasise that astrology concerns the objective reading of charts, not PSI, clairvoyance, mediumnity, subjective intuition, 'channelling' and the like.

Best regards,

lihin
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Gem



Joined: 19 Nov 2004
Posts: 954

Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi John

Good to see you back.
Speaking for myself, I stopped attending meetings mainly for three reasons:

1) most people practise modern astrology, and are not interested in traditional astrology;

2)time and financial constraits; and most importantly,

3) a wealth of information and resources available on the internet, particularly Skysript!
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Paul
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Joined: 23 Nov 2009
Posts: 1544

Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stopped attending seminars primarily because the focus is often too amateurish at times, as well as cost.

I agree with Mark's reasons for the apparent decline - particularly the Internet as well as the Materialistic Meme very popular right now amongst younger people in the UK.

I don't know how old the average age is of astrologers in the UK but I'd guess it is mid-40s plus. This puts me in the bracket of 'young astrologer' I guess. I'm 27.
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Mark
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Lihin,

I dont see this as really a philosophical thread but more a practical one exploring the reasons for the growth/decline of what might be called organisational astrology. As I dont want to see this thread sidetracked into a philosophy discussion I will defer further comment here.

However, when time allows I want to open a separate thread on the philosophy forum as I disagree with your views both on the role of divination in astrology and your interpretation of astrological history.

Mark
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lihin



Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 470
Location: Mount Kailash

Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:02 pm    Post subject: General astrology Reply with quote

Good evening,

May i disagree, Sir? Methinks it quite germane to the subject 'General Astrology' if, yes or no, one classifies it as a 'mantic art'. Such a classification also aggravates the effects of so-called 'scientific materialism' (in my humble opinion a dogmatic, fundamentalist form of Goddess religion, Latin 'mater' = Mother).

I do not dispute the existence of psychic phenomena, 'mantic arts' and the like. What would ex. gr. Johannes Kepler have replied if asked whether, in his opinion, astrology is a 'mantic art'?

It may be comforting to astrologers that 'reputable scientists' engaged in predictions of, for example, the environment with the help of supercomputers and heavy public finance often produce predictions statistically little if at all better than astrologers. Here is a useful non-astrological book by Dr phil. David Orrell on predictions:

The Future of Everything - The Science of Prediction

Best regards,

lihin
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lihin wrote:
Quote:
May i disagree, Sir?


We tend to be less formal here on Skyscript. So please call me Mark. I think you will find members here prefer their first name as an appellation if its provided.

I dont expect you to agree. I just thought we could take the debate elsewhere to the philosophy forum. The focus of John's question is of a more practical nature I think. Hence even though your comments are interesting I dont intend to engage in further discussion on your points in this particular thread.

I think more germane to John's thread would some feedback on what is happening in Swiss astrology. Are you involved in any associations yourself? What is your experience of organised astrology in Switzerland? Or are you one of the 'internet lurkers' I described above?

Mark
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john



Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 617
Location: Lancashire, England

Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firstly, thank you to everyone for responding to my posting.

It’s been a while since I have contributed to the Forum; I never left!!

I appreciate the comments about a philosophical conversation. I think there is a Chinese proverb about a time to contemplate and a time to draw water. Perhaps in this part of the world the phrase draw water should be ‘getting your hands dirty’ and for me the practical side is of more interest.

The points raised invite many responses, so I’ll try and be brief and ask some more questions.

We may or may not be a community/family/grouping but from the outside looking in we probably are all viewed the same. Whether we can quote ancient text and techniques or whether we throw astro dice and turn over a tarot card we all call ourselves astrologers. Non- astrologers don’t see any distinction in the end product provided, do they?

Perhaps this forms part of the issue of the health of astrology today.

Do I get the impression that bedroom(internet) astrology is alive and well and there is no appetite for social interaction?

Is the entry into astrology now mainly through professional courses and does the cost deter? Is there an easily accessible affordable alternative out there? Where does the onus lie?

Is there an issue of how astrologers present themselves and celebrate their successes? Does this contribute to those on fringes not participating and being lost on how to progress (without having to take out a loan)?
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 3723
Location: vancouver island

Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

john wrote:


Non- astrologers don’t see any distinction in the end product provided, do they?

Perhaps this forms part of the issue of the health of astrology today.

Do I get the impression that bedroom(internet) astrology is alive and well and there is no appetite for social interaction?

Is the entry into astrology now mainly through professional courses and does the cost deter? Is there an easily accessible affordable alternative out there? Where does the onus lie?

Is there an issue of how astrologers present themselves and celebrate their successes? Does this contribute to those on fringes not participating and being lost on how to progress (without having to take out a loan)?


good questions john!

1st question - Non- astrologers don’t see any distinction in the end product provided, do they?

i don't think those who consume or buy astrology see any difference, unless they are curious or find what they have bought or gotten - useless or irrelevant..even then their view might change later..

i recall my mom going to fortune tellers when i was young. she would say such things as 'they didn't know what they were talking about and said all sorts of crazy stuff about my future.' it would only be after many years of living where some of what they did say came true that she had a different view on the relevance or not of what was said and the person saying it.. i think the same thing can and does happen in astrology, so again i think this question is an open ended unanswerable question you are asking, but for the most part i would say non astrologers don't make any type of distinction.. it is like buying any product. people are typically drawn to the surface view, or what someone else says about something, or someone like an astrologer.

2nd question - Do I get the impression that bedroom(internet) astrology is alive and well and there is no appetite for social interaction?<<

yes to the first part, and i am not convinced of the 2nd part. i think the more folks spend on the internet, the more curious they become about getting outside of this domain and interacting with real people.. not sure how that translates at the moment for astrology and workshops, clinics, events etc. but i would imagine the conference in new orleans was probably well attended this year.. however, i don't know!

3rd question - Is the entry into astrology now mainly through professional courses and does the cost deter? Is there an easily accessible affordable alternative out there? Where does the onus lie?<<

i would hope that the main entry into astrology is not through professional courses, but then that is just me! i don't know the answer to this question. many folks like to cloak themselves in diplomas and certificates, but fortunately there are still some of us that don't really give much of a rats ass about that kinda stuff. i think the alternative is the internet, believe it or not! many folks today and i know a few who are doing this - try to get everything for free over the internet in terms of astro info.. i think that has some severe limitations myself, but people will do what they do.. i guess it depends on what wants to do with the knowledge they accumulate thru astrology.. if they are wanting to operate on a ''professional'' level, then perhaps they have to consider all these certificates and etc. etc. that i was blowing off earlier..

4th question - Is there an issue of how astrologers present themselves and celebrate their successes? Does this contribute to those on fringes not participating and being lost on how to progress (without having to take out a loan)?<<

i think there is an issue of how astrologers present themselves and celebrate their successes.. it seems to be driven by the need to get credit and show the level of ability they may or may not have in what they are doing... take the recent usa election and the great divide among most astrologers on who would win.. it got presented to the astrology community from where i sit anyway, as a dogs breakfast with many different methods arriving at the 2 different choices.. i don't know if anything was gained from it other then an awareness that the astro community was divided.. the folks that were asked at the new orleans conference in may seemed pretty solid in their view that obama would win, and that would have been communicated thru the media to an extent, but i am not sure how many people paid attention to that out of the general public.

you seem to be focused on money for studying at some school or something in your questions, which is all i can understand or intuit from your last comment/question - "Does this contribute to those on fringes not participating and being lost on how to progress (without having to take out a loan)?"<<
not sure what you are trying to ask here.
thanks for asking at any rate. fun stuff!
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lihin



Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Location: Mount Kailash

Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:28 am    Post subject: Economic constraints Reply with quote

Good morning,

Methinks economic constraints play, also in astrology markets, an important role. Real mean incomes in most north-western industrialised countries peaked in the 1970s, drifted through the 1980s and have declined since the 1990s. The 19th - 20th centuries' paradigm 'My children will be better off than I' is broken. The reverse side of the coin - a lethal worldwide, still exploding pandemic reaping the ecological consequences of its 'success' - becomes more difficult to ignore. To maintain a given standard of living, people often have to work more hours, leaving less time and money for 'peripheral' activities like astrology. Travel to meetings is costly.

This economic pressure encourages people's tendencies toward escapism, including religion, and entertainment - astrology mostly seen as a form of infotainment - but curtails their ability to afford it. Selling books apparently has become an important income stream for astrologers, although they often simply resume and rehash what prior authors already wrote, often less succinctly. Publishing books also enhances the authors' visibility, the probability of being interviewed, engaged as teachers and counsellors, etc. It would be enlightening to learn which activities and services form what parts of the economic astrological cake in a given market, ex. gr. the UK. To what extent are astrologers including amateurs their own chief sources of revenue?

In practice one can observe that many have a notion of astrology conditioned by the daily published tropical sun-sign columns. They most often know their tropical sun sign. To de-condition them, i often present their chart without Helios, as their inner identification with whatever they have associated with their tropical sun-sign stands in their way. Many if not most natal astrological analyses published, regardless of quality, concern individuals deemed well-known, prominent, perhaps eminent. Astrology is often perceived to be an accessory to such groups, especially actresses, actors and politicians who are seldom averse to publicity, particularly when it is without cost.

Until the 18th century in Europe, astrology was an academic discipline exercised by some of the most outstanding minds. In today's world where anyone can claim anything in the name of astrology, it should surprise no-one that it is seldom taken seriously. Whether via internet, meetings in groups, etc., it appears doubtful that this will change in the near future.

Light, pastel-coloured, soul-soothing, non-strenuous infotainment is what the vast majority of the contemporary general public expects from 'astrology'. The contrast to a serious 19th century astrologer like the Englishman John Worsdale (see Celestial Philosophy or Genethliacal Astronomy) could scarcely be greater.

Best regards,

lihin
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varuna2



Joined: 20 Feb 2012
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Location: Lemuria

Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

delete

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lihin



Joined: 14 Dec 2009
Posts: 470
Location: Mount Kailash

Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:43 am    Post subject: Qualifications Reply with quote

Good morning,

Although concurring on most points, methinks doubtful the validity of Mr Varuna II's following text:

Quote:
"Therefore, we are interested in the 1/3 of the 20 percent, or whatever the actual numbers are. How to make them aware of astrology? For this we must turn to the concept of Propaganda and proselytizing ..."


Of course one should distinguish between members of the general public who might become clients of astrologers and those interested in becoming astrologers. In both cases, however, one might recall that only what is enveloped in a seed can be developed at any later stage. Only potentials can be actualised. My limited experience has been that it is more fruitful to require people to distinctly knock at the door of their own volition rather than try to push or pull them into the 'house of astrology', once considered a key traditional science reserved for the few duly qualified.

Best regards,

lihin
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Zarathu



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 12
Location: Bar Harbor, Maine USA

Posted: Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:21 pm    Post subject: Its the internet Reply with quote

In the late 1990's, the internet suddenly allowed astrologers all over the planet to communicate with one another. Sandy Rozhan's forum in the USA, and Noel Tyl's also in the USA, were thriving places. My only forum, Zarathu Astrology Forum, had participants from all over the world as late as 2006.

But since that time the internet has destroyed astrology. People have begun to rely more and more on the internet for information, to the point where they now believe that EVERYTHING can be found there. People don't realize that learning astrology off of the internet is like trying to become a professional photographer by reading popular photography magazines---can't be done.

So much of the erudite discussion on forums that still have action has disappeared. If its more than newspaper astrology, nobody wants to learn it. Bring up that you regularly use 500 asteroids in your practice and they tell you its too complicated, rather than ask how you do that so you can tell them.

While the internet was a boon at the beginning, now its dumbed it down.

Zarathu
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