I was interviewed by, Delaina Sanden, a student at Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, Kansas. What a talented writer! In this article, she writes about different perspectives about astrology. While some share why they enjoy astrology, others share why they are opposed to astrology.
BTW, if you are a middle school, junior high, high school, college, university student that wants to write an article about astrology or other esoteric arts such as Tarot, Dowsing, Palmistry, Numerology... Please contact me directly at info@KansasCityAstrology.com. I'm happy to support scholastic activities, especially inquiries into topics that were considered extremely unconventional not too long ago.
In the meantime, you'll enjoy reading Ms. Sanden's article.
For thousands of years, humans have looked to the stars for guidance. Astrology was viewed as a reliable way to predict how the celestial bodies would affect natural life.
In the 21st century, the validity of this practice is debated. Due to today's greater accuracy and accessibility of scientific research, information on astrology has been made easily available to the public, so many have become skeptical about astrology. On the other hand, accessing astrological predictions has become mainstream by means of the Internet, allowing for more exposure to the practice and allowing astrologers to thrive.
Many people that do not find significance in astrology argue that it is a pseudoscience, a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method. Erin Morgan, the Earth science, meteorology and astronomy teacher, places her trust in the scientifically proven side of science.
"The astrological signs are based on a series of constellations that are found along the plane of the ecliptic," Morgan said. "The specific constellations are only visible at certain times of the year as the Earth orbits the Sun. That time period it [is] determines what astrological sign you are born under."
Many adherents contend that while it hasn't yet been supported by the scientific method, there is significance behind the practice. Cindy Mckean, owner and operator of Kansas City Astrology and Tarot LLC., gives credence to the planets' mechanical positions and the continuing predictions made by various groups of people.
"Many argue that astrology isn't a science, but there is a mechanism to how the positions of celestial bodies affect life on Earth," Mckean said. "The biggest example is how the phases of the moon have an effect on tides. When there's a full moon, tides swell due to the gravitational pull of the moon on bodies of water. Police precincts report how crimes are higher during full moons. Farmers used the phases of the moon to determine the best time to plant seeds and harvest crops."
While police reports and farmers' practices take the mechanics and movements of the stars and planets into consideration, there are still people people who dismiss these occurrences as coincidences. Mckean insists that the realities of astrology are not properly credited.
"What was dismissed as 'magical thinking' about astrology turned out to be a real mechanism that could be measured and timed," Mckean said. "The credit, however, was given to astronomy."
As well as having studied the past and present implications of astrology in society, Mckean has had first-hand experience with the scientific community. With the high amount of criteria needed to publish a theory, Mckean understands why astrology can be thought of as a pseudoscience.
"I was a Clinical Research Director at an Ivy League," Mckean said. "To get clinical and data findings published in well-sought, highly-reputed scientific and medical journals meant it had to pass the scrutiny and vetting of the best doctors and scientists in the nation. In knowing how much work goes into proving a theory, I am aware that astrology often falls short of meeting all the benchmarks of the scientific process of proving theories, ideas, and phenomena."
Getting astrological studies or reports published in scientific journals may be a challenge, but sharing information on the internet is not. Millennials and those in the Generation Z are sharing, absorbing and interpreting astrological information via online networks. Mckean notices the trend in young peoples' augmented curiosity about celestial phenomena.
"Young people in America are now more open and accepting of astrology and other esoteric topics," Mckean said. "Outlets like 'The New York Times' and 'The Atlantic' have written articles about the hows and whys of it. Celestial topics like 'Mercury retrograde' started trending in pop-culture. People now look out for eclipses, full moons and other astrological phenomenon. With the growing interest in astrology, a new group of people studying astrology as a serious subject are rising up from the horizon. Horoscope articles online and on printed magazines and newspapers are gaining traction and validity again."
More young people are becoming interested in getting involved with astrology. One of these individuals is junior Sydney Seigle. With millions of online resources at her fingertips, Seigle has become amazed with how much she has learned about herself in so little time.
"We have access to information that can tell us about [astrology]," Seigle said. "If we didn't, then people probably wouldn't care about it as much, but you can literally, in 60 seconds, put in the date and time you were born and it can tell you everything about you. It might be all accurate, but it's still so cool to find stuff out about yourself that you may not even realize before you read it."
While Seigle believes most of what she reads online, she is still skeptical about some of it. She believes that there is much more to astrology than just horoscopes, but that they can still be valued. To her, horoscopes are only scratching the surface of the depths of astrology.
"I think it's really cool to learn about how the stars and planets affect us and our personality and our daily lives," Seigle said. "I may not believe in it at all, but it's still so interesting and really just awesome. Horoscopes that we read online are fake. Astrology is more than just a horoscope. It's the way positions of the planets when we were born impact us."
The ever-rising trend in astrology is surely present in young people, such as Seigle, but is also widely skepticized. Many feel that astrology is an irrational way to make predictions or find truth in oneself. One of these skeptics is junior Jennifer He.
"I don't believe in astrology because the idea that celestial objects define how we act and how we feel just seems bizarre to me," He said. "We are the result of ourselves, not the result of some supernatural causes."
She finds no significance in astrology. To her, astrology is a form of manipulation made to give its believers false premonitions about themselves and their futures.
"I don't find any significance behind astrology," He said. "Things like horoscopes are scams that are vague for a reason - so people believe them. There is no way that I believe that there is an actual science behind astrology. It's a scam made to trick gullible people."
In spite of He's argument, Mckean states that astrology is worth learning about. She argues that the historical use of astrology is a reason to self-inform about the practice. While the debate about whether astrology is worth believing or not may live on indefinitely, the thousands of years of astrological history will always be there, significant or not.
"Astrology has been around for thousands of years," Mckean said. "It's survived persecution, discredits, demonization, and ostracizing, yet it still survives and thrives. With that kind of fortitude, it's worth looking into."
*Note: A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU to the folks at The North Star Newspaper, where this was originally published on September 19, 2018. Delaina Sanden skillfully presented my contribution, along with that of others with her in school. Well done!
Want to read the article on The North Star Newspaper publication instead? Available at Issue 1 of Volume 33, Pages 30-31: https://issuu.com/bvnnews/docs/september18_issue/30