Friday, 24 September 2010

How being an astrologer is like being gay


Because at some point you have to come out of the closet, being an astrologer has something in common with being homosexual.

"What do you mean "in the closet"?" I hear you ask.



Well, it's like this - most sensible people think astrology is a truckload of bunkum. And it follows that astrologers are either snake oil sellers or credulous fools.

Now, call me uptight, but I don't like people to think I'm either mad or an idiot or both. I like a bit of respect (Leo rising). Most other astrologers I know feel the same way, so on the school run, at the supermarket, doctor's office etcetera one tends to avoid mentioning exactly what it is one does.

But since astrology is what I do most of the time, and an astrologer is what I am, I have to come out eventually.

Now, this town is pretty equally divided into two types of astrology-haters.

There are the Dawkinis who believe - along with Professor Richard Dawkins - that anyone who believes anything unprovable in a laboratory is blathering fool. They sneer at astrology - but they don't know how it works. Here's a great example of a clever guy, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, getting it wrong. He hasn't bothered to find out that astrology is not just horoscopes before laying into it.

But you know who the Dawkinis really can't abide? The other type of astrology-hater. These were the ones I didn't even know existed here in sleepy Oxford.

The fundis - yup there's a thriving evangelical movement right here. The nice ones pray for us, I expect (any petitioning on my behalf to the Lord is gratefully accepted here). The righteous ones…well, I don't want to think about it too much. Put it this way, I'm glad I live here and in the 21st century. Not so long ago it would have been down to the duckpond for a good dipping.

So before I tell anyone what I do, I have to brace myself. Will they think I'm a charlatan, a fool or Satan's daughter?

I'm happy to report that most of the time it's OK. But not always.

14 comments:

  1. Hi, Christina, I enjoyed this funny post a lot--especially the gripping title! I am very covert about being an astrologer because you get too much aggro when you tell people. They start off by saying, "You don't believe in that crap, do you?" Then they want you to guess their Sun sign, or they stick out their palm for you to read. Puhleese!!

    So I've trained my friends--on pain of death--not to tell the waitress or other strangers that I'm an astrologer.

    The other thing--call it past life paranoia--is that I never tell the neighbors in my apartment what I do for a living. I fear having a Born Again Christian sending me hate vibes. Donna Cunningham

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  2. No kidding! The other comment is always: "So you're into astrology?" Yeah, just like you're "into" medicine if you're a doctor.

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  3. Then they ask if you can guess what "star sign" they are. Maddening

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  4. Great post! I've been lucky - when I do mention I'm an astrologer, people more often act interested than sarcastic or disapproving.

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  5. Thanks. I do find it depends where I am. Some places are more accepting and other are downright hostile to astrology.

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  6. I work with a bunch of engineers, mostly men. I will probably NEVER come out of the closet at work anyway.

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  7. I am simply grateful to read someone else feels the same way I do about admitting they are an astrologer. This has been an internal battle for many years and I am relieved to see it in print. And ya-"Guess my sign" what is that andyway? I hear that so frequently...Thanks for the blog.

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  8. I can relate to all of the above comments. So i tell them Forbes wrote an article on your portfoli and my congressman peter king is into astrology too. So there !

    Bottom line I dont care what they think...

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  9. Thoroughly relished your post - and the cracking discussion too! When I was a hypnotherapist, if I had a pound for the number of people who said, "Mind out, don't look at her eyes." Or "Where's your watch on a chain." I promised them that I would hypnotise them if they gave me money. Otherwise, I was off duty.

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  10. For a few years a while ago I proofread Hodder and Stoughton's (mainly turgid) religious list. I tell ya, I almost developed a complex, like I had a label that selected others could see and I couldn't, saying TERRIBLE SINNER; there is a creeping control mechanism in that kind of Christianity (fervent and simplistic) which is chilling.
    And btw, I use a different name now for my astrology practice. I don't want to be discounted as a thinker before I start.

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  11. Hehehehe...funny one. I have started doing this astrology thing recently and I totally get you. Bemused expressions or sarcasm. 'whatever makes you happy dear' 'do you think you have the gift' ' Really?' 'Really- when did this happen?' 'People will make fun of you' my fav 'If you want strangers to whine in front of you why did you not become a Doctor like I told you'...Actually I want to study it more than open a shop I will still have a day job! Funny part is most of them will randomly go to astrologers. Me? - Too much to handle. I promise to overcharge them. LOL :))

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  12. This is EXACTLY how I have thought about being an astrologer, for
    some years now. The love that dares not speak its name, lest everyone around recoil in horror! :)

    Yes, it is so awkward in daily life, and at parties, etc. However, I do hope you have a supportive family. I do not, and it's just a miserable situation. I'm not a full-time astrologer, but that scarcely matters, because, like one's sexuality,
    astrology impacts pretty much everything in one's life.

    Dawkinis - yes, I lolled irl as the younger folks say. :D As a graduate of a Very Expensive University I have never been to a reunion, because, um, you know. As for the fundies, thank heavens I haven't had experience with that,
    aside from the Jehovah's Witnesses who drop by now & then. And since my child is in a Catholic School, I can't even offer other parents natal charts for their kids, which I am sure many of them would really love.

    In short, you nailed it. :)

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  13. I thought the Pope has said Astrology is OK

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  14. I can relate as well, especially with the possibility of being taken as an idiot. So I tend to test the waters, slowly.
    If someone, in disbelief, asks me why (which is rare), I say that I just really like it and is lots of fun for me(which is true). And somehow I manage to let them know in a subtle but clear way, that I'm not interested in talking about the subject any further, nor convincing anyone about anything. (uranus in libra mutual reception with venus, maybe?).
    That's why I'm so thankful for the www and blogs like this!

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