Yet Another “Astrologer” to Princess Diana Stripped of Faculty of Astrological Studies Diploma Monday, Jan 28 2008 

frankdm2401_228x389.jpgI am going to London in March for a week and a friend, who was awarded a Certificate from the Faculty of Astrological Studies in London last year, sent me the link to the Faculty’s Annual Open Day in case I might like to purchase a ticket and attend.

While scrolling down the program page, I noticed at the very bottom that yet another Faculty Diploma holder has been stripped of her D.F.Astrol.S. This would make Debbie Frank the second astrologer to late Princess Diana to be stripped of her Faculty Diploma–the first being Penny Thornton in 1995–for violating several clauses in the Faculty’s code of ethics(pdf), the most serious, of course, being the violation of client confidentiality by speaking and writing publicly about their work as astrologers to the princess.

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Cockroaches for Mikey (Updated) Friday, Jan 18 2008 

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One of most common justifications offered by sun-sign columnists is that they perform a valuable public service by introducing astrology to the public and representing it in a positive way.

So, how does one jibe this rationalization with the misogynistic and hateful pseudo-astrodiatribe typed by former Vanity Fair sun-sign columnist Michael Lutin in the popular political blog, The Huffington Post. He writes:

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ElsaElsaElsaElsaElsa oh Elsa! Tuesday, Sep 5 2006 

One good word can do wonders for blog traffic (blogstats at 220 so far and still climbing)!

Thanks Elsa!

And this is . . . well, about as good as it gets.

Anyone Can Do Astrology on TV Friday, Jun 30 2006 

greg-tufaro.jpgEven voice-overs named Greg Tufaro.

Yesterday’s New York Times features a hilarious article about about how a Brooklyn, New York couple gamed a new reality show “What’s Your Sign? Design” (debuting on cable’s Home and Garden channel) to get a free do-over done on their neglected front parlor.

Alex (wife) and Andrew (husband) Postman put their heads together to present a captivating (for a tv producer, at least) dilemna. She hates color and likes it, though in reality, he doesn’t much care and she really really doesn’t like it. It didn’t hurt that they are a good-looking couple (Alex is “glamorously Pregnant”) and (theoretically) it can’t be hard to make a front parlor room of a Brooklyn Brownstone look good. Eventually they were chosen to be the headline couple:

Can a practical Capricorn and a headstrong Taurus really agree on the look of a room? Find out on What’s Your Sign? Design where zodiac charts and fresh paint mix to create incredible makeovers. Watch an expert designer and a talented astrologer make it work using creative design and a little help from the stars in this innovative series that brings design harmony to couples all over the country.

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The Magi Society Jumps on the ID Bandwagon Thursday, Jun 29 2006 

momaadditionciti.jpgI gotta tell you — even though I thought I had seen every single possible kind of stupidity which falls within the signification of stupid, nothing, and I mean nothing prepared me for this.

The secretive Magi Society (which I have heard from a number of well-placed sources is really nothing more than the latest venture of Henry Weingarten, formerly of 666 Fifth Avenue in NYC) is trying to find common cause with the likes of Pat Robertson and James Dobson. Now referring to him themselves as The Christian Guardian’s Fellowship, they have announced that “Evolution is nothing but a hoax.” The site basically says that since the Magi visited the baby Jesus in the manger, and because the Magi were astrologers, astrology can prove that, according to the Bible, the universe was designed by an Intelligent Designer. Then (as any good salesperson will, they ask money question and immediately answer it):

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A Closer Look at Cosmos and Psyche Wednesday, Jun 28 2006 

ficino-book.jpgRead part 1 here.

Cosmos and Psyche is hefty book, and it presents many interesting ideas which I am sure many people — those with some prior astrological understanding and those without — will chew on for some time. From an astrological perspective, one of the more exciting things about the book could’ve, should’ve been new access to a comprehensive collection of historical data which could in turn be cross-referenced with astrological data. I have been using Passion of the Western Mind in this precisely this manner for years.

For example in the chronology after the epilogue in my copy of Passion, I noted on page 463 that in 1925, the year Yeat’s Vision, Thomas Dewey’s Experience and Nature, and Alfred Whitehead’s Science and the Modern World were published, Pluto stationed retrograde at 12 Cancer. I did this because I was examining relationships between specific degrees which appeared to be intensified by stations of the outer planets, eclipses and partile aspects between planets, and notable events in art and science. Many of the margins within my copy of the text itself are filled with such notations indicating possible correspondences (only in my case, I used exact aspects) between various historical periods and astrological significators, as are many other books I have studied, particularly history and biographies. This is typically how many modern western astrologers begin to study mundane astrology, before moving on to the complexity of ingress and lunation charts. And Tarnas’s Passion was a godsend in terms of this kind of work and study.

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Some Serious Astrology Tuesday, Jun 27 2006 

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Update: more on Lutin’s astrological views here.

Some tidbits from a Q & A with famous astrologer Michael Lutin courtesy of The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY):

Q. I’ve heard this is supposed to be the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, which is a time of peace, acceptance and love. Why does it seem like nothing’s getting better?

People always think things are going to be better. They’re never better; they’re just different. We’re moving from the Age of Pisces into the Age of Aquarius, but it’s neurotic to think things are going to get better.

I have my birth certificate here. Can you do my chart super quick or tell me something I don’t know about myself?

You know everything about yourself. The client always knows more about him or herself than the astrologer ever could.

If I gave you my birth date and time, could you give me a fast read?

I would give you that. I couldn’t do anything real for you.

When did you start getting interested in astrology?

I was a teenager. … I didn’t really believe it. I studied it for years and … eventually, after studying chart after chart after chart and seeing the correlations come and be so accurate, I had to either accept it or stop doing it.

What’s your sign?

I never tell. It’s not good for my practice. I try to be neutral in my practice, and people have prejudices against certain signs, so that’s why. People have all kinds of crazy notions, based upon their childhood, mostly. They’ll say, “Oh, I hate Geminis,” and I’ll say, “Is your mother a Gemini?” “Yeah, how’d you know?”

(ed: very badly kept secret at that. Hint, hint – famous for being cheap, nit picking, and according to Forbes Magazine attributed to the highest number of billionaires.)

An Old World View: Rehashed (Part 1) Saturday, Jun 24 2006 

tarnas_puer.jpgRichard Tarnas is a Swiss-born, Harvard Educated, Esalen Alumni and professor of philosophy and psychology at the California Institute for Integral Studies, and is also the founding director of its graduate program in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. He is also the author of the best-selling Passion of the Western Mind.

But for 30 years, Tarnas has kept a [sort of] secret. He dabbles in astrology. Now Tarnas has written a new book about astrology; Cosmos and Psyche, published earlier this year. Apparently, it took Tarnas over 10 years to write this enormous (569 pages inc. notes) book, following a fair amount of anticipation for it in the “astro-world” (where his secret wasn’t such a big secret) prior to its publication, which included a lengthy pre-publication interview in the Mountain Astrologer Magazine in late 2005.

So when I stumbled over it this past February on the Barnes and Noble new non-fiction display shelf, I immediately bought it, and began to read it with a great deal of excitement. Subtitled, Intimations of a New World View and based, Tarnas claims, upon 30 years* of research, it strives to address what he calls “the profound metaphysical disorientation and groundlessness that pervades contemporary human experience” by suggesting a “new metanarrative that transcends separate cultures and subcultures, an encompassing pattern of meaning that could give to collective human existence a nourishing coherence and intelligibility.”

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Indian Astrologers Condemn Unethical Conduct Tuesday, Jun 13 2006 

The other day I wrote about an astrologer who was busted and sentenced for some extremely nasty conduct within the context of his astrological practice in Aspen Colorado. A similar case has come to light in India, where astrology has long been a respected and integral part of Hindu culture, evoking enough outrage in the fortune-teller community that not only has the story has been picked up by the Times of India, but has also inspired a demand of a formal code of conduct.

Arun Dwivedi, an astrologer in Gwalior, was arrested on June 7 for allegedly making sexual advances towards a woman in his house on the pretext of reading her horoscope, police said.

[ . . . ]

The incident has shaken the astrologer community in Madhya Pradesh. Many agree that a model code of conduct should be enacted and those in the profession be registered with the government.

“We have been held in high esteem for ages. But if such elements are allowed to survive in this profession, people will lose faith in us. Already money minting by some astrologers has lowered our dignity,” said a city-based astrologer.

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