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Astrology and Covid-19

 
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Knightinte



Joined: 22 Nov 2017
Posts: 86

Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2021 9:57 am    Post subject: Astrology and Covid-19 Reply with quote

"Many Americans have turned to astrology, the study of correlations between celestial patterns and temporal events, to make sense of tumultuous times. Despite reports of popular astrologers called out for failing to predict Covid-19, astrological services are in high demand. From private consultations to horoscopic forecasts across multiple media, people are eager to know when the pandemic will end and how it will affect their lives in the long run.

But Western astrology is more than the use of oracular techniques to answer immediate and personal needs. It is a field of interpretive practices rooted in metaphysical claims about how universal archetypes structure the passage of time and animate the metanarratives we recognize as history. To modern astrologers, the pandemic and its wider transpersonal and world-historical implications are expressions of recurring cosmic motifs, each iteration of which brings trials and transitions to be endured and existential lessons to be learned. Analyzing this cosmological perspective as a form of historical consciousness, rather than just a function of occult superstition or “fortune telling,” is an important step toward better scholarly understanding of how people who practice and engage with astrology perceive the moral valences of time. It also highlights models of futurity that are not bound to strictly secular or religious teleologies, but fall somewhere between the progressive flow of homogenous, empty time and a temporality that is polycyclic and preordained, where everything that goes around comes around.

Though few professional astrologers specifically predicted that a coronavirus would bring the world to a standstill in 2020, and global systems to the brink of collapse, the timing and severity of the pandemic came to them as no surprise. The year 2020 was a topic of anxious speculation in the astrology community long before Covid-19 became a household word. The reason was an unusually intense series of planetary transits. This began in January with a rare “conjunction” between Pluto, symbol of death, power, and inexorable change (and still a “planet” in astrological terms), and Saturn, the planet of structures, authorities, and boundaries, deep in the zodiacal sign of Capricorn. The year will end in December with a similar rendezvous between Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius. Astrologers have read these and other celestial developments as symbolic indicators of trauma and transformation, a period of earthly reckoning perfectly synchronized to the rhythms of the cosmos.

To explore the nature of such assumptions, it helps to sideline familiar criticisms of astrology that rest on charges of superstition, pseudoscience, ignorance, and deception. This is no easy task given longstanding public suspicion and indignation even among academics. In the 1950s, Theodor Adorno famously lambasted modern astrology as retrogressive fetishism, which derives its authority from a “façade of pseudo-rationality” exempt from critical engagement. Adorno abhorred horoscope columns, which he felt epitomized the worst of what the modern culture industry is capable of. He argued that by reifying structural forces and unconscious motivations as fate, and by suggesting that social processes at the root of people’s problems will “somehow take care of them,” horoscopes promote authoritarian thought-patterns conducive to the rise of fascism, including conformity, irrationality, and willful dependence on external omniscience."

What are your thoughts?
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Michael Sternbach
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Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 642
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2021 6:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Astrology and Covid-19 Reply with quote

Hi Knightinte

That's a good article you quoted. Smile Care to let us know where you found it?

Knightinte wrote:
"Many Americans have turned to astrology, the study of correlations between celestial patterns and temporal events, to make sense of tumultuous times. Despite reports of popular astrologers called out for failing to predict Covid-19, astrological services are in high demand. From private consultations to horoscopic forecasts across multiple media, people are eager to know when the pandemic will end and how it will affect their lives in the long run.

But Western astrology is more than the use of oracular techniques to answer immediate and personal needs. It is a field of interpretive practices rooted in metaphysical claims about how universal archetypes structure the passage of time and animate the metanarratives we recognize as history. To modern astrologers, the pandemic and its wider transpersonal and world-historical implications are expressions of recurring cosmic motifs, each iteration of which brings trials and transitions to be endured and existential lessons to be learned. Analyzing this cosmological perspective as a form of historical consciousness, rather than just a function of occult superstition or “fortune telling,” is an important step toward better scholarly understanding of how people who practice and engage with astrology perceive the moral valences of time. It also highlights models of futurity that are not bound to strictly secular or religious teleologies, but fall somewhere between the progressive flow of homogenous, empty time and a temporality that is polycyclic and preordained, where everything that goes around comes around.

Though few professional astrologers specifically predicted that a coronavirus would bring the world to a standstill in 2020, and global systems to the brink of collapse, the timing and severity of the pandemic came to them as no surprise. The year 2020 was a topic of anxious speculation in the astrology community long before Covid-19 became a household word. The reason was an unusually intense series of planetary transits. This began in January with a rare “conjunction” between Pluto, symbol of death, power, and inexorable change (and still a “planet” in astrological terms), and Saturn, the planet of structures, authorities, and boundaries, deep in the zodiacal sign of Capricorn. The year will end in December with a similar rendezvous between Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius. Astrologers have read these and other celestial developments as symbolic indicators of trauma and transformation, a period of earthly reckoning perfectly synchronized to the rhythms of the cosmos.

To explore the nature of such assumptions, it helps to sideline familiar criticisms of astrology that rest on charges of superstition, pseudoscience, ignorance, and deception. This is no easy task given longstanding public suspicion and indignation even among academics. In the 1950s, Theodor Adorno famously lambasted modern astrology as retrogressive fetishism, which derives its authority from a “façade of pseudo-rationality” exempt from critical engagement. Adorno abhorred horoscope columns, which he felt epitomized the worst of what the modern culture industry is capable of. He argued that by reifying structural forces and unconscious motivations as fate, and by suggesting that social processes at the root of people’s problems will “somehow take care of them,” horoscopes promote authoritarian thought-patterns conducive to the rise of fascism, including conformity, irrationality, and willful dependence on external omniscience."

What are your thoughts?


Short answer to Adorno's objections: Bullshit! 😫

More elaborate answer: Actually, the article itself put it very well:

"It is a field of interpretive practices rooted in metaphysical claims about how universal archetypes structure the passage of time and animate the metanarratives we recognize as history."

No irrationality or superstition there, but empirical knowledge based on a coherent and sophisticated metaphysical system.

"To modern astrologers, the pandemic and its wider transpersonal and world-historical implications are expressions of recurring cosmic motifs, each iteration of which brings trials and transitions to be endured and existential lessons to be learned."

No fatalism there either, because as those existential lessons that life presents us with (whether we believe in astrology or not) are learned, our experience of those recurring cosmic motifs will change.

Granted, horoscope columns are not the best example of what astrology is capable of, but at least they may convey to the layman an inkling of being part of a cosmic scheme and occasionally come with sound advice regarding what is happening in their life.

Michael
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 3981
Location: vancouver island

Posted: Fri Aug 27, 2021 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

knightinte

it really ain't cool taking an article and not sharing where you got it from, or maybe you are trying to imply you wrote it, or who knows, but it ain't cool either way...

https://tif.ssrc.org/2020/08/13/placing-the-pandemic-in-time-astrology-and-covid-19/
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Michael Sternbach
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Joined: 01 Mar 2014
Posts: 642
Location: Switzerland

Posted: Sat Aug 28, 2021 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

james_m wrote:
knightinte

it really ain't cool taking an article and not sharing where you got it from, or maybe you are trying to imply you wrote it, or who knows, but it ain't cool either way...

https://tif.ssrc.org/2020/08/13/placing-the-pandemic-in-time-astrology-and-covid-19/


James,

Thanks for the support. I seriously consider making you my deputy! Laughing

To be fair, I would say Knightinte did indicate that he's presenting a citation by putting it in quotation marks. But even though we obviously don't hold posters on this forum to academic standards, a citation of that kind would definitely warrant a reference to its source.

Also, it would be cool if, as the OP, he would come back for the ensuing discussion. Confused
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Knightinte



Joined: 22 Nov 2017
Posts: 86

Posted: Mon Aug 30, 2021 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey guys, apologies, I'm busy with work and I can only take a glimpse on this forum every now and then.

Regarding not adding the link, I thought I would just post it after some of you guys cared to join in and share your thoughts. But I'm glad you even look it up to @james_m that fast! Very Happy
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