A Kind Word About Skeptics

Like most astrologers, I get a bit frustrated with skeptics. They tend to misrepresent astrology, they make incorrect arguments based on misinformed assumptions, and, most of all, they rarely take the time to actually learn anything about our discipline. As astrologers, we sometimes get together and kvetch about skeptics, and at those times there is a palpable frustration because the skeptics arguments are so freaking poor, but they get much more credence than careful astrological responses to them.

But let's leave the frustration with skeptics aside for a minute, and try to look at the issue with a little more compassion. By the middle of the 20th century, there was a real bias towards the materialist perspective that informed the worldview of most educated people. Many of us today realize that that worldview is not only limiting, it is in many ways just plain old incorrect. The work in consciousness studies, transpersonal psychology, and even physics has pointed towards a central role of consciousness in the cosmos.

Yet there was great value in the scientific/materialist worldview. From the perspective of people who were deeply entrenched in it, they were fighting back centuries of superstition: superstition that was often enforced with horrible torture, both physical and psychological. Superstition that was far more hostile and intolerant than the scientific/materialist view has ever been. The pull away from those limiting belief systems into a world where any trained observer could "see for yourself" was an exciting and empowering change. Because the material world is easiest to measure, it became the only world for the scientific/materialists. That was their error, and that's why they don't like astrology and never will.

They taught us not to swallow truths without testing them for ourselves, and then checking the results with others. That's the scientific method, and it isn't going anywhere. We'll keep that part. But we no longer feel the need to ban anything that isn't brick-and-mortar material from existence. We can accept that mind, emotion, soul, and spirit are real, without reverting to the superstition of the past.

Scientific/materialists who are skeptical of astrology are in many ways like the soldiers who were lost on desert islands and were still fighting the Second World War into the 1950s. We can invite them out of the trenches, the war's over.

(the "Thinker" is a pre-Columbian statue from Ecuador)