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Many scholars describe astrology as the presumed correlation between what is happening on earth and heavenly bodies. Astrology is a practice that has been performed for many years. Besides being practiced by many societies, astrology has been studied by many scholars’ particularly the theoretical approaches and how those theories are connected to the daily practice of the belief. Currently, astrology as a practice has many followers though most of the practitioners and users have often been dismissed as defiant and marginalized.
One area that has escaped the attention of many scholars is the capitalist viewpoint (Mazur, 2012). The practice has grown to be a huge global business benefitting almost all sectors of the economy. The fact that many people overlook what astrologers do or say has resulted in the unavailability of information in the area of study.
As a field of study, astrology has been studied from various perspectives. These perspectives have also been the source of its definition. It can be described as an art, psychological tool, religion, divination, magic, or science relating to terrestrial and celestial events. However, most of these definitions lack proof particularly the need for practical action. Nevertheless, many scholars worldwide view astrology as a belief in the occult influence by the celestial bodies (Jerome, 1973).
The socialist point of view
The socialist point of view is based on Perry’s position on postmodern astrology and how it affects social and individual behavior. Perry, G. (1993). Towards postmodern astrology: a hierarchical model of the psyche. The journal of Austro-psychology, 6(2), 1-14, is an article about the relationships between the predictability of individual behaviors with astrology. In this article, Perry found out that those who believe in astrology have inner psychic relationships of their behavior with celestial patterns.
Perry (1993) in his article believed that astrology is capable of predicting alterations in one’s consciousness and not in their behaviors or connected events. This article belongs to psychological astrology. The central argument of this article is that the celestial pattern and human beings’ connections are not externally observable rather are found within the unobservable inner life of an individual. Perry describes this inner relationship as the psychic structure that lies beneath individual characters (Perry, 1993). This article by Perry provides a contrast between the traditional events oriented astrology and modern psychological astrology.
Further, Perry argued that astrologers should aid their clientele to attain what they actually need. This can only be known when the clients are in their state of wholeness both physical and emotional. The general argument is that the individual inner-self does not require horoscopes, cosmological patterns, or stars. Perry capitalizes on astrology to provide an insight using the otherwise acceptable or disputed opinion. Perry recommended that there are other effective methods of dealing with everyday problems of the clientele other than using astrological beliefs or symbolism.
In connection with this critic, Farha (2001) argues that most astrologers are illiterate with respect to crisis management and other related fields. Moreover, there is no international or national standard that provides a foundation on which ethical practices are based (Farha, 2001). Most of the ethical practices are found in social work, counseling, or psychology as well as other human services. In addition, other practitioners in the emerging fields such as philosophical counseling have performed most of the roles played by astrologers effectively.
The psychological point of view
The psychological points of view are based on four articles, which are peered reviewed research findings on various perspectives of the belief on astrology.
Hamilton, M. (2001). Who believes in astrology? Effect of favorableness of astrologically derived personality descriptions on acceptance of astrology. Personality and Individual Differences, 31, 895-902 is a psychological article that delves deeper into the prevalent belief in astrology in present-day society. Hamilton uses extensive research to get an answer from those who believe in astrology. Hamilton found out that most of those who believe in astrology find their related events more predictable.
Rooij, V. (1994). Introversion-extraversion: Astrology versus psychology. Personality Individual Differences, 16(6), 985-988 is an article about the introverted and extroverted premise of those born with the positive signs of the sun and those born with negative signs of the sun. Rooij’s research indicates that individuals with odd-numbered positive sun signs have a high likelihood of accepting the astrological beliefs.
The startup, M. (1983). Belief in astrology: A symptom of maladjustment? Personal Individual Differences, 4(3), 343-345 is an article about the relationship between those who believe in astrology and signs of maladjustment. In this article, Startup investigates whether people with an increased belief in astrology shows more signs of maladjustment in addition to personality inadequacy to the contrary of those who do not believe in it. The findings indicate that those believing in astrology show negligible signs of maladjustment.
Glick, P., Gottesman, D., & Jolton, J. (1989). The fault is not in the stars: Susceptibility of skeptics and believers in astrology to the Barnum effect. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 15(4), 572-583 is a peer-reviewed article about the relationship between belief in astrology and authoritarianism. The article is based on the premise that increased attention on horoscopes will cause a similar effect on the belief in psychology. However, the findings of the article proved otherwise. There is a negligible connection between increased attention to horoscopes and increased belief in astrology. Moreover, believers in astrology are not associated in any way with authoritarianism (Glick et al., 1989).
The underlying fact in these articles is that there is a widespread belief in astrology in modern society. Hamilton (2001) argued that people believe in astrology because it offers the most favorable predictions. Rooij (1994) proved that those exposed early enough to the positive signs of the sun would always believe in themselves and incorporate such extroverted characters. This study originates from the claim that some astrological characters or zodiac signs are more socially desirable than others are (Rooij, 1994). For instance, the six odd-numbered signs or positive signs have long been considered masculine.
Thus, they have been godly, perfect, and powerful as opposed to the six negative even-numbered signs, which are considered feminine (Rooij, 1994). The results of the two studies indicate that those with positive attribution to the sun always portray extracted characters. According to Rooij (1994), those with positive sun signs are always consistent with the astrological predictions. He further proves the claims that those with positive signs provide more credence to astrological beliefs than those with negative signs. This also indicates the difference in the level of their beliefs
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Further, Startup (1983) disapproved of the premise that those who have little or no belief in astrology become malnourished. The central argument is that there is no connection between malnutrition and belief in astrology. Believers in astrology have long been told that there is a correlation between their body maladjustments and their belief in astrology (Startup, 1983)
The capitalist view of the astrology
Allum, N. (2010). What makes some people think astrology is scientific? Science Communication, 33(3), 341-366 is an article about the increasing belief in astrology. The article investigates the increasing rate at which people read or view the horoscope columns in both the internet and the print media. The findings indicate that there is an increased popularity of astrology particularly on the internet (Allum, 2010). Moreover, very few people accept that astrology is scientific rather than a disciplinary source of knowledge.
The fact is that astronomy has occupied a large part of modern popular culture, therefore, is expected to attract a huge number of subscribers. From the capitalist point of view, astrology is a huge business around the world. Apart from the exchanges taking place between conventional practitioners and their followers, the majority of the scientists subscribe to some aspects of astrology (Hall, 2005).
While some scientists remain supposedly hard-headed, majority are currently supporting financial astrology, a market that is currently thriving in both the mainstream and new media. The contents of astrology have for a long time increasing the newspaper circulation figures. The newspaper companies have also been forced to pay huge sums of money to stargazers. These people can earn more than six hundred thousand dollars a year. Profitable web companies can earn more than fifty million dollars a year.
Therefore, the face value at which most scholars perceive astrology does give the notion that astrology has no place in the modern-day capitalist view (Allum, 2010).
Further studies indicate that astrology is not a new form of capitalist activities, rather, it is a traditional business that was coined within the mainstream religious practices. Given the fact that the correlation between events on earth with celestial is quite small, most of those who believe in astrology take advantage of the rarity of events to make economic good for the believers.
Allum, N. (2010). What makes some people think astrology is scientific? Science Communication, 33(3), 341-366.
Farha, B. (2001). Astrologers want to be therapists. Journal of scientific exploration, 11(4), 92-97.
Glick, P., Gottesman, D., & Jolton, J. (1989). The fault is not in the stars: Susceptibility of skeptics and believers in astrology to the Barnum effect. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 15(4), 572-583.
Hall, M. P. (2005). The story of astrology: The belief in the stars as a factor in human progress. New York, NY: Cosimo, Inc.
Hamilton, M. (2001). Who believes in astrology? Effect of favorableness of astrologically derived personality descriptions on acceptance of astrology. Personality and Individual Differences, 31, 895-902.
Jerome, L.E. (1973). Astrology and modern science: a critical analysis. Leonardo 6(2), 121-130.
Mazur, AS. (2012). Implausible beliefs: In the bible, astrology, and UFOs. Piscataway, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers.
Perry, G. (1993). Towards a postmodern astrology: hierarchical model of the psyche. The Journal of Austro-Psychology, 6(2), 1-14.
Rooij, V. (1994). Introversion-extraversion: Astrology versus psychology. Personality Individual Differences, 16(6), 985-988.
Startup, M. (1983). Belief in astrology: A symptom of maladjustment? Personal Individual Differences, 4(3), 343-345.