Exposing PseudoAstronomy

June 9, 2010

Terry Nazon’s Astronomy: Just Plain Wrong


Introduction

I wanted to take a brief pause from writing lectures for the intro astronomy class I’m teaching (don’t worry guys, the one for tomorrow is already written!) and head down a different path for a few moments.

Some may consider me a glutton for punishment. Considering my recent run-in of being threatened by an astrologer, I’ve been following her a bit on Twitter to see what she’s up to in her astrological prognostications. And that’s what I want to talk about today.

Get Your Astronomy Right!

Alright, I’ll say it to start off with to let everyone know where I stand: I do not “believe” in astrology. I trust the studies that have shown it no better than random guessing and that have shown it has no predictive power better than cold reading and self-reporting positive results for positive predictions. I don’t see any mechanism by which it could work, and none that have been proposed by astrologers actually have any physical validity unless they want to re-write the laws of physics.

That said, if you’re going to be an astrologer, AT LEAST GET YOUR ASTRONOMY RIGHT!!!

I honestly don’t know if this is common to most astrologers, or if it just happens to be Terry Nazon who is, well, I’ll be polite and just say apparently ignorant of astronomy and where stuff is in the sky. It’s a little hard to believe considering that astrology’s entire foundation is based on where stuff is in the sky, but, well, facts are facts.

I showed in my series on Nazon before (part 1, part 2, and part 3) that she is apparently fairly ignorant of where objects are in the actual sky, and this is seriously not a case where you just have to take my word for it. Go download any free astronomy sky-display software, look at a star chart yourself, or download a commercial or shareware software. You will be able to demonstrably see that what I stated in my previous series is accurate. (I’m not going to provide star charts this time unless asked for in Comments because I think it’s fairly redundant at this point … and because I need to write a homework set to hand out for tomorrow.)

What’s Going on This Time?

14 hours ago from the time of this writing, so I guess around 6AM MDT (mountain daylight time for those not in the US), Nazon tweeted, “Mercury enters Gemini it’s home placement. Expects things to start moving quickly….”

This intrigued me. I don’t know anything about Mercury’s “home placement,” but based on my experience on my previous series about Terry Nazon (part 1, part 2, and part 3), I wanted to check this. I was not disappointed. At the moment, Mercury is on the Aries side of Taurus, actually having just entered Taurus on June 5 (5 days ago as of writing this). It won’t be until very late in the day on June 25 (that’s in 15 days) that Mercury will enter Gemini. Interesting.

On Monday, so about 2 days ago, Nazon tweeted (and put on her Facebook page): “Mars the planet of action enters Virgo where it last transitied [sic] July 2008. Mars transit around the zodiac is about 2 1/2 yrs. The last time Mars was in Virgo Saturn had just begun it’s transit of Virgo too. Now the two meet up again as Saturn ends its transit through Virgo.”

Also interesting. I love conjunctions, they’re actually really cool to photograph. I showed a conjunction to my class yesterday of the five planets that the ancient civilizations knew about in a photo taken a few years ago. But anyway, back to the claim. I took a look, and yet again, Mars is not anywhere near Virgo. It’s on the Cancer side of Leo right now, though Virgo is on the other side, and Saturn is currently reasonably close to the Leo side of Virgo.

However, Mars moves through the sky much more slowly than Mercury. As a consequence, while Terry Nazon was about 2 weeks off for her Mercury prediction, she’s a full 40 days of for her Mars prognostication. Mars will not enter Virgo until July 19 (actually July 20 for about 1/3 of the world).

(As a side note, about a month later on August 12 there is a VERY cool conjunction between Mars, Venus, Saturn, a thin crescent moon, AND Mercury that will be visible early in the morning evening.)

About the other part of that claim — when Mars last transited (moved through) Virgo, it did so between August 8, 2008, and October 15, 2008. It started doing this reasonably close to Saturn, though that’s almost due to definition: Saturn’s orbit around the sun takes about 30 Earth years. From 1 Earth year to the next, or even 2 Earth years to the next two, Saturn is not going to move very far in the sky. So if Mars right now is near Saturn, then the last time Mars was in this location, it was also near Saturn. But, regardless, Nazon is yet again wrong on her dates.

Final Thoughts

Perhaps I’m picking on low-hanging fruit. But this really does bug me a fair bit. In a different way than all the 2012 doomsday-sayers and young-Earth creationists. Astrologers claim that what they are doing is science. They base what they do on the motions of the planets, sun, moon, stars, and sometimes asteroids. The very least they could do is to get those motions and positions correct!

And yet again, I’ll use the refrain: If Nazon’s easy-to-see astronomy claims of where objects are when are so demonstrably wrong (and other astrologers who may be wrong like her), why should ANYONE pay the $75 an e-mail or up to $330 an hour for one of her “readings?” Heck, send me an e-mail and I’ll at least tell you where stuff is in the sky when. And I won’t charge you nearly that much.

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35 Comments »

  1. It is my understanding that Astrology as is commonly used, refers to charts that are one sign off due to precession of the Earth’s axis. So when they say “Gemini” they mean Cancer or Taurus (the latter, I think, but I can’t be arsed to look it up… I’m sure you understand what I mean though – modern astrology is a full star-sign out of astronomical reality) because their mumbo-jumbo charts don’t take into account the effects of thousands of years of precession.

    So “Mercury enters Gemini” means “Mercury enters Taurus, more or less” for an astronomer. That still doesn’t explain the mars/saturn one though.

    You ever asked a die-hard astrology follower to point out constellations at night? That’s good for a giggle.

    Comment by Evolving Squid — June 16, 2010 @ 7:07 am | Reply

    • Correct. According to astrology, the twelve signs are of equal size and start at 0h (Aries), 2h (Taurus), 4h (Gemini), etc of Right Ascension. And they are, as such, almost an entire constellation off from astronomical signs.

      Check out where the sun really is on May 22nd, when astrology says it’s entering Gemini. It’s not Nazon, it’s all of astrology.

      You should bear this in mind when tearing down astrology. Sure, it’s good for a laugh to astronomers, but astrologers will just think you’re stupid or insane. You won’t convince anybody.

      Comment by dcsohl — June 16, 2010 @ 9:30 am | Reply

    • Well Terry Nazon is not accurate at all! I paid her 75.00 to read me. Well she told me that I would meet this man and he would be in radio and tv. Terry said that he would have a lot of money and this guy would change my life. She said it would seem like a fairytale and I would ask myself could this be true. She also told me this guy would treat me like a princess.Well guess what I have yet to meet this guy! I’m still single and when the half part of the year she said all this would take place, like an idiot i called her again. I challnged what she said and she got snappy with me. Per our last conversation I am supposed tomeet him this year. she said that I would have to watch how I act in public with this guy. She said that he was high profile. She told me that I would be wealthy and money wouldn’t be an issue! LOOK! Im still pay check to pay check! No man! She did say that I would attract a lot of high end men.I guess she was right on that part they were losers! Please keep your money!!! Nothing she said ever happened and when I asked her again about him having money she said i didnt say he would be super rich…lol…guess she was broading the pick of th litter. Oh the kicker was that me and this guy was supposed to be married was suppose to happen quick…I guess it was good to dream!

      Comment by single and 75.00 short — January 20, 2011 @ 12:40 am | Reply

      • I also have talked to Terry and find she has been right – it just has been about 2 years later from when she says. And sometimes you get in the way when someone tells you something. If she told you that you were going to meet him, maybe you thought he would just come to your door and you stopped doing what you would usually do. It always happens when you are not looking or expecting it. If you want to meet a high end man, go where they are. Go to a gym, even. If you are looking at bars, you will probably not find one. Maybe that new guy will be at a new job and he’s the boss. So stop whining and do something with your life and it will happen naturally. Go to school – maybe he’s there. Check back in another year or two and let us know if it happened. Dreams do come true. A lot of money in this economy – believe it or not – is not super rich. Maybe you guys will work together and make a lot of money. So stop looking at life as one track – verbatim. Just saying…

        Comment by lisa — January 21, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

      • Hi Lisa 2years have past and nothing. Now sweetie I wanted you to know that I do get out. I wasn’t whining I just voiced my opinion. Sorry to hurt your feelings. You wrote as if you knew me and you have no clue. The time you wrote this I was in school and I go to the gym. I also lived in Atlanta and met a lot of wealthy men… Sweetie she told me that when I met him he would already be rich and very generous. I’m glad her prediction for you came true. I celebrate your joy with you… Take care and be blessed lady

        Comment by Jessica — May 26, 2014 @ 11:42 pm

    • Terry Nazon is very rude and self absorbed.i will NEVER call her again.She has been wrong about everyhing she has told me for the past 4 years.She should find a new “so called” career!!!

      Comment by kyra — September 8, 2013 @ 4:00 pm | Reply

  2. (As a side note, about a month later on August 12 there is a VERY cool conjunction between Mars, Venus, Saturn, a thin crescent moon, AND Mercury that will be visible early in the morning.)

    Cool. Though from New York, at least, it’s in the evening.

    http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=Sky+from+New+York+8%3A15pm+august+12

    (Replace “New York” with your location, and adjust the time if needed.)

    Comment by Ken B — June 16, 2010 @ 8:04 am | Reply

    • D’oh! You’re right. It’s in the evening, meaning that from Boulder it’ll be setting over the mountains — very picturesque! I’ve fixed it in the post.

      Comment by astrostu206265 — June 16, 2010 @ 8:08 am | Reply

  3. That’s great stuff, showing up her incompetence at the one thing you’d expect astrologers to get right: where things are in the sky. You left off “[sic]” following her misuses of “it’s” with an apostrophe.

    “Mercury enters Gemini it is home placement”? What’s that supposed to mean, Terry?

    Comment by Leon — June 16, 2010 @ 12:49 pm | Reply

  4. I think you (meaning collectively all astronomers) need to change the name of your field of study so it’s not so close to “astology”. I know, I know — they’re the dingbats but they’re certainly not going to change their “field’s” name and I just had a lovely conversation with somebody who kept switching the names.

    Unfortunately I’m not an astronomer, but I can imagine the feeling — it must be like being named “Yuri Teller” — “No, I CANNOT bend spoons with my mind…”.

    “What do you do?” “I’m an astronomer.” “No way, like that’s so cool, what are my lucky numbers?” “AARGH”

    Comment by Tom Callahan — June 16, 2010 @ 7:36 pm | Reply

    • I actually just returned tests to my students where the first short answer question asked why many consider astrology to be a pseudoscience. One person unfortunately half-way through her answer switched from saying “astrology” to “astronomy.” I had to deduct a point from an otherwise great answer.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — June 16, 2010 @ 7:38 pm | Reply

    • Your lucky numbers are -1, e, i, and pi – you could try using them to play the lottery, but that’d be irrational and imaginary….

      Comment by Bill Stewart — June 17, 2010 @ 3:26 pm | Reply

  5. As others have written, the difference between what this astrologer is saying about the positions of the planets, and where they actually are, may well be due to the precession of the equinoxes. Nazon is probably using the tropical zodiac that pretends the sky looks like it did when astrology was first made up a couple of thousand years ago.

    Of course, if Nazon used the sidereal zodiac, using the actual positions of the planets, she’d still be using a system based on a load of made up arbitrary rules that made no sense, just a different set of arbitrary rules that made no sense, so it wouldn’t really be any better.

    Comment by Skeptico — June 16, 2010 @ 8:22 pm | Reply

  6. I have not checked the ephemeris positions of these placements, but some or all may be accounted for by the differences in the tropical and sidereal horoscopes. In the West, most astrologers use the tropical system, which starts at 00 Aries 00 at the SVP.

    So for this whole theory to be accurate, we need to check against a tropical ephemeris, which is easy to find free online. The ephemeris equations come from the US Navy, or from Astrodienst, which garner the same results when you crunch the numbers. Yes, some astrologers can get sloppy reading the ephemeris, but usually that’s only a degree or so. And we almost all use computers to calculate.

    In actual historical fact, many astrologers are better versed in new discoveries (KBOs, SDOs, Oortoids, Centaurs, Damocloids) than many proper astronomers. There is a movement afoot since the late 1970s for astrology to become versed in the new discoveries — this starts with Chiron. I can count at least five astrologers I know personally who can run off the sequence of discoveries; who know what a semimajor axis is; who can calculate the positions; who know that 1992 QB1 was the the KBO that verified the existence of the Kuiper Belt. Astrologers were informally involved in the naming of Centaurs Pholus, Nessus, Asbolus and Chariklo, through the correspondence with the MPC and their in-depth knowledge of the myths involved. Those myths were translated out of ancient Greek by one of the astrologers — Dieter Koch.

    On the other hand, I spent the day in Paris a few years back with an astronomer who was working on the Huygens Probe who didn’t know what the tropical zodiac was. She thought astrology didn’t work because our ephemeris was wrong. I handed her a copy of Raphael’s, which gets its data from the Navy, and explained to her about the SVP. It was like the twilight zone.

    Comment by Eric Francis — June 20, 2010 @ 8:38 pm | Reply

  7. Okay Stuart — sorry, you’re not correct here. You are using a different zodiac, which is an admission of ignorance – but you’re in good company. Astrologers generally use the tropical zodiac. And like my friend who worked on the Huygens Probe, you seem to not be aware of that. Consider yourself informed.

    <>

    Here are the tropical ephemeris positions for June 7, when Mars indeed entered Virgo.

    http://snipurl.com/mars-ingress-virgo

    Comment by Eric Francis — June 20, 2010 @ 8:56 pm | Reply

    • Eric (and others), please take a look at my latest post, “Astrology vs. Astronomy: What Coordinate System to Use?” It covers this.

      And as for part of your last comment, I don’t quite see the relevance of your third paragraph. Many astronomers are not aware of several current events in their very broad field — so? I would challenge you to, for example, go up to a biologist who studies mitochondrial DNA and ask them about the latest species of frog discovered in the Amazon. It’s the same thing.

      As for whether all astronomers know about the tropical vs. the sidereal zodiac, I would argue that it doesn’t make sense for astronomers to concentrate on knowing about the tropical zodiac. It’s not what we see in the sky. Its only use – as far as I can tell – is by astrologers who have not taken into account precession. But I talk more about that in the post I wrote and linked to above.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — June 20, 2010 @ 10:27 pm | Reply

  8. They don’t need to concentrate on it, but they should know it exists, esp if they’re going to go after the reputation of an astrologer for using it.

    Comment by Eric Francis — June 21, 2010 @ 6:04 am | Reply

  9. Your role here is to say, Oops I was wrong. Now, if you want ways to go after astrologers as doing bull—- work, that’s easy, but it’s like going after securities brokers these days. The point is not that astrology doesn’t work or is not a valid system; the point is — how is it used, for what purpose, and to what level of competence? However, we can’t have this subtler discussion if the argument begins: astrology is inherently invalid.

    If you’re a scientist you should know that the lack of studies does not point to the lack of the ultimate truth. However, you are missing some studies from your discussion. Look up sTARBABY — created by my old professor, the King of Skeptics, Paul Kurtz.

    Comment by Eric Francis — June 21, 2010 @ 6:07 am | Reply

  10. Eric,

    Regarding your post that said the following:

    “… many astrologers are better versed in new discoveries (KBOs, SDOs, Oortoids, Centaurs, Damocloids) than many proper astronomers.”
    And? Astronomy is such a broad field that professional astronomers generally specialize in one area and frankly can’t keep up with advance in other fields. This is a cheap shot.

    That whole paragraph is actually about astrologers riding on the coattails of professional astronomers who do the hard work that went into those discoveries. And yet you try to turn that around and make astrologers look impressive. This is rather sleazy.

    I also check out the bio on your website and it says the following about yourself:

    “A pioneer in the field of new planet discoveries, he has worked with clients and written about astrology for wide audiences since 1995.”
    Do you have a degree in Astronomy? Do you actually do Astronomical research? Can you clarify but what makes you a pioneer in the field of new planet discoveries? I find the wording there weaselly.

    Regardless of any discussion on astrology, the onus is always on the astrologers to show hard evidence that astrology based on a real phenomenon.

    Comment by ND — June 21, 2010 @ 6:52 pm | Reply

  11. Terry Nazon doesn’t update her free astrology weekly and monthly regularly and she has lots of errors. She uses her website for her paid services that are ridiculously expensive,I don’t know who would pay for if you’ve followed her free services which she has proven she’s not accurate and unreliable,she cant even keep her site updated!!!

    Comment by carol — January 11, 2011 @ 8:37 am | Reply

    • Finally, one who shares similar observations of this woman. If only others would zero in on the details, we might get rid of Hollywood’s puppet to the stars.

      Comment by andie — January 17, 2011 @ 8:57 am | Reply

  12. I stopped reading Terry Nazon’s column entirely – it’s full of ads, which means she’s collecting revenue to keep it updated – which she NEVER does – I’d be embarrassed if I were her – but apparently it doesn’t trouble her in the least to have her site be weeks and months behind in updates – or to run the same prediction two days in a row – sloppy, sloppy, sloppy

    Comment by gerry — March 9, 2011 @ 3:36 pm | Reply

  13. [...] Terry Nazon’s Astronomy: Just Plain Wrong « ExposingI honestly don’t know if this is common to most astrologers, or if it just happens to be Terry Nazon who is, well, I’ll be polite and just say apparently ignorant of astronomy and where stuff is in the sky. [...]

    Pingback by Terry nazon | TheButlerGroup — March 13, 2011 @ 5:46 pm | Reply

  14. Terry Nazon’s new trick is to add the word “updating” to the weekly / monthly updates to make it appear she’s working on them – of course, it’s just a ploy, she’s not updating them – they remain in “updating” mode for days at a time – a monkey could construct a horoscope in the amount of time it takes for the site to update. I hope the advertisers have caught on and dropped her site from their web buys.

    Comment by Gerry — June 6, 2011 @ 8:38 pm | Reply

  15. Dear Terry

    I see that your readers are fed up with you not updating the monthly and weekly horoscopes. Cant you see that once you get used to an astrologer and associate with their readings, it is most annoying when the following week there is no update. Please consider your reader’s feelings.

    Or is it true you just do it for the advertising money? I hope not.

    Leo…..7 Oct 2011

    Comment by Tansel Mustafa — October 7, 2011 @ 9:41 am | Reply

    • She obviously has bigger fish to fry than to maintain her site – I hope all of her advertisers are on to her tricks by now.

      Comment by Gerry — November 2, 2011 @ 9:38 am | Reply

  16. If you send her a note to ask when the site will be current, she says she’s busy doing readings – whatever, I don’t even bother to check out her site anymore – I know it’ll just be “updating” – like some continuous loop of “sorry, didn’t get to it AGAIN”

    Comment by Gerry — November 2, 2011 @ 9:38 am | Reply

  17. I’m currently thanking God for opinionated “put it out there for all’ individuals such as the composer of “Exposing PseudoAstronomy” because I was literally minutes away from purchasing a year premium package that includes 30 hrs a month consultation with Terry Nazon and 3 printable reports (the report type is limited to a select group, not reports of choice) when I accidentally came across this. I’m not saying I’m sold on the words you’ve written here because the truth is i never considered the what, where, why, or who of astrology before yesterday evening and I couldn’t tell you where anything is in the sky or where to begin to find out. You certainly did save me from my random few and far between acts of “obsessive compulsive dive right in full throttle, I’m a true believer hooked for life, count me in moves” that was just about to pay a 2000.00 introductory fee for (2000. that I don’t just have lying around collecting dust) truth is my money doesn’t have the time or opportunity to wrinkle or wear before I pass it on to it’s next destination much less accumulate dust. I was certainly about to type in my card number and figure out alternative resources when the time came, such as “Damn it’s dinner time and ??? what in the world will I feed the kids tonight” at 6 o’clock tonight and at every other mealtime for the month that follows. Thank You, I’m not sure I even realize just how thankful I am to you at this moment. I can’t imagine the feelings that will come along later once I’ve logged off I rethink this mornings events and close call.
    Long story short…. Late last night I was trying to come up with a fool proof plan so that my journaling (which is essential in my world) I’m got 36 years I need to direct, sort, and organize before next year can make any sense to me. Ive got more than 40 college ruled composition booked filled with “you name it, it’s in there” front to back, cover to cover and it’s written just as my thoughts process. A prime example of the reasons people are encouraged to journal and clearly I should’ve been researching successful journaling opposed to astronomy. I wish I’d thought of that before I had invested 6 and counting hours of my last 2 days doing this. Though it could be worse, I could’ve entered that visa number. My need is to keep it simple, brief, and concentrated on 1 at the most 2 focal points per daily journal entries so I can later make sense of it. (determining cause, effects, feelings, emotions, repercussions, solutions, and ultimately resolve) I know that makes me sound like one hopeless case load but really it’s not as it sounds, the journaling is for the phenomenal, extraordinary, great, good, indifferent, low, bad, down right bottom of the barrel and or bottle times…. all the same. It’s not full of 36 years of traumatic life experiences. This comment that started off to be a quick Thank You for opening my eyes to “think before you make a 2000. purchase of something i know nothing about” I read her web page after googling “renowned professional astronomers” (I believe she was the 1st to appear) and before I was 1/2 way through her site I had gone from being as reluctant as one could be when it comes to looking back, living current, or looking forward in general. I’ve never been in the very least observant, attentive, or interested in anything outside of motherhood which I entered 9 years ago and again 2 1/2 years ago, so I’ve yet to get my feet wet. What I’m trying to say is…. predictions, the need to know, anxieties of whats to come or go or catch on fire and burn down to the ground has never been a topic of thought in my busy idle mind. Until this morning all I knew about was “horoscope” intended for entertainment 1/2 way through the morning paper and far more often than not I’d skip it then. I never knew what it had originated from how or why and didn’t care. I can remember a handful of times when i was overwhelmed with excitement, anticipating something big, or my mind had become so consumed with a thought or idea that I had targeted in and zeroed in on causing what seemed to a major malfunction if anything was or became expected of me. (for example…. the thought of successful journal landed me in this “Astrology is the most powerful of all the world” (aside from God of course) I’ve always had some what of a strong fait and direct beliefs, another reason why prediction and getting your verdict before trial was simply entertainment and those who put their faith and money in such a thing had more issues than carter had pills. (My life long opinion) ok I’m gonna focus so I can finish up here, that’s if you didn’t quit reading 15 minutes ago. Any ways those hand full of times that I was consumed by whatever and I happened to read my daily horoscope and it wasn’t anything besides dead on and even brought me relief, I chalked it up to Gods desperate to reach me, he’s speaking to me through horoscopes and on an average day that my horoscope seemed to suit me well…. It also suited 8 out 10 of it’s readers and the rest of america regardless of their sign. I’m a Leo and I must admit the description of a Leo is very much in sync with me as a whole. So my big journaling success idea was not to journal about specifics of yesterdays, today, and possibilities of tomorrow or the day when and if one of my children become a lawyer or doctor or they need braces and or glasses, or will they go onto college, if the opportunity arrises for them to attend an Ivy league school how would I afford it or the opposite end of the spectrum “knock on wood” that is doesn’t become my life battling with an out of control teen or my children still living in my house at 40, unemployed, and me hiding my money, anything that resembled the possible look of value, my car keys and locking my bedroom door at night because the only thing left to sell is me in my sleep to support their habit. The fear of a tragic accident or a terminal physical illness is the only the that doesn’t cross my mind concerning my kids, most parents biggest fears. My Idea was to write my daily horoscope from the daily paper (3 lines) and write what and how ir did or didn’t pertain to me. I got ready to try out my idea when I realized the paper had already been trashed and taken out. (I’ll dig through some trash if it’s a must as long as it isn’t my trash, when I tie my garbage bags I look at the contents and sloppiness and swear that it isn’t normal. So I logged on and googled daily horoscopes clicked on the 1st one and jotted down my scope and proceeded as planned, It was suiting and In took 3 1/4 less paper and added an hour 1/2 wait time on corporal tunnel, I have no physical conditions and never have but for the life of me I can’t figure how I’ve escaped it the far. It felt very powerful when I was writing and more powerful when I reviewed it. I rarely review because what I write sounds so senseless and ridiculously ludicrous because it as no structure to it. I’m every where when I start writing with no chance of my entry having any clarity what so ever. If you started reading or are still reading you know exactly what I’m talking about. I was so enthused that this idea might actually be the key for me while saving countless trees that I back dated to the day before horoscope and the results were consistent so I decided to shop sites to see if I preferred one over another. I went through countless sites reading today, yesterday, tomorrow, weekly, monthly, and yearly overviews. being it’s mid August I had 8 months to compare my yearly to and all of them on every site seemed to be directed specifically at me. I must of read 200 one after another that left me feel exactly like I had when I credited God for those handful of precise scopes. I was overwhelmed by the thought of considering I had been so obvious to this all these years and had I looked to the stars journaling wouldn’t be a critical implement today and I’d have all the clarity anyone could have. In a moment of lucidity I thought anyone can start these sites, including myself and people would utilize it and why not at the very least it’s entertaining and it’s free. I went back through and started reading random signs from these sites expecting them to pertain to me or my life as well because like my early years initial thought “It’s all in perception and i believed if you had 30 people (not of the same sign as me, all random signs) and I’d bet 25 of them would be like OMG this is me all day long. Not only did nothing I read seem directed at me but the majority of them could in no way be confused that It might have been intended for me. At this point I’m intrigued and all my attention is fully invested but I know in life “WE GET WHAT WE PAY FOR” (typically) and not knowing if astrology was even a professional or not. I had the impression that astrology was a hobby and nothing more, probably because I recall knowing a kid that didn’t have a telescope at one time or another. I couldn’t tell you the number figure of how many telescopes Ive seen in peoples houses over the years and current but I can tell you I haven’t once seen one used. Telescope: binoculars on steroids I’m aware of how ignorant I sound and believe me I just as ignorant. So I searched Renowned predictors of astrology and there I found Terry and boy was she pricy so she must be good. (Ignorance again, I know) I read every word on her site and of course I couldn’t get the full details of anything on my sign without viewing more that came with a price tag and all the different type of reports and what each had to offer was as enticing as anything I ever wanted. I decided to go big or go home and decided on the 2000. membership and the thought crossed my mind “I wonder if Oprah has a specific astrologer she swears by and said to myself before I settle and find something else later I wished I’d subscribed to instead let me research 5 more minutes. My next search was “Oprah Winfrey Terry Nazon and I didn’t see anything with Oprah’s name and clicked on here thinking it was some sort of accredited acknowledgment she had received and here I am Bewildered by the idea that if this had been a rave review and nothing other than what it is I’d be 2000. in the hole today and chances our like most addictions that suck a person in that 2000. would’ve been the pennies I used to anti up and that college fund I mentioned previously would’ve been in the pot before all was said and done if it were to ever end. I’ve decided while writing this that the freebies exceeded my expectations beyond all belief and perfectly served it’s purpose that there isn’t reason to buy the cow when I can get the milk for free. However I am genuinely interested in learning more about astrology but I want to gain knowledge of what astrology is and see if I develop a new interest but I’m hesitant to start googling because I wouldn’t know if my source was creditable or not and face the chance of being herded into a prediction cult (that’s me being dramatic and sarcastic) so if you have any suggestions for a good web site or books that won’t cost me a fortune I’d be interested in hearing them and Thank You again. I’ve written so much that I lost that costly burning passion that I thought was burning me alive a few hours ago.

    Melissa aka Astronomy Dummy

    out of curiosity… Is the course of study Astronomy or astrology and what is the difference between the two? Is this taught strictly as a college course or earlier on during mandatory schooling? I don’t ever recall learning anymore about what lies above other than the little we went over in science class.

    Comment by Melissa — August 17, 2012 @ 10:57 am | Reply

    • Melissa, without trying to sound snooty, a basic difference is that astronom is a science, while astrology is magical thinking.

      A slightly more detailed description is that astronomy is the science of studying the universe, from asteroids to planets to stars to galaxies to everything as a whole. Astrology is a belief system that the positions of planets and other things relative to other stars as they appear in our sky have some sort of magic influence on you.

      And I’m not being flippant when I say “some sort of magic influence.” If you ask ten astrologers how astrology works, you’ll get eleven different answers. If you ask different astrologers how to even make a prediction, they have different answers (see this post about that).

      Besides not knowing how it’s supposed to work and not knowing a mechanism of why it would work, it has been rigorously tested before and never shown to actually do any better than chance predictions. You would literally be just as well off if you flipped a coin or used a Magic 8 Ball.

      My intent is not to really be hostile towards astrology, I know there are many otherwise very intelligent people who believe in it, and there are some very well-meaning astrologers who believe that what they do is real. But when you get right down to it, it has never been demonstrated to make reliable predictions nor is there any plausible physical mechanism for it to work (why should Neptune, a planet 50x farther away from Earth than Mars is, have the same amount of influence? and why should that influence depend on where it appears to be in our sky relative to an imaginary shape that someone drew connecting those stars together a few thousand years ago?). And, it parts people from their money.

      Astronomy, on the other hand, as a science, is always subject to testing by objective and demonstrable means. Many schools teach some basic astronomy as part of grade school curriculum (I think my district taught it in 3rd and 8th grades), but VERY few high schools have a separate class on it. It is taught at many colleges and universities.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — August 17, 2012 @ 11:14 am | Reply

  18. Why don’t scientists focus on their Science. Are they so bored that they need to try and dumb down Astrologers. We all have our own ideas and you people should realize that there are some great Astrologers out there. So who the —- cares if it’s not a science. Terry Nazon is a loser who needs to stop ass kissing Hollywood losers like Patti Stanger. Maybe if she spent more time on her website and less time bragging about stars she has never read like Kate Hudson and Oprah she would come across way more likeable. Just sayin

    Comment by Olga — August 27, 2012 @ 5:29 pm | Reply

  19. First, kudos to the author :-) Second: Here is something for a giggle: http://www.freelancer.com/projects/Web-Security/Cyber-Security.html Apparently, the above-mentioned astrologer with so deep understanding of the stars and planets needs a cyber wizard to find who wrote this article :)

    Comment by techinso — September 24, 2012 @ 1:43 am | Reply

    • Yes, I am aware of that page and a few other things that I should not comment on.

      Comment by Stuart Robbins — September 24, 2012 @ 10:19 am | Reply

  20. Hey man…Astrology works, at-least for me. I do read Terry’s column and I don’t know the science but all the major events in my life were accurately predicted. Science fails to understand certain things as there are barriers to science as well. It’s like, you cannot prove God’s existence, but you cannot refute it as magical thinking.

    Most scientists claim big theories on how the universe was formed from a small black hole expanding and all, I find it a butt load of crap! There’s clearly some universal higher power and there are somethings that you or I cannot understand. So why not stay out of it and stop hating on people !

    Comment by Steve R — October 24, 2012 @ 11:45 pm | Reply

  21. her website is garbage at best- weekly forecast never ready for reading on monday?? hello, weekly forecast, not three day forecast as her weekly is done updating by wed. if your lucky.

    Comment by glen rodgers — December 18, 2012 @ 10:40 am | Reply

  22. As the lady Lisa suggested I should give a report in 2years… I wrote a comment about Terry saying I would meet this rich man and it would be a fairytale kind of romance and he would shower me with gifts…Well… Still nothing! As I write this I smile. 2014 didn’t come with a rich man but it has been amazing so far. When I called Terry I wanted answers…looking for the silver lining. Terry gave me hope but I guess I never needed her and her false predictions. I paid $75 for a story to help me get through. It was a beautiful day in the land of make believe. Look I may not meet my millionaire but I do know a great man is coming my way and I will be ready for him!

    Comment by Jessica — May 26, 2014 @ 11:36 pm | Reply


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