The Astrological Journal July 2016
Victor Olliver's Editorial
Forecasting, fence-sitting and the US presidency
Forecasting is one of the great headaches of astrology. Some stargazers desist from the prediction game altogether in the wake of what might be termed politely 'outcome malfunctions'. Thereafter they seek refuge in sophisticated chart deconstruction and fence-sitting - which may very well be the wisest option to avoid embarrassment. After all, we know that the horoscope does not speak our language. No chart on Earth says plainly, "Hillary Clinton will be the 45th US President", or some such. We must divine this possibility from an interpretation of disinterested patterns and placements in a symbolic map (of perhaps Narnian strangeness) and somehow apply this knowledge to the living breathing circus of reality, assuming our approximations are correct. At The Astrological Journal, we do not have a fear of failure. The very fact that interpretationis an art pre-supposes the peril of mistranslation. So if the forecast is wrong, it's not the astrology that's at fault but the analyst...
To assess the outcome of the US Presidential Election 2016, I invited a respected traditionalist and a super-zingy Kuiper belt ultra-modernist to showcase their techniques. They were not compelled to reach a conclusion - but sneakily I knew from their work that both have the courage of their interpretations to identify specific outcomes. Peter Stockinger (the trad) names the next Prez while Sue Kientz delivers a devastating astro-profile of Donald Trump. Her piece also unwittingly takes us to another area of forecasting, namely the extent to which one's own perspective may influence astrological judgement. My own view is that total objectivity is generally impossible and we do ourselves no favours by claiming otherwise. What at least is required is a rigorous, honest and informed chart reading - and no matter Sue's apparent distaste for Trump, there can be no doubting the brilliance of her scholarship. She allows the celestials (including the Dwarfs) to speak.
I had planned to row back a bit from media astrology. Many of you I know think Sun-sign stuff to be a beastly misrepresentation of our subtle practice, so as an act of compassion I was ready to give the solarscope a rest (for a while). And then one of the world's best known newspaper stargazers passed away, requiring special acknowledgement in this issue. Jonathan Cainer's death at just age 58 is a great loss not just to his loved ones and countless friends but his tens of millions of readers of the Daily Mail,Hello! and many other publications here and overseas. In our tribute, Correlation editor Pat Harris reveals that Jonathan was on the quiet a fervent supporter of serious astrological research. His media columns always invited readers to reflect on their lives through philosophical perspectives, using metaphor to encourage active self-searching, not glib forecasts to encourage passive consumption of nugget-sized banalities. His place at the Mail has been taken by his gifted nephew, Oscar, who talks to us in this issue. We wish him very well.
The huge public reaction to Cainer's passing - as measured in media and social media commentary - is itself an illustration of the priceless value of the Sun-sign column in keeping astrology alive in mainstream culture, notwithstanding its over-simplicity at times. Let's cherish those with the gift to disseminate astrology to mass audiences.
This is the editorial from the July 2016 edition of the Astrological Journal, the UK's premier astrological magazine.