Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Astrology for the Masses


March 3, 2006


Dear Eric,


Hello. My name is Kristen. I met you many years ago in Ulster County. You did some chart work for me. I don't necessarily expect you to remember me without me giving you more information and that's okay. I am happy to see how you have grown over the years, both personally and in your writing and bringing astrology to the masses. You have grown by leaps and bounds. Hats off. Today I purchased a quarterly subscription to the newsletter because I hear good things about it. And because I have always trusted you, I have remained a devoted reader of your monthly horoscopes all these years. Here is my question: I do believe in the validity of astrology and particularly your readings. But I am curious as to how mass readings are effective when I was under the impression that astrology is very individual and in fact when doing a chart you get quite specific in terms of time of birth and location. How is it that so many people can share the same reading? I am sure that you are very busy but any time you can give to this question would be appreciated.


Thank you Kristen



Dear Kristen,


Good to hear from you after so long. This question comes up in many forms, and I've answered it many times; so part of what I'll do is refer you to some additional resources in a moment that unpack the subject of newspaper horoscopes.


It may seem like there is a big difference between what an astrologer reading your natal chart does with a lot of detailed information, and what a newspaper astrologer does knowing nothing about you per se. In reality, the difference is not as big as it seems, and it is astrology itself that the two processes have in common.


Perhaps a metaphor or two will suffice to convey the idea. It's possible to take a picture of a willow tree and show it to someone and they will easily recognize it. It's also possible to have a DNA sample of that tree and the right scientist can confirm that it came from a willow tree. One gives you only minimal information; one provides a lot of highly specific data. In both cases, the tree is recognizable from an image.


Let's go a step further. A poet could look at a picture of a willow tree and write a few descriptive lines that characterize the tree, in such a way that most people would recognize. You could say:


A great old creature, loose and swaying, but somehow sure

Craving water, she'll crack pipes of steel drink it pure.

Roots reaching into the ground, where her branches end

When the great rains come, she survives, because she bends.


Now, we don't need a DNA sample of a willow tree to write that, or to recognize the image that is presented, or even to find some personal meaning in it -- or to actually learn something about willow trees.


So, the simplest answer to your question is that astrology gives enough information that it works on any level, whether a writer comes up with something simple in a horoscope column, or a natal astrologer does precise calculations for your chart. A lot of it involves how well the astrologer recognizes an image in the planets, how well they describe it, and to a real extent, how intuitive they are.


Short horoscopes can be accurate without giving every detail. And, the one detail they give, or the confirmation of a situation they may provide, may be enough to get the job done that day.


Remember that with any form of communication, we all bring our own interpretation. This is true whether a person is reading a technical article, seeing a Shakespeare play, or reading a horoscope. Whether it's done intentionally or not, a horoscope column uses this quality of perception: we each bring our own meaning, and the writer and the reader engage in a little collaboration.


So, while on the one hand you could say they are "general readings written for millions of people," it's also accurate to say they are the work of one unique writer, read by an individual reader, and this is about as personal as it gets.


Thanks for your question, Kristen.


Here are a few articles on horoscope columns, which will give you all you need to know to start writing them yourself.


Go Figure


How Do I Write Horoscopes?


How Could it Possibly Work?


The Cosmic Voice of Reason