by Charles Ostman – Historian of the Future
The global internet ecosystem, and numerous media entities, including realtime interactive social media platforms flourishing in this virtual ecosystem, has become the extreme, collective accelerant for this phenomena. Time is being compressed into ever shorter timescales, in an evermore ubiquitous connectivity matrix, mapped against increasing complexity in an irreversibly different world from what was the “norm” of a few decades ago. The scale and speed of social media influence in the internet ecosystem to foment near instantaneous reaction to various stimuli (real and imagined) has no previous precedent.
Every era has its own unique features of existence metrics for the majority of various populations, catalyzed and accelerated by economic conditions, political movements, cultural transitions, “naturally” occurring phenomena, and so on. Various indices are utilized to determine the status of the demographics and populations being affected, and their evolving responses. These indices can range from consumer confidence, to various market forecasts, political orientation factors, and myriad other such indices. The metric cited here could be termed as the “reality confidence index”.
About 25 years ago I used the term “convergence syndrome” to describe what was then an emergent but still somewhat theoretical model, similar to other writings of the time (Kevin Kelley’s “Out of Control”, 1992, and other similar examples). There was much comparison to biological systems dynamics, myself included (“Internet as an Organism: Emergent Human / Internet Symbiosis”, 1996), extending into economic systems models (Michael Rothschild, “Bionomics: Economy as an Ecosystem”, 1992), societal evolution metrics and so on.
There are numerous other such published examples, relevant as an early start point for those interested in exploring this history.
The impending convergence syndrome
Within the internet ecosystem, the various emergent media engines flourished and thrived on evermore provocative, near realtime “situational pheromones” to attract attention, gain currency in followers and supporters. Very much like what is observed in living systems, strategies evolved to become more noticeable, distinguishable from the surrounding entities competing for nourishment and growth in a highly competitive ecosystem. What has evolved is a self-accelerating feedback loop, in which the more extreme and emotionally simplistic situational pheromones offered become proportional to gaining the most desired results (audience) and marketshare. This goes far beyond the surface veneer of “clickbait”, the contrived instantaneous cognition lures designed to capture immediate audience attention.
Many of the earlier futurists and strategic forecasters were often focused on visions of spectacular economic growth (despite the speculative.com bust which crushed many early internet startups), others had visions of an emergent “global brain” that would collectively elevate the human populations to a new horizon of educational growth, cultural awareness, acceptance of divergent points of views and beliefs, or alternatively, plunge the world into a global scale extinction event for the human species and so on (Global Brain Awakens: Our Next Evolutionary Leap – 1995, Peter Russell).
Although the more popular, hopeful “woke” version is what many wanted to focus on, not everyone was immersed in the quasi utopian vision of what this might become, but instead were taking a more cautionary approach, speculating on a collection of more severe, unexpected consequences (myself among them). It is, of course, true that there are many remarkably prolific, positive and productive attributes which have been spawned from this global internet ecosystem, the ubiquitous computing grid and their networks, which would have never been possible in previous times. However, the accelerating scale and rate of this evolutionary transition also requires collective, evolutionary adaptation to correlate with this transition.
What I saw coming was a phenomena termed here as the “convergence syndrome” (Fig 1). The three major catalyzing, synergistically interrelated components of the convergence syndrome are planetary scale connectivity radically increasing, situational and strategic complexity accelerating, and major consequential decision boundaries and agendas compressed into ever shorter time lines.
As is often suggested, evolution tends to favor the most adaptive, not just merely the “fittest” in a given moment of time. The rate of adaptation needs to correspond with the accelerating pace of evolutionary transition being encountered, lest be faced with the fate of becoming evermore irrelevant (and eventually dysfunctional) in the emergent new ecosystem. This aspect becomes particularly extreme in societal systems and social enclaves within.
Fig 1. The three major elements of the “convergence syndrome”, catalyzing an increasing retreat into more fundamentalist religion at one end of the social spectrum, and further retreat into utopian “new age” mythology at the other end. This is actually a slide from a series of my presentations given 20 – 25 years ago. What was then still a somewhat theoretical model is now the emergent norm, with measurable data.
Existence management fatigue, expressed in fundamentalist religion and utopian mythology
The outcome from this is a form of social bifurcation, a dividing line between those who can and will adapt accordingly, and others who go in the other direction, a collective retreat toward tenaciously clinging to a simpler time, when there were staunchly enforced belief systems with rigidly defined “rules” of existence that the population was expected to abide by. This is expressed in the context of fundamental religious models, extrapolating into political orientations and purportedly “traditional” social models.
This mechanism is magnified in the internet ecosystem, and the myriad media engines thriving within, which have become evermore adaptive to perceived successful growth characteristics implied in this ecosystem, that being, having the most competitively selective “situational pheromones” wins. This requirement translates into catering toward the more extreme elements of the targeted demographics, particularly those prone toward more simplistic, emotionally provocative content and caricatures that they can immediately identify and find familiar comfort with.
This migration toward political and cultural extremes can and does become manifest in both far right and far left ends of the societal spectrum. Extremism in this competitive ecosystem becomes the more successful profit center in this context, as various media engines are swayed by these cultural currents and are compelled to further foster these orientations.
Artifacts of this cultural belief system bifurcation at opposite ends of the societal spectrum is partially evident, for example, with the inverse correlation between evangelicalism, and belief in astrology (Fig 2).
Political and social opportunists are very aware of this, and utilize this phenomena for their own agendas. The emergence of “deep fake” content being interchangeable with reality is becoming the new norm. The differences between reality and fiction, the boundaries between parody and genuine content, is becoming evermore indistinguishable. The Orwellian world of doublespeak and implied “truth morphology” is shifting from speculative fiction to the currently evolving norm.
Fig 2. Diametrically opposed correlation between being a “good” evangelical and astrology, yet despite their radically opposing beliefs, both have very similar belief system dynamics, dependent entirely on devoted, unquestioning belief in their respective cultural mythology platforms.
– Pew Research
It’s not at all surprising and unexpected that there is a form of “existence management fatigue” becoming apparent. For many, being burdened with the increasing vicissitudes of daily life, trying to manage their personal financial fates, faced with a crushing influx of daunting scenarios hovering overhead (climate change, pandemics, looming economic collapse, global geopolitical intrigues, etc.), there is a limit on their situational bandwidth to process countless media streams, often with conflicting (or completely make believe) narratives.
A substantial amount of intellectual effort is required to sift through the often heavily biased media streams and apply critical thinking skills to extract what might be the best approximation of the reality being queried. This becomes even more demanding as historical context is often needed to evaluate whatever the narrative of the moment is being presented.
Outsourcing reality into alternative mythology worlds as a growth industry
Into this mix, comes a sense of frustration, just wanting to do an endrun around the limitations of the real world crushing in. Out of this comes a revived fervor for believing in [fill in the blank] versions of religion, magical mythology, manifestation fantasy, and so on, whichever provides the desired emotional comfort of a familiar, simpler, understandable world and hoped for expectations. It was in this context, I took an interest in probing what has become a growth industry in recent times, the marketing of outsourced reality in the form of “magical mythology solutions” to solve their problems, answer their questions, predict their future, guide their lives, tell them who they are as a person and who they should be with, and so on.
Full disclosure here, this latest investigation into this phenomena actually came about quite by accident. There are a number of question and answer (Q&A) websites and blogs, where people, oriented toward various interests are grouped together, and can exchange questions and answers in the particular category of interest they are associated with. On a major Q&A site (not named here), with many thousands of participants, I was associated with several science and physics related groups.
Somehow, one of my interactions on the site, related to cosmology and astronomy, got mixed together with an astrology related category (yes, I know, ancient astrology was a sort of primordial precursor to early astronomy, very much aware of that history). Suddenly, a never ending stream of astrology questions started to appear. Soon, this expanded into the mystical mythology worlds of “manifestation”, subliminals, tarot card readings, psychics, fortune tellers, palmistry, witchcraft and spells, mystical magic, mediums and more.
What was interesting was the serious beliefs that many expressed, truly believing that if they had the right readings, or astrology chart, or ritual, or recitations, whatever for [fill in the blank] mythology belief system, that their expectations would be met, their wishes granted, their fantasies fulfilled, and so on. Life becomes more manageable, predictable, the often daunting uncertainties of the real world fades into the background, supplanted by an imaginary, emotionally comforting fantasy world. Many of these questions came in from young people, even children, still in school, or just starting out in life, which is somewhat understandable.
However, not a small number of these were coming in from grown adults. Perhaps driven by desperation, or an emotional eagerness to believe in the [fill in the blank] mythology solution to magically solve their problems and improve their lives, it was compelling evidence to indicate how far this type of mystical belief dependency had extended into various populations.
I fully recognize that there are various practitioners who will often go into elaborate mental gymnastics with impressively important sounding (and strategically vague, make believe) narratives to explain the credibility of their particular brand of [fill in the blank] self proclaimed mystic powers and expertise in their chosen mystic mythology related field.
Fig 2. Example of growth in US user astrology apps, 2016 – 2021. This growth curve has been further accelerated with the advent of the COVID19 pandemic, and looming global economic uncertainty. This trend extends far beyond the US, into much of the industrialized world.
Belief system dynamics
Please note, this is not intended as a “hit piece” on astrology. Some historical reference is described here, to indicate how this elaborate mythology platform, in its various forms and versions, came into existence, and was later crafted and reinvented into the current mythology platforms that so many find solace in. The focal point here is to demonstrate how this particular realm of ancient mythology has remained so prominent, reinvented and catalyzed into a growth industry, from the “new age” believers of the mid 20th century, well into the 21st century, and accelerated even more so in recent times.
If anything, an argument cam be made that astrology and other “new age” catalyzed ancient mythologies has become the new religion of this demographic. Much has been written about this from various perspectives (How millennials replaced religion with astrology and crystals – L.A. Times, 2019, and similar content), but however this has been categorized, the phenomena itself is quite evident.
I truly don’t care what we want to believe, if it brings them emotional comfort, fulfills a spiritual quest, or whatever it is that resonates well within the person.
Where it starts going off the rails, however, is when questions come in, with wildly unrealistic expectations, or serious, addictive dependency on make believe mythology to solve all their problems, magically make things happen or “predict” their future life for them, provide answers for their potentially life altering decisions, and so on.
The seemingly endless, 24/7 stream of astrology questions that have appeared range from business investment forecasting, stock market trades, expecting a specific answer for starting a business, which college to attend, changing jobs, travelling abroad for a new career, will they pass the important exam, and so on, to wildly hopeful (delusionary) expectations, asking when will they become famous, how soon will they have [fill in the blank], large amounts of money, properties, when will they become a [fill in the blank], pop star, actor, performer, and beyond, into truly bizarre territory.
Others are more focused on relationships, when will they [fill in the blank], get married, find their true flame, what will their children be like, and so on. At least in those cases, this has more to do with emotional comfort, rather than wanting hard evidence for when the expected whatever is supposed to magically happen, all of which is based entirely on the relative positions of planets and imaginary zodiac constellations at the exact time of birth.
Questions have even appeared asking if they could alter the time of birth on their certificate, so they can adjust to a more favorable astrological prediction, and other schemes for mechanically altering their “official” birth details to make the desired astrological adjustments.
Reality confidence index
Some of these practitioners genuinely believe in their “mystic” services, others are just fake scams, but the point here is that if people are lured into believing any of this, they are essentially opting out of the real world, hoping that their chosen mythology fantasy world will somehow make everything OK, or get them what they desire via magical mythology means.
Astrology is the example briefly examined here, though there are various other forms of mystic mythology extrapolated into the current “new age” industry, reinvented and repackaged to suit the aesthetics and expectations that these modern and emergent markets best respond to.
This tends to be a consequence of targeted marketing and absurdly exaggerated claims that are omnipresent on impressive looking websites and social media, aimed at the exceptionally gullible or emotionally needy customers they are hoping to lure into their business. In some cultures, this belief system is still present in their religious paradigms, but has been greatly reinvented as a potentially lucrative business venture and profit center.
The point here is that tracking the increased emergence of astrology, manifestation, and similar related products and services, along with other categories of interest in the “mystic arts” industry can and does serve as an indicator of the aforementioned “reality confidence index”, affected by perceived challenges and uncertainties of current times, having crossed into the territory of existence management intrigue.
“ . . . young people’s attraction to astrology parallels the generational rise in anxiety and technology addiction” – Financial Times
Fig 3. The constellation Orion, as seen from Earth, and as actual stellar distribution, as “seen” from a different coordinate in 3D space. The actual distances of these stars, from each other and the Earth, are many trillions of miles (light years) apart, and yet ancient astrological mythology viewed the stars and planets as being mixed together in our solar system as a sort of celestial ecosystem, populated with imaginary constellations. – image courtesy of NASA
In the Beginning . . .
In its earliest inceptions, astrology was basically a seasonal, celestial calendar system, using the nightly positions of imaginary star constellations at specific times of the year (depending on the particular type of calendar in use at the time) to measure seasonal transitions, and also plotting out the transitory, non-linear movement of the planets (retrograde motion), often referred to as the “wanderers”, because they did not describe a linear movement through the sky like the stars.
It should be noted that plotting out these nonlinear planetary movements over considerable lengths of time was the result of sophisticated observations of the time. Being able to correlate their relative positions as they appeared “near” or in among the various star groups (constellations) was actually very useful for seafarers, as this became a sort of celestial, organic GPS to enable more accurate navigation on the open seas.
It was common practice to draw imaginary lines between stars in certain groups, which made it much easier to track which sets of stars were at specific locales in the sky. Of course, these constellations were given names, often modeled after various mythological figures, deities, gods and goddesses, and so on, including what would eventually become the zodiac constellations.
Constellations (depending on which culture) were invented to create groups of stars that could be correlated with seasonal calendar measurements, and various mythologies, including astrology in its various forms. Although the actual reasoning for the planets describing their non-linear plots through the skies would not be discovered until millennia later, it did indicate a level of sophistication and patience in the caliber of measurement and observation needed to make this possible.
There was no conception of where the planets actually were in 3D spatial coordinates, as they were only seen as points of light projected into a 2D hemispherical sky. The fact that these planets are 100s of millions of miles apart, even when they appeared to be “conjunctioned” near each other in the sky (an optical illusion), was completely unknown and irrelevant in the mythology that was invented on these celestial movements.
This was at a time when the common belief was that the Earth was flat, the sun revolved around the Earth, and that the night sky was actually a huge dome that covered the Earth, with the glowing dots in the sky (planets and stars) were somehow intersecting with this sky dome.
It was believed that when 2 planets appeared “close” to each other in the sky, as a “conjunction” (which they never are), there was some sort of mystical energy occurring, or that when the planets appeared close to one of the imaginary constellations (zodiac signs), there was no comprehension that the stars were actually many trillions of miles (light years) away from anything in the solar system, and from each other.
In that context, in a somewhat limited way, the earlier versions of astrology could be seen as a sort of pre-cursor to what would later become the primordial beginnings of celestial astronomy.
However, that’s where the astronomy aspect leaves off, and the ancient superstitious belief systems of the times (often tied into various religious sects) drifted away from anything factual, and much more into the realms of mythology and supposedly “mystic” or “sacred” knowledge.
It should be noted, in all fairness, that there were remarkably ingenious methods applied to actually understand that the Earth was indeed a sphere, and not flat. The mathematician Eratosthenes made an amazing attempt at measuring the approximate circumference and diameter of the Earth (~540 BC), quite a spectacular feat for the time.
However, amazing as this feat was, and others from those ancient centuries did make some very interesting efforts at refining this type of measurement, and even began to recognize that the sky was more than just a huge dome covering the Earth, this was not really part of the common culture, as it was seen more in the context of a competing philosophy against the accepted norms of the time.
This is where reality started to diverge away from observable, verified phenomena, and drifted ever further into the more “acceptable” mythology that was as much a part of the de facto religion as it was part of a perceived understanding of the Earth and the surrounding cosmos. It became more of a priority to preserve the philosophical constructs that fit and supported the accepted mythical and religious narratives, rather than to go toward where the early observations, experiments, measurements and actual science of the time lead to (Fig 4).
Fig 4. The “acceptable” geocentric, flat Earth model, under the sky dome, beyond which was depicted as heaven. It is in this general contextual model that ancient astrological sky maps and charts were initially conceived, and mystical properties were generally established. In astrological variations of that general model, the celestial sky dome was populated with planets and imaginary zodiac constellations, interactive in a philosophically imagined astrological ecosystem.
Flammarion engraving, 1888 – Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Different religious sects and other types of belief domains and cults became evermore competitive in claiming to be the only “real” or true version of astrology, very much in the same way that various religions themselves competed for public belief system marketshare.
Over the centuries, evermore elaborate and complex embellishments kept getting added to the [fill in the blank] versions or sects of astrology. No matter how seemingly complex or impressively important looking the detail minutia conjured up from elaborate charts and “professional” astrologers with important sounding titles appeared to be, none of it actually related to anything in the real world. Elaborate philosophical embellishments became codified in various books, further reenforcing the supposed validity of the proclaimed astrological narratives of the particular version of interest (Fig 5).
Fig 5. Astrological, geocentric Ptolemaic system model, with the Earth contained within the spherical firmament, and its imagined celestial zodiac constellations, circa 1531. – U. of Oregon
(It should be noted that though the Vedic system had different cosmological details, the general geocentric universe model, with its structural distribution of astrologically relevant celestial bodies and constellations had many similarities.)
Because it says so . . .
Out of this general process came the various versions of astrological theory and philosophical constructs that have been the object of devotion and belief to this very day. As various astrologers will sometimes provide highly detailed “readings” and analysis of the astrological consequences of planetary movements and stellar locations at a specific moment in time, the explanation used to verify any of this always circles back to the philosophical starting point of that particular belief system, because “it says so” in the astrology texts.
Planets were assigned mythical properties, representing different personality types and behaviors, and imaginary constellations were assigned elaborate iconic identities with their unique mythological details and attributes. This is what astrology was initially based on.
There is no correlation with any credible, factual phenomena of anything, or even a potential theory for how any of this might work, except that “it says so” in the ancient texts. Reference to the “four elements” (air earth wind and fire) which is part of the astrologically defined personality type profiles, does not correlate with anything elemental, these are imaginary philosophical constructs from those ancient times, to offer explanations for the otherwise unexplainable, from which emerged the various astrological narratives that are usually referred to.
However, it can be argued that general correlations of personality types vs. seasonal times of the year may have had some genuine validity in those earlier times. Long before there was any type of distractions from modern technology, people were, by necessity, much more tightly coupled to the natural world.
Especially where the differences between the seasons was quite pronounced, the social ecology and states of mind would be markedly different in winter as opposed to summer or spring, and so on. People born in those different seasons could indeed have different seasonal experiences as they entered the world. This was the origin point of such personality type assignments.
However, this is a far cry from the much more supposedly “precise” determinations, updated in relatively recent times, to be based on the exact time (resolved to minutes) and date of birth, correlating with the positions of planets and imaginary zodiac constellations, which will predict one’s future, determine in elaborate detail hidden personality traits, answer any variety of life altering questions, and resolve myriad other expectations associated with modern astrological charts and “readings” (Fig 6)
There is no precise anything here, except for the mechanical charting of where particular planets and stars, as plotted on a 2D hemispherical sky map, have been and will be at a particular time and date. Especially to those who have little experience with or understanding of actual science and related protocols, the tables of numbers, and elaborate looking patterns of lines drawn out on one of these charts can look very impressive, the perfect example of pseudoscience not being distinguishable from genuine peer reviewed science as it is applied and relied upon all over the world.
The many layers of embellishments and interpretations of what these positions theoretically mean are entirely based on philosophical constructs, because “it says so” in the astrology texts.
Fig 6. Impressively complex looking, computer generated natal chart, but what is actually plotted here are the relative locations of celestial objects at specific times, mapped against imaginary zodiac constellations, extrapolated from exact time and date of birth. All of the supposed predictions, details of personality types, and related “information” is completely based on the mythological assignment of imaginary properties and features associated with these objects.
Connecting the dots with the “reality confidence index”
“ . . . [some professional astrologers] describe it as a tool to help people discuss their lives and relationships, and find its scientific credibility entirely besides the point.” – Financial Times
This momentary glimpse into the astrology business and how its applied is not intended to put the entire concept into a bad light, but is more in the context of how it fits into the collective phenomena of various populations shifting into alternative belief systems, under duress in challenging, uncertain times, as an indicator of the aforementioned “reality confidence index”.
For some, having a personal experience with an astrologer is really more like a type of therapy session, the detail minutia of the astrological readings is more of a background to initiate conversation about personal issues that may not be easy to discuss with others. It’s the relationship with the astrologer, in a safe environment, to have these conversations about things that matter to the client, rather than technically focusing on the astrology itself, that is the real attribute of the astrology experience in this context.
This can be a positive experience, particularly when focusing relationship and related emotional issues. In this criteria of some astrology practitioners claiming high “accuracy” in their readings, and generally positive reviews from clients, it’s usually in this context.
However . . .
However, the aforementioned version of astrology is an entirely different category of application than the more commercialized, heavily marketed astrology “service” providers, with their stylized websites festooned with myriad testimonials and grandiose, impressive sounding claims of “100% accuracy guaranteed”, have your future foretold, we will answer all of your most important [fill in the blank] questions! Fame, fortune, career success, marriage . . . all of this and so much more, waiting for you!
What is interesting is not the astrology itself, but how it has been exaggerated to bizarre extremes, perpetuated on the belief that the exact minute of birth can be translated into elaborate celestial maps containing all sorts of mystical details about one’s future, innermost personality traits, an entire life map created from this and so on. If the person is “born” even one minute before or after the supposed moment of birth on the chart, their purported life map attributes and future might be entirely different.
The fortune telling “predictions”, personality details and so on are usually rendered with impressively important sounding, but strategically vague wording. Sometimes the rendered details don’t actually fit the reality of the circumstance or the person, but no worries, it just means that a more detailed consulting session is needed to clarify (for a modest fee, of course). All sorts of mental gymnastics often go into explaining why the successive consultations are recommended, among my favorite example is the “you have blockages which need to be cleared” before the better reading can be rendered.
But it doesn’t stop there. Myriad astrobusiness “service providers” are flourishing, sprouting up like mushrooms, promising astrological predictions and forecasting for business operations, stock trading, crypto currencies, world events of interest, all this and more, often with a sales pitch oriented toward “get the competitive edge with our dedicated astrology experts!” and so on.
It sounds so impressively empowering! It’s the science of the new age, all there waiting just for you, at 1 800 Astroscam (provided you have a valid credit card).
Well, for those who may have trouble distinguishing pseudo science from actual science as it’s applied in the real world, science is based on measurable phenomena, actual data that can be analyzed, scientific methodology and experimentation that can be codified and verified with specific methods, equipment and protocols, and subject to scrutiny by peer reviewed third parties that can independently verify the factual details being claimed.
There is no “belief” in mystical deities, imaginary zodiac signs, planets with mystical influences or any other such beliefs, “because it says so” in ancient texts applied in any of this. Even in the case of theoretical scientific concepts, the criteria of such utilizes known scientific facts combined with a plausible theory to support the theoretical concept being posited.
Astrology has none of those characteristics. It is a series of belief systems, an interestingly elaborate cultural mythology (in its varied and often reinvented forms).
No doubt there will be some who will sternly disagree, in some cases with harsh vitriol for daring to offer “unacceptable” concepts that disagree with their beliefs in this mythology.
To be fair, there have been some much appreciated, very rational and interesting conversations with various astrologers, who have expressed their beliefs with calm clarity, in stark contrast to the aforementioned vitriol. It’s the reasoning for this level of vitriol sometimes encountered that is interesting, not the screechingly loud emotions and verbiage itself that these defensive responses sometimes evoke.
Often, when more specific questions are asked about how any of this actually works, this goes into vitriolic diatribe about how anyone daring to ask such a question is “ignorant”, “doesn’t know the truth”, “has a closed mind”, and so on, without actually addressing the questions being asked.
For some, perhaps, their entire life has been tightly wrapped around their particular version of this belief system for many years. Being confronted with maybe reevaluating and questioning their own dedication and devotion to all this can be a difficult threshold to cross, a sort of mystic midlife crisis.
A parting thought . . .
As a parting thought, at this juncture I should point out that for several years I worked at a professional “futurism” institute, along with other researchers from various technical, scientific and business related backgrounds, catering to private, corporate and government related clientele, providing highly detailed analysis of data and relevant factors affecting potentially emergent condition sets and response criteria.
This was very serious business. Our research materials, data analytics, evidence and criteria for providing these analytical forecasts were highly scrutinized, just as it is with any other institutes and business entities offering similar strategic services.
In all the years of experience in this capacity, intersecting with a highly diverse range of clientele in need of critical, strategically relevant content to influence their decisions and policies, there was never, in any context from anyone, even the remotest hint of input or influence from astrology or any other such “mystical” resources.
After all, if these any of these mystical psychic and astrological resources could be used with the predictive “accuracy” claimed by some of these astrology practitioners, they wouldn’t have to bother with selling their services, they could become fantastically successful just by using these mystic resources themselves.
Of course, they never seem to have an answer for that, usually quickly diverting the conversation away from that sort of query, instead responding with some sort of elaborate explanation of cosmic consciousness, influences of the planets being lords of the [fill in the blank] “houses”, personalities of the zodiac entities and so on, or in some cases, resorting to some of the aforementioned (and very predictable) vitriolic defensive verbiage.
Actually, there was a case here in the US a few years ago, a somewhat famous astrologer had created an astrology based investment fund, which looked promising for awhile, with some of the early investors actually receiving periodically dispersed funds (classic ponzi scheme MO), until he was eventually arrested and convicted of securities fraud, currently serving time in federal prison. Oh well . . .
The take away . . .
The take away posited here is that an accelerating social morphology phenomena can be correlated with what has been termed here as the “reality confidence index”, or perhaps more accurately the diminishing thereof, catalyzed by what is termed as the “convergence syndrome”.
A growing percentage of various populations are opting out of the real world to various degrees, and instead opting into the parallel fantasy worlds they find comfort and relevance in, the two spectral extremes of which is fundamentalist religion at one end of the spectrum, and the “new age” mystic belief systems at the other end, most notably exemplified by devotion to astrology (and astrobusiness).