Social Media’s Potential Role in Making Astrology Mainstream

Social Media Image(Astroblogging) Tempe, AZ–A few years ago, I was speaking to an editor of a local paper about an astrology piece I was working on about fashion and astrology. He asked somewhat incredulously, “Astrology has to do with that?” I replied, “Astrology has to do with everything.”

In the ancient world astrology was woven in the warp and woof of daily lives. Moon and Sun cycles were studied for times as to when to plant and when to harvest. There was no questions about the efficacy of astrology. It was proven every day. But modern people have moved away from the patterns of agriculture and astrology faced stormy waters during the Age of Enlightenment when people realized that the earth moved around the sun and not vice versa. This caused a crisis of faith in astrology and eventually its practice was stripped of its role in society.

Fast forward to after a wonderful keynote address by James H. Holden. M. A. FAFA at the American Federation of Astrologers’ 2011 conference. An attendee asked Mr. Holden if he thought astrology could be made mainstream. He said no, that in essence we lacked credibility in scientific circles, and though misguided that those circles might be, its not likely we would overcome those hurdles.

This is certainly is how many of us experience astrology, and I’ll grant that for many, many years, our access to shape public opinion was limited. The access given was through the narrow lens traditional news media, and often that lens was distorted for the purpose of “sexing up” a story. (We all remember the latest round of the “thirteenth sign” story.) But with the advent of Social Media, we have the possibility of many people circumventing traditional avenues, so this hurdle shouldn’t be so great.

So what’s holding us up?

I see a few things happening. And in my opinion a lot has to do with us.

First the perception that science doesn’t take us seriously isn’t quite true anymore. Scientific studies are being done quite frequently that show a correlation between what happens in the heavens reflect what happens on the earth. Recently as study done at Vanderbilt University demonstrated that the season in which one is born has a concrete effect on personality. While not a study of astrologer per se, science keeps bumping against results that mirror what we’ve been saying about astrology all along. In fact current objections to astrology does not a have a scientific basis at all, but is part of a well orchestrated attempt by one organization to promote their “rationalist” agenda. While we do have some prejudices to overcome, they are more on the order of hill rather than a mountain.

Second many of us have to change how we think about ourselves as astrologers and our contribution to the world. How many of you don’t use your real name when you post a piece? Why is that? Are you afraid of being “outed” to the world? My point is, if we can’t bring ourselves to own what it is we do in public, how do we expect the world at large to take us seriously?

Third, most of us are not making use of the power of social media. So many of the working astrologers I associate with are doggedly slow at attempting social media. Many astrological organizations are just dipping their toe in the waters and not fully utilizing the tools at hand. For instance, and forgive me AFA, at the eve of or even in the early hours of this major conference not a tweet, or a single photograph of the event is on the AFA Facebook page. In fact, the only wall post is by Chris Brennan, a presenter at the conference.

But, AFA, just to show you you aren’t being singled out, my home organization the Astrological Society of Connecticut was very slow to adopt social media. We just got our Facebook page last year though we’ve been in business 39 years and Facebook public for the past 6 years.

Pluto in Capricorn is about breaking down old structures. Traditional news media is on its ear trying to figure out how to survive in world were a tweet can get a message out faster then they can. The Aquarian Age is here, folks and its time we step up to the plate. Yes, it takes time to build your followers, it takes work to engage them and creativity to keep them. But there is no better time than now. The more voices that speak the louder the message is. Use your social media tools to make astrology mainstream!

Image courtesy of Some_Communications by Creative Commons license as detailed by Flickr.

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Beth Turnage authors Astrology Explored as well as being publisher of Astrology Media Press. Beth is available for private consultations. You can contact Beth at starrynightastro@aol.com.
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5 Responses to Social Media’s Potential Role in Making Astrology Mainstream

  1. Katie says:

    While there are lots of astrologers on Twitter and Facebook, there are more that are not. It is really a shame since it has the wonderful potential to be an ambassador for our craft. (Hello, Neptune in Aquarius!) Part of it is generational. You mention Chris Brennan as the only AFA Facebook responder. As someone who hasn’t had his first Saturn Return yet, his age lends itself to a natural familiarity with technology. He is also part of a youthful minority of professional astrologers.

    I think social media and technology would be a great topic for the various conferences. It’s really easy to use and to connect with other astrologers and potential clients. Hopefully more high profile and talented astrologers will feel emboldened to get online. And maybe, just maybe, astrology will get the mainstream cred it deserves.

  2. Very good points Beth. I particularly relate to the name issue. I would never hide what I do to please or appease someone else. If they don’t like it, they can walk away :-)
    I don’t understand why organisations are so slow to move with the times. I love the immediacy of the internet, how easy it is to connect with people all over the world.

    • Beth Turnage says:

      “I love the immediacy of the internet, how easy it is to connect with people all over the world.”

      So do I. The difference between social media and the traditional methods is like walking on a level surface compared to walking in quicksand.

      If I, a refugee from the baby boomer age, can learn to swim these waters my compatriots can too!

  3. I was kind of disappointed by the AFA’s lack of posts about the conference on their Facebook page in the lead up to it. I tried to encourage them to post something about it there since they had a decent amount of followers on the page, and I’m not really sure why they didn’t get around to it. I guess that things turned out alright anyways, although I wonder how many more people might have attended if the social networking opportunities were used to the fullest extent.

    • Beth Turnage says:

      Chris,

      I agree. I would think there would be at least twenty more attendees from social media promotion which certainly would be a nice chunk of change.

      Besides you, only Shannon Garcia and me seem to have represented the blogging contingent.

      Looks like we have a lot of dragging folks into the 21st Century to do.