This topic came up recently in a Facebook discussion, which arose from a post on the astrology of the Google Buzz launch. I said that “the leading internet astrologers” are jumping onboard. Defining “leading Internet astrologers” was the next step. This is distinct from the leading astrologers who author books, lecture at conferences or have websites with educational information, but who do not actively engage with others on the internet. To clarify I’ll give a few examples. From the popular culture style of astrology, Elsa Panizzon and Jeffrey Kishner are leading internet astrologers who engage with their user base at their blogs and forums. From the more traditional side of astrology, Noel Tyl and Deborah Houlding would be considered leading Internet astrologers because they engage with their forum members.
Blogs and forums have not been around so long, maybe a decade. Some astrologers are into it and some are not, that’s OK. Books, lectures and websites are an essential source of information for people learning about astrology, but these days the Internet is all about two-way interaction, making new contacts and sharing our ideas. It is making the world a smaller place and lets us form relationship, which would have otherwise been impossible. So the astrological community is part of this process. New people drawn to astrology are more likely to stay with it if they can interact with astrologers at all levels and share their ideas and get feedback.
The Internet is great for astrology in general. It makes so much information freely available but we need to be able to discuss it, debate what is being posted. I have read a fair few articles that I think are misleading at the very least but there is nowhere to leave comments. Time will tell, but I think lecturing style of astrology on the Internet will become less relevant. Ideas need to be challenged for any philosophy to evolve, and the Internet is the perfect medium for this evolution to occur quickly.
Astrology itself has now become a medium for social interaction on the Internet. I’m sure Marina and I are not the first couple to have met in this way. Friendships are started everyday all over the world in astrology forums and networking sites like Facebook. This is promoting astrology more into the mainstream than classes or conferences could ever have done. The language of this social interactions is astrology, whether it’s comparing sun signs for beginners, or sharing thoughts on the secondary progressions of a composite chart for full on astro nerds like me.
What it really comes down to is that people are going to be more drawn to astrology and end up promoting it themselves, if they can interact with others more experienced. Forums seem to be a bit limited in this. Just my personal intuition, but I think the explosion in the number of astrology bloggers is a sign that this community is moving toward a new level of social interaction. The comments on blog article are life forum threads, just like comments on personal pages or fan pages on Facebook. The advantage of blogs articles is that they are not lost in the ocean of babble on forums, and they are indexed on blogs and on the search engines. These are becoming the new reference material for astrologers, more so than books even. It does promote astrology in the best fashion I believe, and most importantly it is available to anyone in the world who has access to a computer, regardless of his or her socio-economic status.
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About the Author
Jamie Funk hangs his blogging hat at “Darkstar Astrology which he shares with his fiance Marina.
I would say none of the above, yet all of the above. The best solution I can think of for sharing this kind of information would be a custom built social network website (probably based on an open-source CMS, like Joomla) that a person can input their natal chart, give reflection on it, then through the social network, be able to see others with similar planetary configurations. Perhaps there would be a section dedicated to particular transits. A person’s profile could link to their posts, and a blogroll could display all their posts about different transits, aspects and influences. It would be a huge website to build, but it would be a great way to interlink all the different data points of astrology into one coherent data-base. Forums are nice, but that social aspect could just become something that automatically is generated for a new transit.
Just an idea. 🙂
I can only imagine where my astrology would be today if astrology blogs were around when I was first learning. That being said, I wonder how much “misleading” information I would now be trying to unlearn.
I am developing material on my blog about the intersection of business and astrology, having both in my background. To a certain extent I find myself extrapolating from both disciplines and hoping I’m hitting the right mark. I would welcome feedback/comments from other astrologers so I can continue to learn and know I am passing on useful and accurate information to my readers.
Thanks for your post.
@merriman, a social network with a database where you can immediately find people by natal aspects you have in common: that would be cool!
Jacob, i sort of had a similar thought when i was writing this. there are so many forums and blogs around, myspace and facebook, yahoo, all the others. it would be amazing if there was o ne comprehensive place where everyone could come together. that might also consolidate so various astrological organisations.
i just subscribed to your blog Ellen, looks great. with the misleasding information, the advantage of having that in the form of blogs is that we can make comment on it. in the field of science, people publish their work in journals then their peers review it and write articles in response. they don’t hold back in the criticism, i think we could do with some of that attitude in astrology, instead of being too nice to each other and worrying about the consequences of seeming rude. this is taking astrology out of the long haired, sandle wearing era. i think vigorous debate can occur but people have to be aware that it does not have to be personal. i have started debating particulat ideas in astrology with others, but very often it has spiralled out of control because people see it as a persoanl attack.