Leaning on the Stars to Make Sense of the World


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One enchantment is that they provide some order in an in any other case chaotic metropolis and risky world, mentioned Galit Atlas, a scientific assistant professor in New York College’s postdoctoral program in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis.

“What makes us really feel secure on the planet is order, boundaries and sequence, and people three issues are issues that astrology may give us,” Ms. Atlas mentioned. “Particularly in a time when the world doesn’t really feel secure, we are inclined to seek for an order that is smart.”

“That’s not a unfavourable factor,” she added. “The safer we really feel on the planet, the extra we’re capable of be productive — to dwell totally, to like and to work.”

Astrology is believed to have first appeared in historic Babylon some four,00zero years in the past. However as a written artwork in newspapers and magazines, the observe is relatively new — a couple of century previous. (The primary horoscope column in a serious newspaper graced the pages of The Sunday Categorical in London in 1930.)

There is no such thing as a formal education to be an interpreter of the celebrities. However there are well-known newspaper horoscope columnists, just like the English astrologer Patric Walker, who’ve mentored New York writers. Mr. Walker, who died in 1995 and was extensively thought-about essentially the most eloquent wordsmith within the historical past of horoscope writing, educated Sally Brompton, his successor and the present astrologer for The Submit. His work additionally impressed Mr. Coppolino to shift from shoe-leather reporting to overlaying the planets in his on-line journal Planet Waves and later at The Each day Information.


The English astrologer Patric Walker was extensively thought-about essentially the most eloquent determine in horoscope writing.

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Ken Goff/The LIFE Photographs Assortment, by way of Getty Photographs

“I had no real interest in astrology; I couldn’t see using it and it didn’t appear sensible,” Mr. Coppolino mentioned. “However after I began studying Patric Walker in The New York Submit, I instantly discovered myself with a man who wrote like Steinbeck.”

He added: “By day I used to be overlaying poisonous tort litigation, and at evening I might hand around in my girlfriend’s room in Woodstock and pore by way of the ephemeris and the New York Submit horoscope with a purple pencil and tarot deck, and I hacked the Patric Walker horoscope, like Julian Assange.”

For 23 years, Mr. Coppolino, who grew up in Marine Park, Brooklyn, and went to John Dewey Excessive College, has been writing what he describes as “information astrology,” or reporting on present occasions by way of the lens of planets, homes and indicators. The primary main story he coated utilizing astrology was the impeachment of former President Invoice Clinton within the 1990s.

Extra lately, he has used astrology to assist him interpret information of three hurricanes, Harvey Weinstein, North Korea, the mass taking pictures in Las Vegas and the terrorist assault in Decrease Manhattan. Mr. Coppolino studied the time and place of the New York truck assault (an “occasion chart”) to look at questions concerning the driver, Sayfullo Saipov, and the way the tragedy occurred. The chart, “like an goal map to the scenario,” pointed to “sexual agony, loneliness and a way of being homesick,” as a part of Mr. Saipov’s motivation, Mr. Coppolino wrote in Planet Waves. And when wanting on the time and place of Mr. Saipov’s start (a “natal chart”), Mr. Coppolino noticed “an individual below excessive interior strain, but in addition with the flexibility to be revolutionary.”

“I actually attempt to keep away from rationalization,” Mr. Coppolino mentioned. “We’re not right here in charge the planets, however moderately, to take some steerage and use this system for an expanded perspective.”

He added: “Most individuals are shellshocked proper now. They’re in ache. The world is devastating. Individuals are exhausted. And a goal of the horoscope at that time turns into a non secular touchstone.” (Mr. Coppolino views his viewers because the on a regular basis New Yorker, “human beings on the D prepare” or “folks on their technique to work.”)

However not everybody sees horoscopes as offering consolation or reputable solutions to life’s questions. John Marchesella, president of the New York Metropolis chapter of the Nationwide Council for Geocosmic Analysis, a nonprofit group that promotes astrological schooling for skilled astrologers, dismissed horoscope writing as novice, evaluating it to “junk meals,” or “a crumb” of astrology.

“To name it even a slice is giving it an excessive amount of credence,” he mentioned. “The solar signal column is barely a sliver of what astrology can present to folks.”

However Rebecca Gordon, the astrology columnist for Harper’s Bazaar and founding father of My Path Astrology College in New York 12 years in the past, disagrees. She described horoscope columns as a technique to promote astrology.

“That’s how most individuals discover out that astrology exists,” she mentioned, which is why “it’s so necessary that we give high quality literature, high quality interpretation, high quality astronomy and astrology.”

Ms. Gordon defined how astrology writing is shifting away from “your grandmother’s month-to-month horoscope” to one thing extra trendy that may serve a savvier readership.

Saturn’s transfer from a hearth signal to an earth signal subsequent month, for instance, will usher in a sobering interval, based on Ms. Gordon. Mr. Marchesella mentioned the shift would symbolize “important modifications in governmental administration.” Mr. Coppolino mentioned “we’re getting into the largest level in reckoning in American historical past because the Civil Struggle.”

“Between completely different astrologers, describing a chart is like poets describing a tree,” Mr. Coppolino mentioned. “You’re going to get 20 completely different poems.”

“However the conversion from that to that,” he added, waving a finger from his astrology desk to a draft of his subsequent horoscope column, “that’s the place the thriller is. That’s the place the artwork is.”

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