As our educated, smart and – I’ll say it! – downright sexy readers are doubtlessly aware, the Huffington Post is a great source of… well… crap. For one thing, there’s Dana Ullman making wild statements about homeopathy, Jenny and Jim trying to kill babies… it’s rarely a tome worthy of a great deal of respect.
However, even I was surprised to see the angle taken by the Huff-Po this week, when I spotted Patricia Martin’s column ‘The Politics of Astrology and the Secret Lives of CEOs‘. In an interview with Astrologer Susan Miller, the article explores the ways in which astrology can play a part in politics and business… and, bizarrely, doesn’t come to the conclusion ‘none’. Quoting the article:
Over slabs of glazed salmon at the Drake Hotel dining room, Ms. Miller and I discussed the astrological year ahead for American politics. Cheerful even when delivering hard news, Ms. Miller offered up the following outlook:
So, lets take a look at what the stars predict for the political year ahead in America –
Healthcare reform will pass, but undergo tweaks and revisions for several months to come.
I think that’s fair to call it a hit. I think it’s also fair to say it’s a hit I could have come up with – the political weight behind the healthcare reform definitely had it in the ‘plausible’ pile, and the opposition to it most certainly had it in the ‘undergo tweaks and revisions’ pile. What’s more, what controversial bill doesn’t get tweaked and revised? Poor hit.
President Obama should not stop with health care reform, she twinkled. “He’s going to be very powerful these next few months and he should use it to his advantage”
Excellent, this is interesting – for one, she’s saying the President of the USA will be powerful. Which is obvious. What’s more, she’s not actually making a prediction there at all – his level of power isn’t quantifiable, for one thing, so nobody can dispute it. On top of that, she’s said he should use it to his advantage, not that he will, or can, or anything definite. So if he doesn’t make the most of it, she can claim that she told him he should have! These kind of predictions of potential (rather than actuality) are classic examples of cold reading, and something to look out for – a good psychic (ie someone who’s good at faking magical powers) will never tell you anything for certain, instead they’ll give you statements about your potential, leaving themselves the exit strategy of the ‘untapped potential’. Add to that the fact that Obama’s potential is to use his power to ‘his advantage’ – an entirely vague outcome – and we can see how lame this ‘prediction’ really is.
The sky holds a rare alignment for an eclipse on June 26 that’ll brew up trouble in Washington. For Leos like President Obama, it could mean the departure of a trusted ally or assistant. Is that a potential dateline for Rahm Emmanuel’s return to Illinois? I didn’t ask.
Again, this is a classic example of cold reading – for one thing, she’s appearing to make a prediction with a specific date – June 26th – yet that date is of an eclipse, not of her prediction. We know when the eclipse is coming – there’s a partial lunar eclipse on June 26th, and another on December 21st of this year too. So she anchors her prediction onto a date we can verify, but leaves the prediction itself vague.
Check the wording again – it’ll ‘brew up trouble in Washington’. At best, this could be a specific political event – but events happen all the time in politics. That’s kinda what politics is, what it actually means. It could be regarding a bill, a congressman, a senator, an aide, a leaked document, Obama, his wife, drywall in the White House – anything really. Shoot wide and see what hits. However, like any good psychic would, she also offers a potential specific event to relate to… seemingly. ‘For Leos like President Obama, it could mean the departure of a trusted ally or assistant’. Could. Could mean. So again, nothing certain.
Also, an ally or assistant could be anything from Vice President to his chauffeur (in which case Miller could sell it as ‘well, he was very close to the chauffeur, and think of all the things he must have heard – there’s clear trust there’). If it’s none of those things, and nobody leaves anything on June 26th, Miller has a few days grace either side – if someone announces they’re leaving in the week before, she can say it’s those vibes she’s homing in on (‘right on the specific event, but the date was slightly off, what do you want – miracles?’). If someone leaves in the weeks after, she can say she was picking up on the intention to leave.
What’s more, if nobody leaves at all, she just vanishes that side of the claim – after all, she said it *could* mean the departure. ‘But this isn’t an exact science, and we’re not right all of the time’. If someone joins the staff, then that’s a hit too – ‘I sensed a change in the staff, but misinterpreted it as a departure rather than someone joining‘. Even a holiday would count, at a stretch.
What’s interesting, too, is the way the interviewer speculates as to who the departure might be – this kind of detail-providing is a classic example of the sitter filling in the blanks the cold reader leaves for them. If it does turn out to be Rahm Emanuel leaving (something political spectators could speculate on without astrological help), then the sitter remembers the prediction as containing the specifics they themselves added – ‘She told me Rahm Emmanuel would leave on the 26th‘. So you can see how something simple can be incredibly wide and open to make a hit.
(Miller) gave me the low-down on who’s seeking her advice these days. Interestingly, it’s media moguls and CEOs who make up her A-list. “It’s not politicians or movie stars,” she told me. Rather, it’s the sectors experiencing the most turbulence in uncertain times — media, publishing and finance.
This makes a lot of sense, and it’s something we see often – when times get dicey, people are more likely to turn to woo-peddlers to put their mind at ease. Easy answers, no matter how false, are much more desirable and seductive when things are tough.
Of course, this isn’t the first time astrologers have been connected with American politics – famously Joan Quigley was used by President Reagan and his wife Nancy during their White House days. After the attempt on Reagan’s life on March 30, 1981 Nancy asked Quigley if she could have foreseen, and possibly prevented, the assassination attempt. Quigley – surprisingly enough – said she could have, and if she’d been looking, she would have known. Quigley used to consult the Reagan’s regularly, including advising them on when would be a good time to fly. Still, these are more enlightened times… except for the Huffington Post, I mean.
As it happens, Susan Miller has some advice on her Astrology Zone website ‘latest news’ section regarding the astrological implications of the discovery of Sedna, a potential planet in our solar system, back in 2004. Which never turned out to be a planet, yet her astrology didn’t manage to detect that it wouldn’t. Yet the Huff Po think she’s a good choice for advice for politicians and business CEOs.
This month Mercury will be retrograde and won’t regulate its orbit until April 30. In the meantime we will all need to have lots of patience while delays and glitches crop up. Be sure to back up your computer and try extra hard to double check facts and figures.
Well, I for one remember all those glitches and data losses in April 2004. The Great Data-Loss of April 2004, they called it. Poets wrote about it, to this day kids still sing songs about it in the playground, and wizened old men in the corners of pubs recoil in recollection of those dark times. Or not. More accurately, nothing happened and thus her prediction, meaningless and insignificant, drifted into the bowels of forgotten history.
The new moon solar eclipse fell in Aries on April 19 and may have stirred up some rather dramatic events in your life.
She does love a good eclipse! If you listen to her, all dramatic events are eclipse-based.
And, to sum up Miller’s level of dedication to fact, I just have to leave you with this awesome testament to her analytical powers, quoted in full for bonkers bonus points:
Astrologers also believe that the name a planet is given by the scientific community may give us clues to the planet’s meaning.
In that regard, let’s digress for a moment. To test out this theory, look closely at the names of people around you and of people you read about in the news. See if you can find a link between the name and the kind of work that person does for a living. Or, find a link between the person’s reputation and their name.
Once you start to pay attention to names, it will be amazing how closely you will find the meanings linked.
I have an example in my own life. As you know my last name is Miller, meaning “one who mills the grain.” When I took Astrology Zone off Disney servers when their Internet site, GO.com closed its doors, Disney could not give me back the HTML code for the site. It needed to be written again, a strenuous, time consuming, and expensive chore. I had not anticipated this obstacle and it through me into a crisis. Back in the summer of 2001 I was looking into an abyss where I realized the sudden end of Astrology Zone could be near.
I spoke to many engineers but I wasn’t finding a workable solution. The site is big-500 screens—and the problems of getting the code written quickly with all the hyperlinks that were imbedded deep within the site, was extensive. I was very depressed. Then, I received a recommendation from top-level executive at Barnes & Noble who suggested I see Tom Warmbrodt of Tom Warmbrodt Consulting in Austin, Texas.
When I met Tom, he told me he could write new code for our 500-screen site within the impossibly tight time deadlines we would have to meet. In so doing, Tom Warmbrodt became Head of IT for Astrology Zone and saved Astrology Zone in 2001.
“Warmbrodt” literally means warm bread. I have always felt that Tom was able to take Miller’s grain (my written words) and baked those words into bread, serving it up piping hot to you, dear reader.
Warm bread also suggests a substance that has a very short shelf life, which would accurately describe the topical material I write on Astrology Zone. Readers would never be able to see (“digest”) my words without Tom Warmbrodt’s expertise.
I feel this is a perfect example of how names can give you clues to what is underlying truths.
Astounding. Obama should call her right now. So long as the name ‘Obama‘ means ‘One who listens to any old bullshit put across in a mystical enough way‘.