Category Archives: skeptics

Astrology, Morgellon’s Disease, And Other Things You Shouldn’t Believe In

Anyone who believes in astrology has to be nuts, right? After all… there’s no scientific proof there’s anything to it. Any scientist could tell you that there is no known mechanism connecting the location of the planet Neptune to your urge to get drunk, for example.

It’s like those crazy people who think they have Morgellon’s disease. It’s a classic case of crazy people suffering from a well-understood psychological condition called “hysterical parasitosis.” They think they’re itchy and in pain. And, in the case of Morgellon’s disease (or is that “Morgellon’s Syndrome”? If it doesn’t exist, does it even matter?), they think there are weird little multi-colored fibers growing inside of them making all the trouble. You see, some people are just naturally crazy and will come up with damned near anything to get attention.

Tell that to folk singer Joni Mitchell, who apparently has it.

In the meantime, astrology has been around for thousands of years and still stubbornly refuses to go away. I wonder why…?

Ahem. More science, less dogma, please.

Astrology For Life On Earth

Faith, Astrology, And Cylons

For those of you who haven’t watched “Battlestar Galactica,” two assignments today:


1) Get to work buying, downloading, or stealing all four seasons of the new “Battlestar Galactica.” You know, deep in your heart, that you want a week off from work… and BSG is the best way you could spend it.

2) Have a look at today’s choice re-runs here:

The Feast Of Chiron

Transits: Awaiting The Divine Hammer Blow

…then skip over the rest of this entry until you’re caught up on Battlestar Galactica. You’ll thank me later.

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Battlestar Galactica ended last Friday. The series had always been good at throwing surprises at its fans, and the show ended with what was a huge surprise for some, and no surprise at all for others:

Battlestar Galactica was a four-year-long parable about faith, reincarnation, human nature, and destiny.

Doctor Gaius Baltar wasn’t exactly the “bad guy” of the series… that role more naturally falls to a race of genocidal religious-fanatic robots, The Cylons. Creator/producer Ron Moore once described Baltar as “the most human of the human characters.” This, as you can well imagine, certainly made him look like a villain at times. In the first two hours of the series, he violated security protocols and (unwittingly) enabled the Cylons… rampaging race of rebellious robots… to launch a sneak attack on Humanity, almost completely wiping it out.

From that point onward, Baltar spent most of his time covering his ass regarding his guilt in this, and in various other schemes/plots/lies all intended to further cover his complicity in the near-annihilation of the human race. Baltar has at times struggled towards The Light, but in true human form, he fell short. Repeatedly.

The crux of the entire series fell to a single conversation between Baltar and Cavil (the leader of the Cylons, and perhaps the only true atheist on the show) who held a gun to the head of a child who turned out to be of vital importance to both sides. And in that one scene, Baltar redeems himself… both as a person, and in a larger, spiritual sense.

And, in my humble opinion… coming from someone who has Saturn in the Ninth House, someone who has always been secretly annoyed by the dogma and irrationality that spirituality (and yes, astrology) often come coated in… words of Great Truth were spoken that night:


Baltar: I may be mad, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not right. Because there’s another force at work here; there always has been. It’s undeniable. We’ve all experienced it. Everyone in this room has witnessed events that they can’t fathom, let alone explain away by rational means. Puzzles deciphered in prophecy. Dreams given to a chosen few… whether we want to call that God or gods or some sublime inspiration or a divine force we can’t know or understand, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. It’s here. It exists. And our two destinies are entwined in its force.

Cavil: If that’s true, and that’s a big if, how do I know that this force has our best interests in mind? How do you know that God is on your side, Doctor?

Baltar: I don’t. God’s not on any one side. God’s a force of nature, beyond good and evil. Good and evil, we created those. Want to break the cycle? Break the cycle of birth, death, rebirth, destruction, escape, death. Well, that’s in our hands, and our hands only. It requires a leap of faith. It requires that we live in hope, not fear.

Thank you Ron Moore… and thank you Battlestar Galactica… for making it a little easier to believe in something greater, surrounded as we are by dogma, machines, and intolerance. Thank you.

And what about YOUR future? It starts HERE. Give it a click and send in your info… no obligation.

Astrology For Life On Earth

An Astrologer’s Karma Runs Over A Skeptic’s Dogma

First of all, I urge you to take nine and a half minutes out of your life to watch this video:

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My comments:

0:45 – Vedic astrology is “far more accurate.” I don’t want to start any brawls here between Western and Vedic Astrologers (they can do that fine on their own, thank you). But, speaking as someone who uses both Western and Vedic techniques, I understand where the occasional smugness of the Vedic crowd comes from. It’s downright spooky the stuff a decent Vedic astrologer can spot in a birth chart.

Having said that: I think the biggest (and most accurate) criticisms of Western Astrology that the jyotishis have is based on…

0:59 “I got out of astrology because I realized that what I was really doing was practicing psychology without a license.”

Bingo. One of my biggest problems with how astrology is practiced… particularly of the Western variety… is that it’s more psychology than astrology. My own educational background is in psychology, so I’m not knocking that. And of course, as an astrologer, I’m not knocking astrology. The problem with a lot of astrological consultations is that psychology is a vital part of a consultation, and too many are practicing it without a decent grasp of psychology and counseling techniques.

Of course, my own background may bias my opinion. And God knows there are plenty of valid criticisms of modern psychology. How many Universities have a Department of Psychology? And is there a consistently effective treatment for chronic depression out there yet? Say what you will about astrology, it stands up nicely to Freudian or Behavioral or Humanistic views of how the mind works… without nearly the same amount of research funding.

Put another way: if you stopped being an astrologer because you realized that you were “practicing psychology without a license,” the problem isn’t astrology… it’s that you aren’t a psychologist. Regardless of one’s level of astrological skill, mucking about with people’s thoughts and feelings and past and future demands a lot of knowledge, wisdom, and self-discipline. If you haven’t got that… please, find another job.

1:45 “This is a woman who probably plucks her eyebrows.” Well, um… duh. We’re told this woman is a business executive, so maintaining a crisp, clean appearance is going to be important. But the point here is that if I doubt she’d say “wow” to this observation unless (left to their own devices) her brows really were on the bushy side. And honestly… anyone who thinks this astrologer could “bond” with a woman over pointing out her bushy eyebrows obviously knows very little about women… let alone astrology or psychology.

Besides… whether they “bonded” or not… the astrologer was right.

3:05-9:28 – As a lawyer would say, res ipsa loquitur… “the thing speaks for itself.” A cumulative result of 77% effectiveness? Booyah!

Pick any currently available antidepressant… each one the result of years of scientific research and millions of dollars of laboratory time… and you tell me if it works 77% percent of the time. Go ahead, look it up. I dare you.

Now… where’s MY lab coat, tenure, and corner office, dammit?

And finally… thanks to both Michael Schermer for allowing this to surface in the first place… and to Jeffrey Armstrong, for kicking ass.

Astrology For Life On Earth

Weird Science: Saturn-Uranus And Morgellon’s Disease

One feature of the ongoing Saturn-Uranus opposition is that one can expect weird things to come hatching out… and in one case that’s in the news: literally hatching out. Of your skin.

The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) are finally investigating a weird phenomenon I’ve kept an eye on for some time: Morgellon’s Disease, a medical condition which a lot of doctors don’t even believe exists.

Morgellon’s comes with an interesting collection of symptoms. Often sufferers report confusion, joint pain, and memory problems. But that’s not the weird part. The primary symptom is a sense of crawling under the skin, like bugs are burrowing through you. And then the rash breaks out.

And then tiny, mysterious coloured fibres hatch out of you. Sometimes white, black, red or blue.

Another mysterious thing about Morgellon’s: most doctors treat it as “hysterical parasitosis:” in other words… “you’re crazy because you think you’ve got bugs inside you.” This, despite the very weird but very obvious fibers involved.

There is another Saturn-Uranus possibility that has been mentioned: that Morgellon’s is caused by Agrobacterium, a common bacterium used in various genetic-engineering projects. One of the reasons Agrobacterium is used for this is that it was believed, at first, that it did not infect humans or animals.

Oops.

So it’s possible… just possible… that we are now, for the first time, seeing one of the stranger unintended consequences of modern genetic engineering technology.

Mainstream science… though I have a great love and admiration for it… doesn’t really want to admit that things it doesn’t believe in are real. Like, you know… astrology, for example. Scientists are human, and part of being human is the ability to deny the obvious. But science… True Science… is the practice of accepting observations as they are, and attempting to make sense of them. The Saturn-Uranus opposition is giving us all the opportunity to be scientists with our own lives. It’s just a matter of reading the data.

Saturn rules skin, among other things. This opposition may not manifest itself in your life by you getting some strange new skin disorder. But Saturn also rules your sense of order: how life is, or how it’s supposed to be. And Uranus rules the strange and unexpected. Odds are good you are feeling the changes brought by the Saturn-Uranus opposition in some department of your life.

So: what’s come hatching out of your life lately?

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Astrology For Life On Earth