How To Talk To Skeptics About Astrology

Dear Elsa,

I’m increasingly into Astrology, but I’m not sure my spouse buys into it. So I don’t really talk about signs and houses as much as I would like to… just in case she thinks I’m making decisions about her using all this astrology!

How do I talk about astrology in a way that includes her, and doesn’t make me sound like I’m in a cult?!

Concerned Husband
United States

When I deal with someone who does not know astrology or does not “believe” in it I leave the lingo out of our conversation, almost completely, though I tell them I am an astrologer. I might speak 2% astrology and I am careful about what 2% it is.

For example if you say Uranus is transiting your 7th house and whomping you on the head, this is going to do anyone any good. The main thing is to be patient and in my experience, 100% of the people come around although it may take 10 years.

You can say things like, “He’s an Aries and he’s always rushing around,” and then don’t say anything else for a week or two or three. When there is truth and continuity in what you are saying and when you are known to be credible, eventually people start to ask questions which you can answer as plainly as possible without any “selling”. As an example, I told my husband that I was an astrologer in 2003.  We had this conversation in 2008. He was looking at a thing of the zodiac I have on my wall:

“Who is the bug?” he asked. “Which one is that?”

I looked over my shoulder. “You mean the Scorpion? That’; Scorpio and you are that bug. You have a Scorpio Moon.”

“Oh. Good. I have always wanted to be that bug.”

“You are a Taurus Sun.”

“Who is the good looking naked girl?”

“Virgo. You know, Virgo the Virgin.”

“Oh, okay.”

So this is where we were after 5 years. Today he makes jokes about “Mercury flying” (retrograde) when things are chaotic. He’s absorbed more astrology then he realizes. In my experience, this is how it happens every single time.

It’s sort of like living in another culture. You see someone eat the food they eat and although it is not your normal food, if you see them happy and thriving on it eventually you say, “Hey, can I try some of that?”

Anyone else?

Ask a question about astrology or life!

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Comments

How To Talk To Skeptics About Astrology — 29 Comments

  1. Good advice! I run into a similar problem all the time. I’ve learned to stop apologizing for my beliefs and interests and that really helps. The other day, I actually had an acquaintance say to me, “It surprises me you believe in astrology, I thought you were so smart.” People don’t even have to say it, I can tell when I see that “look” come over a person’s face when they learn why I asked them their birthday. That’s their deal, I want to tell them to open their brains and let the air in.

    Other the other hand, I have run into a multitude of wonderfully curious people who pass no judgment at all and want to know more. Like you, I also lay way way off the lingo (even though I’m like, uber-amateur) because it’s just easier that way. If people want it, they’ll let it in eventually.

    What do you say when you get the, “I’m a Cancer/Gemini/Leo/whatever but the description doesn’t fit me at all” response?

  2. I usually run into this problem with boyfriends – they always think astrology is silly. I try to ease them into it. I think he is beginning to warm up to astrology though – we were watching football the other day, and the announcer said it was Tom Brady’s birthday. I said, oh he’s a Capricorn, and my boyfriend said “that makes sense, he’s all business.”

  3. Oh I get this a lot.

    People think I’m an idiot because of my astrology obsession!

    And they say idiotic things like “I don’t believe in astrology.”

    But… they don’t know anything about it. All they know is the sun-sign daily horoscope in The Daily News. And it seems the less someone knows about something, the louder they speak against it.

    I do have friends and relatives though who respect my knowledge and interest in this (which my Venus in Leo needs, of course).

    And I tell them the sun sign is, indeed, their essence, but oh there is so much more to consider…

    I have a friend who is mostly fire (Aries) but with a Cancer sun. It’s so interesting to watch the different parts of his personality show up. But he was one of those people who put it down…

    One time we were going for a walk and I don’t remember if we were talking astrology but of course the topic came up. And I said to him: oh you probably like water and fire, literally. You probably like to hang out by the ocean but find a roaring fire truly relaxing. And that was the turning point. One very literal interpretation made him, even for a moment, less of a skeptic. Because it was true. I had impressed him.

    Once you tell that skeptical person something true, something that resonates with who they are. Something that you got “just from the chart…”

  4. “What do you say when you get the, “I’m a Cancer/Gemini/Leo/whatever but the description doesn’t fit me at all” response?”

    When someone asks me this I say, I am sure there is a reason for that but I have no idea what it might be. People are complex, so is astrology.”

    And that is all I say. A year later they may ask I look at their chart or they may never ask I look at their chart and I could care less either way, actually.

  5. I’ve been into astrology for about 20 years and have always talked quite openly about it. I find most people who may poo poo it are still interested in their personal charts. Most will still continue to think its rubbish and thats fine. Noone has ever thought i was in some weird cult, just a bit new age hippy and thats fine too. It can be a lonely life when noone sees things the way you see them but theres plenty on the net now to converse these things with thankfully. My partner is mildly interested esp when i talk of his chart but it is another language and unless you learn the basics it can come across as gobbledegook to those not in the know. I remember that first feeling of wanting to share it with the whole world and being so excited but there was noone at that time so its always been my private idaho. I couldnt hide it from anyone though cos its a part of who i am (plus my bookshelf is devoted to it) and needs to be accepted as part of me. I’m not a big fan of football (soccer) but i’ve always accepted my partners passion for it even tho i dont understand why you’re crying over a game (for a long time i thought football was a weird religious cult so..).

  6. Elsa, I liked the analogy to food preferences.
    I remember when I ended up in “Cajun Country” 25 years ago and I threw up for 3 days solid because of the smell of the food.

    I would not touch it until I got really tired of eating cheese sandwiches.

    Maybe one day (in the not too distant future) people, en mass, will grow weary of “eating cheese sandwiches”.

    I think that it would be wonderful to have Astrology schools for the very young. Maybe we will go back to the days of the Lyceum instead of regimented, dogmatic education systems?

    Is this forum a virtual Lyceum?

    {I’m having an epiphany here, sorry :)}

  7. Jamie, I like your epiphany, not least because I take a philosophical route myself.
    I usually mention to people that astrology is not just a religion or belief system, but also a ‘Symbolic language’ that either speaks to you, or it doesn’t.
    It’s been my experience that, for some people, if it is put in these terms, they cool off on saying things like ‘What a load of crap, I don’t believe in that!’ because hey, you know what? It’s not so important that you do or you don’t…However I grew up with a fundamentalist’s interpretation of the Christian religion so I tend not to be too bothered by what other people believe.

    I would say, from experience, that it pays rewards, exponentially, to have a couple of interesting facts about astrology up your sleeve. You know, something *factual.*
    Most people aren’t aware that geometry was invented essentially to make calculations a lot easier, for example.

  8. I have learned converting non-believers in astrology is someone else’s job . . . not mine. If someone is skeptical I just ignore them and don’t bring astrology up in front of them. Pluto transits very firmly taught me to mind my own business . . . 🙂

    heh . . . I live with one of those Aries always rushing around. He has no interest AT ALL in astrology other than if I’m making money with it.

  9. Hey there, Kashmiri (waving) : ),

    “I usually mention to people that astrology is not just a religion or belief system, but also a ‘Symbolic language’ that either speaks to you, or it doesn’t.”

    I reeeeeally like that quote. 😀

    I think there is a direct correlation to one’s Moon Phase and level of spiritual evolvement. The less evolved one is the more difficulty one has integrating new concepts or foriegn ideas into their psyche.

    It is our J-O-B to assist in the evolution of our fellow human by the dissemination of information.
    All kinds of information…even Astrological information.

    Hells bells, my ENTIRE family thinks I’m a kook…and you know what I think about them? …They are asleep at the wheel.Everyone of them fighting consciousness. That’s all.

    I’ve never told anyone anything was “hogwash” until I thoroughly investigated it myself.

    I think I’m from a different planet or something because I just don’t get this whole concept of clinging to antiquated, dogmatic ideoligies…..especially if history has PROVEN them to cause division and misery.

    I’m about at the “beam me up, Scotty”, stage.
    Stick a fork in me and all that kind of stuff.

    Anyone else feel the same?

  10. Tell me about it, Becca!!!

    I sat about 20 feet from the picnic table my first crawfish boil. The smell was killing me (not to mention all the noisy head sucking…..uhhh…..I mean crawfish head sucking, that is. Never mind. It does not sound right either way : (

    Anyway, I would not touch a crawfish for 2 years!
    But, you know how the story ends. The Cajuns put their voodoo on you and before you know you’re one of them…..almost ; )

  11. I describe it as being a big Timex in the sky; these balls of gas and dust don’t actually have any control over what we do (except for perhaps the Moon with its pull over water, which is what we’re essentially made of). It simply tells you what time it is: It’s time to work, it’s time to eat, it’s time to have that argument, it’s time to back off. People seem to be more comfortable with that analogy than had I immediately gone into what Pluto’s doing these days. Sometimes it sparks their curiosity and they want to know more. That gives me the opportunity to whip out the pen and paper and draw a wheel with planetary positions, describing what the house system is, etc. And that satisfies whatever problem they might have with the cookie-cutter Sun predictions in the newspaper. This gives them the bigger picture and opens their minds. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve explained it to in this way over the past year, and I’ve gotten absolutely zero negative feedback about it… even my strict Southern Baptist mom who used to think I was doing the devil’s work.

  12. What also helped my case with my mom was telling her that the three wise men were actually astrologers who read a major conjunction (star in the east) as the herald of a new age, and went seeking Jesus because of what they interpreted.

  13. Jamie, there actually are a few schools for astrology, did you know? I almost attended one in Washington, but decided to wait as they are seeking accreditation. It’s called Kepler College.

    Avery– that’s what my boyfriend’s family (devout Christians) said, too! It’s funny where you find acceptance when you’re least expecting it.

  14. Elsa, I really loved this post…
    I am sure you did this already somewhere on your blog(s) but I was wondering if you could suggest to someone that is willing to learn more about astrology one or two fundamental books one should not do without– to start off with the right foot.
    Old books hard to find it’s okay, I enjoy seeking out old stuff.
    thanks anyway. much love.

  15. Neith that was very funny…My SO’s interest in astrology has been piqued, as has a few of my friends (he liked that he his ASC is the same as his sister’s Sun, and his Moon the same as his brother’s Sun).
    The Aquarians had the best response: one said “I just think we’re simply not that interesting. We came from apes, you know.”
    The other Aquarian said “Whatever! Nothing you’re saying makes sense to me at all.”

    I couldn’t deny either response, so I just decided to go on my merry way–I am, afterall, in it for improving myself, no one else.

  16. My Aquarian husband was skeptical. I kept silent for a while, but once he saw that I went to astrology conferences and came back as my old self it seems he started to feel less threatened, and I started telling him about Merc rx and that kind of stuff.

    To make a long story short, he was out of job for a while and decided to apply for an interview, when he casually asked me: “until when did you say that Mercury was retrograde?”

    It was a big high five moment inside my mind 😉

  17. Hi, Shaina. Yeah, I almost went there. I was talking more about one for young children….or at least incorporating it into a curriculum.

    One day our entire educational system will be revamped and this will be the perfect opportunity to initiate everyone into the world of Astrology.

    I just don’t get the fear generated by this study? It borders on hysteria. Maybe that’s not the right word. It’s too early in the morning to think. : (

  18. “heh . . . I live with one of those Aries always rushing around. He has no interest AT ALL in astrology other than if I’m making money with it.”

    OMG! Could we be sharing the same man, Neith??!

    My husband has an Aries Moon and he cannot be still…and he thinks Astrology is a bunch of “hogwash”… unless you can make money from it.
    When I told him what some Astrologers charge he became all ears (4 Planets in the 8th H; OPM).

    I have no desire to become monetarily wealthy so he is sooooo out of luck with me!

  19. I’m an Aquarian, and astrology has interested me since my teen years, it’s just been lately that I’ve really wanted to know more and figure it out.
    My Capricorn husband – quite cynical and skeptical about it all, he’s been frustrated and stressed by work. Also frustrated that he doesn’t make as much $$$ as his siblings.
    But when I casually mentioned that this is supposed to be a good year regarding career and money for Capricorns, he was interested.

  20. This was a great post and everyones comments made me laugh. I dont usually say much but maybe mention things here and there. I always say its fine if they dont believe each to his own but theres alot more to it than just the sun signs written in the papers.

    I tend to find mentioning things during mercury retrograde about mercury retrograde in simple terms is very helpful eg: My friend works in IT and I asked if had any computer or phone problems. He said no and asked why and I said just this astrology thing mercury which rules communcation is starting to go backwards in the sky so things tend to go haywire with communication stuff like phones computers travel ect and Im trying to test this theory.

    Two days later he rang to tell me half the computers went down, he couldnt believe that maybe the theory was right. Now he rings me all the time about mercury Rx. Funnily enough he is a Gemini so its really helpful.

  21. Thank you so much for this post! Am dating an Aquarian atheist who is mainly concerned with politics and literature. But boy he acts out his chart and it is fascinating … almost like a little experiment.

    I have learned so much about myself as well.

  22. I usually start by acknowledging that the majority of the astrology that people are familiar with is, ahem, crap. Because it over-simplifies, and omits most of the information.

    I also clarify that I study astrology, I do not worship it. And that not everyone can do it, but those who can, who uphold the ethical standards of the industry, can help others. Just like any other therapist. I cite the relationship between astrology and psychology, and note that it only shows patterns and tendencies, not the name of the person they will marry, nor the winning lottery numbers. I also mention that I am not looking for that info, so maybe someone can, but it’s not me… (I am a Virgo. People mess with me all the time, so a girl must get her turn to mess back, heehee!)

    I have found that it helps me to get the info out of my head, and to see it as just a puzzle. When I can stand 3 feet back, and just look at patterns, it helps me to figure out the what the situation is, and nothing more. It works for me, so I use it. If nothing else, it is a way to have and continue a dialogue. Letting someone tell you their problems is a mitzvah, a solid, and good for both parties. So, eh, why not?

  23. Thing is people think astrology is the one-liners they read on the trash papers.
    If you live with someone, sure, you can wait for 5-10yrs to get it. What about those you don’t live with or see on a daily basis, and who therefore don’t have the benefit of your daily astro stimulus?
    Usually I explain to people that astrology is a lot more than they think it is. Depending on the response, I may or may not go on with a further explanation though.

  24. I got the response “I dont relate to my so called Capricorn Sun’ I reply fair enough. Then I appear to change the subject, and say How’s work? Then conversation reveals Cap sun man Has worked hard all his life to buy modest home, sad about spending so much time alone, absent father, did family history back to pioneer settlers, close to his educated mother, lonely childhood. We talked without one astrological word…sounded very cap sun to me.
    So one can use a double speak using sign key words like work, ambition, family etc and see how they may fit.

  25. I agree w/ your common sense attitude. If I recall it was Newton debunking planetary movement said: “I Sir, have studied this. You have not”. Stay away from astrology being ” belief”. My comment is “it’s something I know” ( & study). And like Elsa says keep out the astro jargon. Relate to real events or traits. When ppl need help ( typically when their chart is activated & suddenly find themselves on uncertain ground), will consult astrologer).

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