Originally published on John and Susan Townley's website AstroCocktail.
One of the more perplexing things about looking for good astrology on the Web is that most sites tend to have a product to sell, an axe to grind, or some sort of spiritual or political bill of goods. There are, of course, a handful of gems maintained by some of the more accomplished and historically insightful practitioners, but most are mainly looking to sell you a product or a personal point of view. These can range from neo-Jungian astro-analysis to keys to the Spiritual Path Of Wisdom to contact with aliens from Andromeda-3 — and they often have little to do with real astrological information.
Refreshingly, lately a new world has opened up — and that is the astro-blogosphere, where a decidedly different set of minds are daily at work, providing fresh insight, skepticism, humor, and intellectual flexibility that really put new light on the subject.
We first ran into the beginnings of it a little over a year ago on our usual hunt for fun daily international stories about astrology and astrologers in the news. For reasons that only search engines understand, two columnists kept popping up along with the usual newspaper and wire service results: North Carolina astrologer Lynn Hayes (whose newspaper outlet at Arizona’s National Ledger logically should have been tagged by the engines) doing basic analysis of political and other newsworthy charts, and a certain mysterious “Elsa-Elsa,” who was giving out marvelously insightful astrological agony-aunt advice on her blog. What was most gratifying was that both were thoughtful, articulate writers with a lot of steady astrological insight and an eyes-open, journalistic approach to life.
Since then, we’ve seen a whole set of similar minds come to the blogosphere to look at astrology as a reasonable and sensible part of daily life, in and out of the news. They vary from those who specialize in American politics (like Jude Cowell’s Stars Over Washington) to the movies (Jeffrey Kisner’s Astrology at The Movies) to just general observations about astrological events in synch with daily life. Many have wonderful humor finds (like the hilarious sign-song videos at Velvet Blade’s AstrologyTalk), or entertaining and informative but sometimes uneven podcasts (Kelly Phipps’s CosmicWeather). A lot of them mainly list the coming sky events and what they might mean (Mercury retro, that nasty Saturn-Neptune opposition, the coming grand trines with Jupiter and Saturn), some a little too much wiser-than-thou when they oughtn’t be, and some a little too far out into the ether for our taste, but many full of exciting thoughts and suggestions that really open your head to current, real-time possibilities.
Because this is the blogosphere, there’s lots of overlapping or conflicting opinion, but it’s the more informative because the stance is generally one of seeking and sharing rather than pontificating, so even if you don’t agree with what’s being said, either astrologically or politically, that’s OK, it’s part of the trip. And, of course, most have their own set of favorite links if you want to go someplace else for further elucidation or a second opinion. What really sets them apart from the more traditional astrological sites is that they’re intellectually in motion, and excited about it, concerned with how it all fits in with history, science, global politics.
Thanks to ever-evolving varieties of connectivity on the Web, these sites are also getting more play and more central places to be found. The large, general “Top Ten Sources” aggregator has two astrology top tens, one general edited by New England astrologer Susan Custer and an overlapping one for news,edited by Elsa herself! Elsa has found a technological way to tag onto seemingly all the latest astrological material in the blogosphere (and, to an extent, elsewhere – the occasional AstroCocktail article links are labeled “Mainstream Media”!). That's producing a veritible flood of opinion piece links, though the bugs aren’t all out of it yet — it sometimes spews out too much off a single site, not all of it current. But all in all, it’s an admirable attempt to get everybody out there into view, for all to see – “a rising tide floats all boats,” as she generously puts it, and there’s a flotilla on parade out there now, so go take a look!
All of this is first-hand evidence that astrology has lately left the sphere of the far-out and “entertainment-only” fringe and become a part of mainstream discussion and, particularly, vocabulary. Only two years ago when we at AstroCocktail began our “real-news” page (meaning, links to real on-earth news stories on the subject, not general sky events), it was sometimes hard to find a good story. Now you just open the pages of the New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes magazine, or go to any of the major newswires, and astrology stories abound, some of them hilarious, some fascinatingly informative, some really quite scary. We never lack for news to point you to. Here are some of the major astro-blogs we’ve had our eye on of late, but expect this partial list to be changing daily as more people from the world at large bring their thoughts and their commentary to this particular corner of the Web:
Top Ten Sources, Astrology News
Astrodynamics, Astrological Musings — North Carolina’s very balanced, thoughtful Lynn Hayes
Top Ten Sources, Astrology, general
Kelly Phipps, CosmicWeather, featuring podcasts from Asheville, North Carolina
Big Sky Astrology – April Elliott Kent, sixties child, not really a curmudgeon like she says
Stars Over Washington – excellent political commentary by Jude Cowell
Collaborating with Fate – Kathryn from the UK
Jeffrey Kishner, Astrology At The Movies - Also, Lunar Tunes, Astrology Bloggers Webring
The Astrology Page - Susan Custer, Boston (she edits Top Ten Astrology)
Silverwheel Astrology - Barbara Palliser’s spiritual and sky notes from NE England
AstroFutureTrends, Phillip Brown, astro-opinions on tech, music, movies, news
AstrologyTalk — Velvet Blade, Claudia’s fun finds and intense thoughts
AstroTableTalk — Dharmorusti, Glastonbury, UK (ahh, sweet Somerset…)
Aquarius Papers, Global Astrology, Robert Wilkinson
Fools And Knaves – various, interesting, especially about astrologers themselves
Learning Curve On the Ecliptic, Twilight Star Song, British
North Node, Astrology Demystified, Molly Cliborne, Charlottesville, VA
Mystic Medusa, advice letters, chat, surrealea from Down Under
New Moon Journal, Michelle Bailey-Lessirard, sells her stuff, advice, articles
Oculus Divinorum, Isthmus Nekoi, cinematographer, philosopher
The Know It All Astrologer – thirtyish Wendy, astrology “carnival” exchanges
Urania’s 9th House – personal tales and opinions
Living Astrology – very talented new Romanian astrologer
Gryphon Astrology – Nina Gryphon, young San Francisco astrologer
AstroBarry — Barry Perlman, from Frisco to New York and back...
KittyTaurus — totally celeb outlines, Hollywood columnist more than blog, but out of NYC
Apotelesmatics — Chris Brennan, young heavyweight history specialist, working with Project Hindsight
and here's an ongoing, gathering, updated list:
NeithNet—Neith weaves and spins through peace and war along Washington riverbanks…
Pisces Chronicles—Imbolc-born Pat Paquetta opines from Vashon, WA…
Raging Universe—US jazz/blues musician JM clips through life andante…
Astrology of Current Affairs – Ali Mostofi in the UK with astrological takes from and about Iran
Key On Garden Door – gentle backdoor views from Doreen Gordon, Illinois
Astrology And More – Melody Zindell blogs in Boulder, CO, has sipped Green Spot beneath the Batu Caves…
Early in his astrological career, John Townley introduced the composite chart technique for analyzing relationships in his book The Composite Chart, and twenty years later wrote the definitive work on the subject, Composite Charts: The Astrology of Relationships. He has pioneered techniques for astrological cycle analysis and proposed a new, physical basis for astrology. He is also the author of Planets in Love, Dynamic Astrology, and Lunar Returns, has been the president of the Astrologers' Guild of America, was the editor of The Astrological Review, and is a contributor to professional and popular astrological magazines. His books have been translated into seven languages.
John is also a well-known journalist, elected member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, historian, preservationist, performer, and record producer. He can be regularly found, camera and microphone in hand, covering cultural and technology events ranging from the Consumer Electronics Show to the Toy Fair, from international music festivals to ocean sailing races. When he's not behind the camera and microphone, he's in front of them, performing at maritime concerts in the U.S. and across Europe.
He's written for:
|The Mountain Astrologer
|Streaming Media Magazine
||The Warsaw Voice
|Flying Your Way
||The Mariners' Museum Journal
||Sea Heritage News
|South Street Seaport Reporter
||The Toy Fair Times
|World Of English
||Intelligent Transportation Systems Daily
||The Rappahannock Record
He's been featured on:
the BBC, CBC, PBS, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNET and Granada radio & TV, Polish National Radio/TV, Voice of America, Armed Forces Radio, and cable TV.
Susan Townley was headed for a career in media and communications after graduating from Emerson College in Boston, but instead ended up for decades in the fashion industry. Somewhere along the way, however, her caring and compassionate nature, together with a special parasensitive gift, pulled her into a career of service and counseling. Her personal readings have included the likes of novelist Anne Rice, Gotham's fashion favorites, and special investigators from New York's Finest. She has been astrological columnist for the leading paper of Long Island's prestigious North Shore and co-hosted one of America Online's first live astrology shows.
A personal advisor who thinks outside of the box, she uses astrology together with Tarot as a gateway to bring clarity and understanding to others' lives. Upon occasion, Susan tag-teams with her widely-published astrologer husband John Townley to give a special "He said, She said" combination of astrological and psychic reading that mixes broad life analysis with intimate personal insight. When people feel their most vulnerable, that is when Susan's brand of creative self-awareness kicks in, giving clients new opportunities to feel better about themselves and attain personal and spiritual growth.
Dell Horoscope magazine articles:
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