I was just sitting here, trying to think up a new year’s resolution for myself when I came across something inspiring on astro.com’s home page. Introducing his article on the site, the author wrote “events are interpreted as vehicles for facilitating a process of characterological development . . .”.
Okay, I get what this guy is trying to say. I have an extensive vocabulary myself, and I often take a more-florid approach to writing than many of my peers. But even when I talk about fashion and other superficial pursuits, I don’t believe that I come off as a pretentious prick.
Of course, reading that passage reminded me of how many other astrologers say “ur-ahnus” instead of “your anus.” I grew up hearing the latter anytime anyone mentioned it, so that’s what I say. It doesn’t bother me that pronouncing the word that way lends itself to an infinite number of bad jokes. In fact, I relish the opportunity to make those jokes myself.
So what does any of this have to do with my new year’s resolution? Well, I’ve had plenty of time on my hands lately to discover what other astrologers are doing with their time. What I’ve learned is that many of them are the gas giants of the discipline: so full of hot air that they can barely contain themselves.
Just a few days ago, I picked up “The Practical Astrologer” by Nicholas Campion. I bought the book in 1987 when it was new and it sent me down this path that I am still traveling today. I finished the book in a couple of days. I cannot describe how refreshing it was to read a book by someone who is as “practical” as Nicholas Campion. I know that much of his work is quite heady, but he certainly knows how to keep his audience entertained.
That made me think about my own strengths as an astrologer and an astrology writer. I also believe that I have a practical approach toward the subject. That doesn’t mean that I dismiss what other astrologers do, but it does mean that I don’t write anything that I would not expect to be read. For that reason, I try to talk to my audience in a manner that is erudite and engaging. If I crack a stupid joke along the way, it’s because that is something that good authors do to connect with their readers.
And who do I want to read the things I write? People who say “your-anus” because it makes them laugh. I’m going to resolve to stay in my own lane in 2018 because I do believe that there is an audience out there for a guy like me — I just have to keep plugging away until I find it. What I do is different than what most other astrologers do, especially the dime-a-dozen esoteric types who seem to dominate the business with their pretentious prose. To those people, I only have one thing to say: YOUR ANUS.