venus-occultation
The Moon & Venus (source: CBC)

I loathe astrology on Twitter because so many astrologers use Twitter as a platform to lecture everyone else on how astrology should be practiced. Nevertheless, I do follow several astrologers on the site because I am interested in what they have to say — even when I disagree with almost everything they have to say. Despite my know-it-all nature, I’m far more open-minded than most people on the social media platform.

However, I am far less open-minded about diction. Over the past couple of days, I’ve read two Tweets from a very famous astrologer who is misusing the word “occult.”

Wikipedia defines occultation as follows:

“An occultation is an event that occurs when one object is hidden by another object that passes between it and the observer. The term is often used in astronomy, but can also refer to any situation in which an object in the foreground blocks from view (occults) an object in the background.”

Therefore, Saturn does not occult the moon. Pluto does not occult the moon. The moon occults those planets that it obscures. The moon is the object in the foreground, and the planets it occults are the objects in the background.

I know that I can be a picky pain-in-the-ass when it comes to the ways words are used (or misused), but I’m a Capricorn with a third-house sun. Just give me this one and start using the word correctly before I have to unfollow you. I can’t take it any more.

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