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unrelated but interesting blogosphere mapping article

The astro-blogosphere hasn’t gotten quite this marvelously complex, but it’s getting there…

by John and Susan Townley (written March 2007, updated ever since...our most-referenced astrology piece!)

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: 

AstroDispatch -- Elsa's daily compilation of astro-blogosphere news and postings

Astrodynamics, Astrological MusingsNorth Carolina’s very balanced, thoughtful Lynn Hayes

Elsa-Elsa -- herself...

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, Sasstrology - Sass, celebrities, and sex, and commentary of all sorts on his blog

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

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

And, here's an ongoing, gathering, updated list:

Apotelesmatics -- Chris Brennan, young Hellenistic specialist, 
working with Project Hindsight
has expanded to more general horizons

NeithNet—Neith weaves and spins through peace and war along Washington riverbanks…

Pisces Chronicles—Imbolc-born Pat Paquette 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 MoreMelody Zindell blogs in Boulder, CO, has sipped Green Spot beneath the Batu Caves…catch her on her own site as well, Depth Astrology...astro-spelunking, anyone?...

Stellar Insights – San Francisco astrologer and artist David Crook has a fascination for mundane astrology and the big picture…

Out The Comet’s Ass – Well, you never know what you’ll find here day to day, but expect an eighth house view, in whatever form…

The Weather Alternative – If astrology is like weather forecasting, the reverse can be true as well…weather from the celestial viewpoint…

Moonlight Becomes Me – Kuanyin from Maui offers a peaceful island viewpoint beneath our favorite satellite…

Intoxicated Zodiac Blog -- Gwen Sutherland Kaiser has cocktails galore here, real and celestial, a mixologist in the sky...

Astrevolution – from France, celebrities galore and lots more, bilingual…

Astrorevolution -- slightly different spelling, another French astrologer, but out of the U.K.!...

Astro-Noetics – the inimitable Bill Street: essays, resources, humor, and wit…

Starlight News – Political astrology, sur le sinestre, featuring Nancy Waterman…

A Day In An Astrologer’s Life – King Features astro-columnist Jacqueline Bigar opines on all and everything…

Bright Starlights – Celebrities and fashion through the celestial lens…

Cosmoastrology -- Glorija Lawrence opines on various charts and events based on the Ebertin cosmobiology system…

Matthew The Astrologer – Matthew isn’t actually a monkey, but he's cleverer than a barrel of them…

American Astrology – Actually it’s two more Project Hindsight protégés, practicing a brand of astrology a bit older than the U.S. of A…

Sabian SymbolsDown-under astrologer Lynda Hill’s site and blog are devoted to March Edmund Jones’s degree-area system used as an oracle…

Starstruck Astrology -- A good choice of title for a blog started on April 1. Keep an eye on Michelle Piller..

Astrologybloggers – A valiant, ongoing attempt at an exhaustive list of astro-blogs…

Astrology Scout – Daily links to current astrology blogs and commentaries, news, reviews, you name it...

Sirius Star Talk -- Norma Jean Ream, on mundane and more, has internet radio show on Voice of America...

Matrix Astrology’s Blogsite!! – This astro-blog bonanza includes a totally star-studded cast including our own John Townley, Matrix founder Michael Erlewine and his brother Stephen Erlewine, Lynda Hill, Martin Davis, Gloria Star, Robert Schmidt, Zane Stein, Gary Caton, Michael Munkasey, Phillip Sedgwick, Demetra George, David Cochrane, Ken Irving, Angel Thompson, Ken Johnson, Elsa Panizzon, Buzz Overbeck, Steven Forrest, Kyle Pierce, more to come, each with an individual blog. Go to one place and partake of them all!

Writing From The Twelfth House-- Scots astrologer Anne Whitaker with a really in-depth research study on Jupiter/Uranus conjunction, lots more to say...

Sky Writer -- Old friend Donna Cunningham, fine astrologer, an astrological standard-bearer, with more to add as standards themselves are in flux...

Moonit -- Here's a blog and site that addresses why GenYer hates their bosses and love each other according to an astrological 
"proprietary predictive algorithm that improves with user feedback"...

Madame Arcati
-- Witty, incisive, inside comments astrological and otherwise from UK's Victor Olliver, with appropriate thanks to Noel Coward...

Astrology Expressed -- Neeti Ray from Bangalore blends Eastern insight with Western passion of mind, including more than a dash of wit...

Global Astrology – Mundane astrologer Theodore White holds forth…

Eclectic Astrology – “Eclectic & unorthodox approaches into the Heart of Classical & Contemporary Astrology Paradigms”

Ouranitsa – One of several good astrology-themed blogs from the birthplace of democracy…

Astropro-Society – Another interesting Greek astrology site…

Claralucia Astrological Studio -- Lucy Ogden – Classicist…

Cosmic Chronicle –from UK, Kathryn Cassidy’s  “news roundup from a higher perspective…”

NeptuneCafeA virtual astrology webzine, recipient of Nolle’s WOW award…

The Inner WheelAll about secondary progressions with Dawn Bodrogi...


                                                           

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