Friday, April 6, 2012

Exploring the Truth About the Sun Signs

I have no idea if what I'm about to talk about is something other astrology enthusiasts notice or even care about. However, I do notice it's something I rarely see talked about on blogs similar to mine.

I hate... no, really... hate the way most descriptions of the astrological sun signs are handled on your typical astrology site. They're full of buck-you-up bullshit that underlines all the positive attributes of the sign in sparkly, pink Magic Marker, but completely glosses over most of the negative traits. Some even take the negative traits and use really creative wording to make them sound like positive traits and I hate that. None of the sun signs are perfect, even when divorced from the rest of the individual's chart, although lots of astrologers would have each believe that they're just the bestest.

Yes, I get why it's done. A lot of these sites and individuals are also trying to sell a service of some kind -- maybe full astrological charts or perhaps divination readings -- and people are vain idiots. They want to hear all about how perfect, and kind, and smart, and special they are, not learn anything real about their charts that they can then use for some serious reflection and self-improvement.

My day job is as a freelance copywriter and before that, I spent most of my adult working life in retail sales, so believe me. I know how this works. People will pay good money to hear a fairy tale about themselves, but the truth? Not so much. They get enough reality checks in their day to day lives. As a result, people happily spend a ton of their energy running away from the truth. If you can successfully pinpoint the exact type of fairy tale a particular customer wants to hear about himself and tell it convincingly enough, you just got their money, because they will pay you to make the Big Bad Truth about who they are go away for a while.

That's why astrology sites are written the way they are. Don't believe me and just think I'm being mean? Well, what would you say if I told you that as a professional writer, I've actually written my share of the info out there for clients' astrology websites in exchange for money. Do you know what the client always told me to do? "Include plenty of solid information, but keep it super positive. Definitely try to downplay the negative as much as possible, because people don't want to hear it." I promise you this is not just my imagination.

True, maybe I'm just a blunt asshole who has to pick everything apart and has that much of a problem just allowing something to be pleasant and make people feel good. I hate allowing people to walk around with their noses in the air thinking they're perfect though. In the end, I think it defeats the purpose of something like astrology anyway. Too many people already think it's worthless, feel-good bullshit and the fact that so many astrologers aren't blunt and honest about how it works and what the signs are like is a huge part of the reason why.

That said, I have an idea for a new series of articles for this blog. Every astrology blog should have some pages that cover a few of the basics about the qualities attached to each sign and this blog doesn't actually have that yet. Part of the reason is that I have to feel enthused about something in order to spend any amount of time writing about it and the basics in regards to the 12 zodiac signs has been done, and done, and done again. However, I'm realizing that they probably haven't been done the way I would do them.

I'd really like to poke a few holes in some of the glossy, fairy tale descriptions of the signs people are familiar with, as well as educate in regards to the basics. Naturally those holes would be based on a lot of careful observation and study on my part. They'd certainly be honestly and bluntly presented, which I think is something more astrologers should do.

Like I said, I've always felt like honesty is the way to go when it comes to this stuff. Otherwise, it's worthless. In fact, I have a really strict personal policy about doing charts for people or providing them with astrological counseling (which I will occasionally do). If I think you're approaching me looking for feel-good bullshit, hand pats, or pretty cream-puff descriptions of what you, your relationship, or your future might be like, then I will flat-out refuse to do it for you (as some people reading are no doubt aware). I'm only your girl if you want to hear the gritty stuff as well... and then actually use it as a learning tool.

Maybe nobody will want to read these. As I mentioned, people don't like reality checks. However, I'm hoping that people who follow me actually like my blunt approach to subjects and will welcome a different point of view on these topics. If not, I guess there's always the fun I'll have replying to all the comments that say:  "Shannon, you're a bitch." I'm perpetually frustrated with life and I have to take it out on something... or someone.

I will most likely start with the Pisces article, as I've been having a lot "NO WE'RE NOT" moments this week thanks to reading a lot of wonky descriptions of my fishy self. I've been getting acquainted with this queue function on Blogger lately and the weekend is coming up. Perhaps I can set up up a few of these articles to post at regular intervals into the future before I get completely tired of the idea and decide I don't want to finish it. I'm admittedly not the best when it comes to follow-through on my personal projects.