This week, we arrive at a Planet Waves milestone — 200 consecutive weeks of Monday Morning horoscopes. After many years of Thursday or Friday weeklies, we began publishing Mondays with the start of our Marie Claire gig. What also changed is that we no longer have “off weeks,” mostly thanks to my having two competent stand-ins, Amy Elliott and Victoria Emory.
The Planet Waves horoscope has run continuously since May 1995, when it began in Free Time, an entertainment magazine in Poughkeepsie, New York.
Since then, my horoscope column has appeared in publications across Europe and North America, with readers from the one of the Antarctic scientific stations to Iceland, parts of Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and of course Vashon Island (where Planet Waves, Inc. was founded). The Planet Waves horoscope has appeared in daily, weekly, twice monthly, monthly, quarterly and annual formats.
In all, we’ve published about 2,000 horoscope columns and annual editions. Currently, my horoscope appears most Mondays and monthly, and annually in its longest form.
Wherever we may reach through secondary publishers (magazines and other websites), Planet Waves is here to serve you: our individual subscribers, customers and clients. We live in the Promised Land of the Internet: one-to-one long-term relationships with individuals, and no advertising sponsorship.
The Meeting Place
At the center of all we do — and we do a lot — are my monthly and weekly horoscopes. To write them, I draw on every conceivable source, inner and outer, and all of my experience as a writer. You get my personal interpretation, informed by what I’ve learned from spiritual training (particularly A Course in Miracles and yoga path), therapy training (particularly Gestalt and Hakomi), and my decades of study of esoteric literature, tarot and astrology with the most excellent teachers.
As written work, as a result, I consider the horoscope to be journalism, which belongs next to the crossword puzzle, Peanuts and Jumble.
I first learned astrology in a newspaper office — that of the Echoes-Sentinel, where the editor, Flo Higgins, ran a kind of nonstop astrology class. I was drawn directly to the work by Patric Walker from a column in the New York Post. And consistent with good journalistic practice, I present astrology in plain language that anyone can follow.
When someone says they are not into astrology but follow my horoscope, I consider that the highest compliment.
Whatever else it may be, the horoscope column is a meeting place. I write something, and put it somewhere, and you look for it. An idea is passed from one person to another. I am writing about the most basic aspects of life: how we relate to ourselves, how we relate to others; how to do good work; how to recognize the meaning of your existence; how to confront the challenges that life presents.
While I have some things to say about the outer circumstances of life, I view most of my job as providing introspective guidance. So far as that is possible, I am a guide inward and to your inner life. At minimum, I’m here to remind you that you have one.
It’s Not Easy for Most Astrologers
I’ve shepherded the horoscope writing careers of many astrologers. Most are short; the intensity of writing for 12 signs even once a week is more than most people can handle, and they tend to give up.
Many Sun-sign writers (as we are known) don’t believe in what they do; many do not understand the very basics of the craft. I know this from listening to them speak at astrology conferences, or following discussion threads.
One astrologer recently featured in a national magazine article said in a video that you cannot expect horoscope columns to be accurate, since one is writing for all of the Scorpios (or whomever) and they all can’t have the same reading. I went bug-eyed when I saw that; at least she was taking ownership of her issue.
Writing for a wide public in a personal way is the art form, the essence of writing horoscopes. That is the poetry of it. Everyone related to Harry Potter; we did not need 12 separate editions. So when a writer gets to describe the same chart 12 ways, that leaves a lot of room for some tailoring of ideas.
Horoscopes must be specific enough to be relevant; elliptical enough for readers to bring their own meaning; and offer sound ideas and advice in any case. Above all, they must be ethical and relate to the reader on the level of their better angels — and also with awareness of their fears and concerns.
That is the Planet Waves horoscope, anyway. It remains a pleasure and a challenge to write these poems, stories and mini-investigative features for you.