by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Magazines, Radio, Television
Have you ever thought of writing an astrology column or being on radio or TV as an astrologer? Although such columns are general in nature, it does take a great deal of work and thought. I know – I have had monthly, weekly and daily columns that have appeared in magazines and newspapers, on the radio and I have even had my own astrological segment on a live television series. On a daily basis, you cannot imagine the mental gymnastics of coming up with 84 (7 days x 12 sun signs) reasonably intelligent astrological statements every week, on deadline. How would you go about this? Two items are absolutely necessary:
- a simplified system of moving the planets through the houses for each sun sign. You might try the system I worked out, or you may find or invent an even easier or better system; and
- a basic yet thorough grasp of the fundamentals of astrology (A + B = C).
Technique I started with two wheels (see the above diagrams). On the top of an 8 ½ x 11 page, I drew a 5” or so house spoke wheel. Each of the spokes or cusps was labeled with a sun sign, in zodiacal order, starting with Aries on the Ascendant position. On it, I inserted the planetary positions inside the wheel, close to the outside rim for the first day of the column, excluding the Moon, showing planets in signs. Around the outside of the wheel, I placed the Moon symbol on a daily basis: seven-day column, seven Moons.
The second wheel was smaller (about 3”). Using the same spoke division so the wheels would line up evenly, I marked 1, 2, 3, etc., in order, one house in each segment. Using a two-piece clothing snap (the type you sew on) to fasten the two wheels together, I used the snap to punch a small hole directly in the center of the larger wheel. I then placed the smaller wheel on top, again centered, and punched the snap through and placed the other half of the snap to secure. This gave me a two-part wheel that freely moved, and an opportunity to see planets, signs and most particularly houses.
At the bottom of the page is a series of columns. First I identified which year and which ephemeris, noon or midnight, was used. Make no assumptions when you are doing live broadcasting – your head can play little tricks on you when you are not paying attention. The left columns were for Moon information. The right side of the page was for other significant aspects. The first column was date: month / day.
Moon position = the actual position of the Moon listed in the ephemeris for that specific day.
For Moon aspects, I noted all major aspects the Moon made to each of the planets. I did aspecting directly from the ephemeris because the planets as well as the Moon move on a daily basis. I wanted to be reasonably accurate. My “wheel” could only show the planets on the first day of the reading period. It did not account for movement. I also noted periods when the Moon went Void of Course, which is available in your ephemeris or astrological calendars.
Other aspects: on a daily basis I noted all exact major aspects made between the planets, excluding the Moon. I also noted stations of planets, planets that changed signs, etc. In particular, note any eclipses or New or Full Moons that take place. They are very important. On those days when there were no exact major aspects to the Moon or to any of the planets (and there were days like that), I looked to see if there were a quincunx in effect. If none of the above were active, I read that day as restful, regrouping, catching up on loose ends, etc. In terms of reading priorities, I felt the planetary aspects were stronger than the lunar aspects. Planetary actions deal with human urges. Lunar actions tend towards immediate emotional gratification, which can be quite limited in scope or duration.
Note: The noon ephemeris provides accurate planetary positions for 7 am EST or 8 am if EDT. Midnight ephemerides provide accurate planetary positions for midnight in Greenwich England and require more interpolation of position. If you were in a country such as India, east of Greenwich, the time changes would be later than those listed for Greenwich and you would need to adjust the positions and allow for daylight savings time if in effect.
Reading Now we come to the interesting part. Now that you have generated the basis for your reading, how do you put it together for a written column? If you know your basics, you know the drill. Sign by sign, day by day, aspect by aspect, two lines of type, approximately 25-30 words for each reading.
- Place the 1st house inner wheel on the Aries segment outer wheel. Note the planetary and lunar aspects for that day. Note also where those aspects fall by house position. Generate a reading based on planets, aspects and houses as it relates to Aries.
- Once you have finished with Aries, place the 1st house segment inner wheel on the Taurus segment outer wheel. Using the same planets, aspects and the new house layout, generate a reading for Taurus.
- When finished with Taurus, place the 1st house segment inner wheel on the Gemini segment outer wheel. Using the same planets, aspects and the new house layout, generate a reading for Gemini.
- Then do the same procedure for the balance of the signs. As you do each sign, you will move the house segment inner wheel, so the first house is always on the sign being read.
Once you have finished all twelve signs for that day, move to the next day’s aspects. Start with Aries and generate a reading for all twelve signs, moving the inner wheel house segments appropriately. Repeat the procedure for as many days as is needed. One week equals 84 readings – not a small task!
The readings must stay simple. For example, a Sun / Jupiter conjunction could read generally, “This can be your lucky day.” Then you would apply it to house position: 1st self-expression, 2nd finance, 3rd a short trip, etc. You cannot use exactly the same words for each, but the day’s aspect theme does repeat itself. If the aspects are harsh, use a “spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down” in your brief reading. Remember that your listeners cannot discuss their problems or your reading with you. Be reasonably gentle with those on the receiving end of whatever your tongue is delivering!
Sun signs Your column will be directed to Sun signs, but you can also tell your audience to watch their rising sign, if known to them. The information you give will then apply specifically to their immediate response or coping skills.
Quarterly This would be a specialty column, probably based on the cardinal ingresses, and set for a particular location, such as Washington, D.C. for the U.S. or the capital of any other country. This would take much more time and effort, especially if you attempted to read the weather patterns for each area. This might not have a popular following as it is more of a stage-setting on a national or international scale. Because Greenwich, England is 0˚ of longitude, that would be the arbitrary world stage location. Look at the ingress information in chapter 2 to cast these charts This does not lend itself to personal information, but would be useful for warfare, weather, geologic activity, political upheavals, etc. Weather predicting is a major study effort.
These columns take a lot of time and effort and would not give you the feedback to warrant the work unless you are paid up front for your efforts. This would take twelve much more involved paragraphs per month. If you are ever asked to do world predictions, this would be where you would begin.
The format for my live radio show, my television series, and most of my magazine columns was once a week. The column was free to the station or magazine, and they, in turn, provided free advertising and distribution. Miami stations produced thirty-forty readings or students every time I went on air, which made it well worth the effort. Ft. Lauderdale and Boca Radio stations produced almost nothing, which did not make it worth my effort. Ft. Pierce produced a few readings. It will depend on the station or magazine, and the audience. It is demanding with no real return, so do not do it. Also, you may run into fundamentalism and personal harassment. That did happen to me, so be forewarned.
Radio You will need to broadcast frequently, but each effort should be easier as you gain experience. This could bring you exposure and possible requests for readings on a more frequent basis… or get paid for it up front. This could be either column or radio. Limit your freebies or you will get no reward for such effort. During the time I broadcast, radio shows required me to be in the broadcast booth. With more modern technology some stations may allow call-in columns and participation.
When you are on radio, you must keep your mouth close the microphone at all times and you must not have periods of silence. It would be deadly to the show and you would not be invited back. Except for keeping your mouth close to the mike, ignore it and talk directly to your host DJ or to your caller. Ignore the fact that there are probably thousands of listeners, as it will only frighten you and make you freeze.
I did this type of reading on both radio and TV, plus I did live readings spontaneously for multiple radio stations. Such live reading was not my favorite thing. I do know many astrologers who just love to do it. I felt that I could not do anyone real justice having to read generically, mostly by sun sign using an ephemeris and giving a minute or two to each person. This provided no depth, and I am a Scorpio. Not for me!
Call-ins People who call into radio stations ask total strangers the most amazing questions, such as, “Should I get a divorce?”, “Should I have surgery?” That is a boatload of responsibility for a free generic statement from someone you do not even know! I asked the first caller if they were serious and they were – and so were the rest of the callers. I did many four-hour shows in several venues with the phone lines continually lit up throughout each show. My radio hosts really liked that! Astrology was popular.
Daily You would have to be there every day, which may be prohibitive unless the station allows a call-in contribution. You will be hard pressed to do twelve sentences a day for five to seven days every week. Be careful not to set yourself up for impossibility. Dead airtime is not well-tolerated by radio or TV stations. You will not be popular with the host or the station. Your new career could be short-lived.
Television My television show was a live presentation of the material I just taught you to generate. I did, however, create visuals so I would not be just a “talking head”. My other television work was hour-long interview-type shows. Preparation for that type of show is just arriving with a head full of astrological knowledge and “winging it” as you are interviewed. I did a few election predictions on astrological panels. Some were live shows, some were taped, but all move very quickly without re-shooting possible. Pressure.
When you are on television, you must talk to the camera as if it were a person and completely ignore the large number of people who may be watching. You will also have to listen to the director and learn when to shut up or stop gracefully. Above all, do not look at the television monitor when you are on the air. You will totally and completely lose your mind and your place, as well as your credibility; and you will create dead air space, a definite no-no in the broadcasting field.
Tropical versus Sidereal These instructions are for tropical western astrology, but a similar concept could be used for Sidereal ephemerides. I am not a sidereal or Vedic astrologer, so I am not sure how the square wheel could be moved around. Experiment.
What I presented in this ten-lesson workbook is my personal version of Predictive Astrology, the techniques I used to read for my clients, and that which I taught to budding Astrologers. As noted throughout, there are many other astrological tools at your disposal to help you as you learn to forecast or attempt to predict what the existing or changing energy is offering. I have presented those techniques that consistently worked best for me.
Predictive is harder to do than non-Astrologers realize. Astrologers look back to see what energy was available and how it worked itself out in experience. Just remain aware that is not a guarantee that the universe will repeat either the experience or the outcome. The universe creates in diversity. No two snowflakes or grains of sand are identical. So, it stands to reason that such diversity exists within experience as well. Predictive-wise, you win some and you lose some. Using my own past experience, two diametrically opposite results stand out in my mind when I was an astrological predictive newbie with only a couple of years of study invested.
I worked one year as an evening waitress; and had several regular customers with whom I discussed my ongoing studies. One man gave me his birth info and asked me to tell him something about himself. I did just that. I set the natal, looked for possibility, and presented it to him as he drank a cup of coffee. Whereupon, a fully mature businessman jumped straight up out of his seat and ran out the front door of the restaurant. Oops! Any restaurant frowns on chasing customers OUT of the place! Next day, he returned and explained himself. Apparently, I struck a nerve when I told him that he had nearly died when he was twelve years old, hospitalized, and it had something to do with sugar. I did not realize he was a diabetic, but the rest of the message was on the money. An example of “win one”.
Same restaurant, different customer – a man worried about his sister’s health. Her chart was just awful, and I did not see how she could make it through the circumstance. I prayed for her well-being, but was very concerned. She made it. I don’t know how, but she did. For me this was an astrological “lose-one” moment. But she survived, so how can you view it as a loss? She and I later became friends, and we went through other examples of her amazing survival capability.
Practice, practice, practice. That is how you build your skills. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes not so much. It definitely can be harder than it looks! Individuality wins, not conformity. The universe likes diversity of people and experience. Know that and allow for that as you study. You learn by doing.
Did I mention that Astrology is a lifelong study? There is so much to learn. I doubt that any one person could learn it all. I know that I have tried my best, but I am still a student. Whenever we find an answer, we may raise fifty more questions. My analogy is that of climbing a ladder. You stand on a rung and have the vision to see multiplicity of experience all around you. You attempt to learn as much as possible so you can step up to the next rung. As you complete the current rung lessons, you feel ready to step up to the new possibilities of the next rung. As you step up and your horizon broadens, you realize you just encountered another whole level of education, that which you must experience, learn and absorb. Again and again, as you climb life’s ladder, there is always more to learn. The universe never seems to run out of possibility.
So much information is constantly being developed! Plan to be a lifetime student. I taught you the basics because you need that to support whatever else you choose to study. I taught you foundational material. New Astrologers are developing new techniques and methods continually. Not all of them will work for everyone. Our personal skill sets are different. In order for a technique to be of value, it should be replicable by other Astrologers. Stay away from fads or spurious information, and don’t contribute to junk theories. Study whatever you encounter, but cherry-pick what you deepen and adopt as a personal technique. Make each new theory prove itself to be accurate over multiple applications.
I have been studying Astrology since July, 1973 and am as excited by what I don’t know as I am about what I have taken the time to develop. I have so much more to learn about many subjects and techniques like Fixed Stars, Midpoints, Converse, Arabian Points – the list is endless. Why? Because I want to create more mini-workbooks to help others study and broaden their knowledge bases. It takes time to learn a subject, application through multiple charts, to absorb and manage the new knowledge, time to plot the lesson plan, and time to write. I plan to be busy doing just that until it is time to move on in experience. I am hooked on learning and growing, and I encourage that for you also.
Over the period of my life, many knowledgeable people have let me stand on their shoulders so I could see further. I hope you can stand on my shoulders to see further than I can. So you can then provide the shoulders for the next cadre of students and teachers. My original spiritual instructions in 1970 told me to “teach the teachers”. At that time of just having opened the door metaphysically, I did not understand my instructions. But I did learn and I am sharing that knowledge with you. If you are reading this workbook, I know you are a student. Are you a teacher?
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.