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Skeptical Analysis of the Paranormal Society

"Le doute n'est pas une condition agréable, mais la certitude est absurde."

—Voltaire

Horoscopes... Hooey?

Four Horoscopes and One Astrological Profile = One mess of silly.

Horoscopes... they're everywhere. Nearly everyone knows their astrological sign. Why? I've no idea.

Today Alison looked up her daily horoscope on a few different servers. Now, Alison is actually down with the flu and has done nothing today besides lie in bed and moan. She hasn't spoken to anyone on the phone or in person. The day is almost out - it's ten pm. So what supposedly happened today?

Here are some of her horoscopes for the day:


From http://my.horoscope.com:

A very positive aspect from the moon is likely to have you feeling great today. Be prepared to feel more dynamic and more in control, especially in terms of your love life. Just try to make sure that you don’t take on too much. Burning the candles at both ends will wear you out!

It's probably safe to say that the moon is not making Alison feel great at the moment. In fact, nothing is besides massive doses of Nyquil, and even then, only because it leads to blissful unconsciousness. Alison has not had any contact with anyone she is or will be or has been in a relationship with that would make her feel dynamic or in control. Her sole quest for the day was for chicken soup. And even then she didn't get any, which did not boost her confidence in the least.


From http://www.astrologycom.com:

There is strength behind your convictions, Sagittarius. You are determined to express your thoughts and emotions regarding past concerns in the area of love. This includes not only lovers lost, but your overall feelings regarding passion and loving unions. Communicating to those closest to you clears the air. Powerful colours are cherry and lavender. Lucky numbers are 6 and 9.

While it is true that Alison may normally have strength behind her convictions (which, by the way, is the very definition of a conviction unless you are referring to a court of law, and then it's a bit different), she has no strength or conviction today. She hasn't cleared the air with any lovers because she hasn't actually spoken to anyone beyond saying "I feel as though I've been hit by a train."


From http://www.psychicguild.com:

There may be some relief from debts due to some unexpected financial resources opening up. An upcoming event may have you all geared up to hog the limelight in turn making you a celebrity.

This is an interesting daily horoscope in that it doesn't actually say anything today. It mentions the future frequently, but in a completely removed sort of way - as though these things could happen at any time. No doubt in the future Alison will find something applicable, but it could just as easily be said "In the future, you will have a really horrible day and wish you hadn't taken the path you did." It works because those days happen to everyone, not because they are some sort of personal truth.


From http://horoscopes.astrology.com:

Impulse rules the day. This leads to exciting new discoveries (grapefruit sorbet! riding roller coasters!), but it might also lead to avoidable mistakes (did you really want a stuffed deer for your bedroom?). Aim for balance.

Well, Alison, being in bed all day, has had very little opportunity to be impulsive. The most impulsive thing she has done was sneeze ten times in a row. It was neither an exciting new discovery or an avoidable mistake.


Sagittarius, the ninth Sign of the Zodiac, is the home of the wanderers of the Zodiac. It's not a mindless ramble for these folks, either. Sagittarians are truth-seekers, and the best way for them to do this is to hit the road, talk to others and get some answers. Knowledge is key to these folks, since it fuels their broad-minded approach to life. The Sagittarian-born are keenly interested in philosophy and religion, and they find that these disciplines aid their internal quest. At the end of the day, what Sagittarians want most is to know the meaning of life, and if they accomplish this while feeling free and easy, all the better.

It's the Archer which represents Sagittarians, although in this case it's a Centaur (half man, half beast) which is flinging the arrows. Centaurs were the intellectuals of ancient Roman mythology, and Sagittarians are quick to consider themselves their modern-day counterparts. Those born under this Sign are clear thinkers and choose to look at the big picture most of the time. They also like it when others agree with their well-thought-out point of view. The alternative to this, for better or for worse, is a Sag who can become argumentative and blunt. That's not to say that these folks are intransigent -- Archers will listen to what others have to say, in keeping with the Mutable Quality assigned to this Sign. Indeed, Sagittarians are enthusiastic consumers of information (and enthusiastic in general), the better to get the answers they need. It's also a good idea to give Sags lots of room to explore their world. Once these folks start to feel hemmed in, they'll become impatient and difficult.


We asked three people to rate the accuracy of the statements in the astrological profile as it applied to them. These are the responses from David Federlein (a Sagittarius) of http://www.fowlsound.com, Tanya (a Cancer), who can be found on http://www.myspace.com/tanavich783, and James (a Gemini) and Trivia Host on AOL.

1. You are a truth-seeker.

D: "I guess. but I wouldn't define myself as a 'truth-seeker' for fear of souding like a 9/11 denier"

T: "Yes, I am."

J: "I like to think of myself as a person with an open mind, and yes, I seek truth very often when I want to know."

2. You have an interest in religion or philosophy.

D: "wait...religion is not the same as philosophy. you cannot combine those. you are bound to catch 100% of people with that."

T: "No. Definitely not."

J: "Though i dont get to do it often i find philosophy to be quite interesting and my interest in religion is not as strong as my mom or grandad but I have a healthy interest lets put it like that."

3. You want to know the meaning of life.

D: "indeed. I prefer to input my own meaning in life, which is to say I don't need to 'learn' it, I already know it insofar as I create it."

T: "Actually, I don't."

J: "I think like everyone the meaning of life is something i am curious about particularly becuase if i could truly find that out... i could find out my meaning of life"

4. You look at the big picture.

D: "1) what big picture, 2) in regards to what aspect of life, and 3) how can such a completely and purposefully vague question infer meaning?"

T: "I am a detail-oriented girl."

J: "Yeppers... I think now that i am an audlt knowing what the big picture is is kind of important becuae it'll keep me occupied"

5. You like it when people agree with you.

D: "Who doesnt?... people tend to gravitate to like minded groups for support. EVERYONE likes people that agree with them."

T: "Oh yes, I really do. 'Cause I am always right."

J: "that always makes my day and it makes me happy so i have to say that i do like it"

6. Sometimes you are argumentative.

D: "under the right conditions everyone will argue"

T: "I am, yes."

J: "Yes, yes i am.. when ithink im right i can tend to be a bit firm on my stance.. im not afraid to admit im wrong but i dont want people to just say im wrong without proving it"

7. You are an enthusiastic consumer of information.

D: "well, ok then yes I am an information consumer, but that wording is so vague it could mean anything from listening to the radio morning news, or creating your own personal scientific library."

T: "I love, love, love info."

J: "Yeah.. i mean i always love to learn stuff and i am quite proud of what i have learned becuase of my like of gathering information. Its not only good for Trivia but its makes for great reading so i learn stuff"

8. You are enthusiastic in general.

D: "you can be enthusiastically angry, or enthusiastically apathetic (though that sounds like a contradiction) in what WAY am I to be enthusiastic? If the question means that I am passionate, then yes, but everyone has a passion about something."

T: "(laughter) If you couldn't tell, yes."

J: "I think i am... im pretty sure others would also say i am. But i think it always just depends on what i am enthusiatic about... if its life in general.. you'd have to check back with me when im truly on my own.. then i think i'll really know that one"

9. When you feel hemmed in, you become impatient and difficult.

D: "No, when I feel "hemmed in" I simply change my surroundings."

T: "Very true."

J: "Yeah.. I think i tend to become difficult when its something that i dont really want to do or when its something i dont agree with or when its something that i feel is taking advantage of me."

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