©4-7-10 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
Note: The following is an excerpt from Donna Cunningham’s ebook, Counseling Principles for Astrologers, available from Moon Maven Publications.
I once asked a new client if she’d ever had a chart done before. She said, “Well, I went to this guy, and he wasn’t talking to ME at all! I couldn’t understand a word he said. I could tell that he enjoyed it, and that he thought it was a good reading. But he wasn’t talking to me at all.”
No doubt, the astrologer believed he was communicating especially fluently that day. However, long strings of astrological jargon like quincunx, trine, solar arc, retrograde and t-square are not communication, they are obfuscation. Astrobabble creates unnecessary mystification and anxiety. Inundated with meaningless terms, all clients have to go on is tone of voice and facial expression, which they may well interpret as ominous.
If we frown in concentration, they may conclude things look bad for them. Our first responsibility during a reading is to make sure clients understand us. Only through meaningful dialogue can we help them gain a new perspective on their lives.
We easily forget how confusing astrological terms were to us in the beginning. It’s hard for us to imagine how bewildering it is for clients when we speak astrobabble. It struck me that it would be fun to substitute unfamiliar and irrelevant terms for our jargon and then to read astrologers’ charts using those terms. That way, they can have a fresh experience of how it feels when they bombard clients with jargon.
I found some delightful words in Webster’s Dictionary and have dubbed them over the astrobabble. They are perfectly good English words, but the meanings assigned to them are arbitrary, for demonstration purposes only. We’ll call this Neo-Astrologese. Imagine that you go for a consultation, and the astrologer says:
“You’re worried about your job? I’d say you have cause to worry. Saturn is hoovering your Palanquin–wambles it from the 6th. It’s holophrastic still, but in December the frenzel is huffish. In January, Saturn goes planetesimal,still wamble the Palanquin, and then it’s ratcheting until August. You’re not out of the woods until it flenzes and makes that final wamble in about November of next year.”
That was difficult to understand, wasn’t it? Not difficult enough, however. Words like Saturn, Mars, and Pluto have reams of meaning to us that the layperson can’t begin to fathom. When a lay person hears the word Saturn, it means virtually nothing, whereas astrologers have written whole books about Saturn. Therefore, let’s switch terms again, so your mind doesn’t have those associations to draw on.
Let’s call the Sun by its other name, SOL, and the planets by astronomical notations. Mercury is SOL1, and Venus is SOL2. The Moon, strictly speaking, is the satellite of the Earth (SOL3). Saturn is SOL6. Keep going, up to Neptune, which would be SOL8, and Pluto, which would be SOL9.
Now, let’s try again. To more nearly re-create the client’s anguish, first work yourself into a total funk about your future. Then, have someone read the following paragraph aloud, with appropriate head shaking and frowning, while you sit squirming, with sweaty palms and a dull ache of dread in the pit of your stomach:
”Well, the problem in your relationships stems from that endarch between SOL2 and SOL7 in your 7th house. Of course, the dihedryl from SOL6 doesn’t help either. Now, SOL9 is rostellating your Bicuspid, on top of everything else. It’s not huffish yet, won’t be until this summer. Before that it double ratchets and forms another condyl to SOL5, so that should help some.”
It sounds awesome and terrible, doesn’t it? All these incomprehensible and apparently not very friendly alien forces are messing with your life, and there’s nothing you can do about them. No doubt, you wish you’d never come for the appointment. At least beforehand you didn’t know there was all this double-ratcheting and hoovering going on. Like you needed something more to worry about!
(If you’d like to amaze and amuse your astrology pals, the Neo-Astrologese glossary appears below. N ow they can share the experience of having their charts read this way.)
Readers, are you guilty of speaking Astrobabble to complete strangers? Are you so addicted to astrology that you can’t communicate without reference to signs and aspects? Find out just how bad it is by taking The Astrobabble Quiz, Joyce Mason’s hilarious take on the topic at The Radical Virgo.
Note: This has been an excerpt from Donna Cunningham’s ebook, Counseling Principles for Astrologers, available from Moon Maven Publications. Donna’s ebooks are $15 or 3 for $35.
THE NEO-ASTROLOGESE GLOSSARY by Donna Cunningham
Part One: Translation, English to Neo-Astrologese:
(NOTE: All of these are English words, found in Websters’ dictionary, but they have different meanings than are assigned here. The meanings assigned to them in astrologese are arbitrary, for demonstration purposes only.)
chart comparison rostellate (v.)
direct, go direct flenze
grand cross double dihedryl
grand trine triple condyle
harmonic charts bimorphemic charts
high focus, heavily aspected meristematic
Node(s), n.,s. Phimosis, Phimoses, n., s.
relocated chart nummular chart
retrograding (back over) ratcheting, double ratcheting
stellium multiple endarch
transiting, transited hoovering, hooverized
t-square triple wamble
wide (orb), but valid holophrastic
Part II: NeoAstrologese to English
(Multiple endarch multiple conjunction or stellium)
wamble (n, v.) square
(triple wamble t-square)
(triple condyle grand trine)
(double dihedryl grand cross)
Adjectives and Descriptive Terms:
holophrastic wide, but still operating
meristematic high focus (many aspects, heavily tenented)
Pieces of the Chart:
Phimosis, N,S Nodes, north, south. (true, mean)
hoovering, hooverized transiting, transited
(double ratcheting retrograding back over)
flenze turn direct
zymosis chart rectification
rostellate do a chart comparison
nummular chart relocation chart