The first sun sign column appeared in the Boston Record in 1931, but it wasn't until 1936 that that the New York Post decided to run Sun-sign forecasts. By the early 1940's, an estimated 20% of American newspapers carried a daily astrology column, and the numbers have continued to increase ever since. These Sun sign columns were the extent of what the general public ever knew or heard about astrology and most individuals came to believe the sun sign column was astrology. But that's changing.
Now, much of the general public knows that astrology goes far beyond a sun sign column. A few even know that it is actually a large group of systems, traditions and beliefs. And while all the various types of astrology may be different in many ways, they all have one thing in common ~ each holds that the relative positions of the celestial bodies and other points in the heavens can provide information about individuals, humanity and all human affairs ~ from the most personal to the most mundane.
How many types of astrology are there? I really don't know, but astrology has been around since the third millennium and almost every indigenous culture has a system of astrology. Additionally as the world changed astrology changed right along with it, so with each new era astrology has evolved.
Where does astrology go from here?
The internet is changing the way we perceive and learn astrology. It is also creating a more enlightened and better educated public that can, with the click of a mouse, get very accurate astrological knowledge and information.
It seems clear that a more astrologically informed public will require more knowledgeable astrologers, and today's astrologers are becoming more knowledgeable. Computers now do calculations that in the past took hours. This makes it possible for astrologers to test thousands of different theories very quickly. There is not only an explosion of quality astrology on the internet, but also of quality astrological publications - magazines, books, and newsletters - that are giving astrologers a vast array of literature that is sure to broaden and deepen their astrological thinking.
The worldwide astrological community has come together to share knowledge by connecting with one another on all the social networks. It's entirely possible that connecting with one another will begin to create a fusion, blending the various cultural disciplines, and that this fusion could one day be seen as "the single intellectual connecting thread between all cultures." (from an ATH interview by Patricia Lantz with astrologer Bob Mulligan)
Today astrologers no longer have to spend vast amounts of money or time traveling to attend professional conferences in order to learn from and share knowledge with other professional astrologers. The first online international conference, Breaking Down the Boarders, took place on November 19 -21 2010, and I'm sure there'll be more to come.
Our globally connected world makes it possible for all professional astrologers to have a global clientele simply by using e-mail, instant messaging and services such as Skype, where client and astrologer can talk face to face, no matter where each is in the world.
Local astrology buffs can now quickly find others in their community on sites like meetup.com. Astrology students can attend online classes in real time and interact with their teacher. Even You-tube has enough good information to give anyone interested a good foundation in basic astrology.
I could go on and on about the astrological growth of the last decade, and its only just begun. Certainly sun sign columns in magazines and newspapers are still with us, but they are now more sophisticated and they are also online. Over 17 million people receive and enjoy the daily sun sign column from Tarot.com alone.
Yes indeed, astrology is undergoing accelerated growth and it's fascinating to imagine just what astrology's future holds in a more enlightened and astrologically savvy world.