Why is the New York Times taking astrology seriously?

Ms. Levine likewise assumes that astrologers are actually doing something real when she recounts the “professional” activities of the New York Daily News’ astrologer. “He has used astrology,” she writes, “to help him interpret news of three hurricanes, Harvey Weinstein, North Korea, the mass shooting in Las Vegas and the attack in Lower Manhattan.” The astrologer, Eric Francis Coppolino, says that he tries really hard to “avoid rationalization.” Truly avoiding rationalization would wipe about the field, of course, by requiring falsifiable predictions before the fact. But what Mr. Coppolino means by “avoiding rationalization” is something else: not fully shifting responsibility from human agents to the stars. “‘We’re not here to blame the planets,’” he tells Ms. Levine, “‘but rather, to take some guidance and use this technique for an expanded perspective’” — whatever that means.

Ms. Levine does not bother talking to an astronomer about how stars could actually influence human events. The only skeptic she approaches is . . . another astrologer! It turns out that astrology is a dog-eat-dog world in which the fraudsters routinely snipe at each others’ qualifications. John Marchesella, president of the New York City chapter of the National Council for Geocosmic Research (an astrology association), dismisses horoscope writing as “amateur” compared to the grounded offerings of “professional” astrology. No examples of the difference between “amateur” and “professional” astrology are provided.