Astrology is just gross. There are some topics that reek of ignorance to a degree that I no longer care about whatever benefits there may be in practicing conversation. I can taste the stink of the other person's mental laziness, and every time I do, I fear that I have somehow been infected by it. It's the same feeling I get around chatty xians, and what a doctor probably gets who forgets to put gloves on, and realize he has been exposed to a patient's blood, or a soldier who feels his lungs begin to sting, and starts flashing back to seminars about nerve-agent, and starts feeling around for his atropine injectors.
In this case, it is Psych-Agent, rather than nerve, blister, or blood agent--or a bio-hazard.
The answer is the same in every situation:
This being said, I have read briefly and carefully on the subject, for the same reasons I own the Family Guy cartoon series. I think there is something to be learned SUBJECTIVELY from careful study of stupidity. The practice is to be avoided. The mechanics are to be understood for parallels with human behavior.
The only two pieces of information about this topic I can recommend are the quote at bottom, and an essay called "Signs of the Times" by Isaac Asimov. Everything else is shit. I don't doubt there are some great books out there about how to mindfuck someone out of this and that--I don't care. I've spent all the time I'm going to reading about this topic.
I recognize the usefulness of being adept at the language, as explained in the following quote from "Mostly Harmless." I refuse to take any notice or part in the shit, however, for the same reason I refuse to talk like a xian: STRATIFICATION.
I simply do not want to be surrounded with people who talk like shitheads--for whatever reason. I certainly don't want to impress them with verbal gymnastics, since that would just attract them.
I found this quote to be a fillip to senses, though. At least, though I choose to distance Astrology, it is still refreshing to see an articulate description of a person who simply exploits the mechanics.
"I know that astrology isn't a science, said Gail. Of course it isn't. It's just an arbitrary set of rules like chess or tennis or what's that strange thing you British play?
- Er, cricket? Self-loathing?
- Parliamentary democracy. The rules just kind of got there. They don't make any sense except in terms of themselves. But when you start to exercise those rules, all sorts of processes start to happen and you start to find out all sorts of stuff about people. In astrology the rules happen to be about stars and planets, but they could be about ducks and drakes for all the difference it would make. It's just a way of thinking about a problem which lets the shape of that problem begin to emerge. The more rules, the tinier the rules, the more arbitrary they are, the better. It's like throwing a handful of fine graphite dust on a piece of paper to see where the hidden indentations are. It lets you see the words that were on the piece of paper above it that's now been taken away and hidden. The graphite's not important. It's just the means of revealing their indentations. So you see, astrology's nothing to do with astronomy. It's just to do with people thinking about people."
- Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless