Teen Vogue pushes astrology as “wellness” and “spirituality”

July 28, 2018 • 12:00 pm

I haven’t yet concluded that Control Leftism goes along with woo, but Teen Vogue, a girl’s fashion magazine that’s been turning into a nubile Huffington Post after replacing its editor with a former editor of Feministing, has shown a certain penchant for woo. For example, its “Wellness” section is actually a “wellness and spirituality” section, and is heavily into astrology (the latest two articles are below; click on screenshots to see).


Here’s a short excerpt from the first one:

Just last week we were contemplating exactly how the five planets currently in retrograde would screw up our lives. As if that wasn’t enough to deal with, we now have to prepare for a Blood Moon lunar eclipse on July 27, 2018 — the longest lunar eclipse of the century. Sounds intense, right? Things are going pretty terribly on earth right now, and the last thing we want is to feel like the heavenly bodies are working against us too. I won’t lie to you: getting through July’s eclipse season isn’t going to be a walk in the park, but it’s definitely possible to use it to our personal and collective advantage.

Why should we care about an eclipse in the first place? In astrology, eclipses are important celestial messengers. They use their dramatic tactics to get our attention, force us out of our comfort zones, and to drive our growth — whether we like it or not.

Eclipses come in pairs: a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse. When we experience a solar eclipse, the moon literally comes between the earth and the sun, blocking its rays from reaching us. The effect on us, astrologically speaking, is a figurative one and always works in conjunction with a simultaneous new moon to gift us glorious new beginnings. The darkness becomes a blank slate for us to create on, and the sun stops shining on old, familiar territory. We’re urged to venture out forward into new terrain and create new futures. Eclipses are times of change and change can be uncomfortable. Pushing ourselves to and beyond the limits of our comfort are the only way that we can truly grow and learn what we’re capable of.

Now I’m not getting my knickers in a twist over astrology in this magazine, as it’s a staple of many American newspapers —though thankfully not the good ones—but you can see astrology as either a harmless form of entertainment, like the crossword puzzle, or you can see it as a guide to life—something to be taken seriously. Judging from how these sections are written, Teen Vogue takes the latter route.

What’s the harm in that? Only that it weakens the organs of rationality. It’s only a short step, after all, from believing that the positions of the stars and planets guide your life to believing that God guides your life. This is not to imply that astrology columns turn people into religionists. They just reinforce notions of the numinous—with astrology here conceived as “spirituality”—and give credence to the view that there are “other ways of knowing.”  I’ll just leave this here and move on.

26 thoughts on “Teen Vogue pushes astrology as “wellness” and “spirituality”

  1. “They use their dramatic tactics to get our attention, force us out of our comfort zones, and to drive our growth — whether we like it or not.”

    Don’t know that I’ve ever heard celestial objects discussed in the prose of a bodice ripper before.

    1. To be fair, the spirituality illustration does show the stars have planned for Leos to fall in love with a monkey or ape. That would get most people out of their comfort zone. Fortunately, I’m neither a Leo nor a pretty teenager.

  2. The effect on us, astrologically speaking, is a figurative one

    Yes, and that figure would be zero.

  3. At least they explained the cause of the eclipse correctly! The price of free speech is silly crap like this.

  4. Sun and moon move in paths marked elliptical
    In the plane known to some as ecliptical
    Of eclipses’ events
    The astrologers comments
    Are also stylistically elliptical.


    The first major rejection of astrology in Western culture is in the writings of Francis Bacon codifying scientific method. Kepler and Galileo were both paid astrologers as well as astronomers.

    Astrology was Karl Popper’s most frequent example of a pseudo-science. Popper thought it to be unfalsifiable, and Thomas Kuhn thought there was no way to do research in it. Edward James thought the literature was filled with blatantly fallacious reasoning.

    Carl Sagan felt that the best research on it would be statistical in nature and Wikipedia reports that “The Shawn Carlson’s double-blind chart matching tests, in which 28 astrologers agreed to match over 100 natal charts to psychological profiles generated by the California Psychological Inventory (CPI) test, is one of the most renowned tests of astrology”.

    However, Sagan refused to sign a 1975 statement by “The Humanist” rebutting astrology on the grounds that “no known mechanism” for it to work was a poor argument. Wikipedia reports “Sagan said he took this stance not because he thought astrology had any validity, but because he thought that the tone of the statement was authoritarian, and that dismissing astrology because there was no mechanism (while “certainly a relevant point”) was not in itself convincing”

    1. I have to disagree with one of my “heroes” here – I think here Sagan was wrong. “No mechanism” is a correct critique, *because* the claim is so implausible on its face. This is the use of “background knowledge” we’ve discussed a few times here.

      Part of the reason why this sort of check is important is to avoid *wasting resources*, which is admittedly a pragmatic constraint, but …

  5. When a zealous astrologer, bible thumper, or Qur’an quoter brings up “other ways of knowing” , I like to segue into how geologists, paleontologists, climatologists, etcetera… often have discrepancies on some facts and figures, yet they usually are very astute in how they help each other understand their respective findings and proceed to zero in on useful concepts.

  6. It’s just started raining stair rods in Birmingham, UK. Glorious!

    teenVAGUE Jodie Layne quote:

    “…solar eclipse, the moon literally comes between the earth and the sun, blocking its rays from reaching us. The effect on us, astrologically speaking, is a figurative one and always works in conjunction with a simultaneous new moon…”

    A ‘teaching moment’ lost by Jodie: Solar eclipses & new moons must be simultaneous just by geometry. I suppose it’s not in her interest to explain what’s going on behind the curtain in her Emerald City world. In her own words she’s “a tarot reader, astrologer witch, triple water sign, and Kanye stan living in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada” – to that I would add chief obfuscater

    She also works in Sex Ed. – I hope she operates a clear language policy & deals in FACTS when messing with peoples lives. I noticed that she’s a typical mag writer: just behind the curve on the latest sex positive/feminist hot button topic – easy money to ride on the tail of what’s already been said better elsewhere – oh & she sells tarot cards…

    Meet the woman who’s schooling adults in sex ed [2015 article]

  7. I liked the part how a solar eclipse “always works in conjunction with a simultaneous new moon to gift us glorious new beginnings.” A classic example of post-hoc meaning assignation!

  8. Did Jesus have a birth horoscope drawn up for him? Yes, I know it’s far from clear if there was a historical Jesus, or if so when his true birthday was, or if it was affected by the alleged nature of his conception. Or, somewhat worryingly, the nature of the Son of God was affected by the positions of the ‘stars’ at the time of his alleged birth.

    It’s such a steaming pile of wosname that I can only conclude that two not-even-wrongs don’t make a not-even-right.

    1. “Did Jesus have a birth horoscope drawn up for him?”

      MANDY: Well, what is he then?

      WISE MAN #2: Hmm?

      MANDY: What star sign is he?

      WISE MAN #2: Uh, Capricorn.

      MANDY: Uhh, Capricorn, eh? What are they like?

      WISE MAN #2: Ooh, but… he is the son of God, our Messiah.

      WISE MAN #1: King of the Jews.

      MANDY: And that’s Capricorn, is it?

      WISE MAN #2: Uh, no, no, no. That’s just him.

      MANDY: Ohh, I was going to say, ‘Otherwise, there’d be a lot of them.’

    2. There was a mathematician in the middle ages who got in trouble for doing that. (Cardano? Mathematicians often worked as astrologers because hey, formal skills are formal skills … ;))

  9. As for the usefulness and accuracy of astrology, somebody said “So you are telling me that everybody who died in the First Battle Of the Somme in World War One had the same horoscope?”

    1. Well…
      the horoscope for one could read “Your plans for the future will need revising”, while another would read “You are about to meet a person who will change your life forever”.

      1. In WWI my grandfather took his favourite astrology book into battle. He carried it in the breast pocket of his battle tunic, over his heart. Can you guess what happened?

  10. I have a theory that the preponderance of woo in the UK is a reflection of the lesser religiosity.

    I think most people have a natural tendency towards mysticism – stronger in some people than others. In the US this tendency is exploited and monopolised by religion, which satisfies peoples’ woo-addiction. In UK, religion is regarded as tired, outdated, boring – so people have an unfilled woo-quotient which is exploited by astrology, homeopathy, spiritualism, yadda yadda yadda…

    (I don’t know if anyone has statistics on non-religious woo in UK vs US)


  11. I’m actually a fan of astrology, at least the ancient art of it, not necessarily the stuff you read in newspapers or magazines. I AM a believer in evolution and rationality, I listen to and respect many atheist and secular thinkers, but I also have a love for spirituality. It is possible to love both, particularly if you don’t take the spiritual stuff as literally as religious people tend to do.

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