I just finished the long monthly horoscope for September. This will be distributed to Planet Waves subscribers, Core Community members and All Access Pass holders. But not before I do a special edition for Friday on Sun in Virgo, Virgo New Moon and the Mars-Saturn conjunction. I could run the monthly a little early, but the aspects of this weekend and early next week deserve their own set of interpretations. I treat my horoscopes with the same level of importance as the highest level professional consulting.
The kind of meticulous care and research that I put into my column is why I am the only astrologer on the Internet who charges for my horoscope. Another result is that the columns hold up for years. We post old columns in the Daily Oracle on Planet Waves, and usually they seem as fresh and alive as the day they were first published — even though it’s sometimes 10 or 12 years later. Usually horoscope writing is water under the bridge. I write my columns to last; I think they have value as a research tool, and as a kind of cosmic diary that anyone can access (via our Intelligent Archive program that searches by date, by keyword or by random selection).
Today’s writing went very well. Usually the long monthly takes me part of the day for three days, but I’ve been needing to tighten up my schedule, in part due to writing a second weekly horoscope.
I’m sharing some of the supporting documents to give a little insight into how I work. The chart is for the Libra equinox, with minor planet listings attached. I don’t use a program that automatically puts in all those points because I do it a little differently each time, and I want the chart to be a unique art piece. One distinct thing about my work is that I access a great many minor planets, most of which are not written about in books and many of which are not covered competently on the Internet. You can read some delineations here.
This chart will be used for a diversity of purposes, including the Libra birthday reading, the Inner Space horoscope, and the weekly horoscope for the week of the equinox.
Some of highlights of the chart include Mars in Sagittarius, as well as an aspect pattern that brings together Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron and Uranus. There is also a lunar eclipse in mid-Aries coming (in October) that I factored in, though did not work from the chart.
Once it’s time to write, I will usually do a set of fast, first-impression notes that give me a seed idea for each of the signs. I did that this morning at Outdated Cafe; it took about an hour, including eating breakfast. Then I actually write the piece, which is 12 separate articles of about 225 words each. With horoscopes the word count is important, because print space is limited and must be predictable. Yet it’s more important that the sign entries be entirely distinct — in content, theme and tone. Note, this is all done from one chart, looked at from 12 different points of view. The writing and rewrite portion took me about seven hours today, including a meal break. As I said, it went very well, though I have incentive because I have an essay and two more horoscopes to write before about 2 pm on Friday.
Once written, horoscopes go through a double (or triple) proofreading process by my editorial team before being submitted to production here or elsewhere. One of our proofreaders has been with me for more than 500 horoscope columns, more than half of my career — Jessica Keet of Los Angeles, who by the way can produce copy in American English, British English, Australian English or South African English (and Afrikaans) — only when necessary of course. When I was working for Jonathan Cainer, we could submit copy in UK English so that his sub editors (mainly Dave Nick, the man behind the scenes of Cainer’s horoscope) would not have to do that work and risk making mistakes in the rush to meet print deadlines.
If you’re curious about my horoscope writing, you can read this article about writing my 1,000th horoscope, and you can sign up to receive my columns here.