Toronto, Moon people, and the G20 walk into a Bar…

In case you haven’t noticed, the G20 and G8 summits are about to be held in Toronto and Huntsville. It’s the big event of the year for Ontario: Think of it as being sort of like Vancouver’s Olympics, but with less half-pipes and more black helicopters. In a mad-dash for news, any news that might catch the eye of any G20 observers, the Toronto Star has helpfully provided an article warning us that the G20 summit may prove to be an unsettling uproar.  What could be the cause?  Police crackdown of protesters?  Silencing of the press?  Political / diplomatic security issues that disrupt civilian and commercial operations in Toronto?  No.  The Star is advising us to be careful…because astrologers are concerned about the lunar eclipse on June 26.

Lets be clear: there WILL be a partial lunar eclipse on June 26.  The author of the piece even went so far as to confirm that the eclipse will not be viewable from Toronto.  However, knowing that astrology makes many predictions (and postdictions) that are pulled from out of the sky (ha!), I noticed a peculiar oddity.

From the article:

The June 26 galactic event is a Moon in Capricorn eclipse, which some astrologers are taking as a very bad sign, a time, says the website Big Sky Astrology, when you want to “quit one’s job and see the country in an Airstream camper.”

I checked, and no, the moon will NOT be in Capricorn on the 26th.  I remembered that I could easily check a computer program called Stellarium, which has served me well in the past.  Stellarium uses simple math to predict where the moon, stars, planets, and other celestial objects will be.  I use it every time I go out with my telescope, and I consider it a mathematically accurate chart of the heavens.  

As you can clearly see, the moon, when viewed from Toronto on June 26, will be in the constellation Sagittarius, not Capricorn.  Or to put it graphically:

If astrology were a tenth as scientific as its proponents claim, then surely they would known that it’s hard to have a Moon in Capricorn eclipse when the moon isn’t in Capricorn!

But that was just one astrology websites’ opinion.  Surely the author of the piece would have called them on it, right?

Possibly more relevant to the G20 summit is the advice of Web astrologer Rob Tillett:

“The common people (the Moon, Saturn) will be included to overthrow or resist their rulers (Sun, Jupiter), who will seek to control and repress them, even while offering blandishments and concessions.”

I’m not really sure what “will be included to overthrow” means, but I think it’s pretty sweet that I’m one of the moon people.

“We are the Mooninites.  We live on the moon.  We will be included to overthrow or resist your rulers, who seek to control and repress us”

Okay, there’s lots of pro-astrology drivel in the piece, but this newspaper has the highest circulation in Canada.  Founded in 1892, the Star has a reputation of being a beacon of journalistic integrity for over a century. We’re talking major mainstream media. In keeping with the trust spirit of the 4th estate, the closing of the article must surely end with a quick slap-down of the ridiculousness that is astrology, and hopefully an apology for having wasted the readers time:

Since lunar eclipses are more domestic and personal, compared with solar eclipses’ pull on politics, the leaders might not have much to worry about, either.

The bad news is that the next solar eclipse is July 11: the day of the World Cup final.

No, the bad news is that the Toronto Star assigned one of their staff writers to present this as news. I doubt that many people will take this astrology article seriously, but it is very telling that the Star placed this not in the entertainment section, but in the G20 Summit subsection. I’m not big on the shame-shame-double-shame attack, but in this case, the Toronto Star needs to take a serious look at what they think is news. I would have liked to see the staff writer covering more relevant g20 issues, which compared to astrology, amounts to just about anything at all.

Thanks to Kevin for the link.  This normally would have gone to the Sunday Wins and Fails feature, but I can’t resist an astrology post.

6 Responses to “Toronto, Moon people, and the G20 walk into a Bar…”

  1. Kim Hebert says:

    In what way is a small moon orbiting a small planet to block an insignificant star’s rays a “galactic event”? They really know how to dress things up.

  2. Steve Thoms says:

    They simply re-name everything they can to make it fit. It’s like how some wiccans consider a full moon to be the 2 days before and 2 days after the actual full moon occurred. Astrologers will probably still say that its in Capricorn just because Sagittarius is beside it. I suspect “galactic event” is just their word for anything that happens in the night sky. Galactic just may be the new Celestial.

  3. PharmacistScott says:

    That story was probably right beside this one: G20 Fashions for the Militant and Fabulous:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/827139–g20-fashions-for-the-militant-and-fabulous

  4. Rick Violet says:

    Crazy I felt it in Bobcaygeon

  5. Kichae says:

    Astrologers fail to adjust their charts for the precession of the equinoxes, and have consistently failed to do so for the past two thousand years. AFAIK, their charts don’t actually predict things like lunar eclipses, so the astrologers must simply hear about them second hand and then insert these events into their whatsywhosits when making their claims. An astrologer hears about a lunar eclipse on the 26th, they look at their poorly neglected charts to see where the Moon is “supposed to be” (while refusing to look at the actual sky to see whether the Moon/Sun/planet-of-the-day is where they’re claiming it is), and Robert’s your parent’s sibling.

    This is also why anyone born on June 26th is considered a Cancer, even though the Sun is in Gemini at the moment. 2000 years ago, the Sun was in Cancer on June 26th.

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  • Steve Thoms

    Steve is a professional music teacher living in Kitchener, Ontario. He studied recorded music production at Fanshawe College, and Political Studies/History at Trent University, where he specialized in political economy and global politics. He is an amateur astronomer, and an award-winning astro-photographer. Steve also runs the blog, Oot and Aboot with Some Canadian Skeptic." can can be followed on Twitter, @SomeCndnSkeptic.