Stars not aligned for astrologers during COVID-19, as horoscopes dish outdated advice

The stars haven't aligned for astrologers in the age of COVID-19.

The pandemic has forced some writers and editors to move mountains — or in this case, planets — to have future horoscopes reflect the changing times.

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A long-running feature in newspapers and websites, horoscopes can provide a chuckle, some pause for thought, or even eye-rolling among those who don't believe in forecasts of the future.

Many astrologers clearly didn't see the pandemic coming, judging by some of the recent suggestions in Canadian online horoscopes.

Hopefully Capricorns didn't follow advice last Sunday to "get together with people you share history with" or "attend a reunion."

Scorpios had a challenge on their hands that day — "Go to a yoga class" seems ambitious given that studios are closed.

And a recommendation for Geminis last weekend? "Network and gather friends together, making helpful introductions" during the day and "host a gathering" at night.

Not exactly the new normal on the social front as public health authorities suggest people stay home and minimize outdoor activity.

Longtime columnist Eugenia Last said it's important for readers to be "a little creative" when it comes to horoscope perception.

"Don't take things so literally," she said Tuesday. "Look at it and say, 'How can I make this work for me?'"

Last, a practising astrologer for 30 years, writes syndicated material that appears in a variety of outlets in Canada and across North America. Like most horoscope content, much of her work is written well in advance.

She has been working feverishly with editors to re-word upcoming copy to make it more "useable and friendly" for the times.

Last, whose work frequently appears in the Toronto Sun and on the Canoe.com website, aims to be about two or three months ahead with her content.

She's able to do that, she said, because she reads from an ephemeris, a book that maps out where all the planets are on any given day.

"Right now, my book goes up to 2050. I could be that far ahead."

And if the horoscope says 'get together with your friends,' it doesn't mean you can't do that online, she said.

"You can still socialize. Thank goodness we have social media. It is our connection."

Those who feel astrology is a load of celestial hogwash were likely tickled to see a recent "Note to Readers" on the subject in the Toronto Star — one of many outlets running slightly outdated horoscopes.

The Star said its horoscope column has included "some suggestions that are contrary to the advice to socially distance or self-quarantine which have been urged by local health agencies, the provincial and Canadian governments."

The Star said the material was "written a few weeks ago, before these warnings were issued," adding the column's tone will soon change to "reflect the time we find ourselves living in."

Last said proper interpretation of a horoscope's suggestions and advice is key.

"Use it for entertainment," she said. "Take from it what you can. Try to make it or adapt it to what's going on in our lives right now. If it says, 'Get out,' go outside and garden. Be imaginative and find something to do with it."

Adaptation may prove difficult for Geminis who read Tuesday's entry from the Astrofame service on MSN's website.

The horoscope said it was not the ideal day for making plans if you've been thinking about a trip.

"Whatever you learn today about airline schedules, hotels, etc., may not reflect the situation as it really is. If you wait a few days, however, things should go far more smoothly."

Good luck with that.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 24, 2020.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

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