Astrology is fashionable in NYC

I loved this piece and strongly recommend you read it. Like this piece about Dr. Oz, this interview allows the subject to come off as herself and you, dear reader, can read between the lines. I’ll help with some interesting points I found.

Susan Miller of Astrology Zone is hot in the fashion industry and online.

How Did Susan Miller Become the Go-To Astrologer for the New York Fashion Set? – The Cut.

Miller is like any niche celebrity, in that if you’ve heard about her before now, you’re probably a fan. She’s an astrologer whose website,AstrologyZone, attracts 6 million visitors per month with free horoscopes. She’s published nine books, presented at the Apple Store in Soho, and has columns in ten international fashion magazines, including Elle. The fashion world is Miller’s specialty. She collaborates with brands (suggesting colors for Calypso St. Barth sweaters, doing in-store classes at Furla) and counts designers, stylists, and editors among her most ardent devotees. An anecdote I heard from Emily Barnes, a stylist, characterizes it well: “I discovered her when I was shooting a campaign for Bloomingdale’s in New York. It was the first of the month, when Susan puts her horoscopes up, and the studio literally didn’t start shooting until everyone had read their Susan ­Miller.” At parties hosted by publicist Kelly Cutrone, an attendee told me, “the best seat in the house is always the seat closest to Susan.”

Thanks to Miller, plans are changed and deals stalled.

When asked why she’s so successful in the fashion world, Miller puts on her reading glasses (they instantly fog up, seemingly from the energy she emits) and sets down her tea sandwich to speculate. One reason she offers is that she stays busy: “I was born with more energy than anyone I’ve ever met.” (Seems true.) A second reason, she suggests, is that she is detail-oriented. (Also true. Miller often says things like, “My average sentence has 23 words.”) A third reason is that Miller feels deeply for her readers: “I’m not trying to be Queen Bee. I’m trying to be the reader’s best friend.”

And people are addicted to her. But take a look at how she does it. Just like every other psychic these days.

She pulls out her laptop, opens a computer program (Io Edition: state-of-the-art charting for your Macintosh, starting at $195), and enters the time, date, and location of my birth. A chart appears. “Do you have trouble with your ankle, by any chance?” Miller asks.
“You’re going to have a new moon right on Uranus the day after tomorrow. Right on Uranus. That’s in-sane. The angels wanted you to know.”
She leans closer to my chart, which looks like a pizza. “Do you have any problems with water in your house?”
“You should look into flood insurance from the people upstairs.”
I don’t have upstairs neighbors.

The author notes that the long horoscopes are a mix of specifics and vague “advice”. Also exactly what you expect to see. Some of the specifics will be lucky hits and the vague advice will be molded to your needs. The astrological references are just dressing for the “personalized pep talk”.

The writer of this piece, Molly Young, is lovely and I sense the skepticism but openness to her. She says that her notes from the interviews are “intercut with panicky scribbles like I have no idea what she’s talking about.”

I tend to think that is very much on purpose. Miller sounds like a go-getter, gregarious, curious person. This is what makes her good at what she does.

Another point from this piece is the idea that astrology is coming back into vogue. That’s concerning.

Today’s New York is full of people who will tell you that they never expected to believe in astrology before finding their lives minutely foretold on Astrology­Zone.

fashion astrologyInterspersed in the piece are supposed quotes from Miller that are meant to be seen one way but are obviously problematic.

She says that around 73 percent of her readers went to college or graduate school, and 38 percent earn above $150,000.

Yeah, kind of hard to live in NYC and not be highly educated. Especially if you have time to devote to this interest. Also, more and more people are college educated. It’s not that impressive; smart people believe a LOT of nonsense.

Miller says “No astrologer believes in astrology before she starts to study it — you just don’t think that it could possibly work.” She shrugs. “It’s counterintuitive. But so is getting on a ten-ton airplane and going across the country or eating penicillin.”

Except that we can demonstrate rather efficiently how airplanes fly and how penicillin works. Can’t say the same for the ancient divination of astrology. One of the comments to the article is also revealing: Astrology is a very complicated science – you have no idea how complicated it is. I’ve been studying for 15 years and every year, I’m introduced to a new concept.

Indeed. It’s so complicated that you can just make up discover new things. You use that word “science”… Nope, astrology is not a science.

Finally, one quoted fashion insider remarks how fashion people loved to be obsessed with something. When you surround yourself with people like that, give them what they want to hear and keep them interested, you’ve got it made. Astrology seems to fit for those who enjoy dressing up life and experiences. It’s a good show.

  6 comments for “Astrology is fashionable in NYC

  1. Chris Howard
    February 15, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    She said “…new moon on Uranus…” I just couldn’t read further due in large part to my inner Beevis and Butthead giggling like little school girls.

    If its any consolation I am deeply ashamed for my sophomoric sense of humor.

  2. Ed Kohout
    February 16, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    I’m an astrologer, and after looking at Ms. Miller’s natal chart, I can only think that she is hopelessly full of crap. Her technique is very simplistic, incorporating old ideas that most cutting-edge astrologers have long abandoned. Her understanding of the world is very childish, but she believes she knows everything even though she gets her news from network TV. 15 years of study does not make a top-notch pro. 30 years, perhaps. She is prolific, but to the point of inanity. So much has been published that she’s bound to stumble upon “the truth” here and there. Astrologers like her reflect poorly on the rest of us.

  3. Chew
    February 16, 2013 at 11:40 PM

    Cutting-edge, huh? Mind if I test that?

    I was born in Dallas, TX, on Aug 25, 1964 at 3:25 PM. Tell me about myself?

  4. Brian
    February 17, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Hmm.. I’ll give it a shot! I am not an astrologer, or play one on tv, But I will still give it a shot, for grins and giggles:

    You are a Texan, but I think you’re not in Texas any more. You have a great deal of interest in technology, and own more than one computerized device. You have an interest in sci fi, and have a pet. Recently, something happened that changed you. Oh, and have yo had that birthmark checked?

  5. Chew
    February 17, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    I am not in Texas anymore so that’s a 50-50 correct answer. I do not have a great deal of interest in technology. Cars, smoke detectors, and toasters are computerized nowadays so your 100% probability of getting a hit earns you a score of 0% for that one. I am not interested in sci fi and I do not own a pet. Nothing has happened lately that changed me. I do not have any birthmarks.

    Worst. Cold. Reading. Ever!

    Ed Kohout: when you give me my reading and if it has there is anything remotely resembling the Professor Forer’s horoscope then you automatically fail.

  6. Brian
    February 17, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Aww- I was trying to just be funny. I am not psychic (tho my g/f will dispute that), I dont do astrology, and did guess a lot. As for it being a cold reading… *checks temp* It’s 48…. Pretty cold for me. 😉

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