Signs of Success: The Remarkable Power of Business Astrology

Signs of Success: The Remarkable Power of Business Astrology

by Steven Mark Weiss

Hardcover

$24.00

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814474419
Publisher: AMACOM
Publication date: 05/16/2008
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Steven Mark Weiss (Scottsdale, AZ) is a business journalist, editor, speaker, and consultant who for the past 40 years has injected his deep appreciation for astrology into his deceptively mundane-seeming life and career.

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Prologue

Do You Really Believe in This Stuff?

The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.

—Eden Phillpotts, A Shadow Passes

Some years ago I was meeting with a close friend and valued client, celebrating a moment of considerable professional and personal triumph we had just shared. I said something about my role as a consultant in his business efforts and he responded that he didn't think of me as a consultant. I of course asked what he meant.

"You're not a consultant," said my friend. "You're a scout. I use you to find out stuff that I need to know about."

That distinction resonated then and has continued to resonate throughout my career. Perhaps as most business consultants, I'd like to think that my best contributions are in the substantive areas of analysis, planning, and execution. It is quite often the truth, however, that my role as a consultant has been more that of an idea prospector, bringing back intriguing and hopefully useful raw material for the mills of executive minds that are ultimately saddled with the twin headaches of making decisions and taking responsibility for them.

Over the years my own path has admittedly been more that of the journalist and researcher rather than that of the management guru. It is my nature to be excited about discovering, and to want to communicate, interesting "stuff." If I am trained by professional experience, it is to identify and report unique and (I hope) business-relevant phenomena.

Against this background it is time to confess that I've long considered the field of astrology worthy of at least a little serious attention from business executives. Personally, I've embraced its teachings and techniques in my business dealings far more than I've ever willingly acknowledged (and occasionally shared its insights with clients, some of whom would be troubled by the implications of credulousness if their names were revealed here). After nearly forty years of sincere avocational interest in the field, including the production of one book and a number of journal articles—not too mention attendance at incalculable seminars and classes—, you may consider this a full coming out of the cosmic closet.

This immediately brings us to the essential interrogative that always pops up when astrology is advanced as a serious subject. Sometimes this inquiry is breathlessly posed as, "Have you lost your mind?" More politely the question is put, "Do you really believe in this stuff?"

To answer this as straightforwardly as possible, astrology is not well focused as an issue of beliefs. Astrology is an art dressed up in the scientific guise of astronomy, so the proper question may well be, "Do you believe that intuition, inspiration, and creative understanding may sometimes be based upon celestial mechanics and mathematics?" It really should suffice to people of curiosity that, whatever its status as a rational pursuit, astrology has existed since the advent of civilization, has been seriously and appreciatively remarked upon by some of history's greatest thinkers. It has also been employed to advantage, of this there is no doubt, by some of mankind's greatest leaders and achievers.

Many names could be invoked to corroborate this last assertion, but perhaps the most intriguing is that of Albert Einstein, certainly on the short list of history's most eminent scientists and Time magazine's "Person of the [Twentieth] Century." Although astrological critics love to debunk it as hearsay, Einstein did in fact in publish a collection of musings under the title Cosmic Religion with Other Opinions and Aphorisms, (Covici-Friede: New York, 1931) in which he offers up considerable praise for the gifts of intuition and inspiration, going so far as to declare "imagination is more important than knowledge." In this context, he has the following to say about astrology:

Astrology is a science in itself and contains an illuminating body of knowledge. It taught me many things and I am greatly indebted to it. Geophysical evidence reveals the power of the stars and planets in relation to the terrestrial. In turn, astrology reinforces this power to some extent. This is why astrology is like a life giving elixir to mankind.

So it is that while astrology may well be a load of poop as science (although you apparently need to get past Einstein if that's your argument), even the greatest scientific mind of the past century offers a commendation for its rigorous examination of data, for the intellectual forms into which this data is organized, and for its ability to inspire some sort of "life-giving" awareness. At its core, astrology builds inspiring constructs of archetypes and understandings and values that have enormous relevance to the processes and personalities of the world, including its commerce. Terms like "psychological profiling" and "effective habits" and "team building" may be more to modern business tastes, but that seems a poor excuse for leaving unexamined a rich antecedent of psychology that exceptional minds have been pondering for the past 5,000 years.

This understanding that astrology organizes and describes data, in particular human behavioral data, on a comprehensive level at least as rich as that offered in more "scientific" personality analyses, is where much of its potential business value lies. It is this insight in its relation to the lives of business greats—that astrology elegantly traces archetypal patterns of historical success that would-be leaders and associates would do well to recognize and emulate—that forms the backbone of this book. Yet there are also other useful limbs to this particular knowledge tree.

Beyond its application regarding personality/values profiling, another great use of astrology is in identifying the cycles related to business and consumer trends. The great American social commentator Mark Twain reputedly once observed that "history doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes." In all the years I have spent tracking trends as a journalist and marketing consultant, nothing in my experience more accurately reflects the periodicity of market enthusiasms and cold shoulders like the timing associated with astrological cycles. Cigars, denim, and gourmet hamburgers are, I have learned, just some of the consumer products on multiyear "planetary" cycles as nearly dependable as sunset and sunrise. No fooling.

Of course, there is also the real nut of this sometimes-squirrelly subject, prognostication. This matter will be dealt with in some depth a few pages from here, but every beginning in the business world—the opening of a new unit, the launch of a marketing campaign, the hiring of a key employee—would seem to embrace the intuitive every bit as much as it embraces the factual. Astrology purports to identify auspicious and inauspicious moments for getting into such things and, I know this strains credulity, appears to work when undertaken by a competent caster of horoscopes far more often than would seem possible on a random basis.

Again, none of this is meant to convey a too strenuous rational defense of astrology. But if I may be permitted a contemporary cultural observation, now seems like a pretty good time to consider the supra-rational gifts of the spirit and imagination.

We live at a time in which we are being devoured by the capabilities of technology applied to data collection and transmission. As my co-authors (Ken Beller and Louis Patler) and I observed in our recently published demographic study, The Consistent Consumer (Dearborn Trade Press: Chicago, 2005), this has a lot to do with the increasing influence of a generation whose early adolescent values were formed during the emotional chaos of the Vietnam era. Finding heroes neither among belligerent hawks nor spaced-out doves, this generation in its adulthood has reasonably come to value scientific empiricism salted with a liberal dash of cynicism as a saner approach than self-righteousness to human problem solving.

Unfortunately, this sober attitude tends to narrowly exalt empirical data and rational utilitarianism over the full variety and depth of human interests and potentials. With ever increasing speed and efficiency the "facts" are collected, the spreadsheets are filled, and the results are communicated. But something in the way of genuine experience and assimilation, not to mention passion or entirely satisfactory results, is missing. What we have in ascendance in the world is a race of engineers, when we could honestly also use a few more sociologists, cultural anthropologists, humanistic philosophers, and perhaps, astrologers.

Certainly there is irony in the fact that astrology, at least on one level, is another data-based system that is only made practicable in a broad sense by the very technology I may seem to be disparaging. Prior to the proliferation of computers, functional astrology was made remote to the general population by the considerable rigors of its arcane and precise astronomical calculations. Today in a host of formats astrology is available to virtually everyone, and its mathematics and elaborate classifications may provide just the right veneer to seduce all those of the engineering emperament.

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Prologue

PART ONE: The General Business Applications of Astrology

1 Introduction: A World of Opportunity

2 Timing: Auspicious Moments for Action

3 Trend Forecasting: The Rhymes of the Marketplace

4 Team Building: Know Thy Colleagues, Thy Competitors,

Thy Customers, Thyself

PART TWO: The Suns Signs

5 Leadership and Sun Sign Astrology

6 Aries: The Value of Force

7 Taurus: The Value of Fixedness

8 Gemini: The Value of Flexibility

9 Cancer: The Value of Foundation

10 Leo: The Value of Flamboyance

11 Virgo: The Value of Fastidiousness

12 Libra: The Value of Fairness

13 Scorpio: The Value of Fortitude

14 Sagittarius: The Value of Farsightedness

15 Capricorn: The Value of Framework

16 Aquarius: The Value of Friendship

17 Pisces: The Value of Fascination

PART THREE: Business Beyond Sun Signs

18 The Language of the Stars

19 Selling by the Stars: Astrology and Marketing

20 Conclusion: The Future of Astrology Is Looking Up

Appendix: Landmark Business Events, Astrologically Timed

Index

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