For millions of people, Sydney Omarr (1926-2003) was the first astrologer they had ever heard of. At peak, his syndicated daily Sun-sign horoscopes appeared in 200 newspapers. To this day most daily astrology columns, printed or online, use his blend of Sun-sign astrology and advice, and almost exactly the same small inch of space, although online astrologers have no space limitations. They're just channeling Sydney Omarr!
A byproduct of Omarr's column were millions of skeptics who said, "Those things are so general they could apply to anyone," and in fact the nicest thing many astrologers could say about "Sun-sign astrology" is that it is a recent development. But thanks to Omarr's influence, millions don't know that there is any other kind. When astrology caught on big in the 1960s, Omarr went from weirdo to celeb, made a fortune selling Sun-sign annuals, and inspired imitators.
Omarr's forecasts were workmanlike, spotty, sometimes eccentric -- one predicting "Seafood tonight!" had me buying fish for supper. After 25 years I wondered who'd eventually replace him. Alternatives to Omarr had appeared and their forecasts seemed more accurate or at least more thoughtful.
Omarr appointed Jeraldine Saunders, who had briefly been his wife. A former cruise director, Saunders invented the "love boat" concept, and in 1976 published the book that inspired the Love Boat TV series, and if you don't believe me, look here. As a daily astrologer, after a shaky start Saunders has done well. She or her assistant (she will turn 87 on Sept. 3) seriously follows the ephemeris, interpreting the day's planetary aspects. There is no question the astrology is genuine. The Jeraldine Saunders scope is better-written, too -- really rather tasty -- but appears in few places online, and in some of those it's still labeled "Omarr's."
Stepping in for Sydney Omarr was no small job; so many readers had known no other name in astrology. From beyond the grave, Omarr the franchise still sells books. As the Omarr daily column became scarcer I too took my interest elsewhere, but Saunders, very Virgo, delivers reliable quality, and deserves your attention. I give her column four stars out of five.