Friday, September 5, 2014

Susan Miller's Horoscope Scandal: Facts Only

Famed New York City-based astrologer Susan Miller of Astrologyzone.com aims to post her monthly horoscopes by the first of each month, but postings during 2014 have often been late: March 2, May 7, June 4, July 7, August 6, with Miller often blaming delays on personal illness or having to wait for her IT team. In July an online article in the magazine The Atlantic titled, "Dude, Where's My Horoscope?" reported that some of Miller's six and a half million fans complained of feeling "abandoned" or "taken for granted" when Miller's horoscopes are late. By September 3, bitter complaints about the missing September horoscope appear on Miller's Facebook page, balanced by fans calling for patience and prayer. This is the first time a missing monthly horoscope has blown up into a scandal.

Miller has a business degree from NYU and has written horoscopes syndicated by Disney and ABC.com; she set up AstrologyZone.com in 2001. A February 18, 2013, profile in New York Magazine called her "the go-to astrologer for New York's fashion set" and noted Miller's loquaciousness, her many ailments including a broken wrist, and five bottles of painkillers. By her own description, Miller was a sickly child.

Miller or her assistant posted on Miller's Facebook and Twitter accounts (@astrologyzone) that on or near April 15's total eclipse of the moon, Miller had an acute attack of intestinal bleeding. She kept fans posted about her progress, lapses, and medications. Soon after September's fan complaints began, her website was reduced to a notice on the homepage that Susan is ill and the horoscope for September 2014 will be online "as soon as possible."

Why are so many people so impatient for Susan Miller's horoscopes? Miller's monthly horoscopes are lengthy--about 3,000 encouraging, specific, spirited and some say incredibly accurate, 3000 words long each, and free.

Here are some facts:

April 1, 2014: April forecast posted.

April 20: Miller tweeted: "April 15 eclipse hit me hard with a mysterious infection. Pills really strong so I sleep and sleep. This is not like me! Sorry not here!"

May 7: May horoscopes posted.

June 4: June horoscopes posted.

July 5, 2014: A Reddit post by a fan discusses "Is anyone else pissed off by Susan Miller?" regarding the late horoscopes and their excuses, usually related to Miller's health.

July 7: July horoscopes posted. Miller tweets "After 40 days on corticosteroid, 95% of problem gone, now stepping down off the pills. But doc not happy with my progress. . ."

July 11: The staid, elite magazine Atlantic Monthly online edition publishes "Dude, Where's My Horoscope?" an article about bitter complaints that Susan Miller's much-anticipated monthly forecasts have been consistently late: March 2, May 7, June 4, July 7. After July's posting, Facebook fans accuse Miller of taking them for granted.

August 6: August horoscopes posted.

August 18: On Facebook, Miller announces that she is taking new medicine and also is launching a brand-new AstrologyZone app. Unlike the previous app AstrologyZone Premier, which downloaded for a single payment of $1.99, this new app's costs subscribers $50 per year. AstrologyZone Premier is no longer available.

On Twitter the same day, Susan posts about her bleeding intestines "open since April" and separately answers a follower question about the difference between the new and old app: "In the paid version you get 75 words + every day, per sign and access to evergreen personality info. More juicy content." This is followed by other same-day Twitter postings.

August 20: Susan's assistant reports on Facebook and Twitter that Susan is taking Humira, a medicine for Crohn's disease, a chronic intestinal disorder.

September 3: Miller or her team changed her Facebook cover photo from her face to the AstrologyZone logo and the website is reduced to a single page saying Susan is ill. Fans angry about the late horoscope post comments such as: "So this is really a gimmick to help pay for what..? the apps developers? Feign illness. . .?"

September 5: The first Facebook and Twitter posts since August 20 appear. Miller tells agitated fans and well-wishers that she has completed the monthly Sun-sign summaries but is taking the time to write complete forecasts as usual.

September 12: September horoscopes are published.

Quelling the Rumors: There is no question that Susan Miller personally knows astrology; her astrological facts, presented online since 1995, are accurate. There's no proof that Miller is a certified astrologer, but most astrologers are not certified; the certification exams tests are complicated, expensive, and given at one location once a year. Astrology is taught and learned, a skill, not "psychic" or an inborn gift, so speculations that Miller has "lost the gift" or that it "died with her mother" (in 2012) are wildly off the mark. Crohn's disease is chronic, ulcerates the intestines and is exacerbated by stress.

1 comment:

  1. I never could understand the hype surrounding Astrologyzone and Miller herself.
    I've never been a fan of astrology, properly speaking, but I did read my forecasts almost every month for a few years. (I say "forecasts", in plural, because I read my rising sign, then the sign after it, because the actual monthly transits corresponded better, and finally my Sun sign.)
    I remember maybe ONE occasion when Miller's forecast was actually - and that could have been a coincidence of course. I do remember many other occasions where the exact opposite of what she predicted happened.
    On top of everything, in the past few years she's become so gloomy that it's almost hilarious to read, especially concerning her infamous "monster moons". The panic that she spreads all over Twitter would be pure comedy gold - if it didn't affect so many susceptible people.

    I did occasionally read other forecasts, too, notably Penny Thornton's (until she, too, became too gloomy for my taste), Michael Lutin (impossible to take him seriously :)), Jonathan Cainer (meh), Kristin Fontana (very nice to read but, all in all, just fluff), Bridgett Walther ("sassy" catering to Hollywoodsy types, but not much else, IMO), Madalyn Aslan and the Oxford Astrologer. The last two were really good - quite accurate more than once. I would still read them, with great pleasure, but they've become pay-only, and I am not THAT much into astrology. (N.B. You can read Aslan's forecasts for free on the 23/24th of every month, after she publishes the forecasts for the following month).

    There is one astrologer, however, that deserves special mention, in my opinion. Cornelia jones, of HoroscopesWithin. I am not associated to her in any shape or form, but I have to say, her forecasts really were THE BEST... until she stopped doing them. (The last forecasts on her website are from June 2012, but she had stopped doing them personally a few months before that, for personal reasons, I assume.)

    This woman, Ms. Jones, seems to have a great natural talent for the esoteric AND she knows how to interpret transits and such; and i believe she deserves much wider recognition than she's been given so far. That's why I am writing about her; this being a "review" blog, I feel she absolutely nees to be mentioned, even though her website is practically defunct now.

    If you happen to read this, Cornelia Jones, know that there are people who still rememeber and deeply admire your genuine talent. All the best to you.


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