It’s Written In The Stars! …Or The Newspaper

In my research last week on Astrology I had the thought … why are horoscopes published in newspapers? The news is factual (we hope), astrology is predictions and prophecy.

Here’s a brief history from Smithsonian Magazine.

“The first real newspaper horoscope column is widely credited to R.H. Naylor, a prominent British astrologer of the first half of the 20th century. Naylor was an assistant to high-society neo-shaman, Cheiro (born William Warne) who’d read the palms of Mark Twain, Grover Cleveland, and Winston Churchill and who was routinely tapped to do celebrity star charts. Cheiro, however, wasn’t available in August 1930 to do the horoscope for the recently born Princess Margaret, so Britain’s Sunday Express newspaper asked Naylor.

Three days after the Princess’s birth, Naylor’s published report predicted that her life would be “eventful.” He also noted that “events of tremendous importance to the Royal Family and the nation will come about near her seventh year,” a prediction more precise – her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated the throne to her father.

But though it wasn’t the first of its kind, Naylor’s article was a tipping point for the popular consumption of horoscopes. Following the interest the public showed in the Princess Margaret horoscope, the paper decided to run several more forecasts from Naylor. 

The then-editor of the Sunday Express offered Naylor a weekly column, “What the Stars Foretell” and the first real newspaper horoscope column was born. The column offered advice to people whose birthdays fell that week, but within a few years, Naylor determined that he needed to come up with something that could apply to larger volumes of readers. By 1937, he’d hit upon the idea using “star signs,” also known as “sun signs,” the familiar zodiac signs that we see today.”

So the answer to why newspapers run horoscopes? They are wildly popular and gain readership. Today we find horoscopes not only in the newspaper but in magazines and tabloids and it’s become a $2 billion market through apps and social media accounts.

When you really think about it, it’s astonishing how Astrology, as an ancient academic discipline, devolved into generalized forecasts relating to money, life, and love – “Find out why a Sagittarius will be your soulmate!” These thin, page-filler predictions must be infuriating (or comical) to accredited astrologers of today.

Speaking of which, after publishing my column last week, Catherine Yeager Mcquaid reached out. She said she loves reading my column!

Locals know Catherine runs her own Integrative Therapeutic Massage practice located at The Castle Wellness Center. She’s highly recommended. Catherine is also an Astrologer. She earned her professional training at the Oraculos School of Astrology, certified in Magical Elections through STA. Mcquaid completed a two-year study at the Qabalistic Tarot Professional School and furthered her education with the National Council for Geocosmic Research as a certified level I and II Astrologer.

Catherine invited me to join the Astrology and Divination Club. The next meeting is on Monday, May 8, 5 p.m. at Ocean Bliss (Yacht Club, 533 Beach 126th St. Belle Harbor). This gathering focuses on retrogrades. If you’re curious or called to the stars, sign up here: And reach out to Catherine directly if you’d like to learn about your Zodiac.

To schedule a reading, Catherine can be reached by email here.