I picked up the latest issue of The Mountain Astrologer, which is the most respected North American astrological trade magazine, and considered the banner promise on its cover: “2016: The Next Five Years [of] Technology, Culture, and Planetary Cycles”.  Wow. Great.  Everything you’d want to know—except, I realized, that I didn’t know what I wanted to know.  If astrology could tell me all that—and I firmly believe that it can—what kind of foreknowledge would be useful?
Now I specialize in psychological astrology: I counsel people on the basis of their charts, or the charts of their significant others, if relationship is the issue before us.  Together we consider the context of their world: what traits they were given in this life; how they have developed or ignored them; how they are affected by the times and society in which they live.  It’s all there in their charts; and the information is useful when making choices and decisions.  Nothing’s written in stone, but the trends are clear: my job is to present them to my clients, so that they can organize their lives as they see fit.  It’s all straightforward, and specific to THEM; but what of the wider world?
The trends described in The Mountain Astrologer are fascinating.  They range impressively from technological invention to microbial wars, from financial forecasting to political paroxysms.  These contributing astrologers—tops in their specialized fields—write well; and I can follow the speculative astrologese and the planetary logic; but to what purpose?  Why do I need to know these things? 
As a citizen, I work at keeping current with the news; I too can be overwhelmed by it.  But as an astrologer, I have tools that give me insight as to why certain things may be happening. Which is sometimes invaluable; but it also moves my attention in particular directions, which may or may not be useful to me or my clients; so I have to focus.  Despite our incomprehensibly vast access to data through the Internet, our spheres of attention are actually quite limited and personal; and it is in those areas that we work.  What do we actually need to know?