Astrology

Writers’ Guidelines for Saptarishis Astrology

If you wish to submit an article for possible publication, first send a short synopsis via email to <admin@saptarishisastrology.com>. Please insert “Publication Query” in the email subject heading.

We welcome submissions on a variety of astrological topics, including chart interpretation and research methodologies. In addition, we are interested in eclectic articles about the Vedic sciences, spirituality and Tantra, holistic healing, remedial measures, history, mythology, psychology, poetry and personal reflections.

All written material should be double-spaced with 1” top and bottom margins, and 1.25” left and right margins, justified left only.

Articles should be submitted via email to <admin@saptarishisastrology.com>

All articles should be between 2500 to 3000 words.

If you wish to submit an article that includes astrological information or charts, please make sure your data and calculations are precise. We request that you supply the original source of your data, such as a birth record, mother’s recollection, birth certificate, or accurate rectification (and details of rectification), and rank it according to Lois Rodden’s data class system:

AA Accurate data as recorded by the family or state
A Accurate data as quoted by the person, kin, friend, or associate
B Biography or autobiography (give complete publication information)
C Caution: no source of origin
DD Dirty Data: two or more conflicting quotes that are unqualified
X Data with no time of birth
XX Data without a known or confirmed date

If you prefer to use a biographical work as your data source, please provide a complete reference citation for your source. Similarly, if your data is taken from a particular data bank, list all the relevant details of this source, including Internet source. We gladly accept rectified charts as long as you make sure to tag them accordingly.

Articles should have a title and page numbers. Please send color photograph above 200 kb as attachment and a brief introduction of 5 lines along with your article.

Once we accept and receive your article, we will let you know within roughly 20 days of receipt whether your article is accepted; accepted upon conditional requirements for revision; or declined. If your submission is time-sensitive, you should begin the query process at least 6 months before the publication date, although we can often expedite the publication of a current events article.

Saptarishis Astrology reserves the right to accept or decline an article based on our organization’s values, objectives and point of view. Once we have accepted your article for publication, we reserve the right to edit and condense your work as necessary. If our editors need to make considerable changes to an article, however, we will usually consult the author first. We may reject articles for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, our editorial staff is limited in its ability to offer an appraisal of articles that have been rejected.

After your article is approved for publication, an editor will contact you about specific questions and/or suggestions to enhance or improve your article. Please work closely with the editor and follow his or her advice. We ask that you do not make any further changes unless approved or recommended by the editor. You will need to supply your own charts and diagrams, though we may need to reformat or recreate them for publication.

Articles should follow a standard of excellence. Even though Saptarishis Astrology may allow a somewhat informal style of writing, the general goal should be to present information according to professional literary and grammatical standards. The way in which you present your ideas will help to determine the reader’s willingness to consider your point of view.

Articles presenting the results of astrological research should include a reasonable sample of case studies, at least five or six. Such research should also be supported by the work of well-documented classic and/or modern sources.

Articles should be easy to read. Even if your subject matter is complex, you should present your ideas and facts in a comprehensible manner. A secret of good writing is to “get to the point” without being too verbose. Good writing uses paragraphs that convey unambiguous points and move sequentially from one point to the next.

Points made should be reinforced by evidence and data wherever possible. Unsupported statements or those containing meaningless half-truths and sweeping statements should be carefully scrutinized or not submitted.

After you have completed your research and focused the general idea of your article, you should have a thesis statement, a summary of the entire point of the article in one single sentence. Once you have developed this statement, you need to remain focused on it throughout the article. Every part of your article should prove and support your thesis statement. In addition, many successful writers work from an outline that reflects a beginning, middle and end with bulleted points throughout.

Focused writing is important for a professional submission. As an example, suppose you are writing about why people follow a vegetarian lifestyle, or about the benefits of this particular lifestyle. A poorly focused thesis statement would be something like, “I follow a vegetarian lifestyle and will tell you why it is the best way to go.” The reason this is an inadequate thesis is that the subject of the sentence is “I” rather than “a vegetarian diet.” It focuses on the writer and not the topic of a vegetarian diet.

A more focused and concise thesis statement would be, “A vegetarian lifestyle offers many benefits.” Now the subject is clearly stated to be about the benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. The reader will now understand the focal point of the article. In this example, the first paragraph should be completed with a broad overview of the benefits of the vegetarian lifestyle.

The first paragraph should captivate the reader’s interest and inspire him to continue reading. The rest of the article will be a delineation of the first paragraph and thesis statement. Generally, in expository writing, it is best to avoid the first-person pronouns (I/me and we/us) and second-person pronouns (you) because these often put the focus on the writer or reader instead of on the subject matter. Instead of saying, “I have discovered that elephants like to eat bananas,” it would be better to say, “Evidence has shown that elephant like to eat bananas,” and then, the author needs to substantiate this claim. Please think that how often we read articles where the author has used I, Me, Myself trying to highlight himself and all of us eventually land up disliking such authors, it is because it is a non standard practice for good writers. We would like our authors to be loved by generations to come and not be disliked, this is very important for Saptarishis Astrology that the authors are loved.

In other words, the author’s assertions need to be supported with evidence. One should not make a blanket statement that, “Global warming is caused by rising carbon emissions and the Greenhouse Effect.” This may be partly true, but there is no good reason for a reader to believe such a statement that lacks support. Such a statement needs to be followed by a validating statement, such as, “Science has shown that the Earth has warmed by about 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past 100 years. Though climatologists are not exactly sure why this has happened, this global warming trend is believed to be the result of rising carbon emissions and the Greenhouse Effect.”

The same holds true for statements of common knowledge like “The sky is blue.” First of all, it is not always blue. And more importantly, the statement needs to be supported with factual evidence, as in “The sky is usually blue because of the physical phenomenon that causes sunlight to scatter when it passes through the particles in the atmosphere. The color blue scatters much more efficiently than the other colors in sunlight, which is why the sky often appears blue.”As another general principle, each paragraph should have about three or four sentences. Each paragraph should have a topic sentence, which states the point of the entire paragraph, followed by two or three more sentences that offer substantiation for the topic sentence.

Vary sentence structure so that you use an assortment of short, medium and long sentences. This will make your article more interesting. It is also important not to repeatedly use the same word, which tends to be tedious and monotonous for the reader.

If given the choice of an elaborate word or a simple one, choose the simple one.

For those translating into English from another language, please make sure not to leave words and statements open for interpretation. For instance, if there is a word or phrase about whose meaning you are unsure of, please do your best to interpret it correctly.

Likewise, you should make use of a good Thesaurus to find the most appropriate synonyms for words in question. As an example, instead of saying that a particular astrological factor reflects one who is “tough,” be more specific. Does “tough” in this case mean “resilient and hardy,” or does it mean “difficult, demanding and exacting”?

Be very cautious with tonal stress and the use of italics; “quotation marks”; underlining; margin or line changes; bold; or ALL CAPS to indicate importance. Use only italics, and only sparingly. Placing words or phrases in italics or quotation marks is generally discouraged in style manuals and in style guides which journals provide to authors preparing manuscripts for publication consideration. “Good writers use italics for emphasis only as an occasional adjunct to efficient sentence structure. Overused, italics quickly lose their force. Seldom should as much as a sentence be italicized for emphasis, and never a whole passage” (Chicago Manual of Style, 2003, p. 290, sec. 7.49).

Quotation marks (“/”) are used for quotes or for the titles of magazine articles. They are rarely needed elsewhere. If you are not quoting someone else’s words, it is very unlikely you need to use the marks. But please, if quoting someone else’s words or ideas, including classic works, place them in quotation marks and tag them as references in end notes.

 “Quotation marks are often used to alert readers that a term is used in a nonstandard, ironic, or other special sense. Nicknamed ‘scare quotes,’ they imply ‘This is not my term’ or ‘This is not how the term is usually applied.’ Like any such device, scare quotes lose their force and irritate readers if overused” (Chicago Manual of Style, 2003, p. 291, sec. 7.58).

Italics are used for the names of books and other publications. Titles of magazine and journal articles are placed in “quotation marks.”

Capitalize words consistently and do not capitalize a word or term in one place and not another. Do not capitalize for emphasis.  Refer to the Chicago Manual of Style if you are unsure about which words should be capitalized. This manual is available online for a 30-day trial subscription at http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/home.html

Please include proper citing of sources and references as necessary. Do not use embedded footnotes or hyperlinks in your text. List all sources and references in endnotes at the end of your article under a section titled “References and Notes.” Include corresponding endnote numbers in the text.

The format for book references is, as an example,

B.V. Raman, Varshaphal or the Hindu Progressed Horoscope, UBSPD Publishers, 1992, p. 5 (or pp. 5-9).

The format for periodicals and magazine is, as an example, Niranjan Babu Bangalore, “Vastu

Sastra: Today’s Relevant Science,” in The Astrological Magazine, “August 2007, pp. 24-30.

The format for Internet references is, as an example: McDonough, Mark. “Every Astrologer a

Researcher,” April 21, 2000: www.astrodatabank.com/ASEveryAstrologerAResearcher.htm (accessed June 22, 2008).

The format for quotes of personal conversations that you want to reference is, as an example:  

Personal conversation with astrologer C. S. Patel, May 15, 2005.

If you wish to give your personal opinion, it should be kept on topic. Please avoid preaching and moralizing. If you wish to go off topic, explain a specific methodology or elaborate on a matter that is not directly related to your article’s main topic, consider placing it in an end note.

Avoid clichés, colloquialisms and slang terms.

The end of your article should contain a conclusion paragraph that:

  • Restates the thesis and supporting elements.
  • Brings the article to an appropriate and effective end.
  • Avoids deviating into new topics.

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