For a “long time” (more than a decade, since 2002), I relied on my description of SUMO (Strategic Use of Multiple Oracles) located at to describe that method.  But “Webring” appears to have hijacked my page; when I can get it to go away I am left with popups from Tripod, and I can see that the time has come to update that work here.  (I still recommend the original if you can get past the problems regarding Tripod / Webring.)

The system is much leaner now than it was ten years ago.  Here are the key points, first in summary and then in detail.


  • I check my own work first.  (Typically with a daily planetary guide.)
  • Next, I cross check my work against the people I repost here on the blog.
  • Finally, I cross check against a small number (5 to 7) of popular astrology sites.

In the old days, if everybody had contradictory viewpoints (that happens!), I would resort to a “tie breaker” oracle, typically a single rune.  I have not had to do that, now, for many years.

As an aside, social scientists (especially psychologists) use a more sophisticated and formalized approach called “multi-trait, multi-method” that is very similar to SUMO (or vice versa since MTMM is much older than my formulation of SUMO).  However, we do not use any statistics (such as correlations), and we are only looking informally for degree of agreement rather than “common method variance,” etc.

And if you accuse me of suffering from “confirmation bias,” you are probably right!  (And I do not care as long as it works better than being completely blind to cycles and patterns in my life.)


  • I check my own work first.
    (People who claim “you cannot read for yourself” are full of poop.  Sometimes the BEST readings are the ones you do for yourself.  BUT, you do need someone or something to counterbalance you and uncover blind spots caused by, <smile>, “confirmation bias.”  This method explains how to do this.)
    This initial analysis is typically a review of the position of the moon, major aspects, patterns, and so forth.What I use personally is what you usually see on this blog along with the Daily Planetary Guide from Llewellyn.  (My blog Mystic Rectangles focuses almost entirely on aspects and analysis of them.)  Priority one is whether or not Moon is v/c.
    This analysis also includes annual solar aspects (e.g. Sun Square Uranus, etc.), retrogrades, and outer planet analysis (e.g. Uranus Square Pluto).  I first started reading daily guides in December of 1987, and my knowledge has been acquired primarily by comparing aspects to DIRECT PERSONAL EXPERIENCE as well as reading interpretations.  (I recommend that YOU DO THE SAME regarding “direct personal experience” and aspects.  THAT is why we post the aspects, weekly and monthly, on our blogs.)
  • Next, I cross check my work against the people I repost here on the blog.
    I do not always agree, but I do at least consider their analysis and offer it to others who might prefer it to my own.  [Edit: I think I need to add some EMPHASIS here.  I routinely post opinions that I do NOT agree with, particularly on “Lost Dudeist Astrology” and “Debateable News.”  I do this to try to offer multiple viewpoints and LET MY READERS CHOOSE FOR THEMSELVES rather than choosing “for them.”  I do tend to screen out most obvious advertisements, e.g. the “pay me $150, and I will lift the black magic curse” blog spam.  But just about everything else is considered for re-blog, including the occasional “skeptic” post (if it is well-reasoned and well-written and offers something that has not been said 10,000 times before).  Sometimes I re-blog some commentary that might be a bit “mean spirited” or inflammatory just to see if anyone is awake out there.  🙂 (Some of you are, thankfully!) ]
  • Finally, I check a series of popular astrology sites.
    Here are the ones I prefer (as of 2015-07-13):

  • I should note that I zip through the popular sites pretty quickly.  They CAN become terribly time consuming, so I intentionally move through them quickly.  Some of them have almost duplicate analyses to my own personal analysis. I can probably do all of these, now, in under ten minutes.  I look for common patterns and messages that “speak” to me.  (Actually, I have done enough of this now (as of mid 2016), that I am tinkering with the idea of writing a column somewhere for money.  Maybe.)
  • Unlike in the past, I do not do my analysis every day due to time constraints.  But, in a seven day week, I will do it on four three to seven days of the week depending on what is happening in my life.  A really good analysis can last several days.
  • Almost never do I use other oracles now.  I am open to those (Runes, Tarot), but almost never seem to need them.  (If I did, it would almost certainly be the single Rune draw as a “tie breaker.”  I have used those in the past, and a comment from Music Alchemy, below (circa Mid 2016), has reminded me that I need to look at those again.)
  • Making this work requires PRACTICE.  You will discover that SOME oracles work remarkably well and others you will discard.  In the end, you must test them yourself to know which ones work best for you.  As you repeat this process, you may start thinking at times “I know there is a pony in there somewhere.”   There is.
  • One way to extend and improve this process is through retrospective reviews.  Make notes to yourself about different days and events and keep those in a safe place.  You can make reminders to yourself to review certain days.  One useful online tool for this is FutureMe.
  • If you do this enough, and for a long enough period of time (more than a year, you need at least a year to get a BASIC understanding of the annual cycles), then it will pay off dividends.  You will begin to see patterns you were previously oblivious to, and your view of the world will change, and you will walk down another street.


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  1. […] SUMO (Strategic Use of Multiple Oracles) […]


  2. […] SUMO (Strategic Use of Multiple Oracles) […]


  3. Hi Grand! Could you recommend a Rune site to explore and get a reading from? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a tough question. I have not looked at the Runes in some time, and I do not (currently) follow any Rune sites. Maybe you should start one! If you do, let me know. Runes can be a very good tool, and maybe it is time for me to re-visit them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I did not find a Rune site (yet?), but your question has inspired me to revise and “tune” this post. Hope the added information is helpful.

      Liked by 1 person

      • thanks! I will look into it. I know nothing about it but it is an ancient language and I am all about language…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is fascinating 🙂 Before I discovered your websites I had never heard of this sort of cross-checking process! It’s brilliant, very effective and wise. I like it a lot 🙂


    • Thank you! Let me know what you discover as you apply it….

      Liked by 1 person

    • Do you cross check your cartoons with other cartoons?

      Liked by 1 person

      • I suppose I do cross-check them in a way, because Sherman and Geynes is a detective story, so it’s good to read things like Sherlock Holmes stories and things like that. It’s a good way to get other people’s perspectives and experience isn’t it? 🙂


      • In the past, my cross checks were for myself, a way to identify integrity of my forecasts. Now, though, I think our readership wants diligence. Agree or disagree with us, but know that we have “done our homework.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, that is very nice to know 😀 Thank you very much for your diligence and integrity. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • You keep reminding me: I at least need to TRY cartooning!

        Liked by 1 person

      • You definitely do! 😀 I look forward to seeing your cartoons 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. […] what works, or does not, by testing it (with as open a mind as is possible). See, also: (1) and (2) […]

    Liked by 1 person

  6. […] for you. If it does not work, then dump it. And, no doubt about it, confirmation bias is in play: ) You are saying astrology falls in with all the various pundits on television, both financial and […]

    Liked by 1 person

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