By Colleen Smith, Staff Reporter

I was curious about the "New Zodiac" and "New Astrology" that has the Internet buzzing lately. Though my managing Editor, M. Grant Winston laughed at me, and I had to plead with him to do this story, I got it done. I went to New Orleans to ask famous seer, Madame Sophia LaRoque what she thought.

"Colleen, my darling, there is nothing new about this so-called new astrology. Sidereal or Eastern Astrology has been around over a century. I do not understand why people want to hear about it all so suddenly." She went on to say, "This thirteenth sign, Ophiuchus or "The Serpent Bearer" has no bearing on people. Feel free to ignore it."

"It may seem to make sense, my darling, to update Astrology in line with where the stars appear now, rather than where they appeared at the time the ancients masters discovered the Zodiac, but is simply is not so." Madame Laroque went on to tell me that she has tried to prepare horoscopes based on Sidereal Astrology when clients insisted, but they never turned out right. When she predicted based on this eastern system, her predictions were never more than 30 percent correct, which is statistically the same success rate as random guessing. When she sticks to preparing horoscopes using the traditional Zodiac, they are spot on.

"I have learned", she told my insistently, "that the stars which held power when the ancient masters discovered their mystical properties long ago, still hold this power today. Their moving around in the sky as we perceive it did not change a thing. Some people think that since this so-called new astrology came from the Far East, it must somehow be better than what we have in the West. We are attracted to the exotic, no? That is a mistake. If you ask your dog what is going to happen in the future, you will get better results. If you ask the clinically insane what your future holds, what they say will not be half as crazy as what Sidereal Astrology would predict. A complete charlatan making it up as they go along will give you a better view of the future than Ophiuchus. To prove it to you, I will prepare you two horoscopes while we are here: one traditional, and one Sidereal, taking Ophiuchus into account. Look them over in a week, two weeks, and then a month later. Let me know which one was correct when you are done. You will see that this "New Astrology" is just rubbish. I promise you that 2011 will be a very important year for you, Colleen; a turning point in your life. You will need a real reading to be ready."

There you have it. Madame Sophia LaRoque, the world-famous New Orleans psychic, completely dismisses the "New Zodiac". It has been one week since I spoke to her, and her traditional horoscope has predicted what would happen with uncanny accuracy, the new style horoscope has not.