BUSHWICK — There can be only one sexy astrologer.
A Bushwick-based astrologist who trademarked her "Sexy Astrology" label this year after creating a YouTube Channel featuring her reading horoscopes while wearing low-cut shirts and short skirts, is locked in a legal battle with a Florida-based "sextrologist" who claims first rights to the title.
Charlotte Ghiorse, 48, a mother of three, successfully trademarked her titillating title with the US Patent and Trademark Office this June, after noticing that another astrologer was using the name Sexy Astrology.
“I thought, ‘Let me just apply,’” she said. “I’d feel stupid if I didn’t and I’d feel even dumber if someone else came in and started making money off it.”
But rival astrologer Terry Nazon, who already has a trademark on the title “Sextrology,” has filed an appeal to fight the patent and trademark office's decision, saying Ghiorse's “mark is confusingly similar to the [Sextrology] Mark” that she had already been granted, and adding that the new trademark will “diminish and dilute the distinctive quality” of Sextrology, according to her legal filing.
Nazon, whose Oscar predictions were featured in the 2004 edition of TV Guide Magazine, and who calls herself “one of the world’s leading expert astrologers,” has clients including “Hollywood stars, and moguls,” according to her website. She charges $99 for a 15-minute telephone consultation.
A spokeswoman for Nazon referred all questions to her lawyer. Nazon's lawyer did not respond to an inquiry.
Ghiorse, a self-described tomboy who grew up in upstate New York, said she believes there is enough room in the universe for both star readers.
While Sextrology typically focuses on sexual and intimate relationships, Sexy Astrology horoscopes cover a broad range of topics including social life, personal finances, and careers advice delivered in a sexy way, Ghiorse said.
Occasionally, Ghiorse talks about relationships but that isn't what Sexy Astrology is all about.
“The two can coexist,” she said. "Our products are completely different."
Ghiorse's videos mostly receive positive feedback from family and friends — amassing more than 2 million views and 1,111 loyal subscribers since 2007 — but some YouTube users have flagged the videos as inappropriate.
Ghiorse thinks the criticism is a sign that the videos struck a nerve. People aren’t used to seeing a middle aged woman trying to be sexy on YouTube. She’s glad to push the taboos and uses their reaction as motivation, she said.
Ghiorse is now trying to raise money to help pay a lawyer to fight the trademark challenge.
She said it's a worthy battle, because she's been interested in astrology since she was young.
“I would go to the book store and I’d read the adult astrology books as a kid,” she said, adding that she started learning about star charts and astrological signs as a teen, and went on to teach herself to read palms and Tarot Cards. “I knew I was Libra but I didn’t feel like one.”
In 2007, as a way to read more consistently, she started recording herself reading monthly horoscopes. To set herself apart from other astrologers she decided to incorporate deadpan comedy and a little bit of sex appeal, she said.
But Ghiorse said despite adopting the name "Sexy Astrology," she doesn't actually think of herself that way.
“I don’t think of myself as a sexy person,” she said. “The reason I wanted to use the word sexy was a little bit to take the seriousness out of astrology. Astrologists take themselves very seriously.”