Given The Post's coverage of the widespread celebration of the harmonic convergence {"O Hum All Ye Faithful," Style, Aug. 17}, we might assume that in another era Christian services would have been described something like this:

"Last Sunday morning millions of people around the globe participated in a peculiar ritual dreamed up by 12 men who had probably been out in the sun too long. They repeated sections of a fable about a white man who lived in the desert (already it is hard to believe!), died, was reborn and then wandered around without his body. They knelt before expensive hand-carved replicas of this supposed prophet's dead body, which was nailed to a piece of wood. . . ."

Pardon my cliche', but isn't one of the founding principles of this nation respect for diversity of religious practice? This being the case, The Post's mocking coverage of an event that drew thousands of people together in meditation was an insult to all people of faith.

Like many thousands of others, I feel disenfranchised from institutional religions, but I desire the moral foundation of a spiritual community and practice. I meditate, pray, respect Christ, Mary, the Buddha and other people, and I include myself among those tolerant of a developing notion of "God." I would appreciate more respectful coverage in the future. -- Susan R. McCarn

The highly touted harmonic convergence is mostly a bunch of cosmic, cultic horseradish, but Leroy Doggett of the U.S. Naval Observatory is wrong, wrong, wrong when he discounts the existence of the current grand trine {"Planets Won't Attend Astronomical Celebration," Aug. 16}. If The Post has astrological questions, why doesn't it consult an astrologer?

In astrology, the degrees of a grand trine and other aspects need not, as Doggett believes, be exact. Doggett, stating that Jupiter "will be at 30 degrees {of Aries}," claims that in order to form a trine, another planet should be positioned at 150 degrees, and Mars and Venus, at 146 and 141 degrees, do not qualify. But astrology observes what is termed an "orb," or variance of several degrees, in determining aspects among planets. In this case, the sun, Mercury, Mars and Venus all fall within the allowed orb, creating a major part of the grand trine.

The present configuration is highly unusual, and on Aug. 24 it will become extraordinary. According to Neil Michelsen's "The American Ephemeris," on Monday, the sun, moon and six of the eight planets will be part of the grand trine, with the sun, moon, Mars and Venus in exact conjunction on the first degree of Virgo and Mercury in conjunction on the fourth degree of Virgo. What this bodes for planet Earth is conjectural. While trines are generally considered benevolent, grand trines are not necessarily an unmixed blessing. There should, however, be some remarkably talented babies born this week.

I would be happier about the grand trine if nuclear Pluto were included. Unlike Ollie North, Pluto remains a loose cannon on Scorpio's deck, continuing to present humankind with a choice between mayhem and peace for the rest of this century.

-- Helen I. Francis

Orthodox newspapers like The Post report events of an astrological and spiritual nature very ignorantly and with prejudice. I am referring to the Aug. 17 report of the across-the-country gatherings.

Why couldn't the story have been reported in a way that the reader would not get the message that the writers of The Post are amused by this ''crazy'' idea that some people are putting their time and energy into? -- H. J. Holman What a perfect contrast.

I'm referring to the two major articles on the front of Style Aug. 17: people gathering to celebrate the "new age" at the top, people gathering to celebrate Elvis Presley at the bottom.

The New Agers, whose purpose is to try to establish an era of peace, love and harmony among all people, get sneered at. The Elvis worshippers, whose hero's appeal consists mostly of the lower aspects of sexual attraction, get a sympathetic, even sweetly sentimental write-up.

Why is this? I'm not sure, but I have often noticed that ideas of harmony and love are embarrassing for people whose minds are mired in what Elvis represents, so they sneer. The Post has clearly commented on its own collective mind-set.

-- James Hellmuth