‘The credibility of astrology took a giant leap forward
yesterday when one-twelfth of the world’s population was hit
by a white transit van outside their local supermarket.’
So quipped a television presenter in his introduction to a report
on Sun sign astrology. And it is true that astrology provides a wealth of material
for the sceptics, satirists and wits of the world.
Fortunately, most astrologers enjoy a good laugh – even if
the target is themselves. Irony, self-mockery and humour are, after
all, an integral part of understanding the human condition. And
that is what astrology is all about.
So here we are playing Devil’s Advocate in order to bring you
an alternative view of astrology courtesy of the some of the world’s
doubters, detractors and cynics; as well as some well-honed quips
from believers, addicts and those whose lives have brought them
into contact with astrologers.
Such a person is Kelvin MacKenzie, the former editor of the UK’s
Sun Newspaper, who dismissed his astrologer with a letter which
began: ‘As you will, no doubt, already know by now…’
On an equally ironic note, writer
Daniel Finkelstein has decided that being a media astrologer is a far
more promising career than writing about politics, as he reveals
in the following excerpt from his recent tongue-in-cheek article in the London Times:
IF I WANT to make a name for myself I've got to get going this
week. So must Harry Connick Jr, Prince Harry, Twiggy and Jimmy Carter's
former chief of staff Hamilton Jordan. It would be a big career
week, too, for Conway Twitty and Ivan the Terrible if they weren't
I learnt all this from reading Closer magazine's advice to
Virgos…I've been studying my horoscope because I'm thinking
of changing professions.
Americans spend $200 million a year finding out about their
horoscopes, and surveys suggest that our own [the UK’s] interest
and belief in star signs is comparable.
Contrast this with the poor turnout in elections and it is
obvious that being an astrologer is a far more promising career
than writing about politics. It’s time to make the change.
There’s not a moment to lose. As Take a Break magazine informs
me, my creative powers, just at the moment, are supercharged.
With my new job in the offing, I have only to overcome my unreasonable
scepticism. I worry, for instance, that on days when I'm due to
meet a tall, dark stranger there doesn't seem to be anyone else
due to meet a medium-height, bespectacled Jew.
I'm also concerned that everyone's star sign carries admiring
references to their acumen and moral strength. Why don't I ever
open the paper to find: "You are a buffoon and August will
be a disaster. You may be faced with a challenge but you will weasel
your way out as you always do."