But your daily newspaper horoscopes - complete rubbish. Dawn Patrick, London I believe it was Jasper Carrott who observed that until one twelfth of the population was run down by an egg lorry on the same day, he would not believe in astrology.
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Seriously though, whilst there may be some interesting effects on people by the time of year they are born, the alternative factors affecting personality e. Finally, I also am a twin and my brother and I are entirely different. Astrology at least is based on the actual movement and positions of planets and star constellations.
Aren't most religions and explanations of physical and natural phenomenon such as evolution based on theory and not hard evidence? To dismiss one is to dismiss them all. Catherine, Manchester UK Astrology is something left over from medieval thought - where God had created everything for his purpose, and exactly when you were born was part of His 'Grand Design', and the only other thing that was easy to read were the stars.
They were out of human control, and near God, in the Heavens, and so were more reliable. So Astrology is actually the most direct reading of God's Design and therefore inferring what will happen to someone born on a particular day. The only thing is that now we've moved on to a scientific way of think, and God doesn't need to exist in this, so Astrology seems stupid.
I would recommend 'The Elizabethan World Picture', used for studying medieval literature, especially Shakespeare, which gives a brief round up of all the background theory - Ptolomeic Universe, the four elements etc. In fact there are loads of thing hanging over from this thinking - 'The Lion King', "in his element", "in seventh heaven" to name a few.
After reading this you can see why people used to believe it, and it's just stuck out of habit. Greg Chambers, London UK Astrology is not based on the actual positions of heavenly bodies but their apparent positions to the eye, which, with a lack of sufficient positional data to reproduce the truly 3 dimensional nature of the universe in the mind, instead sees the stars as fixed points on the inside wall of a sphere.
For example, the 3 stars of the belt of Orion seem close together. In fact the middle one is nearer to us than it is to either of the other two. Ancients, with their lack of astronomical knowledge, used perceived astro-positional data to explain apparently recurring earthbound phenomena.
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However, my understanding is that modern day astrologers do not seriously believe that remote stars have an affect on personalities etc, but rather these ancient texts are a useful lattice upon which to hang investigations into human traits which appear to have an at least superficial link to birth date.
Martyn Smith, Aberdare Rhondda Cynon Taff Commenting on the observation that to dismiss astrology as meaningless one must also look at all religions in the same way - lots of us do exactly that.
We are called atheists. Stan Booth, Peterborough England It must all be made up on the fly. The Planet Pluto was only discovered in , but suddenly it became able to affect our lives, what was it doing before then? On the other hand, I saw Patrick Moore on TV once say that the gravity of the newspaper you hold has more effect on you than the planet Mars, but my newspaper does not alter the Earth's orbit to such a degree does it?
If the movements of the planets across "special" constellations the Zodiac determines individual characteristics then astrologers are out by some distance. The Earth has "wobbled" on its axis since ancient times which leads all observations invalid.
For example, I am Sagitarrian. If there were to be a total solar eclipse on my birthday I would expect to see the eclipse against the background stars of Sagittarius. However, I wold not. The sun would be in Scorpio. Shouldn't I be a Scorpian then?
Also, the Zodiac consists of twelve constellations where the Sun, Moon and planets move. These constellations are never mentioned by astrologers. Karl Coppack, London UK A point of information for Richard, London, who noted that two "astrological equivalents" were very different and had very different experiences - place of birth is a vital factor in the equation too and is always needed in order to do an accurate astrological chart.
Then there's that small matter of the influences of the important people in your life like parents, siblings Thank you for mentioning "The Elizabethan World Picture". I was going to put my copy in a yard sale, but will retain and reread. Mary Tenny, Vancouver Canada First, let us define what we mean by "astrology" - there are as many subtle variations are there are people who believe in it.
The general form seems to require the precise geographical location of the birth as well as the precise time. The argument seems to be that events are roughly cyclical and that by knowing which cycles apply, and where you are on each of them, you can then forecast what is going to happen at any given future point in time. If we were to accept this, then the reason no two people have the same events happen to them is that if they're born in close enough the same place - eg: And, if they're born at the same time, they must be born to different people, and therefore be born in different places.
Thus, it would seem to follow, that no two birth-charts could be identical, although they may have similarities. So far, this theory would seem to explain away most of the critisism levelled at astrology. There is, however, one big problem.
Astrology is not a testable claim. No matter how accurate you measure, no matter how much data you accumulate, any disparity between what is predicted and what is observed can ALWAYS be explained by the measurements not being accurate enough.
This, alone, is good enough to prove Astrology is false - its very nature makes it impossible to find a set of conditions in which it could be true. Further, since no such conditions have been found, all calculations, tables, charts, etc, used to compute a birth-chart or horoscope must also be wrong, since Astrology is derived from observation.
The final nail in the coffin comes from the initial assumption - that events are cyclic. There are no cyclic events, because nothing in nature repeats exactly. Even the tides, or the length of any particular year in terms of going round the sun exactly once can only be guessed at.
The guesses can be pretty good, but they're still guesses. John White, UK It's rather depressing to read submissions trying to defend the indefensible. The first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica in said: ASTROLOGY, a conjectural science, which teaches to judge of the effects and influences of the stars, and to foretel future events by the situation and different aspects of the heavenly bodies.
This science has long ago become a just subject of contempt and ridicule. Robert Newman, UK Seems to be, but it is also the only place in the newspaper that is about oneself, hence its popularity. Where else can you read about that special someone?
Mark, Hong Kong I don't believe in astrology. Jane Carnall, Edinburgh, Scotland Yes - particularly if you know the astrologer in the local paper - mine last week was Sagittarius "You are overweight and often insist on wearing a silly hat". Most of this rubbish will tell you exactly what you want to hear.
People have an infinite capacity for denying that they bear any responsibility for their own actions, astrology is merely one excuse! Mark, London England Yes, but take no chances.
Only a fool or a Libra would be so rash. Benjamin Lawrence, Munich Germany It's not rocket science, just a bit complicated which explains why most people cannot understand it.
The moon's movements govern the tides, and often our moods hence the derivation of the word 'lunatic', for lunar responses. The moon is not the only planet in our solar system, it has an effect just as the others do, in lesser or greater terms and in different ways.
I could go on, but there's no point. Astrology is not a predictor but an indicator. Does being the child of two bankers dictate that you will also have a career as a banker? But it may make it more likely pending other factors - were you adopted at birth, are you poor at academic studies, did your parents encourage a different career etc etc.
Does the fact that the sun was in Leo when you were born make you more likely to be an extrovert? Yes - pending other factors, such as the rest of your planets' position in the other signs. See, not difficult, just a little complicated.
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Maeve Dinneen, London UK Astrology is simply a daft bit of fun that some people on both sides of the argument take far too seriously.
Horoscopes are often just broad, simple and sensible advice in mystical dressing. Just as there are a dozen reasons for not believing that the positions of the planets at the time of your birth tell you anything about your life there are also plenty of reasons for paying attention when an astrology column suggests you "think twice before embarking on a financial venture".
It beats me why some people run their lives by them but to be honest it also staggers me that scientists and astronomers get so angry about them. Bill, London UK It's worse than rubbish. Astrology is in the same class as racism, sexism, and sectarianism for promoting irrationality and ignorance.
Astrology is the easy way out for people, as thinking is too much hard work for them. Astrologers cynically take money from the credulous who are often the most vulnerable in society. Those who know better and consider themselves "liberal" by tolerating astrology should examine their consciences.
Is it right to allow newspapers to publish telephone numbers so that the weak can be exploited?
If you are trying to get consensus on an issue then you may have to struggle with an intellect incapable of knowing how to arrive at a decision. It does not seem to be in the public interest to teach critical thinking in schools.
In conclusion, not only is it rubbish, but it is pernicious rubbish, and you should spurn it as you would a rabid dog. Eamonn O'Riordan, Dublin Ireland The only thing proven by Astrology, is that you can get some people to believe anything.
K It's clear that not one of you has ever read a decent astrology book it happens they're rare. I have "astrology" books in my store. All but 50 or so are rubbish.
Dave, Abingdon US Richard of London claims that despite both being born at the same time, 'the same stuff never happens' to his brother and his mate's wife. Well, they both got a mention in Guardian Notes and Queries, in the same letter, on the same day You are good at thinking things through for yourself and you like to see proof before you change your mind about anything.
Your personality has a few weaknesses but you can generally compensate for them. Sometimes you have difficulty making decisions and you have serious doubts about whether you've done the right thing. You don't like being told that you can't do something and you become bored when you have to live with too many restrictions because you like a little change and variety in your life.
You are able to discipline yourself so that you seem in control to others, but actually you sometimes feel somewhat insecure. You wish you could be a little more popular and at ease in your interpersonal relationships than you are now. Ask someone what their sign is.
Read them this one-size-fits-all horoscope. Hear them tell you how accurate it is. James Warnock, Liverpool Astrology is not a left-over from medieval thinking - if you look hard enough you can find ancient philosophers venting their fury at it.
It's all completely true, by the way, and I'm happy to prove it to anyone who sends me a tenner. Graham Johnson, London, UK My philosophy teacher once said that anyone speaking about subjects they haven't studied can be safely ignored.
That's no doubt why most decent astrologers ignore the familiar blizzard of criticism and leave the field to the misguided and misinformed. There are serious knowledgable books on astrology which deal with the familiar criticisms.
Ivor Solomons, Norwich, UK "I believe it was Jasper Carrott who observed that until one twelfth of the population was run down by an egg lorry on the same day, he would not believe in astrology" This is the one of the most ignorant things about astrology I've ever read.
Every person has different experiences throughout their lives and horoscopes are supposed to be interpreted in relation to that person's life, situation and perspective on what is happening.
Two people who are born in the same hour, day and town are not going to be similar, because they are different people, and the interpretations are going to affect them in completely different ways.
Now, I am a ferverent believer. When will my money be delivered, I wonder? Jim Mannix, Dublin, Ireland I will consult the stars and get back to you.
Roger Wilcock, Rossendale, England "Astrology is in the same class as racism, sexism, and sectarianism for promoting irrationality and ignorance.
You are saying that people who believe in astrology are narrow-minded? Take a look in the mirror friend. I am an extremely skeptical person. My training is in accounting and auditing. Recently, I have studied enough real-world examples of astrological charts to realize that astrology is a legitimate science.
But please, do feel free to ignore it, the only one you're cheating is yourself. Scepticism should not mean, 'flips into credulity at first-hand experience'. I have a lot more respect for people who understand that human perception isn't necessarily trustworthy.
I'm with the sort of sceptic who would say horoscope 'accuracy' is much more to do with common human experience and the sort of ostensibly-objective-but-covertly-flattering analysis most people want to believe than an objective description of what a person is like.
I'm with the sort of sceptic who knows that memory is fallible, and who might well see something in the sky they can't explain, but wouldn't leap to aliens as the first likely explanation. First-hand experience should always be checked against reason, logic, likelihood or even basic common sense before being believed.
Ruth Bygrave, Ipswich, UK I was once employed to write horoscopes in a newsletter for a residential event, and did it every day for a week.
Since I don't believe in horoscopes, I wrote any old thing for each sign, each day, based on nothing in particular, but feasible for the participants.
Every day, I overheard several people saying that their horoscope had been amazingly accurate! Trisha Vargas, Xalapa, Mexico You can't criticise a subject on which you know nothing. Any compotent astrologer can tell you that Sun Sign astrology is not astrology, for starters.
Go read a book by John Frawley. Then you'll find out about the real astrology, the system that works. And who said the movements of balls of rock and gas influenced our behaviour?
Of course they bloody don't. It's not a case of cause and effect. It's much more subtle than that. You do not need the equivalent of a piece of string between two variables for the two to be related. The rough tools of science are unable to cope with things that cannot be quantified - such as personality, or value.
How much do I love you?
Science is a world view. It is no more accurate, correct, or helpful than any other world view. A belief that only the quantifiable is relevant is the modern-day equivalent of "Thou shalt have no other God but me. You have to get inside the building before you start criticising the stability of its floors.
And to do this you first have to realise your own bias for what it is, discard your preconceptions and prejudices, and actually take a good look at what it is you are so quick to dismiss.
It doesn't help that there is so much dross out there masquerading as astrology, either. To this, apply your prejudices and scorn, fine. But please do not assume that this dross is all there is to astrology. Do not tar us all with the same brush, I beg of you. Keren, Penrith, UK Harold you joker.
Her image also appears on various astrology-related books and merchandise. As an undergraduate she studied English at the University of Leeds. In the first edition of the News of the World for each year, Mystic Meg traditionally made predictions for the coming twelve months.
These predictions were a popular feature of the paper and garnered Meg many loyal fans. Meg owns a number of racehorses  under the company name Mystic Meg Limited, which is based in Bedford. In Meg launched her first ever website, featuring horoscopes, personalised readings and a telephone hotline hosted by a selection of her favourite professional psychics.
Horoscopes are provided by a premium rate telephone line. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Accrington , Lancashire, England. Archived from the original on Retrieved 2 November