Fanfare! Article Published Today: Beware the Ides of March....Astrology, Prediction and Politics

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Sep 25, 2014
Hot potato time. Or cold potato time. Or mouldy potatoes. Potatoes anyway. The brief was 1000 words on astrology and politics.

What could possibly go wrong? Well, it's all writing, innit. Forsooth!

I was dying to include the happy little tale of the astrologer Asclatarius and the Emperor Domitian, but, lack of space....

Anyway, they both wound up dead, 18 September 96 AD ,more or less as Asclatarius had determined in a horoscope. Correct to the day, the manner of death, and almost the hour. Domitian had got the wrong side of the Senate, hadn't he?


Stabbed late lunchtime before he even ate his sandwich. The astrologer killed by a pack of dogs, just as he had told the Emperor he would be, which saved him from being burned, executed by order of the Emperor, who was determined to prove Asclatarius wrong by making sure he died of other means than his horoscope suggested. If Asclatarius had got that wrong, Domitian reasoned, then he must have got that other thing wrong. You know, the thing about Domitian being assassinated, and the sandwich. But I do not believe Asclatarius said what was in the filling of the sandwich.

Client for this article is in Luxembourg.

Beware The Ides of March; Astrology, Prediction and Politics
Nice article. I am surprised how many people take astrology seriously. A long time ago I had a good friend Jamie, who worked for Patrick Walker who developed a following in the evening standard for his stars column. Jamie wrote most of his stuff for him and took the whole thing mega seriously. He made life changing decisions only after consulting the stars and it was only after doing so he joined me sailing a small yacht across the atlantic but that is another story.
I'd like to hear it sometime :)

Thank you @Steve C and @RK Capps

You might be surprised at the business owners who use such services, and how they use them. Nancy Reagan was terrified of another assassination attempt on Ronald. That was why she consulted with her sister. Forewarned is forearmed, though it didn't help Caesar. Reading one's stars is a way of communing with your gut instinct, accessing that inside track, enabled by symbols. People, meaning people in the historical, anthropological sense, go round with the volume of their own intuition habitually turned down, so as to be able to function in cities which would otherwise be insupportable. The presentation may seem woo, like a defunct language, but the function it addresses is natural, biological and universal for our survival.

Horoscopes in newspapers etc only give you the sun sign reading, which is only 1/12 of your individual picture. Generic as heck, though it may still strike a major chord, as the sun sign is the key symbol, like a baseline factor.

Astronomers now, are finding ancient legends are actually true. The planet Jupiter does literally hurl 'thunderbolts' in our direction. How could the ancient Greeks possibly have known that?

I have a friend who, when he was a child, was taken by his mother to the airport to fly out to join his father working overseas. They were at the airport, queuing, when his mother suddenly said, come on children. We're going home. And took them home.


'Their' plane went down. She saved all their lives. Based on nothing that could be justified, explained or substantiated, nothing more than a bad feeling. Imagine if the plane had arrived just fine? And she had to explain to her husband why she had to re-book all the tickets etc. She wouldn't have had a leg to stand on, so far as 'common sense' was concerned. How many people would trust themselves enough, to dare to be so wrong, and to do what she did and actually walk?

I have a brother, a policeman, a sergeant who worked in anti terrorism, who's worked with bomb disposal people. They get 'feelings'. And when they do, if they can, they walk fast, and find out why later. Something to do with the amygdala. We sense threat, and also experience 'supernatural' phenomena via the amygdala.
It's fascinating. I used to poo poo the whole idea but Jamie and I had many clear sky nights on board spent staring at the stars and with only water around you they make you feel insignificant in the scheme of things. He explained his view on things as different to scientists who look at past cause and effect as a way of explaining events whereas he looked at an event as being explained by the future. I am an agnostic so go with the flow but I do find it interesting.
Agnostic. Me too, though never an atheist. Who am I to say what there is NOT? I love the way that today's and maybe tomorrow's science is yesterday's legend, superstition or metaphor. And as a specie, we seem to be getting more ancient with every new discovery. Much is said about female intuition. Gathering, sorting the rip from the unripe, the poisonous from the safe. What about male intuition, Tracking and trapping...and sailing needs a right good 'nose' I imagine. Maybe we hear and smell more than we consciously compute, and translate physical senses as feelings.

One night I dreamed of an earthquake at the end of my street. In Lytham St Annes? Yeah. Right! But we had one, a week later, a real, live earthquake, and it was teeny of course, we are so lucky not to live with those sorts of terrors in the UK, but it was creepy as....
well, never mind how creepy.

It was the Market Rasen earthquake, 2008, sending shock waves south of the rock of the Pennines, and my house at that time was on the coast, actually built on sand.

I dreamed it the week before, and the day it happened, felt really weird and on edge for no reason I knew, but what if I had physically sensed a change in a magnetic field? Like the birds. Our physicality is dulled, I think. The sheer acuteness of our physical capability as a specie. Dormant to an extent, dulled but not dead.

Out at sea, or anywhere where there is vastness, or absence of 'noise' you feel it is there. Yourself, tiny, but also huge, and ancient.
I think it's very common. A lot of folk just accept it as part of the furniture. Some get their knickers in a twist, and that's a legacy of the Age of Reason, but it's a waste of time trying to debunk it. I was put to a test by a magazine. Asked to do 2 cold readings off the street with a journalist listening in. All it meant to me was, I found I could concentrate anywhere, but I couldn't say what I really wanted to. The write up confirmed the readings vis a vis accuracy. They interviewed the 'guinea pigs' afterwards. What it couldn't evaluate was what I didn't say. I could not expose the 'guinea pigs' in that way, for them to see it written up in a national circulation magazine, when all they'd done, was go into town minding their own business till they were nabbed. One was a young lady who had just got engaged. It was clear to me she had major doubts about it, but was I going to broach this with her with a journalist ear-wigging. Not blooming likely. But I would have, if she had sought the reading out, and we had a safe space.
The really rabid debunkers, the Randis etc are a kind of secular zealot every bit as bad as religious loons.

You're clearly very psychic @Rainbird. One doesn't have to do anything about it. Often there is nothing one could do about it anyway, just note it, and carry on. It isn't always nice.
Fascinating article and fascinating subject. I used to be suspicious in regards to horoscope but these days I'm open minded. I would like to meet the people who were born the same day, time and hospital as I. See if their lives are similar.

Like you @Rainbird, I see people. Not often though. I saw someone in my house and grabbed the nearest sword. The house was empty. I saw my nan. She told me to stop the car. I did. I'm glad I did. Etc

Premonitions. Yap. Past life experience one. But maybe I'm losing my marbles. Very possible. It usually happens when I'm emotionally challenged.

I felt my uncle die nearly two month ago now. It was weird. 600 miles between us. Sad. Peaceful. And weird.

There's so much more to life, or at least that's what I believe. What it is I have no clue tho.
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A man once "fetched" me to him, to where he had just died. Dropped in a quiet back street, groceries in the gutter, poor soul. A crowd round him, trying to resuscitate him. Ambulance crept round the corner, no siren. I knew they couldn't revive him. I was fetched by a really weird sensation in my ears and I followed where it led me. didn't see him, only felt his panic and felt him standing there beside me watching the scene, the paramedic working on him. It was a very peculiar feeling indeed. I think maybe what I felt was a kind of shock wave, like a radio signal, which I then followed till I arrived on the scene round the corner and down a back street. This signal or wave It wasn't sent TO me, personally. The man was a stranger, so it couldn't have been a thing like Barbara's uncle. No personal psychic connection. Just that I must have been tuned in on the necessary frequency, going about minding my own business. I didn't know the first thing about Tarot in those days, or astrology beyond my sun sign, and these things are something else altogether, but connected to something in the human animal.

Maybe it was a radio signal, or maybe it was pheromones and he had still been alive, but only just. I have known fish to kill one another with hostile pheromones. Pheromones are also component of charisma. Who know what else those pheromones can do.

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Interesting thread KT.

I am a total science-nut sceptic. Prove it scientifically, I say generally.

However, my mother is an amateur astrologer. She draws up charts for family members, friends, friends of friends, politicians, events, etc. purely for her own interest. She started doing it to "prove to herself there was nothing in it." Despite her own scepticism she has come to find that somehow it does work.

On several occasions she has stunned both friends and herself by the accuracy of her interpretations (working out a person's character and events in their lives by looking at their charts). I have personally witnessed such moments myself, and it sends chills up my spine.

So, I'm still a sceptic, but I can't deny that there is "something in it." How it works or why, I can't work out. But it can be extraordinarily accurate sometimes. More than just statistical luck or coincidence would allow.
Sceptical is good. Sceptical is to be genuinely enquiring, feet on the ground, while maintaining a certain degree of distance. Sceptical asks questions and considers all the possibilities. Context is king and what is the question, exactly? I am sceptical, myself. But have had a few great surprises. Astrology, proper, is a challenging academic study; a symbol system based on thousands of years of correlation of observed, collected data; meteorological, geographical, geological, astronomical, psychological and political. The human animal is a pattern seeking animal. The patterns may not be 'real', as in, you look up and see a hunter in the sky, and call him Orion, but the patterns once perceived, and reinforced culturally, become a programming of perception. Life is pattern and break in pattern. Order,chaos, new order, that's the basis for the symbol system called astrology.
Can someone look at stars and tell me if Liverpool will win the premier league this year. Every year I have this blind belief in them and this year is no different.
Heh. Book in with an astrologer, OR look in 'Old Moore's Alamanack', they do sports astrology in there.
Or if you have a deck of ordinary playing cards, verbally ask the question. Shuffle. Draw 3 playing cards. What do you get? 3 spades? Forgeddit it. 3 Diamonds. Be very, very hopeful. Everything else, degrees of in-between.

Meanwhile, this very question of yours, however much spoken in jest, is part of what is still driving a booming, global publishing market.
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53 Writing Contests in March 2019 - No entry fees