Monday, 8 February 2010

Shooting Fish In A Barrel

Let's talk about astrology. Wouldn't it be lovely to think the stars can guide us? Doesn't work, though, as far as I can see.

I was born under the sign of Gemini. Yeah, I know, two-faced. Personally I prefer the version that goes: intelligent, quick-thinking, articulate. And that's the thing about astrology: you can take your pick.

Here are some of my daily horoscopes for today, taken from the Internet. I don't wish to dignify the providers with links; these were generated from a Google search on 'free daily horoscope Gemini' plus targeted searching of a couple of the UK's best-known astrologers' sites.

Life is a party today, so make the most of it! Your great energy should put others at ease, and you are definitely taking the situation well in hand. Your actions could make someone very happy.

So far, so pleasant - and so applicable to absolutely anyone. Here's another:

The dance is underway and for the moment, you lead, others follow in pursuit. Strut your stuff and don't stand still, because it's your motion that's getting the attention. You needn't strain yourself - in fact, its your fluidity and grace that makes you a magnet. Just move with the music, swing your partner with abandon.

Hmmm, maybe there is something in this astrology business after all - party, dance, well, they're similar metaphors, aren't they? Let's try a third:

This morning you might be on a state of confusion and have unrealistic ideas. People are likely to misunderstand you. Don't push things, or you may trigger a conflict! You are advised to postpone business activities. You'd better avoid any speculation, no matter how tempting.

Eh? What happened to all the parties and dancing? I don't think I'll believe in this one, plus the grammar is rubbish - whoever heard of someone being 'on a state of confusion'? Let's try another:

The emphasis is now on long-range financial planning, thinking about future security, and formulating strategies to achieve your ambitions. Your ability to study quietly, to concentrate on complex mental work, and to think deeply about serious matters is much better than usual. This is a good time to organize your affairs and also to seek professional advice about your concerns.

Well honestly, how can I be expected to do long-range thinking and formulate strategies when I'm on a state of confusion? Make your minds up, astrologers!

But then those all came via the Google search, so maybe they're from charlatans. Let's try a couple of 'reputable' astrologers whose advice is widely syndicated through the media. Here's the first:

Taking a trip to a beautiful, exotic land will soothe your frayed nerves. Lately, you've been spending a lot of time on relationship matters. It feels as though you've lost your identity along the way. By taking a solitary break, you'll reconnect with your truest self. People may be surprised by your decision to go away by yourself, but it's because they cling to outmoded ideas about love. You can be passionately devoted to someone and still want time alone.

I'm sure a trip to a beautiful exotic land would soothe my nerves, and anyone else's too, but money and time are slight barriers here. And I did the solitary break thing LAST year - yes, it was great, but I don't feel the need to do it again right now. So here's a final prediction:

People say, 'All I want is to be happy'. It sounds very reasonable, until you remember that some folk are only ever happy when they are feeling miserable! Someone in your world is now saying something that seems to make a lot of sense. Are you sure, though, that you are really listening to them? Watch for the tendency, today, to hear what you think you ought to be hearing, rather than what is actually being expressed. Watch too, for the possibility that someone wants the very opposite of what would be good for them.

This is another one that could apply to absolutely anyone. I know the astrologers' answer to that: daily horoscopes based on sun sign alone can only be very general, and for truly accurate forecasts you need a full personalised chart reading. I had one of those once, over half my life ago when I was more credulous than I am now. It was also full of 'advice' that could apply to anyone, e.g. 'your father might have health problems so keep a close eye on him' (he didn't) and 'you may have problems at work if you get on the wrong side of someone' (well, durrrrr).

My question to the astrologers is, even if daily horoscopes based on sun sign alone are very general, why are they so incredibly diverse? This isn't the first time I've done this exercise, and the contradictory messages in the horoscopes above are typical. For one astrologer, I'm putting others at ease; for another, I'm likely to be misunderstood. One says I'll be confused, another that my mental state will be clearer than usual. And I can't see the point of going on a solitary holiday if others are going to follow in pursuit.

I think I'll take the first forecast above as the omen for my day, because I like it best. So do you believe in astrology? Even after reading this post? And, if so, why?


Anonymous said...

The diversity of the 'predictions' can be understood, once you realise that astrology is complete bollox.

I think that answers your question too.

Pat said...

'it's your motion that's getting the attention. You needn't strain yourself.'
Sorry - it's the Lancashire connection again.
About 35 years ago - for a lark I went into a gypsy caravan for my fortune. She said although I was not happily married(true)I would eventually marry someone from my past and be happy. What a load of what Captain Black said I thought as I reviewed the past. But for 30 years at least she has turned out to be right. Early days!

Queenie said...

CB, I rather think it does!

Pat, that made me laugh out loud! Ooh, you ARE awful! Although I don't believe in astrology, it is interesting that some people receive astonishingly accurate predictions from psychics.

JJ Beattie said...

No I don't; not really.

However (because there had to be one, didn't there?) I went to a fortune teller back in October who's first (literally) first words to me on seeing my chart were: you should be a writer. I nearly fell off my chair. I have a recording of that session; let's see in 10 years how accurate it was.

Because it's Chinese New Year soon the Thais are getting very excited about the imminent year of the tiger and there are lots of places offering readings... I am a bit tempted though I don't know why.

Carol said...

I am firmly in the 'it's all bollox' camp! I went to a fortune teller years ago (was part of a hen thing so had no choice) and sat through the biggest load of drivel I have ever heard....I then listened to a couple of the other girls try despirately to make what she had said fit....I'm not a fan!

C x

Queenie said...

JJ, how fascinating! Go for another reading if you feel like it - if nothing else, it'll be good material.
Carol, I'm going to a hen thing next weekend, but as far as I know no fortune tellers are involved. I think the bit about people making what astrologers (or fortune tellers) say fit is the key to the whole thing, really.

HelenMHunt said...

I think horoscopes are rubbish, but sometimes when I come across a really good one I wish I did believe :)

Debi said...

Horror scopes - yeah rubbish. But I'm not convinced that the stars have no influence at all on us, just that it would be specific to the individual, not 1/12 of the world's population.

There's so much we don't understand about this world of ours, I don't rule anything out. After all, we are mostly water and the moon influences tides, so ...

Anyway, I'm just taking up time here while a certain MS prints out ...

Queenie said...

Helen, I think believing in the good ones is the way to go!
Debi, true, there's so much we don't understand... ooh, you were printing three hours ago? I expect you've read it all by now, I'd better check my email!!!

womagwriter said...

I think it's all a load of bollocks, Queenie. The stars are light years away. When the sun is 'in Gemini', it isn't, really. It just looks that way from Earth.

I reckon you could get a good story out of your diverse horoscopes though...

Debs said...

I believe them if they say I'm going to win the lottery (even though I don't take part), and be hugely successful.

If it says my day is going to be crappy, I think it's all a load of bunkum.

SpiralSkies said...

Ok, come on, you know you've got to have one flake among your merry readers and that is, of course, me. Yep. I read mine in The Telegraph and can't wait each week to see what's in store. Not that I can remember it's said once I've read it.

There are also certain star signs that I simply can't get along with.

Loads of flakes out there though. And not just me!

Queenie said...

Womag, ooh, good point!! Can't believe I didn't think of that!
Debs, that's absolutely my approach too.
Spiral, hurrah for flakes (especially the chocolate kind), someone needs to keep all the astrologers in work! I used to read the monthly 'scopes avidly back when I used to read mags like Cosmo and Marie Claire. I could never remember what they said, either.

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