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I was wandering around one of those environmentally alternative-ish type Festival events recently, when I happened to stumble into an Astrology workshop.

Located under a marquee in one of the Festival’s many obscure, tucked away corners, it was being run by a solemnly bearded, 40-ish, hippie sort of chap, sitting cross-legged on an old carpet. He could have easily played a wizard in Lord of the Rings.

Around him on the grass sat a circle of sincere young women, wearing the uniform of the vaguely alternative Left. They all had the well fed look of the middle class and the bearing of a first year “environmental sciences” undergraduate who’s just discovered veganism. Some had backpacks.

God bless ’em they mean well.

Anyhoo, “Gandalf” the Astrologer was well prepared. He had a stack of impressive looking old books next to him and as well had photocopied and circulated to the acolytes the “birth charts” of various celebrities. I politely accepted a couple of these and perused them as I stood quietly on the edge of the circle listening to his gibberish and waiting for the chance to ask “The Question“.



Aleister Crowley, perhaps the most intellectually gifted student of the Occult sciences of the Last Century, had a low opinion of Astrologers, as a rule. A pack of ignorant jackasses who “thought the stars were stuck at random in the sky like plums in a suet-pudding“, he once caustically observed.

My own Personal Astrologist, however, is a methodical lass and actually LOOKS at the sky itself, and independently observed the discrepancy between fact and astrology charts many years ago. When she first started studying the subject, she did actual research and adjusted her charts accordingly.

But other Astrologers are not of her ilk. In her own words,

“I was disappointed with how long it took for me to get any information on the subject. I wrote to my favourite Astrology magazine and they never replied. If I asked other older Astrologers to explain the Precession of the Equinox they’d hiss at me like I was a heathen or change the subject. It was like they didn’t want to think about it”.


I thought I could detect Gandalf radiating some apprehension about my presence. Perhaps it was because I was the only one not sitting cross-legged on the cold, hard ground. (It’s all right for these young ones but I have a bad back) Perhaps he sensed “the Question” looming.


“Excuse me”, I said, “can I ask a question?’

“Certainly”, came the reply.

“Well”, I said innocently, “you’ve got Keith Richard‘s natal chart here, and it says he’s a Sagittarius, born December 18th, but that’s wrong isn’t it? Surely his sun sign should be Scorpio not Sagittarius if he’s born in December?”

“No no”, he assured me, “the sun is in Sagittarius then”.

“Er, sorry”, I replied, “but it’s not. Have you ever actually looked at the sky? You’d have to wait for an eclipse or have special glasses but you’d see quite clearly the sun is in front of the constellation Scorpio in December”.

“Yes,” I continued helpfully, “I think you’ll find all of your charts are a couple of thousand years out of date. Approximately thirty degrees of arc as I recall. So old Keef isn’t a dashing Sagittarius at all but in fact a scuttling Scorpio.”

“Amusingly, I might mention, none of my so-called Leo friends are happy with this information either, as it means that instead of a Lordly Leonine they end up being merely a watery, stick-in-the-mud Crab. But I digress..”

“You see” I explained, “there’s this phenomena called the Precession of the Equinoxes, or as some more poetically entitle it, ‘The Great Year.’

The earth has a couple of wobbles to its orbit, and one of these wobbles is the aforesaid Precession, which causes the Zodiac as we perceive it to regress, slowly shifting backwards, so after 2168 years you have the sun in a different sign at the Spring Equinox.

Hence we get a Great Year or Age of 26,000 years approximately (allowing for the cusp) during which time the Northern hemisphere’s Spring Sun-sign passes through the entire Zodiac. Thus the Age of Pisces, as I’m sure you’ve heard, is currently being succeeded by the much anticipated Age of Aquarius.

So you see, even though the Aspects between the planets on your charts are correct, the signs they’re assigned to are all wrong, so perhaps you should make some adjustments seeing as how you’ll be basing all your assumptions on out of date data?”


As usual I never got an answer. Gandalf mumbled a couple of rote phrases that didn’t really address the issue, ie., that his predictions are based on faulty data. Then he swiftly changed the subject and got the workshop running along happier lines.

A couple of the students were glaring at me like I’d just given a Nazi salute in a Synagogue, but there were some others who looked thoughtful, and I felt sure that they would be out there later doing their own research and coming to their own conclusions. And was there even a discrete, tucked away smile here and there? Perhaps.

My work was done here, I thought and so I wandered off happily to find the next item on my program. There was a homeopathy workshop somewhere about the place

and there was a question I wanted to ask.


The inner ring is the corrected zodiac

The inner ring is the corrected zodiac


politics JpigreducedW contrats



The Reverend Hellfire is a practising Performance Poet, President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity Inc., and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanists And the Church of the Universe.

He wears many hats. They all fit.



~ by reverendhellfire on July 7, 2013.

6 Responses to “THE ASTROLOGIST”

  1. Well done, Rev Hellfire! My old boss, astronomer Prof. Bart Bok, had a prepared lecture which he gave several times to conclaves of astrologers. As fas as I know, there was no radical change of beliefs. We all believe what we want to if we can. A few of us are prepared to change our theory if it doesn’t explain the observations.

    • Thanks Malcolm, I thought you’d like this one. Yeah they’re a bit like a bunch of flat-earthers in that regard or folks who are against something cos it aint in the bible, disregarding the evidence of their own eyes.I’m open minded about peoples beliefs but blind disregard of the facts just irritates me I’m afraid and brings out the imp of the perverse.

  2. Thank You

    one of the best blogs that I’ve ever read on this topic..congratulations 🙂

    astrology in delhi

  3. Lovely on lots of levels, Rev. A great, sardonic write, and factual—which is admirable concerning a subject largely based on fallacy. I dakked myself when I read ‘wearing the uniform of the vaguely alternative left.’ Well done, my friend.

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