Newspaper horoscopes: should you bother?
Desire Dehau reading a newspaper by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1890). They didn’t have horoscope columns back then but it’s a nice picture. I wrote this a while ago for a pilot partwork, but I think it’s worth republishing. Every day in newspapers and on the internet, thousands of words are printed forecasting the day’s events […]
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Why I love Mercury retrograde
Yes – it’s that time again. Mercury is retrograde, so astrologers say don’t put anything in the post, don’t sign contracts, don’t buy computers, don’t make plans bla bla bla. If you paid attention to that you’d be spending about a fifth of your year sitting on your hands waiting for flying boy to start […]
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Harvest
  Ripe apples drop about my head;  The luscious clusters of the vine  Upon my mouth do crush their wine;  The nectarine and curious peach  Into my hands themselves do reach;  Stumbling on melons as I pass,  Insnared with flowers, I fall on grass. The Garden, Andrew Marvell  (1621-1678) Our street used to be an orchard […]
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Rob Hand in Oxford
This little chap is a guardian of the chapel at Exeter College When it comes to casting the film Rob Hand: Astrologer and Scholar, the first person they’ll call is surely Philip Seymour Hoffman. You may have seen him in Capote or The Talented Mr Ripley. He already has the voice just right, and the […]
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How I struck oil on holiday
On Winchelsea Beach, the mud is dark sable. Sometimes, you slither across the top of it. But sometimes your foot sinks right in, mud spurts between your toes. And sometimes, you sink much deeper, over your ankles, up to the knees. When that happens, your feet encounter another texture, silkier than the ordinary mud, yet […]
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Times are changing
This is from an old copy of the defunct magazine Punch. I can never see the joke, but it does seem appropriate. We had dinner with an entertainingly gloomy Irishman last night. He’s clearly enjoying the credit crunch a lot – because it means that he can wallow in deepest pessimism, which makes him strangely cheerful. […]
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When it rains…
I’ve been looking at pictures of the Biblical floods in Pakistan, listening to the statistics – more people affected by this than by the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004. Is this possible? So I found a map and realised that the area being flooded is the Indus Valley itself, one of the cradles of agriculture. […]
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Stress for Leos
Tonight is the New Moon at 17 Leo in “interesting” aspect the outer planets. Anyone with a birthday around now – that is between August 5 and August 15 is probably feeling stressed out. You are under tremendous pressure from the planets. Are you having a serious existential crisis; wondering who you are and what […]
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What is the point of your astrology?
This is one tiny bit of the magnificent Jantar Mantar or astronomical observatory in Jaipur built by Jai Singh II in the early 18th century. Those Mughals took their astrology seriously. I had an interesting conversation with a friend visiting from Calcutta last weekend. He’s an important business associate of my partner, and from his point […]
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Between land and sea
I’ve just come back from a week at the beach in Winchelsea, East Sussex. It’s an uncanny kind of place with a wide tide. At high tide, it’s an ordinary shingle beach. In the distance you can see the eerie power station at Dungeness and a huge windfarm. As the tide goes out another world […]
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Hear the lion's roar
The Sun’s gone into the sign of Leo now. It’s full summer, the time of the Lion, as hot as it gets in the Northern hemisphere. Leo is a fire sign of course and its ruler is the Sun, by far the brightest thing in our solar system. No wonder Leos have a reputation for […]
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A Special Relationship - but do they understand each other?
She’s just not that interested. How do you tell that to someone? It’s tricky – especially if you’re reading someone’s chart and you can tell by the look in his eyes and the still way in which he’s holding himself, that this is really important – and the chart, well, it’s ambiguous, it could go […]
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Let your Sun shine
So on the subject of artists, I did a little exercise recently on Sun signs for my workshop at the Jam Factory. This was based on two ideas. First of all, our Sun sign is our creative centre – and secondly, all signs are creative in a distinctive way. I found a top-notch artist of […]
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Art or Craft?
I spent Saturday at Art in Action, the local shindig at Waterperry Gardens here in Oxfordshire. It’s a hugely enjoyable event. Artists and craftspeople come from all over the country and there are always a few from much further afield too. As a visitor, the thing that really sets it apart is the fact that […]
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Take a vow
You know what, we big picture people are not the only ones to heave a huge sigh of relief when Saturn finally gets into Libra for a good long stretch. (Personally, I can already feel the pressure easing. ). Saturn himself is jumping for joy and kicking his heels in the air. Why? Because he’s […]
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