Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Stars

We're all bound to be related to somebody famous - though it depends upon what you call "famous" with the transient celebrity status given by television these days.

In the 1960s the name at the forefront of medical science was Dr Christian Barnaard (sometimes spelled Barnard) who conducted the world's first heart transplant. So I was really rather excited to discover that I was related - only distantly, mind - to the person who received it even though, sadly, he only lived for eighteen days afterwards.

More glamorously, I am also apparently distantly related to the 1950s comedian and film star, Danny Kaye - now sadly out of fashion but I very much enjoyed his films as a child, particularly The Court Jester with its endless permutations of

The potion with the poison's in the chalice from the palace
The vessel with the pestle holds the brew that is true

The third - and last, so far as I know - famous person to whom I am related is the astrologer Jonathan Cainer.

I've got a bit of a problem with this one, because I've always believed that astrology is a load of rubbish.

It has to be. Because - so I've been told, please correct me if I'm wrong - astrology looks at the positions of the stars as though they were blobs of cotton wool on a black blanket - flat, in two dimensions. And space isn't like that. When you're looking at the stars, you're looking back in time. I usually look at Nasa's Astronomy Picture of the Day and it's always awe-inspiring.

When you've looked at a few of these, the idea that the position of any of the stars when you're born could have anything to do with your personality or your future, just seems incomprehensible.

There's a whole vocabulary used in astrology that has always seemed completely closed to me, because my mind is completely closed to it.

"This year's Lunar Standstill, though, is more like a magical mist that will descend gradually and then thicken to the point when we are all lost in a fog of emotional elation. We could remain wrapped in it for months before the effect wears off as subtly as it came on."


And yet I know many intelligent people who are completely into astrology. Don't pay any attention to the horoscopes in the newspapers, they say, they're just journalism - - but if you get a proper reading, it can be really illuminating.

HOW? I don't understand how it can possibly work. It seems to me to be a leftover from hundreds of years ago when we knew even less about the universe than we do now.

So I had a read of Jonathan Cainer's website and I looked under "Your Sign - The Truth" and I read about my sign, which is Cancer, and if you want to know what I'm like, well, that's exactly what I'm like. Ask anyone who knows me.



Blogger John said...

We he seems to think being a Virgo is a Good Thing:

"There's absolutely nothing you need to alter in order to be successful in life - other, perhaps, than your tendency to be a little too self critical at times."

Humm... that'll be me then.

1:31 pm  
Blogger John said...

So how, as you say Daphne, can the position of possibly extinct stars, in a massive multi-dimensional space enable a bloke I've never met to know that I'm too self-critical?

Well I tried an experiment I clicked on starsigns at random and read the last papragraph as if it was my starsign - and guess what, they were all me.

I guess a lot of it is written with key phrases which though non-specific on the surface can trigger your own personal emotions and feelings.

When you have a detailed reading it can be spooky though.

1:39 pm  
Blogger Daphne said...

A good trick suggested by John and it does work - you go "ah yes, that's me" about them all, probably because the astrologer never picks out really negative qualities - you'd never get "you tend to lie and cheat but aren't very good at it". Interesting!

8:59 pm  

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