27.5.23: I am well aware that many people have a firm belief in Astrology and like to consult their Horoscope before deciding whether or not to invest in a lottery ticket. I have an open mind on the subject. A few years ago I wrote a book called 'Our Journey' (unpublished), and dedicated Chapter 6 to the subject of Astrology, which some visitors to this website might find interesting - here it is:
Before leaving the heavens and focussing on terrestrial matters in the next chapter,
it might be interesting to spend a little time looking at the subject of astrology, a
belief system that fascinates many. Whilst astrology cannot be described as
science, and is often described as pseudo-science, it has so many adherents that it
should be briefly examined.
Astrology involves a study of the supposed influence of celestial bodies on human
affairs. It has been said that if you want to find a personal connection with the
universe, consider your star-sign. Your star-sign depends on which constellation
(group of fixed stars whose outline is traditionally regarded as forming a particular
figure) was behind the Sun at the time of your birth.
More than 3,000 years ago astronomers wondered how the sky would appear if the
stars could be seen during the day time. Based on their observations of the night
sky, some astronomers determined that during the day time the Sun would appear
to ‘enter’ or pass through a different constellation each month. They gave the name
‘Zodiac’ to those 12 constellations, and named each according to their approximate
shape when viewed by the naked eye. For example, the Aires constellation, when
you connect the dots of light, bears a passing resemblance to a Ram, etc.
There are 88 official constellations that have been observed from Earth, but not all
are visible to the naked eye. The 12 that we can observe with the naked eye are all
in our own galaxy, the Milky Way. Here they are, together with the dates they are‘behind’ the Sun:
Aires (The Ram) 21st March-19th April.
Taurus (The Bull) 20th April-20th May.
Gemini (The Twins) 21st April -20th June.
Cancer (The Crab) 21st June-22nd July.
Leo (The Lion) 23rd July-22nd August.
Virgo (The Maiden) 23rd August-22nd September.
Libra (Scales) 23rd September-22nd October.
Scorpio (The Scorpion) 23rd October-21st November.
Sagittarius (The Archer) 22nd November-21st December.
Capricorn (The Goat) 22nd December-19th January.
Aquarius (The Water Bearer) 20th January-18th February.
Pisces (The Fish) 19th February-20th March.
The ancient people who formed a belief in astrology thought that a persons
behaviour, emotions and fate were heavily influenced by the date of their birth and
the star sign they were born under. That belief persists to this day amongst a large
number of people around the world, and each day millions of people consult their
horoscopes (forecast of a persons future) to see what fate has in store for them, or
to see what pitfalls they need to avoid. These horoscopes are widely available in
newspapers, magazines and the internet and for any particular star-sign can often
differ markedly, one from the other.
By way of providing an example, I was born under the star sign of Gemini,
described by the 2nd century AD astronomer Ptolemy as resembling the twins
Castor and Pollux from Greek mythology. The Gemini constellation contains 85
stars visible from Earth with the naked eye, and is 59 light years from Earth. Gemini
men are said to have a dual nature, with personalities fluctuating from charming,
light and lively, to dark and mysterious. They can also be mercurial and subject to
narcissistic personality disorders, I like to think that perhaps this is a more accurate
description of the current American President Donald Trump* than of myself. Trump
was born on June 14th 1946, and I was born on June 5th.
You must make up your own mind whether astrology is to be taken seriously. I am
inclined to treat mass media horoscopes with scepticism. I certainly attach no credence to the horoscopes that appear in daily tabloids and must apply simultaneously to hundreds of millions of people around the world, some of whom might have a good
day, and others a truly awful day.
It is often claimed that Einstein, the greatest scientific mind of modern times, believed in astrology, but words attributed to him, including, ‘it taught me many things and I am greatly indebted to it’, were not his at all. Einstein regarded astrology as pseudo-science.
Other great minds had different opinions. Carl Jung (1875- 1961), the Swiss
psychiatrist, who founded analytical psychology, recognised synchronicity (the
simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related, but have no
discernible causal connection) as being the basis of astrology. He said, ‘we are
born at a given moment, in a given place, and like vintage years of wine, we
have qualities of the year and season in which we were born’.
John Pierpont Morgan Sr, the American financier and banker who dominated the
American corporate world in the late 19th century and early 20th century, became
the world’s first billionaire. He was a firm believer in astrology and I will let him have
the last word. He said, ‘millionaires don’t use astrology, billionaires do!’.
* Those words written before Trump lost the 2020 election. God help us all if he wins the 2024 election.
24.3.22: THE PLIGHT OF REFUGEES.
Do you listen to the news each morning and get the feeling that the world is unravelling? There is so much misery and unecessary suffering caused in the main part by incompetent or deranged politicians that it is hard to identify one single cause or issue that should command our priority attention. Most lately I have been suffering anguish over the fate of the people of Ukraine and Afghanistan. If you would like to help, the is currently seeking donations for both causes -
Putting my money where my mouth is I have just made a small donation to both causes. Geoff Carrel, Carrel & Associates, 24.3.22.
25.3.22. UGH! THE TALIBAN!
Disgusted at the behaviour of the Taliban in Afghanistan preventing girls from going to school I have composed this little Limerick -
When the Taliban rule in Kabul
They stop girls from going to school,
If girls become smarter,
And learn that men
Are just fools!