Age: About 4,000 years old. Its roots can be traced to Mesopotamia in what was probably the first complex civilisation.
What is it? A system of studying the alignment of stars and planets to predict the future.
Nonsense, isn’t it? For centuries, it was taken seriously, but more recently it has been dismissed by scientists. Astronomers get furious when astronomy and astrology are confused. But people still love horoscopes – personal predictions based on the position of celestial bodies at the time of their birth. A 2005 Gallup poll suggested that a quarter of Britons, Americans and Canadians believe them.
How silly! Who would actually take their star sign seriously? Well, it seems that Madonna would. David Guetta, the French DJ and producer, has revealed that the singer was interested in getting him to produce her album MDNA in 2011. “We have lunch. It’s happening, very good. And you wonder when we start working together,” he told the YouTubers Mcfly and Carlito on their channel.
I sense there’s a “but” coming. Did you see it in the stars?
Possibly. Towards the end of the lunch, Madonna asked Guetta what his astrological sign was.
Uh-oh! It was Scorpio. “I’m sorry,” she said, according to Guetta. “We’re not going to be able to work together. It was a pleasure to know you. Goodbye!”
What’s wrong with Scorpios? Nothing, really. Scorpios are known for being passionate, persistent, loyal and fearlessly curious. It’s just that Madonna is a Leo and, in astrology land, that can be a fiery and confrontational combination.
Look, this is all rubbish, isn’t it? You may say that, but astrologers reckon it’s a fatal combination. “Humorous and passionate Leos often butt heads with assertive and stubborn Scorpios,” says one relationship guide.
I’ve never heard such gibberish. Name one astrologer who has got anything right. Jessica Adams, for a start. She not only predicted that 2020 would be the year of the virus, but also that there would be an “October surprise” that would bring down Donald Trump. The US president was diagnosed with Covid-19 this month.
I’m sensing you believe in this stuff. Just saying. She predicts that Trump won’t be re-elected – “2021 is about Democrats, not Republicans” – so that’s reassuring.
I think I’ll watch the polls and keep my fingers crossed. You’re not a Scorpio, are you?
Do say: “The power planets are aligned positively, Pluto is in the ascendant, the moon is supplying emotional energy and you will find true love as long as you avoid tripping over that pothole outside No 36.”
Don’t say: “Maybe the Guardian should run horoscopes.”