Abstract -- A selection of humour from The Impractical Astrologer, an anonymous anthology edited and published by Kim Farnell, London 1995 and 1996. The targets for satire in this selection are well-known schools of astrology (identified by initials whose authentic owners will be readily recognised by astrologers), horary astrology and its dubious link with reality, astronomical technicalities no matter how trivial, Pluto planting (a complete answer to the frantic pace of gardening by the Moon), aphorisms (pithy sayings that in this case are about the advantages of vagueness), astrological therapy with significators (factors in the birth chart that support therapeutic statements that in this case are wildly unrealistic), astronomy simplified, and the Lodge Point (a play on the former Astrological Lodge of London). You don't have to be an astrologer to get the message.
How to Choose your Astrological School
QHP (Quantifying Horrible Practicalities)
FAS (Facility for Astronomical Suppositions)
CPA (Centre for Psychotic Astrologers)
HS (Hubbard School)
Above is a play on Ron Hubbard, the founder of scientology, and is doubly satirical because traditionally Mars rules activists. The school being satirised here is based in Switzerland, the others are based in the UK.
Where is my missing budgie?
Prognosticus (vol. XXI p.75648) says: Look to the Moone in all Questions where the thing to be founde hath fledd its Rightfull Master, for Luna hath Dominion over fugitive Servants, escaped Slaves, Wives, Cattel, &c.
Now you see how marvellously relevant these old rules are even today! The chart had the Moon in Libra, which is an Air sign (birds, flight). So I was pretty sure I was on the right track.
The Moon was also 10 degrees from the Midheaven. Prognosticus says: When Luna applyeth unto the highest Angle of Heaven out of Ayr signes, 'tis certayne the Rascall be fledd towards some high place, viz, a Steeple, Tower, tall Tree &c. Now, Libra is a western sign and there is a tall tree standing in a field just one mile west of the querent's house! I predicted that Joey had alighted on that very tree 10 minutes from the time of the question. Why? Because the Moon is 10 degrees from the Midheaven of course.
While the querent hurried off to retrieve Joey, I stayed in the kitchen. The cat flap opened, and in came a rather swollen tom cat, licking its lips and looking guiltily towards Joey's empty cage. Oh dear! I hadn't noticed that the Moon was conjunct the malefic fixed star Algol ("the Devourer") which Prognosticus associates with death by Savage Beastes.
I rushed after the querent and found she had fallen into a drainage ditch, dislocating her shoulder. This was indicated by her significator opposing Saturn (falls) and moving out of Gemini (shoulders). Isn't horary marvellous! Do join me next time for my judgement How much will I have to pay in damages?
Intricacies of astronomy explained in clear and simple terms
Pluto Planting: The Timeless One
Pluto Planting is ideal for bored housewives, dole bludgers, trade unionists, government workers, and any other population where perceived action is more important than results. It comes complete with a handy incredibly-detailed self-adhesive planning guide that fits your trowel handle, and a 99-year guarantee of success -- your money cheerfully refunded if any planting fails to work within the guarantee period.
Yes, say goodbye to lunar lunacy. Take the slow lane and relax with Pluto Planting, the Timeless One. After all, you owe it to yourself to be worth it. But hurry hurry hurry while stocks last -- only $99.95 or two for $299.95, all on our revolutionary easy-credit plan (100% down, no payments).
The three aphorisms of Jeremy Cardigan
2. Always deliver judgements from the Starres in general terms, but if thou dost otherwise, let it be known thou hast notice of large payments.
3. We ought not to use arguments or tedious discourse in giving Judgement, much less flatteries, but on the other hand we all need to earn a living.
Above is a play on Jerome Cardan (1501-1576), perhaps the most famous of renaissance astrologers.
On the Astro-Therapist's Couch
"But I can't remember that", said the Client.
"Aha", said the Astro-Therapist, "it is too painful and you are blocking it. Your mother's sister's cat's Sun must be on your Descendant, so you are projecting and disowning these feelings. The cat has ego problems himself as Moon conjunct Venus in Leo is with Regulus, which gives him delusions of grandeur and he thinks he is royal. He has also projected these feelings on to you because his Descending Node is conjunct your Sun, showing you have unfinished business together from a past life".
"No, really", said the Client, "my Mother's sister did not have a cat. But she did have a pet python that nearly crushed me to death when I was five".
"Aha", said the Astro-Therapist, "you are blocking your feelings towards this cat (Mars in Scorpio square Moon/Venus midpoint in Leo). You see it as a snake which relates to your fantasies (Pluto conjunct your Sun in Virgo, sextile Mars in Scorpio)".
"I don't remember any feelings like that, but I have been afraid of snakes ever since".
"No, No, No," said the Astro-Therapist, "that is your Saturn in Pisces, opposite your Sun in Virgo, which makes you fear your own fantasies and disown them for the sake of meeting the conventions of our repressed society. With Saturn in Pisces, opposite your Sun in Virgo, you are damaging your psyche by trying too hard to conform".
"No, really", said the Client, "I don't think that's true".
"You must think less and feel more", said the Astro-Therapist. "You are blocking your feelings by thinking too much (very Saturn in Virgo). Anyway, the Session is over. Next week we'll treat your obsession with details (Virgo), which means that, because their markings are similar, you cannot tell the outward difference between a tabby cat and a boa-constrictor".
Astronomy explained in clear and simple terms
The Lodge Point
The above is a play on the former Astrological Lodge of London, which at
the time was part of the Theosophical Society.
All proceeds from the sale of The Impractical Astrologer were donated by
the editor/publisher Kim Farnell to the charity CHILDLINE.
All proceeds from the sale of The Impractical Astrologer were donated by the editor/publisher Kim Farnell to the charity CHILDLINE.