The Guardian touts astrology

December 27, 2020 • 12:45 pm

It’s bad enough that venues like NBC News and the New York Times publish news—without caveats—stating that Jesus was not only a real person, but did the deeds and said the words described in Scripture. Now The Guardian has published a longish piece in which five astrologers predict what will happen after the pandemic begins to abate. Not only that, but they add no caveats about astrology being bogus, and in fact make statements that there might be something to it.  Is this the kind of “post-truth” journalism that we can expect now? Click on the screenshot to read:

I’ll give a few “predictions” from the astrologers, which of course are so bland and anodyne that anybody could make them, but first I want to show the statements made by the author, freelance journalist Deborah Linton.  These might lead the reader to believe that there’s something meaningful in telling the future using stars and planets, crystals, or tarot cards.  Linton’s own quotes are indented (emphases are mine):

This age of uncertainty has been a boon for crystal ball gazers. From New York to New Delhi, fortune-tellers have seen spikes in business; in the US, Forbes magazine reported a 136% rise in people seeking supernatural readings. In societies where religious belief is dwindling, and trust in the establishment under threat, the idea of looking elsewhere for guidance – to the stars or beyond, if you believe in a beyond – has made a kind of sense.

Millennials and Gen Z-ers are increasingly likely to livestream YouTube mediums, receive daily tarot readings via their Instagram feeds, or consume online horoscopes. The logic of astrology appeals to a modern desire for answers, while the magic of tarot is now available in “hip hop”, “modern love” and “bad bitches” themed card decks for sale online. In the US, the psychic services industry as a whole – which includes astrology, mediumship, palmistry, aura-reading and tarot – was valued at $2.2bn in 2018 (a 52% rise on 2005). Some celebrities consult spiritual healers just as they do therapists or nutritionists.

LOGIC OF ASTROLOGY? What does that mean?

When introducing psychic Dale Spencer Weeks, Linton says this:

Dale Spencer Weeks has practised as a psychic numerologist and seer for nine years, reading the numerical energy of people and events by studying patterns between numbers and physical or emotional states. He is clairvoyant and clairaudient. Requests for his readings have increased by two-thirds this year, including 30-40% more men than usual; most are looking for guidance with jobs or relationships.

“Clairvoyance” as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary in this sense is “Having or exercising the faculty of clairvoyance; pertaining to clairvoyance.” And “clairvoyance” means ” A supposed faculty attributed to certain persons, or to persons under certain mesmeric conditions, consisting in the mental perception of objects at a distance or concealed from sight.”

At least the OED says it’s a supposed faculty, implying doubt. Linton implies no doubt, either, when introducing Champion Psychic June Field, winner of the International Battle of the Psychics):

June Field was voted the world’s greatest psychic medium, beating 70,000 others in International Battle Of The Psychics, a European X-Factor style TV show, in 2013. Based in Dundee, she has been clairvoyant, clairaudient and clairsentient (seeing, hearing and feeling spirits) since childhood and makes predictions based on psychic intuition.

Balderdash! Where’s James Randi when we need him?  He’d be good at judging a Battle of the Psychics!  Anyway, Linton’s piece is not just one of those short newspaper columns that people peruse for amusement, though I suspect most are looking for a teeny hint about the future. No, Linton wrote a long article full of predictions from psychics. Here are just three. Really prescient, these charlatans! And if you think it’s all just fun, remember what Linton said above: Americans spend $2.2 billion per year trying to suss out the future from frauds.

June Field:

These next 12 months are a stepping stone to something better. We’ve done a lot of transitioning and 2021 is a time for re-educating and adjusting to a new reality. It is a year of healing and rebuilding.

People are in denial about the virus and that causes friction. People will continue to be afraid, and the return to normality will run into 2022.

That’s not hard to guess!

Here’s Dale Spencer-Weeks, a “psychic numerologist”:

I get different feelings or vibrations from each number. In 2020, the earth has been walking through a four vibration – the number of shelter, rules, law and governments. It is the number of determination, reassessing, cause and effect, so the solid, pure vibrations of 2+0+2+0 were going to be intense.

We are entering a solid “five” year (2+0+2+1). If 2020 has been about building a rocket ship, I liken 2021 to that ship taking off. Five’s energy is mercurial, like pumping 1,000 vaults through 100-vault wires. It’s going to be a huge year of change.

Weather events will be intense: storms and hurricanes. There will also be political unrest and missiles will fly. The world is going through a period of transformation and the vibe of 2021 is about expression and looking for freedom.

And some hope from Tarot reader Tatianna Morales, who answers some questions:

2. What does the energy of 2021 hold for the collective?

Card: The Page of Swords. This card brings innovative solutions and ideas. It also asks you to think intellectually, not emotionally. It speaks about radical truths being revealed in society – the kind that rock the boat. It brings an energy of busyness, of research and strategy in 2021. It asks that if you are inspired to take up new studies, hobbies or find new income streams, you take action. It talks about unexpected assistance from government. It speaks to the economy, where communication, virtually, and in the arts, will take the lead.

3. Do we see the solution to Covid-19 arriving in the first quarter of 2021?

Card: The Magician. This speaks of commanding solutions. It is the energy of those who are relentless in their pursuit of solutions, of resourcefulness, cleverness. The answer is, “Absolutely, yes.”

Wow—that last one was hard, especially since we already know there are two vaccines going into people’s arms. As for #2, well, that’s just nebulously dumb.

If you want to test these people, ask them to pick stocks and then compare their records to those of brokers. Ten to one they don’t do any better.

Why is the Guardian publishing this drivel? I stopped paying attention to the British version of HuffPost a while back, though sometimes a reader calls my attention to a half-decent article. But it’s really no surprise that they’re publishing this stuff in light of the paper’s penurious state.  As reader Barry wrote when sending me this link,

When I clicked on the article, this appeared at the bottom as an enticement to subscribe: “Our journalism fights for truth and holds power to account.” Sounds great. So why is the paper publishing tripe like this?

It’s because they’re fighting not for truth, but for clicks.

44 thoughts on “The Guardian touts astrology

    1. A great weight will be lifted from your shoulders on to the golf cart permanently on the 20th of January. That would be Donald Trump changing jobs, assuming he ever had one. Unindicted co-conspirator will be used more often.

  1. The sooner The Guardian goes under, the better for real journalism everywhere. Those tempted to flush down the tube their support for insightful coverage and analysis of the chaos of the contemporary world by sending money to the Guardian hacks would do far, far better to subscribe to The Atlantic, maybe the best outlet for serious critical thinking of the past several decades.

    1. Yes real journalism. Like we get from Boris Johnson’s fanzine The Telegraph or the high quality from the News International rags. Then there’s the bastion of truth that is the daily Mail.

      1. That’s whataboutery.

        There is a lot of frustration and anger from liberal quarters towards the Guardian, because there is a perception the Graun has become less liberal in recent years, and has gone down the path of identity politics and other regressive avenues. It is quite prepared to throw liberals, humanists, progressives and feminists they don’t like, under the bus.

        Liberals have not really had a kinship with The Telegraph or Daily Mail.

      2. @ Graham H: Exactly how are the serious deficiencies of the right-wing press in the UK relevant to the serious deficiencies of the left-wing press in the UK, in particular the Guardian—which is, actually, what we were taking about? I’m trying to see your point here, but…

        1. Type Logician wants The Guardian to go bust. If it does it will not improve the political balance of the British press. And it will not improve the chances of a non Tory government getting elected.

          1. So the lousy, sectarian, skewed woke attitudes of The Guardian ‘balance out’ the lousy, sectarian, skewed reactionary politics of The Telegraph and the Express?? That’s your point?

    2. The Guardian is home to the First Dog on the Moon cartoon, and surely must survive to fight the good fight, with Brenda the Civil Disobedience Penguin against Ian the Climate Denialist Potato.

    3. I feel a bit conflicted here.

      On the one hand, a lot of the Grauniad’s columns, like the one under discussion, are absurd beyond parody. On the other hand, a lot of their political analysis is produced by serious writers, and is worth reading.

      On the third hand, what else have we got, outside the Mail/Torygraph/Express dystopia? The Indie is sometimes OK, but often as unbalanced as the Grauniad. I buy The Times, because I trust much of its reporting, but only because I have learnt to ignore its biases, especially that against the BBC. The Atlantic is a worthy suggestion; but it could never be a rival to UK daily print media.

      But maybe daily print journalism has had its day. My NZ son-in-law swears by The Economist, for a weekly perspective. I would add Private Eye, for all the stuff that The Economist wouldn’t print. Still, I would miss strolling down to the newsagent to pick up my Times. I might even miss it if the only other option was The Grauniad.

      1. That’s a good son in law you’ve got there. The Economist is far and away the best periodical for my money. I’ve been reading it for 30 years and its analysis and international and science coverage is top notch. It is a tad conservative but as if you’re a liberal that’s not a terrible thing and they’re not bonkers right.

  2. “Five’s energy is mercurial, like pumping 1,000 vaults through 100-vault wires.” Jeebus–did he really spell “volt” as “vault”?

    His knowledge of electricity and construction is as faulty as his psychic powers. Wires don’t much care about voltage–it’s amperage that will burn your house down.

    1. I get your point that unless current flows along a wire ignition won’t take place, but ultimately it comes down to power delivered, i.e. voltage X current. So a very high voltage and a low current will have a similiar effect to a low voltage and high current. And if the wire reaches a temperature of Fahrenheit 451 it would ignite a copy of the Guardian.

      1. It depends on what you’re trying to accomplish, I suppose…if you’re trying to fry someone’s eyeballs, high voltage and low amperage will get the job done–see

        But a reference to a “100-volt wire” (I just can’t make myself misspell it) seems to me to invoke house wiring (here in the U.S. it’s generally 117-120 volts), and the voltage is a given. Circuit breakers are designed to kick on excess current, and circumventing that is what causes a lot of house fires.

        Too bad about this nonsense in the Guardian–a lot of their political stuff seems well written.

    2. & he’s totally wrong about five’s. I’m into the Tarot not so much for divination but for the artwork but if you look at any basic Tarot, five’s are ALWAYS loss, infighting, depression, poverty. Also V is the card of the Hierophant, orthodox religion. So this idea that we’re going into happier times is BS if you’re looking at the numbers & the cards.

  3. freelance journalist Deborah Linton

    I do hope that she’s done severe (and public) harm to her career. Sadly, that’s a hope, not an expectation.
    On inspection, she hasn’t been getting any traction on Twitter from this. She’s not even a good enough writer to attract abuse.

    June Field was […] Based in Dundee, she has been clairvoyant, clairaudient and clairsentient (seeing, hearing and feeling spirits) since childhood and makes predictions based on psychic intuition.

    She’s also been studiously avoiding the city centre, where she would be very likely to receive advice in when and where to “awa an’ bile yer heid”. Thinking about it, probably up at the Broughty end of the city. Lots of two legged sheep up there, ripe for the fleecing.

  4. And all that coming just after a post about the brilliant Covid vaccines.
    Can’t remember who said that long ago, but it reminds us of “Those that think that the whistle of the station chief is the power that moves the train”.
    Clairvoyant? Where is James Randy when you need him?

  5. It is a central tenet of Woke that astrology fits under the “other ways of knowing” that ‘Western, White Supremacist Patriarchal’ science frowns upon.

    According to Woke, feelz beatz realz.

  6. Hang on.

    valued at $2.2bn in 2018 (a 52% rise on 2005

    [Counts on fingers] [Newton-Raphson for the root.]
    I make that about a 3% increase in value year-on-year. Does anyone follow money matters to say if that is poor performance, or abysmal performance?

    1. Calculators have mostly replaced fingers and 52% over 13 years = 3.2733% per annum. A quality determination would depend on associated factors, such as risk.

  7. “Is this the kind of ‘post-truth’ journalism that we can expect now?”

    When I read this sentence, my immediate thought was, “no, The Guardian editors probably feel that they’re ‘giving voice to other ways of knowing’ or some such nonsense.” Reading the articles seems to confirm that suspicion.

  8. The Guardian deserves ridicule for publishing drivel like this, but it’s hardly alone: The newspaper I worked for in the western part of the US included a daily horoscope up until five years ago, as well as staffed two beat reporters for the LDS Church. It also devoted an entire page for pro wrestling (previously the WWF) every Sunday in the sports section for years.

  9. The Guardian is going seriously downhill – in the same edition you had a piece extolling the virtues of not reading novels “they’re boring…too long..”

  10. MAN you’re a sucker for punishment, boss! I saw both those articles (the Peter Werner rot and the Guardian one) and just shook my head – I thought “Nah, not today, blood pressure David. There’s a limit.” There seems to be more of this stupidity about in the last few years.
    James Randi? That beautiful little imp would have judged the Dundee fiasco with a chainsaw!
    D.A., NYC

  11. This is why I am never much convinced in predictions that religion is dying. Always just a social calamity away from a rise in spiritual faith, or more accurately, a lowering of the curtains to see just how large a percentage of people still subscribe to nonsense when things aren’t going so well.

    Most evangelical “prophets” said god told them Trump would win. Their response to the current news is to redouble their efforts and issue a plethora of new URGENT prophecies. And the money continues to pour in from the gullible masses.

  12. LOGIC OF ASTROLOGY? What does that mean?

    This may be the only thing they got right in the article. Astrology has its own internal logic in the mathematical sense, at least as far as I understand it. As with mathematical systems, there may be no connection between its logic and reality. With astrology, that connection is imaginary.

  13. Hilarifying. And this was the best part: “If you are hesitant or skeptical about talking to dead loved ones using paranormal or supernatural means, you can always talk to the dead without asking for an answer in return.”

    Reminds me of that classic line from Peter O’Toole in *The Ruling Class* (

    Lady Claire Gurney: “How do you know you’re God?”

    Jack Arnold Alexander Tancred Gurney, 14th Earl of Gurney: “Simple. When I pray to Him, I find I am talking to myself.”

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