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.
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.