CPE :: Lesson 17



LECCION 17 - PAGINA 4   índice del curso   página anterior   página siguiente




Now read the article below. Then you will have to do two activities on the next page.


Is there any truth in astrology? In the first place, there has certainly been a growing interest in it in Britain over the last ten years. More than half the population admit to glancing at the daily forecasts for their sign of the zodiac in the popular newspapers. In the same way, books explaining the subject to the lay public in simple terms enjoy sales of over a million. All the same, this wave of popularity, coinciding as it does with interest in Eastern philosophy and all kinds of occult sciences, can easily be explained as an attempt to fill the vacuum left in our society by the decline of traditional religion and beliefs.

To be fair, it is worth pointing out that a serious astrologer would laugh at the idea of there being any connection between popular newspaper forecasts and individual natal charts, claiming to interpret personality, temperament and abilities according to the positions of the planets at the exact moment of a person's birth. It is hardly likely, to take a simple example, that one-twelfth of the human population will inherit money or meet a handsome stranger on the same day. There are plenty of amateur astrologers employed in the field, though. When a cousin of mine joined a local weekly paper in the Midlands, the first job given him was to write the "What the Stars Foretell" column for the next issue. He found it an interesting journalistic challenge, especially when it came to predicting his own immediate future.
On the other hand, it seems to be true that people born at a certain time of year have a similar temperament. I was surprised when a friend of mine proved capable of guessing the zodiac signs of several people we knew with a high degree of accuracy. Moreover, a book I read which gave thumbnail sketches of men, women, children, bosses and employees belonging to different signs seemed to give an accurate picture of several acquaintances of mine.
Being a pragmatist, I decided to investigate the matter a little further. For a start, I wrote to an agency for computer-prepared natal charts for my wife, my son and myself. Needless to say, the results were quite flattering. Nevertheless, what struck me about them above all was that the only careers mentioned were all in the high-income bracket. Obviously the computer did not want to discourage people. But perhaps my reaction is due to me being "sceptical by nature," as the computer said.
One line of research into the value of astrology that has yielded surprising results, however, was undertaken by New Society. Its staff patiently calculated the birth dates of thousands of soldiers, musicians and painters and found to their astonishment that there were inexplicable correlations between zodiac sign and choice of profession. I tried out the same thing myself on a smaller scale with a list of tennis players and found nothing significant except for the above-average result for the Earth signs of the zodiac. There seems to be acquaint kind of logic about that. To sum up,, there may be something in it, after all. It goes without saying that I have not become a convert to astrology, of course, but ...I wonder why the computer said my wife should have married a Pisces!


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