3. Writing the stars.

Written in


I don’t believe in horoscopes because I am a sentient adult; I’ve had to write them too many times.

Aged 22, I was interning at a London magazine when the editor asked if I could work on the horoscope section that week.

“But… I can’t read the stars?!” Was my horrified response as I imagined having to consult the heavens like some Shakespearean tragic hero.

“Can anybody? Just tell them what they want to hear.” Was the editor’s reply.

Fuck. Such celestial power in my stupid hands.

I’d assumed you’d have needed at least a BTEC in Astrology for this chaos. Apparently all you needed was no ethics and no shame.

Of course, I used my new, weekly horoscope as a medium through which to dispense advice to my ill-fated friends. One of my best mates at the time was a libra. And her boyfriend was a dick. So, each week Libra’s horoscope basically said, “Libra. Your boyfriend is a knob. Dump him.

Back then I quite fancied an Aries who had a girlfriend. So his horoscope was a regular rendition of, “DITCH THAT BITCH! Get yo’self a fine, dark-haired Virgo!” Yet, being a Virgo meant that the imagined star-chart for those lucky enough to get born between August 23rd and September 22nd constantly read, “You are brilliant. Change nothing. Keep being incredible.” When it probably should have said, “STOP THINKING YOU CONTROL THE FATES. YOU’VE READ ENOUGH TO KNOW WHAT HUBRIS IS.”

My favourite was the horoscope I wrote related to a Gemini friend who had been feeling guilty about a menage-a-trois with her ex’s friends in a pub loo. It read something like, “Gemini: You probably caught chlamydia from that lavatory incident. See the doctor before it’s too late.”  

But I was told to change that one as it seemed oddly specific. And not something their average readership of 15-year-old girls would relate to.  

So yes, for several weeks I controlled the fates of the very gullible… And what I’m now saying, a decade-and-a-half-later is: HOROSCOPES. ARE. MADE-UP. PROBABLY. BY. SOME. 22-YEAR-OLD. CHARALATAN. THAT. IS TRYING. TO. SLEEP. WITH. YOUR. BOYFRIEND.


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