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True believers, right? Maybe not. Classicist Pauline Ripat situates this paranoia, and the expulsions of astrologers, not as evidence of a belief in astrology, but as proof that astrology functioned as ancient media with the ability to influence public opinion, and therefore the Romans considered rightly this information equal parts useful and dangerous. The United States is no stranger to the effects of media on politics, but surely we have evolved beyond astrology …. Or entomomancy? On a more serious note, certain famous presidential Americans did assign astrology, and other pseudo-sciences, some credibility.

Caesar may or may not be a god, but Bernie definitely did not win the nomination, with all due respect to that bird. Astrology is a pseudo-science, but to the layperson — myself included — FiveThirtyEight is just a colorful map with numbers that either scare or soothe. No, not George Clooney. The other stars. Pluto is a very slow moving planet not a planet!


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Yes a planet! What might the stars tell us about the candidates? Strengths : Resourceful, brave, passionate, stubborn, a true friend. Weaknesses : Distrusting, jealous, secretive, violent. Strengths : Creative, passionate, generous, warm-hearted, cheerful, humorous. Weaknesses : Arrogant, stubborn, self-centered, lazy, inflexible.

Strengths : Generous, idealistic, great sense of humor.

A UK based astrological and political ramble

Weaknesses : Promises more than can deliver, very impatient, will say anything no matter how undiplomatic. Strengths : Compassionate, artistic, intuitive, gentle, wise, musical.

Weaknesses : Fearful, overly trusting, sad, desire to escape reality, can be a victim or a martyr. Classicist Tamsyn Barton emphasizes that the polyvalency of horoscopes is what made the science so popular among Romans: astrologers were careful, she argues, to be vague enough that subjects could find something they liked in their horoscope.

Does this strategy obtain? Think long and hard about how you read the above horoscopes. Did you allow your own political bias to influence how much value you attributed to the purported strengths of the candidate you support?

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I switched their information. The Wall Street Journal investigated this issue at the end of September, but, for some reason, neither campaign deigned to comment. The solution most astrologers have arrived at? Cast both charts and pick the one that seems to conform best with their assessment of her personality or prospects.

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Arlene Nimark, interviewed by the WSJ, thinks that the lack of birth information is itself proof of which chart is accurate:. They play things close to the chest. But Robert Wilkinson another internet astrologer offers this note of caution:. Nothing is perhaps more uncertain than ourselves cue the Delphic Oracle: know thyself. Not an easy order to follow. Perhaps this is why a great deal of astrology deals not with predicting the future, but analyzing the present: who am I?

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Why do I do the things I do? Which Stranger Things character am I? In these days of Buzzfeed quizzes, Meyers-Briggs personality tests, and enneagrams, it makes sense that, long after the science of astrology has acquired its pseudo - modifier, we can still find astrological charts compelling. The biography will always be more enticing, more entertaining, than the history.

The US seems to be standing on a great precipice. It feels like there are only two futures for America. Two parties. Two candidates. Two people. With two birthdays. Sarah Scullin is Managing Editor of Eidolon. She received her Ph.

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Her moon is in Capricorn just like Augustus! Sign in. Get started. Don't already have an Oxford Academic account? Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Sign In or Create an Account. Sign In.

Advanced Search. Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article Navigation. Volume Astrology in Roman Law and Politics. Robert Samuel Rogers. Duke University. Oxford Academic. Google Scholar. Cite Citation. Permissions Icon Permissions. Article PDF first page preview. Issue Section:. You do not currently have access to this article. Download all figures. Sign in.