a starguide for skeptics and cynics


Pluto got demoted last week.

What effect does this have on astrology? Well, it depends. If you’re healthy enough to be skeptical of labels, then the names self-appointed experts give to those big balls of rock zooming around up there don’t really matter. If you’re even healthier, and skeptical of astrology, then you’ll have realised that us starpeople are working off a system from 2 thousand years ago which doesn’t even match the current astronomical positions. However, bear with me for a minute.

Pluto in Sagittarius creates disruption in areas of philosophy, law, and religion. It charges us to bandy about phrases such as the clash of civilisations and the war on terror. It confounds the intellectual tenets of our lives, like democracy, human rights, and freedom, and twists their meaning. Our distant demi-planet arrived in that sign in 2000, so it’s safe to say we’ve seen plenty of its effects. Sagittarius is also the house of astronomy. Pluto is currently in retrograde, which causes conflict and dramatic change amongst academics. This decision, ironically, is exactly the sort of thing you would expect from such a transit.

Astrologers will no doubt continue to embrace Pluto. We quite like forces of disruption. Most astrologers already include Chiron in their calculations, so we keep up to date with new discoveries. However, we tend to watch the machinations of academic science with bemused patience, the prerogative of those in a far older discipline.

Americans are disappointed, of course. Pluto was their only planetary find. The Houston Chronicle even had the gall to call the decision a cultural backlash, as if the International Astronomer’s Union was somehow in cahoots with Al-Qaeda. I blame retrograde Pluto, of course. It’s easier than getting my head around the fact that millions of Yanks are stupid enough to buy into Bush’s mad crusade.

If you’re a Scorpio, this decision affects you personally. You are now ruled by a dwarf. Take from that what you will. I doubt it will change your outlook you’re far too stubborn for that. Tiny in stature, but stubborn of will. A bit like Pluto itself.

As usual, no-one considered the children, who now have to rebuild their model solar systems with one less ball of painted polystyrene and learn a new mnemonic. If I may make a suggestion, Mad Vengeance Elected Means Justice Shafted Under Nationalism has a nice ring to it.


Revelations from the previous week are starting to charge you up now. What fools refer to as your ‘natural intelligence’ is currently firing. Your mind is a force so undiluted that you should be able to bend others to your will, Voldemort-style. Avoid naked flames and little boys with sticks and imaginations.


Your love life is not making a lot of sense. Maybe you should stop looking at yourself as if you were a professional observer. Pathologising everyday life isn’t getting anybody’s freak on. Try and remain calm and stay open to surprising suggestions from unlikely candidates.


Your ruling planet is now a dwarf, but we don’t care for labels round here. If I was to pin a tag on you, Scorp, it would be a golden ticket, illustrated with a picture of a twister under a rainbow. Your luck is holding strong and taking you places you didn’t know existed.


That absurd or obscure interest you’ve been clutching for the last couple of months will suddenly lose all its fascination this week. You will automatically latch on to the next thing pretty quickly, so be sure and hang out with stylish people in cool places until at least the 6th.


The bright smile that plays eerily around your features may be a sign of imminent collapse, but my money’s on a breakthrough. Nothing complicated. You’ll burst through this obstacle by ruling with your head and working with your hands. Who needs liquid explosives?


At dinner with some people you should be trying to impress, you tell an awful story that you claim happened to a friend of a friend, not knowing that the friend in question ­ who is still in therapy ­is seated at that very table. All in a day’s work I guess.


Fishes will have good fortune this week, finding streams that will carry you to wide rivers. However, once there you will become confused by the current and entangled in a rusted, half-submerged pushbike. Wasn’t there something said once about fish needing bicycles?


Power up your presence in the workplace and look out for a rival from left field. If your boss sends you on extended, unnecessary training, be very suspicious. Watch your supervisor. Screen your outgoing emails very carefully and stop wasting time on eBay. Join the union now, while it’s already too late.


You will enjoy a happy exercise is propagating your particular world view with the general public this week. Folks will finally understand your passion for your subject. I hope they have saved you a milkcrate in the Domain.


Still thinking about your dream home, aren’t you. I saw you looking over paint samples, trying to match ‘clouded eggplant’ with ‘mixed lolly’ to no avail. Face it, you’re much too smart to bother with such trifles. Quit nesting and make yourself useful already.


I saw an excellent short animation recently about some crabs who always walked sideways. Then one little crab realised that it was only tradition and habit that was holding him back. He could go forwards with a will! He got squashed by a truck in the end.


You’re quite likely to meet your soulmate on public transport this week, so spend as much time as you can on the bus, tram, or train without looking like one of those freaky wingnuts who spend all their time riding around on the bus, tram, or train.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.