On astrology and superstitions

"The major superstitions are impressive. They are so old, so unkillable, and so few. If they are pure nonsense, why aren't there more of them? But they all keep on reviving with the perverse air of intuitions, never losing their central idea, no matter how richly they proliferate details. The worst thing against them is that they have no means of shedding their rubbish. Astrology is the most outlandishly draped, and the most disreputable. But what vitality!

To an outsider, astrology is an procession of puerile absurdities, a Babel of gibberish. It suffers by setting up as a science, and challenging the scientific eye. As it happens, statistics tend to support some of the general principles, but in a horoscope, cast according to any one of the systems, there are hundreds of factors to be reckoned with, each one interfering with all the others simultaneously, where only judgement of an intuitive sort is going to be able to move, let alone make sense. Some astrologers do make sense.

Whether the genuine astrology works as an esoteric science, like advanced mathematics, as astrologers claim, or as an intuitive art, like throwing the bones, it doesn't matter, as long as it works."

Ted Hughes, 'Winterpollen', 1994

Ted Hughes (1930-1998); English poet, Poet Laureate from 1984 to his death

Ted Hughes (1930-1998); English poet, Poet Laureate from 1984 to his death