Friday, 30 October 2020

tendencies for everybody

Via Strange Company, we learn that our preoccupation with royal births and impatience for the latest (or perhaps yet to come) gossip has informed the daily horoscope column.

As one shrewd editor found himself short on reporting with the birth of another grandchild of the monarch, the Sunday Express decided to engage celebrated astrologer R.H. Naylor (their second-choice after a mystic called Cheiro, after cheiromancy—that is palmistry—had to turn down the newspaper) to do a forecast for the yet-unborn Princess Margaret (†2002, appearing in print three days after her birth in August 1930—I surmise she was a Leo) and as it were tell her adventurous (the Queen’s younger sister lived up to these predictions vague and universally applicable as they were) life backwards and let her age into her fortune. Using the commission to develop his nascent technique of solar signs—that is a simplified method based on one’s birth and the house of the zodiac that the sun was in, Naylor was able to offer readers both a general personality assessment and a daily prognostication. After having predicted the crash of an airship, Naylor was criticised for failing to forecast World War II. His column nonetheless remained popular and spawned many imitators.