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Quotations about Astrology


The stars dot out the plans of God. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

How can one possibly believe... that every ray of a star is a thread attached to a man's head? ~Victor Hugo, Notre Dame de Paris, 1831, translated from the French by Jessie Haynes, 1902

...'Twas astrology, once,
Haughty stars, icy moon, that ye faced.
~Edgar Fawcett

The planets are God's punctuation marks pointing the sentences of human fate, written in the constellations. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Seven Seventy Seven Sensations, 1897

...for so a wise man shall overrule his stars, and have a greater influence upon his own content than all the constellations and planets of the firmament. ~Jeremy Taylor

Bear in mind that in old Egypt the science of Astronomy began and was developed to an extraordinary height; and that Astrology followed Astronomy in its progress. And it is possible that in the later developments of science with regard to light rays, we may yet find that Astrology is on a scientific basis. ~Bram Stoker, The Jewel of Seven Stars, 1903

So we need not feel ashamed of flirting with the zodiac. The zodiac is well worth flirting with. But not in the rather silly modern way of horoscopy and telling your fortune by the stars... They want their "fortune" told, never this misfortune. ~D. H. Lawrence

...the Man in the Zodiac has his clue in the man of flesh and blood. ~D. H. Lawrence, 1923

Men at some time are masters of their fates:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
~William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, c.1599  [I, 2, Cassius]

...his gaze wandered from the windows to the stars, as if he would have read in them something that was hidden from him. Many of us would if we could; but none of us so much as know our letters in the stars yet, — or seem likely to do it in this state of existence, — a few languages can be read until their alphabets are mastered. ~Charles Dickens

Paracelsus... beholds the darksome psyche as a star-strewn night sky, whose planets and fixed constellations represent the archetypes in all their luminosity and numinosity. The starry vault of heaven is in truth the open book of cosmic projection, in which are reflected the mythologems, i.e., the archetypes. In this vision astrology and alchemy, the two classical functionaries of the psychology of the collective unconscious, join hands. ~C. G. Jung

Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy, the foolish daughter of a wise mother. These two daughters however have for a long time governed this world with uncontrollable sway. ~Voltaire, translated from the French by T. Smollett, T. Franklin, et al., 1764

There's some ill planet reigns:
I must be patient till the heavens look
With an aspect more favourable.
~William Shakespeare, Winter's Tale, c.1610  [II, 1, Hermione]

Thus, the vast majority, who believe in astrology and think that the planets have nothing better to do than form a code that will tell them whether tomorrow is a good day to close a business deal or not, become all the more excited and enthusiastic about the bilge when a group of astronomers denounce it. ~Isaac Asimov

Gail Andrews:  Of course astrology isn't a science. It's just a set of rules like chess or tennis or… what's that thing the British have?
Tricia McMillan:  Er — self-loathing?
Gail Andrews:  Parliamentary democracy. The rules just kind of got there. Astrology rules use stars and planets as a way of thinking about a problem, which lets a shape emerge.
~The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Radio Scripts: The Tertiary, Quandary and Quintessential Phases, as dramatized, directed, and annotated by Dirk Maggs, 2005, from the novels by Douglas Adams (1952–2001)  [this scene adapted from Mostly Harmless, 1992 —tg]

It's like throwing a handful of fine graphite dust on a piece of paper to see where the hidden indentations are. It lets you see the words that were written on the piece of paper above it that's now been taken away and hidden. The graphite's not important. It's just the means of revealing their indentations. So you see, astrology's nothing to do with astronomy. It's just to do with people thinking about people. ~Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless, 1992  [Adams: "the fifth book in the increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhikers Trilogy" —tg]

We are merely the stars' tennis-balls, struck and banded
Which way please them...
~John Webster

This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune, often the surfeit of our own behaviour, we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical pre-dominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforc'd obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on. An admirable evasion of whore-master man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father compounded with my mother under the Dragon's Tail, and my nativity was under Ursa Major, so that it follows I am rough and lecherous. Fut! I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing. ~William Shakespeare, King Lear, c.1605  [I, 2, Edmund]

Now this may sound nonsense, but that is merely because we are fools. There is an eternal vital correspondence between our blood and the sun: there is an eternal vital correspondence between our nerves and the moon. ~D. H. Lawrence (1885–1930), Apocalypse, 1931

And oh, if the moon is against you, oh, beware of the bitter night, especially the night of intoxication. ~D. H. Lawrence (1885–1930), Apocalypse, 1931

...the moon, the planets, the great stars. They are either our makers or our unmakers. There is no escape. We and the cosmos are one. The cosmos is a vast living body, of which we are still parts. The sun is a great heart whose tremors run through our smallest veins. The moon is a great gleaming nerve-center from which we quiver forever. Who knows the power that Saturn has over us, or Venus? But it is a vital power, rippling exquisitely through us all the time. And if we deny Aldebaran, Aldebaran will pierce us with infinite dagger-thrusts. ~D. H. Lawrence (1885–1930), Apocalypse, 1931

Who needs astrology? The wise man gets by on fortune cookies. ~Edward Abbey

Madam, though Venus govern your desires,
Saturn is dominator over mine...
~William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus, c.1593  [II, 3, Aaron]

I was born under the sign of Saturn — the planet of the slowest revolution, the star of hesitation and delay... ~Walter Benjamin (1892–1940)

Saturn and Venus this year in conjunction! What says almanac to that? ~William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II, c.1597  [II, 4]

Earth gape! O no, it will not harbour me!
You stars that reigned at my nativity,
Whose influence hath allotted Death and Hell,
Now draw up Faustus like a foggy mist
Into the entrails of yon labouring cloud...
~Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus, 1592

HELENA.  Monsieur Parolles, you were born under a charitable star.
PAROLLES.  Under Mars, I.
HELENA.  I especially think, under Mars.
PAROLLES.  Why under Mars?
HELENA.  The wars have so kept you under that you must needs be born under Mars.
PAROLLES.  When he was predominant.
HELENA.  When he was retrograde, I think, rather.
PAROLLES.  Why think you so?
HELENA.  You go so much backward when you fight.
~William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well, c.1602  [I, 1]

      Fable XCIV: An Astrologer and a Traveller.  A Certain Starr-Gazer had the Fortune, in the very Height of his Celestial Observations, to stumble into a Ditch: A sober Fellow passing by, gave him a piece of Wholesome Counsel. Friend, says he, Make a Right Use of Your Present Misfortune; and pray, for the Future, let the Starrs go on quietly in their Courses, and do you look a little Better to the Ditches.
      The Moral of the Fable.  There needs no more than Impudence and Ignorance, on the One Side, and a Superstitious Credulity on the Other, to the Setting up of a Fortune Teller.
      Reflexion:  This serves for a Reproof to the Ignorance and Confidence of Figure-Flingers, Starr-Gazers, that pretend to Foretell the Fortunes of Kingdoms and States, and yet have no Foresight at all in what concerns Themselves. ~Fables of Æsop and other Eminent Mythologists, with Morals and Reflexions, by Roger L'Estrange, 1692

I wonder that thou, being, as thou sayest thou art, born under Saturn, goest about to apply a moral medicine to a mortifying mischief. I cannot hide what I am: I must be sad when I have cause and smile at no man's jests, eat when I have stomach and wait for no man's leisure, sleep when I am drowsy and tend on no man's business, laugh when I am merry and claw no man in his humour. ~William Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing, c.1598  [I, 3, Don John]

Now at full age, fulness of time, thy season,
When Prophesies of thee are best fulfill'd.
Now contrary, if I read aught in Heav'n,
Or Heav'n write aught of Fate, by what the Stars
Voluminous, or single Characters,
In their conjunction met, give me to spell,
Sorrows and labours, opposition, hate,
Attends thee, scorns, reproaches, injuries,
Violence and stripes, and lately cruel death;
A Kingdom they portend thee, but what Kingdom,
Real or Allegoric I discern not,
Nor when, eternal sure, as without end,
Without beginning; for no date prefixt,
Directs me in the Starry Rubric set.
~John Milton, Paradise Regain'd, 1671

...dreams, and predictions of astrology.... ought to serve but for winter talk by the fireside. ~Francis Bacon, "Of Prophecies"

Know thus far forth.
By accident most strange, bountiful Fortune,
Now my dear lady, hath mine enemies
Brought to this shore; and by my prescience
I find my zenith doth depend upon
A most auspicious star, whose influence
If now I court not but omit, my fortunes
Will ever after droop.
~William Shakespeare, Tempest, c.1611  [I, 2, Prospero]

At the moment I am looking into astrology, which seems indispensable for a proper understanding of mythology. There are strange and wondrous things in these lands of darkness. Please don't worry about my wanderings in these infinitudes. I shall return laden with rich booty for our knowledge of the human psyche. ~C. G. Jung, letter to Sigmund Freud, 1911

My evenings are taken up very largely with astrology. I make horoscopic calculations in order to find a clue to the core of psychological truth... ~C. G. Jung, letter to Sigmund Freud, 1911

Above, below, without, within, around,
Confus'd, unnumber'd multitudes are found,
Who pass, repass, advance, and glide away;
Hosts rais'd by fear, and phantoms of a day:
Astrologers, that future fates foreshow,
Projectors, quacks, and lawyers not a few;
And priests, and party-zealots, num'rous bands
With home-born lies, or tales from foreign lands...
~Alexander Pope, "The Temple of Fame: A Vision," 1711  [inspired by and "hint'd from" Geoffrey Chaucer, House of Fame, third book —tg]

RESPONSIBILITY, n.  A detachable burden easily shifted to the shoulders of God, Fate, Fortune, Luck or one's neighbor. In the days of astrology it was customary to unload it upon a star. ~Ambrose Bierce

The heavens themselves, the planets and this centre
Observe degree, priority and place,
Insisture, course, proportion, season, form,
Office and custom, in all line of order;
And therefore is the glorious planet Sol
In noble eminence enthroned and sphered
Amidst the other; whose medicinable eye
Corrects the ill aspects of planets evil,
And posts, like the commandment of a king,
Sans cheque to good and bad: but when the planets
In evil mixture to disorder wander,
What plagues and what portents! what mutiny!
What raging of the sea! shaking of earth!
Commotion in the winds! frights, changes, horrors,
Divert and crack, rend and deracinate
The unity and married calm of states
Quite from their fixure!...
~William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, c.1601  [I, 3, Ulysses]

Desbarolles, in his works, connects Graphology with Chiromancy and Astrology, showing how the hand is influenced by the action of the planets upon it. ~Richard Dimsdale Stocker, The Language of Handwriting: A Text-Book of Graphology, 1904  [Chiromancy is palmistry, or palm-reading. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Our Jovial star reign'd at his birth... ~William Shakespeare, Cymbeline, c.1609  [V, 4, Jupiter]

...My father named me Autolycus; who
being, as I am, littered under Mercury, was likewise
a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles....
~William Shakespeare, Winter's Tale, c.1610  [IV, 3, Autolycus]

Not from the stars do I my judgment pluck;
And yet methinks I have astronomy,
But not to tell of good or evil luck,
Of plagues, of dearths, or seasons' quality;
Nor can I fortune to brief minutes tell,
Pointing to each his thunder, rain and wind,
Or say with princes if it shall go well,
By oft predict that I in heaven find:
But from thine eyes my knowledge I derive,
And, constant stars, in them I read such art
As truth and beauty shall together thrive,
If from thyself to store thou wouldst convert;
Or else of thee this I prognosticate:
Thy end is truth's and beauty's doom and date.
~William Shakespeare

Swear his thought over
By each particular star in heaven and
By all their influences, you may as well
Forbid the sea for to obey the moon
As or by oath remove or counsel shake
The fabric of his folly, whose foundation
Is piled upon his faith and will continue
The standing of his body.
~William Shakespeare, Winter's Tale, c.1610  [I, 2, Camillo]

      The Old Year being dead, and the New Year coming of age, which he does, by Calendar Law, as soon as the breath is out of the old gentleman’s body, nothing would serve the young spark but he must give a dinner upon the occasion, to which all the Days in the year were invited...
      All the Days came... April Fool (as my young lord’s jester) took upon himself to marshal the guests, and wild work he made with it... good Days, bad Days, were so shuffled together, to the confounding of all sober horoscopy... ~Charles Lamb, "Rejoicings Upon the New Year's Coming of Age," 1823

      About astrology and palmistry: They are good because they make people feel vivid and full of possibilities... Everybody has a birthday and almost everybody has a palm.
      Take a seemingly drab person born on August 3, for instance. He's a Leo. He is proud, generous, trusting, energetic, domineering, and authoritative! All Leos are! He is ruled by the Sun! His gems are the ruby and the diamond! His color is orange! His metal is gold! This is a nobody?...
      Look at him blush with happiness! Ask him to show you his amazing palms. What a fantastic heart line he has! Be on your guard, girls. Have you ever seen a Hill of the Moon like this? Wow! This is some human being! ~Kurt Vonnegut, 1970

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published 2007 Oct 15
revised 2017, 2020, 2021
last saved 2023 Jan 15