Astrology has been a bete noire to many a shepherd: the doctors of the great religions either rejected it or they frowned upon it, with very few exceptions - and their more zealous followers persecuted the practitioners; ancient and medieval emperors and kings were fascinated by it, but they feared the astrologer who would read the stars against them; modern political and religious charismatics officially scoff at the art and its performers - and yet (the author's statement notwithstanding) quite a few of them have clandestine recourse to it - I am thinking of Hitler and Hess, who had their own court astrologers in secret, even when they persecuted all other practitioners. Modern scientists and scholars, in the Western world at least, deny astrology even a theoretical lease on life; but there are notable exceptions. Some of my own anthropological and Orientalist colleagues swear by if, refusing to enlist the orthodox scientific argument of the non sequitur type when talking about astrology. But the professors at the academies of the Western world do not even get annoyed at people who want to establish astrology as a science, much as they no longer get annoyed at people who want to sell a perpetuum mobile. I am afraid that nothing of what Mr. Mclntosh has to say in this fascinating volume is likely to sway the diehard scientists and scholars around the Atlantic.
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