The Astrologer YKTTW Discussion

The Astrologer
A Seer who uses the stars to tell the future.
Needs Examples Better Name
(permanent link) added: 2012-05-29 11:09:38 sponsor: Earnest (last reply: 2012-07-23 05:48:32)

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Caption: "The stars foretell... I need a change in wardrobe!"

This character is a pretty old staple in fiction. The Astrologer is a Seer who frequently is also a Fortune Teller and Court Mage, though is just as likely to be a hermit who studies the stars in solitude. The nuts and bolts of their skill is to interpret future events based on the position of stars and planets, often using big heaps of Symbolism to link characters and events with astrological bodies and movements. However, as something open to interpretation they may anger clients when they make wrong predictions or have unfavorable fortunes. This especially true when they serve a villain who may kill them for the failure or as bearer of bad news.

Astrologers can be good guys, neutral, self interested, or evil. In fact, a story may have two Astrologers who engage in Scry Versus Scry to see which can affect their vision of the future. In modern non-fantasy stories, the astrologer is usually a fake, whether they will admit it or not.

The astronomer may or may not use the Western Zodiac or the Eastern Zodiac, instead substituting a vaguely defined astrological system of meaning. This last one is especially common in fully original fantasy settings. If they do use a zodiac of some sort, they may also happily engage in matchmaking, whether they're asked to or not.

The Astrologer is not to be confused with an Astronomer, while both study the stars the latter does so with science in mind.

Anime and Manga

  • Centaurs in Harry Potter have fairly accurate predictions this way, Firenze in particular was skilled enough to teach a class in it, but even he admitted that it required a certain knack that was hard to grasp.
  • The Unseen University Professor of Astrology briefly appears in The Light Fantastic, when Trymon asks him to cast Rincewind's horoscope and thereby establish his exact location. He comes up with a paragraph of vague advice similar to a newspaper astrology column.
    • Also from Discworld is Wilf, the mysterious figure who writes the astrology section of the Ankh-Morpork Almanack, and may in fact be the God of Astrology.
  • Tad Williams's Memory Sorrow And Thorn series has astrological motifs, particularly the recurring Conqueror's Star. Also, the court of Nabban has an astrologer who makes very accurate predictions. Unfortunately, they're not very precise predictions.
  • Gail Andrews in Mostly Harmless is an astrologer who gave advice to President Hudson and is confronted by Tricia Macmillan on the existence of a tenth planet. Her explanation is that astrology has nothing to do with actual stars and planets; they're just the arbitary source of a system of rules that gives you insight into people.
  • Raymond Smullyan's Satan, Cantor, and Infinity, a book of increasingly fiendish logic puzzles, includes a dig at astrology. One portion of the book is set in the court of a king who has both an astrologer and an astronomer. The astrologer is an idiot who always lies, while the astronomer is a bright, honest person.
  • In Stranger in a Strange Land, Becky Vesey is a prominent astrologer who both works for Senator Douglas' wife and is a friend of Jubal's. She ends up using her seeing ability to subtly direct people's actions in what she views as a beneficial way.
    • Interestingly she's not really using astrology, and even points out herself early on that she just "senses" the truth and then makes up the astrology to fit; she learned her craft from a carnival huckster. Mike later explains that she intuitively groks things. Also, she's a reference to the astrologer used in Real Life by the wife of president Ronald Reagan.

Live-Action TV
  • Hieronymous, the villain of the Doctor Who story "The Masque of Mandragora", is an astrologer, whose study of the stars brings him into contact with the Mandragora Helix.
  • Martin Trueman, the villain of The Sarah Jane Adventures story "Secrets of the Stars" is an astrologer, whose study of the stars brings him into contact with the Ancient Lights.


Western Animation
  • BIONICLE: in Metru Nui, Ko-Matoran scholars partly work as these. Nixie is a Ga-Matoran astrologer.
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