Created By: Earnest on May 29, 2012 Last Edited By: Earnest on July 23, 2012
Troped

The Astrologer

A Seer who uses the stars to tell the future.

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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

Literature
  • 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.

Music

Western Animation
  • BIONICLE: in Metru Nui, Ko-Matoran scholars partly work as these. Nixie is a Ga-Matoran astrologer.
Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • May 29, 2012
    SKJAM

    In modern non-fantasy stories, the astrologer is usually a fake, whether they will admit it or not.
  • July 19, 2012
    zennyrpg
    Is this a subtrope of the FortuneTeller?
  • July 19, 2012
    69BookWorM69
    ^ I would presume so, as it involves a specific kind of fortune telling.
  • July 19, 2012
    surgoshan
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • July 19, 2012
    KZN02
    • BIONICLE: in Metru Nui, Ko-Matoran scholars partly work as these. Nixie is a Ga-Matoran astrologer.
  • July 20, 2012
    TBeholder
  • July 20, 2012
    ArkadyDarell
    • 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.
  • July 20, 2012
    surgoshan
    ^ In that example, though, 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.
  • July 20, 2012
    DaibhidC
    Literature:
    • 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.
    • 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.

    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.
  • July 20, 2012
    ArkadyDarell
    ^^ The OP doesn't seem to say they have to actually draw their power directly from reading the stars, just that they have to be an astrologer, which she is, nominally or otherwise. *shrug*
  • July 20, 2012
    Stratadrake
    I'm not convinced a "The" title is a good naming convention. Maybe Star Seer?
  • July 21, 2012
    AgProv
    Literature: Mama Sutra in Shea and Wilson's Illuminatus!, a seeress who can also tell the past - a lot more accurately than the historians can... she predicts Putney Drake's rise to the top in the criminal world, and she can also look back to a world in which the events of Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings actually happened....
  • July 21, 2012
    Earnest
    ^^ Yeah, plain old Astrologer seems easier to drop into a sentence. Star Seer could make a good redirect, but I'd like to keep Astrologer as the main page.
  • July 21, 2012
    spellraiser
    Quest For Glory II has the astrologer Abu al-Njun.
  • July 22, 2012
    Arivne
    ^ x 7 @Surgoshan: Becky Vesey couldn't have been a reference to Joan Quigley, the astrologer you're thinking of.

    The novel came out in 1961, long before the public revelation of the Reagan-astrology connection in 1988.

    She might, however, be a reference to other pre-1961 celebrity astrologers such as Jeane Dixon or Carroll Righter.
  • July 23, 2012
    Frank75
    The main character of Friedrich Schiller's play Wallenstein employs one. Based on Real Life - at this time, many famous persons had their horoscope made. And even famous astronomers of this time like Kepler side-worked as astrologers, if only to pay the bills.
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