"The stars foretell... a change in wardrobe?" note
This character is a pretty old staple in fiction. This characters claims to have the skill to see past, present and 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. They're a type of Fortune Teller
that uses telescopes, star charts and zodiac's rather than a Crystal Ball
or Tarot cards
. Typically they're a Phony Psychic
in modern non-fantasy stories, the astrologer is usually a fake, whether they will admit it or not. If they can actually
divine the future through some form of Ritual Magic
or Psychic Powers
they're effectively a Seer
, and they may Invoke
the Phony Psychic
trope as a cover for their real psychic powers.
Astrologers can be good guys, neutral, self interested, or evil. In fact, a story may have two Astrologers who engage in Scry vs. Scry
to see which can affect their vision of the future. Just like a Tarot based divinations is open to interpretation, the Astrologer may anger clients when they wrong interpret 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.
The astrologer may use the Western Zodiac
or the Eastern Zodiac
, or instead substitute a wholecloth new 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 Astron
omer; the latter studies the stars and the former attempts to use them to explain things on earth. He is also not to be confused with the psychic
as no supernatural power or abilities are involved in an Astrological reading.
Anime and Manga
- Astrologette of Raven Child's The Smurfette Village series is the female Smurf version of this, who uses tarot cards to see the future.
- 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. Astronomy is also part of the Hogwarts curriculum.
- 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.
- Mameha in Memoirs of a Geisha, a good guy, consults and follows her forecast very carefully.
- 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. She might be a reference to 1961 celebrity astrologers such as Jeane Dixon or Carroll Righter.
- 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....
- In the Malloreon, the Dal race studies many supernatural things, such as necromancy (as in summoning and speaking to the dead, not raising them as undead hordes) and alchemy, but the Seers are in charge of the civilisation. Blindfolded except when they look at "the Book of the Heavens", one of them takes the reigns of the conflict between the two opposing Prophecies.
- The engineer from Piers Anthony's Macroscope dabbles in astrology. Harold defends his hobby by pointing out that astrologers spent thousands of years refining their methods, and they were often the most highly educated people of their eras.
- Diana Thompson, in Pact, is a practitioner that claims the title of Astrologer. Her astrology, however, is highly adapted to the modern age, to the extent that everyone else (who rely on astrological texts at least a century out of date) have very little understanding of how she does what she does. She relies heavily on Post-Modern Magik, using skywriting equipment to create constellations in the sky over Toronto, allowing her to change the stars locally instead of just read them.
- 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.
- Zirinka is an astrologer from the episode "Syzygy" of The X-Files. The episode takes place during a rare planetary alignment and the place multiplies its effect on local people. Zirinka is a snarker who outsnarks even Mulder and her scenes are hilarious.
- 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.
- Children Of Eldair has Koe the Sorcerer, who is able to read someone's past, and presumably future, by reading the stars in his gazing pool.
- BIONICLE: in Metru Nui, Ko-Matoran scholars partly work as these. Nixie is a Ga-Matoran astrologer.
- On The Simpsons, a Treehouse of Horror segment follows Homer after his horoscope claims "Today you will die, and you will be complimented by an attractive co-worker." Both ultimately come true.