Reverse Sweep looks at England’s future from a totally different angle and, bottom, provides a cricketing guide to the cosmos
God is a delusion, history is bunk, and astrology, according to the scientific world view, is probably a mixture of both. But is it as straightforward as that? A luminary as respected as Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, whose researches into the “collective unconscious” – as good a description of the England cricket authorities I can think of – lends its study some credence, along with our own Willy Shakespeare, whose observation in Hamlet that “there are more things in heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy,” is alleged to be just one of 100 phrases relating to the subject that academics have highlighted in his plays.
And, closer to home, what about Ted Dexter? A shining star in England’s top order in the Sixties, captain of his county and country, a would-be politician, no mean golfer and occasional author (I can’t be the only one who read Testkill, can I?), he once turned to the subject when, as chairman of selectors, he sought to blame England’s abject display in India on an unusual alignment between Jupiter and Venus.
Most of us, though, would not have felt the need to make recourse to horoscopes to realise that the appointment of Kevin Pietersen as captain of England was ill-starred. But what if we had? Maybe it would have told us something that could not be ascertained by ‘logical’ means alone – and provided the selectors with an alternative means of choosing the leader of their team.
To this end, Reverse Sweep has made some inquiries – and it does not make happy reading: for Pietersen, for Peter Moores, for Andrew Strauss and, perhaps most tellingly, for England’s chances of regaining the Ashes.
We contacted Marjorie Orr, a former television journalist turned stargazer whose columns have appeared in such diverse publications as the Express, the Sunday Times and Cosmopolitan who was temporarily thrown more prominently into the public eye when Margaret Thatcher, spooked by being bombed out of her Brighton hotel in 1984, was said to have sent press secretary Bernard Ingham on a mission to hire her to check if there were subsequent dangers on the horizon.
Armed only with the birth data of Pietersen, Moores, Strauss and the England and Wales Cricket Board (organisations as well as individuals can be subject to astrological inquiry it seems), she went to work, coming back with some rather alarming predictions, which she has reproduced on her website (see www.star4cast.com/forum_article.asp?id=1 and scroll down to January 9).
For those who fear their credibility may be stretched by wading through technical detail involving planets, mathematical equations and – frankly – painful sounding terms such as an “afflicted Mars Saturn conjunction on the point of a mutable T-square”, Reverse Sweep has taken the liberty of interpreting the main points for you below.
While prefacing her response with the disclaimer that she “is not a sporting fan”, Orr identifies from Pietersen’s birth chart (the positions of the planets when he was born) some elements of his personality that to those of us who know KP – or like to think we know him – sound familiar. A sun sign Cancerian (the signs that are usually interpreted in daily newspaper columns), he “does have quite a chart” she says, mainly due to an emphasised/afflicted Mars that makes him on the one hand “hard working, courageous and strong-willed”, and on the other “confrontational, highly-strung and tending to buck authority”.
It is no surprise, then, that she concludes that the spat with Moores, a “fiery Sun sign Sagittarius which squares (an astrologically difficult pattern) Pietersen’s Mars/Saturn conjunction “was an accident waiting to happen”. What’s more, she says, Pietersen is undergoing a Saturn return (something, as I understand it, that happens to everyone around the age of 29 when the ringed planet takes up the exact position in the sky it occupied at your birth) and it is hitting him in his “most vulnerable area”, which is not, I am reliably informed, astrology-speak for the midriff.
In addition, when both charts are studied together, there is an exact Sun-Pluto conjunction – a “power-struggling combination” – which was “under severe pressure in 2008, especially in December”.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t get much better for either over the next 12months, Orr reporting that KP faces “a ratchety year ahead” and that Moores “is unlikely to enjoy a fun time” though longer-term, she sees both bouncing back in 2010-11.
But if we can’t expect KP to galvanise the England batting come the summer, does the new regime of Andrew Strauss offer us something to feel confident about in an Ashes year? Not according to Orr.
Although Strauss, whose Pisces Sun lends him “a softer personality” is “innovative, in a gradual rather than dramatic way”, his outlook for the summer is not encouraging: he will not, says Orr, be on his best form, suffering setbacks, with August “unlikely to be a fun month”. Tie this in with the chart for the ECB (“born”, according to wikipedia, on January 1, 1997) and you might as well stick your money on the Aussies.
For while Pluto’s movements promise a “dispiriting” period in July, Saturn comes really bad in August suggesting a “bad-tempered” feeling, “beset with problems”.
Our only hope, then, it seems, is that July finds something even nastier sitting on Ricky Ponting’s mutable T-square.
*** KP should captain England again, said Michael Vaughan a couple of days ago, and the Yorkshire batsman will be happy that his confidence is born out by the stars. Marjorie Orr advises: “He (kp) does have leadership potential in his chart but needs to focus his energies in a more disciplined way and get a grip of his impatience.” Roll on the Ashes 2010?.
The Planets: a cricketing guide.
Mercury: the astrological ruler of communications, the smallest globe in the sky is also the thinking man’s planet: picture Mike Brearley at mid-off stroking his beard
Venus: the brightest natural object in the night sky represents pleasure, beauty and romance: envisage a Michael Vaughan cover drive on a sunny evening at Lord’s.
Mars: the red planet is quite appropriately associated with self-assertion and aggression in the zodiac, bringing to mind Harbhajan Singh fronting up to Andrew Symonds
Jupiter: the largest planet in the solar system, astrologically its influence is to expand the effect of everything it comes into contact with. Think Warwick Armstrong, Australia’s ‘Big Ship’ who put on 12 stone over the course of his career. Or Allen Stanford
Saturn: a big ball of hydrogenous gas in the outer environs of the solar system, but the big, bad bully of the astrological world – a bit like Colin Croft on steroids
Uranus: the coldest planet in the solar system, astrologically it governs sudden upheavals. Think Packer and the IPL.
Neptune: the only planet found by mathematical prediction rather than astronomical observation, it rules confusion. Calls to mind Duckworth/Lewis.
Pluto; recently downgraded to a dwarf planet, it is the slowest mover in the sky, taking 248 years to circumnavigate the zodiac. Geoffrey Boycott at his most pedestrian.
Coming soon: Mystic Meg on Ian Bell’s inconsistency.