Margaret Atwood just made the best case for astrology we’ve ever read

Posted by
Hannah-Rose Yee
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites
margaret atwood

If you’re going to get into the zodiac or have your horoscope read, make sure you do it the way the author of The Handmaid’s Tale does it.

Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments, is known for her searing wisdom and spookily predictive power. Things that play out in her books, and on the television adaptations of them, tend to be mirrored in real life in shocking ways.

Is it any wonder, then, that the Booker prize-winning author is a fan of astrology? Atwood admitted as much in a new interview with New York magazine, in which she explained that she studied astrology at the same time as she learned to read palms.

“Are you into astrology?” the interviewer asked Atwood. “Of course,” she responded.

You may also like

The 10 books by Margaret Atwood you need to read

“It goes way back, Molly,” Atwood said.

“Once upon a time, you had to know this stuff to study English literature, because in the Renaissance, that was the science of the day. And if you go to Italy and look at Pilatos, there’s always going to be an astrology scene and different planets and gods and what have you. Astrology and palmistry, they’re related. And I learned mine from an art historian from Holland in 1969 who was studying Hieronymus Bosch, and she came up with a theory, now validated, that a lot of the things in his paintings are astrological, because why would they not be? If you’re arranging stars in the sky in [a painting] called The Last Judgment, you would make sure that the planet of Calamity was in opposition to planet of Fortune, and you would arrange your sky to reflect this calamitous event that was happening.” 

Margaret Atwood.

Astrology has long been something of a laughing stock in the scientific community. That’s because, according to experts, the way that astrology is formulated by looking at the position of the sun in relation to constellations, planets and moons is based on information that is general, rather than specific. Astrology is based on too many assumptions, its critics say. It’s simply too broad.

But that doesn’t take into account the fact that many people around the world find meaning in astrology, even as a pastime or hobby. And one of them is Atwood.

The author goes on to tell the journalist that, as a Scorpio, she has chosen a well-matched career path for herself, astrologically speaking. “It’s a good profession for you – investigative reporter,” Atwood says. “What’s underneath? What’s in the sewer system? Scorpios are interested in plumbing.”

horoscopes 2019 star sign
Astrology signs: Astrology is experiencing a resurgence among millennials in troubling times. Could the zodiac season be the reason why?

Then, and this is where we here at Stylist go positively green with envy, she grasps the writer’s hand and gives her a palm reading. (Oh! To have your palm read by Margaret Atwood. Be still our hearts.)

“Sometimes you have to work at holding it together emotionally, Molly… Heavy artistic interest on the right hand but, oddly enough, not on the left one… Pretty focused on your main drive, which is your quite strongly marked career line. We could go into great details, such as your fingerprints, if I had a magnifying glass. How long before you take over the world, Molly?”

In case you were wondering, Atwood’s own star sign is Scorpio. How long before you take over the world, Margaret?

Images: Getty, Rex, Hulu, Unsplash


Share this article


Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

Recommended by Hannah-Rose Yee


Have you been reading the wrong star sign all this time?

NASA says the stars have shifted, but astrologers have a word of warning to all those frantically casting the old zodiac aside.

Posted by
Kayleigh Dray

Astrology fans: here’s what it’s really like to read the planets for a living

Chani Nicholas did a reading for Lizzo onstage. Who shall we send our CV to?

Posted by
Hannah Keegan

This is how Saturn return could affect your relationships, friendships and careers

Your late 20s can be hugely transformative years – and there’s a growing number of women who put it down to Saturn return.

Posted by
Abigail Malbon

Why do so many millennial women read horoscopes?

More and more young women are getting into astrology. Why?

Posted by
Emily Reynolds
Long Reads

Should we trust our zodiac signs? A horoscope writer reveals all

“Most horoscopes are fake. I should know, I used to write them…”

Posted by
Stylist Team