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

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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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.

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“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.”

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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

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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.

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