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Bad week for Libran psychics

.The Fortune Teller Painting by Georges de La TourI’ve just spent the last hour trying to get the birth dates of the Castro brothers, who kidnapped the three women in Cleveland, Ohio. No joy.

So instead I am going to give a mention to TV psychic Sylvia Browne, who was born on October 19 1936, making her a Libran.

According to The Huffington Post, the mother of Amanda Berry, one of the kidnap victims, was on the Montel Williams show in 2004, and she asked Sylvia Browne what had happened to her daughter.

“She’s not alive, honey,” Sylvia Browne replied. “Your daughter’s not the kind who wouldn’t call.”

Of course we all make mistakes, and Sylvia Browne was making a reasonable call.  When people disappear, they often end up dead.  However a psychic is supposed to have the edge, and should have picked up that the daughter of the person she was talking to was, at that very moment, emanating signs of life.  We should also remember that Sylvia Browne is paid to be a psychic, not a statistician.

Would I have made the same mistake?  Well, I don’t claim to have psychic powers, so I would have used astrology to try to answer the question.  I would have looked at the precise time I had been asked, then set up a horoscope for this time.  If the chart had been bad, I would have given a negative judgement.

However there is an important way in which my approach differs to that of a psychic.  I have an objective horoscope in my hands, which can be interpreted using a set of time-honoured rules.  However much I might believe that the girl is dead, as an amateur statistician, I have to consider the objective significators in the chart.  Furthermore, I can give my chart to other astrologers, and get their opinions on it.

As I always say, a psychic reading is usually more glamorous and exciting than an astrology reading.  But in most cases it is dominated by the psychic’s very believable subjectivity – which is why, when the dust has settled, a good astrologer will tend to be more accurate than a psychic.

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