Norah, the Word Class Psychic – Revisited

In the weeks since I wrote my blog on Norah, the World Class Psychic, I have had many readers tell me they received exactly the same “reading” from Norah, and that my blog post prompted them to NOT take up her offer for further “readings.”

Up till then, they were actually considering it….

OK guys and gals, here’s the thing – these people are FRAUDS! You need to realise that simple fact.

ALL astrologers, clairvoyants, psychics and the like are frauds! Please don’t allow yourself to be duped by these people…

Let’s apply a little rational thinking to Astrology:

First of all, what exactly ARE the stars and planets that astrologers claim dictate your future, health, wealth and sex life?

Stars are huge balls of hydrogen and helium gas that burn by thermonuclear fusion, producing light and heat that radiates away into outer space, warming any nearby planets and their inhabitants. At the end of a star’s natural life, after it has exhausted all its nuclear fuel and converted its light elements into heavier elements, it may explode as a mighty supernova, blasting its contents into the interstellar medium, and leaving behind a dim white dwarf star or neutron star.

Supernova

Some time later, those very elements may be drawn into the gravitational influence of a newly coalescing baby star, and form a family of rocky or gaseous bodies in orbits around the new star – planets.

There is nothing mystical or supernatural about stars or planets. They are composed of 100% natural, easily verified substances. If you doubt this, step outside and pick up a handful of soil. What is it made of? Small stones and sand and the composted remains of plants and animals. Those stones and sand may be made up of quartz, silica, bits of volcanic rock and sedimentary deposits…. There will be dead bugs, earthworm poop, dead leaves and twigs and any number of other organic substances. So far, nothing mysterious or supernatural, right?

The ground beneath your feet, all the way through to the ground beneath the feet on the other side of the Earth, is made of absolutely bog standard soil, rocks, magma, iron, and so on (consult the Periodic Table of the Elements for the rest.)

The same applies to the other planets in our Solar Family. They have those same substances in different proportions, depending on how they formed about 4.5 billion years ago. Those closer to the Sun are rockier, because the heavier elements were drawn closer in by the gravity of the newly formed star, and those further out are gassier, because they are made mostly of lighter elements.

Carl Sagan famously pointed out that we are ALL made of star-stuff… I think that is one of the most amazing, thought-provoking things I have ever heard!

As far as we can tell, most of the stars and planets in the universe are made of roughly the same elements. There is nothing mysterious or odd about them – they are just simple physical objects in 3-dimensional space and time. (We won’t discuss back holes, string theory and the multi-verse today! Let’s keep it nice and simple…)

So why do some of you think that these common physical objects, made of gasses and rocks and ice, have some magical or supernatural influence on your lives?

Is it their gravitational influence due to their relative position at the moment of your birth? Stop and ask yourself one simple question: How can that possibly influence the decisions you make today, and every day?

It’s not gravity that makes you decide whether to start smoking, whether to take drugs because your buddies are taking them, whether to marry this man or that woman, whether to enrol at university or go out and get a job – you make those decisions for yourself, or on the advice of the people you trust.

Every decision YOU make determines, to some extent, the future course of your life.

And, you have to define what you mean by “moment of birth.” Is it when your mother starts going into labour, when you are in the birth canal, when your head first crowns, when you emerge, or when the doctor slaps your bottom and you take your first breath? Those events can span 24 hours or more, during which time the sun, moon and planets’ relative positions will have changed quite a bit.

Why is your time of birth more auspicious than your time of conception? Surely when you first form as a human entity is just as important as when you emerge to start breathing air? What about when your heart takes its first little beat?

Which moment do you imagine the lump of rock  hundreds of millions of kilometres away thinks is the most important?

Again, you need to question the assumption that a star or planet’s relative position to another star or planet at any time in the past can make any difference to the decisions you take every day. The Earth itself has the greatest gravitational influence on all of us – if it didn’t we would all fly away into outer space. The distant planets’ gravitational pull is minute, almost non-existent, by comparison, and yet the Earth plays almost no part in Astrology! Have they just not thought to include the most important planet of all?

What about recently discovered planets outside our Solar System? They should also have some astrological significance, shouldn’t they? There are literally HUNDREDS of them, and more being discovered every week – the astrological charts are going to get a wee bit more complicated, methinks!

Artist's conception of one of the new exo-planets (Kepler)

Are you starting to think it’s all a bit implausible? I hope so, because the next step is to ask yourself why only certain people, such as Norah, have a hot-line to what that rocky or gaseous body thinks is in your future? How do they receive that information, and from whom? Can stars and planets speak? In English? In all the languages of all the astrologers on Earth? That’s pretty smart for a heap of iron or a ball of gas!

Or, do they receive the information internally, telepathically, without words? Really? Again, how and from whom? Is a star or a planet really a supernatural being? Is there any evidence of such an outlandish idea? Absolutely none! We know precisely what stars and planets are, how they form, how they evolve and how they die. No supernatural beings involved – sorry!

Astrology does not make any testable hypothesis and offers no suggestions as to how it is supposed to operate. As such, it cannot be falsified, and is considered to be a pseudo-science. It describes natural events in terms of supernatural causes, so like religion it relies on the faith of believers in the face of all directly contradictory evidence.

FINAL QUESTION:

Isn’t it FAR more likely that astrologers are fooling you so they can make money out of you? They count on the average person’s ignorance of astronomy, fear of the future, desire for control over their lives, and I’m sorry to have to say it, gullibility.

People like Norah know that even if only 5% of the “free readings” they send out result in a $79 sale of books and magical nonsense, they will still make enough to live on. They know full well that they are lying to you, and yet they callously continue to prey on your hopes and fears – all to make a quick and easy Buck!

I truly hope that if you believe in astrology, I have given you some food for thought.

I hope you will not send any of your hard-earned money to an astrologer or to any other charlatan. If you get tempted, drop me an e-mail and I will do my best to talk you out of it!

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3 comments on “Norah, the Word Class Psychic – Revisited

  1. Unfortunately, the fine print at the very bottom of her email, in TINY lettering, states that the “advice” is purely for entertainment purposes, and that you should not rely on it for guidance if you have health or financial problems. They actually state that you ahould “use your common sense.”!!!
    That’s a laugh….
    It also states that you should read the Terms of Service carefully.
    When I open the teems of service from the link, I get an almost completely dark brown page with black writing that I CANNOT read!
    I have asked Premium Astrolgy for a legible copy of their Terms of Service. I’d like to know how they think they can get away with this daylight robbery.

  2. Great blog post Cathy 🙂

    A few interesting points:

    Most astrologers use the date of your birth to work out your “chart”, using arcane maps of planetary movements to deliver their predictions (when they aren’t making them up out of whole cloth). The interesting thing is that the doctor who delivered you had more of a gravitational influence on you than any planet other than Earth.

    Astrologers did make one testable prediction: After they were roundly embarrassed by their failure to detect the personality quirks that were caused by the existence of planets beyond the orbit of Saturn, they eagerly adjusted their charts when Astronomers suggested the possible existence of a planet within the orbit of Mercury (which might account for strange perturbations in Mercury’s orbit). As we know, Vulcan was shown to be an error, and science corrected itself. Astrologers, however, continue to figure this non-existent planet into their calculations. Here is a great essay on the topic: http://scepticon.wordpress.com/2009/09/11/astrologers-predict-planet-psych/

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