The mission: Maggie O'Farrell tries to find out what the future holds - shame no one warned her about Kevin Kline

rophecies and predictions, I've always believed, are the territory of the mad and/or pathologically bored. And why would I want to know what's going to happen to me next week? I don't, after all, have to wait very long to find out. I also suspect it's a slippery slope: it may start as a harmless peek at your horoscope, but before you know it you're a crystal- carrying nutter frightening everybody with your talk about auras. But I decide - for one week only - to throw trepidation and scepticism to the heavenly spheres. I will believe the predictions and live accordingly.

Cross Words: Stars in their eyes

Head to head Credible or credulous? Astrology is a useful tool, says Nicholas Campion, president of the Astrological Association. It's just a game, says novelist Fay Weldon

Poppy Folly: horoscope

YOUR STARS: IT COULD HAPPEN

American Times: Los Angeles - Rabbi of Venice Beach puts his faith in the stars

MOST SUNDAYS, you can find Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz among the tarot- card readers, fortune-tellers and incense-sellers on the Venice Beach boardwalk in Los Angeles with a booth of his own: "Jewish Astrology".

Thoughts that go bump in the night

WOKE UP the other morning, suddenly, at 4.30, absolutely frantic with worry about the Universe. You know the sort of thing, bottom sheet rucked up, inexplicable sand in the bed, tubercular glow of the street- lamps, cold sweat, palpitations.

Starry, starry nights astrology in art

It's all in the stars if Derek Peters's "The Astrology of William Shakespeare" at The Globe Theatre (left), tomorrow, is anything to go by. Peters's project explores the intriguing influence of astrology on both Shakespeare and his characters, illuminated by extracts from the Bard, strolling players and a madrigal choir.

Britain on the couch: Head for therapy?

Every so often I get a call asking if I "know the name of a good therapist". As it happens, I usually do - it would be worrying if I did not, given that I had years of being therapised myself, had two psychoanalysts for parents and knocked about in that world for a fair old time (working for six years in a mental hospital).

the stars in june

HERCULES can hardly be described as a striking constellation but it is still fascinating. Many of its stars, like its brightest, Rasalgethi (the lowest in the constellation), are double. Rasalgethi is also one of the biggest stars known, with a diameter 600 times greater than the Sun - if placed in our solar system, it would stretch to Jupiter. This huge red giant, with its blue companion, is a beautiful sight in a small telescope.

HOW WE MET: POISON IVY AND LUX INTERIOR

Poison Ivy and Lux Interior (far right) are the guitarist and singer of the Cramps, the seminal "psychobilly" group. Ivy was originally Kristy Marlana Wallis, and grew up near Sacramento, California. Erick Lee Purkhiser was born near Akron, Ohio, and tried out the names Vip Vop and Raven Beauty before arriving at his true identity. The Cramps played their first concert in 1976 in New York City. Their outrageous showmanship, and their obsession with obscure rockabilly records and horror B-movies made them an overnight sensation. However, despite making 10 albums they have had only one hit single, "Bikini Girls With Machine Guns". They live in Los Angeles, in a house next to a cemetery

Where agony aunts turn when it all gets too much for them

WHEN YOU have an emotional problem, you can always write to an agony aunt - but who do agony aunts turn to with THEIR problems? To Auntie Agony, that's who! The only agony aunt who deals exclusively with the problems and troubles peculiar to agony aunts! And she's back again today with another postbag of problems sent in by the country's agony aunts! Right, that's enough exclamation marks, so on to the emotional minefield with Auntie Agony, and the first problem please...

School for the starry-eyed

It is a dark and stormy night in West London. A crescent moon bobs between the clouds and a diverse group of men and women gathers to discuss the alignment of the planets. Sally Staples joins them.

The sky at night

Gemini, the Twins, belongs to the magnificent assemblage of brilliant constellations that spangle our winter sky. It lies just to the north- east of Orion and can easily be located by following the Hunter's raised arm. Its two principal stars, Castor and Pollux, are both first magnitude. Pollux, marginally the brighter, is an orange giant, contrasting with the bluish white appearance of Pollux. Scientific scrutiny of Pollux reveals that it is in reality a system of six stars. Small telescopes can distinguish three, all of which turn out to be close doubles. Where Orion's uplifted arm almost touches the more northerly twin's foot lies a glorious star cluster. At fifth magnitude, it is in principle visible to the naked eye, though a very dark sky would be necessary. This is an object best viewed with binoculars. Surprisingly, it has acquired no name, either classical or fancifully descriptive. It is simply M35.

Science: All I want for Christmas is a telescope

Given clear nights, January will provide an impressive planetary line-up, the glorious constellation Orion, and a shower of meteors.

Net Gains: Fortune cookies

It is easy to ridicule those who hang on the every word of astrologers such as Russell Grant and Mystic Meg (above). But when our own lives enter a period of crisis, doubt or deep reflection, you might find yourself lingering over the newspaper horoscope column.
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future