Blogs by Frances Lynn
The New Astrologer On Both Sides Of The Pond
12/14/2011 7:40:31 AM
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I was on the verge of treating myself to some bespoke perfume for Christmas, but decided to get my astrological chart done instead after reading Victor Olliver's astrology column in The Lady magazine.
My horoscope was so uncanny, I thought Victor Olliver could well be a rival to the late Patric Walker, who once wrote the compelling Celeste column in Harpers & Queen.
In fact, I was so impressed with Victor's forecast of my horoscope that I decided to consult the ex-showbiz journalist for a private consultation.
I cautiously decided to first ask Victor do my Birth chart and solar returns. If I thought he was accurate, I would then hire him to do my birth chart (normally about 5-6000 words) followed by a solar return chart which 'identifies major themes ahead'.
The first thing Victor Olliver asked me was the location and date of my birth.
'Please note a horoscope is based entirely on time and location of birth. If the birth clock time is not accurate then the chart won't be accurate,' he warned me.
Luckily I knew which time of day I was born, and after he assured me my personal information - i.e. my birth date would be strictly confidential I gave him my personal details.
Literally a day later, I received my Birth chart and solar returns analyses complete with my own astrological chart.
Fortunately, Victor used to be a prolific showbusiness journalist, renowned for identifiable well-written prose. So my 'basic introduction to my birth chart' was beautifully written in comprehensive Astrology Speak.
I was so impressed by the accuracy of Victor Olliver's Birth Chart and solar returns analyses, I immediately hired him to do my in-depth chart and be my own personal astrologer.
I thought I would get my request in quickly, now that Victor Olliver is already regarded as an accurate and fashionable astrologer.
Victor recently closed down his notoriously controversial and outrageously funny Madame Arcati blog, which had so many louche scoops about his victims: disgruntled hacks, shamed politicians, convicted showbiz pedophiles (Jonathon King) that the National Press, all of whom openly subscribed to Madame Arcati printed the stories immediately afterwards.
One of Madame Arcati's pet subjects was actor/Old Victor Artistic Director Kevin Spacey, who was so provoked, he eventually banned Victor from his Twitter page.
It was thanks to Victor Olliver's legendary Madame Arcati blog, that Rachel Johnson, hired him to write The Lady's astrology column.
'It happened by accident. Rachel read Madame Arcati and loved my review of her Channel 4 documentary The Lady & The Revamp. She wrote me a lovely fan letter wishing that the likes of me endured forever.
'Then, she wrote another letter pointing out that Madame Arcati was mentioned in her book, A Diary Of The Lady. A number of tweets later she asked me what I would like to write for The Lady and I replied that what the mag needed was a horoscope. She instantly asked for a sample, loved it and hired me – through Twitter.
'When we talked later on the phone, before I started the column, she plainly did not realize I was an actual astrologer. She said, ‘You’re not really an astrologer, are you? But all astrology is rubbish, isn’t it?’ She thought that as Madame Arcati, I was posing as a stargazer for satirical purposes. I firmly believe to this day that my hiring was a lovely misadventure on her part. She always calls the horoscopes the ‘horrors’.'
I remember the jealousy surrounding Victor Olliver when he was anointed as the features editor of the defunct Woman's Journal at the age of 'twelve' in the Eighties.
'It was a dissolute place. My favourite person was the Martini-sipping deputy editor Betty Reyburn who sadly became incontinent before her enforced retirement. One always knew where to find Betty – follow the trail!" Victor fondly reminisces.
Victor was originally trained to be a lawyer and was even called to the Bar.
'The law didn’t interest me. I much preferred reviewing magazines every week on Lorraine Kelly’s old LBC radio show.'
Besides working for IPC, the Mirror Group and the Daily Mail and General Trust in various editorial roles, Victor was also once editor of The People's magazine supplement.
'Robert Maxwell would fly in on his helicopter and drown out phone conversations as he hovered aloft.'
Victor, who also pursued a freelance writing career and won two PPA awards in the 90s even worked for Teletext for a while.
'I swanned off to Cannes every May for seven years on ludicrously high expenses. No wonder the company died (almost)."
Becoming an astrologer is a complete juxtaposition from Victor's showbusiness hack days culminating in his infamous Madame Arcati blog, which Olliver describes as, 'a potty-mouthed media warrior who took on all comers and engaged in psychic warfare with swine, bullies and useless c.....k c......ters. I am now above all that sort of thing.'
I couldn't resist asking Victor why he decided to become an astrologer.
'In my teens I was fascinated by astrology and read books but was put off by all the calculations – this was pre-personal computer wizardry. In any case, how could planets influence life? I thought it was rubbish.
'I just couldn’t see how celestial bodies could influence Earth life. A modern view of astrology doesn’t speak of influences any more, but of ‘correlations’. In a sense, the skies and life have come to reflect each other through long evolutionary development. I firmly believe that one day physicists will be able to explain these correlations in scientific terms. I can’t believe astrologers, who are usually highly educated, intelligent people, are all deluded.
'Then in my 40s I took a course at the respected Mayor School of Astrology in London, and was instantly intrigued at how accurate astrology could be, provided you have the correct time of birth. I passed the Mayo’s advanced certificate course, and am now in the final stages of the diploma.
'My family is steeped in Spiritualism. My brother reads Tarot cards. My mother is clairvoyante and has uncanny predictive powers. But astrology is a practical divinatory tool and may have nothing to do with mysticism. I once had my chart done in Sri Lanka on a travel trip and the astrologer said I’d end up being a guru – whatever that means. At the time I thought he was rubbish but perhaps he foresaw my astrology career.'
'Media astrology is very different from casting birth charts, much simpler as a methodology, but tricky to interpret. It’s been a huge learning curve and I am delighted to be The Lady’s debutant astrologer – the first in its 126 year history.
'The Lady is my first media gig as astrologer and naturally I intend to break into other markets and media. I have had private clients via The Lady but I can’t mention names.
|Laura van Wormer |
'I am however allowed to mention the American author Laura van Wormer, who wrote the Dallas novels and co-wrote a history novel with the Duchess of York.
'Laura van Wormer found my astrological birth analysis and forecasts to be spot on and it’s generous of her to offer me a public testimonial.'
Currently, Most of Victor Olliver's private clients are based in New York but as I have now alerted all of my London friends about his clairvoyant astrological reading, I predict he will be shortly doing charts for people on both sides of the pond.
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