jonathan cainerJonathan Cainer astrology is “big business”. And, unless you’ve spent the last 10 years sitting on Uranus, you’ve heard his name or seen his newspaper columns.

Astrology may be just a bit of fun for most people, but to Jonathan Cainer it’s an industry. An admitted workaholic, he churns out 25,000 words a week for his astrology/horoscope columns.

His worldwide businesses turn over $5 million annually and employ a staff of 30. Newspapers fight for his services. Horoscopes, as well as cartoons and crosswords sell papers. Cainer claims his phone lines service over 12 million followers.

Alongside his talent for money-making is a talent for making enemies. He’s been called “a raving egomaniac”, a charlatan running a “dial-a-horoscope racket” and worse. He has called himself a “Pied Piper”.

“Fine, call me what you want”, he smiles on his way to the bank. “I am thick skinned about most things, but I have the moon in Scorpio, and people with the moon in Scorpio tend to be sensitive. They can’t really help it. Some say there is a scientific rationale for astrology and some say there isn’t. I say who cares? It works.”

Jonathan Cainer was born Dec. 18, 1957 (Sagittarius/Sagittarius rising) in England. His mother Ruth Kaye, a spiritual healer, left home when he was 12, an event which he describes as “traumatic”. “One day, I came home from school and there was this note beside the phone. The note said: “Dear Jonathan, have gone away. Won’t be back. Will be in touch. Best wishes, Mum.”

The family was Jewish but Cainer was not interested. He recalled that, at as a child, his father had to slap him and drag him off to the synagogue. So he stood up in the middle of the service and shouted: “My f*****g father hit me because of you f*****g Jews!” The congregation, he added, “just carried on muttering and praying while my father then dragged me out”.

He dropped out of school at 15 and ended up smoking dope in Los Angeles where he found, “astrology everywhere”.

It was there that a “rambling stoner” gave him a reading that changed his life. “He told me that I would be giving a cosmic message which millions would be listening to, that I would be extremely successful and it would take up the rest of my life.”

Back in England, enrolled at the Faculty of Astrological Studies and living on welfare, one of the world’s most successful astrologers – genius or crank, depending on your point of view – developed and materialized.

His first astrological job was with Today newspaper in 1986. In 1992 he moved to the Daily Mail. In 2000 he was hired by the Express (a paper which, in 1975, had ranked him in the top 10 most dangerous anarchists in Britain).

Cainer once heard that a reader had committed suicide after reading one of his horoscopes. “In my column I’d said ‘If you’ve got something that’s big in your life go ahead and do it today’. And he did it. He killed himself.” This had a profound affect on the astrologer, who suddenly realized the great responsibility he had for his readers.

He says there are many filters he puts a horoscope through now. “Particularly when a zodiac sign is going through a hard time anyway I look and ask myself whether what I write could be misinterpreted.”

Cainer admits to worrying about failures to predict big events like terrorist attacks and natural disasters, and why didn’t he – or anyone in his line of work – get a good bead on 9/11 and 7/7?

“I’ve only one regret, I wish I’d used a nom de plume like Mystic Meg. There’s Jonathan Cainer the person and Jonathan Cainer the astrologer. I’m a dad to my kids, a son to my mother, a customer to Tesco. The persona shares the same name as me and it’s sometimes a bit hard for the sake of your own sanity.”

Cainer has six children by three different women. He says that he still converses with his dead wife Melanie, although, “We don’t talk every day any more – she’s as confused about my personal life as I am. I’ve got other mates who are dead and I talk to them as well. I do believe it is possible to communicate between the worlds. I believe the division between the worlds will grow flimsier, not least because of the Venus transit.”

Does he read his own chart? “No. Doctors shouldn’t diagnose themselves or their kids for the same reason. It’s too close to home.”

When asked if he believed in destiny, he replies, “No. I believe in opportunity, in optimism, in kindness, in wisdom, in consciousness, in natural justice, and in bloody hard work”.

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