How star players fail to score;FE Focus

12th June 1998 at 01:00
"Ah," the astrologer said, her eyes narrowing. "I can see it in the stars - Monday's World Cup match between England and Tunisia will be won by . . .".

FE Focus was hoping that the Faculty of Astrological Studies would help us to reveal the result of the all-important first match - and indeed the tournament itself.

However, in the interests of quality journalism, we must report that the astrology practised by the faculty, which this week celebrates its 50th anniversary, is something rather different.

The faculty was founded in London at 7.50pm on June 7, 1948, to promote the serious teaching of astrology and discourage charlatans, a spokesperson says.

Rather than predicting fame, fortune and tall, dark, handsome strangers entering your life, astrology is a "very practical tool for self-understanding", according to Kim Farley, a member of the faculty who runs 20-week astrology courses for beginners at the Kensington and Chelsea College for Adult Education.

Although media horoscopes are taken seriously by some, Ms Farley says that the astrologers who pen them have only writing skills.

For her, the discipline is about establishing a framework to understand the psychological and emotional dimensions of life. "It's not a cult and it's not mumbo-jumbo and it's not something you have to believe in," she says.

Her course covers the basics of astrology, including the 12 houses, or signs, and the 10 planets. Students wanting more can progress to the faculty's own certificate and diploma programmes.

The next course at Kensington and Chelsea begins in September and costs pound;116. The college is also holding a one-day introductory seminar on July 16 for pound;35. For details call 0171 573 5333.

* As proper astrologers refuse to speculate on Monday's game, FE Focus has consulted its crystal ball and sees England winning 2-1.

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