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Oh how we love Eleanor Catton, winner of this year’s Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Her massive historical novel The Luminaries boggled the judges minds. How did she structure it? Using proper, grown up astrology.

Twelve characters are based on the signs of the Zodiac, and seven on the planets – but that’s not all. Here is what she said in an interview about the book – before it started garnering so much attention

“I previously had a rudimentary understanding of how astrology works. But I became really taken with the idea that what it is fundamentally about is there is no truth except for truth in relation: nothing is objectively true, something is only true compared to something else.”

According to this interview for We Love This Book, she discovered a “triple conjunction in Sagittarius” had taken place at the time she planned to set the novel. “As I tracked it over the year, I could see that certain planets were following each other and it set me to thinking about how I could put that into a story. Mercury, which is a planet that governs reason, was following just behind all the other players of the action. So I could build this narrative that the person who is trying to unravel the mysteries is one step behind it all.”

Birth time unknown

“It sounds a bit mad, I know. Astrology started off as an intellectual curiosity but it has become something more and I’ve gotten slightly obsessed. This is my first interview for the book and I’ve been wondering how much I should talk about astrology without sounding crazy. And I’ve been forbidden from talking about astrology by many of the people in my personal life.”

Eleanor, we know what you mean; you can come talk to us any time – and there are some pretty excellent astrologers in New Zealand too.
You’re wondering about her chart. Well, she’s the youngest ever winner of the prize, at the magic age of 28 – yes she is approaching a Saturn Return. What I really like though is Pallas Athena, the astrologer’s asteroid in Gemini, the sign of the story-teller, opposite Neptune – imagination.
When she won the prize, the Moon-Neptune conjunction was opposing her natal Venus-Mars in Virgo, the novelist’s sign – that’s pretty lucky, but it also speaks of being swept up in a tidal wave of glamour and publicity. Mars, the planet of action, had moved into Virgo on the day and was conjuncting that Venus too. She is going to be super busy next year as Mars spends a full six month’s in her Sun sign.
Thanks for coming out about the astrology, Eleanor and congratulations. Now we’re all rushing out to buy your book.
Other authors that we know of who can draw up a chart? JK Rowling, and according to my sources, Margaret Atwood, a previous Booker winner.

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