Exercise 1 – The interview

A. You are going to listen to an interview with Frank Clifford, an astrologer and palmist. Listen to part 1. Answer the questions.

1   What does an astrologer find out from a person’s birth chart?

2   What does a palmist find out from reading someone’s palm?

3   How can astrologers and palmists help people with their future?

4   Would Frank Clifford tell people if he ‘saw’ that they were going to have a serious illness? Why (not)?


1   Their temperament, character, and emotional needs.

2   Their character, their past, and possible future events.

3   They can help people to influence their own future, and not feel that it is an unalterable destiny.

4   No, he wouldn’t because he isn’t a doctor. (However, if someone is already ill, he might discuss this.)


Part 1

I = interviewer, F = Frank Clifford

I    Frank Clifford is an astrologer and palmist. What does an astrologer do?

F   An astrologer will take your date, place, and time of birth, construct a map of the heavens, a horoscope, that will look at temperament, character, emotional needs and a number of other different factors.

I    What does being a palmist mean?

F   Well, as a palmist is quite different from being an astrologer, a palmist will look at your hands as they are now of course, or he may do a print and have a look at what is being shown in the hands now, but whereas astrology is a birth chart set up, a horoscope set up for somebody’s birth moment, the hands are your living hands so they’ve developed and grown with you of course, so they reflect where you are today and what you do and palmists will read, again, character, perhaps past events, possible future events from the hand.

I    So can astrologers and palmists predict people’s future?

F   A lot of astrologers and palmists would say that it’s not really about reading somebody’s future, it’s about understanding who they are, where they are today, and future possibilities and I think people should come to a palmist or astrologer not to be told about un unalterable destiny or future, but to be told or given tools enough to make it themselves, and be very proactive in that area themselves. So it’s our job really to encourage people to live their own lives and decide their own future, not feel as though it’s written anywhere and that they have nothing to do or say about the outcome.

I    If you saw on someone’s hand that they were going to have a serious illness, would you tell them?

F   I’m not a doctor so I wouldn’t go there. I certainly wouldn’t talk about anything medical. But if somebody comes and they’ve had cancer or they’re in the process of being treated for an illness, that’s something we might discuss, but it’s certainly something I wouldn’t predict, because I don’t necessarily believe in making predictions.

B. Listen to part 2. Answer the questions.

What does he say about…?

1   choosing an astrologer or palm reader

2   a palmist he visited when he was 17

3   the kind of people who visit him

4   the different attitudes of men and women

5   predicting his own future


 He suggests choosing one who has been recommended.

 The palmist told him that he would be married at 21 and that his partner would die. (This didn’t happen but it made him want to learn more about palmistry.)

3   All kinds of people e.g. sportspeople, politicians, people in the media. More women than men.

4   Men are more interested in palmistry because it’s more physical and open and they think horoscopes are more for women.

5   He doesn’t do this. He prefers to just live his life and experience his future.


Part 2

I    How should people choose which astrologer or which palm reader or astrologer to see?

F   Well, I would recommend going to someone who has been recommended to you, there are a lot of people out there who, a lot of people doing a genuine job, but will talk about things that no palmist really should talk about, like health matters, as I’ve spoken about, death, other illnesses, things that take away somebody’s ability or right to choose. The reason that I got into palmistry was at the age of seventeen, I was told by a palmist that I would be married at 21 and then my partner would die, which scared the life out of me at the time, and I felt I had this curse on my back, and so I thought I’d learn this subject and understand what on earth she was talking about and I realized that what she was looking at was a very big ‘if’, a very big possibility rather than a probability and it never happened.

I    What kind of people come to see you?

F   A lot of people would expect bored housewives and people with nothing better to do, or too much money, more money than sense, to come, but in fact the truth is you tend to get all sorts of people from every type or walk of life. I’ve had sportspeople, politicians, people in the media, every type of profession you can think of, make, female. Usually it tends to be more women, you tend to get more men looking at palmistry because it’s perhaps more physical and open and they feel that … some men tell me they believe more in the hand rather than a horoscope, because a horoscope is something that women read in their magazines or newspapers.

I    Do you ever look at your own future?

F   Well, rather than try to look at my own future or predict it I try and have it, I try and experience it. I don’t think most astrologers or palmists actually do predict or try to predict what’s going on in their life. They just live it from day to day as anyone else would, but they try to live it with some understanding and some knowledge or at least some meaning of why we’re here and what’s happening at this time.

Exercise 2 – In the street

A. Listen to five people talking about horoscopes. Write the number of the speakers next to their star sign. Which people believe strongly that star signs can influence people’s personality?

1 Cherry   2 Miles   3 Mike   4 Theresa   5 Kurt

B. Listen again and write the name of the person.

1   Who thinks they are typical of their star sign?

2   Who thinks you can often know what someone is like if you know their star sign?

3   Who nearly forgets what star sign they are?

4   Who is the most sceptical about horoscopes and star signs?

5   Who sometimes enjoys reading his / her horoscope?



1   (Cherry)          Capricorn

2   (Miles)            Scorpio

3   (Mike)             Aries

4   (Theresa)        Capricorn

5   (Kurt)               Aries


1 Theresa   2 Mike   3 Miles

4 Kurt   5 Cherry


I = interviewer, C = Cherry, M = Miles, Mk = Mike, T = Theresa, K = Kurt


  What’s your star sign?

C   Capricorn.

  Do you ever read your horoscope?

C   Occasionally, but not because I particularly believe in them, but just because they’re there. And it’s quite fun.

  Do you think someone’s star sign has an influence on their personality?

C   Not particularly, no. I don’t really think so.


   What’s your star sign?

M   Scorpio, I had to think about that one.

   Do you ever read your horoscope?

M   No, never.

   Do you think someone’s star sign has an influence on their personality?

M   Well, possibly. I’m not a great believer I have to say, although perhaps the time of year someone is born may vaguely reflect on their characteristics. But I think it’s pretty minimal the effect, to be perfectly honest.


      What’s your star sign?

MK   Aries

      Do you ever read your horoscope?

MK   Oh, I’m a big believer in horoscopes. Some people say it’s quite sad, but I tend to live every day on a horoscope. See if it ever comes true. It doesn’t really, but it’s just nice to know.

      Do you think someone’s star sign has an influence on their personality?

MK   Yes, I think it does. You can definitely tell with some star signs. You can definitely tell their, sort of personality straight away. It does play a big role, I think.


  What’s your star sign?

T   I was born under the star sign of Capricorn, so I’m an old goat, basically.

  Do you read your horoscope?

T   I do occasionally, yes.

  Do you think someone’s star sign has an influence on their personality?

T   Well, I think it has an influence on mine because Capricorn is the goat and goats are always climbing onwards and upwards and that really is very much me.


  What’s your star sign?

K   Aries, Aries.

  Do you read your horoscope?

K   No.

  Do you think someone’s star sign has an influence on their personality?

K   None, whatsoever, not unless they read it first and then change their personality to match.

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