The roots of astrology can be traced back at least 5,000 years and its longevity alone would suggest it to be an accurate and extremely useful tool in distinguishing character traits, predicting the future and identifying optimum courses of action.

That said, some brachiopods have been around for 500 million years, and they have yet to learn how to knit, light a fire or whittle, so longevity per se is not a totally reliable yardstick of veracity.

Many people still confuse astrology with astronomy, which is also confused with gastronomy, particularly where recipes for toad in the black hole are concerned.

In general, pensioners should avoid having star signs tattooed on any part of their body, though a stencil of Cancer or Capricorn may widen their circle of friends among Macmillan nurses and goatherds respectively.