Lotta the old hoodoo doctors wore star rings,” said voodoo man Earl Marlowe as we walked beside the River Thames in the summer sunshine.

“They wasn’t the usual astrology, mark you,” he continued. “They often had obscure stars engraved on their rings – stars from the far reaches of the galaxy. Lotta them old doctors used to say they was in touch with entities from other star systems. Wasn’t your UFO stuff though. Not nuts and bolts saucers and bug eyed aliens. These were spiritual intelligences.”

Earl said that one old doctor of his acquaintance claimed to have been in contact with beings or intelligences from Sirius B… a star that was to feature in the life and work of SF writer Philip K. Dick who came to believe that something from that binary star system in the Canis Major constellation had contacted him.

The famed Doctor John, bearded voodoo priest in New Orleans in the 1880s, included astrology as part of his voodoo consulting business. A flamboyant character, he would regularly adorn himself with the finest rings, engraved with voodoo and astrology symbols.

Earl said: “There was more to Doctor John than people think. He was hooked into to some powerful and unearthly forces. And his star rings, they channelled that power into the spells he cast.”

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