Saturday, June 18, 2011

Horoscopes

Every once in a while, I seem to go through a period-- I would say that, typically, it lasts around two weeks-- where I repeatedly, improbably fall victim to the same type of misfortune or annoyance.  This is sort of like when one has a morning (or afternoon, or an entire waking day) jammed packed with states of affairs seemingly designed to try one’s patience-- only more so.  When this happens, it almost seems as if the gravitational force of some pernicious influence is dragging on my life.  Sometimes I think that if astrologists could truly see the future mapped out in the configuration of the stars then there should be a newspaper horoscope that would warn me about this sort of thing…
Taurus (April 20 – May 20): Venus is in the third house which means things will start to go missing left and right.  Whether these items are lost forever or just temporarily misplaced remains to be seen.   Either way, now is not a good time to travel or deviate from your daily routine.
This one might not seem too mysterious given that I’ve had a problem keeping track of my things for as long as I can remember.  As a little boy, I’d always be getting in trouble for leaving my jacket at school, forgetting crap at home that I was meant to bring in to school, leaving stuff behind on the school bus.  I like to think that I’ve made steady improvement on this front as I’ve gotten older, but I’m still not perfect.  Travelling in particular often presents a perfect opportunity for losing things, as it represents such a break from the norm of quotidian life.  Plus, in transit I’m often anxious or impatient so it’s easy for things to get left behind in the rush.  Drinking doesn’t help with the minding of one’s belongings either.

But none of this explains why things seem to disappear in groups.  Recently, I temporarily lost track of a glass bowl, then I accidentally left my sunglasses at home when I left for New Orleans (I find I always forget to pack something or other, but I was afraid I brought the sunglasses along and then somehow lost them en route).  While in New Orleans I somehow misplaced my nasal spray for a day or two, and then-- a week or so after my return, when I thought I was in the clear-- I made the classic rookie blunder of leaving my debit card behind in one of those machines that swallows it and you have to remember to ask for it back.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20): With Mercury in retrograde you may find that electronics refuse to cooperate.  Proceed with caution to avoid permanently damaging the equipment.  In order to minimize Mercury’s impact (and your own frustration), limit your interaction with electronic devices-- don't flick that on/off switch unless it’s absolutely necessary.
This phenomena is truly baffling.  Why is it that I break my ipod (exposure to liquid or a high impact collision with asphalt may be involved), the cable box starts acting up, and my clock radio inexplicably dies all in the same week?

As I said, if my horoscope predicted this sort of thing I would be a believer, but as it stands I more or less think astrology is hokum.   My sign is Taurus, the bull.  Just about the only thing I know about tauruses is that they’re supposed to be stubborn.  In that regard, friends have on occasion assured me that I am indeed bull-headed, but I also believe that I have the (it would seem increasingly rare) ability to change my opinion on something and to admit I am wrong, no matter how passionately I argued my position, when confronted with convincing evidence to the contrary.  Also, Taurus is an Earth sign, but I think that if I could be said to have an affinity for one of the classical elements it would clearly be water.

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In Russia, astrology enjoys wide popularity and many people there take it seriously.  I remember learning about how the cosmonauts orbiting Earth in the space station would receive communications from their astrologer back on the ground.  How ironic-- I thought-- that they would be consulting with star-gazing fortunetellers when they themselves were practically up among the stars!  This leads me to another question I’ve pondered: what would happen to the practice of astrology in a future where man colonized other planets?  Would there be a new set of star signs for people living out their lives on Mars, for example, with its two moons? or on a distant planet-- corresponding to the different view of the cosmos one would have from that vantage point?