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The Zodiac and Me

John W. Pinkerton


Astronomy, the study of heavenly bodies, preceded astrology.  Astronomy had its origin in Mesopotamia; spread to India; but developed its Western form in Greece.  Being that the Greek Gods were linked to astrology made their version interesting and dramatic and a survivor.

Even China got in on the astrology band wagon with their own version which is pretty popular with over 90% saying they pay some attention to it.

The Western version came into existence during the Middle Ages which was based on the Greek version which included the division of the calendar into 12 astrological signs.

In the beginning  (Mesopotamia, 3000 BC), astronomy and astrology were on equal footing.  However, by the late 17th Century, it was beginning to be considered a pseudoscience.  Charles Mackay's Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of the Crowds put the final nail in the belief in astrology as a science.

If you check your local newspaper for your astrological sign, you're checking a “genethlialogy” division of astrology which relates its message to the date of your birth or the date of…your conception.

Another division of astrology is “general” which studies the relationship between groups (businesses, countries, etc.) and significant celestial events such as eclipses and celestial alignments.

Another division is “catarchic” which allows for the choosing of a fortuitous moment to begin a project.

“Interrogatory” is as it sounds: it provides answers to clients questions at the moment of asking.

I receive three newspapers each week: one is a daily, another is published three times each week, and the third is published once a week.  The first two include astrological reports.

I read each astrological report for my sign, Aries…silly me. 

Here is a couple recent examples: “Things will start piling up if you aren’t  savvy.  Be ready to make a move, change direction or start anew at the snap of a finger.  Know you worth, set high standards and finish what you start,” and “Today is an 8 (the number indicates how easy or challenging your day may be.)---Work with a partner to navigate unforeseen circumstances.  You don’t have the full picture.  Listen to all considerations and views.  Shared passion binds you.”  It all sounds like good advice...more or less, but I can never make the connection to my life.  I guess that’s just me...more or less.

I did read one very interesting astrological effort for my sign, Aries, some years ago.  What made it different was how specific it was: I do not remember what it actually said but it was as specific as “Go to your local market and purchase a pound of bacon.”  Apparently a young fellow was mistakenly hired who did not find the astrological reports nearly interesting enough.

But I'm not the only one who reads these daily astrological reports.  Otherwise, why would newspapers include them.

Fifty-one percent of Americans don't believe that astrology is at all scientific and do not believe in its value at all.  That leaves a lot of folks who totally believe in astrology or at least “somewhat” believe in astrology.

As for me, well…who knows?  This is a subject about which I do not have an absolute answer.  I know I read them each time they are available.  I also know I do not remember them longer than a few seconds.  One internet article referred to the interest in astrology to be a “light-hearted self-indulgence.”

Yeah…that's the ticket.

The Babylonians developed the Zodiac which include the twelve signs which they described as the “animal circle.”

The twelve signs of the zodiac are the following:

Aries (March 21 - April 19), Taurus (April 20 - May 20),  Gemini (May 21 - June 20),                                                    Cancer (June 21 - July 22), Leo (July 23 - August 22), Virgo (August 23 - September 22), Libra (September 23 - October 22), Scorpio (October 23 - November 21), Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21), Capricorn (December 22 - January 19), Aquarius (January 20 - February 18), Pisces (February 19 - March 20).

The zodiac also is said to have an influence on personality types.  One internet source describes the Aries' personality (mine) as the following:

Aries loves to be number one, so it's no surprise that these audacious rams are the first sign of the zodiac. Bold and ambitious, Aries dives headfirst into even the most challenging situations (which is appropriate, since the body part associated with Aries is the head). Like their fellow fire signs, Leo and Sagittarius, Aries is a passionate, motivated, and confident leader who builds community with their cheerful disposition and relentless determination. Uncomplicated and direct in their approach, they often get frustrated by exhaustive details and unnecessary nuances….

Astrologers believe that each sign learns the lessons absorbed by its preceding signs, both joyful and painful. In the case of Aries, however, there is no inherited wisdom: Aries leads with blind optimism, barreling through life with an electric joie de vivre that perfectly complements their distinctive impulsivity.

These fire signs think after they leap, which often results in lessons learned the hard way. Aries represents the singular spirit …. These rams adhere to an “every person for themselves” philosophy. While this self-determination can be inspiring, Aries needs to watch out for selfish tendencies.

This sign is ruled by Mars, the dynamic red planet named after the Roman god of war. Accordingly, these courageous rams are always armed and ready for battle. Aries is known for an explosive temper, and although their outbursts don't last long, it's definitely best to avoid fiery rams until the steam has dissipated. But when these brazen rams are not flying off the handle, they're upbeat, positive, and playful creatures who enjoy living life to the fullest.

As for the veracity of this characterization of the personality when applied to me, I'm too close to the subject to have an opinion.  You would probably be a better judge.