Sunday, January 23, 2011


Hopefully the recent upheaval in the astrological business has not turned your entire life upside down. Many folks are beside themselves with the announcement that a thirteenth constellation has been added to the rotation because of a shift in the alignment of the sun. They are also upset about the Mayan end-of-the-world prophecy for 2012 and because their Magic 8 Balls keep repeating “Reply hazy, try again.”

This new astrology symbol, this snake-riding fellow in the sky, Ophiuchus, covers a certain section of the calendar late in the year, in essence bumping Sagittarius and affecting the rest of the star-figures as well. By my calculation, most of the days of the year are referenced to a new astrological entity. This has caused serious heart palpitations in people who read their daily horoscope with great interest.

These are the people who actually think that when the newspaper says “let someone else take the lead for once, allowing you to regain your equilibrium before the next decision needs to be made” it means they shouldn’t even decide to get out of bed. They’ll wait until they’re told “today is a day for action!”

Other folks just don’t care about Ophiuchus. Easy for me to say, because May 15 is one of the few days that maintains its astrology sign in the new system. I was a Taurus last month and I am a Taurus still. The myth of the Taurus being a stubborn bull is nonsense. I would still be stubborn even if I had been magically transformed into a Pisces.

Which begs the question: now that the wife has moved from Gemini to Taurus, are we destined to be constantly combative, never backing down because our actions are governed by the stars and we have no freewill? Can two married Tauruses live in a house without driving each other crazy?

I don’t know. Ask Oscar Madison or Felix Unger.

One daughter has changed from Sagittarius to Scorpio. The other has morphed from Pisces to Aquarius. The boy was Capricorn and is now Sagittarius. Suddenly none of their actions make sense and I fall prey to calling them the wrong name (not like I ever did that before). “Kate . . . Kelsey . . . Kyle . . . you know I’m talking to you ‘cause I’m looking at you!” I can’t tell them apart anymore. It is madness!

The peacemaker has become the combative one. The quiet one won’t shut up. The adventurous one won’t try anything new unless the horoscope calls for it. The former Sagittarius and the new Sagittarius haven’t been seen in the same room at the same time since the announcement of Ophiuchus, which begs the question: did the shift in the zodiac cause a space/time confluence that merged them into one being?

Or is it because one of them moved to Arizona?

The solution to this non-dilemma lies in the way you approached the astrology business before the kerfuffle. It is all a matter of choice. If you believe following your daily horoscope helps you make better decisions, then so be it. If you think your astrological sign actually defines who you are and how you behave, you probably still will. If you think it is nonsense, it still is!

I can understand the confusion to a certain extent, because if the question ever came up in my life I knew I was Taurus. It was one of those constants, like my adult shoe size, my address, and my love of professional wrestling. It didn’t come up every day, but when I learned that Andre the Giant and Jimmy “Superfly" Snuka were both Taurus, it gave me a little piece of mind.

When Ford introduced the car of the same name I thought it was funny. Certainly there was never going to be a car named after Libra (or so I told my brother who, now a Virgo, still won’t have a car in his honor). I don’t particularly care that I’m a Taurus, but at least I know that I am a Taurus.

I never gave two cents toward any daily horoscope because I thought it was silly. And I still do. I find that you can generally take such prognostications and prophecies, for any of the twelve—I mean thirteen—signs, and make them true for yourself in one way or another. They are written in a vague manner that can be taken myriad ways to justify your existence. Easy for me to be so dismissive, though, because I’m still a Taurus.

Will the rabid horoscope followers be able to deal with these changes? My Magic 8 Ball says, “Outlook not so good.”

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