Wednesday, December 08, 2004

LATKES IN THE SEVENTH HOUSE

Technically, I know there are those who consider it the literal embodiment of worshipping the stars (avodat elilim), but my relationship with astrology is conflicted. Obviously, as a writer, I realize that the forecasts are crafted in such a way that anyone might be able to read them and say, "Oh, my god [note the lowercase g]! That's so me! That's so what's happening right now." By the same token, I do find that my sign really does exemplify me, and I often find myself drawn to other Geminis.

We [and I speak in the we of all Geminis and the we of the twins that astrology states all Geminis are] are complex and conflicted beings. Our mirrors have two faces; we are often simultaneously introverted and extroverted, shy and the life of the party. We have so rich an inner life that it bubbles out, and so overwhelming an outer life that it can engender the most intensely brutal kind of introspection. Possessing our own duality, and carrying it within us like an embryonic secret, we are quick to discern complexity in others. Because of this we are also likely to become novelists, playwrights, actors, performers and poets. We are likely to read meaning into the words of others and analyze "what they meant by that." Our sense of others is only as infallible as human habit and consistency, but we are investigative, likely to probe for truth wheree'r it lies.

Most of the time, horoscopes are about love or financial success. And then, in this morning's Yahoo forecast, I get this:

"The 13th and 14th, some of the fat you trimmed could be fried up, short-order-cook style -- and if you aren't careful, you could get burned. "

Mmm. Better get that fat frying. Smells like astrololatkes.

3 Comments:

At 12:39 PM, December 08, 2004, Blogger annabel lee said...

Heh. You made me think of this song.

 
At 1:24 PM, December 08, 2004, Blogger Coelecanth said...

Astrology, hmmph. In less charitable moments I've claimed that the word astrology was ancient Greek for "Load of @#$%".

I'm part of the car hatin'/bike lovin'/tree huggn' community. There are a lot of astrology believers in that group. Rare is the party where someone doesn't ask me what sign I am. I always respond with: "Why don't you tell me?" If this stuff where universal and true it outta be reversable. I let them ask any question they want (other than my date of birth that is) and try to answer as honestly and completely as I can. They can take as long as they like but they only get one guess. I've never had anyone guess right and statistically there should have been at least a couple of hits by now.

There's a great Nova episode with de-bunker James Randi. In it he does the charts for a class of university students. Does it up right, gets everyone's birth date and time the whole works. He hands them out the next week in sealed envelopes. The students read them and put up their hands to show how accurate the horoscope was. The majority of the class indicated that it was 60-70% accurate. Randi then got everyone to pass their reading to the person behind. Guess what? They were all identical.

Astrology appears to work because it says things that are true of everyone: sometimes you feel misunderstood. It also says things that people want to believe about themselves. It would take a very self-aware and self-honest person to admit that they were not in fact creative.

Astrology is another form of prejudice. All Jews are cheap and all Geminis are creative? Puleeze! People are complex and diverse both in groups and individuals. It's better to try to understand and accept people as they are rather than shoehorning them into little boxes.

 
At 3:08 PM, December 08, 2004, Blogger writersbloc gal said...

Heee. Love the title. I find Yahoo eerily dead-on very often. I too have this stars-schmars approach, but Yahoo folks are quite curious, indeed. My roommate's friend who writes astrology stuff for Playgirl (yes, that's right) is certain that I'm a Gemini, even though my birthday is set quite in the Taurus cycle. She asked me one night about three four times, "Are you sure you're not a Gemini?"

Happy Hannukah by the way!!

 

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My Urban Kvetch: LATKES IN THE SEVENTH HOUSE

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

LATKES IN THE SEVENTH HOUSE

Technically, I know there are those who consider it the literal embodiment of worshipping the stars (avodat elilim), but my relationship with astrology is conflicted. Obviously, as a writer, I realize that the forecasts are crafted in such a way that anyone might be able to read them and say, "Oh, my god [note the lowercase g]! That's so me! That's so what's happening right now." By the same token, I do find that my sign really does exemplify me, and I often find myself drawn to other Geminis.

We [and I speak in the we of all Geminis and the we of the twins that astrology states all Geminis are] are complex and conflicted beings. Our mirrors have two faces; we are often simultaneously introverted and extroverted, shy and the life of the party. We have so rich an inner life that it bubbles out, and so overwhelming an outer life that it can engender the most intensely brutal kind of introspection. Possessing our own duality, and carrying it within us like an embryonic secret, we are quick to discern complexity in others. Because of this we are also likely to become novelists, playwrights, actors, performers and poets. We are likely to read meaning into the words of others and analyze "what they meant by that." Our sense of others is only as infallible as human habit and consistency, but we are investigative, likely to probe for truth wheree'r it lies.

Most of the time, horoscopes are about love or financial success. And then, in this morning's Yahoo forecast, I get this:

"The 13th and 14th, some of the fat you trimmed could be fried up, short-order-cook style -- and if you aren't careful, you could get burned. "

Mmm. Better get that fat frying. Smells like astrololatkes.

3 Comments:

At 12:39 PM, December 08, 2004, Blogger annabel lee said...

Heh. You made me think of this song.

 
At 1:24 PM, December 08, 2004, Blogger Coelecanth said...

Astrology, hmmph. In less charitable moments I've claimed that the word astrology was ancient Greek for "Load of @#$%".

I'm part of the car hatin'/bike lovin'/tree huggn' community. There are a lot of astrology believers in that group. Rare is the party where someone doesn't ask me what sign I am. I always respond with: "Why don't you tell me?" If this stuff where universal and true it outta be reversable. I let them ask any question they want (other than my date of birth that is) and try to answer as honestly and completely as I can. They can take as long as they like but they only get one guess. I've never had anyone guess right and statistically there should have been at least a couple of hits by now.

There's a great Nova episode with de-bunker James Randi. In it he does the charts for a class of university students. Does it up right, gets everyone's birth date and time the whole works. He hands them out the next week in sealed envelopes. The students read them and put up their hands to show how accurate the horoscope was. The majority of the class indicated that it was 60-70% accurate. Randi then got everyone to pass their reading to the person behind. Guess what? They were all identical.

Astrology appears to work because it says things that are true of everyone: sometimes you feel misunderstood. It also says things that people want to believe about themselves. It would take a very self-aware and self-honest person to admit that they were not in fact creative.

Astrology is another form of prejudice. All Jews are cheap and all Geminis are creative? Puleeze! People are complex and diverse both in groups and individuals. It's better to try to understand and accept people as they are rather than shoehorning them into little boxes.

 
At 3:08 PM, December 08, 2004, Blogger writersbloc gal said...

Heee. Love the title. I find Yahoo eerily dead-on very often. I too have this stars-schmars approach, but Yahoo folks are quite curious, indeed. My roommate's friend who writes astrology stuff for Playgirl (yes, that's right) is certain that I'm a Gemini, even though my birthday is set quite in the Taurus cycle. She asked me one night about three four times, "Are you sure you're not a Gemini?"

Happy Hannukah by the way!!

 

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