“Did you know Mercury is in Retrograde?” Until very recently, I thought I pretty much knew all there is to know about Horoscopes. I was so, so wrong. (Full disclosure: I’m a Gemini. Do with that information what you will.) I would say I know an average amount about the Zodiac, Horoscopes, etc. Or knew, anyway. That was until I heard some people talking in what appeared to be a foreign tongue, and decided to see how far this stuff really goes.
The answer is deep — really deep. As I’ve mentioned in prior columns, I grew up in an Evangelical Christian family with an ex-pastor for a dad, and participated in Bible Quizzing (that’s like quiz bowl but only about the Bible) through most of middle and high school. With all I know about Christian theology, I am still totally perplexed by doctrines like the ones surrounding the Holy Trinity, the idea as expressed in the Athanasian Creed that, “we worship one God in trinity and trinity in unity; neither confounding the persons nor dividing the essence”?
It is similarly almost impossible to parse the meanings of astrological prognostications. How do I discern the role that Mercury — my ruling planet, of course — plays in my life during March? The significance of March and Mercury to Astrological creed cannot be understated. This is a month when the planet, according to astrology:
1. is in Retrograde — that’s the easy one
2. is moving through the final degrees of Pisces, the last sign in the zodiac
3. aligns itself in conjunction with the Minor Planet Chiron
4. shifts to conjoin a fixed star in Pegasus called Scheat — this one is particularly important
5. moves backward almost exactly in the window of time between the new moon on March 6 and the full moon on the 20th
6. takes place in my ‘career sector,’ whatever that may mean
7. goes into Retrograde almost identically to a period in March of 1973, when the European Union voted on the status of Northern Ireland in the midst of the New Irish Republican Army Bombings — which, combined with Mars setting in opposition right now, could lead to hostilities caused by the miscommunications already going on.
Confused yet? Same here. And that astronomical septet comprises only a fraction of my Horoscope, which includes predictions on the effects of four celestial bodies in my tenth house — namely the new moon, the sun, Neptune and the Mercury. Neptune’s conjunction with the sun, by the way, will lead to my face being seen by many.
So what else does Neptune govern? That would be photography, music, movies, the rest of the arts, poetry, costume design, hair and makeup, perfume, auditions, compassion, charities and other humanitarian concerns. Then we have the two planets — Mars and Saturn — holding up my new moon, which govern Violence and Wisdom, respectively. Saturn’s presence in my eighth house will improve my ability to handle other people’s money, whether in the form of inheritances, insurance, or employment.
Meanwhile Mars sitting in my 12th house will result in surges of creativity while I am alone. Even more excitingly, Uranus, governor of Publishing and Communications, will move into Taurus, known for hard work and dedication, for the first time in 85 years. With this realignment comes creative inspiration, of course. I have the next seven to dedicate to a project that will turn into something great, with the eventual support of Saturn and Pluto (yes, also a planet, haters).What’s the purpose of all this, you may be asking? At this point in my research, I had realized that one thing was completely certain: There are so many aspects of astrology that practically any horoscope will in some way apply to you. The similarities to Christianity are so obvious that it surprises me that I hadn’t noticed them before. While Christians do not receive a daily prescription, their relationship to God is intensely personal and unique and therefore cannot be generalized to apply to a population. Religious devotion can lead down any number of paths in your career and relationships, much in the same way strict adherence to a Horoscope would.
So I apologize, Astrology: you’re not a distraction — you’re a religion. All of a sudden the number of people invested in knowing these things makes a lot more sense — as does the fact that a consultation with a PhD Astrologer can cost upward of $200 an hour. And the other thing? It’s a lot of fun. Will I plan my life according to the suggestions of my Natal Chart going forward? Probably not. But will I spend more of the coming week reading about Astrology or informal contracts regarding the ownership of cattle grazing fields in the American southwest? I suppose I will have to let Mercury decide.
Ben Bosis ’19 can be reached at email@example.com. Please send responses to this opinion to firstname.lastname@example.org and other op-eds to email@example.com.