I love astrology. I check my horoscope most days, and don’t doubt that I’ll die at an old age in a foreign country just like my eighth house placement suggests. Go on, judge me – I would.
I became fixated on stars and planetary alignments in the second year of my undergraduate degree when I discovered some cassette tapes in an old Indian dowry box at my parents house. They were recordings of birth chart interpretations for my brother and I. Delighted by the discovery I jumped into my mum’s Subaru station wagon which was old enough to still have a tape player, and proceeded to listen to the forecast of my life on repeat.
The astrologer’s foresight was remarkable. I was a tiny newborn when she read my chart, yet to grow into a fully-formed human being, but it was undeniably accurate. This woman who didn’t, and still doesn’t know me, pointed out things about me that I didn’t know how to put into words until I heard hers.
I’ve included a few extracts below.
- aspires to both material and moral order
- her father is not seen as an unquestionable authority but as a character with whom she has discussions, and at times disputes
- sympathy for abstract problems and an ability to reason the absurd
- cultivates traditions and has a profound respect for the status quo
- her femininity manifests in a way that is quite perfectionistic with a certain snobbishness
- inclined to illness from dissatisfaction
- every now and again she could have a certain timidity in expressing her own ideas, truly because like a good Virgo, she undervalues them
- stubbornness is linked to her elasticity of justice
Even these few excerpts unmistakably define me. They reflect my career in the legal profession, the bouts of melancholy I’ve suffered time and again, my friendship with my father, the unhealthy perfectionism my mother tried to stamp out of me, and the arrogance she inadvertently reinforced. It taps into my appreciation for, and deep desire to maintain tradition and culture. I could even argue that it makes reference to a performance review I had at work a few months ago, where the only criticism my boss had was that I “undersell” myself.
I always receive mixed reactions when I tell people how much I rely on the sun, the planets, and the stars. Maybe because my friends are a mixed bag too. I think I can narrow the usual reactions down to three:
a) unruffled / star lover / asks what my rising sign is; OR
b) charmed / in a sceptical kind of way / typically wants an immediate personality interpretation based on their sun sign (which actually doesn’t tell you very much about a person at all); OR
c) smirk / tells me there’s absolutely and positively no science involved / that it doesn’t make sense for an educated woman to buy into such crap.
What I’ve really come to love about reading birth charts is that it helps me to get a better sense of a person, to understand why they weren’t friendly or why they were way too friendly. Why they come to work one hour early every day and leave two hours after the office closes (ahem, Capricorn sun). Why that person you just met told you something incredibly personal and why you felt annoyed and uncomfortable and quickly started scoping out the best escape route. Why your friend continually dates the same kind of dreary musicians. Why your brother can’t stop talking and walking in circles as he describes his latest conspiracy theory.
I don’t care how scientific it is, it doesn’t lessen my fascination.