There are two types of people in the world: Those who believe in astrology and those who do not.
For me, growing up as a Jehovah's Witness (yep, you read right), you can probably guess my childhood posture--sign me up for the crocks. I mean really, just how in the world could somebody ascertain my future simply by looking at the sky without knowing the first thing about me?
Pssssh is what I always thought.
And then this happened. One day I'm writing away and stumble across a character I wasn't planning on. A minor character--a store owner if I'm not mistaken--but I just didn't know a thing about him. For the life of me I couldn't decide if he was young or old, fat or trim, happy or unhappy; I just couldn't do it. Crispy-Brain Syndrome. What I needed was a book filled with personality traits. The question was, where oh where would I find such a thing?
And then the answer pounced on me--why an astrology book of course! Who cared if it was filled with fugeizicity? Just show me the traits, ma'am, just the traits. So I dash off to my friendly neighborhood Borders (so sad they're gone) and hit the astrology aisle where I immediately was overwhelmed. There must have been at least two gajillion of them. Undeterred, I scanned the aisle with determination and whether by chance or brilliance, my gaze settled on none other than THE IDIOT'S GUIDE TO ASTROLOGY. Worked for me, right? I grabbed it, opened it up and within seconds saw platoons of personality descriptions and adjectives staring back at me.
I paid for the book, dashed back home but then a curious thing happened and this is truth. There was a show on the History Channel on serial killers (fertile ground for an aspiring author) that I'd been waiting to see all day and wouldn't ya know it, halfway through the program they give this astrologist only the times and dates of twenty serial killers, just to see what she'd come up with. She comes back a half hour later with this haunted look on her face. Said this person might have significant mother issues, that his so and so had the potential to develop violent aversions to this other thing; I can't remember all the details but I remember she was like eighteen for twenty on potential catastrophic personality disorders of these serial killers. I don't think they were faking. I found it very intriguing.
Same day, I'm watching the news and it's a flashback of the 2001 election between Gore and Bush. Republican pundit: Bush is going to win. Democratic pundit: Gore is going to win. And then there was the astrologist. Now, keep in mind, this was taped a half year before the elections and the astrologist said that she didn't see a clear winner, in fact, she went on the record to say that the country very well may not know who the new President of the United States was for a bit, that it might even take a couple of days. We all know how that one went and it was uncanny how spot on she'd been. It was the whole reason for the show. Coincidence?
At any rate, I devoured the book, soaked up the traits, learned about sun signs and moon signs and ascendant signs and descendant signs and planets and houses and sextiles and retrogrades even had my own chart done just for sh*ts and giggles. I learned all about it. Here's one for you--most people don't even know what astrology is the study of. Do you, fearless reader, possess such knowledge? Or will you be Googling it? Only one person I've ever asked has actually gotten it right. Interesting, huh?
If you're curious, I still don't believe in astrology but I'll say this: There's much more to it than I would have ever entertained. The one thing it certainly is is a guh-reat repository of personality traits and adjectives.
So there's a little magic for you. If you believe in it.
Steve Vera is an author, wanderluster and panther-ninja.
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