“What’s your sign?”
I don’t think people really ask this anymore, but maybe they do. I like to think I’ve been stealthier than that.
“When is your birthday?”
Occasionally someone has answered, “I’m an Aquarius.”
I won’t lie, when someone calls me out, if it’s tactful and accurate, I respect them more (sometimes it’s nice to know that someone respects you enough to tell it to you straight—we need more of that).
If it’s not tactful, I detest them and remove them from my life (burning bridges is another topic entirely, though. I’ll probably never touch on that, as I immediately kill off any memory of said burned bridge).
Back to astrology. I got into astrology when I was in grade five. My mom had a horoscope magazine for the new millennium, and I claimed it as my own. It forecasted five years into the future, so I read it a few times every year until I was in high school. It didn’t touch upon the characteristics of each sign, but it supposedly told the future. After I memorized that magazine, I got into those horoscope scrolls that you can pick up at the grocery store. Those didn’t last long, because according to them, so-and-so should’ve realized I was his soul mate in the coming month and he didn’t (it actually took him five years and a few months too late [sorry, chief, but good luck in life], and that’s also another story for another time [that I’ll keep to myself]).
In college, I started reading books on astrology instead. I would take a photo of my collection of astrology books, but my library is personal (therefore zero desire to share).
Instead, let me divulge my feelings on astrology.
Horoscopes have not interested me in the slightest. When someone asks, “hey, did you read your horoscope today?” I inwardly roll my eyes. As an existentialist, no one can predict your future, because you make it up as you go along (I’ve decided this. There’s no such thing as fate. I’ve come to terms with the “what’s meant for you will not pass you” topic. Things don’t pass you, you choose what is and isn’t important in your life. That’s it [I might change my mind on this, but the pendulum has temporarily swung to the right]).
See, I’ve had my palm read several times and only once was it ever remotely accurate (and boy was that interesting). I will argue that you see what you want to see. I’ll go one further and say that you see what you want to see in anything (movie, book, horoscope)—it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. So, yes, I have used a palm reading as a way to backwards rationalize something I already knew (namely that I was unhappy and a change had to be made. This was an overdue decision, and if I could punch my younger self in the neck, I’d do it).
So, what about astrology?
In western astrology, I’m a water sign, more specifically:
Yes, if you know anything about astrology, Scorpios are apparently a nasty (read: misunderstood) little sign. My best friends are Scorpios and we read each other like books. According to our sun sign (yes, this is just our sun sign. Well, in my case, it’s also my Mercury and Pluto, too), I’ve got a mix of lovely and terrible traits.
To rattle off a few from both spectrums: secretive, distrusting, spiteful, pessimistic, overly sensitive, controlling, and stubborn. On the other hand, we have the good traits: faithful, caring, intuitive, loving, passionate, independent, ambitious and determined.
Scorpio is also a water sign (all of my friends but one are water signs), so it’s therefore a little too deep/intense, emotional, and thought-full.
When I read these characteristics, I can agree that I have them, but I also don’t think they’re terrible (even the not-so-great ones). For example, secretive, because no one needs to know your every thought (this would irk me to no end). Distrusting because most people are liars (even tiny lies are still lies [don’t do something you wouldn’t like in return? Yeah, I live by that]).
So, while I do have all of those qualities, I can give a valid example for why I would be any one of those at any given time. My biggest culprit (aka the one I’ve gotten into the most trouble for) is my spiteful bone. There’s this language I speak and it’s called “tasting your own medicine.” If you wouldn’t want someone to do something to you, then you shouldn’t do it to them. So, I can be spiteful for one reason and one reason only.
- I’ve been wronged, the other party knows it, and makes no effort to make amends.
Important thing to note: awareness.
An accidental slight is always forgotten (ask any of my Scorpio friends), but an intentional slight simmers. It can go one of two ways: bridge burning or a dosage of medicine.
Now, I’ve spoken to other people (different signs), and I get various answers. Most people just don’t care. If someone’s wronged them, “it’s whatever.”
So, if there was one thing I wish I could change (and am working toward), it’s shrugging things off. Whether it’s astrology related or not (we’ll decide later), learning to take things less personally doesn’t have to be a double-edged sword.
For example, even though I may feel slighted because of someone’s absentmindedness (or apparent absentmindedness [there’s the cynic in me]), I don’t have to take it personally. Secondly, I don’t have to (and truth be told: am unable to) be absentminded to even the score.
Tempting as it may be, life isn’t a competition between who’s right and wrong. It’s a competition with bettering yourself every day. I’m ten times better than I was this morning =), but I’m still not as good as I’ll be tomorrow.
Back to astrology and my thoughts on it.
I can live up to most of the Scorpio descriptions. You can ask people in my life (friends, exes, family), and they’ll all admit to my traits (some more than others, but different people get different sides depending on their treatment MIRITE?). Was I born this way because my moon was in Capricorn and because my birthday happens to fall smack dab in the middle of November?
Am I doomed to walk this earth an overly-sensitive, untrusting, secretive woman forever?
Not forever, I won’t live that long, but yes. I’ll always be sensitive (I’m changing the degree), because I’m careful with what I put out in the world. I don’t treat anyone any way I wouldn’t want to be treated. I may keep it to myself (outside of this), but yes, I can be easily upset even if it doesn’t show.
So, is it because of my sign or is it because of how I was raised?
Thankfully, I have family to dissect!
My sister is a Taurus (earth), my mom is a Leo (fire), and my dad is a Pisces (water). We were raised in the same home, at the same time, and are entirely different.
I cannot stress how different we are from each other.
If you invite us to a get-together with twenty people, I will drift off to the side (finding a small nook to observe everyone in [and also not to be observed myself, unless sought out by someone doing the same]) drinking room-temperature water, while my sister will be found getting a mixed drink and making a small crowd of people laugh hysterically.
We were raised in the same environment, both went to the same schools, and yet, we are totally different. In school, I was your typical loner, by choice. I didn’t hang out with anyone outside of school. In fact, the night I graduated, I deleted my myspace and cut contact with everyone (outside of two people [who eventually I torched bridges with too—I’m really happy with the people in my life, so I have to pat myself on the back for all of those that didn’t make the cut]).
My sister? She still goes to high school get-togethers whenever she can. She’s still friendly with all of her old friends, and they’re genuinely all friends.
Me? Not so much. I can count my friends on one hand (minus a few fingers) and only one has lasted 10+ years (and will be my BFF until I die [Scorpio, go figure]).
As water signs, she and I have been through almost identical situations with identical outcomes (we laugh about some of them now, but some still strike an unloving chord within us). I didn’t know she was a Scorpio when we first met. I do know that we were trying our damnedest to impress each other.
Perfect grammar, detached, cool, impersonal—we grew on each other fairly quickly, though (and can now talk for hours about everything at 4am [I’m sorry if you don’t have one person like this]). Within a few months, we were best friends and have been ever since.
So, that’s how the majority of my friendships (and hers) go. Most of them never pass the detached and impersonal phase. We freeze the shallow and only the truly worthy friends stay in our lives. Personally, I’d rather have one person that really understands me (and I them), than seven friends that I can see but are superficial.
Again, is this a Scorpio thing? Sure, you can say this is your basic textbook Scorpio. You can go so far as reaching into relationships. Scorpios are long-term, monogamous relationship lovers. It’s true for my best friends and me. All three of us have been in crazy long-term relationships (three plus years and a zillion stories). None of us can do casual, because we don’t see the point. We’ve unknowingly touched on casual, but those ended as quickly as they began, because who really likes shallow?
Maybe you do, and that’s fine for you. It’s just not for us.
As much as I hate Nicholas Sparks (I don’t really hate him, but you know), he has a great quote that describes us perfectly.
“If the relationship can’t survive the long-term, why would it be worth it in the short-term?”
This is a good description for everything in my life. I don’t half-ass anything. If I start something, you can bet I’ll finish it. It may take me a while (years in one particular case), but I finish what I start. Scorpio is also a fixed sign. This means we don’t like change, are stubborn, and are grounded. I don’t think these are bad qualities to have.
Enough about Scorpio, though.
Do I believe that people are who they are based on their signs?
Yes and no.
Across the board, the elements are predictable. Water signs are emotional babies (I’ll admit to this, too. Compared to an air sign, I’m far too serious). Earth signs can be unnervingly rational (sometimes you need passion, guys). Fire signs can be a bit too dramatic (think rollercoaster). Finally, air signs are too detached (for me. I just don’t understand it).
Of course, your sun sign is just the beginning. Your sun tells you the basics of your personality; how you’re hardwired to be (more or less, I’m butchering this). Then your moon tells you about your comfort zone and what your instinctive nature is.
I’ll use myself as an example.
I’ve got a Capricorn moon, and Capricorn moon finds it difficult to share their feelings. I always thought that I was great at expressing myself, and when someone didn’t understand me, I’d be a bit bugged. Aren’t I straight-forward? Yes, I am, but in written word. If you ask me a feelings-related question and expect me to react, I can’t. It sucks and I feel bad, but I just can’t really explain myself without feeling a bit…naked. So, according to western astrology, Capricorn moon is hardworking and private.
Nail meet head.
Some of what I’ve read about Capricorn moon is spot on. The fact that it’s one of the least-understood is disheartening, but if you factor my sun sign with my moon sign, you can deduce that I am one hard-to-get person.
(To anyone who’s tried and failed, I am sorry for wasting your time. Similarly, I hope you’re sorry for wasting mine, but whatever.)
Then there’s your Mars and your Mercury, followed by your Venus and Saturn and all that.
So, to anyone who’s ever said that astrology is a bunch of BS: maybe you’re correct. There are numerous combinations of planets and signs, so no two signs are exactly alike. Therefore, it’s all just random and anyone can see what they want to see.
Take my best friend. She’s got a pretty nasty temper that I can’t even touch. According to my other best friend, my Saturn keeps me from ever losing my cool. I can say that I’ve only ever lost my temper three times for a very justified reason. Even then, though, my cool composure returned within minutes. Thanks Saturn!
Let’s get to the point, because I could wax poetic about astrology for years.
In everyone I’ve ever met, I’ve seen characteristics of their (sun) sign in their personalities. Was I looking for it? No. In some cases, I strongly looked the other way. In one ugly case, I was so (sadly) surprised that even today I can laugh at how ridiculous it was (don’t be a textbook sign or you’ll be the butt of my jokes for years).
This leads me to: self-fulfilling prophecies.
I can live up to my sign, positive and negative qualities, and achieve nothing, or I can kill off the negative qualities. I love who I am, and maybe that’s because I am a Scorpio (apparently we have a healthy ego [one Virgo would say I live on my own planet]), but I’ll be honest: I don’t like my negative side. When I meet people that are just as passionate as I am, but without the darker side, I’m intrigued in the worst way.
I love those people. I love people who have my best qualities. I’m sure they have other ones I dislike (they always do), but for a moment, seeing my best features in someone else is nice. The people I end up detesting are the weak ones (this is a really neat topic; I’ll totally write about this later since it’s subjective).
So, do you have to live up to your sign? No, and I don’t think you should.
I don’t have to be intrigued by the unique person in the corner, because that doesn’t mean they’re like me (they actually never are). I don’t have to be spiteful if someone hurt my feelings. I’m all for “an eye for an eye,” but no one is worth any of my time if they elicit a negative feeling in me.
Instead of wasting my time getting even with someone who isn’t even aware (or is, but is a terrible person [these people exist—crazy, I know]) of their slight on me, I have to forget them (cut my losses).
I don’t think you’re doomed to act or behave a certain way because of your sun sign. I think if you’re aware of a negative trait, then you should change. The trait doesn’t even have to be related to your sign. I know one Scorpio who is so condescending that I can’t even speak to her. I’ve never met another Scorpio that is so self-involved.
Of course, not everyone is as emotionally evolved (let’s be real here—doesn’t matter the sign, some people never emotionally mature past the age of 7 [you know who you are]), and some people won’t think they need to change, but if you take a hard look at yourself, you’ll know there’s something to work on and you’ll work on it.
AHEM, this is just western astrology, too.
There’s this thing called Vedic astrology.
Yeah, and I’m not a Scorpio in Vedic astrology. I’m a Libra with a Scorpio rising.
WUT. What does that even mean?!
I wouldn’t say l have any Libra characteristics, but Vedic would say I do.
So, here’s my conclusion on the validity of astrology:
I think astrology is fun. I think it’s interesting. I love learning about how people think, so I’ll always be drawn to why people say, do, don’t do, don’t say, and live the way they do. Astrology is just one piece of the puzzle. I could analyze people for a living and I still would want to know more.
You shouldn’t use astrology as a crutch, though. So, don’t blame the lack of substance in your relationships on your crappy sun sign. Not all Geminis have to be cheaters. Not all Leos have to be the center of attention. Air signs aren’t doomed to be misunderstood by Earth signs forever. Fire signs don’t evaporate all water signs.
My best friend is my best friend regardless of her sign. We just happen to talk about it and bond over it. Hey, some girls bond over reality TV. We eat pizza and read astrology books.
My exes are my exes regardless of their signs.
The people in my life are in my life regardless of their signs.
If people decide to live up to the (crappy) characteristics of their signs and I don’t like them, they won’t be permanent people in my life (I’ve demonstrated this time after time, you’re welcome).
You choose who you are. Every day you choose which shoe you put on first. Similarly, every day you choose whether you’ll take something personally (based on how you treat people), whether you’ll be a loyal friend, lover, coworker, whether you’ll be attached or detached, whether you’ll be a snob or down-to-earth, whether you’ll be sweet or sour, and a plethora of other choices.
You get what you put in.
It doesn’t matter what time you were born. Maybe you’ll get a curious astrology nerd to look into it for you, but you can decide whether it’s true or not.
Oh, and living up to the negative qualities in your sign is just sad (and predictable).