Having more than two days in a row when I could be both home and awake, led to some premature spring cleaning over the last few days. One of the artifacts discovered among the piles of “deal with it later” things was a booklet that was likely an impulse buy—a stocking stuffer or perhaps a whimsical birthday giftie. In our house it could have only been directed at me since it was a little book about Virgo. I have never, even in my most experimental modes, considered astrology to be anything but pure fantasy. I do, however, realize that it is just as old as astronomy, and ancient peoples firmly believed that the sky had unseen influences on everyone. Still, the calendar dates during which you are born can’t provide personality traits any more accurate than gross generalizations. Two of my brothers and I are Virgos, and we are very different personalities, despite having grown up together.
Still, curiosity compelled me to take a few minutes to look at the guide by Teresa Celsi and Michael Yawney. It begins with a brief introduction to astrology, and as I thought about it, I realized that there are indeed people who take it seriously. Long ago I recognized that the criticism “ridiculous” (apart from being offensive) is never an adequate antidote to religious belief. Many elements in conventional Christianity, and other mainstream religions, fall into the similarly implausible realm. There is a kind of science to astrology—labeling and categorization, observation and recording. I still don’t believe it, but I can see how it might appeal. And I thought I could recognize myself in the Virgo the booklet described. Yes, some of that was definitely me. Then I got to the bit about a Virgo’s house being neat and tidy, and how people appreciate it. We live in a small apartment and visitors (who are few) are more inclined to make sure their immunizations are updated after leaving, rather than praising our housekeeping skills. Fact is, clutter doesn’t bother me that much.
The majority of the little novelty book was about relationships, of course. I still remember the days when “what’s your sign” was considered an acceptable pick-up line, at least if movies are to be believed. I couldn’t remember my wife’s sign, and was surprised to read, when I found it, that we might encounter some conflict, should we decide on a permanent relationship. We’ve been married for 26 years with barely a raised voice in all that time. Maybe it’s because I’m a Virgo. Or maybe it is because we are more the agents of our own destiny than the stars. Nevertheless, it would be a comfort if we could pick up a chart and know what our lives might be like. It’s easy to see why astrology has taken on the quality of a religion for many. Please excuse me but, according to my nature, it is about time to get back to my cleaning.