Monday, February 1, 2010


During my medic rotation where I'm taken from the copter to staff the ambulance (it's to keep current on things and really not a bad idea...Just a lot more work!) I had a patient ask me, on the way to the hospital, what my 'sign' was. She was a Gemini, she said, and her horoscope predicted a medical emergency...
I asked her whether she goes by the dates set over 2,000 years ago, or the actual sign she was born under?
Let me get this straight....The sky is divided into 12, 30 degree sections. (12 because there's usually 12 full moons in a year) Each of these sections of sky falls in the plane of the ecliptic where the sun, moon and planets transit. If you use your imagination, each of these zones has a group of stars that kind of resemble something that was around 2 millenia ago. So, when I was born, the sun shone through this group of stars, raining the attributes of that star formation down upon me. There are planets too. One is really bright, so it's given the attribute of 'beauty'. One is vaguely red, so looks a little like blood, so gives the attribute of 'war'. These planets wander in and out of 'my' constellation, so things about my life can be predicted by this.
Today's horoscope---"Good time for love affairs; you will be in great form, and look handsome. You will be full of energy, and take on the work of Hercules....All this from planets moving through a group of stars!
A few problems with this. First, the sun doesn't shine through the stars---they are very far away. Second, there has been precession over the last 2,000 years due to the earth's wobble, so you were most likely born under the constellation one before what you think you are; If you were born between Nov.29-Dec 17, you're actually born under the sign 'Ophiuchus'. So according to horoscope sites I'm a Taurus, though I was born 'under' Aries the ram. And what about comets? If a planet can move through and make me look handsome, how come a comet can pass through and it doesn't alter my horoscope one bit?
I tried to politely ask my patient some of these things. All she offered was, "I'd fully expect a Taurus to say something like that"


keeka said...

Well, that's how we Gemini are! Well, not really. Actually we are!
Some say we are like two different people....but not really like that at all. I started out shy and ended up not being able to shut up! Just ask Tina...or Lee, no, better not ask him! Well, sure ask him if you want....hehehe.

Hey, your word verification is "Bless!" yay!

Tina said...

Maybe Keeka's sign is schizophrenic?

What do I know - I'm a stubborn Taurus!

Hey, your word verification is "conap" Yay!

flyingvan said...

Yeah? Well, yours is 'Lalutegu'. It's greek for, 'you're actually an Aries'

Tina said...

Hey - as long as my birthstone is a diamond, I could care less what the astronomical malarky is. :D

"borperm" That sounds like a nasty perm - but good word verification :)

shoo said...

This brings up a somewhat interesting astrology story from my life...think I shared with my next blog entry.

Jeremy Mollison said...

Just because you didn't have the good fortune to be born under masculine positive fixed air sign like Aquarius—the current sign of the zodiac-doesn't mean you have to spitefully attack the revered system. Maybe I'm biased as an Aquarius (sign which runs from January 21 to February 19) myself to think it has the best traits of all, but none can argue against it having the best song. On an upnote, you may take some solace in possessing at least one Aquarius* characteristic, contrarian, even if it is generally listed as a negative one.

*People whose birthdays, as it's now February 4th, are in the near past or near future.

flyingvan said...

Are you saying a jar of water is more masculine than a charging bull? And really, Jeremy, admit it---the constellation looks much more like a martini shaker than a water jar. We ought to re-do all this----really match the constellations with the current dates, and re-assess the constellations into figures more contemporary. Like Taurus could be a stealth fighter. Cancer looks a lot like a computer monitor. We can assign personality traits, too, but they'll be much more cool.