Monday, November 23, 2009

Star Gazing

I have a little side-hobby (in addition to corrupting young minds and spreading nudity world wide)—I LOVE Astrology. I don’t use it like the mad match-makers around the world, but rather for some explanatory entertainment… I like to see how the stars give insight to the character of people I know—and you know what? If you have their whole chart, they are usually spot-on.

East and West

I’ve dappled in both ‘standard’ western astrology, but also Chinese Astrology, wherein the year you were born gives you both an animal and an element. The western variety is more familiar to most people reading English language books, and the personality traits more varied, but the eastern gives society its sort of generational flare. I’ve also found that the couple people who really don’t fit their western signs fit their eastern sign with SCARY accuracy. My mother is one of these—my step dad actually laughed as he read the description of the water pig (1947) it was so accurate.

In Life

[funny... even my astrological sign is innuendo...]  I am a Cancer on the cusp of Gemini with a Virgo Moon, a Fire Horse… and those things all feed into my personality. Among the original members of my writer’s group, four of 6 of us were Cancers, three with birthdays right in a row on the cusp of Gemini—I think there is a pull for this week of the year, the emotionally in-tuned Cancer, and the Communication oriented Gemini to get those words on paper.

The fire horse in me is the part that won’t take no for an answer, refuses to change to suit the status quo, and yet can play harder that most of the other kids on the block. It’s said we leave home early and grow up late… For centuries Fire Horse were euthanized because we are such an independent lot that we inevitably dishonor our families (by not toeing the line).

One of the things I DO DO in real life related to Astrology is give a little romantic advice… it is always tongue in cheek and I know people would never make decisions based on it, but I’ve been known to say things like “A Libra and a Virgo! That’s a TERRIBLE idea!”

So here is YOUR practical love lesson for the day: EASIEST compatibility is 4 signs away (the signs that share elements) because there is an innate understanding; however, those matches often share flaws, so the couple can have some long term obstacles. Best complimentarity is two signs away—that way the strengths are different but in a way that goes together… in my own life I have only EVER gotten serious about Tauruses or Virgos (not intentionally, oddly enough—I didn’t even KNOW any of this until I was married)—had a handful of emotional attachments from other signs, but not nearly in the same kinds of numbers… and strangely, though the Tauruses tend to be more fun, I only ever thought of the word marriage with the Virgos… (all three of them… go figure), but then I have a Virgo moon, so that explains it…

Fire signs similarly… BEST matches are 4 away (or 8) as a horse, I should be with a tiger or a dog (I married a tiger and my son I get along with so famously is also a tiger). So if you’re wanting romantic advice… I’m your tart.

In Reading

Most books don’t explicitly give birthdays to characters, but my FAVORITE series does, and I find Jo did a pretty good job on most fronts—Harry the impulsive, generous Leo, Hermione, the diligent methodical Virgo, Snape the hard-working, no-nonsense Capricorn. Her only real error is probably casting Luna as a Leo (Luna is an Aquarius if ever there was one—possibly Gemini, DEFINITELY air.) She even though, goes so far as to use Voldemort’s birthday (mid-winter) as a herring for Trelawney to misread Harry, which then of course turns out to have a REAL reason behind it.

And per the pairing advice above… Harry and Hermione… was NEVER going to happen… one sign away is the WORST pairing possible.

In Writing

As with everything else I do, I tend to find this useful, but from a backward approach compared to what the average bear might do.

I envision a character with a few really important character details, write them a scene or two to get to know them, and THEN I choose a birthday that fits the personality I’ve laid down. What it allows is for an easy path to round out what some of the strengths, weaknesses and preferences that HAD NOT otherwise been relevant yet for that character are. I also like to use it to give some flavor for who gets along and who doesn’t and what kinds of people someone is drawn to. I have a theory for instance, that earth signs don’t tolerate fire signs all that well… find them rather exhausting. (Taurus is a little more tolerant)

In Confluence I used this… Jessie is a quintessential Aquarius—marching to her own drummer and quite comfortable not conforming, yet absolutely likable for it.

Do I believe in an infallibility of horoscopes? Not at all, there is all sorts of wacky stuff that changes the mix in reality, but I find it a fun, handy short cut with my writing. It helps make for believable people and conflicts, because the stereotypes wouldn’t exist if they didn’t hold true an awful lot of the time.


*Kas* said...

noo wayyy. i was totally trying to figure out my characters' signs the other day. my roomie told me i was wasting time (probably because i was supposed to be writing a paper), but i really wanted to figure it out. unfortunately, i'm not sure either one of my two main characters fit solidly into any one sign. hm. i'll have to look again.

i have this strange tendency to attract (be attracted to?) tauruses. (which my roomie has affectionately termed taurii.) anywho.. my boyfriend, my best friend/roomie, my ex-roomie, two close friends, and my boss are all taurii. seeing as how that's pretty much all of the non-family important people in my life it's kind of bizarre. guess it's a good thing i'm a pisces...

Watery Tart said...

Not wasting your time at ALL Kas! And one way to get around inconsistencies are to see if maybe their personality could be described by being on a cusp (mostly this, but a few traits from that) or by a moon sign which would make EMOTION counter to the sun sign (this is me... virgo moon totally counters the emotional Cancer) or by RISING sign which can throw off first impressions.

And yes, your attraction toward Taurii is quite natural... (as is the fact that you and I approach a lot of things similarly--both being water and all)--did you know Pisces is supposed to be the sign most sensitive to 'the great beyond'--you should keep up with your Divination.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you just posted this. I've been feeling useless blog-wise, because of the NaNo intensity, and just (yesterday) wrote to a friend from Indian subcontinent asking if he would like to guest blog for me on the Vedic astrological signs and consequences. He said he would give it a try! I was going to blog a bit beforehand on the only stuff I know, so if it comes out sounding like plagiarism, you will have to forgive. Actually because you REALLY HAVE A HANDLE on this, I won't now.... lol I'll have to rethink my intro completely... but I loved it - you speak it so fluidly, wrap up the personalities so easily... great blog.
oh p.s. I did marvel when we first 'met' at how we clicked - - - I haven't an ounce of water in my chart: 2 grand trines earth & fire, yes, you guessed it Virgo (comms & precision! not always), Leo rising Sag moon; earth Tiger.... thanks for the lovely compatibility dissertation - you should take up astro-advising, in addition to your HUGE other comms skills!

Watery Tart said...

Thank you so much, Marian! I know it is the 'fluff version' for astrology--the kind that is dished over a pitcher of microbrew (that was when I learned it, afterall) but it's fun.

And aren't you a contrary Virgo! The fire and earth mellow each other nicely, but it does make sense we get along so well (the tiger/horse compatibility too).

I've periodically toyed with an advice column that would draw on astrology stuff (I do so love telling people what they should do)... should I ever get to give up the day job, or at least take for granted that the book contract is in the works, I may give it a shot!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Oh, I had to Tweet this one. Interesting idea!

There's an astrology columnist in my Myrtle Clover series, but she's completely corrupt. Changes the horoscopes to manipulate people. :)

Mystery Writing is Murder

Cruella Collett said...

This is all Greek (or Chinese, as the case may be) to me. I agree that it is a very handy tool in writing, but I don't know enough of it to utilize it, and I don't believe enough in it to try to learn for "real life". I might consult you for character traits, though...

And the word "cusp" still makes me laugh (we've had this conversation, before, haven't we?). Probably because it's so similar to the Norwegian "susp" which is what boys put in their pants to protect their "jewels".... *snickersnort*

Watery Tart said...

Elizabeth--thank you for tweeting me! And I love the idea of a corrupt astrologer *snort* I'll have to keep that in mind...

Mari-always happy to consult, and no, I don't think we've had the cusp/susp convo *snort*

Chary Johnson said...

My students love astrology. I often, in study hall only, give them an opening assignment that involves reading their horoscope and then explaining how it relates to their current situation.

Great post!

Fire and Ice said...


I was blown away by the Virgo/Tiger thing... I am Both!

Maybe thats why we get along so well!

I never really thought about Hermione in a Virgo way, but she truly is a Virgo if i have ever seen one!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

I see a lot of Luna in me, shouldn't that make her a Cancerian?
And your Jessie reminded me a lot of my younger one, now I find they share a sun-sign.