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Question: Sometimes I like to read my horoscope in the paper, and sometimes it’s weird, because it ends up being really, really right on. Is there a reason for this, or is it just chance? I’m a Sagittarius.—Eileen S.
Answer: Every morning across the country millions of people pick up a newspaper, sit down with a cup of coffee, and read a prediction of their day by an oracle who looks to the stars at night and Star during the day. So, are the soothsayers right? Nope, and any shreds of coincidence you may find (“You will struggle on a problem, but ultimately find a solution.”), are vague enough to ensure they may occur. Still, this doesn’t stop us from delving into our horoscope every single day, looking for a glimmer of what we can expect. Nor does it stop otherwise respectable newspapers from publishing bogus hocus-pocus that borders on pagan mendacity.
But sure, it would be better if we knew ourselves a touch better, astrologically speaking. Here’s an overview of the signs of the zodiac and what they foretell for those born in their domains.
Aries (Mar 21–Apr 20)
Symbol: the Ram
Those who share the sign of the ram should look for their natural Power Day immediately following the new moon of the month, and—since this sign is ruled by the planet Mars—they will enjoy their greatest persuasive abilities on odd-numbered days; and for those born on the cusp of Taurus, this will nudge closer to sunrise than sunset.
Which was: Yesterday morning. Sorry.
Taurus (Apr 21–May 21)
Symbol: the Bull
Taurans are much like the mighty bull for which they’re named: Powerful yet gentle, tough-as-nails and compassionate, ardent but thoughtful. Yes, Taurans are walking contradictions, they’re lousy at lying, and every one of them is so indecisive that none can choose dinner off a takeout menu. This, among other reasons, is why their relationships fail.
Gemini (May 22–June 21)
Symbol: the Twins
Geminis are never alone, and not because they’re good at making friends. Far from it: Bystanders flee from their presence, especially their mutterings that the freckle on their arm is the burgeoning earlobe of a yet-unformed twin sister.
Though Geminis are total basket cases, they always pay their rent on time. So, all in all, nobody’s complaining.
Cancer (Jun 22–Jul 22)
Symbol: the Crab
Those born under the sign of Cancer are known for their razor-sharp intellect and natural leadership ability. They should consider the following employment positions: president of a large corporation, buccaneer, publishing magnate, software/hardware entrepreneur, sports-team manager, film director, illusionist, curio-shop owner. They should avoid starchy foods on an empty stomach.
Leo (Jul 23–Aug 22)
Symbol: the Lion
Though lovable and gregarious, Leos are at heart a sensitive bunch—so much so their demeanor changes depending on the sign of their present company. A handy guide:
Leo + Aries = irritated
Leo + Taurus = annoyed
Leo + Gemini = in utter pain
Leo + Cancer = prone to eye-rolling
Leo + Leo = vocally scornful
Leo + Virgo = considering the passage of time
Leo + Libra = aggravated, humorless
Leo + Scorpio = will talk over them, loudly
Leo + Sagittarius = visibly gagging self
Leo + Capricorn = steaming mad
Leo + Aquarius = looking for an exit door
Leo + Pisces = should eat salads on Tuesdays
Virgo (Aug 23–Sep 23)
Symbol: the Virgin
There is no unhappier child than the young Virgo, playing in the schoolyard sandbox, who inspires his friends to couple knowledge both carnal and zodiacal—if only in basic theory. “Oh!” they’ll tease, “You’re a Virgin!!! Bwahahhaha!”
Though Virgos will learn how to throw a jaw-cracking left hook from a remarkably young age, they will also learn, in their parenting years, to lay off the mistletoe and canoodling during the holidays. Heavy petting between Thanksgiving and New Year’s could land their own offspring—some eight years and nine months from then—straight into a blood-freckled sandbox of their own.
Libra (Sep 24–Oct 23)
Symbol: the Scales
Librans, symbolized by the ever-careful scales of measurement, are known for their even temperaments and steady wills. A Libra is nothing if not dependable, stable, even-keeled, and the epitome of calm living. Famous Librans include: Jerry Lee Lewis, Evel Knievel, and David Lee Roth.
Scorpio (Oct 24–Nov 22)
Symbol: the Scorpion
Scorpios are the only people who talk incessantly about their zodiac sign. It is, after all, a scorpion, which looks wicked as the abdominal tattoo most Scorpios get in their twenties. Their general snobbishness toward the other signs means nobody likes Scorpios—even astrologers hate them. An everyday newspaper horoscope for a Scorpio, in fact, will predict bladder malfunctions or lengthy bouts of unemployment.
Sometimes the horoscope will cut straight to out-and-out name-calling. “Ham-juggler” is popular.
Sagittarius (Nov 23–Dec 21)
Symbol: the Centaur
Most people are Sagittarians. Ask anybody. No idea why this is.
Capricorn (Dec 22–Jan 20)
Symbol: the Sea Goat
The mythical Capricorn, a half-fish, half-goat beast, was revered for aiding Heracles in his labor of cleaning the Augean Stables. The great Greek hero, having just diverted a nearby river to wash out the stables, slipped, fell into the river, and was lying unconscious at the water’s bottom, trapped by a sackful of dung. The great Capricorn leapt into the river, found Heracles, ate through the bag (thereby releasing its contents), and swam the hero to safety. (An act for which Heracles repaid the Capricorn with a night of passionate man-on-fish-on-goat lovemaking.)
Modern-day Capricorns are mad that you now know this much about their sign.
Aquarius (Jan 21–Feb 19)
Symbol: the Water Bearer
There has never been a famous Aquarian. Will one of you please take up the slack? And no thanks, I don’t need any water.
Pisces (Feb 20–Mar 20)
Symbol: the Fish
Pisceans never: win at Scrabble; find the right word when they’re trying to describe something; read books; finish the Sunday crossword before the next Saturday; ask for help; subscribe to magazines; join reading groups; correspond with friends.
Pisceans always: major in English