Jobs. More accurately, the job search. It’s a high stress activity with a low return on energy investment. Am I right? Aside from schoolwork, the job search is the most pressing issue on my plate at the moment. I’m sure that those of you in the same position as me (young or old) will understand the frustration and time consumption that is the process of finding the right positions and getting off a good application. The process can seem strenuous enough at times to drive one to distraction – and that is where this post is going.
Now, inevitably, I spend an hour finding jobs to apply to (I’ve never had so many tabs open on a browser at once!) and then sort of drift off on the internet…the downfall of our generation. (This happens often in the middle of homework assignments and readings that fail to capture my interest). The funny thing is, though, I can actually learn a lot on these escapades of non-work! I often find myself looking into random things for a period of time before moving on to another topic. Normally, it’s something to do with a fandom, show/topic/event I’m curious about, or something I’d like to do in the future (example: learn how to kite surf). Well, lately my go to topic of procrastination revolves around astrology.
Yes. Astrology. I admit…I’m a bit of a space enthusiast to begin with. I love staring up at the stars, dreaming and philosophizing, love thinking about the etymologies of the planets and constellations, and the mythology that goes with that. But astrology isn’t astronomy or Greek mythology, I know. However astrology doesn’t necessarily mean all the ‘read your future’ mumbo jumbo, either, and the practice has been around for ages. While I’m not into the whole ‘predict future events or moods’ astrology business, I do think that astrology is an interesting way to gain a better understanding of yourself and can be used as a psychology/personality informer. In my recent research, I was astounded by looking into my personal astrology charts and finding myself very much reflected in the results I got.
Here’s a rundown of how basic (and I mean basic – I’m no expert here) astrology works. Everyone has one of 12 zodiac signs based on the date they were born; I’m sure you are all familiar with these and this is where I started. Take a look at your sign’s personality traits and take this as a diving board to jump off from into your actual astrology birth chart. Using myself as an example, I am a Gemini – the Twins. I bounced around looking at various website’s descriptions of a Gemini, just to see what the basic commonalities are. Turns out that there weren’t many differences between sites and the info is pretty universal on this point, yet it is interesting to see the information laid out in different ways on occasion. Go look up your sign – a quick Google search will do! Here’s one such website description of the Gemini: http://www.astrology.com/gemini-sun-sign-zodiac-signs/2-d-d-66941
Each sign has specific attributes: an element, a ruler, a quality, Houses, and a rising/sun/moon sign (related to the House system). The four possible elements are fire, air, water, and earth (learn about their traits here: http://www.astro.com/astrology/in_elements_e.htm).
Every House (read, ‘planet’) has a ruler which corresponds with the Greek/Roman God of that planet and zodiac sign (Mercury is House of Gemini and the Roman equivalent of the Greek God Hermes. Hermes is the messenger to the Gods of Olympus, corresponding with that House’s trait of Communication). Each horoscope sign is also associated with a quality, meaning your sign is either Cardinal, Fixed, or Mutable . Essentially, a Cardinal sign is one that will take more initiative and leadership, a Fixed sign is resistant to change and willful, and a Mutable sign is all about adaptability and understanding. All of these correspond with general personality traits for these groupings of horoscope signs.
The House system refers to the traits that each planet is given, and this is where you can see the many possible variations of personality and unique qualities we have begin to come up. You have a sign in every house/planet (and not just your sun sign!). The three biggest House signs refer to the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant signs. The sun sign is determined by the month and day you are born and forms the traits that make up our basic personality – the essential traits of self that are enacted when others aren’t necessarily around us. The Moon sign details our more private and instinctual self, dealing with our emotional traits and responses.
Finally, the Ascendant or Rising sign refers to our personality traits that make up our natural response to the world around us. If you’ve ever felt at odds with how a friend or acquaintance might describe you, this is probably because they are describing the traits of your Rising sign only. This is why the Rising sign is sometimes said to be your ‘mask’ in public. Our mannerisms, image, and ‘autopilot’ reactions to our environment give off this first impression to others. The Rising sign is determined by the exact timing of your birth.
Interesting tidbit about these three signs: The Ascendant sign in some cases is thought to become weaker over time due to our process of maturing and becoming more comfortable in our true self, the Sun sign. The two signs will blend together to form an outer layer for other’s to perceive us, while the Moon and Sun signs blend to create an inner, more personal layer.
The other signs, or Houses, also have specific meanings. The first House is Aries and is the house of Self. The second House is Taurus and corresponds with Value and Wealth. The third House is Gemini and is the House of Communication. And so on (here’s a good chart of the Houses and their qualities: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_(astrology)#The_twelve_houses AND another: http://www.astro.com/astrology/in_planets1_e.htm). In order for them to really mean anything, you must apply them with the other pieces of your astrological and zodiac sign. The way I understand it is that you use it by calculating what your sign is in that house. So although you may be a Pisces based on your Sun sign, your Mercury sign could be in Leo and you would exhibit more outgoing traits in the part of your personality dealing with communication.
Ok, this will probably make more sense looking at an example, so here’s a one website’s basic astrology chart of my own horoscope: http://www.alabe.com/cgi-bin/chart/astrobot.cgi?INPUT1=&INPUT2=&MONTH=06&DAY=18&YEAR=1991&HOUR=5&MINUTE=30&M=AM&TOWN=San+Diego&COUNTRY=USA&STATE=CA&INPUT9=&Submit=Submit
I put in a little guess work with the exact time I was born (pretty sure it was in the morning) and left out my name as I felt it unnecessary, and out came that chart! As you can see, I was born in June and my Sun sign is a Gemini. My Ascendant/Rising and Mercury signs are both in Gemini as well, describing some of my basic and my outward personality traits. However, I also have Houses ruled by other signs that make me unique as a person (and not just a generic Gemini). My Moon sign is ruled by Virgo, while my Venus, Mars, and Jupiter signs (dealing with relationships, self, and life philosophy respectively) are ruled by Leo. This chart is useful in the information it gives, but you can also supplement it by looking up other basic information about what it means to have a specific sign in a specific House. Here’s a good example site for that:
Sun, Mercury, and Ascendant in Gemini? Boom, read the parts that pertain to you – http://www.cafeastrology.com/zodiacgemini.html
However, the Moon is in Virgo for me. So I go to the Virgo page and read the Moon bit – http://www.cafeastrology.com/zodiacvirgo.html
Again, this is just good supplemental information for those curious about learning more!
All in all, I felt that these results did pertain to my own personality fairly well. Aspects of my personality were reflected, both the positive and negative traits. Although some may not have jumped out at me in an, “oh, yup, that’s me!” kind of way, it did open a discussion within myself to analyze aspects of my personality which don’t necessarily present themselves in everyday situations. The basic Gemini traits without taking into account the other House intricacies made a lot of sense.
Right off the bat the active mind and tendency to get bored and dabble in many areas of interest explained why I had arrived at these sites about astrology at all! Indecisiveness? Check! You may recall from previous posts (especially the Louvre post) that I had always been a fan of Hermes, though wasn’t sure why. Lo and behold, Hermes is intricately connected with my sign as a Gemini. The same could be said for my passion for writing, traveling, and storytelling. I mean really, this astrology stuff was kind of explaining a lot…
Some basic horoscope descriptions will include gemstones, colors, seasons (that’s kind of a given, really), gender (with corresponding introvert/extrovert-ness), and the like as associations with a specific House/sign. Even those tended to be a bit scarily spot on. Most of these that include color say that the Gemini’s color is either a lemony color, orange, or yellow. Wouldn’t you know it, my favorite color is a bolder shade of yellow (think marigold). I have to admit that I felt a little bit like the Gemini poster child after spending time researching this stuff.
Really though, the full chart was what I think counts the most and gets more at who we on a deeper level. If you are interested in the topic, you may want to look into the corresponding zodiacs and astrology practices of other cultures (what I’ve described is the Western astrology system). There is also a Chinese, Indian, Native American, etc. form of the practice that gives different spins and perspectives on each sign.
I do think it would be interesting and more accurate to explore astrology further in terms of nature vs. nurture. By that I mean what affect does the sign of your parents or siblings have on your own personality and development? The place where you grow up and live in probably affects this as well. Astrological charts create a good jumping off point for reflection of your personality, just remember that more factors than the stars go into your development as a unique human being.
In correspondence with my surprise about the accuracy of my astrology chart was my previous knowledge about my personality from Carl Jung’s Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator. Freshman year I had a class in which we all took the MBTI personality test and I was fascinated by the whole system and learning about each type’s relationships with the world and with other types, etc. Well, my horoscope is pretty on par with my personality type according to the MBTI (INFP, verging on ENFP). I won’t delve into that now, as this post is already exceedingly long. However, if you are interested in personality types and exploring your own personality more, I would encourage you to both create your own astrology chart (at the bottom of my own chart you can click the “HERE” to submit your own) and take the MBTI test.
And so, for the time being I’ll take what advice I can from the stars and apply that to focusing on getting done what I need to get done (ahem, get a job). This concludes your comprehensive guide to basic astrology. Hopefully you aren’t rolling your eyes at this post, but whether for better or worse, I have come to find this stuff both fun and informative in some ways! And really, who doesn’t like learning/thinking a bit about yourself sometimes – it’s enthralling!
As always folks, thanks for reading (especially such a long post!), cheers! Until then…