Your daily horoscope



My daily horoscope in the Providence Journal for the morning of June 13, 2011 read as follows:



CANCER (June 22 – July 22): In the manner of rock stars, boxers, and firewood choppers, you will sublimate your anger into something extremely entertaining or useful to everyone around.”



This gem was written by someone named Holiday Mathis. My hat is off to him/her. This sentence is beautiful like a haiku, or a Sarah Coventry necklace.



I am a great fan of astrology; I used to cast and interpret charts myself (and still do it from time to time). But this daily-horoscope stuff is a bunch of malarkey. As I used to tell my astrology clients: do you really think you can divvy up the human race into twelve neat groups and tell each group what’s going to happen today? I mean, really. Did every Cancerian in the entire world have some kind of hissy fit on June 13, and sublimate it into high art?



(Speaking as an elderly Cancerian, I did not. I was fairly calm that day. I do take medication that heads off most of my hissy fits, however.)



In an old episode of “The Simpsons,” Homer was hired to write fortune-cookie fortunes, and wrote two that will live forever in my memory.



One: “The price of postage stamps will rise ever higher.”



Two: “You will find love by Flag Day.”



The first is inevitable. The second is a lovely possibility.



And that, Charlie Brown, is what fortune-telling is all about.



My life and prophecies


I’ve been a student of the occult for a long time. I read cards; I read palms; I even used to cast and interpret horoscopes.



I’m not sure if I believe in it myself anymore.



But my predictions and interpretations are eerily accurate.



I started a very long time ago, in the mid-1960s. It was a brain-bursting undertaking in those days to cast a horoscope. We used enormous phonebook-sized guides called ephemerides, which give the positions of the planets day by day, and we used real honest-to-god math to calculate the planets’ positions at a particular moment. We calculated the angles between the planets in the chart, and the sniffier among us factored in the distance of said planets above/below the celestial equator.



All by hand, with a pencil, on a big piece of paper, yet.



And then we drew a beautiful mandala-style chart and filled it with arcane medieval symbols and numbers.



Computers have made the job easier. I have always been a little bit mistrustful of computers, though. How do you check their math?



I can still draw my own natal horoscope by heart: Sun and Mercury in Cancer, Leo rising, Moon in Capricorn. Four planets in Leo, including Venus, Uranus, and Mars, all close enough together to ignite one another. Pluto glaring at me from the first house, in the last degrees of Leo. Jupiter in Virgo in the second house. Saturn in Sagittarius in the fourth. Neptune in Libra, moping gloomily down at the nadir, in the third house.



Now you know all about me.




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