Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Year of the Dog

If one looks at my profile, one sees:
Astrological Sign: Aquarius
Zodiac Year: Dog

I didn't write that in. Its part of the service, computer generated from my birthdate.

The Zodiac Year appears to be the Chinese Year. This is that thing one finds at a Chinese restaurant, typically on the place mat. One looks up their birth year and there it is. So everyone born in 1959 is Year of the Dog. I don't really know that much about it, but it doesn't seem likely that everyone born in the same year is going to have anything like the same kind of fate. For that matter, the same goes for people born in the span of about a month.

But just as the Aquarius sign isn't confined to the month of February (i was born in January), the Chinese New Year doesn't align exactly with the Gregorian calendar. I looked it up. The Chinese calendar is based on the Moon, and the first of the year happens a week or three after the second full moon after the winter solstice, depending on political factors, as near as i can tell. So, in fact, i don't know when the first of the year was in 1959. I might be a pig. Some place mats say i might be a boar.

And its really complicated. It turns out that the first full moon after the winter solstice in December of 1958 happens within hours of the solstice. Its so close that i don't know for sure which comes first. And then there is this other idea - well, i'm not Chinese. Is this New Year thing based in Beijing or does it take place where one was born? The answer could be wildly different in Ohio than China.

So what? If i don't believe that my fate has anything to do with the Chinese New Year, or astrology for that matter, then what difference does it make?

A friend of mine is into Astrology. He's certified to do readings. That means if one gives him their birth date, time, and location, he can figure out what the celestial sphere looked like above them when they were born. That's alot of math - or a few buttons on a computer. But, he can do the math. He could bring a calculator to the test, but not a programmable one.

So what? He tells you that you are going through a mid life crisis, and suggests how that affects your love life, etc. You should have known all that anyway.

And you should have. But you didn't. Why not? For one thing, you didn't think about it.

Another friend is into Tarot card reading. Its much less math, and he ends up saying much the same things. But for these people, the process doesn't tell your future. The process provides a focus for meditation. And, oddly enough, some of us, maybe most of us, need to be lied to in order for us to be told the truth.

And the truth is, the truth hurts.

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