Star stuff

The sun has been in Aquarius ever since Obama was inaugurated and I haven’t even talked about it yet.

It’s funny to think about what “sun in Aquarius” means. First of all, Aquarius is a constellation that looks, at best, like a pitchfork with a bent handle – but, for some reason, it has been identified as the “water bearer,” or a man carrying a bucket of water, since ancient Babylonia. Second, when you say you were born in Aquarius what you’re really saying is that nobody could see Aquarius when you were born, because it was hidden by the sun. In other words, at this time of year Aquarius rises and sets with the sun: it follows the path of the ecliptic (this isn’t actually quite true, because of the precession of the equinoxes, but this is too much even for me).

I’m not at all interested in the so-called predictive aspects of astrology. What does interest me is that astrology, just like religion, connects us with something greater than ourselves – stars, instead of gods. As Carl Sagan said, “We are made of star-stuff.” But what I most like is that cyclic thing again. The signs of the zodiac wheel around the earth (from our perspective, of course) in synchrony with the seasons. The eternal return.

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