On astrology

For me, astrology is a way of organizing a chaotic world. There are many other organizational tools in play, such as my liberal politics, my Methodist upbringing, my life in Academia, etc. But there is so much chaos to organize, and one so often wishes one could predict the future. Having astrology is like having rocks to throw into the ocean. It doesn’t make any difference to the Future, that expansive ocean, but it is something one can do and feel empowered. This feeling of empowerment is especially important in the face of that terrible affliction, Love. Love creates and destroys Futures. Love is a Red Sea path through the tyranny of Time, but it is also the kind of magic that sometimes doesn’t work, that leaves one stranded when the Sea closes again, or drowns one in the magnitude of a solitary and unknown future.

My blog has been getting a lot of hits lately from people searching for zodiac compatibility stuff. My general opinion on zodiac compatibility is that it’s nice to read when you’re in love and you want to read about your own love affair, with the zodiac characters as substitutes for yourself. It’s like reading a valentine written for you and your lover by a stranger. Reading love poetry has the same effect. But, one has to take astrology (like any governing/organizational tool, like religion or political theory or anything else) with a heap of salt. Although the position of the planets and stars at the time of one’s birth seems, to me, just as likely as anything else to shape one’s identity; and although people often do seem to act as their sun signs suggest they will (and their actions are often even further clarified when their whole chart is known); people are also shaped by many other forces, and sometimes act totally opposite from what their sign would predict. In other words, it’s as flawed a system for determining how things will turn out as anything else, so if you’re planning to have a relationship with someone, basing your expectations on their sign (especially just their sun sign) might be a huge mistake. If you’re in love, go with it– don’t get intimidated by what someone says about your sun sign compatibility.

That said, and with the caveat that my chart is totally different from anyone else’s and I have my own personal issues on top of all that, so these alignments might not be true for anyone else, I have the following insights into sun sign compatibility vis-a-vis Scorpio (my sign):

Aries: In love, power struggles. Aries have to control everything. Then again, some of my best non-sexual relationships are with Aries: mom, Charles, kthread…

Taurus: Some books say this is a good match with Scorp because it’s opposite, but I don’t believe it at all. Taurus is way too predictable and boring to keep a Scorp interested, especially in bed.

Gemini: Not ordinarily the best Scorp match because Gemini are flighty, but I like Gemini. But, my moon is in Gemini.

Cancer: A good, loyal match for Scorp, and almost as sexual as we are. Potential communication problems– where Scorps are jealous, Cancers are clingy. So if you can work that dynamic out, great. My longest romantic relationship and my longest friendship were/are both with Cancers.

Leo: I find that I have a lot of Leo friends because like Scorp, they like to be in charge and are creative. But I’ve yet to have a successful relationship with one, because in Love I find them controlling and argumentative.

Virgo: Virgos tend to admire Scorps and thus are very attractive– who doesn’t like to be admired? Scorps like the security and maturity Virgos can provide. But ultimately I’ve found Virgos too predictable, too secure, too mature for a lasting relationship. I need the right combination of the secure and the unpredictable.

Libra: Great as friends, but not really compatible as long-term lovers. Discerning, like their sign would suggest, and trustworthy. Great social glue for meetings of opposing signs.

Scorpio: The sex, my god, the sex. Emotionally volatile. But the sex! … I have a lot of Scorpio friends, and most of my best friends are Scorps. If you ever wanted a true friend, get a Scorpio. Having a Scorpio on your side is like having your own Elba. You can always go to Scorpio to rant and rave, restock and plot revenge. Scorps can be awful, but there’s no getting rid of them… their love is hard-won and never really lost.

Sagittarius: I like Sag. They can seem flighty but they’re super loyal.

Capricorn: I’m constantly drawn to Capricorns (my rising sign), but it never works out. Dynamic, creative, invigorating… but too difficult to pin down.

Aquarius: Quite a temptation for the serious Scorp, light-footed Aquarius seems to see the future, encourage Creation in all its forms, and otherwise dabble in everything Scorpio fears. Intoxicating, but never works for very long. Good for friendship, but as a Scorp, don’t expect too much of an Aquarian.

Pisces: Wishy-washy on the surface but deep underneath, like the sea. I’ve yet to meet a male Pisces worth the trouble.


About Jessica Smith

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13 Responses to On astrology

  1. Lydia says:

    This was an interesting rundown on the compatibility of signs with yours. Actually, you said some of the nicest stuff about my sign, Cap, that I’ve ever read.

  2. Matt says:

    You know, it’s weird–even though I don’t believe in astrology at all, I still am superstitious enough to avoid reading all the non-Aquarius entries when I see them in a newspaper or something. (So yeah, I do sometimes read my Aquarius.)

    But I’m curious–is this a superstition that actual believers have? That reading the other 11 horoscopes not your own will somehow jinx you?

  3. @Matt I wouldn’t say that I’m a “believer,” I just notice that there are trends in my interaction with people that are also described in the literature. That said, I don’t think that reading other horoscopes will jinx yours. I don’t think astrology is really about superstition and jinxing. It’s not “magic” like that. It’s more of a way of explaining how people interact with each other. The astrological part of it– ie the stars– is just a sign system.

  4. Steve says:

    Jessica – I think you express it best when you make the connection between astrology and “love poetry.” Wrapped in its cloak of astronomy and mathematics, astrology gives off a science vibe. But it is an art, truly, and its best feature is not prediction, but inspiration (which sometimes gives you valuable information about the future that you didn’t even know you were looking for). Anyway, when friends ask the dreaded “do you believe in astrology?” question, I find an appropriate response is “do you believe in music?” They don’t usually get this, but as an Aquarian I get off on sounding clever.
    P.S. You write beautifully.

    Steve Weiss, Author
    Signs of Success: The Remarkable Power of Business Astrology

  5. Did you really need a zodiac chart to tell you I’d be a super good friend to you (see Aquarius)?

  6. @steve, that *is* pretty clever.

    @françois, aquarians are also “known for” being avant-garde.

    apparently, aquarians also like to comment on blogs!

  7. we are also apparently ruthless dictators (see Kim Jong-il.

  8. Amelia says:

    My dad is an Aries; we are often volubly at odds about how to approach a problem, but fortunately have many of the same interests–photography, art, animals. It helps also that Mom is a Libra; she invariably intercedes at the first sign of a discussion becoming an argument.

    My brother is a Sag, my partner in crime, my reality check, and the other half of my life. I would not say that we connect emotionally, but we are so very attuned to each other’s ways that it doesn’t matter. This would be enormously boring to me in a lover, but in a sibling it is an immense relief. Levity and ballast together.

    My first “real” boyfriend was a Virgo who admired me immensely, and that was indeed very attractive. It took awhile to realize that all of the endearing romantic gestures—flowers, letters, surprises—were a cover for a blatant lack of imagination.

    I do not make friends easily or often, but most of my girl-friends have been Scorps. I’d like to have a boyfriend who is a Scorpio someday…it sounds exciting.

    The loves of my life, so far, have been Pisces. I call Kim my best friend, or my sister by adoption, because we were never interested in each other romantically, but the love between us is fierce. Paul is a different story, but similarly defies classification. He was a lover, is a friend, is family. There was never a “getting to know one another” period with either of them; we just met and were together.

  9. Jeff Davis says:

    Like me, you’ve got Venus in Sag. (yours is conjunct Mercury), so you’re likely to find Sagittarians “super loyal” – especially those who have, say, Venus in Scorpio, or some similar figure. Loyalty is not necessarily a property of the sign, but a quality they seem to have in interaction with you ;-). You’ll probably have other types of relationships with them going forward.

  10. Jeff Davis says:

    As a fellow Scorp, formerly married to another Scorpio, I enjoyed your comment on Scorp’s as partners (implicitly, for other Scorpios): “The sex, my god, the sex.”

    Ah, yes …

  11. Jeff Davis says:

    “people are also shaped by many other forces, and sometimes act totally opposite from what their sign would predict….”

    Seen through the lens of astrology, such contradictory manifestation can relate to the house in which the Sun occurs; the 12th, for instance, often acts as a sort of mask.

  12. Jeff Davis says:

    As always, enjoying your explorations.

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