Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Signs

I used to be one of those people who thought astrology was...out there. I knew my sign (Pisces) but never thought much about it. Other than, anybody who took astrology seriously was, well...out there.

For about the first half of my life I knew nothing of The Signs other than a weird-looking calendar my grandfather put up every year. For each day it told which sign was in effect: The head, the feet, the loins, the legs, etc. It also had the phase of the moon for each day, complete with the time it rose and set.

I figured out 'The Signs' were what I knew as the Zodiac from reading horoscopes in the paper. Next to the comic strips. I asked him why in the world he had a calendar with the stars and moon positions for each day.

Born in 1913 in Western North Carolina, he told me the signs were useful for planting and harvesting his garden. When he was a kid, the garden was important because it meant you'd have food to eat. He learned what it was like to be hungry during the Depression.

Of course when I asked him about the signs it was the 1970s and he, like most people, bought his food at the grocery store. But he still grew a fairly humongous garden every year and he still used the signs.

Paw said he thought astrology as it pertained to people, such as their birth sign meaning anything, was a bunch of malarkey. Actually I think 'hogwash' was the word he used, and I agreed with him. The very idea, that the moon and stars affect the way people are, the way they think and what they do or should do...

When I was 20, I bought a copy of The Foxfire Book. It told all sorts of things about the way the mountain folk lived, the folk who grew up at the same time as my grandfather. I found out later I was distantly related to some of them.

In addition to how chapters about how to make moonshine, how to build a log cabin, and other 'affairs of plain living,' there was a whole chapter on The Signs. The people interviewed when the book was written used the signs because they knew they worked. Their daily lives and what they did to survive, depended on doing things right. They knew about the signs because the knowledge had been passed down through the generations before them.

The signs were used for other things besides planting. There were signs for just about everything they had to do to live...such as the best time to slaughter a hog, cut and cure meat, preserve vegetables, cutting back undergrowth, making lumber, cutting firewood, hunting, pulling teeth, weaning a baby...and yes, even the best time for lovers. (Leo is the sign for that BTW...funny I remember that one haha)

The part that struck me about that chapter was my realization that, those people didn't believe in the signs because they thought they were cool. They didn't plan important things in life around the signs because they had been convinced or swayed by flaky mysticism or set of myths.

They had kept using the signs because they knew it worked.

I put away that book after I read two or three times through, and thought about it a lot. But I didn't forget what it said.

Fast-forward about 23 years to a string of conversations with a friend about astrology, and her asking me to look up what phase the moon was in on my GPS...when it rose, when it set, whether it was waxing or waning. Of course Paw's calendar and The Foxfire Book was the first thing I thought about.

Then came comments about how people are based on their sign. I remembered her having called me 'a total Pisces,' before, so I finally caved and looked up general info about my sign.

Some of those are kinda general, some make me wonder, and some make me think who the hell has been spying on me.


"Understanding" is a most appropriate keyword for this gentle, affectionate sign. Easygoing and generally accepting of others around them, Pisceans are often found in the company of a variety of different personalities. Their willingness to give of themselves emotionally lends to an aura of quiet empathy. A Pisces is comforting to be around. Although not likely to be the leader, this sign's presence is strong and vibrant for any cause into which they put their hearts.

*sigh* guilty as charged.

Friends and Family

Gentle Pisceans make some of the best friends there are. In fact, they often put the needs of their friends ahead of their own. Loyal, dedicated, supportive, and compassionate, Pisceans will take on any problem. Big or small, when a challenge arises for family or friends, they will be there in every capacity possible to make things better. Deeply intuitive, Pisceans can often sense when something is askew long before anything is said.

Pisceans are expressive by nature and don't hesitate to let those around them know how they feel. It's not surprising for a Pisces to write a song for someone or to buy a gift that is heartfelt and meaningful. They prefer others to be as open with them as they are. Communication with loved ones is considered most important.

Career and Money

Intuitive and often dreamy, Pisces natives are most comfortable in positions that bring their creative natures into humanitarian causes. Some good careers for this sign are lawyer, architect, veterinarian, musician, social worker, and game designer. The key phrase for this sign is "I believe." It's important for the Pisces to feel strongly about personal endeavors.

Yeah. I believe (and care) a little too much for my own good sometimes. Shit, most of the time.

Inspired by the need to make a difference in the lives of those they touch, Pisceans are most charitable and will often go way above and beyond the call of duty. Sensitive, deeply compassionate, hardworking, dedicated, and reliable, this is one sign that really knows how to get to the heart of the matter. They can be excellent problem-solvers.

For the most part, Pisceans don't give Money too much thought. They are more concerned with their dreams and goals than with Money. Yet because this is oftentimes a component to reaching their aspirations, Pisces natives will ensure they have the Money they need. They can be of two minds in this area. On one hand, the Pisces will spend, spend, spend with little thought, and on the other hand, they can become quite miserly. Yet in the end, there will always seem to be enough to do what they want in life.

Love and Sex

Deep within the Piscean beats the heart of the die-hard romantic. Loving, tender, and exceptionally giving, this sign cherishes intimacy deeply. They are passionate lovers that need to feel a real connection with their mates. Quick flings and superficial interludes do not do well with the Piscean whatsoever. In relationships, they are fiercely loyal and doting. They love to give gifts and to make the other person feel like a million bucks. Nothing is too good for the Piscean's love interest!

*sigh* guilty as charged. Again.


Each sign has a part of the anatomy attached to it, making this the area of the body that is most sensitive to stimulation. The anatomical area for Pisces is the feet.

Ruling Planet
The ruling planet for Pisces is Neptune. Considered the planet of intuition, Neptune rules dreams, illusion, music, spirituality, mystery, second sight, intangibles, and the love of poetry.

Pisces is the natural sign of the Twelfth House. This house focuses on limitations, hidden strength, frustrations, and the subconscious mind.

Opposite Sign
The opposite sign for Pisces is Virgo.

Pisces is most compatible with Cancer and Scorpio.

The color of choice for Pisces is sea-green.

The Perfect Gift
Beautiful inspiring colors that make a home more beautiful, a day spent sailing, a romantic starlit dinner, a song or poem from a loved one.

Spiritual themes, time alone, visual media, time to sleep, romance, music, swimming

Absorbing toxic people and situations, cruelty of any kind

Intuitive, compassionate, artistic, gentle, wise, musical

Can be a victim or martyr, fearful, overly trusting, sad, desire to escape reality

Charismatic marks
Soft, sometimes frail to medium build, face easily shows emotion.

Best environment
On or near water, especially the sea. The movie theater.

OK so now that I've inflicted all the many characters on those who made it this far...What do I think about all this astrology stuff?

There's something to it. I can't say I believe it all, but I don't disbelieve it, either. I still don't read my daily horoscope, or consider the sign of a woman in whom I'm interested romantically...but I do have the astrology site bookmarked in case I need it later.

And my grandfather? He's 97 now. And the little company in the mountains still prints those calendars. Next time I see him, I am going to ask again about The Signs. And if he knows anybody who he trusts for an astrological reading.