The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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March 12th, 2008 · 4 Comments

I have little interest in astrology.  I doubt that my character is determined by the fact that some groups of stars look like animals, sort of; on the other hand, I feel no itch to denounce it as a pseudo-science, as the pseudo-skeptics do.  As an old-school skeptic, I accept that my human faculties are inadequate for establishing criteria for knowledge, and so reserve judgment.  I view astrology as an art based on astronomy, just as music is an art based on acoustics.  I’m more interested in music than astrology, but so what?  I’m still happy to lift a pint of plain with an astrologer.

True practitioners, however, would agree that the sun-sign columns in the daily papers are nothing but fungible boilerplate, with as little connection to real horoscopes as, well, CSICOP to Sextus Empiricus.

So, rather than stoop to the stale comforts of either belief or ridicule, I offer a game you can play with the daily column.  All you do is remove the middle portion of the horoscope, thereby linking the first few words with the last, and revealing a new message.  Here are a few examples; which I offer not as literature, but as simply a way to enjoy what is otherwise a rather dull page of print.

The time has come to draw a line under the past.  No matter how important certain developments may have been they are of no importance at all when compared to what is about to occur in your life.  Always look forward.  Always be positive.  Always believe that you are capable of doing more.

The moon’s eclipse of Mercury in your fellow Air sign of Aquarius today will make it easy for you to put your thoughts, and your feelings, into words, which in turn will help you to get others’ approval for a creative plan they might not totally believe in.  Your way with words will win them round.

You start out alone, but it doesn’t last long.  Your sign is always one conversation away from being in a group with common interests and feelings of solidarity.  When you’re ready, reach out and start talking.

If you’ve got something to say, don’t hold back.  Voice your opinion.  However, keep in mind that just because you hand out free advice to someone, it doesn’t mean he is going to take it.  You might wonder why people ask for help if they don’t act upon it.  But it’s like the old saying:  You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink!

You will be struck by an incredible idea today — in fact maybe several incredible ideas.  Carry a pen and notebook with you at all times, because if you don’t write down your thoughts the moment you have them other, less important, matters will crowd them out of your mind and they may be gone forever.

(Posted by Doug Skinner)

Tags: Belief Systems · Diversions

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lisa // Mar 20, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Doug, which horoscope is yours?

    Astrology and music have a lot in common, actually. Historically speaking, they are two great tastes that taste great together.

    Perhaps the ghost of astrologer/astronomer Johannes Kepler has been hovering eliptically around the ullage, waiting for you to uncork it (viz., Kepler, who blasted the idea of circular planetary orbits out of the water): in light of “Horoscopes” and your previous post, Kepler’s music of the spheres comes to mind. Or Harvey Sid Fisher.

    An idiomatic trivium: Kepler apparently coined the phrase

    You really do learn something new every day.

  • 2 Lisa // Mar 20, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    The mystery phrase being “throw the baby out together with the bathwater.”>

    My html’s rusty.

  • 3 Doug // Mar 22, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    None was meant for me. But now that I’ve trimmed them, I’ll take them all to heart.

    The Music of the Spheres is a favorite topic of mine too; in fact, I closed a recent concert with Athanasius Kircher’s version. To anyone out there also interested in the subject, I recommend Joscelyn Godwin’s anthology The Harmony of the Spheres: a sourcebook of texts from Plato onward. There’s some fascinating stuff in there.

    And Kepler’s fascinating too, bathwater and all!

  • 4 Kron // Apr 11, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Hilarious! I might be tempted to read the whole newspaper this way though.

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