Someone asked me today what sign I was born under.
I used to make fun of people who gave serious consideration to astrology. It always struck me as somewhat naïve and juvenile that otherwise intelligent people would not only put stock in the movements of the stars and the planets, but also relate those movements to substantial goings on in their own lives. It seemed incredibly silly to me.
And yet, at the same time, I very much enjoyed being asked. Especially when an attractive woman was doing the asking.
It doesn’t have to mean anything in particular, but somehow the question itself delivers me back to a time when your position in the zodiac became an automatic symbol of sexual inclination. Kind of like a foreplay to foreplay. Those three simple words were rife with possibilities of free love. And in the post-hippy atmosphere of the late 70’s your astrological sign seemed to have real romantic currency. That’s the feeling that comes back to me when I hear someone ask, “What’s your sign?”
Any more in polite society, those words are little more than a conversation starter. For me, and for the longest time, astrology had lost its sex appeal, which isn’t really fair since I never gave it its due in the first place. Astrological stuff had always struck me as just plain gimmicky.
From 1983 to 1995 I worked in the space program. Twelve years of my life spent in close quarters with some of most levelheaded, pragmatic, and even-tempered thinkers on the planet. I was in my element. No frivolity, no specious reasoning, no whims of fancy. Everything was predicated on absolute logic. So I find it ironic that NASA is where I started to notice how the mathematics of orbital mechanics might actually affect my daily mood.
Putting mysticism aside, let’s take a look at the purely physical aspects of the question. Consider if you will how the moon’s relationship to the earth directly affects the ocean tides, which by extension affect atmospheric pressure. When the moon is full, the overall barometric pressure of the planet responds accordingly. And when pressure goes up, people’s fuses get shorter. That’s what people do best—respond to pressure. We can’t help ourselves, or our instincts. Statistically there really are more traffic accidents and crimes of passion during a full moon. These are physically demonstrable and proven phenomena.
We all know that a variety of people react in a variety of ways because of our distinctly unique makeups. And still there are unifying elements. For example different people operate best at different barometric pressures, which is probably why women’s menstrual cycles start on different days—but still most every woman’s cycle runs like clockwork every 28 days, which by the way is the exact cycle of the moon’s orbit of the earth—28 days.
No coincidence. Like it or not, as residents of this globe we are bound by its physical laws. But if we remain conscious of those laws and the cycles in which they run, then we have a bit of an advantage.
I firmly suspect—and if tested I believe it would prove out nicely—that if researchers were to track any number of male subjects over a period of several months, they would discover that men too have a 28-day cycle of their own. And for the exact same week every month, men probably exhibit their own PMS-type symptoms, although not in the physical way that women do. We men experience our own moodiness, short tempers, irritability, and so on—some weeks more so than others—and if you chart them, I am convinced they will map out perfectly in 28-day cycles.
In other words, yes, I do believe men have periods too. Scary, right?
No one can be constantly in top form. For instance, I know I am never at my best in extreme heat. I can’t abide it. My parents on the other hand were born in the Deep South and have always loved Florida weather. I however happened to be born in Ohio in the middle of winter and am convinced the climate into which I first arrived imprinted me with a distinct preference for cool air and a somewhat chilly geography. While my work has me in California for the time being, one day I dream of retiring well north of here.
So, considering the time of year you are born, as well as the physical and emotional environment into which you’re born, all these cosmic and atmospheric alignments may actually have a profound affect on your moods and inclinations. Then add to that mix the crazy cocktail of your own unique body chemistry, and you can really begin to see how the position of the moon, and perhaps the planets and stars, have a not insignificant bearing on how you feel and operate in this world. And perhaps, just perhaps, might it have some small impact on who is likely to gravitate to your personality, and to whom you may be attracted yourself?
A reasonable fellow like myself has to take pause at the prospect of such emotional alchemy.
These days when someone asks my sign, I have to think twice before dismissing its possible significance. After all, who can say when love may finally find me, wide-eyed and marveling at the stars? It’s one hell of a human circus we’re all part of. Why not enjoy the show until it’s your turn in the spotlight?
Somehow lately I’m feeling a little more interconnected with the world around me. Trying to keep an eye out for the rhythms and cyclical aspects of the physical world and how it relates to my moods and my life. And I’m trying to pay some small regard to my good days as well as my bad ones. But despite all this wary enlightenment, I still find myself amused when asked that leading question. Because that’s not the question they’re really asking, is it.