You're not an Aquarius, I'm an Aquarius.
And why it doesn't matter.
I am in possession of incontrovertible evidence regarding the Zodiac that definitively supports one of two possibilities. The first possibility is that star signs are more complex than most people understand, and must be viewed in a deeper context of ascendancy, the moon, Jupiter, etc. The second possibility is that star signs are total BS. I am currently weighing these possibilities.
What is this evidence, you might wonder? It’s really quite bullet-proof. My birthday is January 31. I’m an Aquarius. My husband’s birthday is February 12. He’s an Aquarius. Quod erat demonstrandum.
Well, QED if you know us, which I suppose you don’t. Really though, if you had ever even made our passing acquaintance, this would be the end of my essay, which is to say my husband and I are quite obviously quite different. Enough so that the idea we could both be the same star sign is ludicrous, hence my current position.
I’m an artist, in as many ways as I can get my hands on. Painting, drawing, making jewelry, mosaics--I hoard art supplies. The only thing I love to do more than create art is read. I am obsessed with reading, strictly fiction, typically contemporary literature or sci-fi/fantasy with forays into classics, and the longer the book, the better. This is because I read so quickly that a book under 400 pages feels frustratingly fleeting. I also love to write, obviously, since I’m working on this essay instead of watching Wandavision with my husband. I’ve played multiple instruments in my life, but my loves were clarinet and trombone. I played soccer growing up, not because I was all that good, but because I loved the team. I have a very high EQ (emotional intelligence) and I find people fascinating. I love to talk, including about feelings. I’m high anxiety, sensitive, and easily affected by mood swings. I want people to like me and I want everyone to get along.
My husband is a scientist. He likes numbers. He was a MATHLETE, and not because anyone made him do it. He’s one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. He was pre-med when he got to college, switching to pure chemistry by senior year. (I took two science for non-majors classes because I had to.) He ran cross country track for years--a pretty independent athletic pursuit--and he was GOOD. He played percussion as his instrument, which is inherently more of a solo thing. He worked as a chemical engineer and then went to grad school for MORE CHEMISTRY. Now he’s a patent lawyer. He prefers to read in bite-sized portions, like Twitter. He loves video games. He’s NOT a talker. He’s incredibly even-keeled, and rarely emotional. He can finish crossword puzzles with ease. He knows trivia, he’s incredibly competitive, and he wins basically every game he plays.
And we're both supposedly Aquarius? Huh.
So you see my quandary. The easiest conclusion--as well as the only possibility that my scientist husband would ever entertain--is that star signs are bogus, at best a remnant of a time when we had no better science, at worst a means of financial and emotional exploitation of suckers. (My husband also loses his mind when I start blaming things on Mercury being in retrograde, which I do kind of all the time.)
And yet… Back in the pre-pandemic days, when we could spend three hours at the hair salon, unmasked, without a pause, I had the most wonderful stylist who ultimately moved to Brooklyn (which is quite far from North Carolina, sigh) and who was a committed, devoted follower of the zodiac. During my last balayage appointment (if you don’t know, google it and you’ll understand the time commitment that requires), they (gender neutral pronouns, please) started going into great detail about how the zodiac is so much more than our basic signs. See, it’s not just the DATE of birth that matters; the time is also significant, and ideally we would all possess our complete astrology birth charts noting the location of all planets and astral bodies at the precise time of birth. This comprehensive chart reveals individual character and clarity about your soul's avenues for growth and personal evolution. It more closely resembles a fingerprint, whereas a simple star sign is more like, I don’t know, a blood type?
According to my stylist, it’s actually entirely expected that my husband and I, born twelve days apart, would represent completely different manifestations of Aquarius. Intrigued, I called my mother while my hair was processing and got my time of birth, then researched the details of my full astrology chart. By the time Onslow was ready to cut my hair, we were both blown away by the accuracy of my chart--and what’s more, we also looked up my daughter’s chart, and even though she was only five at the time, it was… uncanny.
(Actually, the best part was when I talked to my dad later and told him about the astrology charts; I thought I would have to explain it to him and battle with his incredulity--he studied Physics at MIT--but no, he knew more than I did about it! His explanation: grad school in the 1970s. HAHA.)
And so, what to make of it all? Two Aquarians, twelve days apart, married, and polar opposites in so many ways… is it an obvious debunk of a dated spiritual fad, or a demonstration of the nuance in the stars?
For now, I choose neither, because that’s ultimately not the data point I find the most useful in navigating the world. Far more revealing is how individual people engage with the concept of astrology, and what that says about them. Scientific rejection, sensitive and nuanced engagement, blind devotion to poorly written horoscopes: that tells me more about you than a symbol and a constellation.
Unless you’re a Gemini. Never trust a Gemini.