Non-Believer Horoscopes for November & December 2018

ASTROLOGY FOR THE NON-BELIEVER
by Blake Wiers

Be thankful this season for Bob Simon, the tireless publisher of the South Shore Puzzle Journal, who has combined November and December into one issue. Otherwise, you were going to get a lengthy look into the true origins of Thanksgiving, wherein our local Pilgrim ancestors took a road trip over to Rhode Island to slaughter one of the last remaining villages of native survivors of the European-introduced smallpox epidemic on the East Coast that had cleared the way for their semi-successful re-settlement of a ghost town in Plymouth.

Did you follow that? No? Be thankful, our history has not always been pretty. And our present is a bit of a mess, too. However, we do inhabit a very beautiful place, from Massachusetts, named after the native tribe of the Blue Hills, all the way to Lake Tahoe, which means Lake “Lake” in the native Washoe tongue. Ah, settler colonization. It’s so not genocide, is it? We wouldn’t do that, would we? That’s what Nazis and Russians do. Be thankful we are not them.

Thanksgiving. One of my favorite holidays. Alas, maybe next year. For now, we have a real humdinger of an astrological question to examine: the Star of Bethlehem.

The New Testament of the Christian Bible (versus the Old Testament, which is a history of the time before the Christ baby, and is borrowed from the Hebrew Torah) has four “gospels,” or stories, and only one of them, the version told by Matthew (as written down about eighty years after Christ died on the cross, was resurrected after three days, and walked the Earth for forty days before ascending to heaven) features the story of a star appearing over Bethlehem and guiding three wise men to the birth of a virgin child.

Is this sounding astrological to anyone? It should. By now, we all probably know where this is going. “So, you’re saying Jesus and many of the stories around him are based on the movement of the stars, just like the myths of gods that came before him?”

You got it! So let’s have a little fun with Christmas history and astrology. To go on my journey, we have to start with this idea called “precession.” Now, we talk about our signs, “I’m an Aries,” as if they are fixed, this month matches that sign, because this month the sun lines up with that constellation. Unfortunately, the reality is not that simple. The truth is, like a top spinning on a table, the Earth is wobbling back and forth, just a little bit, every 24,000 years or so. As a result, every two thousand years, the sun lines up with a different constellation at the same time of the year. So late April points at Pisces instead of Aries, etc.That’s called a precession, and when it happens, the whole zodiac gets yanked backward by a sign.

About two thousand years before Christ, we were in the age of Taurus. That party ended with a precession, about the time Moses came down off the mountain and forbid worshipping the golden bull. Then he blew on his ram’s horn, and we entered the age of Aries. About zero B.C. we entered the age of Pisces, and now we all drive around with bumper stickers depicting a fish with feet and think we’re evolved. (More on that later.)

Coming up next, in about 2140, is the age of Aquarius, aka waterworld. And darned if we aren’t doing our best to bring that vision to fruition what with all these melting ice caps. There might be something in these stars after all…

Now, back to the winter holiday. What would Christmas be without the tree, and the star on top? Here we get a mashup of several seasonal celebrations, the Roman Saturnalia, where masters gave gifts to their slaves and decked the halls with wreaths, combined with some northern European (and fairly universal) traditions of brightening up the house with a bit of fresh greenery during the dark winter. But those pagan barbarians living in the woods would never chop down one of the ancient trees they worshipped as sacred, such as Donar’s Oak near Hesse, Germany. That pleasure was reserved for Saint Boniface, an 8th century A.D. missionary, who then used the wood to build a church dedicated to Saint Peter.

Here’s where we come back to the Age of Pisces, and all those bumper stickers. According to the gospels, Peter, you see, was a fisherman from Syria named Simeon who gave Jesus a ride in his boat, caught a miraculous load of fish along the way, became a follower, and after Jesus died, the head cheese. He moved his operation to Rome and blew up, until his following became a problem to the Empire and he met the same fate as the friend he worshipped. This turned out to be a bad move, and established a movement of internal popular protest which ultimately led to the Roman Emperor declaring himself born again and rebranding as the Pope.

As far as our modern Christmas tree goes, that fashion was adopted first among German followers of Luther, who were just doing as they had always done, chopping down a sapling to decorate for the dreary winter. For years this idea of having a Christmas tree was looked down upon by other sects of Christians, until finally it broke into mainstream success due to an early Coca-Cola advertisement featuring the cocaine-laced beverage’s trademark red and white colors and a big old smile on the traditional stingy green-clad Sinterklaas. Paging Dr. Seuss, you’re needed at the North Pole.

And the Star of Bethlehem? My favorite theory is Jupiter in 6 B.C. doing a heliacal rising, where the planet became visible in the Eastern sky for just a moment before the sun rises. Zeitgeist The Movie, the internet’s first popular free streamed feature film that came out way back when but is still pretty relevant, has a more elaborate explanation that draws parallels between the winter equinox, the three days required for daylight to become noticeably longer again, and a whole host of different god myths that displayed the same behavior as Jesus. Alas, as the days grow short, so to does this column space.

NON-BELIEVER HOROSCOPES
FOR NOVEMBER 2018

ARIES March 21-April 21ish
Yeah, yeah, retrograde, yeah, yeah, small talk, more astro mumbo-baloney, yeah, yeah, and never a word of the one who shall not be named, and you will get through this holiday season in fine shape. You can’t always get what you want, but choosing love can lead to VIP status.

TAURUS April 21-May 21ish
You think you don’t want conflict, but with Neptune squaring Mars opposite your Sun, enflamed emotions are on the holiday menu, and Taurus is the chef. Check your ego before you put on the apron and you might enjoy the results. There’s even a possibility for make-up you-know-what.

GEMINI May 21-June 21ish
Where lately it has been a shining planet of direct messaging, when Gemini’s magical ruler moves into retrograde in your second house of, uh huh, communication from November 16th to January 10th, the talk continues, but somehow, it doesn’t connect. What to do? Go back to the basics, starting with self-care.

CANCER June 21-July 21ish
Before there were lights, the full moon was the best time of the month to party. You could stay out late and still see to get home. The full moon on December 26th is in Cancer, so make it an emphatic “yes” to any Winter Holiday dinner invites, and you will enjoy the togetherness. Also, with Saturn retrograde leaving your sign on November 8th, you may officially take off the training wheels.

LEO July 21-August 21 or so
The Sun and Mars in Scorpio have you loving home, and feeling introspective. Maybe facing your past will help inform some breakthrough creativity, Leo. Reach out to professionals of all stripes if you feel the need for extra support, especially around health and wellness.

VIRGO August 21-September 21ish
Jupiter’s transition from Scorpio to Sagittarius on November 8th in your financial house has you looking at the big picture of your money habits. Spending and saving all become relative as Virgo waxes philosophical leading up to the full moon in Gemini on November 26th. Holiday family advice: BE PATIENT.

LIBRA September 21-October 21 (and a few on either side)
With Venus in Libra until November 22nd, relationships you’ve built are paying off. The holidays might involve a little more truth telling than you expected, but with Jupiter and Mars in your third house of communication, you will be in a good position to clearly articulate the ideas in your head.

SCORPIO October 21-November 21ish
Once every two years Mars joins the Sun in Scorpio, and starting November 11th, you will experience the rebirth of the phoenix. Unfortunately, the burn you feel might be a WTF Xmas. Remember, if it’s not fun, you can make it funny.

SAGITTARIUS November 21-December 21
Happy Birthday! Let’s hope the other signs read beyond that greeting, because I’m dropping a little insider info into your horoscope. Mercury is entering Sagittarius on November 2nd, and going retrograde in your sign on the 30th through January 10th. (See how I snuck that in there?) Don’t panic at the, ahem, “M” retrograde. This may be the iPhone Xmas excuse you’ve been waiting for.

CAPRICORN December 21-January 21ish
“What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding?” sang Elvis Costello, words written by his frequent collaborator Nick Lowe. Saturn retrograde November 8th through March has you playing the peacemaker. When conflict arises, this is the rare power to seek understanding rather than proving you’re right. You may face an uncertain path, instead of worrying, get ready to enjoy the unexpected results.

AQUARIUS January 21-February 21
The Yule log was a viking tradition of carrying a tree into the house on the winter solstice, and sticking one end into the fire to burn. Later, the tree was cut into twelve pieces and burned one per evening. This holiday season may find you wanting to cut down some deadwood in your life, and burn it in the furnace of your desire to be the best you possible. Go within for solutions then head out to the party at the end of December.

PISCES February 21-March 21 and a bit
Like Luke Skywalker and R2D2 taking down the Death Star, Uranus direct and Saturn retrograde have you owning your creative destiny like crazy. You won’t fully feel it until March, but make room now. Use your powers for healing magic, and let go of the small stuff.

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