“What’s your sign?” was the pick-up line of choice in California bars in the late sixties and seventies. Or so I am told. By the summer of 1967 (‘The Summer of Love”) I was married with children and teaching in Hayward in the East Bay. Hanging out in bars was not a part of my lifestyle. Not that it ever had been.
If I had any hangout time at all, it might be during a ten-minute recess break in the Teacher’s Room – where everybody knew your name. And, in those days, they knew your sign as well. So, if your day was going badly, someone would be sure to reassure you with words like, “Mars is in retrograde; things will be better tomorrow.”
I wasn’t a horoscope junky. I’d ‘had my chart done’ – mostly because it was a freebie by a friend who was just starting up a horoscope business – in Berkeley, of course. I knew that I was a Pisces with Aquarius ascending (or something like that) but not much else. I admired (sort of) those who followed and believed, but I couldn’t suspend my own disbelief far enough to join in. Nevertheless, when things are going particularly badly, even all these years later, I’m a bit tempted to look at my horoscope.
What makes me stop short is that I don’t remember (if I ever knew) what all that terminology means and, for me, there has to be some sort of reasonable explanation for whatever the predictions are. Reasonable and understandable. Otherwise, I might as well buy a bag of Chinese fortune cookies and brew myself a cup of tea.
So, no one could have been more amazed than I this morning when my computer was misbehaving and “What’s your sign?” came downloading from my brain and spewing out of my mouth! As might be expected, my computer screen gave no answer at all. But, thought I. it does stand to reason that the planets might have some influence over an object with a direct line to cyberspace. Such as my recalcitrant computer. Some pesky app in retrograde would be as understandable to me as anything else. And certainly preferable to the old standby, ‘operator error.’