Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Say it ain’t so, Leo
Many things in this world, like Scientology, Feng Shui, palm reading and Sarah Palin as a serious presidential candidate are easily dismissed up front simply because they are laughably silly.
Yet astrology has contended for the Ultimate Crown of Absurdity for a few thousand years, and once again, with last week’s realization that stars, and thus constellations, “move,” has been slapped silly by the swinging backhand of reality.
Some people are actually losing sleep over this, now convinced they’ve been wrong all these years by following the incorrect zodiac sign. I can only assume it’s like being adopted at birth, raised Catholic, and then finding out your birth parents were Jewish.
Oh, the horror.
Anyway, a few thousand years ago people figured out they could keep track of the seasons via the skies, and like any sufficiently complex human system, their brains went into pattern-seeking mode to try to understand it.
Over time they reached the conclusion that the positions of the planets and constellations at the moment of birth, and from that point forward, greatly affects our personality, our moods and basically whether we should get out of bed in the morning.
This particular brand of magical belief evolved from there, and from the days of Newton to now has been loosely based upon the “scientific” premise that since planets exert gravity, they must obviously affect our brains and direct the end game result for every single moment of living until the day we die no matter what we do or how we do it.
Yes, there are indeed external factors that can, when analyzed in mass, show distinct differences between someone born under the sign of Leo and another born under Aquarius, but they have to do with the tilt of the Earth’s axis as opposed to a few bright lights in the sky connected by ancient stargazers trying to figure out when to plant their mystic beans that magically became edible food.
We call them seasons, and anyone with more brain capacity than a caller to 1-800-Horoscope knows the season you are born can have a tremendous impact, especially upon your early life.
And realize that the gravitational pull from the doctor that teased you out of Mommy was a few million times stronger than the pull from Jupiter at that exact moment, and the good doc, even if now deceased, still has a much bigger gravitational influence on you than Alpha Centauri ever will.
It took a few thousand years for two little letters to separate astronomy (an actual science) from astrology. Once that occurred, astronomy has never looked back.
So face it, astrology isn’t science. It is just made-up hogwash, existing to take advantage of weak minds and filler for newspaper blank spots (yes, you can find it somewhere around these pages, as well). Besides, if it was an actual science, I’m pretty sure insurance companies would use it to help write life insurance policies.
Think about it.
As someone much wittier than me once said, “The difference between astrology and astronomy is 50 IQ points.”