I never read horoscopes. Oh, OK, maybe once in a while, for laughs. Like most people. But there are some, many it seems, who take them seriously. Having a considerable amount of time on my hands – filling the day is the Number One challenge in hospital – I decided to check that of “Le Parisien”, August 29, 2013 (I have a feeling that other newpapers would have quite different versions).
To my surprise, I found pretty perfect descriptions of my condition. Under one of three categories for each of the twelve Zodiac signs, “Heart”, “Success” and “Form”, I discovered the following :
— “The support of your loved ones will help you get through moments of discouragement”
— “You will not have as much time as you would like to devote to your family”
— “It is not the unexpected that will be lacking”
— “Need for rest”
— “Low level of energy”.
Spot on ! The only trouble is that not one of the items appeared under my sign, Aquarius, which read : “Heart : Your partner is totally absorbed by his/her work and is neglecting you a little”. Success : You will defend your points of view with great conviction. Form : excellent ! (!!)”
I divorced my wife twenty-two years ago. She, like me, is retired, and has sent me several messages of encouragement. As for defending my points of view, I am at present incapable of defending very much at all. And though I like to be optimistic, no one would call my present condition “excellent”.
The daily horoscope is perhaps the most blatant, if not outrageous, example of the everyday credulity that governs most people’s lives. We laugh it off, though sometimes not really convinced it is without foundation. Like praying for rain ? No sir, Down Under that we don’t joke about. Many people really do think that an imagined God can improve the weather and end the drought. On the world’s dryest continent (after Antarctica) we say : “Send ‘er down, Hughie !”. More often than not, He doesn’t.