Sunday, December 19, 2010

Written in the Stars?

So, last week, I found out that my ex-boyfriend from Colorado (who had said that a long-distance relationship was just not right for him) had actually been seeing a girl from even farther away in Washington.  Not only was that enough to make me want to erase him from my life forever, it was also a huge source of liberation which allowed me to be okay with moving on.

I had just made up my mind to get back out there when I read this horoscope:

"If you had to put out a fire, you would search for the closest source of water. Time is critical when something is burning. Well, Aquarius, something is burning in your personal life. It may be an issue you have neglected, and now it is raging out of control. You don't have the luxury of time to be choosy about how you solve the problem. You need to look for the closest and most effective resource. Oddly, your timing is perfect, even though you procrastinated. If you focus now on solving a problem, you will get excellent results."

Sure enough, a date was immediately offered. I accepted and I had a great time.  You may be thinking "WOW! What perfect timing on that horoscope!" or "Just a coincidence." or any number of other reactions to the concept of looking to horoscopes for direction.  Whatever your reaction, you can bet I've heard something similar...but before I continue, let me back up.

I love fortune cookies.  Not for the cookie, but for the prophetic little slip of paper that you find when you crack that sucker open.  That cookie could have been selected by any random person and yet, it still holds power.  How?  Why?

Whether it's a fortune or a horoscope, I look at it the same.  It has less to do with the words being presented and more to do with the mind interpreting those words.  I think of these things as tools to assess our own life situations and highlight our true feelings by way of instantaneous association.  Just like dreams may be able to help us make sense of our jumble of daily details, "predictive" phrases can trigger hopes and emotions that might have been hidden in our conscious mind.  I'm not saying that fortunes and horoscopes are science or magic, but I *am* saying that they serve a legitimate purpose and should not be dismissed as fraudulent verbal snake oil.

Can a reaction to a prediction be taken too far?  Sure.  But if interpreted with a sane mind, a horoscope could also lead to good...well...fortune.  At very least, it could lead to a wonderful night out full of interesting company and great conversation. 

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