Saturday, 3 December 2011

The Lion Virgin

06:16:00 Posted by Ashley Lister 10 comments

According to my horoscope, because my date of birth falls on the cusp between two star signs, I’m half lion and half virgin. It’s difficult to assimilate this information into something useful. Does it mean I should hang around Knowsley Safari Park and not fuck anything? Does it mean I could audition for two separate roles in an amateur dramatic production of The Wizard Oz? Or does it just mean I’m buying into the extended metaphor of astrology?

As I’ve mentioned in the comments boxes this week, I buy into many superstitions and rituals. I feel uneasy in the presence of a single magpie and I go into OCD mode when I see a tiding of the damned things. I don’t walk under ladders. I despise Friday 13th (the day of the week that is – I absolutely adore the Friday 13th films except for Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday which marks a black day in the cinematic history of slasher films). I have no idea what to do when I’m around black cats except be aware that I’m in the presence of something that deserves my superstitious respect. And I do the usual rituals with salt, ladders, knocking wood and not whistling backstage at theatres.

But I only ever maintain a writer’s interest in astrology.

I’ve used horoscopes in creative writing classes.

Taking the specific traits (positive and negative) attributed to various signs from the zodiac is a good way of generating new characters for fiction. An alternative exercise here is to use animals from the Chinese zodiac, which allows a greater element of anthropomorphism into the equation as all the symbols of this zodiac are represented by animals and they include such exciting creatures as snakes and dragons.

But my interest doesn’t extend as far as a genuine belief in astrology. I don’t think our fates can be preordained by a prescribed positioning of the planets. To me that sounds a little too far-fetched. If I subscribe to a belief in astrology that means I dismiss the concept of free will, because there can be no scope for free will in a universe where all actions are governed by such arbitrary influences as planetary alignments.

Then again, they do say this attitude is typical for the mentality of a Leo/Virgo combination. And my horoscope this morning did say I would be in an argumentative mood today, so I suppose it must be true.

Just as an interesting guessing game for this weekend, if anyone is thinking of commenting, I’d love for you to end the comment with two traits that are supposed to typically define your astrological sign. I’m curious to know if the attributes associated with astrological signs are traits that others primarily associate with you and your personality.


creative & enthusiastic



Lara Clayton said...

Hi Ash,
I am also on the cusp between two star signs. Apparently I am part ram and part fish - which also means I am both the first sign in the zodiac and the last (not really sure what this means...)

Aries: Make great leaders and very organised
Pisces: Sensitive and creative

I tend to think that the traits associated with a Pisces are closer to my personality. Despite the fact that I love to be organised, I hate being the leader and taking charge.

Strangely, throughout my life, I've always been drawn to others that are also on the cusp of two signs: close friends over the years and even Shaun (who is both lion and crab).

According to the site that I'm currently reading about the zodiac and love: Arians are compatible with Leo, but incompatible with Cancer. While Pisceans are compatible with Cancer, but incompatible with Leo...

I think this is why I've never paid much attention to star signs; it is far too confusing when you are on the cusp.

Great post - and it was lots of fun researching the meaning of my sign(s)

Lar x

Ashley R Lister said...

Part ram and part fish? This sounds like it could come from fiction written by Ste or Vicky and it could be illustrated by Lindsay.

I can see the accuracy in you being described as sensitive and creative. Then again, I can also see the accuracy in Shaun being called a crabby lion - so I suppose there is a greater truth in this stuff than I'd previously considered.



Lindsay said...

I'm a cancerian. Apparently my traits are; Adaptable Moody
Loyal Sensitive
Attached to family Emotional
Empathetic May be indecisive at times

They all seem to fit, but like the forer statement they could apply to anyone;

You have a great need for other people to like and admire you. You have a tendency to be critical of yourself. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. While you have some personality weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. You prefer a certain amount of change and variety and become dissatisfied when hemmed in by restrictions and limitations. You pride yourself as an independent thinker and do not accept others' statements without satisfactory proof. You have found it unwise to be too frank in revealing yourself to others. At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, reserved. Some of your aspirations tend to be pretty unrealistic. Security is one of your major goals in life.

It's all big hairy balls in my opinion.

Ashley R Lister said...


You're right that a lot of these are typical Barnum-statements. But I'd argue that you DO have a tendency to be critical of yourself. Then again, perhaps because we're all writers on this site, maybe we all have that trait?

I'm amazed you found a website that states your sign of the zodiac has 'some personality weaknesses'. This is pretty harsh, isn't it? Who the hell decides what is a weakness and what is a strength?


Lindsay said...

That personality weaknesses quote was the Forer statement, like a Barnum statement. The ones above that quote were my supposed traits. I do fit a few of them but is that because I'mlooking for those bits of my personality if you see what I mean?

My favourite psychic is this one;,-with-psychic-bob-201111304610/

Ashley R Lister said...

Forer statements! I hadn't encountered the term before. I thought you'd made a typo and were saying 'former statements'...

I came close to getting lost on the dailymash. It's hilarious there.

And I do think there's a strong element of looking for the traits and then finding the ones that fit. Several websites describe my typical traits as being generous, when the truth is I wouldn't give a door a bang.

Lisa Gilbride said...

I have a Virgo sun, Pisces moon and Gemini on the ascendant. Virgo and Gemini are both ruled by Mercury, which makes me a writer whether I like it or not. The piscean moon makes me intuitive and a daydreamer, which can be at odds with my Virgo traits. That all sounds very flippant but it's hard to summarise a natal reading without over-simplifying it to the point where it becomes too general. I don't like how commercial astrologers try to categorise their readers as one of only 12 personality types. This leads people to think that's all there is to it. Actually astrology is very intricate and the chance of any two natal charts being identical are nil. I don't accept anything on face value but having looked into the art over the years I find it very interesting and in lot of cases eerily accurate. It can never be conclusive, but the observation of the stars and contemplation of our relationship with them is the oldest tradition of all and if nothing else is just downright fascinating. Register on for a natal chart and free reports to analyse your astrology in more detail.

Ashley R Lister said...

OK. I shall order a natal chart and see if it sounds like my self perception of me.

Thanks Lisa.

Shaun said...

Right then Ash, I'm a Leo. I've never actually looked in to this but, in doing so, can see why people get dragged in. None of this cusp bollocks- this actually just is me... I think.

And for those who won't click through- this is what I mean.

"Through the ages, Leo has signified the coming of thebest growing season and thus reflects the abundant generosity of life. In this aspect Leo is seen as the ordained provider."

The Leo is a dominant, spontaneous, creative and extroverted character.

Leos were born to lead.

They are not easily daunted, and will persist through the most formidable of circumstances.

Because of their positive nature, they tend to expect the best, and when things don't turn out as they had expected, they react immediately and badly. Although, they may suffer from short bouts of depression when life doesn't meet their expectations, they bounce back quickly and move on with their normal cheerful and demonstrative nature. Leos walks forward always, head held proudly and face turned towards the sun.

Main positive traits: Dignity, will-power, generosity, loyalty, confidence, ambitious.

Main negative traits: Conceited, arrogant, laziness.

I think that is fair enough :)

Ashley R Lister said...


I'm not disputing that this is an accurate reflection of you. My only worry is that with this being Leo - it's supposed to be an accurate reflection of you and me.

Admittedly, I'd take exception to the line about Leo signifying the coming of the best growing season. In this modern day and age, how would that influence anyone's opinion about an individual?

But that's just a small criticism on my part.

I'm quite pleased this has generated so much discussion.

Thanks to everyone who's contributed here.