When the moon is in the Seventh House, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, that’s when this atheist, skeptic, critical thinker and, yes, humanist loses it, thinking it would be a good idea to present the eighteenth version of the Humanist Symposium with a zodiacal theme. It’s downright silly but where does it say that humans have to be so serious all the time? No-one with a brain (or at least one that is switched on) gives much credence to astrology, but sometimes it can be fun. So in the spirit of frivolity that comes with spring, let’s peruse the most recent submissions (and a few that were not submitted) to the Symposium from an astrological perspective.
Today is the last day for all you rammers out there, born under the sign of Aries, and Aries is the first sign in the zodiacal year. Arians, (not to be confused with Aryans or airheads), tend to find comfort and solace in intellectual pursuits, usually favoring PBS programs when they tune in to the boob tube. The Ridger, celestial observer par excellence and mistress of her blog, The Greenbelt, is no exception, and true to form she has posted a spine tingling rumination on a singular accomplishment of humanity, inspired from watching the recent NOVA program about the Cassini-Huygens project.
I don’t know this for a fact, but it’s possible that Beth Patterson is a Taurus, generally thought to be submissive yet strong, with extreme determination and strength of will. Her post Resistance is futile…we are being assimilated! seems to emphasize these qualities, with a strong yet submissive resignation to the obvious, that curiosity is the opposite of resistance.
Greta Christina must be a Gemini, the sign of the Twins, because as far back as I can remember, she has always submitted at least two posts to the Humanist Symposium. Either that or she chews Doublemint gum, take your pick. This isn’t a bad thing, and in Greta’s case, it’s always a good thing. In fact, without it, she wouldn’t be a Gemini (at least for purposes of this symposium, obviously). So please look at her excellent analysis of why bad things happen to…ummm…people (title: Atheism, Bad Luck and the Comfort of Reason) and also why good science is better than…ummm…what Bush thinks it is (title: Memories of a Good Science Education… and Worries About Bad Ones). You won’t be sorry, and please don’t stick that gum under my chair.
Cancer is not a disease in the horoscopical system, it is just another sign under the stars. Cancerians (really, that’s what they’re called) tend to have short stubby legs, thick dark hair all over their body, prominent ears, receding foreheads, an ability to walk on all fours and climb trees, with a gregarious outlook on life. Does this sound familiar? Perhaps you’ll recognize a few Cancerians in the excerpt from the essay called Peace Among the Primates written by Robert M. Sapolsky, set forth in the post at Sharp Brains.
Leo, the lion, reminds me of Th. Jefferson, with that mane of red hair. Yes, I say that so that I can introduce the next post, which coincidentally features our third President quite prominently, but if you know any Leos you’d have to agree. As a rule they tend to be tall, lanky and redheaded, inclined to writing humanizing philosophical tracts, (or acerbic blogs) and have an abiding faith (yes, I did use that word, deal with it) in the ability of mankind to govern itself, and to minimize religious dissension with a healthy dose of religious freedom, as Divided We Stand, United We Fall tells us in this post.
Before we go to the break, allow me to bother you with this advertisement for critical thinking. One of the attributes of Leo is strength, especially in the face of adversity. Two recent submissions complement each other, without intending to do so. Agnosticat over at Mississippi Atheists tells the story of a pleasant encounter on the street with a fellow traveler in life, whose path took him to God, but whose attitude toward atheists is remarkably Christian like, so she bought his book. In contrast, Paul on his blog, Café Philos, decides that he’s had it up to here with Atheists being treated shabbily, and places the Scarlet A on his blog in solidarity with people like Nicole Smalkowski. Both posts illustrate that religion can be good, and it can be bad, but it’s up to the human behind it who actually chooses which way to take it. It takes strength and fortitude to treat people like humans when you really don’t believe they should be.
Now for a short break.
I actually am a Virgo, and most Virgos, as everyone knows, are very handsome, quick witted, intelligent, erudite, and expressive, not to mention egotistical. If you don’t believe me now, you will if you ever meet me. Please note that I started this blog exactly one year ago, with yesterday marking the first day of the second year of this blog. So, everybody, sing along with the Fab Four!
OK. Back to the Horrorscope.
I would think the next post would be from a Tauran, given the subject matter, but no, we’re in Libra now, and since Librans are intuitive and reflective, with a spiritual side to them (some might call them mindful), Christian over at Free Thinking Joy seems to fill the mold with a thoughtful post about beef, among other things.
Scorpio brings out the hopeful in themselves. They are quite introspective, and find inspiration from the very idea of Hope. They look carefully in the nooks and crannies of life, and see the hopeful in those thing that most people find dispiriting. Religion for instance. Lots of hope there, along with a bunch of people deluding themselves that they have found Hope, but for all the wrong reasons. Jeffrey Stingerstein at Disillusioned Words, tells us all about this in his post No Faith? No Problem. (Part Four: To Give Hope).
(Is it just me, or does the symbol for Sagittarius look like the one that designates the male sex?) Sagittarians, it turns out, are trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. They also have a tendency to wear little uniforms, pitch tents, help little old ladies cross the street, and light fires by rubbing two sticks together. Our favorite Sagittarian, Ebonmuse, of Daylight Atheism, who is always prepared, has taken the reverent aspect of his sign perhaps a little too seriously and reported on his recent trip to the Unitarian Universalist Church with his significant other in An Atheist In Church. Well, maybe it wasn’t too reverent.
Speaking of friendly, who’s the friendliest atheist of them all? M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-…no…wait that’s not right. It’s actually H-E-M-A-N-T M-E-H-T-A (go ahead, sing it! You know you want to), the Capricorn who sold his Soul on that other web site. He tells us recently about the great Silent Unaffiliated, and his admiration for the non-joiners of America.
Easter is a big holiday around Christian parts, but what’s a good secular humanist, one who fondly remembers the good times but no longer believes in the original reason for the holiday, to do? Well, as good Aquarian Cyde Wey tells us, celebrate it anyway! Why give up a good family tradition, not to mention chocolate, smoked ham, and Easter Eggs, just because you no longer go to church?
We’re at the end of the Zodiac, but we have one more interesting place to go. There’s a new web site for women, called Women on the Web, that feature lots of tidbits for and about women, with conversations on a wide range of subjects between women like Whoopie Goldberg, Lily Tomlin, Liz Smith and others. A few got together recently and discussed What Happens to Us When We Die? I’m not sure, but I suspect one of them is a Pisces. I have no evidence for it, I just believe it.
What were you expecting from someone writing a horoscope? 8)
The next Humanist Symposium is on May 11, and will be hosted by C. L. Hanson at Letters From A Broad, who actually wrote a fine, topical post on polygamy, which is thought provoking though has nothing to do with astrology. It’s about actual science, see. (I wonder if she’s a Virgo?)
See you in three weeks, if Venus, Mars and the rest of those celestial bodies get their alignments straightened out.