“So, uh, what’s your sign?”

What a hellacious year it’s been. The coming year is a Rabbit Year, and I’m a rabbit so hopping (see what I did there?) for better things. The Chinese part of me says, “What did you expect from a Tiger?”

Good point. A tiger is a tiger is a tiger and a rabbit? Dinner? A snack? An hors d’oeuvre? I’m prey until January 22 when, I hop, I can come out of hiding…

The featured photo is an illustration from my China book. The fan was painted by Ma Yue who was an artist in a small studio/shop in the Fragrant Hills near Beijing. I spent my very best day in China (that says a LOT) with him and his associate. Here is the OTHER side of the fan on which Ma Yue had painted the zodiac figures in the ancient style.

I don’t know much about any horoscope but I do know that in the Chinese zodiac, I am a Metal Rabbit. In the western zodiac, I’m a Capricorn with Venus rising and a lot of stuff in Sagittarius. You cannot be part of the “What’s your sign?” generation without a little knowledge about this stuff whether you want it or not. At one point someone drew my chart and let me know there are a lot of “squares” in it. Squares, apparently, mean things aren’t going to work — what’s not going to work according to their reading of my sign? Luv’, career, and other similarly minor things. BUT according to my chart I’m going to be a restless person and a deep thinker.

In the Castello Sforza in Milan is a room in which the ceiling is covered with the signs of the Zodiac. I remember what it looks like, how really beautiful the green is up there and the gray and white signs. I learned a little more about it today looking for a photo.

I realized last night how much I have missed traveling. It’s funny but now the places I want to visit are places I’ve already been. I would really like to return to Verona and pay attention to the Roman elements. When I was there 18 years ago I was all Medieval all the time. Now? Not really. Last night I learned that Catullus was from Verona, not that I know much about Catullus or his poetry, only that a looooonnnnnnggggg time ago I had a friend who was a Classics major at the University of Colorado. For his mom for Christmas he’d translated some of Catullus’ poems, but he didn’t think his translations “sounded” like poetry, so he gave them to me for “poetification.” It was fun and the poems were beautiful. I don’t know how well I did, but he was happy and I really liked the poems.

Well, enough about me. What’s YOUR sign?

37 thoughts on ““So, uh, what’s your sign?”

  1. I think I’m a goat…according to the placemats at Chinese restaurants anyway. Born in ’67. I always wish I had been born a Dragon or maybe a Phoenix (is that one of the signs?) something exotic. So, perhaps that is why I loved to travel to faraway places too. I love your retelling of your adventures and the pictures you share. Do you have samples of your Catullus poetry anywhere to share with us?

    • Oh, Kiri, the Catullus poetry project was 50 years ago… well 49 but you get the idea. Goat are good. They’re whimsical, playful, imaginative and, according to George Schaller, one of the most intelligent and adaptable species on the planet. 🙂

  2. Years ago, I knew someone whose pickup line was a variation on “What’s your sign?” He would guess first before asking, in hopes that a correct guess would reveal the depth of his character and get him into bed with his subject. (Usually, he showed confidence with his guesses, along the line of “Capricorn, right?” If other men were present he would at some point realize that his focus on a woman or women in the room would reveal a bit too much about his character, so he would eventually guess the men’s signs. While he was my acquaintance for years, he was always wrong in his guess of my sign. So which was it? Was he a bullshit artist, or just not interested in peering deeply into the souls of those with whom he didn’t want to have sex?

  3. Hehe! I was born in the Year of the Dog. Not sure I fit the description but loyalty is a major component of my makeup. I never got into the astrology thing as astronomy was more interesting. But I do remember far too many guys using the “What’s your sign” line as well as the “What’s your major” inquiry. I remember that people (especially the guys) stopped asking me how my classes were going when my answer was “Oh, today I learned how to castrate pigs!”

    • Many of my best friends through the years have been Sagittarius. Someone re-did the whole astrology thing correcting for changes in the movement of the Earth through space and in THAT schema I’m a Sag which, honestly, I fit better but whatev’

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