In This Chapter
Mulling over Gemini
Thinking about Libra
Air represents intelligence and reason. It’s the element of the intellect, and those born under its influence are known for their ability to connect the dots. Air signs are bright, curious, versatile, and intellectually restless. Their minds are always active, always searching for understanding. Crazy as it may sound, natives of those signs actually think about things, and they try to do it objectively and in depth. They value ideas and revel in conversation.
Despite their reputation for sometimes being a little too objective and detached — let’s just say that Mr. Spock was definitely an air sign — they’re also supremely social, linking friends, relatives, and random strangers into networks of relationships.
By long astrological tradition, each of the four elements has been assigned to three signs of the zodiac. The air signs, which are legendary for their mental acuteness, include the following:
Gemini the Twins (May 21 to June 20), the sign of mutable air. Gemini is known for its curious, lively mind, sparkling personality, and capricious ways.
Libra the Scales (September 23 to October 22), the sign of cardinal air. Libra is recognized for its balanced intellect, sense of fairness, and aesthetic sensitivity, as well as for the importance it places on partnership.
Aquarius the Water Bearer (January 20 to February 18), the sign of fixed air. Aquarius is celebrated for its forward-looking ideas, unique and often eccentric interests, and free-spirited personality.
If your birthday falls at the beginning or end of a sign, double-check your Sun sign by turning to Chapter 1 and reading the section entitled “Born on the Cusp.”
Air signs share a desire to make connections and to communicate. If air is your element, your essential qualities are discussed here. In this chapter, I present your most appealing traits and your most irritating ones, along with information about relationships and work.
Besides its element, each sign has a polarity (positive or negative) and a quality or modality (cardinal, fixed, or mutable). For more on those terms, see Chapter 1.
Gemini the Twins: May 21–June 20
Agile and articulate, Gemini is lively, bright, thoroughly engaged, and incredibly persuasive. That’s because you’re ruled by quick-witted Mercury, the trickster god who could wiggle his way out of anything.
The two pillars of Gemini (see the glyph in Figure 6-1) represent the mythological twins: Castor, the human son of a man, and Pollux, the immortal son of Zeus, king of the gods. They also symbolize the two sides of your double-sided nature.
Figure 6-1: The symbol of Gemini.
The sunny side
Forever young, they say. You’re clever, inquisitive, gregarious, and cheerful — and it shows in your face. In your never-ending quest for stimulation, you habitually veer off in unexpected directions. Effervescent and up-to-date, you’re invigorated by the latest toy, the hottest band, the most shocking news story, and the juiciest gossip (because really, isn’t that how you learn the ways of the world?). You’re clever and quick, excited by everything life has to offer. You pursue a multitude of interests and love to immerse yourself in new endeavors. When you enter a new world, you feel as if doors are swinging open and the possibilities before you are infinite.
But you’re also impatient and easily bored. To fend off the threat of ennui, it reassures you to have two (or more) novels on your bedside table, two jobs (preferably part-time), two love affairs (or a main one and a backup), and at least two phones. You also maintain an ever-expanding legion of friends. Your enthusiasm is infectious, and nothing delights you more than discovering — or forging — connections between unexpected people or unrelated ideas. You’re in constant motion, and you make a point of cultivating spontaneity, at least in theory. In reality, you sometimes load yourself down with so many activities that spontaneity becomes essentially impossible. You’re forever squeezing in another meeting, another project, another errand, another friend. Inevitably, you end up doing a lot of juggling. Yet the truth is this: When you’re overcommitted and ever-so-slightly frazzled, much as you might complain, you feel content and at home in the world.
The sorry side
A hostage to hyperactivity, you squander your resources because you can’t resist the immediate gratification of conversing, cavorting with the cat, going online, or simply doing something else. If you could, you’d rather be in two places at once. Impatient and inconstant, you chatter too much, have a short span of attention, and too often, drop the ball simply through inattention. You’re easily distracted and often find it difficult to concentrate — or even to sit still. In many ways, you’re like a child. When you find something that excites you, you accelerate into overdrive. But you can exhaust your own enthusiasm by talking it into the ground. You don’t hesitate to sing your own praises. And although you may not notice, your intense, narcissistic focus sometimes drains other people. Take my word for it: They aren’t as fascinated as you think.
At your worst, you can be deceptive, superficial, and fickle — the living, breathing incarnation of hot air. Astrologers (and jilted lovers) often accuse you of being emotionally shallow. Actually, you experience real emotions — just not for long. When troubles come, you see no point in dwelling on them. Instead, you push your feelings aside and adapt to the changed circumstances — and you do it with stunning ease. A lover breaks up with you? Your supervisor locks your computer and escorts you to the Exit sign? No problem. You rewrite history, and pretty soon you’re the one who walked. You’ll deal with the repercussions down the road (if at all). Meanwhile, you may be a bundle of nerves, but you’re busy writing a new chapter. Like Gemini Bob Dylan, you don’t look back.
Those who have been burnt in a relationship with a Gemini often accuse members of your sign of being unfeeling and fickle. This is unfair. I know Geminis who have enjoyed monogamous relationships for decades. There are many factors in a horoscope, and the Sun is only one of them.
But I’ve also known Geminis who fit the stereotype perfectly. Playful and engaging, you love the excitement of making conquests. The banter of courtship amuses you. As much as you may long to be in a committed relationship, you’re easily bored and essentially restless, and you soon grow disenchanted. The ideal partner for you is multifaceted enough to provide the stimulation you seek, confident enough to let you have the freedom you enjoy, and witty enough to make you laugh. You can’t help responding to someone who presents a challenge. An on-again, off-again relationship, I’m sorry to say, piques your curiosity. Ultimately, you don’t need a profound emotional connection. You also don’t need off-the-charts sex (which is not to say that you don’t appreciate it). What you need is a lively connection that generates sparks and engages your mind.
For details about your relationships with other signs, turn to Chapter 15.
Versatile and cerebral, you have fine motor skills and are a wizard with words. Whether you’re writing a roman à clef or building a Victorian birdhouse, ideas readily come to you because you’re stimulated by everything. Smart and buoyant, you pick things up so fast that you practically don’t have a learning curve. But in work (as in love), you grow quickly bored. Jobs that require a lot of repetition, no matter how outwardly rewarding, are always a mistake for you. You require mental stimulation, plenty of opportunity to socialize, and a mixture of responsibilities. The best professions for you offer variety and take advantage of your ability to communicate. Classic Gemini careers include education, travel, writing, and anything connected with newspapers, magazines, radio, or TV. Blogging was made for you. Inventive and entrepreneurial, you’re skilled at creating original business ventures. Even though the freelancer’s life isn’t for everyone, you bask in its variety and manage the challenges (no security, no predictability, and no schedule) with confidence. Just make sure you hire a sensible Taurus or a Capricorn to look after your finances. Handling money is not your strength.
Working with the Twins is a challenge because they’re always prepared to change directions on a whim — and they expect everyone else to follow suit. If you’re working with a Gemini, your only move at these times is to shift gears and pretend you aren’t rattled. “But you told us last week . . .” carries no weight with a Gemini. Geminis value new ideas, flexibility, and rapid response. They don’t care about consistency.
Libra the Scales: September 23– October 22
I grew up surrounded by Librans, and I can tell you this: Libra is the sign of civilization. Ruled by Venus, the planet of love and beauty, you act rationally, believe in fairness, and are usually easy to be around.
The glyph of Libra (see Figure 6-2) represents a simple balance or the scales of justice. It also suggests the setting Sun, which reflects the fact that the first day of Libra is the fall equinox, when day and night reach a point of perfect equilibrium.
Figure 6-2: Libra’s glyph.
The sunny side
Where elegance meets cool, and sense meets sensibility: That’s Libra. Refined and even-tempered, amiable and observant, you’re the ultimate diplomat (when you want to be). You seek serenity, respond strongly to art and music, and thrive in aesthetically agreeable surroundings (though ordinary nuisances like noise make you tense and tired). Your artistic sensibility is highly developed, your social sense even more so. Easy-going, graceful, smart, and charming, you’re a sought-after dinner party guest who very much wants to be liked. And although you can’t stop being flirtatious, you’re also a committed partner for whom relationships are indispensable.
At the same time, as an air sign, you have a sophisticated intellect and you pride yourself on your sensible approach to life. You’re conscious of the implications of any and all decisions. You seek out information and opposing points of view, and you do your best not to jump to conclusions, often arguing a point just to work your way around all sides of an issue. (Plus, let it be said that you enjoy a good debate.) Because reason is a high value for you, you naturally try to be objective. That’s the meaning of the scales, your symbol, which represents your ability to weigh both sides of an issue as well as your need to achieve emotional balance. (Libra is the only sign symbolized by a physical object rather than a living creature.) Most of the time, your thoughtful, objective approach works. The harmony and balance that you seek are achievable.
The sorry side
As Eleanor Roosevelt, a classic Libran, once said, “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Well, no problem: You consent. Your amiable personality may conceal a festering dissatisfaction and a terrible struggle with emotional complexities. You have a deeply ingrained predisposition to worry, combined with — at your sorriest — a woeful lack of confidence. (If you have planets in Virgo, as many Librans do, you’re undoubtedly your own harshest critic.) Anxious for the good opinion of others, you may try too hard to satisfy. And yet in other ways, you don’t try hard enough. When you’re down, you can be vague, dependent, self-indulgent, and withdrawn, and your refined sensibilities are so easily injured that it’s sometimes laughable.
You can’t bear squabbles — and yet you’re more than capable of generating them. Like Librans Mahatma Gandhi, the prophet of nonviolence, and John Lennon, the antiwar rock star, you’re more contentious than your reputation suggests.
And as much as you need balance, you have trouble maintaining it. Because you’re a serious thinker, you can be indecisive to the point of paralysis, especially when you need to make a serious choice. Uncertainty undoes you. You wobble back and forth, balancing pros and cons. You compare and contrast. You work yourself up into a tizzy, becoming distant, argumentative, or obsessed. Making up your mind so that you can move forward can be your greatest challenge. In your search for peace, beauty, and equilibrium, you can wear yourself out. Your best approach is the Roman one: Moderation in all things.
What a bundle of contradictions Libra can be. On the one hand, you’re ruled by seductive Venus, and relationships are essential to you. Longing for love, you instinctively look to romantic partners to balance your inadequacies and stabilize you. On the other hand, you’re an air sign, ruled by your head — not your heart. Thanks to your refined sensibilities and visceral distaste for tear-soaked melodramas, you unconsciously preserve a distance meant to protect you from conflict and emotional chaos. In relationships, as in other areas of life, you often end up in an internal tug-of-war, first drawing close to the object of your affection, and then pulling away. Not surprisingly, your ambivalence may strike the other person as manipulative.
And what is it that you seek? The right partner has to come equipped with the whole package: looks, brains, energy, style, manners, and a dash — or more than a dash — of status. When you find that person, as most Librans do, you’re loyal, loving, generous, and proud. Meanwhile, thanks to your ineffable charm and your ability to keep the conversation interesting, you need never dine alone.
For insight into your relationships with other signs, go to Chapter 15.
For Libra, life would be much more pleasant without the irksome necessity of work. Because your aesthetic sense is directly related to your mood, it’s imperative that your workspace be clean and airy with plenty of opportunities for face-to-face socializing. Finding an environment that supports you both intellectually and socially is equally important. You aren’t enormously ambitious, perhaps because you underrate yourself. Money is seldom your chief motivation, but you know what you’re worth, and you’re confident enough to ask for the recognition you deserve. Still, the day-to-day quality of your work is what matters most.
Ideal fields include all aspects of the arts, including the visual arts, theater, and music. Cultural organizations are natural spots for you. You can also express your artistic talents in fashion, graphic design, interior decoration, architecture, photography, cinema, and related fields. Other areas for which you are equally well suited include diplomacy, mediation and negotiation, the law (Libra makes a fine judge), and anything that requires making contact with the public.
If you work with or for a Libra, you have the opportunity to observe the power of reason close up. Libra respects rational decision-making and analysis. Gifted with poise and intelligence, Libra tries to be fair and expects you to share in the spirit of compromise. It’s true that Libran decision-making can be a lengthy process. Libra values your input. But after a decision has been reached, Libra moves with dispatch. Two pieces of advice: Present your ideas calmly and logically. And look your best. Libra may pretend that appearance doesn’t matter. But others know better than to believe it.
E. E. Cummings, Anne Rice (Moon in Aries)
Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Fisher (Moon in Taurus)
Gwyneth Paltrow, T. S. Eliot (Moon in Gemini)
Paul Simon, Gwen Stefani (Moon in Cancer)
Mahatma Gandhi, Oscar Wilde (Moon in Leo)
Serena Williams, Pancho Villa (Moon in Virgo)
Bruce Springsteen, Joan Jett, Kate Winslet (Moon in Libra)
Will Smith, William Rehnquist (Moon in Scorpio)
Friedrich Nietzsche, Christopher Reeve (Moon in Sagittarius)
Susan Sarandon, Matt Damon, Jesse Jackson (Moon in Capricorn)
John Lennon, Annie Leibovitz, Eminem (Moon in Aquarius)
Eugene O’Neill, Chuck Berry, Catherine Zeta-Jones (Moon in Pisces)
Aquarius the Water Bearer: January 20–February 18
You’re an original. With unpredictable Uranus as your ruler, you’re progressive, future-oriented, and prone to dazzling flashes of insight. You’re also more idiosyncratic than you may realize.
The glyph of Aquarius the Water Bearer (see Figure 6-3) represents the waves of water or, better yet, waves of sound, electricity, and light.
Figure 6-3: The symbol of Aquarius.
The sunny side
Very much a member of your own generation, you’re a natural visionary and a humanitarian of the first order — at least in theory. You have high-minded principles, and you try to live by them. Altruistic and issue-oriented, you believe in the equality of all human beings, and you’re interested in everyone, regardless of class, race, age, sexual orientation, or any of the other concerns that shape life today. Exquisitely aware of the impact that those factors can have, you possess the ability (when you so choose) to set them aside and connect with the real human being. The terrible things that happen in the world appall you, the issues of the day animate you, and you aren’t one to follow a party line just because that’s what your friends believe. You have a capacious brain, and you think for yourself.
A maverick with a lively, inventive mind, you have an off-beat set of interests and habits. Science fiction and technology are Aquarian; so is video art and everything indie. But whether you resonate to those particular areas isn’t the point. (After all, not all Sagittarians go horseback riding, and — surprise! — not every Cancer loves to cook.) The point is that you lean into the future, not away from it. Intrigued and unafraid, you’re utterly contemporary, a composition in avant-garde. You’re also congenial and charismatic. You accumulate a variety of friends (and to your perverse joy, they often disapprove of each other.) Your likeable personality and open-minded intelligence are the draw.
The sorry side
Your unconventional, independent outlook can morph into eccentricity, thoughtlessness, pointless rebellion, and strange hair. You can be contrary and childish, a foot-stomping rebel who’s never willing to go along. As a fixed sign, you tend to be stubborn, and it’s rare for you to give up a cherished idea, no matter how outmoded it may become. And your famous humanity, perhaps your finest trait, can seem false. You may strike people as distant and aloof because you recoil from intimacy and even go out of your way to erect barriers against it. For you, detachment is a natural state. More comfortable with ideas than with emotions, you can be warm on the surface but chilly underneath. You’re a visitor to spaceship Earth — alert but uninvolved. Although your idealism runs deep, and you truly want the best for yourself and others, you don’t necessarily express these thoughts in a positive way. Emotionally, you may strike people as peculiarly insensitive, even as they strike you as bizarrely thin-skinned. The truth is that you just don’t get it. At your worst, I’m sorry to say, you’re an android.
And there’s another element to you that’s easily overlooked. Beneath the dazzling surface of your personality and your remarkable, inventive mind, you can be stunningly insecure. Other people may not notice this (they may think, instead, that you have an overinflated ego). In fact, your self-doubt hampers you and is something to fight.
Given that Aquarius is the sign of humanity, you might imagine that your relationships would be role models for the rest of the world. And in some ways, they are. Fair and friendly, you’re interested in people from every corner of society. You extend your friendship to oddballs, geniuses, extremists, and the kid across the street. So what if you eventually drop most of these relationships? You also maintain a few friendships for life.
Romance is more complicated. Although you pride yourself on your tolerance, certain established customs — getting engaged, for instance, or reserving Saturday night for your beloved —seem phony or old-fashioned to you. You’re often astonished by the conventional expectations that people hold dear, and you resent having to go along with those antiquated notions. Trouble is, people misinterpret your independent ways as rejection — and, yes, they take it personally. Those needy folks probably strike you as unreasonable and demanding. See it that way if you wish. But remember: Intimate relationships have their own rhythm, which sometimes requires you to offer reassurance and to behave according to — please excuse the expression — the rules. In maintaining a relationship, make sure that your assumptions are shared.
For the lowdown on your relationships with other signs, flip to Chapter 15.
Virginia Woolf, Chris Rock, Ellen DeGeneres (Moon in Aries)
Bill Maher, Sheryl Crow, Jackson Pollock, Ronald Reagan (Moon in Taurus)
Gene Hackman, Jack Benny, James Spader (Moon in Gemini)
Lord Byron, Mischa Barton, Franklin D. Roosevelt (Moon in Cancer)
James Joyce, Judy Blume, Paris Hilton (Moon in Leo)
John Travolta, Vanessa Redgrave (Moon in Virgo)
Natalie Cole, Stonewall Jackson, Edouard Manet (Moon in Libra)
James Dean, Bob Marley, Molly Ringwald (Moon in Scorpio)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Oprah Winfrey, Justin Timberlake (Moon in Sagittarius)
Charles Darwin, Thomas Alva Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Betty Friedan (Moon in Capricorn)
Joan of Arc, Jackie Robinson, Angela Davis (Moon in Aquarius)
Susan B. Anthony, Toni Morrison, Paul Newman, Lisa Marie Presley (Moon in Pisces)
Why would anyone want to follow the beaten path? Striking out for terra incognita is much more entertaining. If you can create your own schedule, you’re even better off. Late-night hours don’t scare you; mind-numbing tasks and banal co-workers (a curse of your life) do. What matters most is that your job is future-oriented and focused on change. That’s where you find the most personal satisfaction. Fields that are a fit for Aquarius include social work, politics, technology, science (and medicine in particular), academia, environmentalism, civil rights, and anything that pushes the boundaries in a progressive direction. Politicians like Abraham Lincoln, thinkers like Charles Darwin, inventors like Thomas Edison, and TV personalities like Oprah Winfrey demonstrate the impact that your sign can make. Innovative Aquarius sees the future before anyone else and knows how to react to it. Technology, by the way, is oxygen to your soul. Even if you think you don’t like modern technology — maybe you’re an aficionado of vinyl or a collector of portable typewriters — you still benefit from it.
If you work with or for an Aquarian, be prepared to argue your viewpoint effectively and to do your job without prodding. Aquarius wants independence and is glad to grant the same privilege to you — assuming you don’t take advantage. Don’t force a showdown.