THE ZODIHOAX: System of basing life decisions on spatial arrangement of distant stars not flawed after all

This image of a topless, ripped Santa Claus wrestling a snake nearly brought the astrology world to its knees.

GateHouse — As someone who for years has planned his life, future, major purchases, lottery numbers, NCAA brackets and Golden Globe predictions by using the Horoscopes (with some input, of course, by my lucky astrology mood watch), I regarded last week’s sudden, shocking zodiac redistricting as you might expect: By retreating into my perfumed cave of decorative quartz crystals and China Rain incense cones and having myself a good long cry. I don’t even remember the African tribal music remix CD turning off, it was that bad.

Partly this was because I had become really rather used to being a Virgo. With years of practice under my belt I had become quite modest and shy, meticulous and diligent, overcritical and harsh and a perfectionist worrier. Under the new arrangement, that all was down the big space tubes; us Virgos would have become Geminis or something, Geminis would have become Sagitariussessses, Capricorns would have become the New York Jets and Tauruses would have been immediately deported. (Three words: Republican-controlled Senate.)

Mostly, though, I was untethered by the haphazard nature with which the entire star map could apparently be completely rewritten by some sort of galactic zoning board. Despite what I wrote in the first paragraph, which was chock full of lies, I don’t know the first thing about astrology, except that when people start talking about it too knowledgeably I like to find the quickest way to get the hell out of the room.

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Nas – Virgo (feat. Doug E. Fresh and Ludacris)

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I did know, however, that it has been around a while, what with the way it uses constellations and everything, and it didn’t seem like something flimsy and ephemeral that could be jacked around whenever some anonymous dude with the sacred parchment and some Irish coffee discovered a mysterious 13th sign like he was in a Nicolas Cage movie. It didn’t seem like something that could be determined and undetermined by mere mortals on whim, like, hypothetically, Catholic miracles. It seemed like, at the very least, it should have been subject to a floor motion or two in committee.

But if I thought I was hornswaggled by the sudden appearance of the cryptic 13th sign of Ophiuchus, which you cannot say without sounding like you have a mouthful of thumbtacks and oatmeal, imagine my surprise when it was revealed that the entire bit of zodiac gerrymandering was a HOAX! A FRAUD! A FROAX! And not only that, but a froax started — this is so not comedy right here — but a teacher at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College. (Go Fighting Horned Toads!)

But wait, Jeff, you’re saying because nobody uses the polite “Mr.” anymore, are you suggesting that an unattributed, unimportant, impossible-to-verify rumor burned through social media somehow? True. Thank God chances aren’t good of that ever happening again WAIT A MINUTE JUSTIN BIEBER’S DEAD?

The arrival of Ophiuchus “doesn’t change your chart at all,” said Shelley Ackerman, spokeswoman of the American Federation of Astrologers, a job and organization that, heartbreakingly, both exist.

For proof, we will turn now to astrologer Eric Francis. (Note: We do not know if Eric Francis is an actual astrologer, or an expert, or if his real name is Egbert McDingding and he works the raw bar at Red Lobster in Normal, Ill., but if you’re really sweating his opinion you spend at least part of your day planning your decisions based on wisdom nuggets that appear adjacent to Get Fuzzy and/or the Jumble, this will be the least of your day’s worries.)

“This is an old hoax,” Francis says. “Historically, Ophiuchus has never been listed as a constellation in the sidereal zodiac. It is a constellation, but it’s off the ecliptic (that is, it’s not along the path of the Sun through the sky).” AH HA! You hear that, sun-worshippers? It’s OFF THE ECLIPTIC! THAT IS SUCH A BURN IN THE ZODIAC WORLD!

I should point out here that this hoax news may be entirely incorrect; I found it on the Internet, and frankly I’m getting the sense that one could spend a reasonably insane amount of time investigating dueling astrological belief systems on the Internet, which, as much as I enjoy fact-checking, does not appeal to me at 11:45 p.m. I guess that’s not very meticulous of me. Maybe I’m a Taurus after all.

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About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

4 responses to “THE ZODIHOAX: System of basing life decisions on spatial arrangement of distant stars not flawed after all

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