“17 Sweet Things Men Do That You Don’t Even Notice” – My Response

This is a response to an article that appeared in Woman’s Day online magazine, which originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. I tried to comment on the actual sites.  However, Woman’s Day and Cosmopolitan only allow those with a Facebook account to log in and comment.  I have news for you Woman’s Day and Cosmopolitan – not everyone has or wants a Facebook account.  So I decided to respond here, on my own blog site, even though I am certain that my readership pales in comparison to that of the magazine.  You can find the actual article here:  http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/news/a39806/sweet-things-guys-do-that-you-dont-even-notice/

1. Putting the toilet seat down.   This isn’t a sweet gesture – it’s simple consideration.  And since you had to put it up, why is putting it back down something so hard to remember?  Is your attention span really that short?

2.  Walking on the outside of the street.   It used to be the norm and I don’t see it happening all that much today, but for the guys who still follow this “rule of etiquette”, one point for you.  And I, for one, would notice.

3. Staying up “way too late” talking to her and paying for it the next day. Are you saying that she’s the only one who wants to have a conversation and that you’re only humoring her?  And unless you’ve only been dating unemployed women, did it ever occur to you that she, too, has to get up early the next morning?  In fact, if she wears any makeup and styles her hair, she needs to get up a lot earlier than you.

4. Holding her after a bad dream.  Are you sure you aren’t just holding her in self defense since you found it necessary to mention that you only woke up after she elbowed you in the face?  And unless you sleep like you’re in a coma, I’ll bet there have been several occasions when you’ve nearly broken her nose with your flailing arm.  The only difference is, she was having a bad dream; you were simply shifting your position in bed.  So she didn’t have any reason to hold you and comfort you.    .

5. Trying to impress with feats of strength.  If you’re in need of exhibiting physical strength beyond  your capabilities in an effort to impress a woman, you deserve that sore back.

6. Volunteering to pay even when you’re broke. If you believe that you need to spend more money than you can afford in an effort to impress a woman, you deserve to eat ramen for a week. It always ticks me off when a man assumes that the way to any woman’s heart is through his wallet.

7. PDAIf you have “friends” who are going to make fun of you because you display affection towards a woman you care for, you need to start finding more mature friends to hang out with. Then again, how mature can you possibly be if you care about what they say?  By the way, some women don’t enjoy too much PDA – surprise!

8. Taking mental notes on things she likes. Really? I always thought that was something that came naturally when you truly care about someone, not something that required effort.

9. Joining her betting pool for “The Bachelor”.  I can’t comment on this since I have never watched that show. I hate “reality” shows. How real can anything be if there’s a camera present?

10. Not taking the blanket back after she hogs it allFirst, what makes you portray women as blanket hogs? Are you actually writing this article about a specific woman in your life?  Men, with their bigger bodies, are just as guilty of this if not more so. But here’s a thought – put an extra blanket within reach for whoever gets robbed during the night.

11. Carrying her purse. I suppose some women do that but I never would. Frankly, I find that to be a little demeaning to the guy.

around her when a sketchy guy approaches.  If you’re doing it to be protective, maybe that’s sweet.  But a lot of men do it if any guy approaches because they are territorial.

13.  Saving a plate of food or picking up takeout when she has to work lateYou consider saving a plate of food for someone you care about to be a sweet gesture?  Now you’ve got me wondering.  Would most men who aren’t trying to be sweet actually eat all of the food and leave nothing for her?  Perhaps you’ll think I’m out of my mind for asking this, but did it ever occur to you that you should wait and have dinner with her when she gets home so that she won’t have to eat alone?  That’s what I would do.

14.  Putting on the cologne you know that she likes but you don’t.  Okay, at this point, I’m really beginning to wonder – what kind of guy are you?  You can’t admit that a box is too heavy and that maybe you need a cart or that you can’t afford that pricey restaurant or that you feel stupid carrying her purse.  Now you can’t even speak up about your cologne?  Well, I suppose you’re right about one thing, you aren’t the one who’s smelling yourself.

15.  Setting her up with OnePassword.  Why do you make it seem as though women are incapable of understanding “this stuff”? I’ll let you in on a little secret: some women just pretend to be naive and unable to comprehend so that men can come to their rescue and feel so superior. I’m not favor of that either, but I have seen it happen SO many times. Sadly, my older sister happens to be an expert at this game. She has a Master’s Degree and yet has claimed to men that she can’t read a map or understand how to use a GPS and, predictably, those men have come to her rescue and ended up driving her to wherever she needs to go. She’s also been able to get men to pick up and set up her computer system, repair her car, run her errands – you name it. For the longest time, I believed that all men were stupid. Thankfully, I’ve met a few exceptions.

16.  Color-coding the remotes because she doesn’t know what they are for. See my response to number 15. By the way, if she REALLY can’t understand internet security or how to distinguish one remote from another, I’m guessing that intelligence isn’t on your list of traits that you look for in a mate.

17.  Cleaning up your beard stubble. Okay, but just don’t forget all the shaving that she has to do on more than one part of her body so that you won’t experience any scratchy surfaces either. Seriously, some guys just don’t have a clue.

Impossible – A Word Without Meaning

Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary defines “impossible” as: ” incapable of being or of occurring or felt to be incapable of being done, attained, or fulfilled.”  It’s a word that is frequently used by many people. Yet, as history has shown us, time and again, many things that were once considered “impossible” have become not just possible but commonplace.
Before the Wright Brothers developed the first gas motorized and manned airplane in 1903, these comments were made:
Heavier than air flying machines are impossible.”  Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895
Flight by machines heavier than air is impractical and insignificant, if not utterly impossible.”  Simon Newcomb, Director, U.S. Naval Observatory, 1902
After aerial flight was proven to be possible:
The aeroplane is the invention of the devil and will never play any part in such a serious business as the defence of a nation.”  Sir Sam Hughes, Canadian Minister of Defence, 1914
By no possibility can the carriage of freight or passengers through mid-air compete with their carriage on the earth’s surface. The field for aerial navigation is then limited to military use and for sporting purposes. The former is doubtful, the latter is fairly certain.”  Hugh Dryden, 1908
The [flying] machines will eventually be fast; they will be used in sport but they should not be thought of as commercial carriers.”  Octave Chanute, 1910
Regarding space travel:
I am bold enough to say that a man-made Moon voyage will never occur regardless of all scientific advances.”   Lee De Forest, “the father of electronics”
There is no hope for the fanciful idea of reaching the Moon because of insurmountable barriers to escaping the Earth’s gravity.”  Forest Ray Moulton, astronomer, 1932
Space travel is utter bilge.”  Richard Woolley, Astronomer Royal, 1956
As we all know today, on July 21, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon.
As for computers, something that we all take for granted today:
There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.”  Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
People who use the word “impossible” only demonstrate their lack of vision and limited imagination – and to some extent, their arrogance. For anyone to assume that what they know now is all there is to know is arrogant. There is only one thing that is certain and that is that we know so very little.
That does not mean that I believe that people should believe everything they hear.  I believe in being open-minded, not gullible.  For instance, I believe that it’s possible for people to possess certain psychic abilities.  The human mind is something that we do not fully understand yet and there have been numerous studies that support the existence of telepathy, ESP, remote viewing, and telekinesis.  But I don’t believe that every person who calls themselves a psychic is genuine.  Psychic mediums in particular bother me.  I have a difficult time believing in a medium who starts off a reading by asking a person whether their deceased loved one’s name starts with a “K” or a “L”.  If they are capable of receiving messages from a departed loved one, I would think that the first name of the person they have contacted would be the one piece of information that comes in crystal clear.  But unlike James Randi, I’m not willing to label all of them frauds.  I am still searching for that one gifted person who will be able to tell me something specific and relevant without asking me any questions.  I am keeping my mind open. (This post originally appeared on my website – http://www.iamscorpio.net)

Scorpios – Understanding the Sign

Scorpio is probably the most misunderstood sign of the zodiac.  Almost everyone automatically associates the sign with words such as “hot-tempered” and “passionate”, and many people make the mistake of assuming that “passionate” refers only to a Scorpio’s sexual nature.  However, the passion of a Scorpio extends far beyond the bedroom.  A true Scorpio is passionate about almost anything that he/she considers important, which can range from world politics to the dress that she absolutely must have or the video game that he’s intent on winning.  They feel and speak in terms of “love” and “hate” whether they are describing a pair of shoes or a movie or a political candidate.  “Wishy-washy” is not a term that applies to a true Scorpio.

      When it does come to sexual matters, Scorpios are not born great lovers; they learn like everyone else.  Many just seem to learn faster and have greater stamina than most.  But sex and love are two very different things to a true Scorpio.  To have their bodies does not mean that you’ve won their hearts.  Even if they exhibit jealousy and possessiveness, it does not necessarily mean that they love you.  Scorpios are territorial by nature and they don’t like feeling  as though someone has crossed the boundaries that they set.  Or their behavior could simply be a result of their egos being bruised.  They are indeed a paradox because for all their emotional intensity and the fact that their relationships seem to involve so much drama, most true Scorpios seek peace in love — internal peace at the level of their souls. 

        Scorpio is the only sign of the zodiac that has two ruling planets–Mars and Pluto–AND is associated with two symbols:  the earth-bound Scorpion and the more exalted Eagle.  (Some astrologers, such as Linda Goodman, have also added a third symbol–the gray lizard–to describe those who fall somewhere between the Scorpion and the Eagle.) 

        The Scorpion represents Scorpio’s raw, earthbound nature which is associated with all of those keywords that pop into the minds of those who think that they know this sign–sensual, passionate, unforgiving, revengeful, powerful.   They have a kind of magnetism that attracts people to them and some of them have become quite skilled at fooling people into thinking that they are friendly, charming, and gracious, often witty and funny.   But their true nature is very different than the persona they often display to the world.   They have learned how to survive–even thrive–in the world that they are forced to live in, but they have always known that they are different than most people.   So while many people might call a Scorpio a friend, there are very few people that a Scorpio considers a true friend.  A true friend is someone who you can share your innermost secrets with and Scorpios find it difficult to share the secrets that lie deep within their hearts.  They doubt that many would understand and they feel that most people can’t be trusted with those secrets.   Whether it’s because they experienced some sort of betrayal early in their lives (they have extremely long memories) or have only witnessed the betrayal of others, the fact remains–Scorpios do not trust easily.   When it comes to love, trust remains an issue.  “Complete trust is a difficult thing for a Scorpio to achieve, even in matters of the heart; perhaps especially in matters of the heart since being in love made one more vulnerable to extreme hurt and disappointment.”  (from “Scorpio Love” by S.Tamanaha)

        In all fairness to Scorpios, though, it should be mentioned that their distrust often stems from the fact that they are extremely sensitive souls.  They feel more intensely than most other signs and an act of betrayal wounds them deeply–it injures their hearts and scars their souls.  This is why when they are injured, they find it difficult, often impossible, to forgive.  Also, once injured, they become reluctant to fully trust their hearts and souls to another again.  Some Scorpios turn bitter and poison all of their relationships with that bitterness.  They keep their relationships shallow so as not to feel intense emotions and sometimes turn to alcohol and narcotics to numb the pain.  They can become obsessed with revenge which, in their minds, is really justice.  They become the classic example of the dark earthbound Scorpion who self-destructs.  Think of that old story about the scorpion who asked a frog (or a crocodile in some versions) for a ride across the river and then stung the frog when they were in the middle of the river.  “Why did you do that?” the dying frog asked.  “Now we will both die.”  “I could not help myself,” the Scorpion replied.  “It is my nature.”   But if you think that you can help this type of Scorpio see the error of his/her ways,—if you think that you can be the one to rescue them from themselves,—think twice and then think some more.  Rather than you lifting them up, these Scorpios will often drag you down into that dark place where they reside.  The truth is, Scorpios must heal themselves.  They have the power to do so.  They can decide to become that exalted Eagle.  But THEY must decide. 

        When they are troubled, they tend to brood.   This is a trait that arises out of their inabililty to trust which makes them hesitant to confide in others.  As a result, they have gotten into the habit of working out their problems on their own in their minds.   Also, the truth is that no one else’s opinion matters much to them.  It’s not that they are arrogant.  It’s simply that they aren’t the type to take a course of action because it’s considered the right thing to do by other people.  They want to make up their own minds.  They are also stubborn and don’t like to be told what they can and cannot do.  They’re not trying to be rebellious or difficult.  They are just fully aware of their abilities and their limitations.  They are also fully aware of their faults but they don’t like it if someone else points those faults out to them. 

        They are also blessed (some would say cursed) with a kind of sixth sense–an ability to see the motives behind the actions and words of others.  It’s not magic or a form of ESP.  They can’t read minds although it appears that way sometimes.  It’s just that they have an extremely keen sense of perception and strong intuitive powers.  They study people (that’s often the reason behind that infamous Scorpio stare)  and they can feel which ones are being pretentious or untruthful, which ones you can trust and which ones you should stay away from.  For some Scorpios, this sixth sense seems to be something that they were born with.  For others, it develops over time.  Whether you call it intuition or just being tuned in to people’s “vibes”, all true Scorpios have it.   This is the reason why it’s difficult to lie to a Scorpio–they can feel that something is wrong.  They may not know what it is exactly, but they know.  And then they will begin to investigate, to question, to test their theory.  If they find out that they were right–and they always find out–then betrayer beware.   Almost everyone has heard about Scorpio’s temper but it’s often what happens after the explosion that can be even more unnerving.  Wrongdoers who are lucky (if you can call it that), will simply cease to exist in Scorpio’s mind.  They become ghosts.  If the betrayer is at a party or some other gathering with that same Scorpio, the Scorpio will look right through the betrayer as though that person was a pane of glass.  Or the Scorpio may seek revenge.  What form that revenge takes depends on the Scorpio involved.   Some become so obsessed with getting even that they simply won’t care if what they are doing will injure others or even themselves.  Remember the scorpion and the frog?

        The Eagle, a symbol of courage and power, represents a more evolved Scorpio.  This Scorpio has learned to rise above the kind of behavior that other Scorpios engage in which often proves to be self-destructive.  Scorpio-Eagles still possess a Scorpio’s basic nature, but they have a clearer vision and more awareness of their power and they have learned how to use that power to improve themselves so that they can be more like the Eagle–majestic, courageous, and free.  Some astrologers have also used the Phoenix to describe this exalted nature of Scorpio–that mythical bird who can die in flames and then rise renewed from its own ashes.  This is actually an apt description of a Scorpio for no matter how dark their past might be, how many mistakes they have made, they have the power to rise again and start fresh.   

        Here’s an example of the difference between an earthbound Scorpio and one who is an Eagle:  A relationship doesn’t work out.  The earthbound Scorpio will do everything in his/her power to “get even” with the mate who betrayed them (even though it’s often the Scorpio’s own jealous and possessive nature that contributed to the failed relationship).  I know one Scorpio woman who spent thousands of dollars to fight her spouse in court over possession of a few pieces of furniture–not because she wanted them but because she knew that he did.  The Scorpio-Eagle, on the other hand, might feel the same anger but will be able to see the bigger picture.  “Spend thousands to go to court over furniture?  Why?  Doesn’t that mean that I’ll have to see him again?  I’d rather spend those dollars on me.  I spent all those years helping him, thinking only of him; now it’s time to take care of me.  I’ll go to the gym, buy some nice clothes, and claim back my life and my individuality.  Let the bimbo that he fooled around with have him.  She actually did me a favor because if he can’t be trusted, then he doesn’t deserve me.  I know that there’s a man out there who will appreciate me and love me as I deserve to be loved.”  This Scorpio-Eagle will prefer never to see her “ex” again but if she is forced to because of children and visitation rights, she’ll make sure that every time her “ex” stops by to pick up the kids, she’s looking better than ever.  

        See the difference?  Scorpio-Eagles still retain a Scorpio’s basic nature – the intense emotions, the desire for revenge – but do not allow those emotions and desires to control them.  They will not allow depression or self-pity to immobilize them; to do so would be the same as allowing the “enemy”, the person who hurt them, to win, and Scorpios do not like to lose.  They will not commit senseless acts of revenge that could destroy their own lives.  Any acts of revenge that they engage in will also benefit them in the long run.  If someone tells them that they can’t make it on their own or that they are unattractive or unintelligent, they will use their power to prove those people wrong and improve their own lives as a result.  Eagles do not run and hide from adversity or problems or pretend that those problems don’t exist.  (That would make them like ostriches – a bird whose wings are useless and who are fast runners but choose to become immobilized when faced with real danger.)  True Eagles face their problems and then use their inner power to conquer any obstacles so that they can finally fly free.  Like the eagle who soars high above the earth, the Scorpio-Eagle is able to rise above all that chains others to the ground and to see the bigger picture.

Excerpt from my complete discussion on Scorpios at www.iamscorpio.net

Astrology and Science

Serious astrology (not horoscopes) is not about something that magically happens when a person is born. It is a process that largely culminates upon birth but still continues to exert an effect on us thereafter.  “We are born at a given moment in a given place and like vintage years of wine we have the qualities of the year and of the season in which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything else.” That statement was made by Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, who studied astrology in relation to the mind and human behavior. “My evenings are taken up largely with astrology. I make horoscopic calculations in order to find a clue to the core of psychological truth.” “Astrology occupies a unique and special position among the intuitive methods… I have observed many cases where a well-defined psychological phase, or an analogous event, was accompanied by a transit (particularly when Saturn and Uranus were affected).” – Carl G. Jung

Recently, a study by the Office of National Statistics in the UK found that the birth month of a child apparently affects the kind of career that they follow. See http://topnews.ae/content/28945-birth-mo… If the link doesn’t work, just search for Birth Month Determines Baby’s Career or something similar and it will show up.

According to the Daily Mail, a  neuroscientist from  Oxford, although he won’t admit to believing in astrology stated: “It seems absurd the month in which you are born can affect life chances, BUT how long you  live, how tall you are, how well you do at school, your body mass index as an adult, your morning-versus-evening preference and how likely you are to develop a range of diseases are all correlated to some extent with the time of year in which you emerge from the womb.” Researchers have suggested that the differences might be linked to a mother’s exposure to sunlight during her pregnancy since sunlight triggers the production of Vitamin D in the body and lack of this vitamin in the first months of life may have long-lasting effects.  But, in effect, what they are saying is that the Sun’s energy in fact affects many aspects, physical and psychological, of an unborn child.

Lunar cycles are known to affect animal behavior and physiology. Studies have revealed that in birds, the daily variations in melatonin and corticosterone disappear during full-moon days. The lunar cycle also exerts effects on laboratory rats with regard to taste sensitivity and the ultrastructure of pineal gland cells. It is suggested that the release of neurohormones may be triggered by the electromagnetic radiation and/or the gravitational pull of the moon. We already know and accept the fact that the gravitational pull of the Moon and Sun affects the ocean’s tides (more accurately the rise and fall of the ocean). It is also a scientific fact  that when aligned with the moon, the sun will strengthen the moon’s pull, creating more extreme high and low tides called spring tides. When at a 90-degree angle from the moon, the sun will pull the water slightly away from the moon, making less apparent tides. There are people who still plant crops based on the cycles of the Sun and Moon because their positions in relation to our planet affect the amount of moisture pulled up to the surface of the earth.

In light of all this scientific evidence, why is it so difficult to believe that such forces – planetary energy and gravitational fluctuations – can affect the physical and mental development of a person who spends the first 9 months of their life in the watery environment of the womb.  Why is it so hard for some to at least acknowledge the possibility that these forces affect humans even outside of the womb since a significant portion of the human body is composed of water?  Babies are not born as blank slates; they are not all born alike.  They exhibit different personalities almost as soon as they exit the womb and long before they are subject to external stimuli that can affect their psyche.  Some are prone to crying and are demanding; others are quiet and observant; and there are those who smile a lot.

The astrologers of ancient civilizations, most of whom were also astronomers, may not have known about the scientific principles of gravity  or solar and lunar cycles and planetary energies or Vitamin D, but they saw patterns in the positions of the Sun and Moon and planets and they recognized the effects that those patterns had on earth.  Now, scientists are beginning to recognize those patterns and effects as well.

Do I believe that everything about a person can be explained through astrology?  Of course not.  Every human being is affected by external forces – upbringing, life experiences, the people that they choose or are forced to interact with.  But I do believe that astrology may be able to shed some light on why two people born under different signs, even those raised together, react differently to such external forces and how they are inclined to deal with these forces and their individual problems.  I noted this in an earlier post about my older sister, who is a Sagittarius.  She has those Sagittarius traits of being too trusting, or gullible if you want to refer to it that way,  is a bit clumsy, has a tendency to say things the wrong way, and gets physically ill when her environment is emotionally gloomy or pessimistic.  I am a Scorpio, so it drives me crazy when she trusts or believes in people that I know can’t be trusted or believed and when she allows the gloominess of others to stress her out.  It frustrates me when, even after discovering that she shouldn’t have trusted so easily, she hesitates to stand up to the person.  She often thinks that I’m too hard, that I should let bygones be bygones, and can’t understand why I’m not more interested in marriage.  I often feel that although she’s older than I am, I have to look out for her because she’s so naïve, I see no reason to let bygones be bygones since I don’t like allowing a wrongdoer to believe that he/she got away with anything, and I know that she’ll never understand me if I try to explain to her that I’m not opposed to marriage—I just don’t want to be married for the sake of being married.  I want to find my twin soul and I would rather be alone and occasionally lonely than stuck in a relationship with the wrong person for the wrong reasons and miserable every day.

On the other hand, there are aspects of our personalities that reflect our personal life experiences.  Sagittarius women are not supposed to be exceptionally great housekeepers, but somewhere in my sister’s life, she became germ phobic and her house is always clean.  My home, which is supposed to be clean and orderly, is definitely not because my life experiences makes me put other things—like  work—first on my list of things to do. I have stacks of paper everywhere.

I supposed the point that I’m really trying to make is that people, in their quest to gain some understanding of themselves and others, should keep an open mind.  After all, it seems as though every week scientists are discovering a new planet, or a new species, or rediscovering a species that was believed to be extinct, thereby proving that there are so many things that we don’t know about this world and the Universe and to speak in absolutes based only on what we know today is simply foolish.

“Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance, is the death of knowledge.”
Alfred North Whitehead  (1861-1947)
(English mathematician and philosopher)

Reprint of my blog at http://www.iamscorpio.net

Astrology and Relationships

Whenever I look at question and answer sites, I find so many people asking about Scorpios.  A common question is “how can I make a Scorpio man (or woman) like me?”  Here’s the thing about true Scorpios.  You really cannot try to be something or someone that they want—you either are or you are not.  They, more than most other signs, have the ability to sense when someone is trying to con them or is not being “real”.  And they don’t like it.  They find it insulting.

Perhaps I’ll post a separate blog about true Scorpios and trust.  What I’m wondering right now is:  why would anyone want to try to be someone that they are not for any person?  If you pretend to be someone that you’re not, aren’t you simply lying to that person and making him or her fall for someone who doesn’t exist?  And when your true nature reveals itself, and it will, you will no longer be that someone that the other person fell in love with.  As the female character, a Scorpion-Eagle, in my book “Scorpio Love” says:

“Have you ever noticed that when people are dating, no one is who they really are?  The guy will take the girl to nice restaurants and dancing when he actually hates that kind of food and doesn’t like to dance.  And the woman will pretend to like his favorite sport when she couldn’t care less. . . . I mean, I know it’s human nature to want to make a good impression on someone if you like them, but there’s a big difference between making a good impression and pretending to be someone you’re not.  If the guy doesn’t like dancing and she really hates football, they should just say so.  They can’t keep up the pretense forever.  Is it any huge surprise that a few years down the road they don’t recognize the person sitting across from them at the dinner table?  I just don’t get it.”

You can read more excerpts from the book “Scorpio Love” at http://www.scorpiolove.com

You can also visit I Am Scorpio at http://www.iamscorpio.weebly.com for a description of the personality traits of true Scorpios.

Astrology – reality or ridiculous?

Many people have asked me why I believe in astrology.  The concept of astrology has always made sense to me.  Most people accept the fact that the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun affects the ocean’s tides—or, more accurately, the rise and fall of the ocean.  Why wouldn’t the same gravitational forces and those of the planets affect the development of the brains, and therefore the personalities, of human beings who spend the first nine months of their lives in water?  Why wouldn’t it affect the behavior of people since the human body is made up of more than 60% water?  I’m not saying that astrology itself will reveal the entire personality of a person.  Everyone is affected by external forces such as upbringing and life experiences.  However, I’ve come to believe that astrology can often explain why people who are born under different signs, even those raised together, react differently to such external forces and how they are inclined to deal with these forces and their individual problems. 

Take my older sister, for example, who is a Sagittarius.  We grew up in the same household; we even hung out together while she was in middle school and high school.  She has those Sagittarius traits of being too trusting, or gullible if you want to refer to it that way, is a bit clumsy, has a tendency to say things the wrong way, and gets physically ill when her environment is emotionally gloomy or pessimistic.  I am Scorpio, and it drives me crazy when she trusts or believes in people that I know (and have told her) can’t be trusted or believed and when she allows the gloominess of others to stress her out.  It frustrates me when, even after discovering that she shouldn’t have been so trusting, she hesitates to stand up to the person.  She often thinks that I’m too hard, that I should let bygones be bygones, and can’t understand why I’m so “different” and not more interested in marriage.  I often feel that although she’s older than I am, I have to look out for her because she’s so naïve, I see no reason to let bygones be bygones since I hate it when wrongdoers walk away believing that they got away with something, and I know that she’ll never understand me if I try to explain to her that I’m not opposed to marriage—I just don’t want to be married for the sake of being married.  I’m more interested in finding that person who instinctively understands my heart and soul and accepts me for who I am because a couple of times during my younger and less wiser years, I tried to make myself fit into someone else’s image of me and it made me miserable and resentful.  So I would rather be alone and occasionally lonely than stuck in a relationship with the wrong person for the wrong reason and miserable every day.

On the other hand, there are aspects of our personalities that reflect our personal life experiences.  Sagittarius women are not supposed to be exceptionally great housekeepers, but somewhere in my sister’s life, she became germ phobic and her house is always clean.  My home, which is supposed to be clean and orderly, is definitely not because my life experiences have made me put other things—such as work—higher up on my list of things to do.  I have stacks of paper everywhere. 

So yes, I believe that an individual’s basic personality can be affected by the positions of the Sun and Moon and planets but I look at astrology as a tool for understanding myself and others.  It’s not the only tool that I use.  As I said, people are affected by external factors:  happy home vs. a broken home, doting parents vs. strict parents, good friendships vs. “friends” who lead you down the wrong path.   Also, trying to understand a person just by considering his or her Sun Sign is akin to looking at a blurred or torn photograph.  To see the entire picture, from an astrological viewpoint, you need a natal chart which will show where the Moon and all of the other planets were at the time of birth.   Finally, no, I don’t think that astrology can predict your future.  It might be able to indicate such things as when your energy level might be low because of the expected positions of the Sun and Moon and planets, but your future…that’s something that will happen because of decisions and choices that you make.  It’s neither carved in stone nor dictated by the stars.