Libra, 49

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When the moon is in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligns with Mars. Then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.

This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, The Age of Aquarius…. Aquarius! Aquarius!

(Aquarius, Hair)

I just hit 49.  It sounds like a lucky number.  7 is its square root.  It is a mere one year before the mortal male equinox of 50 – a life moment that is generally followed by the purchase of a sport’s car, a pointless fling with someone in the personal training industry or a kidney stone. These gray temple birthdays are generally a time where I just want to be left alone to eat five Clark bars sitting by myself in the closet.

As a younger man, I sought to find meaning in everything and was desperate to unlock the mysteries of life – and my brother’s piggy bank safe where he kept his loose change.  My mother was a classic mid-70’s, new age Californian who believed that cosmic law superseded dogmatic religious doctrine.  My father, on the other hand, was a huge fan of dogma. He felt that authoritarian religion was the glue that held together the family, the community and society. If we had lived in the 12th century, we would have rose to the call of Pope Gregory VIII and his band of crusaders to take the stuffing out of  Saladin.  While we were in Jerusalem fighting for the Holy Father, my mother, most likely would have been stoned, burned or drowned as a witch – simply for her insubordinate fascination with the sacred and profane.

Her preoccupation with new age spirituality resulted in a library of coffee table books on the paranormal, psychic pets, vortexes, and Native American mythology, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism and Astrology.  We were encouraged to employ such ground breaking devices such as the Bio Mate, a calibrated series of dials that could track one’s biorhythms and in doing so, better understand your invisible meridians that moved like radioactive sine waves through your body. On our 21st birthday, my mother paid for each son to see a famous psychic to have our auras read.

Astrology was very popular in the 70s.  It seemed everyone knew “his or her sign” in the Age of Aquarius.  I was born Libra, Cancer rising.  The “rising”, known as the ascendant, was explained to me to be the astrological sign that was emerging in the east at the time that I was born.  The ascendant is the initial impression one might make in a first encounter.  One’s ascendant is your veneer to the world.  Years later, an astrologer would show me my birth chart replete with its Conjunctions, Opposites, Squares, Trines, Sextiles, Semi-Squares, Sesqui-Quadrates, Semi-Sextiles, Quintiles, Bi-Quintiles and Inconjunctions.  It was harder to grasp than my college Statistics course.

Secretly, I did not buy into this celestial gobbledygook but it really seemed to resonate with my primary target: new age girls. Being so fluent in these strange sciences and dark arts gave me confidence like I was secretly wearing the coolest psychedelic shirt at a Dead show. It was my destiny to wait until the moon was in the seventh house and then I would find a Virgo with whom I would mate.  In reality, I loathed the sign of Virgo because it sounded like Virgil – which was the name of our neighbor who mowed his lawn shirtless each Sunday revealing more hair on his back than our entire family had on its heads.  I decided instead that I wanted a Gemini, maybe two – since they normally travel in pairs.

I could not reconcile my Mom’s Bay Area spirituality with my father’s rigid Southern Cal religious Christianity. I sort of played on both teams – depending on the circumstances. My mom had equipped me well to disguise myself as a new age chameleon.  While, it resulted in some memorable liaisons, I did not meet any sane individuals.  Eventually, I grew weary of the Stevie Nicks knock-off who believed she was a Welsh witch. I gagged on the fruit and granola sprite that swore that she could talk to her dead grandmother.  I longed for a more traditional partner whose religious order did not include running naked through redwoods at night.   Like the prodigal son, I staggered back to traditional Christianity. But, to this day, out of habit, I always check my horoscope.

I remain a classical Libra. Librans are a creative lot and look strong at first glance but we are essentially fragile spirits.  We are the equivalent to that knock off antique furniture you buy at Pier One or The Bombay Company.  We look so good in the store but once assembled, we can’t stop wobbling or handle much pressure.

We are an “air” sign.  Astrological insiders know that each sign is comprised of one of the four elements.  It could also mean that we are airheads.  We value freedom – of thought, expression and movement – which explains why most Libran men prefer to wear boxer shorts.

We are diplomats, aesthetes and easy-going ne’er do wells who prefer justice, balance and a good piece of cherry pie. We despise loud people and find smoking a huge turn-off.  We like long walks on the beach and oops, wait, I am sounding like a former playmate of the month.  Where was I?

Our Achilles heel is our vanity.  The fact that my wife and I both love the same person seems to support this theory.  I am told we Librans can be unreliable, superficial and indecisive.  This explains why friends have repeatedly encouraged me to run for public office.

I am told our “ruling planet” is Venus.  I am uncertain what a ruling planet does but I assume it involves some form of disapproval.  To have “Venus in Libra” suggests you are intimate, adore the attention of others, passionate, naturally compromising and always in search of a harmonious, good time.  This explains the behavior of several Librans: Bill Clinton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Bill Wilson (Founder of AA), Genghis Khan, John Lennon, Princess Grace and HP Lovecraft.  Boy, I would kill to attend that dinner party.

Librans are politically independent – except once a year when Venus is aligned with Mars. On this night, we have an uncontrollable urge to eat a quart of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream and vote for William Howard Taft for President. Fortunately, Taft is dead – all 300lbs of him, but we still long for more full figured politicians.

Other famous Libras include Evel Knieval – which explains every bad choice I ever made in college.  As you survey the list of Mr. and Mrs. Librans – you unearth myriad writers, actors, poets, activists, educators, politicians and only one Nazi.  Alas, you find only two Presidents.  It seems the law of averages would suggest we should have at least twice as many heads of state.  Perhaps we were writing poetry in Math class instead of being like the Taurus tool in the front row that kept raising his sycophantic hoof for attention.

Some websites advise you on how to attract a Libran woman.  They are sensual and visceral creatures.   You are most likely to meet one at a Mother’s Natural Food store, a Grateful Dead concert or in France. Traffic stopping Parisian Librans include Catherine Denueve and Bridget Bardot.

According to Zodiac Signs “Environment is important for the Libran woman.  Make sure the first date is somewhere classy and elegant with posh surroundings, such as lunch at an elegant bistro. (Immediately following lunch) walk along the tree lined pathways of a ravine in the summertime with the flowers blooming.  She will feel at peace and love it.  Give her compliments and tell her how much she is appreciated. She may reply bashfully but with each compliments, the radiant glow inside her will shine brighter and brighter. She may need a few days away from you.  But don’t despair, she is merely pressing the reset button on the relationship. Be dramatically romantic by tucking sweet love notes into her pocket. Pick her flowers and watch old films. These things bring great joy to the Libra woman and they make her feel special”.

You know, come to think of it, forget it.  This is way, way too much work.  Find a tree-lined ravine with wild flowers?  Love notes? Are you kidding me? What if you live in Cleveland?

My advice is to those who have grown weary of e Harmony and and want to attempt celestial matchmaking – is go in search of another sign.  I actually hear Aquarians are cheap dates and do not mind washing other people’s underwear.  Obviously, if you can find those Gemini twins, that would be, well – – a spiritual experience.