I went to the Philadelphia Zoo on Saturday. It's the zoo I remember going to most often as a child. This isn't the best time of year for the zoo, of course, since a lot of the animals aren’t outside on display, but it's much better to be able to avoid the crowds. And palingyuan got a few good pictures... I'll be going back next weekend.
And I was up rather late Saturday night talking to demongrey about religion and astrology. Like most people, I read my horoscope from time to time, but I've never put a lot of credence in it. For one thing, my birthdate puts me solidly within Leo. However, descriptions of Leo personalities usually didn't quite seem to fit me... parts would be correct, but some would be so far off that it was hard to imagine.
I thought I had it figured out a while ago - I was born on August 16, but my due date was September 15. If I'd been born then, I would have been Virgo. Virgo doesn't really suit me either, but a blend between Leo and Virgo was a lot closer. It still didn't ring entirely true, though, and there's no way to get them quite right, since it wouldn't be the same mix as a cusp between the two.
Anyway, demongrey was explaining to me a theory of trimesters within each sign that he'd read about. What he said made some sense, but we couldn't find anything about it online. However, we did find a site that would calculate a full chart and do a partial interpretation for free. And it was spooky... I read down the descriptions thinking "yep... yep... uh-huh... well, except for the physical activity... yep... oh crap, he's reading over my shoulder..." Then we put in his, and it was just as accurate - I had to laugh at some of the phrases that were incredibly on point. I think he ought to have his pasted to him as a Surgeon General's Warning Label.
So, I now have a decent horoscope interpretation without fiddling around with things like my conception date being off. The Virgo tendencies come in because Virgo is my moon sign, apparently. (There are about 12 things - mostly planets - that it looks at, which supposedly control different aspects of personality and temperament. The three most important ones are the rising sign, the sun sign (which is the one most people know) and the moon sign. I'm sun Leo, moon Virgo, rising Capricorn. For what it's worth).
Do I believe in it now? Sort of. About the same way I believe in paranormal abilities. I don't think any of it works in some mystical or supernatural way. But the language of the discipline remains the most convenient way to talk about the observable phenomena for which there currently exists no other explanation.