Your fate is in the stars

I’m a Virgo and this is my horoscope for today, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

“The moon is in your sign, which makes you more emotional than usual. This happens for two days every month. On the upside, it makes you a bit luckier than all the other signs, which means this is the day to go for what you want. Try it! Ask the universe for a favor.”

Ask the universe for a favor! Pantheism! That’s an awesome suggestion!

When I was a young reporter at the Asheville Citizen, I used to – rarely – wander into the composing room where the newspaper pages were pasted up. This was in pre-computer days, and stories, graphics and photos were sent from the newsroom to the production process on paper. The stories would be run through a waxer and pasted onto a newspaper page before it was ready to be burned onto a plate for the press.

I sidled up to Ed Sykes, one of the editors, who was working on the feature pages and was in the process of adding the daily horoscope onto the page. He reached into a box filled with seemingly random astrology columns, pulled one out, sent it through the waxer and put it on the page.

I looked at the box of columns and asked him: “How do you know that was the right one for today?”

He didn’t even look at me. He kept on with his duties. He said something like, “I know it was the right one because it’s the one that found my hand.”

I laughed and said, “Yeah, but, I mean, how do you know it was the one scheduled for today.”

This time he looked at me as if I was something he had stepped in and said, “John, this isn’t science or journalism. It’s a madeup game. The people who read it will read it.”

I liked his first answer better.