Daydreaming on Paper
 
September/October 2001
Stars in Your Eyes
 

Astrology is a funny thing. No one will admit to believing in it, but almost everyone knows what zodiac sign they were born under. Just about every newspaper or magazine in the country has a horoscope section - one that is enthusiastically checked by a high percentage of its readership. Reading your forecast aloud from one of these columns will probably net you some tongue-clucking and eye-rolling from your listener. But that won't stop them from wanting you to read theirs. Clearly, there is more interest here than meets the eye.

I cannot remember a time when I have not been interested in astrology, astronomy, and everything else pertaining to the sky above. I routinely look up friends, relatives, acquaintances, and co-workers in my astrology books, hoping to get more insight into their personalities or to better understand what makes them tick. I read everything I can about my own sign, smiling to myself as I read passages that are right on target; mulling over those (few) that don't. So, when fellow Purple Ink member Whitney suggested an astrally-themed web topic, I could not resist. With her help, I present...

an astrological guide to the stars

Astrology clip art courtesy of Sherry Schuler, Drawing and Sketching Guide at about.com.

This guide is my attempt to categorize how those born under each sign would approach the concept of personal writing. Please note that I am in no way a professional astrologer. I have no training whatsoever. This is strictly for my amusement and possibly yours. For each sign, I will provide a short analysis of journal writing style and then provide prompts and other ideas based on that sign's personality profile. Although I will mention a few things about the basic nature of each sign, I am working on the assumption that you already know your sun sign and that you are a at least a little familiar with its basic astrological characteristics. If you do not know what sign you were born under, or if you would like a basic profile for your sign, go to a web site such as astrology.net or astrolabe for a free natal chart and analysis. Then, come back here and read the section for your sign. If you know your ascendant (rising sign) and moon sign (both will be listed on the natal charts mentioned above), be sure to read the sections for those, too.

And now, without furthur ado, let's begin!

Basic Information

The twelve zodiac signs can be grouped in several different ways. For example, each falls under the category of one of four elements: earth, air, fire, and water. The earth signs - Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn - are cautious and practical people who function though the physical senses. Their journals tend to be of a more pragmatic nature, full of to do lists, goals, and plans. Air signs - Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius - are communicative and concerned with things of the mind. They operate most comfortably in the mental realm, and they probably use their journals to work through new ideas and philosophies or to ponder abstract concepts. Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius - the fire signs - are basically out-going, energetic people who function well on the intuitive level. They most likely keep a diary in order to record things they actually do, as well as to record the things that they believe; to give their perspective on how the world works. Finally, the water signs - Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces - are inherently inward-looking, emotionally-oriented people who feel things very deeply. Their journals are reflective, repositories for their emotional responses to the world around them.

Another way that astrology books classify the sun signs is by qualities. The Cardinal signs are Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. They are concerned with initiating matters and they are vigorous and ambitious in all actions. They are extremely good at beginning projects but lack staying power, except for Capricorn who gets cautious practicality from the earth element. Cardinal signs are very enthusiastic about starting new journals but have a hard time finishing them. They are always eager to move on to the next one.

Taurus, Scorpio, Leo, and Aquarius are Fixed signs. They are concerned with conserving things and are very resistant to change. They are steadfast and supportive people who find it difficult to start things but always see them through (except for Aquarians, who are always one step ahead of everyone else but still very set in their ways). It takes awhile for the Fixed signs to start a journal, but they are most likely to write everyday and to finish a journal before starting a new one.

The Mutable signs - Gemini, Sagittarius, Virgo, and Pisces - are characterized by adaptable energy and marked versatility. They excel in generating new ideas and developing them. Except for Virgos, who are stabilized by the earth element, the Mutable signs lack the stability to deal with routine. They come up with great journaling ideas, but very rarely use them and if they do, not for very long. They are constantly changing styles.

Sun Sign Information

Now, we come to the fun part. For each sign, I will list the key words associated with that sign's personality. These can be used as jumping off points for the following prompts:

  1. How do these words apply to your personality? Are there instances in your life where these traits have been very apparent?
  2. Do you agree or disagree with this basic description of yourself? Why or why not?
  3. Do you believe that you were born under the right sign, or do you think that your personality better matches another?
  4. If you had to be born under a different sign, which would you choose? Why?
  5. If you could choose which sign your children would be born under, which would you choose? Why?

In addition, I will provide each sign's key karmic phrase. According to astrology, this is your sign's mission in life or the stage that it represents in the human cycle. This is what you were born to teach the world. Use your journal to decide how you feel about your phrase and what it means to you. Looking at your life thus far, is there any evidence of this mission?

I hope that you enjoy these profiles, suggestions, and prompts. Whether or not you "believe" in astrology, feel free to drop me a line and tell me how I guessed with respect to your sign's journal keeping style.

Click on the link below to get to the section for your sign.

 
Aries Cancer Libra Capricorn
Taurus Leo Scorpio Aquarius
Gemini Virgo Sagittarius Pisces
 

Aries

You are the ideal candidate for keeping a diary or journal. You eagerly embrace the idea of a book that is all about you. The ironic part is that you may have a hard time keeping such a book - you are probably too impatient to sit down and write. When you do write, your style is direct and to the point. You tend to favor small doses of writing, and the overall tone is cheerful, optimistic, and full of idealism. Yours is primarily a diary of action; you like to record your daily adventures. It is also a safe place for you to acknowledge hurt feelings. Perhaps you could take that one step further and use the journal as a place to unleash frustration. You will feel better if you put your temper tantrums on paper.

Since completion is not your forte - you probably have several unfinished books - you may want to try books of a smaller size with less space to fill. Better yet, try using notecards, index cards, or postcards instead of books. You need something that is portable and that can stand up to your busy schedule. You'll also want something that you can keep with you at all times in order to capture those innovative ideas that come to you so easily. If you don't already, try keeping an exercise journal. You will enjoy having a permanent record of your progress and your personal bests, whether you are competing with others or just yourself. Also, try using your journal to aid in decision making. Taking the time to write a simple list of pros and cons can help guard against impulsiveness.

  • Your key words are enthusiasm, accomplishment, mastery, competence, impulsiveness, independence, pioneering, insensitive, and excitable.
  • Your key karmic phrase is I Am. Freewrite 9 sentences that begin with this phrase.
  • Aries begins on the Vernal Equinox. How do the themes of rebirth and renewal play out in your life?
  • Are you accident prone? List all of your bumps, bruises, falls, scrapes, and warrior marks.
  • Describe a situation into which you charged head first. What was the outcome?
  • What are your favorite causes?
  • Describe a time when you stood up for the underdog.
  • Do you consider yourself to be impulsive? Why or why not?
  • Freewrite on the following word: courage
  • When was the last time you accepted a challenge? Did you rise to the occasion?
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Taurus

You enjoy the finer things in life. You most likely have a nice, bound journal and a lovely pen. You probably have a favorite chair or other comfortable spot in which to sit down and write. Although it contains many fond memories of good meals with good friends and entertaining at home, your journal has a practical aspect to it. You not only write down your goals and aspirations; you also list the steps you need to take to achieve them. You also like to write about your financial savvy. You may describe the great deals and bargains you find while shopping or relate other accounts that show how well you manage your money. On a completely different note, you enjoy your music. You probably record and/or reference song lyrics in your notebook.

Since you generally believe that bigger is better, you might want to try a larger sized journal for your musings. Look for something with a luxurious cover, something with texture - even leather, if that is your thing. Collect art postcards from museums and tuck them into your journal pages. You appreciate fine art, and this is an inexpensive way to get your fill. Don't forget to incorporate your own drawings and paintings, too. The creation of something beautiful is good for your soul. Consider keeping theme journals for your preferred entertainments. A restaurant journal, an opera journal, or even a financial journal (building a nest egg is one of your hobbies) is right up your alley.

  • Your key words are: artistic, gentle, loyal, domestic, self-indulgent, patient, persistent, stubborn, and discriminating.
  • Your key karmic phrase is: I Have.
  • What is your idea of the good life?
  • Describe a time when your stubbornness got you into trouble.
  • How do you connect with nature? Do you have a green thumb?
  • Freewrite on the following word: security.
  • How are security and stabilty related?
  • Your home is your castle. Describe the comforts of home.
  • Describe a time when your patience was well rewarded.
  • List the top 10 songs that you love to sing.
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Gemini

You are not really inclined to keep a traditional diary. You tend to lose interest after a period of time, and even though your sign rules writing, you are reluctant to put your thoughts down on paper (it's too permanent). You are more likely to keep a journal that is a sort of lab notebook in which you jot down notes about your latest interests and hobbies or record experiments and ideas. You also use your journal as a place to fine tune your writing skills. It probably contains fragments of conversations and drafts or precursors to your finished works. You enjoy words and wordplay, and you like to make up stories and flex your imagination on paper. Your journal tends to be scattered and disorganized, jumping from topic to topic. However, your silver tongue is evident even on paper, and satirical, sometimes smart-alecky remarks and witticisms remain constant throughout.

If you haven't already, you may want to try a diary in an electronic format. Keeping one on tape would be ideal, especially if you could get a headset so that you could talk while still keeping your hands free for doing other things. For a more high tech version (you are all about the gizmos), use the microphone on your computer and a sound recording program to create your journal on CDs or diskettes. Be sure to add text, images, and other sounds to make it multimedia. An electronic format also makes it easier for you to set up password protection for your journal. You may even want to try keeping an online journal, writing under an alias, of course. You need something that is going to hold your interest, and even a paper format can accommodate you. Continue to try new things - new writing and drawing techniques to keep your journal exciting. Experiment with writing in other languages (or even developing your own!) or writing with your non-dominant hand. Use your journal as a place to solve word problems and other puzzles designed to flex your mental muscles. And finally, might I recommend a travel journal?

  • Your key words are: energetic, restless, eloquent, versatile, inventive, curious, witty, secretive, and spontaneous.
  • Your key karmic phrase is: I Think
  • Create a crossword puzzle based on different events in your life.
  • What are you searching for?
  • Do you have a dual personality? Describe your separate light and shadow selves.
  • Freewrite on the following word: possibility.
  • Describe insomnia. How does it feel? What are its colors and sensations?
  • Make a list of 50 things to do the next time you get bored.
  • Take the events of your day and turn them into a story. Use the third person and add lots of hyperbole.
  • Create new definitions for everyday words or create brand new words. Use these regularly in your writing.
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Cancer

Your journal is a haven. It is the place to which you retreat; a place to unload your emotional impressions. You record how you feel about events in your life, rather than merely describing what happened. You turn to your journal when your moods take a downturn, sometimes filling page after page with melancholy thoughts. The overall tone of your journal is nostalgic. It is probably filled with pictures of family and friends, and there are tiny scraps of sentimentality tucked into its pages. You probably blur the line between journal keeping and scrapbook making. Your loved ones are a constant presence in your journal. You reflect on time spent with them; you record your worries and wishes for them as well. You tend to favor a traditional bound journal, and you are also most likely to use a fountain pen and bottled ink because you enjoy their old-fashioned charm.

Let your journal help you to overcome your tendancy to hypersensitivity. Use the journal to view your feelings through the lens of objectivity. Consider recording the moon's phases somewhere in your journal. You may discover that your moods follow a distinct pattern that correlates to the lunar cycle. At any rate, it might be fun to create some kind of mood-o-meter or mood rating system in your journal. If you don't already, try keeping a couple of themed journals. I highly recommend a gardening journal, as well as a decorating notebook or a souvenir cookbook. You may also benefit from keeping a happy book. Fill it with jokes, cartoons, and funny anecdotes - anything that will lift your spirits when you feel blue. For all of your journals, be sure to use books that have acid-free paper and try to use archival-quality inks. You, of all signs want to ensure that your memories are preserved.

  • Your key words are: receptive, sensitive, sympathetic, nurturing, moody, hypersensitive, intuitive, kind, shrewd, and emotional.
  • Your key karmic phrase is: I Feel.
  • List some of your quirkier habits.
  • What makes you feel safe?
  • Explore the role of food in your life. What does it represent?
  • Someone once said that "all the possessions you need are what you can carry with you". Do you agree or disagree? Why?
  • What do you carry with you each day?
  • How do you nurture those around you? How do you nuture yourself?
  • What worries do you have for your descendants? What advice would you give to them?
  • Freewrite on the following phrase: beginnings and endings
  • What lessons have you learned so far?
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© 2001 Dawn R. Vinson. All Rights Reserved.