You may not believe this, but before last night, I did not know what my moon sign is. I've always known my sun sign (Aquarius), and I think it pretty accurately describes the kind of person I basically am. But I've never known my moon sign, because, as difficult as this might be to believe, I never knew the exact time at which I was born. But it's never really bothered me, because I've always been skeptical about astrology; I've always believed that if you want badly enough to believe something an astrologer says about you, you will interpret reality in such a way as to fit what he or she says. Thus, there is really no way for an astrologer to be wrong. Which strikes me as patently unscientific. The Austrian philosopher Karl Popper puts this point very eloquently when he writes:
"Astrologers were greatly impressed, and
misled, by what they believed to be confirming evidence—so much so that they
were quite unimpressed by any unfavourable evidence. Moreover, by making their
interpretations and prophesies sufficiently vague they were able to explain away
anything that might have been a refutation of the theory had the theory and the
prophesies been more precise. In order to escape falsification they destroyed
the testability of their theory. It is a typical soothsayer’s trick to predict
things so vaguely that the predictions can hardly fail: that they become
irrefutable." (Karl Popper, "Science, Pseudo-science, and Falsifiability")
But maybe we don't always need everything to be totally scientific; nor do we need every single thing we say to be precise and falsifiable. In any case, sometime last week, a chain of events was set in place which led eventually to the unraveling of my ignorance about my moon sign. A day before my birthday (is this fate or what?), a newly established company based in South India which offers online Vedic astrology readings emailed me; they had learned about me through this blog (this may be a portent that this blog is steadily gaining international acclaim, but maybe I'm just having delusions of grandeur here...). They offered me the privilege of being one of the first people to experience their instantaneous online astrology reading service--which, they claimed, is based on the work of the highest-level astrologers in Southern India--before they present it for mass consumption.
I was skeptical about their offer (and still am), so I did not respond to their email. But this whole incident did stoke my curiosity enough; it occurred to me that I did not know my moon or ascendant signs, because I did not know what time I was born. I figured that it probably wouldn't hurt to find these out. So I emailed my mom and, well, asked her what time I was born (probably not a common question people email their moms about...). And she told me. And last night, after a few days of procrastinating, I finally went online and discovered what my moon and ascendant signs were.
My first reaction was one of shock. Although I have a Popperian attitude towards astrology, I still could not help but be struck at how my moon sign seems to aptly describe what I am like on an emotional and instinctive level. And here's something else that might strike you as interesting. Some years ago, this person I was seeing for a little while correctly guessed my moon sign, even though she had no idea what time of the day I was born! Isn't this bizarre?
Anyway, I spent the better part of yesterday evening getting really intrigued by this new discovery, and looking up lots of information online about my moon sign. As a result, I am feeling a bit bloated today (when I get excited about something, I tend to eat too many potato chips, which affects my digestion). So yeah, finding out what your moon sign is can give you a bad stomach...
Oh well. Now I'm not sure if astrology is such a bad thing, after all. Maybe I should take up that company's offer, after all...