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Elementary, My Dear September: The Visiting Visionary

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Across the country, harried mothers are breathing a collective sigh of relief as school bells ring anew, signifying the beginning of another year of education. As the days shorten and the autumn leaves float slowly toward the earth, even grown-ups are well advised to remember that the lessons of our school years never really leave us as we venture forth into the cold and unknown world of adulthood.

I smell a birthday party in your immediate future, Virgo. Many greetings to you in this, your natal month, and may I offer a word of advice? You’re obviously busy planning the details of your celebration—guest list, cocktail menu, location, decorations—so I would encourage you to remember your high school chemistry classes and mix your reagents carefully to prevent explosions. Pretty dress + prosecco + great friends = super-fun time. Tequila + ex-boyfriend + country-western bar = you crying in a corner all night. Remember that some things, like barium sulfate and aluminum, just don’t mix well.

Yes, there’s an election coming up, but since you’re a born diplomat, remember your civics lessons this season when you get pulled into the inevitable political debate, and try not to get dragged down into political demagoguery. Whenever someone attempts to ask you your opinion on the health-care bill or the Ground Zero mosque, take the middle road and espouse a position that everyone can agree on—just say that everything bad that’s ever happened is Jimmy Carter’s fault.

As one of the most thoughtful and intuitive signs of the zodiac, you have a keen eye for people and behavior. This month, resist the temptation to start diagnosing everyone you know with afflictions you learned about in Psych 101. Your best friend doesn’t have histrionic personality disorder, she’s just self-absorbed. Your brother doesn’t have chronic fatigue syndrome, he’s just lazy. That homeless guy who talks to parking meters … okay, yeah, he’s probably schizophrenic. But the rest of us are fine, and telling us about the diseases we have is definitely a buzzkill. Besides, you’re one to talk—you’re the one with the raging case of psych student syndrome.

Just so you know, Sag, the rest of the zodiac hates you. While we were all slacking off in phys ed by pretending we had migraines or cramps or whatever, you were climbing the rope and running laps and doing everything you could to make the rest of us look bad. But we’ll all get our comeuppance. Hopefully you were paying attention when your gym teacher showed you the proper form and technique for running sprints—breathe steadily, take long strides, and keep your core stable—because this month, you’ll discover that running is fun only when you’re winning ribbons, not when someone is chasing you down a dark alley.

Don’t be a foppotee, Cap. It’s noscible that using various flosculations is a locupletative endeavor. After all, orthography, vocabulary, and lexicography always were your strong suits. Don’t be so senticous about those without the essomenic powers to divine just how useful such a skill can be. Your lubency to engage in serious wordsmithery may not help you get dates or relate well with others, but those qualities, along with your hirquitalliency, will surely propel you to a profitable career as a philargyrist or a sigonologist. Indeed.

You’ll find your old speech and debate skills handy this month when you’re pulled over by a cop who wants to know why you’re driving sixty-five miles per hour in a school zone with your trunk open. Relax, Aquarius, and just pretend that your interrogation is an ad-libbed speech for class. Remember to argue your point clearly and concisely, but don’t even think about picturing anyone in the audience naked. You know how many donuts cops consume, and laughing or barfing during a traffic stop are two surefire ways to get invited downtown for more questioning.

You’ve always wished for a storybook romance, Pisces, just like the tales of Catherine and Heathcliff, Othello and Desdemona, Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy. So when a dark, handsome, and brooding stranger crosses your path this month, you’re immediately ready to run away to a windswept moor and get his name tattooed on your lady parts. But hold on there, and remember your literature classes. The men in those stories? The ones you’ve idealized? They were assholes. Total jerks. Heathcliff was borderline psychotic, Darcy was a narcissist, and Othello killed Desdemona. Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice, and Othello may be vital works of English literature, but they are far from good examples of functional and equitable relationships. Don’t fall for the brooding stranger—fall for the accountant with the Volvo and the 401(k).

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” That’s from Ecclesiastes, Aries, as if you didn’t know. And as you remember from World History, it means that every thought, every idea, every boneheaded mistake or brilliant insight has been made before and will be made again—it’s part of the human condition. So don’t be too hard on yourself this month when you try to enter the World Doofus Hall of Fame by attempting to run a marathon without training, or by enrolling in graduate school. We all do stupid stuff. Look at Napoleon—he led his army into battle at Waterloo, only to be annihilated by the English. But at least Napoleon had the privilege of living out his life alone on a private island, while you, sadly, will only live to be ridiculed in public another day.

You may have thought shop class was only for those students who’d be spending their professional lives wearing coveralls with their name on the pocket, but you were wrong. As the workhorses of the zodiac, Taureans are actually very well suited for manual labor. This month, you may be overcome with a desire to take up woodworking, shed building, or some other folksy craft project. One word of advice, Taurus: if you ever find yourself working with a table saw, don’t wear a shirt with sleeves, because even if you cut off your hand, the government will not give you disability benefits. Take my word on this.

One of Gemini’s greatest skills—or least desirable personality traits, depending on how you look at it—is the ability to become someone else. This duality will come in handy this month when you suddenly decide to chuck it all and escape to another country where you can run a tropical-drink stand on the beach and teach samba lessons on the side. You’ll need to brush up on your language skills, Gemini, and all that practice in high school Spanish class, repeating, “Donde está la biblioteca?” won’t help. As a single woman in a foreign land, you’ll need to get comfortable with the following phrases: “Salga, tengo una pistola,” “Aquí hay un soborno,” and “No me toques, tengo herpes.” Have fun!

Cancer is one of the most motherly signs of the zodiac, so it’s a good thing you excelled at home economics. Now that you’re the economist of your own home, though, you realize it would have been much more valuable to develop some skills in investment banking or neurosurgery, because being a domestic goddess is not all it’s cracked up to be. It’s not about wearing adorable aprons and flitting about the kitchen with homemade cookies; it’s about figuring out how to get a pen cap out of a toddler’s nose and finding all the nooks and crannies where various family members have stashed their gum. This month, resolve to go back to night school so you can get out of your home with your sanity intact. Or, at the very least, keep busy by knitting furry cozies for all of your appliances and gadgets. That should keep you occupied until you die.

Oh, Leo. When will you just give it up? Just because you got an A in your high school theater class doesn’t mean you should pursue a career in acting. This month, please take some time to reevaluate your priorities and realize that real agents don’t make you pay them up front, and normally, actors leave their clothes on throughout an entire audition. Your forays into entertainment have been well intentioned, but you should be aware that you’ve unknowingly left behind some evidence that’s currently doing a brisk business in the adult-film industry. This month, consider learning social work, copyediting, or how to make pastry. Just don’t become a high school drama teacher, because that’s a little pathetic.

Read last month’s Visiting Visionary.

The Visiting Visionary is a monthly column written by a different guest horoscopist each month. We’ll focus on a new topic every month so that our Visionary can foretell how it will affect each sign.

Allison Ford is an alumna of several educational institutions with Latin mottos, always did the assigned reading, and consistently threw off the grading curve with her prodigious wit and wisdom. She feels that everything she needed to know in life, she learned in kindergarten, but it has also been handy to know the location and function of the popliteal fossa. Her favorite element is beryllium, her favorite part of speech is the gerund, and her favorite number is eight.


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