I Understand You. (Your Permanent Horoscope).
For Birthdays Jan 1 – Dec 31:
There is the “you” that everyone around you knows, and most of them like the person they see. However, in addition to this side of you, there is another side of you that almost no one sees, that you keep to yourself or to only a few people very close to you. You value your family, yes, but you are also a strong individual; you do not completely depend on them. You have an idea of how to fulfill your goals and dreams, and occasionally the determination to go along with them, but you have doubts about if they will happen, and you largely keep those doubts secret. You are very passionate with your romantic partners, although a lot of others may not have guessed so. Very intelligent, even if you do not always appear this way at first; your intelligence lies mostly in your common sense.
I gave horoscopes to my 12th graders while student teaching. We were talking about fate versus will power for some reason, during the Macbeth unit. I asked them their birthdays and handed them strips of paper accordingly. Each paper had this exact paragraph, which I had written the night before, though I changed the order of the sentences for each sign (in case someone glanced at their neighbor’s paper). So everyone had the same horoscope, though they didn’t know it. I asked them to rate theirs on a scale of one (not accurate) to five (extremely accurate). Almost everyone said five.
Even more surprisingly, no one called out the horoscopes for being vague. They were actually rather excited and convinced that this piece of paper knew things about them they didn’t even know about themselves. And when I read it to myself, I still think, yeah, that’s me, totally. If we initially grant the horoscope some authority, then with each sentence our brains will choose, from their infinite reservoir of memories and experiences, the correct ones that fit that description.
– read. like. support. –
– read. like. support. –
And that is perhaps why the students were mostly unmoved when I revealed these were “fake” and all the same. A few insisted the paragraphs were accurate for them and didn’t seem to care what point I was trying to make. While they loved the teacher who, just a couple minutes earlier, seemed to believe in fate and cosmic connections, they were annoyed by the know-it-all who insisted on pulling back the curtain on their daydreams. I guess the joke, then, was on me.
p.s. I didn’t come up with this idea; I saw a video years ago where someone pulled the same trick – on a bunch of astrologers, using a serial killer’s horoscope. But I couldn’t find it so I just wrote my own.