Sign of the Times

When I used to tell people my sign, they’d nod and purse their lips, as if to say, “Figures.” Or they’d ask me directly if that was my sign and smile victoriously when I admitted that it was. Or, when I revealed the information, they’d shake their heads, take a tentative step away and mutter something about how they once knew one, but it had been a long time ago.

I’m a Gemini, which, from this experiences and many more, I believe is a word some people consider synonymous with psychotic. I’m guessing it’s the whole twins thing — from my unscientific research in the area, I’d have to guess that people with split personalities tend to be upsetting. We’re sweet as can be — and then the switch flips.

And oh, how I fit that description. Add to that the fact that I was born on June 6th (and that when we were little, my brother had told me after we saw Damien: Omen II that I had a scar on my scalp that he’d seen when I was born which proved that I was in fact a devil child) and I really felt I was justified in being monstrous.

But then I grew up a little and the two sides began to feel oppressive. It was simply too exhausting to balance being perfect and perfectly horrible. And also, I got sober, therapized and older.

And I also found out, from a friend who was one of those astrology freaks, that your rising sign is actually a lot more indicative of who you are than your birth sign.

I liked that theory because my rising sign is Leo — which, as far as I’m concerned, beats Gemini by a mile. I mean, would you rather be attached to a sign that’s associated with glory or the one that’s renowned for being nuts? Of course, Leo’s also have some less than desirable characteristics having to do with being self-involved — but I’ll take that.

And weirdly, now when I get into conversations with people about signs and they’re guessing mine (I live in LA — this kind of thing isn’t as unusual as you might imagine), more often than not, they’ll ask me if I’m a Leo. You could say, I guess, that I grew into my rising sign.

Or at least that my two sides became one.

Are you more like your birth sign or your rising sign? Do you even know your rising sign?

9 Replies to “Sign of the Times”

  1. Anna, what a great post. I had no idea what a ‘rising sign’ even was. However, I’m a Gemini as well (May 28th) and, yes, I do believe we are unfairly stereotyped as psychotic in personality by many.
    Sad, huh? I’m off to check out my rising sign! 🙂

  2. Goodness, three Gemini novelists that I know of — Allison Winn Scotch being the third.

    Your “rising sign” is what was on the horizon (of your astrological chart) at the time and place you were born. My sun sign is Virgo and my rising sign is Pisces which are direct opposites, so…I rationalize having the best of both: the disciplined and the dreamer!

  3. Ah, the old “your scar looks just like Damien’s” trick – I am guilty for having used that on my brother before (it ranks right up there with the “You didn’t know you were adopted? I thought they told you!” trick) ….

  4. If anyone cares, here’s more clarification. Your sun sign describes your innate, inner qualities while your rising sign describes the traits you show to the public. And that’s why Anna is accepted as a Leo.

    Sounds a bit far-fetched and silly, but — in my youth — I was curious and delved into the how and why.

  5. I am a card carrying Gemini also. My rising sign is Virgo (archetype: THE LIBRARIAN) but I am told I have Pluto (darkness, death, transformation) conjuncting the ascendent so I come off more like the librarian from Hades!

    I think being a Gemini is a good thing for a writer. We’re supposedly good with words and have a very easy time being able to see things from other people’s point of view (which is why we have such a hard time making decisions!). My mother is a Gemini also, as is my daughter. And all three of us live in the same house. It can get mighty interesting…

  6. I did not know the rising sign was so important. Do all of you know the exact time you were born or are you rounding off? All I know is I was born 3 a.m.-ish after 28 hours of agonizing labor…

  7. Anna, you share a birthday with my DH. Nice 🙂

    I have no idea what time I was born, and doubt I’ll find out anytime soon. So no clue on my rising sign. Hmmmm, can I just choose one? Like, I could choose the sign whose traits I WISH I had? Someone’s going to have to do a reading on me, I am truly clueless about this stuff.

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