Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Astrology and Humor

Taurus Rising

© 2011 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

I had an encounter with a woman many years ago—someone very “proper.” She couldn’t understand why I use humor so liberally when talking about Chiron, because Chiron is “so spiritual.” I have a very different perspective, namely:

We’re closest to God when we’re laughing.

I don’t know how anyone could think that God, Spirit, the Cosmos—or Chiron—could lack a sense of humor. (How could anyone endure ongoing pain without learning to laugh?) We’ll get back to Chiron. For now, let’s start with “opposites attract” and just go around the zodiac for a minute. This, to me, shows that beauty and absurdity are both part of creation. Tell me this these magnetic matches aren’t a hoot!

Aries/Libra – Me-me-me meets Us-us-us!

Taurus/Scorpio – Touchy Feely meets, Don’t touch me! You don’t know me that well! (with apologies to Flip Wilson and his unforgettable character, Geraldine).

Gemini/Sagittarius – Curious About Everything falls for Already Knows Everything. (What’s left for poor fact finder Gem to share with this person?)

Cancer/Capricorn- Home Sweet Home meets Home Sweet Office.

Leo/Aquarius – Look at Me goes gaga for Look at Them!

Virgo/Pisces – Manners and Orderly is drawn to Might Be Drunk and Thrives on Disorderly

Humor Is Conflict

Conflict is one of the mainstays of humor. As thoroughly modern students of astrology, we like to call the “hard” aspects stressful, but by whatever name we call these tensions, they are a hotbed of hilarity. As another for-instance, let’s look at signs in square and the strange bedfellows they make. Just imagine some of their conversations …

Aries square Cancer – Adventurer and Homebody

Taurus square Leo – Down to Earth and His or Her Majesty

Gemini square Virgo – Flitting Factoids and Thorough Analysis

Cancer square Libra – Too Worried About the Kids to Ever Leave Home and Dying for a Romantic Getaway

Leo square Scorpio – Light (Sun) meets Dark (Pluto)

Virgo square Sagitarrius – Self-Doubt and Never Any Doubt

Libra square Capricorn – Beauty and the Corporate Beast

Scorpio square AquariusPrivate Cave and Public Love-In

Sagittarius square Pisces – Higher Education and High as Education

Capricorn square Aries – Step at a Time and Hit the Floor Running

Aquarius square Taurus – Sit-In and Just Wants to Sit

Pisces square Gemini – Feeler falls for Thinker

You could do this, conceivably, with every aspect that creates interchart tensions: quincunx, semi-square, sometimes the conjunction. (In fact, if anyone has any “good ones,” please share in the Comments.)

Humor: The Ultimate Survival Tool

No one wants "the crabs."
When life gets too heavy there’s only one thing to do—make light of it.  The first symptom that I have lost my sense of humor is when I’m crabby—and it has become chronic.

When I went through a very difficult time with my husband’s health some years back, I felt I had lost my connection to Spirit—and my sense of humor. That only gave more weight to my theory that they are closely connected.

Though I didn’t figure this out during that dark time, I now see that when humor does not come spontaneously due to depression, overwhelm, fatigue—whatever the cause—we need to seek “passive humor” opportunities. There’s the wonderful story about how Dr. Norman Cousins found relief from severe arthritic pain by watching funny movies. That’s my recommendation for passive humor—or funny TV shows, humorous books—whatever is your favorite medium where you can sit and receive amusement. Clear the cobwebs out of your mind and just take it in. You’ll laugh.

"I made the joyous discovery that ten minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep. ~ Norman Cousins

The physiological benefits of laughter are legion. The best article I ever read on this topic is How Laughter Works. It’s worth 10-15 minutes of your time to read the whole thing. It’s a thrilling read, and it will leave you laughing—more!

Jupiter, Your “Humorous”

If there’s an astrological funny bone, it’s your Jupiter. (The other humerus is the long bone of your arm, so the funny bone or elbow is part of it.) Hitting the “funny bone” feels very strange, even painful. A bundle of nerves are routed though it—and it’s easy to see the double entendre there. We need to laugh to release tension and nervousness. We often find funniest what “hits home” the most.

Here are some observations on what the various astrological archetypes find funny or do to make us laugh:

Jupiter in Aries:  Pointed humor. Quick witted. Example: Robin Williams, whose Jupiter in Aries opposes Neptune. He taps into the collective unconscious and channels whatever comes through faster than a fire out of control.

Jupiter in Taurus:  Jokes about money and food—like where his or her next dollar or cookie are coming from. Example: Jack Benny, whose routines were primarily about his being cheap and vain—beauty being another Taurus preoccupation.

Jupiter in Gemini: Speech or communication patterns that have a pattern of two or twin opposites and “good messenger” timing. Example: Bob Newhart, known for double-takes (Gemini duality), his deadpan humor, and his artful use of the pause. Deadpan humor is another Gem-duality, when something is funny because it is delivered with such seriousness.

Jupiter in Cancer: Jokes about family, hometown or neighborhood. Example: Humorous mystery author, Janet Evanovich, who writes about a blue-collar pocket of Trenton, NJ, known as The Burg in her numbers novels. (Laughter alert: A movie based on the first Stephanie Plum novel, One for the Money, will be out in January 2012, starring Katherine Heigl as Stephanie.)   Also, Garrison Keillor, whose fictional hometown of Lake Woebegon, MN keeps us laughing on A Prairie Home Companion on National Public Radio.

Jupiter in Leo: Humor that makes fun of views other than his or her own. (My beliefs rule!) Example: Bill Maher, who considers anyone stupid who believes in “the talking snake,” his buzz words for the Garden of Eden story. He produced the movie, Religulous (2008), which discredits religion as ridiculous.

Jupiter in Virgo: Plays with language and “does it wrong” for laughs.  Example: Comedic pianist Victor Borge, who would read a sentence and punctuate it with silly sounds that you could easily imagine a comma, period, or question mark to sound like. Some of his other antics: He’d turn music upside down, botch a concerto, or play two different songs with each hand. He liked to turn proper Virgoness on its fussy ear.

Jupiter in Libra: Relationship humor, of course. Example: Rodney Dangerfield. “Take my wife—please.”

Jupiter in Scorpio:  Sexual humor, humor about the mysteries of life, gallows humor, sometimes a little twisted and/or macabre. Example: David Letterman. (You always knew he was a little off!) Swami Beyondananda gets the prize for mysteries of life humor with Jupiter conjunct Mercury, firing pun after pun about consciousness.  

Jupiter in Sagittarius:  Exaggeration, humor that’s over the top. Also those minister, priest, and rabbi jokes. After all, they’re about religion, one of Sag’s favorite topics. Example: Woody Allen. Jupiter in Sag conjuncts Sun and Mercury and is part of a T-square with Chiron and Saturn.

Jupiter in Capricorn: Occupational jokes and ones about aging. Example: Peter Sellers whose Jupiter in Cap opposes Pluto and trines Sun/Mars. He made a joke of the occupation detective in his bumbling Inspector Clouseau movies, the antithesis of the “together” Capricorn businessman archetype. With Mars in his Jupiter configuration, his comedy was very physical. Another example: Johnny Carson, with Moon/Jupiter conjunct in Cap, did an over-the-top caricature of psychics as Karnac the Magnificent.

Jupiter in Aquarius:  Humor that flips off the powers-that-be and cuts them down to size. Example: Matthew Brodderick. He played his Jupiter sign as the ultimate rebel charmer in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, one of my all-time favorite movies. Ferris drove the principal of his high school literally crazy with his clever defiance of authority and catch-me-if-you can nerve.

Jupiter in Pisces: Impressionists, another one for religious humor. One of the best examples of this is comedian/ ventriloquist Jeff Dunham whose puppets are like multiple personalities inside him screaming to come out. His Jupiter in Pisces conjuncts Chiron and trines Neptune. One of his characters is Achmed the Dead Terrorist, a literal skeleton of his former self. Jeff’s humor is edgy, and his puppets speak what many people think but would never have the nerve to say. In a very Jupiter in Pisces way, he’s tapped into the collective “humorous.”(Interesting note: Jeff’s birth data is not easy to find, differs in a couple of places, and the most likely correct data is 4/18/1962 in Dallas, TX.) Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson, born just a month later with the same configuration, expresses Jupiter in Pisces (conjunct Chiron) with his goofy, pliable facial expressions, becoming any face and every face.

Chiron and Humor

Most humor derives from pain at some level. We laugh about what hurts. Pain is a generic term that encompasses discomfort, embarrassment, anger, exasperation, friction, annoyance and many other feelings. Consider how you felt the last time someone was being a pain—and you can probably add pains by other names to the list.

The most positive Chironic characteristic is to make lemonade out of lemons. That’s what humor does. It takes what’s sour, adds the sugar of laughter and the water of our tears, if we laugh so hard we cry, and whatever we’re going through is suddenly bearable.

Chiron is prominent in the charts of many comedians, often in aspect to their Jupiter. While too wide to be considered a conjunction, my own Jupiter and Chiron are in the same sign—Scorpio—and I definitely feel the connection between what hurts and what humors.

In the channeled material, A Course in Miracles, we are told that miracles are changes of perception. When someone heals, we often say, It’s a miracle! Laughter changes our perception by putting pain in perspective.

Laughter is miraculous, and those who help us laugh are miracle workers.

Self-awareness and transformation—the gifts of astrology—are serious business. The more serious the subject, the more we need laughter to compensate for what we go through in the process of growth and evolution. We need to be the “light” at the end of our own tunnel.

I’d like to see a lot more humor in astrology—and a lot more astrology in humor. I don’t think it’s possible to heal without it.

You’ll continue to find plenty of it here on The Radical Virgo.


Photo Credits: Famous Dog © Willeecole - Dreamstime.com; Happy Sun © Tetastock - Fotolia.com; Humorous Blue Crab © Benjy - Fotolia.com

Next on Humor Month: Funny Movies for the Signs

Chiron 101: Summer School: Don’t miss your chance for a $20 discount. Early bird special of $59 ends June 1. The class is filling up, and the maximum number of students is 20. The earliest this course will be repeated is in 2012.


Susannah said...

Wonderful Joyce. :-)

I really enjoyed reading.

Angela Artemis said...

Joyce, I really found this to be fun to read. I do speak "astrology" and it's nice to see it taken more lightly once in a while. I was really struck with Gemini meets Sagittarius. You described my relationship between me and my mother perfectly. No wonder we get on each other's nerves! LOL.

Joyce Mason said...

Susannah and Angela,

Thanks for taking time to comment! I'm on the road in Arizona and love being able go take The Radical Virgo with me wherever I go. I love the dog in this post, but I'd better not let the hotel know about her. They have a strict no pets policy, LOL!

Anisha Bagga said...

I am a Cancerian, "Home Sweet Home meets Home Sweet Office" this is so true. I am in absolute agreement with what you have narrated through this post. Great to see a superb blend of Astrology and Humor here, as it is a rare mix...thanks for the share...!!

Joyce Mason said...

Hi, Anisha--Glad you enjoyed the post. I think astrologers tend to get way too heady and intellectual at times. Especially when people are going through tough transits, humor helps heal the pain and give us a different perspective. More truth of our situation enters when we let go of our tension in laughter.