So, this is 40. It is looking just fine, on day one… ushered in with an evening spent in the company of colleagues and parents, and enveloped by the ubiquitous smell of the hallowed halls of a comprehensive high school: Back To School Night. I admit to a serious case of poor me’s when I first discovered that I would spend my fortieth birthday at school, but in the end… there are a lot of worse ways to spend an evening than having hundreds of people tell you how wonderful you are and how much their kids adore you. Frankly, it did not suck. And interestingly, on of a staff of around 70 people, there were two other faculty members who shared my plight: THREE September 22 birthdays. Kind of amazing – so happy birthday Sean and Kermit.
I don’t know how old my co-celebrants are but I was born on a Tuesday in 1970 at 2:43 pm. My mom tells me that she and my dad drove down to the city from Petaluma crossing the Golden Gate as the sun came up on the way to UCSF’s Moffett Hospital. That sounds pretty nice. That day the moon entered the exact measure of the Fall equinox. In some ways then, I must be balanced.
They say Tuesday’s child is full of grace. Maybe. But, grace or not, I am a Virgo indeed. “Inspired by sensation and thought, controlled, organized (bossy?) loyal, responsible, demanding and often an issuer of silent demands, expecting that needs will be met without having to state them verbally.” I borrow those words from a source substantially more well versed in acknowledgements astrological, but they seem to resonate. Just a little.
There is a book, The Secret Language of Birthdays, that examines character traits of people based on the day of their birth. So, I suppose it borrows from the legends of the days of the week (…full of grace…) as well as Sun signs and Moon signs and Rising signs and Numerology and Tarot and these sorts of things. In spite of this, (because of this?) it has been entertainingly accurate in the hands of many people I know. Of me – September 22nd, it says:
INDIVIDUAL, PERCEPTIVE, WELL-DIRECTED
ACERBIC, DARK, GUARDED
Well, I should say so.
It is further noted that those born on the 22nd of September are born on “The Day of Restless Drive” – able to multitask well, but often not allowing for [enough] rest between projects. Known for a low boredom threshold, these people can consequently demand challenging people and situation. Those born on this day also may love to be dynamic and social at one time and solitary and unapproachable at others – in either case a strong personality is evident.
Constantly concerned with fairness and equality people born on this date also think for themselves and are often intolerant of others, particularly those of lesser intelligence.
Those born on this date can be ironic, witty and outright funny, but their humor might not be for everyone as it can be off-beat, sardonic and even macabre.
September 22 people can often hide a warm heart under a forbidding exterior though they will generally open up with people they deeply trust and value, though this still proves difficult as their orientation is highly realistic and the ironies of life are obvious to them. These people are excellent judges of character and capable of sizing people up very quickly; those few friends whom they let into their inner sanctum they value most highly – generally for life.
Of my numerology – I am ruled by the number 4, representative of rebellion, idiosyncratic beliefs and desire to change the rules. However, often taking the opposing point of view combined with self-assuredness can lead to the accumulation of known or unknown enemies.
When I read these things I do chuckle. I think of the people who have had problems with me, mostly that I was never even aware of, not through arrogance but a genuine sense of something more akin to self-consciousness that has always made me worry that people might not even know who I am – you know, like, when you go to a party and you remember everyone’s names but you are sure they will not remember you. I also remember the days when I allowed myself to be plagued by people who had nothing to do with me or that I did not even know. What a waste of energy that was. That is just one of so many things I can thank the passing of the years for.
In the tradition of Tarot, I am The Fool. Quite obviously this character has a very dualistic interpretation depending on point of view, but basically he is said to renounce resistance, and freely follow instincts leading on occasion to foolish acts, impulsiveness and annihilation. That sounds like my thirties.
I share my birthday with Blibo Baggins, born this day in 1290 in the Shire Reconning, as well as Pete Jones from Public Image Limited (1957), Joan Jett (1958), [Joanie Loves] Chachi (1960), Eric Stoltz (1961, born in American Samoa? Really?) and Ronaldo of Brasilia fame. I like that diversity.
September 22 was the day the last victims of the Salem Witch Trials were hanged in 1692 and the day the French mime Marcel Marceau mimed his last words in 2007. As I prefer witches to mimes, both these facts suit me.
It is said that people with my date of birth enjoy being singled out by fate, and that regardless of whether or not a situation is good or bad, we are more concerned with the magnitude of said situation than any consequences. I have never heard this articulated in such a way, but it rings quite true. People born on this day are destined to feel the need to travel the world and have powerful personalities often drawn to scholarly pursuits but more likely to fulfill more worldly aims. Described as brainy and able to deflate the pomposity of others, overly critical and covetous of influence… I think that sounds a lot like being a high school teacher.
The potential to achieve considerable, if not great heights, in their chosen vocation, September 22 people also take great pride and satisfaction from the successful completion of tasks that may be of a complicated nature.
People born on this day have a tendency to go back and forth between profound personal commitments and a desire for total independence and are often promiscuous in nature, preferring to play rather than perform, or to enchant rather than to capture. [God damn.] Interestingly, people born on this day look outward to ascertain and to discover through interpersonal relationships, the people we really are. This has not always been pleasant but I reluctantly admit I have learned a tremendous amount about myself through my interpersonal relationships. It would have been nice to have a heads up as to how hard some of those lessons would be. Just sayin’.
A powerful desire for personal freedom does not seem to compromise the interpersonal relationships formed by those born on this day and friendship and communication form a major part of their make up. I sometimes wonder if the equinox influence has contributed to this lifelong dichotomy of my demand for freedom coupled with a deep desire for connection. Perhaps the trick is finding others with the same duality. I cannot accept that a compromise of one ideal over the other would be necessary.
Mine is a path of learning; to transform awareness and comfort with the physical world into a new understanding of ways of looking beyond that of the physical. This is an influence that will continually extend beyond the comfort zone, and out into the unknown. As result, I am told I am likely to constantly have the feeling that I am living life on the verge of something, and with a continual sensation of anticipation.
In the Chinese zodiac, I am a metal dog, described generally as honest, smart, loyal and friendly. Dogs are known for a strong moral code and sense of justice, but are also often overly critical of themselves and others, with an occasional tendency to be hot headed when they feel something is unfair.
Still, once a person has gained the trust of a dog, they have usually gained themselves a loyal and faithful friend. Dogs are good about keeping real secrets and following through with promises.
Dogs are very straightforward in how they speak and take action; friends will always know where they stand with a dog, and should be advised to not ask a question unless an honest answer is sought. Dogs have a fun and playful side often enjoying the company of others and being silly, warm, affectionate or dramatic. Good listeners who are empathetic and there when needed dogs also tend to be keen observers – often when you think they might not be paying attention at all. I was mentioning tonight how there is great power in the ability to allow people to underestimate you without being compelled to explain or defend yourself. I believe this to be one of the great lessons life has offered me, and to revel in the silliness that those who do not know go on and on about. To be sure of self is like the most kick ass super power. I wish I would have known that long ago.
I hear the expression “in the final analysis…” all the time. I am not sure there is a final analysis, but if there is a way to say, you know, at the end of the day… I would say, at the end of the day, the way we do the things we do and the way we learn from those things makes us the person we must want to be at some level. And if you can live with that person until the end of your days, you must be doing alright.
And if nothing else you can always have a dance… Here’s to another decade.
[most of the astrological information – Chinese and Western came from a variety of websites, and is in no way original work/thought on my part.]