Embracing my Inner Weirdo
by Victor Olliver
The editor of The Astrological Journal discusses his ‘new’ rising sign. He’s got through quite a few.
I made a recent significant discovery. Of personal significance, that is. I am not Gemini-Gemini or Gemini-Taurus, Gemini-Cancer or even Gemini-Pisces. My Sun is still in Gemini but rising sign is now Aquarius. Oh wow. At last! I can embrace my inner weirdo; the weirdo I’ve always been and will be to the day I die; or so I suppose.
Added piquancy is that the discovery has been made (thanks to my
mum’s belated but new-improved recollection) during my ongoing
second return of Saturn, new co-ruler of my birth chart. Great timing! I
suppose the slick media stargazer’s ghostwriter would say of me:
“At a time of spiritual crossroads, when not for the first time you
are reflecting on where you are and where you’re heading, totting up
the victories, setbacks and lettings-go, your chart (or someone!) alerted
you to a missing part of the horoscopic puzzle - something that may
enable you to enter your drooling, dribbling dotage (had your lower bowel
checked out yet, dear?) with a clearer sense of who you are.”
Like I give a toss.
But I must say I do feel a lot more comfortable thinking I am Aquarius rising. It’s a more appropriate fit, like a custom-made suit with a well-tailored crotch. A lot of this is to do with self-perception, if not memory. As a child I was abnormally awkward and silent (these days, the quack Dr Googles would say I was or am on the autistic spectrum). And when I did open my mouth, I was peculiarly articulate and confident, elaborate and specific (a bit like this piece) and possessed of an odd posh voice - not bad for a kid who had free school dinners and threw away his NHS specs with the two nasty silver hinge screw heads either side of the lenses. I was also alarmingly pretty (I hope this is not embarrassing you - because I’m feeling quite comfortable as I digitise the old snaps for eternity’s indifference) and for this reason, many kids, self-trained to expert in the area of sexual orientation, determined that I was a ‘poof’. Actually, until the age of 12, I and my Evangelical choirboy bestie had no idea of what a poof was - it was just a word missile that forever failed to detonate in our heads. I wore my poofery as a mark of pride in all innocence, long before Pride came along with its street entertainers on stilts and Julie Burchill dancing 80s disco (she now has sciatica as a result). No one actually asked me whether as a child I engaged in sexual activity with other boys - all of whom in any case were straight virgins (apparently), projecting anxieties instilled by their kidult self-perpetuating parents. No, the issue was perception - of making sure one fitted in. I stuck out - as in some ways I still do in adulthood.
Now, Infinity magazine is not the place to over-indulge in the particulars of autobiography. You don’t really want to know what I do with my body - just get on with your chart work. The point of my telling you all this - about my perceived ‘weirdness’ - is to say something about the nature of Aquarius rising: the cookbooks tell us that it’s the mark of the sore sticky-out thumb; the square in the round hole; the geek/weirdo/outsider in the school year photo cramped between the popular rugby player and the thin, ultra-clever violinist (who’s also a master at algebra and chess), all of us posing in front of a uniformed herd of industrial, self-edited averageness, socially approved by nick-names and dodgy hair-dos.
Aquarius rising is the new mould that’s not to be repeated. Aquarius rising is weirdo.
However! To what extent am I tailoring my self-definition to the novelty of the Aquarius ascendant? Until recently I thought I was nebulous Pisces rising and I focused on my ability to be whatever people want me to be - at least for a while - and my tendency to do unto others what they would never dream of doing for me in their unyielding, you‘ve-only-got-one-life, selfishness. I recalled the people I had won over/comforted/got into bed with/impressed by picking up on their needs - and what they needed from me. I was (and am) capable of deriving pleasure from simply performing an action for another person because it consummates their need: my needs are not considered in the moment. Of course I must be Pisces rising. But hang on a minute - what about my Pisces Moon? Might that explain these traits? After all, how did Pisces rising explain my combative persona - my tendency to blow up in an instant? Anyway…
Then there was my Gemini-Gemini phase. I went to my first Astrological Association Conference and told everyone with certainty that I was a Double G. I can see them now, learned stargazers punching my birth data into their smart phone Astro Gold for some face-pulling snap-analysis. ‘Ooh yes…mmm…that Saturn…mmm, anyway, so what’s your name again - Oliver?’ I recalled my Twins-themed crazy times in journalism, and of course my facility with words and phrase-making. Glib, facile, superficial, impatient - I was suddenly the walking soufflé or cliché of Hermes. In adulthood I could swan into a party and just start rattling out the entertainment, depending on the crowd. To what extent memory was distorted to fit the double G superimposition I cannot say for sure. But I felt more social and vivacious in thinking I was a Gemini rising person. I actually felt brighter and more immediate. My years of silence were repackaged as ‘rehearsal’. And I read somewhere once that double Gs can even seem a bit introverted for a while. So there you go.
The Gemini-Taurus phase never really took off in my mind because I have never been much interested in money or possessions. And I can’t recall ever enjoying the experience of touching up clay on the potter’s wheel (the Bull is tactile, see) - although I do have a crushed velvet dinner suit that others (women especially) like to stroke. True, I like petting pussy cats. Who doesn’t? But, on the other hand, I did consider that a Venus chart ruler usually bestows good looks (so I gazed in the looking glass seeking confirmation), and a warm personality. I re-watched Death In Venice for support. If a certain irritability in my nature somewhat compromised this trait of the thermal aura, I could always blame it on nervy cool Gemini - or even my Mars in Cancer. Or Pisces Moon: soooo sensitive. Astrologers are forever flexible in their go-tos. That’s useful but also a big problem.
The idea of Aquarius rising has made me look again at my chart and at the timing of certain major events. One in particular was the launch of my blog Madame Arcati back on 4 July 2006 - then I knew little about astrology. The site became quite notorious for breaking stories about ne’er-do-well journalists and editors, for involving itself in a lengthy feud in the Kevin Spacey troubled clan and for posting satirical PhotoShopped nude pics of celebs. I created the site and identity in a late expression of juvenile delinquency; also as a palliative to counter a very restrictive, boring day job. Madame Arcati was in essence self-entertainment and a drag act of the sit-down variety - and bore no resemblance to Noel Coward’s clairvoyante Mme Arcati, created for his play Blithe Spirit, even though a pic of actress Margaret Rutherford (who played Arcati in the play and the 1945 film) was used as blog avatar.
The early birth-time hours (which give rise to Aquarius rising) for the Arcati blog launch day show tr Uranus closely conjunct my Moon in Pisces, trine tr Sun exact on natal Mars. A perfect description. In literal terms, a break for ‘independence’, a break with past ways of doing things (Uranus on Moon); a new feminine guise for ‘masculine’ feral energy, and involvement of empowered personal identity (Sun on Mars): Arcati triggered many rows and challenges; and her mode of expression at times was cranky, vitriolic and certainly provocative. Pisces’ involvement with Moon-Uranus hints at the ‘psychic’ theme of the new identity. In broader terms, tr Uranus was close to natal Moon whichever clock-time used for my birthday. But Aquarius rising in mid-degrees gives the conjunction.
Is this proof that I have an Aquarian ascendant? Not really. Without certified birth time, we can only speculate or rectify more rigorously. However! Now that I like the idea of my new rising sign, I find something fresh in my chart to illustrate the newly conceived me (or ‘moi’ as Madame would say). Aquarius just about explains everything just as Pisces or Gemini once did. It would be fair to say that Aquarius draws out fewer objections. It seems more bang on. More moi.
Oh and a final thing. I always did wonder why most of my friends (of the past especially) were Aquarian. My first girlfriend (who was the ultimate-ultimate outsider; a foundling on a bike, almost) was Aquarius. Why am I drawn to eccentrics, ‘weirdos’, individualists - like my (ex-!) ‘fiancee’ Molly Parkin, a classic Aquarian type? Aquarius just finds me, even in a crowd of moo-ers. Here’s an answer: my new Aquarius rising places Leo Uranus three degrees off my descendant (if using Whole Signs - I do highly recommend). The time I have spent listening to colourful show-offs, braggarts and anecdotalists! I have gone off this lot of late. Now I prefer to talk about me-moi. Perhaps final recognition of my ‘true’ ascendant has exorcised my need for the drama of outsiders and cranks because I want to acknowledge the noisy outsider/crank in myself. There just isn’t space for the both of us in a world of self-promoting screamers.I, too, now claim the right to go on (and on) about moi.
© Victor Olliver, 2016. First published in the Infinity Magazine, an astrological online magazine, Oct. 2016.
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Victor Olliver is the editor of The Astrological Journal, published by the Astrological Association. He is also media officer of the Association of Professional Astrologers International. Based in the UK, he trained to be a barrister before becoming a magazine feature writer, and then an editor on a number of publications including magazines, newspapers and electronic media. He has two awards from the Periodical Publishers’ Association for his celebrity and travel journalism. He graduated with a distinction diploma in natal and mundane astrology from the Mayo School in 2012. Victor is also the author of the annual Lifesurfing series of astrological forecasting books.
Weirdo: Public Domain CC0, by OpenClipart_Vectors via pixabay.com
Aquarius: Public Domain CC0, by Peggy_Marco via pixabay.com
Madame Arcati: screenshot of Madame Arcati's Facebook page