As you may know—but may not, because of my Scorpio predilection for Dick Cheney-level secrecy—I am a semi-professional astrologer.*For many months, I have been quietly collecting birth data from TNB contributors** whenever the topic came up on the comment boards, a sort of horoscopical scavenger hunt that netted quite a few charts for my burgeoning collection.

Now is the time when, if this were a horror movie—like, say, Friday the 13th Part VII—I would rear back my head and laugh maniacally.Because what you poor saps don’t realize is, if your natal stats are entered into my little black book, I pretty much own you.It’s like Sparrowhawk, the wizard of Earthsea (or, if you prefer the watered-down version, Harry or Hermione), knowing a person’s One True Name.Speak that name aloud, and your destiny is mine!I’m a grand puppeteer pulling your wee marionette strings.

I’m not even joking.Like, right now, I just did a little magical incantation based on her chart, and somewhere in Minnesota, Becky left a comment.

This is why noted black magicians Alastair Crowley, Adolf Hitler, and Ronald Reagan deliberately disseminated false birth times—to protect themselves from vengeful rivals.(Glen Beck might also aver that this is the real reason Obama’s been so coy about his Kenyan birth…except that Beck doesn’t know what aver means).

Okay, fine, you’re right; I’m pulling your leg.But only about the “controlling destinies” thing.Crowley, Hitler, and Reagan really did give out false birth times, one of the less obvious things they had in common.And I really have been collecting birth data for my little black book (note: it’s actually red).

Given that a) I have all of this inside information at my disposal, b) people like to have their charts read (even people who think the whole enterprise is bunk; check that: especially people who think the whole enterprise is bunk), and c) the anniversary of TNB 3.0 is upon us, I figured this is as good a time as any to air out all of your dirty laundry to the world—and to set up a little mix-and-match game.

So, I have cast charts for these eighteen TNBers:

Becky Palapala
Brad Listi
Gina Frangello
Gloria Harrison
Greg Olear
James D. Irwin
Jessica Anya Blau
Joe Daly
Lenore Zion
Lisa Rae Cunningham
Matt Baldwin
Megan DiLullo
Rich Ferguson
Richard Cox
Sean Beaudoin
Simon Smithson
Slade Ham
Zara Potts

These are quickie readings, mind, based on my initial impressions of a handful of important factors—Sun sign, Ascendant, Moon sign, planets at angles, major aspects, and so on—and lack the sophistication of more extensive horoscopy.

The hitch is, I’m not going to tell you whose chart is whose.You have to guess.

Those of you adept at math will notice that there is one more chart than there are persons listed.Extra credit for anyone who correctly discerns who this chart belongs to.

But before we get to the good stuff, allow me a quick primer:

Astrology is the study of the relationship between the rhythms of the planets and the rhythms of life, a study that dates to ancient Babylon.It is older than Islam, older than Christianity, older than Judaism, older even than Zoroastrianism.Basically, astrology’s as old as Dick Clark.

The birth chart, or horoscope, is a map of the heavens at the instant you drew your first breath (which, astrologically speaking, is when life begins).The location of the planets at this moment—and by “planets,” we also mean the Sun and Moon, as well as downgraded-by-benighted-astronomers Pluto—will influence your personality.Think of the planets as a celestial choir.The “voice” of Venus would sound different if she is sitting next to you than it would if she’s in the other room.So it is with planetary vibrations.

Here’s what a horoscope looks like:

In traditional astrology, Venus and Jupiter are said to be benefic; Mars and especially Saturn are malefic.Modern astrologers argue that no planet is inherently good or bad; some merely present greater challenges than others.

An aspect is an angle formed by two or more planets.Two planets in about the same location in the sky are said to be conjunct.Two planets separated in the zodiacal circle by 180 degrees are said to be opposed.A trine makes a 120-degree angle; a square, 90; a sextile, 60; a quincunx, 150.

Squares, oppositions, and quincunxes are called hard aspects, because they denote conflict between those planetary energies.Trines and sextiles are favorable aspects, with those planetary energies coexisting synergistically.

The chart is divided into twelve slices, not unlike a celestial pizza.Each pizza slice is called a house.In Western astrology, there are twelve houses, each representing an aspect of human personality.

The east/west axis of the birth chart represents the horizon.The sign of the zodiac that is on the easternmost part of the visible sky is your Ascendant, or Rising Sign.The sign in the “high noon” position is the Midheaven, or MC (don’t ask; it’s Latin).The four points made by these two extended lines are called the angles.Planets near the angles, especially the Ascendant and MC, are more significant than ones “buried” in weak houses.

During the course of life, the position of the planets at birth form aspects to the current position of planets in the sky.These are called transits.The best-known transit is the Saturn Return, when Saturn returns to the position it was in when you were born.Saturn “returns” every 29.5 years or so.

Astrology is not really about fate or destiny.An Aries with Aries rising and Mars in the First House will by nature be more aggressive than other people.This means he has a tendency toward anger, but his aggression could also be channeled in more positive ways.

The stars incline; they do not compel.

And now, to the charts!

Chart #1

Fiercely independent, maybe a little headstrong.Not a wallflower, and not one to take shit from anyone.Mars and Saturn occupy the Fourth House, so much of that aggression is contained in the home; she has issues with her home life, especially so early in her life.The moon in Sag in the Ninth brings a love of reading, learning, mind-expansion, and especially travel.She’s a free spirit, fun to be around.

Chart #2

When you meet her, she seems like a nurturer, someone who cares about you deeply, who will take you in and heal you.Family and friends are important to her, as is shared history (such as, say, the history of this fine website).But she’s not wishy-washy.In her professional life in particular, she can shift into a higher gear, and she often assumes a leadership role in work and/or higher education.She enjoys travel, and is distrustful of groups unless she is the leader of them.

Chart #3

Comes off unconventional and sometimes a bit odd.Loses herself in groups. Fascinated with sex and death.In professional life, changes hats and careers often; might do something like get an advanced degree, and then go back to school for something unrelated.No bullshit, a bit Type A, and not at all “girlie”—that said, the Sun at the midpoint of a Venus/Mars conjunction bestows enormous sex appeal.

Chart #4

The Moon in Pisces conjunct the Ascendant indicates an intense sensitivity, which sometimes manifests as a chamelion-like habit of taking on the moods of others.He has a deep, almost desperate, need to be liked; fortunately, he’s a nice person and generally likable.The Sun/Moon square is tricky; at the core, his wants and his needs are conflicted.Probably his mother and father were at cross purposes, or appeared to be to him.All this bubbling emotion is mitigated by the Gemini Sun conjunct the IC; he escapes his feelings through his keen, mercurial mind.

Chart #5

Original, eccentric, dynamic, and front and center, especially in public and in his profession.The double Air (Sun plus Rising sign) bestows a quick, sharp mind that tends to wander from topic to topic, more interested in sampling a lot than going deeper.Saturn in the Ninth suggests a disinclination to dwell on the larger mysteries of life; he is more likely to brush off talk about God and religion with a joke.The Moon/Jupiter conjunction in the Seventh make him attractive to others in one-on-one relationships; this can be romantic or in business partnerships.

Chart #6

Water, water, everywhere!This guy feels, deeply.He also can see ghosts, and probably has.He seeks constant change in his professional life, and often in his life in general.His fascination with the occult and metaphysical worlds borders on the obsessive.Because of this, he has an intense fear of death.But his wants and needs are in perfect alignment, and he has a great relationship with his parents.Virgo in the Seventh means he can be a perfectionist about matters of the heart; he’d rather be alone than with someone who doesn’t measure up—and in his experience, no one quite measures up.

Chart #7

Organized, capable, hard-working.Successful in her career, and looked up to by others.Jupiter on the First House cusp brings artistic abilities, especially in the field of acting, and the tight-orbed Venus/Sun/Mars conjunction in the Ninth, with the Sun at the midpoint, equates to mucho sex appeal.The outers—Pluto/Uranus, Neptune, and Saturn—form a yod, or finger of God, aspect pattern.This means the turbulence of the Pluto/Uranus conjunction and the otherworldly “high art” creativity of Neptune all play upon the house where grumpy old Saturn resides—the Eighth, which means lots and lots of conflicted, deep-seated, powerful energies, all concentrated on sex (the cerebral, soulful side of sex, rather than the act itself) and death.

Chart #8

A force of nature to the casual observer: take charge, high energy, at times aggressive.The center of everyone’s attention—including many of the people whose charts I have analyzed.The Jupiter/Moon conjunction near the IC is good luck; the owner of this chart is well-liked.Many friends from all walks of life, and all parts of the world.Sociable, loves people, and nurtures everyone.No Earth at all in the chart, indicating a displacement from the physical world.

Chart #9

His inherently sunny personality, coupled with a Twelfth House position that makes him more comfortable off the bright glare of the main stage.He likes to share, and is very supportive of others.A really good talker, especially in person.Taurus moon suggests a love of the finer things in life: good food, good wine, good beer, etc.Analytical, attention to detail, organizational tendencies bordering on the ob-com.

Chart #10

A Sun/Mercury conjunction within an orb of five degrees is called combust; this enhances the already strong power of the Sun, strongly placed here in the Eleventh House.He is a leader of groups (although he also fears and distrusts them), and the Virgo Rising gives him the organizational skills to harness this charisma. The T-square of the three outers indicates a constant toggle between the Saturnine need for discipline, the Jovial generous view of joint enterprises, and the Uranian need to be a revolutionary.

Chart #11

Extreme introvert, but once you get to know him, a nurturer—a good and loyal friend.Great with money, which is important to him.Jupiter at the First House cusp brings stage presence and acting ability.Probably moved around a lot as a child.Would make a good politician, as he seems able to connect with big groups of people easily.

Chart #12

He is the Virgoest Virgo imaginable.Analytical, mucho attention to detail, organizational tendencies bordering on the ob-com.Without order, he falls apart.He is very down-to-earth, no bullshit, and enjoys talking about down-to-earth things.You will never find a typo in one of his posts; all is meticulous.But you will find a compulsion to make lists, because lists are neat.

Chart #13

Extreme extrovert.Takes on the mood of whoever she’s with, and comes across as sensitive and kind.Can see ghosts.I mean, can really see them.Mars in Scorpio (which it rules) and in the Eighth (its strongest placement) suggests strong sexual urges.Doesn’t like secrets; prefers everything out in the open, even things others may wish to conceal.Happiest when in a relationship.Probably a serial monogamist.

Chart #14

Outwardly gregarious, and when he’s on, he’s very on…but he’s an introvert at heart, and too much socializing exhausts him.His Scorpio sun is buried in the Fourth House, making his secretive inner workings all the more secretive.A grand trine combines the discipline of Saturn with the artfulness of the Moon and Venus and the originality of Uranus, but it also means he can be lazy and shy away from too much hard work and/or conflict.He’s never felt very much at home in groups.

Chart #15

His personality is dominated by the Sun/Neptune in the First House.A lot of fuzziness and confusion about fantasy and reality, and a tendency to escape into self-created fantasy worlds.Robert Hand says, “If you train your creative mind properly, your fondness for fantasy can help you produce significant poetry, art, and music.”He has done so.

Chart #16

Masculine, sporty, the first one picked in gym class.Enjoys people, especially groups of people.Friendships are extremely important to him, and he forms friendships that last for long periods of time.Professionally, he is goal-oriented, and gravitates towards jobs that are stable, secure, and responsible.This is a good thing, because the placement of Saturn in the Second suggests an uneasy relationship with money—hardships that must be, and will be, overcome.The Sagittarian Sun plus Neptune in the Eighth House gives a curious mind taken with mysteries, metaphysics, and the like.Loves to travel.

Chart #17

Weakly-placed Sun cedes much of the personality to Capricorn, the Rising Sign: this is someone down-to-earth, a hard worker, who takes life very seriously, but masks this solemnity behind a sparkling sense of humor, magnified by the presence of Jupiter in Capricorn.She has problems relaxing, and thus escapes from reality through a strong participation in groups.This is the chart of a prolific commentator!

Chart #18

There are two kinds of Pisces: ones who brood, and ones who like to help others.She’s one of the latter.But you’d never suspect her of being a sensitive Piscean anyway, because she seems so kick-ass in person, a larger-than-life personality who belongs on a stage somewhere.Emotionally intense, she can feed off drama in one-on-one relationships.Into metaphysics and the larger mysteries of life.No Earth in the chart, so she lacks a ballast, something to keep her grounded.

Chart #19

Pluto, which dominates her chart, is Shiva the Destroyer, knocking things down to build them up again, destroying to create; this is enhanced by her strong Aries position at the MC.She comes across as volatile, perhaps moody, and always ready to kick ass, but deep down, buried in the chart, is a sensitive Piscean nature given to brooding, and a well-disguised fear and distrust of groups.One-on-one, she aims to please and enjoys harmonious relationships, but this is in constant conflict with a need for independence and a propensity to rock the proverbial boat.

Thanks for reading, and happy “Sun conjunct Sun,” TNB 3.0!

* “Semi-professional” means I occasionally get paid to read charts, but not often enough to make a living doing so.If you’re interested in my zodiacal services, please drop me a line.I’m good, and I work cheap.

** I hesitate to write stuff like this because I don’t want anyone to feel left out.If yours is not among the included charts, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you, only that you didn’t give me your birth info at some point.If there is sufficient demand, I can do another one of these chart round-ups; just send me your data: date of birth, place of birth, exact time of birth.


Congrats to Tawni Freeland for correctly identifying ALL NINETEEN charts, and to Gloria Harrison, Richard Cox, and Brad Listi for guessing the identity of the Mystery Chart: TNB itself!  That’s right; this site is a Cancer!

Here are the answers:

  1. Gloria
  2. Megan
  3. Lenore
  4. Matt
  5. Slade
  6. Simon
  7. Gina
  8. TNB
  9. Joe
  10. Brad
  11. Jedi
  12. Sean
  13. Jessica
  14. Me
  15. Rich
  16. Richard
  17. Zara
  18. Lisa Rae
  19. Becky

And this brings up even more questions: Was Richard picked first in gym class?  Has Jessica ever seen a ghost?  Can Gina and Lisa Rae act?  Is Irwin good with money?  Does Zara have problems relaxing? Is Becky really (gasp) a softie?

Enlighten us, please!

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

GREG OLEAR is the Los Angeles Times bestselling author of the novels Totally Killer and Fathermucker and founding editor of The Weeklings.

418 responses to “The Astrology Post”

  1. Gloria says:

    I totally thought you’d forgotten about this!

    This is awesome!


    Okay, I’ll read now.

  2. Gloria says:

    Well, psssh. I’m obviously chart 3 under Aries. Kidding. I’m 1. Becky is 2. Richard is chart 15 under Scorpio. Baldwin is #4.

    I have the distinctly unfair advantage of not having Facebook or MySpace so I, unlike everyone else, can’t run to everyone’s profile and see their birthdate.

  3. Simon Smithson says:

    I’m going to come back to this, but I so totally call Lenore as #3.

  4. Becky Palapala says:

    Well, you were wrong.

    I wasn’t typing a comment. I was typing an email.

    So take that, Merlin.

    I feel it is unfair, since I’m a (partially) closeted astrology enthusiast–no more, now, I guess–and know the signs of all but about 3 people on that list, I shouldn’t play.

    Still I will offer this: If people want to make this game really fun, they should do what I have already done, go to their fb profiles, and hide their birthdays.

    I’m going to guess the ones I don’t know later, once I’m home and at liberty to map this all out and get to the bottom of all of it. Including the mystery person.

  5. Zara Potts says:


    I call Lenore as chart #3 because she does have enormous sex appeal among many other appealing qualities.

    Lisa Rae as chart # 19 because of her phoenix-like quality.

    Becky as chart #18 because you wouldn’t suspect her of being a Piscean and yet I know she’s a softie at heart.

    Matt as chart #4 because the mother/father cross purpose thing and he’s a very likeable guy.

    Simon as chart #6 because he is so water it’s not funny.

    Richrob as chart # 16 because I’d pick him first in Gym.

    And the Mystery chart is, I think # 8 – and I think it’s Duke, because he is a force of nature.

    The others I’m going to go and ponder..

    Great post by the way – You are awesome!

  6. ha.

    for once I’m fairly confident I’m not in the roundup… cardinal air keeps such info in check.

  7. Irene Zion says:

    Okay, this is what I have so far:
    #3 is so obviously Lenore.
    #4 is Simon
    #6 is Matt
    #2 is Gina
    #1 is Becky
    #16 is Richard

  8. This is so great, Greg! Wow, I’m gonna really have to study this one more. Right off the top of my head, I’d say that Lenore could be a shoe-in for Chart#1 or #3. And all I know for sure is that I’m definitely not #16. No way did I ever get picked first in Gym class. Woof. To be continued…

  9. Becky Palapala says:


    The ones I wasn’t sure about.

    I could have these all kinds of fucked up.

    I have some misgivings.

    But okay (it’s more than 3):

    2. Megan
    3. Lenore
    7. Gina
    8. Duke (I’m with Zara on this one. You make it a conspicuous candidate for the mystery person, since it’s the only one that is not gendered, I think. Though that might all be a ruse.)
    13. J.A.B.
    17. Zara

    There is one person conspicuously missing who, if I knew s/he was on the list somewhere would change my answers considerably.

    Also, with the lack of earth around here, it’s a wonder anyone at TNB even manages to feed themselves.

    • Greg Olear says:

      Another trend: a lot of charts with Saturn in the 11, which means a fear and distrust of groups. Funny, that.

      • Becky Palapala says:

        Right. Yeah. Noticed that.

        Not surprising at all for writers.

        But slightly surprising for a community of them.

    • Uche Ogbuji says:

      “Also, with the lack of earth around here, it’s a wonder anyone at TNB even manages to feed themselves.”

      OK. I just spewed out my saag paneer. Nice one 🙂

      • Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

        Apparently I have no earth to hold me down at all. Maybe this explains my inability to get married or live out an apartment lease.

        • Uche Ogbuji says:

          Aw, hey now, you. Didn’t I read something about inclining this and that elsewhere in comments? My own native magic would suggest that what you need is to take a trip to the right place. The place where you can hear the land calling out to you if you listen closely enough. Then fill a jar with the soil and take it wherever you go. Better a gris-gris in the hand than a lever in the stars?

          OK, so now I’m inspired to write a poem. Back later…

        • Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

          I keep sand in my shoes if I wear any. This lease holds the same truth of the only other place I lived for years: it’s month-to-month. No threat to my freedom, so I stay. Year leases were made to be broken.

          Good advice, Uche. When in doubt: native magic. Looking forward to that poem of yours.

        • Uche Ogbuji says:

          Ahem. If you’ll indulge me.

          Earth Assign

          They’re dirigible, these star charts
          They pluck our sinews against rest
          Their draw’s escape velocity
          While gravity proctors their test.

          Happening butterfly takes wing
          “Hup!” the trainer’s bellows itch
          Can’t help the call that rings the cell
          Can’t help the mate she’s made her bitch.

          The bottom is daybreak of fate
          And sucks her vespers back to mud
          Bottom’s where his hands fall still
          And where he comes his seeding blood.

          Hungry caterpillar tracks
          Turn Mothra pupa hurricane
          So when he vaults into the sky
          She’ll wreck his fucking aeroplane.

          So back to good old mother bush
          Sankofa of her native soil
          Make gris-gris from great fists of earth
          In empty jar of castor oil.

          These shaped balloons well overhead
          Weave aether through her everyday
          She thumbs her cherished planter pot
          So she can choose when anchors weigh.

          © Uche Ogbuji
          9 November 2010

        • Greg Olear says:

          Did you just write that? As if we need more proof of your brilliance.

          If this post has remotely inspired Uche to poetry, my work here is complete. : )

        • Uche Ogbuji says:

          Yeah. Sometimes when inspiration hits you, out it comes in a torrent. That pretty much spilled out of my pen in 20 minutes. Glad you like it 🙂

        • Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

          Uche, You are so fucking fly it hurts. Waking up to this poem is amazing.

  10. Slade Ham says:

    I’m curious as to how close I got. An email will work fine, Greg 🙂

    Some of my guesses are due to the fact that I painted myself into a corner. 11 seemed to give me the most trouble, and you ended up there by default, Greg. I actually had the hardest time with the people I know best. But here’s my attempt anyway…

    1 Gloria
    2 Gina
    3 Lenore
    4 Matt
    5 Me
    6 Simon
    7 Jessica
    8 Duke
    9 Richrob
    10 Listi
    11 Olear
    12 Sean
    13 LRC
    14 Irwin
    15 Rich F.
    16 Joe Daly
    17 Becky
    18 Zara
    19 Megan

  11. James D. Irwin says:

    I was wondering when this was going to go up a few hours ago…

    but now the suspense of finding out is killing me…

  12. Slade Ham says:

    Btw, why does my name NEVER capitalize in tags? Only me… always. Strange.

  13. Becky Palapala says:

    Freakin’ Mexican standoff in here.

    Someone make a move. There are countless combinations here, people. Waiting will not make it any easier.

  14. Richard Cox says:

    I’m terrible at matching up people to descriptions, astrological or otherwise. Nevertheless, here are my guesses. Most are first impressions, though I did change one or two after some consideration. I didn’t look at any other guesses, except where I was mentioned in the above comments.

    1. Lisa Rae
    2. Gina
    3. Lenore
    4. Matt
    5. Brad
    6. Rich
    7. Becky
    8. ZaraPotts
    9. Sean (Bo-doo-in, Bo-dwon, Be-doyne?)
    10. Greg
    11. JDI
    12. Joe
    13. Gloria
    14. Slade
    15. Simon
    16. Me
    17. Jessica
    18. Megan
    19. Erika Rae

    I will be shocked if I guessed more than three correctly.

  15. Gloria says:

    Okay, I printed this out and I plotted and cross referenced on the bus and now I’m going to take a sincere stab at it:

    1. Me
    2. Lisa Rae
    3. Lenore
    4. Matt
    5. Joe
    6. Slade
    7. Gina
    8. Duke (I’m going with consensus here)
    9. Simon
    10. You
    11. Sean
    12. Listi
    13. Zara
    14. Irwin
    15. Rich
    16. Richard
    17. Megan
    18. Jessica
    19. Becky

    I’m not satisfied where I placed some of these (Megan and Slade got their slots by default, for example, though I really wanted to switch them, but the gender disagreed.)

    PLEASE email me the answer. 🙂

  16. Irene Zion says:

    You made Lenore way too easy.
    You made the others sort of hard.
    I’m adding Slade as #14 to my listing.

  17. Zara Potts says:

    After much pondering -here is my list.

    1 – Jessica
    2 – Gina
    3 – Lenore
    4 – Matt
    5 – Brad
    6 – Simon
    7 – Megan
    8 – Mystery (I still say Duke)
    9 – Joe
    10 – Greg
    11 – Jim
    12 – Sean
    13 – Gloria
    14 – Slade
    15 – Rich F
    16 – Richrob
    18 – Becky
    19 – Lisa Rae.

  18. Matt says:

    Everyone seems to be keying on me as #4. “Deep, almost desperate need to be liked”…really? Well, fuck you all, then!


    No point in going to Facebook to hide my birthday, as I wrote a whole TNB post about it and all.

    My guesses:

    #1 Zara
    #2 Gina
    #3 Lenore
    #4 Fuck you all!
    #5 Slade
    #6 Simon
    #7 Jessica
    #8 Duke
    #9 You
    #10 Joe
    #11 Rich Ferguson
    #12 Sean
    #13 Gloria
    #14 Brad
    #15 Irwin
    #16 Richard Cox
    #17 Megan
    #18 Becky
    #19 Lisa

    • Greg Olear says:

      Lucky Seven.

      (I’m laughing at Fuck You All).

    • Lenore says:

      matt, everyone has a desperate need to be liked. anyone who thinks he’s above public opinion is fooling himself. especially a bunch of people hopefully scanning through astrological charts in hopes of being assigned a glowing review. it’s not just you. and if no one else will admit to it, i will.

      • Zara Potts says:

        I’ll join you. I want to be liked also.
        I can’t think of anyone who would truly want to be disliked…
        Except my feral cat.

      • Greg Olear says:

        Lenore’s right. It’s my fault; I phrased it badly. The “wanting to be liked”in the chart is more a function of being sensitive to how other people are feeling, which is, on the whole, a positive quality, although it can be unpleasant for the person who is that sensitive.

      • Gloria says:

        I admit it. I mean, I think that I have a pretty good head about who I want to like me, but there are people that I’m desperate to please – my children being at the head of the list. That’s a fool’s game for sure. I think, honestly, I have a greater need to not be disliked than I do a need to be liked. If that makes any sense.

    • Becky Palapala says:

      But Matt, we like you. And we like that you want us to like you because that means you like us, and everyone likes to be liked.

      You and your mushy, gushy, marshmallow-y tender Piscean heart. We love you just. the way. you are.

      Come on now. Group hug.

      • Gloria says:

        I don’t like Matt the way he is. I wish he were taller. Just sayin…

        • Matt says:

          I’m already six feet tall, you know.

        • Gloria says:

          Actually, I’d forgotten that. I peg you as taller. I think we need a fact sheet on TNBers. Did you know Richard is 6′ 2″? And Listi looks tall, but he barely reaches to 5 feet. Gravatars can be so misleading.

          How tall do you think I am?

        • Gloria says:

          **shorter** I peg you as shorter.

          I’m pretty sure I’m way over caffeinated.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          Like a roster.

          Height, weight, righty/lefty, year drafted, other sites played for, word count stats…position (right/left/moderate, modernist/postmodernist, Fiction/poetry/non-fiction), etc.

          Gloria, I think you are 5’4″.

          I’m sure I know, but I’ve forgotten, so I get to play guessing all over again.

        • Matt says:

          Caffeinated? I was going to guess drunk.

          Brad, Simon and I are all about the same height.

          Like Becky, I would guess you’re 5’3″ or 5’4″.

        • Gloria says:

          I’m 5′ 6″. 140 pounds. Run with a limp. Righty. Been writing for TNB since January. Haven’t written for other sites, unless you include my ba-rill-yant posts on MySpace and Facebook. Hard left-listing. Narrative non-fiction/interviews/op-eds.

        • Greg Olear says:

          TNBers are tall, as a general rule. I myself am not.

          I should have written a Guess Our Height post…

        • Becky Palapala says:

          5’9″, 132, identifying scars on right knee, left scalp. Lefty. Drafted 2006, played one season. Returned for 2nd season in June 2010. 1200-1500 WPP, Moderate conservative with anarchist sympathies, non-fiction/essays & op-eds/poetry-I-never-let-anyone-read.

      • Greg Olear says:

        Matt: “Just The Way You Are” is a Billy Joel song.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          Oh, you poor fools. I take umbrage at the concept that everyone needs to be liked. Not me!

          I’m too necessary..

          Also attractive.

        • Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

          No more Billy Joel, Greg. I’m drawing the fathermucking line.

        • Greg Olear says:

          I agree, and I promise to withhold future Joelisms. I’m just giving Matt a hard time, because he claims never to have heard a Billy Joel song before, and I don’t want him to miss the allusion to such a classic of the elevator and dentist office.

  19. Slade Ham says:

    There’s a lot of me as #14’s. I don’t know if it’s right or not because I know precisely DICK about astrology, hahaha, but I don’t shy away from conflict. The rest is spot on though I suppose, especially if you know me in the real world.

    Still, my money is on me as #5.

    Just saying.

  20. Uche Ogbuji says:

    Fun watching the explosive combinatorics at play. Less room for the chance jackpot than the who is Slade/Richard/Zara/Simon game. But I suck mightily at such “know yer pardna” games, so I’ll just enjoy the spectacle 🙂

    • Becky Palapala says:


      • Uche Ogbuji says:

        Nah. That would be if I ran it through a random number generator (the Python programming language has this useful little function called random.shuffle) so that no one knew I was ducking the game. I’m instead happy to declare my forfeiture of cool points.

    • Greg Olear says:

      Send me your stats, Uche!

      • Uche Ogbuji says:

        I can’t, Greg. I don’t know exactly what time I was born. I assume it’s because it was pretty much in the aftermath of a war zone, and the apparatus for such records-keeping as birth certificates had not been re-erected. When applying for visas to emigrate from Nigeria both times my parents used a sworn affidavit of age, which requires date but not time of birth.

        • Greg Olear says:

          There’s a way to cast charts without birth time, and there’s certainly factors you can use that depend on the day rather than the time, but the picture isn’t as exact, and there’s not as much to go by.

        • Jude says:

          There’s always numerology – which BTW, is as accurate as astrology.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Aha – the secret numerologist comes out of hiding… 🙂

        • Greg Olear says:

          Jude: One can argue that they are the same thing.

        • Gloria says:

          My lifepath number is 9. I have a friend that’s way into numerology. I’ve had all my charts done. I’m also a fire dragon in the Chinese Zodiac. I like to play it off like this is all fun and games but not so secretly I really do hope that it someday clarifies some greater truth. So far, not so much.

        • Jude says:

          No need for arguments there Greg. They are the same, albeit with differences in the interpretation. But in the end, they say exactly the same thing.
          Having studied both astrology and numerology, I found that numerology worked better for me, because of its simplicity. (I have Sun, Mercury and Ascendant in Pisces – all in 12th House – triple 9s in my numerology chart.)

          You mentioned somewhere on the comments board, that reading a chart is like reading a piece of poetry (or something along those lines…); for me I find reading a numerology chart a lot easier than an astrology chart. My goodness me, my poor Piscean mind just gets overwhelmed with all those houses, and aspects, and signs and cardinals, and earth, fire, water and air… need I go on! Numbers sing to me as they once did for Pythagoras.

          I love this post – this must have taken ages for you to compile. And look how much fun everyone is having!

          Oh, and Zara is #17.

        • Zara Potts says:

          No fair!!!

        • Jude says:

          And you are #14.

        • Jude says:

          You mean it’s not fair that you are #17? You don’t like #17? What’s wrong with #17?

        • Zara Potts says:

          I don’t like 17…..
          I find 17 altogether too serious.

        • Jude says:

          One word for you sweetheart… Saturn.

        • Greg Olear says:

          Jude: Yes and yes. Well played. Almost everyone has confused me with Brad.

          In my case, numerology doesn’t work as well for me. I prefer the more expansive astrological way of doing things. But, you know, to-MAE-to, to-MAH-to.

  21. Lenore says:

    i just tried to organize all this and make a list, and i can’t do it. all i know is that i think jessica b. is number seven. and i also think that zara is 18. and rich f. is 6 maybe? and megan d. is 13.

    this is hard. maybe i should do a battery of psych tests on everyone and then post the battery reports. we can identify each other by our psychological weaknesses. everyone will be so thrilled! astrologists tend to be much more kind than psychologists.

    • Lenore says:

      also i thought slade was 9. i feel completely clueless.

    • Greg Olear says:

      One of the proposed sequels to this post is, I would predict Meyers Briggs results based on astrological data, and Becky would have everyone take the test and see how well (or how badly) the answers correlated.

    • Becky Palapala says:

      I know that there is a LOT of overlap between my predicted astrological personality and my MBTI personality and both are fairly accurate. Or seem so to me.

      I’m curious if the same is true for other people.

      I don’t know if MBTI is the greatest personality inventory. I know that MMPI and other Big-5 tests are usually preferred now, right? But MBTI tends to have the most elaborate and astrology-like personality descriptions, which makes it appealing for this application.

      Lenore? Thoughts? Derisions?

  22. Simon Smithson says:

    OK. Here’s my two cents:

    1 Gina Frangello
    2 Zara Potts
    3 Lenore Zion
    4 Matt Baldwin
    5 James D. Irwin
    6 Simon Smithson
    7 Jessica Anya Blau
    8 This post
    9 Joe Daly
    10 Brad Listi
    11 Slade Ham
    12 Sean Beaudoin
    13 Lisa Rae Cunningham
    14 Greg Olear
    15 Rich Ferguson
    16 Richard Cox
    17 Gloria Harrison
    18 Megan DiLullo
    19 Becky Palapala

    A lot of people slipped through because of a lack of any other obvious categories. Sorry, Matt! It was the parental conflict that made me choose you for #4.

  23. Brad Listi says:

    This was great, Mr. Olear. You’re probably gonna get some business outta this.

    It was also a colossal pain in the ass, trying to figure who’s who. With apologies to everyone in advance, here are my best guesses…..

    1 – Jessica
    2 – Gina
    3 – Lenore
    4 – Matt
    5 – Slade
    6 – Simon
    7 – Lisa Rae
    8 – TNB Guy
    9 – Greg
    10 – Brad
    11 – Joe
    12 – Sean
    13 – Gloria
    14 – Rich
    15 – James
    16 – Richard
    17 – Zara
    18 – Megan
    19 – Becky

  24. Simone says:

    1) Gloria
    2) Lisa
    3) Lenore
    4) Matt
    5) Slade
    6) Simon
    7) Megan
    8) Duke
    9) Sean
    10) Greg
    11) James
    12) Brad
    13) Gina
    14) Richard
    15) Rich F
    16) Joe
    17) Becky
    18) Jessica
    19) Zara

    How’s that for guess work?

  25. Judy Prince says:

    Greg, you p’raps know about the experiment in astrology which had a classroom of folks receiving their astrological chart summary.

    They were given time to read the summaries thoroughly, then asked to raise their hands if the summaries seemed to “fit” them. All hands went up enthusiastically. Then the handout person said: “I handed you all the same summary.”

    • Greg Olear says:

      Ha! I hadn’t heard that. Sounds like students eager to please their professor.

      I do know that a good astrologer can guess, at a much higher rate than chance, a person’s Sun sign after spending five minutes with them. And in the case of this little experiment, it’s curious that almost everyone has picked out his or her own chart, even when no one else has gotten it right.

      • Judy Prince says:

        You may be right about professor-pleasers, Greg. I don’t have the details of the experiment to hand, so can’t examine its parameters.

        As much as I have loved having my horoscope cast by professional astrologers (Chicago, Virginia) and visiting an uncanny psychic (Virginia), what fit me most was my Enneagram “personality” type. It was shockingly apt, and none of the other Enneagram “personalities” fit me so completely.

        Probably it was an ancient Greek who said that the “stars” (i.e., planets) incline but do not determine our fate. Certainly the “sleeping” psychic Edgar Cayce said as much, stating that all such information—–including psychics’ readings, numerological information, palm readings and the use of Ouija boards—–in total, could predict only 20% of one’s life events and behaviours. The rest of our fate is in our own hands, so to speak.

        BTW, I do awesome palm readings. Back channel me an attachment of your photocopied palms and I’ll give it a go! Of course, it’s much better that I see your actual hands, but you may need them in the upcoming days.

        • Greg Olear says:

          I believe it was Ptolemy who wrote that about the stars inclining, but he may have been quoting from earlier esoteric sources.

          And your professor story sounds apocryphal, like the one about the girls who lie and say they had a flat tire and miss their test, and the teacher asks them which tire was flat.

          Palm readings, eh? My ring finger is longer than my index finger. What does that mean? Creativity, is it?

        • Uche Ogbuji says:

          I’ve always been curious about a couple of things, but haven’t ever really bothered to track them down. Is modern astrology syncretic i.e. does it combine the precepts and formulae of the many ancient Astrological traditions from all over the world? Or is it purely based on Greek chart system (which IIRC differs in some respects even from its Babylonian predecessor)? If it is syncretic, I find that impressive, but l wonder how they managed such a reconciliation without conflicts or such. Or maybe the reconciliation was seamless, which I think would be a pretty impressive argument in favor of veracity. If it’s not syncretic, I’d find that a strong argument against. Unless someone were to make the rather far stretch of an argument that one’s culture of upbringing affects the fundamental properties of the planets’ inclinations. Or one could argue that say the Greeks were correct and the Chinese not, which I’d find unpersuasive considering how the Greeks with their Ptolemaic system of concentric spheres about the central Earth completely misunderstood the universe.

        • Judy Prince says:

          Greg, I think everybody’s ring finger is longer than their index finger.

          And Uche, here’s a glimmering start to what you seek, from the British Astronomical Association, provided by the NASA Astrophysics Data System, and in the Journal of the British Astronomical Association, 112, 4, 2002. In the Christmas lecture of University of Durham’s Professor Richard Stephenson talked of historical eclipses. (Note: forgive the several ellipses I’ve made in the excerpt)

          The article records his saying that “the first recorded astronomical observations were those of eclipses, and their study was still of use in modern astronomy and geophysics. Both solar and lunar eclipses were recorded by many ancient civilisatiions, although surprisingly there were no such records from early Egypt. The most useful early records derive from China, Korea and Babylon; later, the Greeks in Western Europe and astronomers from Arab lands have written records of eclipses, and many other astronomical phenomena. . . . The first accurately dated eclipse record was from China, of 17 July 709BC. . . . An Assyrian record from 763 BC was earlier, but it remains unclear whether this was a lunar or solar eclipse. . . . The earliest European records were from Greece and Sicily, with Acathocles’ recording of the eclipse of 15 August 310 BC, and his description of using the information as a portent before battle. In China and Korea observatories were built, and remain quite well preserved in Korea especially. Much was recorded for astrological purposes, . . . After the fall of Rome and the decline of Greece, European records were continued in the Byzantine Empire at Constantinople. From there, in 968 AD we have the first convincing description of the solar corona. In 1230 AD, descriptions from England suggest such a dark eclipse that the peasants went to bed, as it was too dark for them to work.”

        • Greg Olear says:


          Modern astrology is syncretic to a degree, but it’s hardly seamless. It traces back to Sumeria/Babylon, which is what everything traces back to, so the older the knowledge, the more authentic. Overall, there is a lot more agreement than disagreement, and the former tends to be about certain systems, especially with regards to houses.

          There are variations among the cultures, especially with the house systems. Vedic astrology uses eight, I believe. But the four angles are the same throughout.

          Astrology went through a dark period and was revived by Madame Blavatsky in the late 1800s. Modern astrology has the benefit of both computers, which makes casting charts easy as pie, and ease of data study. A lot of the “Pluto means XXX” is based on consensus and the collective observations over the last 80 years (the ancients were never aware of Pluto).

          Basically, there’s lots and lots of literature and cool hypotheses, such as the concept of Arab lots, of which the Part of Fortune is one, and astrologers have sussed through them and worked out which have more validity than others.

          There are plenty of flaws with the system, but no one denies that.

      • Greg Olear says:


        Modern astrology is syncretic to a degree, but it’s hardly seamless. It traces back to Sumeria/Babylon, which is what everything traces back to, so the older the knowledge, the more authentic. Overall, there is a lot more agreement than disagreement, and the former tends to be about certain systems, especially with regards to houses.

        There are variations among the cultures, especially with the house systems. Vedic astrology uses eight, I believe. But the four angles are the same throughout.

        Astrology went through a dark period and was revived by Madame Blavatsky in the late 1800s. Modern astrology has the benefit of both computers, which makes casting charts easy as pie, and ease of data study. A lot of the “Pluto means XXX” is based on consensus and the collective observations over the last 80 years (the ancients were never aware of Pluto).

        Basically, there’s lots and lots of literature and cool hypotheses, such as the concept of Arab lots, of which the Part of Fortune is one, and astrologers have sussed through them and worked out which have more validity than others.

        There are plenty of flaws with the system, but no one denies that.

  26. Alright, I’ll be the celestial wet blanket here, which I’ve been before for friends engaged in astrology discussions to the greater annoyance of the whole group.

    I realize this is partially for fun and I’ve enjoyed reading the guesses above and what it says about how we view each other. But, of course, an astrological chart is also not just a game. So, then my question is how much of astrology do you take as science and how much do you take as spiritual faith? Do you find the label of “pseudo-science” condescending or does astrology’s mix of the heavenly and the physical make that an accurate label? Lastly, when you read someone’s chart, especially someone whose personality you already know (as in these readings), how much of your own opinion influences the description of their chart?

    Sorry for the bigger questions and for opening up the can of worms. Like I said, I’ve always been the guy who has trouble playing along when it comes to this stuff. I never know whether to approach astrology as I would a religious belief (since you don’t see weekly postings in the newspaper about what the Bible or the Koran says about you) or something that’s to be treated more lightly (since I’ve pissed people off before with my skepticism). But I’d be interested to hear your take.

    • Irene Zion says:


      I think Greg believes he’s reading their charts, but in fact, he is reading into them what he already knows about each person, unknowingly, of course.

      It’s fun, though, eh?

    • Greg Olear says:

      Comment dit-on “partypooper”?

      Just kidding.

      First off, science is a religion. It has certain tenets one must accept on faith; its adherents tend to have firmly closed minds, and figuratively stone nonbelievers as blasphemers; it refuses to accept anything that doesn’t fit neatly into its belief system, which it calls The Scientific Method to make it appear immaculate, even though most of the things we love in this world, including love, cannot be “proved” and thus do not exist scientifically.

      Take evolution. Educated people make fun of religious types who hold with creationism, but while there is much more evidence to support Darwin, the fact is, evolution does not sufficiently explain quite a bit, such as why humans were on the earth for millions of years, and in all that time went from using stones as weapons to using stones to make sharper stones to use as weapons, and then, suddenly, there was Sumeria, and higher math, and brain surgery.

      Science is well and good, when something can be studied in that realm, but science can’t explain everything…it can’t explain most things. It tells us how; it doesn’t tell us why.

      Personally, I don’t require the stamp of science. Science has a pretty shitty track record. A scientist active 100 years ago would walk around with extreme confidence that all he knew was correct, but no. Einstein proved that most of what the earlier guy knew was bunk. “Science” is really “man’s hubristic attempt to make order of the chaos.”

      Astrology has scientific elements to it, but it’s an art. Reading a chart is like reading a poem. It doesn’t always “work,” but in my experience, it works better than pretty much anything else on the menu. That said, because Science has been so quick to lump astrology on the trash heap, it has never allowed for rigorous scientific study. Gauquelin (who was born the same day I was, and had the same rising sign) did one in France, postulating the so-called Mars Effect, and wound up getting battered so badly he killed himself.

      So, to your questions, I do “believe” in astrology. I tend to think that the art itself works, and if it does not, it is the fault of the practitioner, not the practice itself. I prefer “art” to “pseudo-science.” (And the list of artists who believed in astrology is long and impressive).

      As for these charts, I approached them all the same way. I tried to highlight the external stuff, things we could all see, rather than the turmoil I found beneath, and if someone has written extensively about, say, a crappy early childhood, and I found that in the chart, I mentioned it. I didn’t want to get too personal, and I wanted people to be able to figure out who was who.

      Finally, it’s not my desire to convert anyone to this sort of thing. People believe in it, others don’t, and that’s fine. If you want to read more about this, though, John Anthony West has a great book called THE CASE FOR ASTROLOGY that examines your questions. (One of his many salient points is that basing all of astrology on the newspaper columns is like basing all of Western drama on two episodes of “Dynasty”).

      Thanks for opening the can of worms!

      • Richard Cox says:

        The difference between the scientific method and all the rest is this line here:

        “Einstein proved that most of what the earlier guy knew was bunk.”

        Used properly, the method will eventually identify erroneous conclusions. And I’m not sure the track record is quite as bad as you say. Every modern convenience you’ll use today, including this computer, arose from it.

        I’m having fun with your astrology post despite whatever thoughts I have about it. But man, you’re being way too hard on an idea that makes almost every facet of your life better every day.


        • Greg Olear says:

          Don’t get me wrong; science is swell. I love science. Without science, life would totally suck.

          But just because a discipline can be applied so successfully to many problems doesn’t mean it works for everything, and that is the attitude many scientists espouse, in my experience (I count doctors here, too, who scoff at Eastern medicine while pumping patients with drugs).

          Science has plenty of powerful apologists. Someone has to be the contrarian about it, no?

        • Richard Cox says:

          Absolutely someone does. And it’s true that the scientific method is implemented by humans, who in almost every case can’t help but assign some kind of bias to their experiments, conclusions, etc.

          In fact, I would go so far as to say the weaknesses of the model are similar to the attributes that draw people to interpretive studies like astrology. I think there is a strong desire among many humans not to know things precisely. I’m not sure why this is, but I would assume the blurry areas are where we find magic, and the hope of something larger than us at work in the universe.

          In a deterministic universe, or one where we understand exactly how things work, there’s little room for interpretation or spiritual inspiration. For want of a better term, there’s little room for humanity.

          My Vulcan brain has a hard time coming to terms with the very common desire among humans to leave the truth unknown. Or more precisely, the desire to guess at the truth. I look at the Hubble Ultra Deep Field or consider the immensity and age of the universe, and it inspires awe in me the way little else does. Of course, I’m relying on astronomy and cosmology to be awed by those things, and there’s a chance the universe isn’t as it seems even through a telescope.

          But I also realize, were someone to hand me a book that explained exactly what reality is, I wouldn’t know what to do with it. What would I have left to wonder about afterward? What would be the point of anything?

          So in that sense I get it. And that’s why, in only the past couple of years, I’ve opened my eyes to new explanations for reality. I’ll probably never know which of them is right. But I’d wager the truth (if there is such a thing) is nothing like what any of us thinks.

        • Greg Olear says:

          Well put, Richard. Couldn’t have said it better myself, and I totally agree. I’ll add that, if the truth IS what anyone thinks, I will be very, very disappointed.

        • Simon Smithson says:

          But Richard, will your Vulcan brain ever truly learn… to love?

        • Richard Cox says:

          Love? Which electrochemical process is that again? Number 2456?

      • Somebody had to bring the poop to the party, so it might as well be the Goat.

        First, thanks for providing a clear and sane response. I’m in total agreement with you on the limits of science, a discipline that explains such a tiny fraction of our universe, our psyches, our spirit. So then, describing astrology as an art is interesting to me, though that leads me to many more questions, especially about the role of an “artist” or practitioner who brings their own flaws and issues to the reading. I’ll just have to get a copy of the John Anthony West book and maybe revisit Carl Jung again while I’m at it.

        It’s not that I dismiss all this, I’ve seen many examples where astrology ends up with a much higher rate of accuracy than I expected (see Becky’s nailing of my sign right off the bat). Possibly, as you said, it works better than anything else on the menu. My qualms come as I’ve also seen many examples of an astrological reading placing limitations, that it inevitably becomes reductive in trying to capture a person’s complexities or order the chaos, even with the best practitioners and the closest reading. Religion and science are no better of course, they’re just given the unfair advantage of all that institutional backing.

        • Greg Olear says:

          I understand. The West book is really great — thorough, well-written, compelling.

          Another point I thought of after I wrote the previous response:

          I like that astrology isn’t a death cult. It’s not centered on the End of Days, nor are there Chosen Ones, and Hell, and all that fear-based dogma that excludes People B from some sort of Promised Land. All of the death cult stuff is the root of much of the unhappiness in the world, seems to me. Astrologers will tell you that the Age of Aquarius is coming soon (2060), but we don’t as a rule suggest this means the end of the world. Modern astrologers are mainly focused on the positive; they don’t call it New Age for nothing.

          Also: many, many astrologers predicted the collapse of the financial markets in the Fall of ’08, to coincide with Pluto entering Capricorn. Certainly astrologers saw that coming better than the financiers did.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          There’s no death cult????

          *drops scythe, kicks behind curtain*

          “‘Sup guys? Puppies and rainbows ‘n’ shit? Oh, totally. Me too.”

        • Greg Olear says:

          For someone with hair like THAT, we make an exception.

      • Don Mitchell says:

        Ah Greg, my friend. This is the second time you’ve trotted out the stones-to-Sumeria thing, and I’ve just got tell you that it’s wrong.

        There was no “suddenly” Sumeria. It had well-known antecedents.

        Honest. There’s a veritable shitload of archaeological evidence from all over the world (all over!) as to what happened between the first flaked stones and the Sumerians.

        I’m talking thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of good solid studies, ranging over a half-century of work, by thousands of archaeologists in dozens of countries and every continent (except Antarctica) . It’s all in any introductory “World Prehistory” textbook.

        But this is fun, here. My cousin’s ex-boyfriend, back in the 80s, was Jeanne Dixon’s ghostwriter. You didn’t think she wrote all her stuff herself, did you? Nope. He did.

        • Greg Olear says:

          If you think I’m going to listen to your thoughts on this topic just because you have a doctorate in anthropology and taught college courses in this, well, er, um…

          I should probably get myself a textbook, huh?

          Cool about Jean Dixon’s ghostwriter. Astrologers, good for the economy!

        • Don Mitchell says:

          Of course, I assume my cousin was telling the truth. She’s a novelist and thus who knows? might have been telling me a pretty tale. I never met the guy (they lived in Honolulu when I was living in Buffalo). She did say he got good money for doing it.

          Brian Fagan, an archaeologist, writes excellent textbooks. He’s said to have given up his actual research to to do it. I just checked what he’s got out now (“People of the Earth, 13th ed” is his intro prehistory one) and speaking of good for the economy, holy gemini — amazon is selling it for $102. Unspeakable.

          I’ll call around and see if anybody I know who’s still in the classroom has a spare desk copy. Holy Pumpkin Jesus. $102.

        • Greg Olear says:

          Thanks, Don.

          I know; it’s quite the racket. The very first market ebook pirates will infiltrate is the one for textbooks, it says here. Smart college kids with a lot of free time + extortionally priced books = piracy.

          I’ll see if I can find an earlier edition in my used bookstore.

    • Becky Palapala says:

      I bet Nat’s a Capricorn.

      Or a Taurus.

      Who wants to take the bet?

      I got 5 on it.

      *slaps money on table*

  27. Irene Zion says:


    You put this up when I was about to go to sleep, Eastern Time, and now I’m up WAY early and you have four thousand comments already.
    Way to go!

  28. Irene Zion says:

    AHA! The “Little Kids Sleep Disorder!”
    That one is very well documented.

    Is there a record in time to the top of the chart?
    I absolutely think you will win it!
    Yeah, Greggie, who can’t sleep anyway!

  29. I’m late to the party, I see. Hmm… I’ve been trying to put this together and cannot come up with a damn thing. Ok, I’ve been cheating… I’ve been looking through the comment board for clues, and confusing myself further. I need more time to think about it…

  30. D.R. Haney says:

    Apparently I have something in common with Alastair Crowley, Adolf Hitler, and Ronald Reagan, aside from an interest in acting in the last case (who was, my political bias quite aside, not much of an actor); some facility for visual art in the middle one; and, well, I know very little about Crowley, except that American “Satanism,” which can mostly be traced to Crowley, is watered-down, bastardized Nietzsche, and I have a weakness for Nietzsche, who was an artist at odds with being an artist, just as he was could never, for all his (considerable) effort, entirely cast off his Christian upbringing. I’ve never attempted to entirely cast off my own Christian upbringing; I recognize that, on some fundamental (which is not to say fundamentalist) level, it’s always going to be a part of me. But I digress. One of these days I’ll learn what I have to learn in order to have my charts done by Greg, and in the meantime, I’m flattered that anyone would think that I’m the Mystery Chart. I personally would guess that it’s Steph.

    • Greg Olear says:

      Ask your mother what time you were born, would ya? But no — you’re throwing us off the scent.

    • Gloria says:

      I guessed Steph too. She and Tawni. But then I got it. It’s The Nervous Breakdown. The clues point to this being fact.

      • I’m tickled that anyone here would think I was the Mystery Chart, at all.

        But, if you know me well, you’ll know that I’m mighty earthy.
        Right down to my sun sign, my moon sign and my fear of flying.

        • Greg Olear says:

          Ah, my darling Virgo. 🙂

        • Gloria says:

          I believe you are earthy. I tend to want to hug earth signs. Air signs are my bane – I get all fueled and blown up in a huge explosion with them. Earth signs, though, I just want to sit on their laps and eat pie. And not in the dirty way it sounds…

        • Becky Palapala says:

          I do alright with Virgos, mostly. One of my closest, oldest, dearest friends is a Virgo.

          Other earth signs, not so much.

          It’s like 1st contact in Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind.

          I do the Re Mi Do Do So + hand signals and then wait to see if made new friend or blew up earth.

        • Greg Olear says:

          I get along best with Virgos. My wife is a Virgo, my daughter is a Virgo, and many of my friends and former girlfriends are Virgos.

          But I have no idea, astrologically, why this should be.

        • Gloria – when we meet can we do just that? I’ll even provide the pie.

          I remember hanging with my cool older cousins in the 70’s who were all into disco and astrology.
          We were in the kitchen and they were making grasshoppers (yummy 70’s drink).
          When they found out I was a virgo they were all like, “Oh. Wow. Viiiiiirgo.”
          So, I knew from then – something was up with my sign.
          I feel were the most misunderstood sign; we get a bad wrap for being: “picky” or “critical” or “anal”.
          But I would like to reframe that with the words: “detail-oriented”, “discerning” and “health conscious”.

          I don’t know either Greg, why it is astrologically – but as you know, I’ve also loved you secretive Scorps.

        • Greg Olear says:

          You love Scorps, I love Virgos…let’s get married!

        • Gloria says:

          Of course, Steph. I want nothing more. Can I request key lime?

        • Becky Palapala says:

          All my boyfriends (including husband) have been Aries (1), Cancer (1), Libra (3), Virgo (2).

          The Virgo situations didn’t turn out well. There ended up being a lot of crying and crushed feelings that weren’t mine. Torch-carrying.

          Aries relationship was volatile and sort of poorly defined, but not emotionally scarring at all. Still good friends with him. We have ridiculous fun together. Mostly exhibiting poor judgment and playing practical jokes on drunk people.

          Cancer relationship was f’in’ TWISTED. Salvaged a friendship, but a strange one. Not a whole lot of trust there. Mostly just a whole lot of prescience of each other’s thoughts and actions, which is at once comforting and unsettling.

          The Libra situations were a lot like the Virgo situations, but the Libras always recovered more quickly and didn’t tend to relapse. P’s a Libra. An uber-Libra.

          The vast, vast majority of my close friends are Cancers and Aries.

          I tried to date a Gemini once, and it was a brain sickness. Sick, sick, sick.

        • Greg Olear says:

          Composite charts are all about house position and where the planets are placed; Sun signs have little to do with it. Which makes sense that there is some variety of your paramours. My Virgo thing is actually odd, astrologically.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          I don’t believe you about sun signs having little to do with it.

          Granted, these similarities are mostly in hindsight, but the sun sign has mattered. At least in a general way. An impression kind of way. A vague sort of order-to-the-man. I guessed David Gray’s sun sign just by his face and Nat’s from 3 paragraphs. There can’t be nothing to that.

          Of course, in detail, everyone is different. That’s an obviation.

          There’s variety there, but each enjoys a direct connection to some notable aspect of my chart. Even the Virgos are my polar opposites, right?

        • Greg Olear says:

          Of course the sun signs matter, in terms of initial attraction. I mean when you actually do a composite chart, it’s not as important as how the planets and houses line up.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          They can’t tint the overall tone of a relationship? Even beyond initial attraction?

          Because I guess that’s what I’m describing here. Recognition of a pattern.

        • Greg Olear says:

          There’s a book that walks you through how to do it…PLANETS IN COMPOSITE. My program will combine the charts that way, and the book explains how it works.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          Wait. What? Your program? You have a program?

          I don’t want to read a book.

          I just want to know if sun signs can tint relationships in an often-predictable way, even when it is granted that individuals are individuals and there are numerous factors involved.

          But since you have a program…

          Who among the 19 should get along best and worst? Is that an inhuman amount of work?

          I mean, you’ve so far failed to start a fight, so, you know, I’ll step up.

          Um. Er. Reluctantly of course…*wicked smirk*

  31. Tawni says:

    Mmmmmm… delicious celestial pizza. My favorite.

    Oh, Greg. This piece pleases me. You know how much I like astrology, despite the fact that you took one look at my stellium in Scorpio and told me: “Your chart is whack.” I’m still laughing about that. (It’s funny because it’s TRUE.)

    The first ones to jump out at me before reading the comments were Richard as Chart #16, Becky as Chart #19, and Brad as Chart #8 or Chart #10. Also, Chart #13 made me think of Gloria, and Matt popped into my mind when I read Chart #4.

    I just realized that I don’t know Zara’s Sun sign. How did that happen? Off the top of my head, she strikes me as one of those awesomely gregarious and original Aquarius gals, or one of our kinder, gentler fellow water signs; a sensitive Pisces or Cancer. Hmmm. I think I’m going to guess Zara as Chart #18.

    I have to go get the kiddo ready for school, but I’ll be back later to make an official and complete list.

    I love these Guess Who? TNB posts. *claps excitedly* (:

    • Tawni says:

      Okay, here are my best guesses:

      1. Gloria
      2. Megan
      3. Lenore
      4. Matt
      5. Slade
      6. Simon
      7. Gina
      8. Duke or Stephanie/Mystery Person
      9. Joe
      10. Brad
      11. James
      12. Sean
      13. Jessica
      14. Greg
      15. Rich F.
      16. Richard
      17. Zara
      18. Lisa Rae
      19. Becky

      • Greg Olear says:

        Going to withhold comment here…let’s just say someone’s been a careful TNB reader, and that it’s not possible for anyone to top you. : )

      • Becky Palapala says:

        *under-the-table low-five*

        Let’s start a fake psychic business and solve crimes together.

        We’ll use our powers of neurotic hyper-vigilance to make one mill…one BILLION dollars.

        Can we? Can we?

        • Tawni says:


          I am so ready to become a billionaire with you by using our amazing powers of neurotic hyper-vigilance. Count me IN.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          Maybe we could get a TV show.

          Our taglines could be

          “Shhh. Did you hear that?”


          “Shh. What’s that smell?”

        • Tawni says:

          Hahaha! I like both of those.

          Other potential taglines for our TV show:

          *I have pepper spray in my pocket and I’m happy to see you.”

          *”We need a dog. You know, for protection.”

          *”Why would they do that? Who sells things door-to-door anymore?”

          *”I’ll guard, you sleep, then you guard while I sleep.”

          *”I’m going to dial 9-1 and hold my phone… just in case.”


          *”Does this mole look funny?”

        • Becky Palapala says:

          “There’s a bird preening in that elm down the street, and I couldn’t sleep for all the racket.”

          Oh God, Tawni. We can never, ever be roommates.

          They’d come looking for us one day and find us in tinfoil hats & radiation suits, sitting wild-eyed, shotguns at the ready and pointed at the front door.

        • Tawni says:

          I am cracking up imagining the tinfoil hats-wearing Becky and Tawni scenario. I wish my artist sister wasn’t so busy sculpting horses… I’d beg her to draw a cartoon of that image. 🙂

      • Gloria says:

        Way to go, lady. I think you may have nailed it. Number 8 is TNB.

      • Dana says:

        Lenore, Matt, Rich Ferguson and Becky – I was right there with you. The rest I was stabbing around randomly. You’re good Tawni! Now that I go back and compare I can certainly see some traits that apply.

        After the hint of the youthfulness of the mystery person I thought for certain that it would be either the Boose child or Brad’s baby. I suck!

        • Greg Olear says:

          I haven’t done one for either child. Kids’ charts are fun to do, though, because the parents have to wait a good two years to determine if I’m accurate or not…

      • Matt says:

        #4 AGAIN?! What the hell!

        Oh, I’m totally writing a post about feet in retaliation.

    • Greg Olear says:

      I’d planned to include you, Steph, and Dana in the round-up, Tawni, but I ran out of time and the list was already really long. I do want to do this again, though, so next time!

      • Tawni says:

        I would love that, if only to hear how you would attempt to describe my whack chart full of airy, artsy Libra planets battling watery, intense Scorpio planets in a kind way. (:

  32. great game, greg… proving once again that you have an unnerving understanding of the human psyche 😉

  33. Jessica Blau says:

    THIS IS GREAT ! The interesting thing is that what most of us have to go on is the somewhat public persona each of us creates in our posts. Although, because for the most part it’s all nonfiction, the posts might be even better indicators of the “real” and genuine person than the person him/herself!

    Okay, my guesses:

    Lisa Rae-13
    Richard Cox-16

    • Greg Olear says:

      Thanks. I also stressed the chart elements that were “public,” to make it easier.

    • Irene Zion says:

      @Jessica Anya!

      You think Lenore is a nurturer?
      Pretty sure you’ve got that one wrong.

      • Jessica Blau says:

        Yes just reread my picks and think I failed this exam. I’m going on NO sleep, my only excuse. Was trying to remember the gist of each number as I picked names but indeed I picked wrongly. I would say YOU are a nurturer. I would say Lenore was number THREE.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          Why does everyone think I had a messed-up childhood?

          My parents are saints! SAINTS!

        • Gloria says:

          The ones with the effed up childhoods always fly under the radar.

        • Lenore says:

          right, and why does everyone think my mother is nurturing?

        • Gloria says:

          ‘Cause she flies under the radar, Lenore. I’ll bet she’s a fire sign. 🙂

        • Lenore says:

          she and i both are. apparently, my sign is supposed to mix very well romantically with my mother’s sign. between astrology and freud, this would explain why i keep accidentally dating my mother in the body of a man.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          And, AND, I’m a total bore to be around. I’ll have you all know. All I do is sit around and bitch and ask where I can smoke.

        • Greg Olear says:

          I think Lenore is nurturing. She looks after her friends, she looks after her cats, she’s loyal and supportive…that’s pretty much what nurturing is, no?

        • Jessica Blau says:

          Look at all those kids she had–she’s very nurturing! And look at how she treats Victor–with tenderness (and loads of humor).

        • Gloria says:

          Well, and she’s essentially the TNB mama, and I think that’s telling. Irene, not Becky. Though I bet Becky is nurturing, too.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          In a “no one beats up my little brother but ME” way, maybe.

        • Jessica Blau says:

          Yes, I imagine you, Becky, as VERY nurturing in a kick-ass way. Like, if you were hiking in the mountains of California with the little brother whose ass you regularly kick and a mountain lion dove down from an Oak tree and tried to eat your brother, you would somehow pummel that mountain lion until if whimpered away lame and dopey-headed, wipe the blood off your brother’s face with a spit thumb, and then light up a cigarette and enjoy the fact that they don’t post “no smoking” signs in the great outdoors.

        • Gloria says:

          I’ve said more than once that I’d like Becky on my team in a bar fight.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          Violence (whether physical, intellectual, or emotional–though in my old age, exclusively the latter two) in protection of people or things I love, care about, or otherwise feel obligated to look out for, has always made my otherwise dubious war-like tendencies feel useful.

  34. jmblaine says:

    Thank God
    I’ve never revealed that
    my birthday is
    Febtember 33rd
    same as the Hasidic Ronald McDonald.

  35. 1159 says:

    It’s a trick…
    They’re all
    Brad Listi.

  36. Joe Daly says:

    OK, this was way harder than I thought. With 7 female charts, 10 male charts, and one of unspecified gender, I thought I had everything locked in until then end, when I realized I had one female author left and one masculine chart. So I had to go back and revise.

    Here’s what I came up with:

    Becky- 13
    Brad- 16 (this messed me up- I thought he was 8 for sure, until I got to the end)
    Gina- 2
    Gloria- 1
    Greg- 6
    James Irwin- 15
    Jessica- 7
    Me- 14
    Lenore- 17
    Lisa Rae Rockstar- 3
    Matt- 4
    Megan ND- 18
    Rich- 12
    Our Beloved Coxy- 9
    Sean B- 11
    Simon- 10
    Slade- 5
    Zara- 8

    Very much looking forward to seeing the real results. I’m pretty confident on about four of these. The rest barely rise to the level of educated guesses!

    Thanks for doing this Greg, and thanks for the background at the beginning. Having precious little understanding of astrological concepts, this was a nice little primer. Well done!

  37. Joe Daly says:

    Wait- is this a math thing? The mystery chart doesn’t pertain to any of the people on the list above? Argh!

  38. Slade Ham says:

    One last, revised attempt.

    1 Gloria
    2 Megs
    3 Lenore
    4 Matt
    5 Me
    6 Simon
    7 Gina
    8 Mystery Person
    9 Daly
    10 Listi
    11 Irwin
    12 Sean
    13 LRC
    14 Olear
    15 Rich F.
    16 Richrob
    17 Zara
    18 Jessica
    19 Becky

  39. Ronlyn Domingue says:

    Reading the comments is just as fun as the post itself!!

    My apologies for not guessing. My energies are tied up with Novel #2. It’s a hungry beast.

    Do you have any recommendations for good books on astrology? I’m curious.

    • Greg Olear says:

      I’m toggling between revisions and this. Probably not a good idea…

      Well, there’s THE CASE FOR ASTROLOGY by John Anthony West, which explores it from a skeptical POV. Really well written and researched, fun to read.

      HOROSCOPE SYMBOLS by Robert Hand is the best of the introductions, although it helps to have some knowledge before digging into that. Anything Hand writes is great, in fact. PLANETS IN TRANSIT is essential to any good reading.

      And there’s a great intro in the A TO Z ASTROLOGY edition I have.

      Dane Rudyhar is genius, but his writing is hard to follow.

  40. Irene Zion says:

    You know, Greg,
    it’s been so long that you’ve had that particular gravitar that I’m thinking you might not have any teeth or something and that’s why you’re covering up your mouth.

  41. Don Mitchell says:

    I’m going to buy Erika’s pumpkin over at eBay, and ask it for the answers.

  42. I’m not sure “the Virgoest Virgo imaginable” makes me sound like someone you want to share a Tokyo apartment with. Ah well, it’s no doubt true. I do like how someone above had me down as the dude with the “inherently sunny personality.” That would definitely get some hearty laughs in certain quarters.

    You know, I’ve never put much truck in astrology, but this was fun Greg. If I’d gotten to it earlier I would have busted out my own list and been as wrong as most everyone else. And I like how you see it as an art, which seems about right for all the interpretive mediums. Why not? The haughty dismissal of astrology, as with all instances of unjustified certainty, has never really sat well. Even though I’m probably more in that camp on a theoretical level.

    And how did you know quincunx was one of my favorite words?

    • Greg Olear says:

      Actually, a hyper-Virgo would make an ideal roommate (and in a Tokyo apartment, it’s onlu the one room). Neat and tidy. No mess.

      Quincunx is indeed an awesome word. I have the book of that title, and started it a few times, and keep meaning to get back to it. I also have a theory about why the quincunx aspect is powerful, astrologically, but it’s a bit too arcane for TNB, alas.

  43. I am so pissed that you didn’t do my chart…

  44. Let me add: I really need some astrological assistance. That is all. Thank you. (And I am impressed, because God knows I can barely understand any of this.)

    • Greg Olear says:

      Yes, you do…I just looked, and you’re operating under a stressful Uranus oppose Pluto transit. A period of vulnerability and reexamination of emotional attachments.

      What would you like to know? (Email me if you prefer).

  45. Becky Palapala says:

    Softie. Pre-fuckin’-posterous. I keep a knife in my boot in case anyone tries to hug me. I offered a guy a buck so he could buy his cigarettes the other day. That’s my kind of charity. Assisted suicide.

    I am a mystery wrapped in an enigma!!

  46. Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

    1 Gloria
    2 Megs
    3 Lenore
    4 Matt
    5 Me
    6 Simon
    7 LRC
    8 Mystery Person
    9 Daly
    10 Listi
    11 Irwin
    12 Sean
    13 Gina
    14 Olear
    15 Rich F.
    16 Richrob
    17 Zara
    18 Jessica
    19 Becky


  47. Erika Rae says:

    I’m only sorry I didn’t get to this sooner. I’m so impressed Becky got all of these. Man. Greg, I’m beginning to suspect you studied with the Crowley. Happen to know a woman by the name of Madame Blavatsky? Hmmmm?

  48. This was awesome! I guessed a few of them correctly, but I had to look up my own chart and still couldn’t figure out which one was me.

    Apparently I don’t get astrology unless someone explains it to me. *throws out Mensa membership*

    How fun are you, Greg Olear?!

    • Greg Olear says:

      Yours was less “obvious,” I thought. Is it accurate at all?

      Fuck Mensa, the morons.

      • I have no idea. I think so. I’m not a very good judge of these kind of things. But you must have been because other people got it.

        I think peoples perceptions of themselves and the way other people see them are usually two very different things. So asking me doesn’t make any sense… Ask them.

        • Greg Olear says:

          Interestingly, astrology accounts for that. The Rising Sign and the First House, of which the Rising Sign is at the cusp, is how we are viewed by others. The Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Houses are how we are seen in our school/job/organization life. The Seventh is about one-on-one relationships, and the other houses, especially the Third, Fourth, and Eighth, are about how we are deep down. It’s quite the muddle.

  49. Greg, this was way more fun than I expected to have randomly on a Wednesday night with everyone in my family asleep.

    Christ, I’ve come late to the party. I can’t even put forth my guesses, since the cat’s out of the bag.

    But I will admit: I guessed myself as #2, as, apparently, did a lot of other people. I love that Megan is actually #2. I don’t know Megan that well (though she was freaking adorable at AWP Denver), and now I feel huge irrational kinship fondness for her, as though we are the same person, when in fact, of course, I was not #2 to begin with, I was busy being #7, obsessed with sex and death (okay, it’s true, but WTF, let me think of myself as nurturing!)

    Then, to add to my giddy newfound twinship with Megan, I’m beyond delighted that the person most often mistaken for “me” in the #7 slot was JAB, who it goes without saying is fabulous (and in possession of mucho sex appeal), and for whom I will gladly be mistaken whenever, wherever. I mean, we’ve been depicted in cartoon form getting it on on the TNB banner, so why not just go the whole 9 yards and swap identities . . .

    BTW, I wanted to be an actress when I was young. For several, rabidly deluded years, actually.

    You’re a little creepy, to tell the truth, with this, Greg. In a delightfully good way.

    Lenore was a little too freaking easy, though . . .

    • Greg Olear says:

      Glad you liked. Probably took awhile to read, too…with the length of the post and the comments — including Uche’s awesome poem — I think this runs longer than Shoplifting From American Apparel.

      Yes, the birth time being one hour or another determined the Saturn placement in your chart…but there he sits, squarely in the Eighth House, demanding your attention to those matters that house rules (ie, sex and death).

      The “sex appeal” trait has to do with Mars and Venus being in perfect balance, with the Sun at the midpoint. This is something I discovered on my own, like the thing about ghosts, but so far, it never fails to be accurate. (I would have bet the house that JAB had this in her chart, too, but no, she has Mars in Scorpio in the Eighth, with the same result).

      The actress thing comes from the position of Jupiter near the First House cusp. Michel Gauquelin did a huge study of birth charts in France, cross-referencing the positions of Jupiter, Saturn and most famously Mars to their careers. A lot of actor had Jupiter there, much more than chance; scientists had Saturn (none of the TNBers had Saturn there, BTW), and athletes had Mars. This is called “The Mars Effect,” and its success, while in doubt by some, led to Gauquelin’s expulsion from the scientific community and his eventual suicide (he also had an unaspected Venus, poor guy).

      And why does everyone keep saying Lenore is easy? Come on, now. Be nice! Her mother reads this stuff. ; )

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