The astrology of independence
Did you know that like people, countries are said to be influenced by the zodiac? Israel’s sign is a...
Yes, having achieved independence 71 years ago on May 14, 1948 (5 Iyar, 5708), the Jewish state has the sign of the bull – known for its reliability and devotion (good) and inability to compromise and stubbornness (not always marvelous).
Israelis, a stiff-necked people? Never!
An earth sign (what other people are this obsessed with land, other than Scarlett O’Hara?), Taurus is ruled by Venus (Noga in Hebrew) – the feminine planet of love, finding beauty in all things in life and enjoying one’s earthly existence while creating a delicate balance in relationships. It is also symbolized by the Hebrew letters Pei (representing the mouth and communication, with the gematria of 80, a special strength) and Vav (representing a hook and connection of the physical and spiritual, with the gematria of 6, unity and completion).
In an interesting twist, the favored day of Venus is Friday – oh happy sof shavua!
So what are the assets of Tauruns, our fellow sabras? • Loyal: Family, nation and country come first • Consistent: Shnitzel and chips for lunch without fail • Stable: Home and hearth are the grounding force • Patient: Hmm, not sure savlanut is in the Israeli DNA • Dislikes conflict: Yet somehow continues to be plunged into it
• Friendly: That’s for sure, Israelis are never strangers to one another and are always there for a conversation, a shidduch and a Shabbat meal
• Non-judgmental: Yet adore giving advice since everyone believes they know best • Harvest the fruits of their labor: Basically a
And since every yin has its yang, what challenges are our fellow dear denizens said to face, and how can Tauruns turn them toward the positive?
• Shuns self-transformation, afraid of the pain of
change: Focus on the negative effects of staying stuck in the same place. Ask the universe to create stress – nay difficulties – to bring change from within, and listen more to others (we’ll need a hefty helping of heaven’s grace with that – every Israeli thinks they run city hall).
• Flees from life’s trials (and Lord knows this country isn’t short of them): Breathe into the lachatz (try it the next time you’re sitting in traffic instead of futile, crazed honking). Immense light manifests through immense strain.
• Own well-being comes first: Real contentment comes from willing to be outside your comfort zone. See the silver lining in every situation, the herring inside the jar, the key inside the shlissel hallah.
• Too involved in self-image: Stop indulging yourself with the latest technological toy, you hi-tech nation you, and for Pete’s sake keep your bank account out of minus! (My American self practically has a heart attack thinking of all the debt.) Take a break from the latest far-flung vacation and get involved in sharing. (Though I must say Israelis are prolific when it comes to doing hessed.) And please, please, stop it with the useless hasbara.
• Believes everything is fine and dandy and will
work out, even when it’s not and might not: If this isn’t the most Israeli thing ever, I don’t know what is. Yehiyeh b’seder is the platitude uttered in situations that are decidedly not b’seder, in everything from bad service to the alarming butter shortage to the latest summertime military maneuver (Operation Kacha commencing this July). So remember: Everything is OK only when you’re working on yourself.
• Overly attached to home and familiar surroundings: The bull is said to need to wander the earth to find freedom, yet Israelis long for home like no other. Each change in life is a new incarnation and opportunity, so usher it in with open arms. Let freedom ring!
Nu, what about some other countries’ horoscopes? Smashing question. Here’s a quick rundown of a few of the nations among us:
• The United States: Born on the Fourth of July, 1776, the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave is a Cancer. Symbolized by the crab and with a strong humanitarian streak, patriotic American crustaceans carry with them the energy of bursting free of shackles and anything holding them back. Strong-willed and robust ala the (pre-lung cancer) Marlboro Man, they place great importance on personal happiness and like Israelis, prize the home and domestic life. As a water sign, their emotions run deep and they also tend toward depression (hello, Prozac Nation!), possibly explaining the wild popularity of pharmaceuticals among Americans.
Improbably, the US shares common energies with Algeria, whose independence day is July 5, 1962.
• Iran: A discussion to better understand our greatest ally (above) should be extended to perhaps our greatest enemy. While some claim we should go back as far as May 1501, when Ismail I was proclaimed Shah of Azerbaidjan, for our purposes the Islamic Republic came into being with the proclamation of Ayatollah Khomeini on April 1, 1979 (April Fools!... not really).
Aries is symbolized by the ram and ruled by the planet Mars, the god of war (shocking). Arians, a fire sign, are full of ambition, confidence and courage (well, certainly bluster). Resourceful and enthusiastic when confronted with novelty, they also are known to display a sharp temper. Natural leaders, they can turn controlling. Is it really surprising that the ram locks horns with the Israeli bull?
• India: On August 15, 1947, the Republic of India declared independence from the United Kingdom. The second most populous country in the world is a fiery Leo. Their best selves are creative, passionate, giving (the country’s culture of service is unmatched), warm-hearted, cheerful and entertaining (can anyone put on a wedding like an Indian?). At worst they can be arrogant, obstinate, self-centered, lazy and inflexible (caste system much?). They love bright colors (saris come to mind) and theater (Bollywood); they hate being ignored and not being treated like the royalty they are (yas queen!).
Know what other country is a Leo? North Korea (also August 15, but 1945). And you can bet self-styled leontine Kim Jong-un is boasting about it as we speak...
SO LET’S join together in wishing our lovable bull a yom huledet sameach. You don’t look a day over 48!
TAURUS, THE bull, as depicted in Urania’s Mirror, a set of constellation cards published in London in 1825.