*Ed’s note: satire, tongue-in-cheek, may it be of benefit!
Jimmy Carr, the British comic who claims Roger Federer is his mother, once joked, “The most common superstition in the world today is a belief in horoscopes. There’s a name for people who believe in horoscopes. They’re called—single women.”
It’s funny because it’s true.
As a self-proclaimed bitter spinster, it is my duty to summon my inner cynical Master Oogway and enlighten you about the dance of the cosmos. The acerbic Yoda in me will help you SpaceX your way through these cosmic challenges. But if you’re faint of heart and cannot take some womansplaining, I suggest you turn around and go back to the future.
Let’s begin with a glossary of some of the most important astrological terms:
Mercury is the Wi-Fi oracle. When Mercury goes retrograde, it goes to a galaxy far far away from the Earth for about three to five weeks. However, unlike poor Pluto, who was laid off forever, Mercury always comes back after a siesta and a fiesta.
While Mercury is away, we’re left home alone. And like aftershave on pre-pubescent faces, we end up in gaping screams! The comedy of errors that ensues is as if P.G. Wodehouse is penning the story of our lives. And if you believe in God, especially the kind that speaks to you, she sounds a lot like an impish lovechild of Jeeves and Lady Grantham, rather than Morgan Freeman. Let’s call her Amélie.
Say, you end up ordering a phone on Amazon and get a lemon tart instead. Then you talk to customer service, and you say, “Listen, I got a lemon tart instead of a phone. Should I return the tart that Sotheby’s may want to display, and that I took a bite out of, on account of my PCOD charged PMS? Or, will you refund the money that could feed the hangry Kardashian cartel for a week?”
Apathetically, her flippant voice says, “Yes.” Before swiftly hanging up.
Yep. That’s Amélie messing with you.
When you look for directions at the fork in the road, and even Google says, “Seedha jaao, go straight,” put on your seat belts, wrap yourself in bubble wrap, and seek refuge under covers stat! Technology, travel, and communication are the things you must detach your earthly pleasures from, at least for the duration of this turbulence.
The present looks dimmer, but the past starts to shimmer. Mercury on holiday opens up the ex-files. Long lost BFFs, frenemies, crushes—anyone you’ve ever danced the Macarena with may reappear in your life as a pleasant distraction from all the destruction. It’s okay to plan an End of the World party now. But remember to send postcards, because your WhatsApp broadcasts may not go through.
Mercury MIA lasts at least three to five times longer than your periods, so you may as well build a bunker, or at least a pillow fort. On the rosier side, it only happens three times a year, just like your mom’s threats to visit. So arm yourself with chocolates, puppies, and rom-coms, and maybe you’ll make it out unscathed. But hey, we’ve survived the Y2K, the 2012 Mayan calendar, and even the last season of “GoT,” so I think we got this!
Do you remember that moment in “Jurassic Park,” where the glass of water trembles and they hear the dinosaur rumbling closer? Well, eclipses are nothing like that.
They are more like the accordion-shaped dinosaur that fans out with a venomous hiss and devours Newman! No amount of Oonagi can save you from this one. Sigh!
Eclipses are what happen to short people on buses and in concerts. Just kidding!
Eclipses are when the sun and the moon play musical chairs with the Earth in perfect tandem. And while you’re busy basking in the beauty of the cosmos (unless you’re Hindu and have quarantined yourself to bathe for nine hours), the universe is plotting against you like James Spader—the most good-natured, quick-witted, Ultron-shaped villain there was.
Eclipses are about beginnings and endings, takeoffs and landings, introductions, and epilogues. All eclipses say. “Aloha.” The solar ones say hello and the lunar ones say goodbye. Meet-cutes and breakups—all rom-com scenes happen in this phase. It’s “Serendipity” meets “La La Land.”
Not only does this cosmic lineup not have any trailers, but the release date is sort of an interactive guessing game. The radioactive radius of an eclipse is about a month around its scheduled time. Like Barney, you’re just hoping to dodge that slap from Marshall, but it’s gonna…wait for it…yeah! Sigh.
Astrologers can predict the general vicinity of the “when” but usually not the “what”—even though free will is not cast in this production at all. For an accurate prediction, you may want to reach out to tarot cards, crystal balls, ouija boards, or pray to the ghost of Paul the Octopus (may he RIP).
Alternately, it’s one more thing you can blame your parents for since the universe has an annoying way of ghosting you just when you need answers. Eclipses are what Calvin’s dad calls “building character.” (Insert eye-roll here.)
My expert suggestion would be to just ride this phase out in silent suffering, taking cues from the Jewish American community, or the Pride Parade. Unless, of course, you have a flair for dramatic overtures. Then no one can eclipse you, baby! It’s your time to shine with Insta selfies about inner strength and scheduling a full moon pity party. You go be as extra as you like! Go go mommy’s right here!
This is where we realise that all those years of geometry are still of no use to anyone but astrologers and architects. And that no matter how loudly we channel Chris Tucker, “We do not understand the words coming out of your mouth.”
Despite my lack of knowledge of Latin, I can surmise that trines = triangles. I can only remember the isosceles kind from my geometry class, on account of having to dodge that sugar-crazed back-bencher holding the compass like Dexter holds his scalpel. Anyway, having survived that ordeal with the flair of Jonathan Van Ness, I thanked my lucky stars, which I now know to be trines.
Trine sounds like a trinket, doesn’t it? Like, “Where did I put all those bracelets and trines that Bappida (Bappi Lahiri, lover of Michael Jackson and imitator of Mr. T. His son’s name is Bappa Lahiri and his dog’s name is Puppy Lahiri) gifted me!?”
Or maybe it’s a Young Adult novel about a love triangle with a zombie, a vampire, and a unicorn. It could be called, A Trine made in NeverEverLand.
It could even be a new-age version of a cake topper for throuples’ weddings: “Here’s your trine and your something rainbow.”
Or perhaps it’s a party for hippie octogenarians: “Welcome to my trine. We will now dance around the farm to table bay leaf bonfire, where we will make an offering of paleo-fed beetles, steeped in keto-approved kale juice.”
Once upon a time, I did attempt a trine with a man using my thumb and forefinger. As it turns out, he is now a bitter mister. (This is a terribly tiny trine tale.)
My drift is drifting, and unlike Vin Diesel, I gotta get a move on.
Trines are unnamed triagonal constellations in your birth chart that make fortune cookies real for you. Most of us Indians have birth charts, so if you see any triangles in your kundali (birth chart according to astrologers and gold according to desperate mothers of unmarried adults over 30), then you have more luck than sense. For example, if you eat a whole cake, you won’t get fat! And if you don’t take your makeup off at night, you’ll still look like a forest nymph in the morning. It gives you privileges that defy physics and instead gives you the superpowers of Rajnikanth (a South Indian superhero who can defy physics and logic).
But you must mind it! These privileges, that make you more entitled than white patriarchy and almost a bonafide superhero, must not be taken for granted. Trines are the good karma points you’ve earned from your previous life. So be sure to not lord your luck over others who don’t understand why you have a sugar daddy without having to work as a golddigger.
We all know that with great power comes great bureaucracy. So if you feel inclined to play Modi-Modi (Narendra, Nirav, Lalit*), remember that even Trumpy got impeached. So don’t tempt fate with your immunity powers.
I highly recommend putting on your sanskaari saris to live out your glorious destiny. Because if anyone has the time and money, it’s you, dear trine-tapped-tool. Ward off bad jujus with havans, poojas, feng shui, fake spitting, throwing salt over your shoulder, knocking on wood, avoiding cracked mirrors, walking around ladders, and uncrossing the paths of any formally dressed cats. If nothing else works, try to chase a bird so that its poop blessing can land directly on your soul that quite possibly, desperately needs saving.
I hope the spinster Oracle in me has helped you bend the spoon.
If not, to quote Demetri Martin, “I find that my horoscope is a lot more accurate if I just live less specifically.”
*Narendra Modi: the George Bush to Amit Shah’s Condi Rice. He likes building really tall statues that grant him favours from the Ambanis (India’s richest).
*Nirav Modi: An Indian jewel thief who duped the banks with twice the budget of the aforementioned statue.
*Lalit Modi: A cricket lover who loves playing business-business and embezzlement.