A Micro-Horoscope

   For the New Year


by Richard L. Howey, Wyoming, USA


    Almost every newspaper, even many respectable ones, publishes daily horoscopes, which people will admit to “glancing at” occasionally, but certainly not taking seriously.  I once asked one of my classes, urging them to be forthright, how many of them read their horoscopes fairly regularly.  Out of 50 students, 73.9414% admitted to doing so.  (Remember that all statistics are lies.)  

   I read an account of another university professor who passed out horoscopes to each of his students individually describing their particular personality traits.  The traits were strongly positive“remarkable insightful,” “reliable and trustworthy”, “an enjoyable companion,” etc.  and, as you might imagine, the students had very strong levels of agreement with their profiles.  He then asked each student to pass his or her horoscope to another student in the class, whereupon they discovered that everyone had received identical horoscopes. I have also been amazed that 6.3 billion people can be put into 12 categories!  Ain’t humans gullibly grand and grandly gullible?

   This morning as I was reading our newspaper, I flipped past the page with the horoscopesI truly don’t read mine anymore; I’m too old to change—and I thought it might be rather fun to do a microscopist’s horoscopenot a daily one, just a general one for the year. Part of the fun will be picking out the critters for the various zodiacal signs.  I remember a period when people who had just met would often ask: What’s your sign?  My stock answer, curmudgeon that I am, was “No loitering!”

   So, let’s develop a new microscopical zodiac.


Aries will now become:
WATER MITE: (March 21-April 19).  You are highly flexible, curious and, at times, even nosey.  When you chose to you can present an elegant and graceful appearance.  Sometimes you simply want to retreat and be alone.  You love to eat and are rather selective about your cuisine. You like to do things your own way and are not overly fond of socializing; you place a very high value on your privacy.  You are both generous and stubborn.  Your year will be full of variety, challenges, and affection.


Taurus will now become:
KERATELLA: (The Klingon Warship Rotifer) (April 20-May 20). You are tough with a giant, heavily-armored ego.  You do, however, have a sensitive side which you are reluctant to reveal and when you feel vulnerable you withdraw inside yourself. You are assertive and tend to have a rather thorny personality.  You have little patience for nuances as is evidenced by your appetite
you will eat virtually anything.  You are aggressive, but strong types are attracted to you and your strength.  Your year will be full of conflict and reward.


Gemini will now become:
PARAMECIUM: ( (May 21-June 20).  You demonstrate a strong proclivity toward promiscuity. You also have a propensity to flirt. You are almost neurotically restless and need to be constantly in motion. You are highly gregarious and will often seek out large groups of fellow Paramecia, but are inclined to snub those who have a different zodiacal sign.  Your year will be full of wild affairs and parties.


Cancer will now become:
CLADOCERA:  (Water flea) (June 21-July 22).  Some would describe you as twitchy.  Others regard you as divine, since you are repeatedly demonstrating your capacity for Virgin Birth (parthenogenesis).  Liberals think you should practice self-restraint and conservatives don’t mind how many offspring you have as long as you stay off welfare.  Males of this sign are relatively rare and tend to be rather small, but quite virile.  Your year will be full of babies.


Leo will now become:
SPITTLE BUG:  (July 23-August 22) You are noted for your ferocity and there are few who dare to challenge you. You are highly competitive and tend to bluster.  Males are generally quite large, temperamental, and rather lazy.  Females usually bear the brunt of supporting the family, but defer to their mates.  Family groups are of great importance and communal meals are usual. Your year will be full of good, solid food, even though it won’t be haute cuisine.


Virgo will be replaced with:
AMOEBA:  (August 23-September 22).  Some revere you for your purity; others regard you as cold and sexless.  Everyone agrees that you are elusive and hard to pin down. Most also agree that you are mysterious, but a few think that you have multiple personalities.  You intrigue, but do not inspire trust.  You are creative, but your talents never achieve their full development since you go off in so many different directions.  Your year will be full of adventure and you will frequently feel divided regarding yourself.

Libra will be replaced with:
CLOSTERIUM (A crescent-shaped desmid) (September 23-October 22). Because you can rest on the arc of your crescent with your extremities balancing upward, you are known for moderation and objectivity.  Many confide in you and deeply respect your advice and impartiality.  While your lack of bias inspires admiration, you are rarely regarded with affection. Your sense of distance is alienating when others want you to be on their side.  Your year will be productive, but somewhat lonely.


Scorpio will now become:
OBELIA (The tiny medusa) (October 23-November 21).  You are known to be dangerous and that is part of your appeal. You have a stinging wit and like to lead people on.  You are sometimes regarded as lacking ambition because of your tendency to just float along for long periods.  You are much tougher than you appear at first glance. Your year will be occupied with playing games with others and remaining rather indifferent to the consequences.


Sagittarius will be replaced by:
SAGITTA.  (The “arrow worm”) (November 22-December 21).  You are full of contradictions. On the one hand, you have no patience for fools, but under the surface, you can be dominated by sentiment. You are a loyal friend, but so demanding that few people are willing to spend much time with you. You have strong intellectual and creative abilities, but dart off in so many directions that it is hard for you to finish one project before moving on to another. Your year will be exciting and frustrating as you continue to try to juggle too many concerns.


Capricorn will now become:
DIATOM:  (December 22-January 19).  Vanity, vanity, all is vanity. You are, for many, exceptionally attractive physically and you are keenly aware of this.  Often you use this attribute to lure people to you and then reject them.  When someone tries to get to know you well, you have a fear that they will discover that you are an empty shell.  You are highly creative in many directions.  Your persona metamorphoses in such a manner as to make you enigmatic.  Your year will be full of demands from others to put yourself on display.


Aquarius will now become:
TRICHONYMPHA (The Termite Symbiont) (January 20-February 18). You are a cluster of contrary attributes. You are highly reclusive and reveal yourself only under duress. You cannot stand being alone and are inevitably found socializing in large crowds while trying to remain anonymous.  You spend virtually all of your time in an aquatic environment and are an elegant and graceful swimmer.  Almost invariably, you have long striking hair, but are inclined to be overweight.  Your year will consist of a seemingly interminable high fiber diet.

Pisces will now become:
STENTOR (The Trumpet Ciliate) (February 19-March 20). You are often self-obsessed and have a tendency to blow your own horn. However, you are also often uncertain of yourself and tend to withdraw inside yourself.  When you are in a confident mood you love to put on a show for anyone who happens to be watching. You are somewhat of a contortionist and exhibitionist.  Some mistake this for a lack of substance but, at heart, you are sincere and steadfast.  Your year will be full of ups and downs with some very pleasant interludes.


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Published in the January 2005 edition of Micscape Magazine.

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