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The AffinitiesAffinitiesImage

I just finished reading a science fiction novel by Robert Charles Wilson (one of my favorite S.F. authors) called “The Affinities.” The novel has been around for a while, but I thought that its premise had relevance to astrology. In the novel Wilson proposes a future in which scientific personality analysis is able to divide a portion of the population into “types” which he calls “Affinities.” As these Affinities grew in membership, they formed networks of cooperation until members rarely had to deal with anyone outside their own Affinity.


The Affinities range from the “Hets”, who are hierarchal in the extreme (Capricorns, obviously) to “Taus” who are empathetic, adaptable and smoked a lot of weed (Pisces, right?) I immediately began to consider what would happen if we did the same thing with Sun signs, if we allowed people with the same Sun sign to form their own, autonomous Affinities in which they could be themselves without interference from other signs. Here’s my estimation of how that would work.


We’ll start with Aries. Let’s face it, without someone to say, “Shouldn’t you be wearing a helmet?” or “Isn’t this against some sort of fire code?” or “WATCH OUT!!!” they’d all be dead inside of six months.


The Taurus Affinity would quickly make big bucks in the stock market and real estate. Then they would start eating out a lot.  After a while they would discover Netflix, and delivery.  Hey, liquor stores can deliver as well. It would take about a year or so for the heart, liver and back problems to set in, and after that the Taurus Affinity wouldn’t be doing much.


The Gemini group would immediately figure out a way to solve all the world’s problems. Then they’d spend and few weeks developing a way to monetize they plan. The rest of their existence they would spend on the phone, cold-calling the other Affinities and trying to sell their plan. Of course, after a while the other Affinities would recognize the number and refuse to answer. With no one to talk to, the Gemini Affinity would lapse into permanent depression.


Our loving Cancer Affinity would make it their mission to save the survivors of the first three. They would mend the injured limbs of Aries, cook for Taurus and let the Gemini people jabber away to their heart’s content. After a while, however, these survivors might want of move out of the Cancer Affinity household, get a job and maybe a driver’s license. The Cancer Affinity would spend the rest of its existence crying and complaining about “those ungrateful kids.”


The Leo Affinity would last about a day. They would spend that day trying to figure out who was going to be king of the Affinity, and then around midnight they would all leave in a huff, go their separate ways and never tire of telling people from the other Affinities how the vote was rigged.


The Virgo Affinity would spend their first 5 years writing and editing their list of standards. After it is completed, the members would read it and realize that none of them qualified. A short time later they would quietly disband.


The Libra Affinity would have the most tastefully decorated headquarters. Unfortunately, no one would be there because all the Affinity members would be home trying to figure out what would be appropriate to wear to their first Affinity meeting. After about a year of this they would give up and just “friend” each other on Facebook.


The Scorpio group would, of course, immediately start laying out a scheme to take over all the other Affinities. They would send out spies to infiltrate the other Affinities and pretty soon they would have a person in a position of authority in each group. At this point they will realize that controlling these Affinities will mean permanently acting like a Cancer, or Gemini or a Libra. The Scorpios will find this idea so disgusting that they will withdraw their agents and convert the Scorpio Affinity into a secret cult.


No one has seen the Sagittarius Affinity for a while. There are rumors that they took a cruise around the world or joined the space program. They’re not answering their cellphones and the address they left us turned out to be a place that sells used hiking gear. We left a message with their mothers and we’re thinking of putting pictures on milk cartons.


The Capricorn Affinity is a little like Wilson’s fictional “Het” group. They have a strict chain of command and endless ambition. But Wilson failed to figure in Capricorns’ capacity for feeling bad about themselves. This Affinity took over the world in less than two weeks, then they began to blame themselves for all the world’s problems. They became depressed and went on a month-long bender. We hear they are currently in rehab and engaged in some serious reality therapy sessions. Who’s controlling the world while they’re gone? That’s a good question.


The Aquarius Affinity immediately decided that it was their mission to save the world. They began a debate on how to do this that went on for six weeks. By the time it was over the Aquarius Affinity had split into 56 angry subgroups, each of which issued a separate manifesto. Those who have read all these manifestos tell me that they are remarkably similar, but don’t tell that to an Aquarian.


The Pisces Affinity meets at irregular hours, has no headquarters, no manifesto, no rules and claims that they communicate via telepathy. That’s all well and good, but we hear that they’re the Affinity that the Capricorn group designated to rule the world while they were in rehab. Explains a lot, doesn’t it.

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