Spiritose e loquaci

I don’t give any real credence to astrology, although of course, like everyone else, I read the horoscopes in the Georgia Straight. But once in a while something clicks, such as what my page-a-day Italian calendar told me this morning.

Every morning I pay a brief visit to that calendar, which for the last bit has been doing a stretch on the signs of the zodiac. My sign is Virgo; the calendar a few days ago described those of us born under its sign as testardo e persistente: stubborn and persistent–OK, some truth in that. (“Dad, you are such a Virgo”–Megan Grayston.)

This morning, however, it hit real pay dirt. Here’s what it said:

Le persone nate sotto il segno dell’Acquario sono spiritose e loquaci. / People born under the sign of Aquarius are witty and loquacious.

Ah, Thomas Merton, born January 31, 1915. In the first sentence of his autobiographical The Seven Storey Mountain, he says that he came into the world “under the sign of the Water Bearer,” i.e., Aquarius. My hunch, however, is that this was not evidence of his belief in astrology, to which, to my knowledge, he makes no further reference in his writings, but rather refers to his conditional baptism at Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Church in Manhattan, on November 16, 1938.

Witty–without a doubt. His wit comes through most clearly in his letters. Loquacious–he published some 60 titles before he died and some 40 (with a little help from his friends) since he died. Sometimes the zodiac does get it right.

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