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Equinox, Cusp and Frodo

Originally published September 2019

I personally feel that a person’s personality is ruled by their date of birth. Dynamics are in play that we never notice. Odd behaviors by one’s family are suddenly explained.

Suggest that a baby is born on her sister’s third birthday. This illustrates astonishing accuracy on the part of her parents, who obviously got down to it on the same day, nine months previously. Probably New Year’s Eve.

However the older sister is not amused. It was bad enough to have to surrender her reign as only child to another sister before this one, but to have her birthday stolen from her is far worse. What follows is focussed sisterly torment and impatience; the baby sister adores her oldest sister, who refers to her younger sibs as “the girls” at the mature age of five.

Suggest that the baby’s birthdate is the Autumnal Equinox. Night and day are balanced for one of two days of the entire year. This day harkens the coming of winter. Days are warm and dry but dusk comes earlier every day. Soon winter rains will come. The little family must stay indoors more. The oldest sister blames baby sister for this and many other uncomfortable things.

The baby grows up to be a person who can easily see both sides of every conflict, to the puzzlement of her husband and to the delight of work colleagues who think this is wisdom. She prefers symmetry and organization—everything has its right place, and you’d better put it back where you got it or she’ll f**k you up.

As a child, she did not demonstrate this skill. The oldest sister, also an equinox child, kept her toys, dolls and clothes in tip top condition, while baby sister pretty much ruined everything she touched, including big sister’s possessions. Many life lessons ensued, and the baby sister, as she became an adult, learned to appreciate cleanliness, order and nicely folded underwear.

Baby sister’s birthday also falls on the cusp between Virgo and Libra.

Virgo: The second largest constellation, floating between Leo and Libra. She wears Spica, one of the brightest stars in the sky, and also keeps the intersection of the celestial equator and the eliptic. She’s pretty damn powerful and all the other signs look up to her. Well, maybe that’s a bit too much. Anyway a Virgo is nurturing, rule-abiding and perfectionistic; an uncomfortable way to live.

Libra: Ruled by Venus, this sign may be depicted as a balance, but that only makes the Libra personality all the more perplexing. So here is this balance thing again, but baby sister’s persona is only nuanced by Libra. The Libra constellation is small, and the only constellation without a living, breathing being represented in it. It’s just the balance. The social, flirtatious and game-for-anything attributes of Libra don’t have an easy time with baby sister, who is basically an introverted extrovert, the extrovert side getting its say only rarely, like a deeply buried multiple personality.

Finally, baby sister—and older sister—share a birthday with Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, who also share a birthday. This one thing delights both sisters equally, and they discuss the ups and downs of their respective lives with over-analytic zeal.

Both have read the Lord of the Rings trilogy dozens of times, can name all the characters, including who really possessed the Three Rings, and privately lament the union of Aragorn with Arwen when they wish it had been with Eowyn. They speculate on the significance and symbolism of Frodo being born on Bilbo’s birthday, and if that were the reason both of them were so profoundly affected by One Ringpossession.

I have not, perhaps, proved my theorem except by using anecdotal, biographical evidence. However, I’m sure I am not alone in thinking this. We are only human, and therefore we must look for answers to behaviors.

There’s no other way to explain why one person likes to drive over the speed limit on the highway whenever they can get away with it (Libra) and the other always moves to the right when that speeder is going faster than they are. (Virgo).


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