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Everyone Else’s Astrological Symbols Are Cool — Except Mine. I’m Pretty Sure It’s A Virgin. What’s A Guy to Think?

And: What happens if everyone else in my family is one sign, and I’m something else completely?

I’ve been told so many times that most straight men don’t (or won’t) believe in astrology. And yet, the more I yap about it to the guys around me, the more interested they seem to become. So this column is dedicated to those dudes: The suspicious and the curious, the skeptical and the inquisitive. I’ll be here every week, tackling the stuff your basic-ass horoscopes will never get into. Because you know what? You might think astrology is esoteric snake-oil, but everyone around you still judges you based on your star sign.

What should you do if your entire family is one sign, and you’re the odd person out? — Matt. L, Cancer

Being the black sheep is always hard, but it really depends on what the signs in question are. Since you’re a Cancer, let’s use you as an example. If the rest of your family consists of earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn), you’re actually in luck, since earth and water (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) are compatible elements. (Side note here: You may run into issues with any Capricorns — family or not — since they’re your opposite sign; that said, opposites aren’t necessarily a bad thing, as they can promote balance.)

On the other hand, let’s say everyone in your family is an air sign (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius). This will bring about some challenges since they live in the realm of the “intellect” rather than “emotion” (i.e., where you reside). So trying to convince an Aquarius that they hurt your feelings will get you nowhere. They’ll just view you as overly emotional and not rational.

Then we have the fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius). They’ll be as challenging to deal with as air signs, but in a less aloof, icy way. That, though, doesn’t mean things will be any easier. Because fire signs are much more confrontational. Namely: They don’t tend to back down from fights, they don’t like to lose and they’ll hit below the belt if necessary — especially if they feel like you’re attacking their “sense of personal freedom” (even if the “freedom” they’re talking about is purposefully saying something hurtful).

So maybe always make other plans during the holidays if that’s the case?

I never really understood or liked my sign because as a Virgo, its symbol is that of a female — not to mention, she’s a virgin. I can’t be alone in feeling like my sign doesn’t represent me. So what are guys like me supposed to do in such situations? — Cam S., Virgo

It is, of course, very Virgo of you to nitpick your own sign. Also remember: They’re just symbols.

If it makes you feel any better, though, let’s get into Virgo lore. “The Maiden” Virgo in Ancient Greece is based on Astraea, the “virgin” goddess of justice, innocence, purity and precision. (See also Persephone, the daughter of Demeter, the harvest goddess.) As such, Virgo rules your daily routines, the season of harvest (i.e., reaping what you’ve sown), and most importantly, “precision.” In more metaphorical terms then — you know, not the literal interpretation of virgin, where you’re a guy who can never get laid — if you ever find yourself wondering why you need to redo things over and over again until they’re up to your impossible standards, that’s your Virgo tendency to be self-critical and to strive for the “purest” form of whatever you’re doing.

It’s also worth noting that Mercury rules Virgo, and the nature of Mercury is inherently gender neutral. In fact, it’s the only planet that doesn’t have an assigned “gender” or ying/yang axis.

In short, don’t be so quick to jump to conclusions — or to judge a book by its cover (or in this case, a sign by its symbol).

Write to me! Because dude, I’m more than happy to tell you what your sign means w/r/t whatever is happening in your bedroom, with your friends and family or your job/office. Hmu at