by Boots Hart, CAP

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Astrology of Groups: It's elemental, my dear Watson!

 Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes (my favorite Sherlock Holmes)

I worked for almost twenty years in the motion picture industry as a production accountant.

You know, the person who pays all the bills? Sorts out all the costs? Listens to crew members explain why they need just one more (fill in the blank) while bosses are getting totally bent because expenditures they approved, signed for and maybe even ordered has now run things over budget?

Yes, that person.

And while I have a huge respect and enthusiasm for the art form that movies are, I'm also of the opinion that what really goes on behind a camera while a film is getting made is often far more entertaining, frightening and astonishingly unlikely.

Some of the story lines there...? If you put it in a movie, everyone would say 'aw, that NEVER happens!!' But it does. Truth really is stranger than fiction. production accountant, I was keeper and guardian of the payroll records, said records including that most basic of astrological information: birth date data. Because of this, in rare moments when it wasn't raining check requests and I wasn't trying to wolf down cold scrambled eggs (production teaches you to eat what you can, when you can, regardless of temperature) least once a picture I would haul out the start cards and survey all the Sun signs. If I had time, I'd break it down by department, too.

What I found was a very interesting correlation between crews and film subject matter. To name a couple I remember best, I worked on Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2... a classic sort of 'fantasy' horror film. It's crew was overwhelmingly composed of fire and water signs. Considering that fire signs are all about imagination and things imaginary while water signs are feelings and emotion, that rather fits.

As does the idea that the rather huge crew which made Shy People (a story about a family's values being tested amidst the glory of alligators and bayous)...that crew was very much tilted in the direction of water and earth Suns. Family is typified by Cancer - a water sign. Values are typically Taurus, an earth sign.

And bayous? How much more water + earth = mud, silt and swamp do you want?

What I'm saying here is that groups seem to have applicable astrological cohesiveness. It's not always as obvious as crew versus film story type - I know of one extended group of associated people whose abilities to direct others seems expressed by the prominence of Juno in their charts.

But whether it's government administrations or social interest groups, the themes are definitely interesting. And useful. After all, even if planets are scattered all over the zodiacal map, when you're dealing with a group (or just trying to grok them), knowing the 'elemental' truth about who they are AS a group can give you the clue on how to appeal to them as that group!

For instance: back when I was being the Bank of Boots on films I'd use what I knew about a given crew when choosing my words and approach to certain problems. And as shooting wore on and the crew got more tired, I'd fine tune messages and conversations even more. Not to manipulate, but in order to minimize misunderstandings and not try tired brains.

You know - so we could get the job done.

And this didn't just apply on location. Whenever I'd take up habitation in some office at a new studio I'd ask around about birthdays. My cover story was always the same - I need to know so I know when to wish you happy birthday. In most cases you don't need the year to determine a sun sign, and let's face it - people are into that birthday thing. It's nice to know someone cares.

And yes, I did put their birthdays on my desk calendar and make sure they got congratulated.

But at the same time I was able to see what kind of group I was working with.

...Was the office especially airy? If so, I'd put everything out there in question form and possibilities. And when writing memos, I'd make my tone rather literary.

...If I was in a group which was greatly earthy, I'd speak of things in tangible, practical terms, emphasizing values.

...For watery groups, feelings are always in style - whether in writing or verbal form. Always start with how are you feeling today and remember their concerns.

...And those fire signs? Well, fiery folks like fun. Even if the subject is terribly serious they'll always appreciate an interesting comparison or anecdotal metaphor.

It all comes down to appealing to, and being understood by your audience. Call it appealing to the masses...or simply getting along with masters of industry (or the miss or mister of your choice). 

it's simply elemental, Watson...

....You know, that ever so human quality one calls 'elemental lingo.'


  1. Excellent idea - what do you propose serving to each sign? (And is that a trick question?)

  2. Okay, I'll have a go at that. Let's see:
    Earth: escargot starter, followed by a traditional down home recipe such as braised beef.
    Air: Saffron souffle with cloudberry sauce. (Do we have cloudberries in Canada? Yes! All Air Signs: please discuss)
    Water: sushi starter, but main course comfort foods that make you feel good: mashed potatoes with gravy, ice cream, chocolate
    Fire: spicy paella from the recipe I was given by a handsome woman in a Valencian street market....

  3. Excellent start...though I'm not sure all earthy folks will go with the escargot, but maybe that's just me. (And being someone with no earth in their chart, that may well BE just me!)

    For a start, we could 'flesh' out those menus. And it's worth commenting that there are some traditional pairings: Earth and Water go hand in hand (for the fertile good or muddy bad) as do Air and Fire (which can be warmth of concept or devil winds and firefights)...

    So! What does the fiery girl serve the air sign guy for a romantic supper?

    Next, what kind of restaurant does the water sign guy pick out for his fire sign inlaws, considering he needs to eat too?

    There is certainly more to this than what can get 'served up' in a single blog! There are water signs which don't eat fish and earth signs which don't eat meat (I happen to know of a very earth sign woman who will ONLY eat fish).

    But let's start with basics.

    So we have the romantic supper and inlaws... let's say you're in charge of the menu for an important business luncheon. Your side of the biz deal is pretty earth (and they need to be fed well enough to be brilliantly impressive). The client is an air sign. What do you serve?

    I'll hum the 'Jeopardy' theme while you figure it out...

  4. Hey, I hope some of your other readers will join in on this one! (In other words, HELP...ME...!)

  5. Maybe you should shoot Wolfgang Puck an email and ask him to help you design a menu?

    You have the idea...just design a meal to please all parties and suitable for the occasion!

    You can do be one witty woman! Let's have some of that great "tasteful" Peggy humorous thinking!

  6. Sadly, I am within hours of heading out on vacation! to the land of the Cloud berries, by the way. So I have to "bail" on menu making right now. Empty suitcases and piles of stuff on the couch are calling out to be combined! I hope someone else will try their hand at this. It's an interesting challenge! I am sticking with the escargot for the Earth signs...I was thinking how Taurus loves the fine things in life beautifully presented...and I couldn't think of anything closer to the earth than the lowly but totally delicious snail. (I KNOW because they have been eating my garden of late....just not large enough to saute! Yet...)