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September 2017 Special Edition: Philosophy 101

By Jason Graff


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statue

Capricorn (December 22 - January 20)

Let the ancients guide you in your quest for knowledge, Capricorn. Thoughtful words spoken long ago still seem quite contemporary, no matter the gulf of time separating then and now. History’s greatest educators have cemented their place in our permanent consciousness because their insights enrich our lives and show us the world anew. Keep especially a bit of Confucius close at hand, for he once said: “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third, by experience, which is the bitterest." Now just replace “imitation” with “binge watching Sponge Bob” and the quote proves eminently useful to you.


Aquarius (January 21 - February 18)

Love may be life’s greatest teacher, Aquarius. Look at all it has taught you: patience, forgiveness, compassion, and the standard legal language in a restraining order.


Pisces (February 19 - March 20)

Learning from experience makes for arduous lessons, Pisces. It is the only subject you pass through without ever completely mastering. Yet at each step along this path, we take a new measure of ourselves and are reminded that the time has not been wasted. This is all my way of regretfully informing you that yes, you will once again fail geometry.


Aries (March 21 - April 19)

Aires, there are many lessons still to be learned. Life truly is the greatest teacher of all. Unfortunately, you do not have Professor Life this semester, you’ve got Professor Walls, who mumbles and smells of spoiled goat milk. You will learn little from him beyond the fact that it must be impossible to die of boredom.


Taurus (April 20 - May 20)

Not every lesson is yours to keep, Taurus. Some are meant to be passed on and shared. You can do this by word of mouth, posting it on the internet or disclosing it in a personal letter to a friend. You will find your true audience by showing them how an idea can be shaped for it is the seekers that are best ready to hear your words. The method is not of much importance, the message alone is paramount. Just keep it short, because as you surely know what with Twitter and generally shortened attention spans and all…wait, what was I saying…


Gemini (May 21 - June 20)

You never tire of learning, Gemini. It’s truly one of your best traits. Now, if you could only consistently remember how adversely that one particular brand of baked beans affects you, those close to you, and by that I mean in actual physical proximity, would be so grateful.


Cancer (June 21 - July 22)

The best of life’s lessons are learned at home, Cancer. There, one is as likely to learn about life from oneself as from the outside world. This all comes as great news, I’m sure, because you’re banned from the community pool for at least 6 more weeks.


Leo (July 23 - August 22)

The lessons of Socrates will prove most useful to you, Leo. His quote, “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing,” reminds us of the important role humility plays in the pursuit of knowledge. And his final act reminds us there is only one bad milkshake flavor: hemlock.


Virgo (August 23 - September 22)

You will soon find yourself in the position of both student and teacher, Virgo. Your classroom will be the world, your subject the meaning of life, your impact immeasurable. It’s a lot of pressure, sure, but you really just need to stay one lesson ahead of the students. Trust me, they’ll never know.


Libra (September 22 - October 22)

Libra, when you see the sum total of all the self-knowledge you’ve gained, what rises most swiftly to the surface of to your consciousness? Is it your boundless reserve of compassion? Is it that you seem to possess an ever-deepening well of empathy? Or is it that it’s better to walk in and order at the counter because they always screw up your order at the drive thru?


Scorpio (October 23 - November 21)

When you add up all that life’s taught you already, Scorpio, does it feel selfish to want more? No? Well, you are a greedy one, aren’t you? Maybe it’s time to learn a lesson in contentment. I'll close simply by saying, good day to you.


Sagittarius (November 22 - December 21)

You will again learn the importance of persistence in pursuing your dreams, Sagittarius. You must be dogged and unyielding to remove that which will be put before you. After all, sometimes the road will be tough, but that is only so those not up for the climb never attempt it.





About the author


Jason Graff

Jason Graff is an educator as well as a writer of essays, poetry and fiction. In the Service of the Boyar, published by Strange Fictions Press, is his debut novella. He can be found on Twitter @jasongraff1, Facebook at Author Jason Graff as well as at a website in need of updating. His short story, “Stacey’s Dream,” can be found in the current issue of Remixt Magazine.



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