It’s like astrology but add some fur and feathers. Discover your animal sign and how this animal counterpart has influenced your most essential qualities in life.
In the summer of 1980, I read my horoscope for the first time at a neighborhood garage sale. I had spent my allowance, a hard-earned quarter, on a well-worn, almost decade-old copy of Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs: How to Really Know Your Husband, Wife, Lover, Child, Boss, Employee, and Yourself Through Astrology.
Admittedly, at age nine, I lacked a spouse or lover and was currently unemployed—other than my occasional pop-up lemonade stand. Yet, something drew me to the idea of “really” knowing myself. I wasn’t alone. Sun Signs was the first astrology book to hit The New York Times Best Seller list.
In those days, astrology was mainly relegated to horoscopes in magazines or newspapers―and the odd little house down the street with the “Palm Reading!” sign in the window. Of course, half-way around the world, Persian, Arabic, Chinese, and Vedic astrology had been taken seriously for millennia. But, pre-Internet, I had no idea about that. Kiboshed by many religious and scientific institutions alike as superstition, astrology lived on the fringes in the U.S. until Goodman mainstreamed it.
Times have changed, haven’t they?
Many of us spiritual types regularly include the stars, planets, and animal signs among the ways we seek divine knowledge of what our daily lives might hold―or the “why?” of our fabulously individuated flair. Well, now there’s yet another tool that combines our human fascination with other animals and our interest in celestial wisdom.
Get to Know Your Animal Sign
Best Friends Animal Society, a no-kill sanctuary for homeless and special-needs animals, has launched its amusing take on astrology. Just pop your birthday onto its special webpage to receive your two-part animal sign reading.
When asked how its system compares to traditional Zodiac or animal signs, Best Friends offered, “It’s furrier, sometimes more feathered. Depends on the sign.”
Amusingly, I ended up a bit furry and feathered in my animal signs. Apparently, I’m a Dog with Dove Rising. My dogness means I “get along with almost everybody” and that I’m mostly cheerful. My rising doveness makes me “dignified, a bit regal and, most of all, a peacemaker.” The combination suggests I “have a strong sense of truth, justice, and evenhandedness that flies along beside me wherever my nose may lead.”
While the animal-lovers over at Best Friends confess their tool is for entertainment purposes, it offered profound insights hidden under their clever language. As I read the descriptive words, I noted the ones that felt true and those that felt more aspirational at this moment.
I asked myself: Where am I not living up to these essential qualities in my life? And then, I realized, that is the value of astrology for me. While it may not always reveal my precise future, it shows how I need to act to bring forth the future I want to see. Indeed, this mid-life foray into interspecies astrology helped me “really know myself”―just like Goodman’s paperback had promised decades ago.
Of course, the folks at Best Friends know this as well. They report that in 2016, 1.5 million cats and dogs were killed in shelters. Because of their work―and that of other fierce animal advocates, plus you readers who #adoptdontshop―that number was down to a half-million in 2020. The future holds, according to Best Friends, the U.S. becoming a “no-kill” country by 2025. Now, that’s a prediction I want to see come true, and am willing to help work for it.
And so, the biggest insight I learned from my animal sign was surprisingly revealed through the actions of the organization that created it—to balance the seemingly endless heartbreak we can experience in this world, it’s important to take breaks for a bit of light-hearted fun.
Keep reading: “Is Your Feline Sending Divine Signs?”