[In the process of ordering a horoscope, a strong Aries-type female sent Elbert Wade this 1,800-word letter containing 110 personal pronouns: "I's," "me's," "my's," "mine's," etc., most of which were retained and have been displayed in red in the slightly-edited and condensed version below, which you should find quite revealing -- as well as interesting.]
Dear Mr. Wade,
My husband and I married [Date]. I didn't want to then -- especially him -- but I was young, gullible; he convinced me if I didn't, he'd quit school -- my fault if he became a failure. (Also, I was afraid no one else would want me -- perhaps guilt held for being a disappointment to my mother, the beauty queen, who felt fate cruel giving her a homely daughter.)
"He's possessive, domineering; kept me convinced I wasn't bright enough to come out of rain without his advice! It came to me years later while I might not have much intelligence, I had kept all books and taxes alone. Accurately, too, I might add!
"After daughter left home and four days after our son ran away, I felt I was no longer obligated where I wasn't allowed to re-arrange furniture, talk more than three minutes on the phone, leave without giving an itenerary including moment of return, nor express myself without being told I was 'bitchy.'
I went apartment hunting and moved in two days. My husband was bewildered at my foolishness; I was amazed at my stamina. He begged me to stay; asked if I was going to file for divorce. My answer was I wasn't sure I wanted one, but I had to be alone for a while to think. Three weeks later he filed. Having myself a think, I know we could never live together again. My friends think I'm crazy, but I really don't wish him ill; I just don't want to live with him.
"Professionally, I prefer free-lance work -- I go, do it and leave (my time is my own) to a job where my presence is required 40 hours a week, whether I work or not. Free-lance often requires more hours but it's not boring. It pays better provided you get work. Disadantages: There's no steady paycheck, so you never know whether its beans or steak. I prefer escargot and Beef Wellington; the devil take the hindmost! It's interesting (to me anyway) never to know from day to day who, what, where or when. I like living on the brink.
"Until mid month, I had an excellent free-lance arrangement with a hospital near my apartment (why I chose this location). Then two anesthesiologists decided the hospital and surgeons liked me too much -- as I was doing two cases to their one -- and informed all concerned they were providing all service there. My doctors didn't like this, but instead of making a fuss, went to other hospitals. The bright spot is the anesthesiologists, instead of getting more work, end up with less work than before. I haven't forgiven my doctors for running out on me. This meant my income went from S2,500 [Mid 1970's wages] monthly average to zero with just a phone call telling me the situation.
"I took a salaried position at a hospital in another city which lasted one month. On my birthday, I decided I was too old to drive 80 miles to be irritated eight hours daily. Although I loved the work, I felt it ridiculous to have to go and stay eight hours if there were no cases scheduled.
"I have been approached by two small hospitals for the possibility of providing service. One wilI not open for two months, but I can hold out that long if necessary. The other I know little about. I don't know what kind of offer either will make, if any, but I am interested to know if my chart favors either, or if I should forget this area and try another state. Would trends favor my trying a 40-hour job again until something more suited to my disposition comes up?
"Regarding my personal life, what about me seems to attract clinging men wanting to know my thoughts, where and what I am doing every minute -- calling me six or seven times daily? What can I do to change this so men I am attracted and look up to (there aren't many) will feel likewise. 'Clingers' drive me mad. When I tell them the reason I left my husband was lack of freedom and privacy, they say I'm free but call me twice as much! Even my husband calls me five to ten times daily with some "urgent" matter to be discussed. I'm going bonkers! I can't get anything done for answering the phone, and I don't dare not because it might be business! Also, what is it in my chart that makes me always late -- and what can I do? HELP!! HELP!! HELP!!"
[Signed] [Letter on file]
Her lengthy letter told a lot about Ms Aries; her horoscope chart revealed much more. From it, I knew that absolute honesty with herself was not one of her stronger virtues. [Ninth-house Mercury in close opposition to Neptune in the third house...plus Pluto conjunct her ascendant, and opposing Moon in the sixth house...both squaring Mars (ruler of Aries)...Footing a 'T-square' in the fourth house...Plus many other indicators too numerous to list here!]
Appointment time came, but no Ms Aries! Fifteen minutes later the phone rang. Offering absolutely no explanation -- nor any sort of apology, she commented casually, "I'll be there in half an hour or so."
A bit piqued, I asked, "What do you mean? Your appointment was set ten days ago for 1:00 PM today -- and I confirmed it with you by phone yesterday. You've upset my schedule for the rest of the day. Why are you late?"
"I was on the phone," she replied.
"You must be here in twenty minutes or I will have to reset your appointment for late next week."
"Oh, no! I will be there in twenty minutes -- or less."
Exactly twenty minutes later she arrived. The somewhat strained social amenities completed, I commented, "Have you ever seriously considered that there actually are other people in the world?"
"What do you mean?!" she snapped back.
"You do want me to try to help you, right?"
"Yes, of course. That's why I'm here."
"Then I'll have to be very direct with what I say. I am more concerned that you leave today feeling I've helped you better understand yourself than to go away thinking what a nice fellow I am. First, it appears you have a false inpression of your importance, and are playing a role which is not you. In essence, it might be said you are being anything but the better version of the real you."
This seemed to shock Ms Aries, but it was obvious that I now had her undivided attention.
"No doubt your over emphasis on self-importance results from an innate inferiority complex as clearly indicated in the letter you sent me. I am sure you, with your medical background, understand what an inferiority complex is?"
"Yes, I believe I do."
"To save time and to implement a 'cut to the chase' overly-simplified explanation, let's think of an 'inferiority complex' as a 'superiority complex' reactively manifesting itself in an excessive and out-of-control manner."
"Explain that. I don't quite follow."
"Some individuals (especially fire sign natives: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius) who have nagging inborn fears of self doubt or uncertainty regarding their importance and merits (as your chart indicates) tend to over-compensate. Mars, your ruling planet, in the fourth house of self-confidence and conceptual self-worth is 'clobbered' by very stressful and restrictive aspects. As a "remedy," many will attempt to overcome this self-perceived "flaw" to the degree they become overly arrogant, even completely egocentric. It would appear you have long-since fallen into this category. You and these others, while attempting to cover up what are perceived as weaknesses, may think there is a 'divine right' to step on or run over whomever or whatever may get in the way, or present any sort of challenge. Perhaps inadvertently, you have indicated in your letter of some 1,800 words -- containing 110 personal pronouns -- that in your estimation practically everyone you know is either no good or less important than you. You seem to have little if anything positive to say about your mother, your husband of 21 years, your two children -- or anybody else. You indicate that just about everyone puts you down or suppresses you. Nobody affords you the honor you expect -- or demand.
"May I suggest that there are at least two sides to every story. In every case you have reported only yours. I am sure that basically you are a good person who is quite proficient professionally. Unfortunately, there seems to be a big 'chip' on your shoulder which keeps you from enjoying the peace you deserve. Until you get rid of this 'chip' and get down to realizing you have a problem -- and work to overcome it, there is little positive to look for in your future. Don't you agree there is room for improvement?"
"Certainly, but most of the things that have happened in my life are not my fault."
"Sorry, but I don't agree. Most of your problems are either created or made worse by you. Please, let's be realistic and honest with ourselves. Most of us are what and where we are because this is exactly where or what we have created for ourselves -- whether by design or careless 'accident.' Of course we'd like to have our cake and eat it too. Your reactive approach to life hasn't worked very well. In fact it has aided in breaking up a 21-year marriage, produced a daughter who dropped out of school to marry in order to leave a less-than-desirable home, a son facing serious criminal charges, and you, presently, an individual who seems unwilling to exercise much constraint, control or direction relative to your future. 'Pass the buck' if you want but it always comes back to you."
It was obvious Ms Aries was finding my comments a hard pill to swallow as evidenced by the look of astonishment in her eyes and the tears that were close but not quite flowing.
"By now I imagine you think I'm the most heartless and meanest man on earth, don't you?"
"No, I know what you are saying is the truth and is something someone should have told me long ago. However, I must admit I didn't expect it. I guess I thought you'd pump up my ego instead of letting a lot of the air out of it."
"My dear Aries, later, when we get to the parts of your horoscope that indicate you deserve 'pumping,' you can rest assured that I will. But in all fairness to you it was necessary to let out some of the 'puffiness' so we can start to explore the real and more positive you. Now we both are ready to go over your chart in explicit detail point-by-point."
With a look of total disbelief she said, "You mean you haven't really started the reading of my chart yet?"
"Not officially, my dear Aries, not officially. Let's begin now."