Bring to mind the Three Stooges. The good ones when Curly was really Curly and not Schemp or Joe. In “Some Like It Hot,” think of the first sight of Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as babes. Imagine Lucille Ball at the chocolate factory, or for that matter, any episode of “I Love Lucy,” but not “The Lucy Show.” Dare I say “The Honeymooners,” too, and not the “The Jackie Gleason Show!” (Thank goodness, Dick van Dyke knew when to stop and Mary Tyler Moore knew when to comeback.)
C’mon, you must have at least smiled. Okay, maybe I’m just connecting with the humor of my generation. After all, not all humor is timeless. And sometimes one must develop a taste for particular brands of humor; what’s funny at one point in life is not so funny at another point.
So what keeps the wit of Oscar Wilde so fresh? What makes a good production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” still packed with laughs? So is Aristophanes’ “The Frogs;” but that’s about as far back as my college course in theatre history took me.
Well, if we try to understand the actual definition of the word, humor, we see Oxford connects it with the same root word as “humid,” meaning “moist or fluid,” making for one’s temperament. That would be one of the four tempers, or what we astrologers refer to as the elements and personality types. (By the way, the humor does not share the same root as “human,” which actually means soil.) So, perhaps we can say, astrologically, there might be a fiery kind of humor, an earthy kind, an airy one, and then a watery humor.
And logically, let’s consider there are many different kinds of humor: wit, slapstick, farce, situational, stand-up and jokes. The best of “Saturday Night Live,” Charlie Chaplin and Cyrano deBergerac. There’s also folly, jolly and joy on one end of the spectrum; and at the other, there’s irony, sarcasm and satire. Sardonic, eh? And there’s black humor, bathroom humor, absurdist humor. There are caustic remarks, bawdiness and just plain silliness.
Oxford also makes synonomous with humor, the word, “caprice.”
Personally, up to now, I always simply connected humor with only a few signs or planets. Gemini, for instance, was obviously the jokester, the stand-up comedian, and the storyteller. The joviality of Jupiter (all pun intended) is obviously filled with good humor. And, perhaps with an ironic twist, the Saturn-ruled signs and influences I always found to be particularly funny. I chalked it up to its association with time and timing. Just think of Jack Benny, for instance; his chart is filled with Aquarius energy.
Humor might be broader than just those few signs; perhaps it is associated with all of the signs as seen through the four elements.
The word, “wit,” for instance, actually means “to know or to learn.” So perhaps we can associate this brand of humor with the airy element.
Silliness, on the other hand, literally means “witless” and it implies “blessed with innocence.” So perhaps we can connect this kind of humor with the spirit of fire, with its folly, foolishness and joy. (The word, joy, actually rooted in “jewel,” meaning “to shine”).
Well, let’s not make fire too innocent either; it might be connected with caustic, which means, “burning or cutting.” (Although one could certainly make a case for that also belonging to Scorpio’s lava-like comments too.)
Water? Whimsy, I’d say. Absurdism and irony fall into water too. For example, the father of absurdist theatre, Eugene Ionesco, is listed in “The World Book of Charts as a Scorpio, born on November, 13, 1912 (even through “The Celestial Guide” gives his birth date of November 26th in Sagittarius).
And although, as a lover of words, I long to connect “capricious” with Capricorn, obviously, I know that is far from the truth. The only connection between the two words is with their root for “goat”. Caprice actually means “a fantastic leap of the goat.” Sounds more like watery humor to me.
We might also have to give scatological humor over to water; anyone who has had a good laugh with a Scorpio knows that!
And finally, earth? Well, the word “cynic” is actually rooted in the Greek for dog. And a similar brand of humor is sarcasm, which means literally “to tear flesh like dogs.” That kind of visceral humor seems earthy to me and both of these words are connected with “bitter” or something that has a bite, certainly a connection to Capricorn via Saturn and teeth.
Another perspective on this earthy brand of humor is the ability to laugh at the misfortunes that come with the humility of our condition, even if those misfortunes are merely the ironic reversals and surprises of life, or what we might call “being in the wrong place at the wrong time.” And isn’t that what gets us through the much of the human existence?
Somewhere between the comedy of life and its tragedies lies the human being. When we say, “go with the flow,” the flow might mean the fluidity of the humors. That might be interpreted as “be true to yourself,” meaning, go with your natural element.
Throughout all the forms of comedy, there are two necessary ingredients in order to get a laugh: timing and character. Gee, those are the basics of astrology as well: the character in the horoscope and its development through time. Furthermore, the more authentic the character is, the funnier the piece will be. And the sharpness of timing provides that surprise element that is so much a part of the laugh too. As they say, timing is everything!
But if you really want to learn something about astrology, humor and the human existence, you should catch on video Lily Tomlin in “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe” by Jane Wagner. Let me share with you one of her sillier jokes.
Caveman #1: Knock Knock
Caveman #2 Who’s there?
Caveman #1: I don’t know. We’re just getting started at this.