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WOSSNAME -- JUNE 2006 -- PART 3 OF 3 (continued)

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  • JSCHAUM111@aol.com
    WOSSNAME -- JUNE 2006 -- PART 3 OF 3 (continued) ... oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo 8) YOUR NEW DISCWORLD HOROSCOPE by Lady Anaemia Asterisk
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 30, 2006
      WOSSNAME -- JUNE 2006 -- PART 3 OF 3 (continued)


      by Lady Anaemia Asterisk


      Hello again, my dear Zodimaniacs! This month, instead of giving you
      the usual waffle about what the stars hold for your immediate future,
      I'm going to let you in on some important information: namely, what
      lies behind those constellations that so often hedgehog up your days
      and nights. Did you ever wonder how those constellations got their
      names? Or who first discovered them? Or, for that matter, why some
      of them keep changing? Well, now, let's consult the Book of Ultimate
      Reference, known to Roundworlders as The Discworld Companion, about
      that last one: Stars immediately ahead of the Turtle's line of
      flight change their position only very gradually, as do the ones
      aft. The ones at right angles, however, may easily alter their
      relative positions in the lifetime of the average person, so there
      is a constant need for an updating of the Zodiac, it sayeth. And,
      This does at least mean that astrology on the Disc is a dynamic
      thing and not a repository for some rather unimaginative
      mythology... (unimaginative? Hah! We're not *all* members of the
      N'Tuitif tribe, you know).

      Every star has a story behind it. Granted, this tends to be a very
      short and technical story, along the lines of Gas wandered, gas
      coalesced, gas ignited, still burning, check for updates, but once
      those various stars formed patterns that could be seen by curious
      eyes - and some of those eyes have been curious indeed -
      constellations were born. And people gave them names, because
      people in all universes seem to suffer from a compulsion to name
      things... also because Twinkle, twinkle, little ball of
      superheated gases lacks a certain singalongability.

      According to some sources, astrology was first invented in Ephebe,
      although the word astrology derives from the Latatian word astera
      (sky flower); there is also some argument favouring Hersheban
      origins. The Druids of Llamedos also claim to have been the first
      to chart the influence of the stars, but they would, wouldn't they
      - silly homicidal maniacs in dresses that they are. The Hublands
      barbarians are said to have developed a theory of certain
      constellations affecting the births and wars of humankind, but
      since Hublanders tend to be laconic, monosyllabic sorts who would
      never dream of using words like theory and certain and since
      civilised persons rarely see Hublanders except in the form of
      large, threatening hulks wielding large, threatening broadswords,
      little is known about the veracity of this.

      Here, then, are the stories behind how the constellations of your
      Signs got their names...


      The Adamant Hedgehog 21 Mar - 20 Apr

      The Adamant Hedgehog is a vigorous constellation of mostly blue-
      white giants with a spectacular halo of red dwarfs (not *those*
      dwarfs) that are usually taken to represent the Hedgehog's spines.
      The Hedgehog was first named by Calcum Forbearance Gluteal of
      Unseen University, a onetime UU Librarian whose main hobby was
      the cataloguing of popular and ancient folk songs of the Disc. To
      Professor Gluteal we owe the credit for the first written version
      of the Hedgehog Song, although it must be said that *his* version
      features quite a number of thick black lines drawn through parts
      of several verses. The Adamant Hedgehog is unusual for changing
      shape with surprising frequency; on some clear nights, it appears
      to be rolled into a ball. The High Energy Magic Department of UU
      sing their own version of the famous folksong, The Hedgehog Can
      Never Be Triangulated At All.


      Gahoolie, the Vase of Tulips 21 Apr - 21 May

      The constellation Gahoolie was first named by Gardener Constant,
      topiarist to the Duchess of Quirm - Quirm being a place where
      imagination comes at a high enough premium to have its own tax
      rating. Its brightest stars are Chelsi (a white dwarf in Gufi,
      the primary celestial tulip) and Dafi, the so-called Thorn of
      Gahoolie. Constant is best known, otherwise, for his obsession
      with thorns; he was the first horticulturist to successfully cross
      a black tulip with the carnivorous Cackling Rose of the Tezuman
      jungles. He mysteriously disappeared one day from the Duchess'
      research greenhouse, but his name lives on, along with some
      oddly bloodstained garden gloves.


      Herne the Hunted 22 May - 21 Jun

      Herne the Hunted, the Lancrastian God of small, frightened, furry
      prey, is usually represented as being about three feet tall with
      long, floppy rabbit-ears and very small horns, but up in the skies
      his constellation is rather more impressive; for a start, his
      heavenly horns are said by the Society of Skywatchers to be more
      than five times as long as Great A'Tuin, and - no, Mrs Ogg, I am
      not going to discuss tonkers here, this is a family column! - his
      twitching nose takes the form of the variable star Rhobandi Hudiman.
      Herne's Nose sparkles with uncommon brightness and has helped many
      a small furred creature - and small inebriated human - to get home
      to a place of safety. Herne is a very long-known constellation,
      and was most probably named by an Ogg.


      The Wizard's Staff and Knob 22 Jun - 22 Jul

      The constellation known as the Wizard's Staff and Knob was named
      in 1786 in Bonk, Uberwald by the Von Husher sisters, Neurasthenia
      and Anaglypta, porphyric invalid twins who could bear no daylight
      and thus spent the long Uberwaldean nights studying the heavens
      (and searching for handsome young men to exsanguinate, but that's
      another story). The chief and brightest star of the Knob is called,
      strangely, Flaccus, despite having been first discovered by the
      Tsortean stargazer Erektus. Mind you, that was a long time ago,
      and things change.


      Bilious, God of Hangovers 23 Jul - 23 Aug

      No mystery here as to the name of this constellation, but there is
      often disagreement as to its shape, or more properly what that
      shape represents. One school of thought holds that the
      constellation Bilious takes the form of a cocktail glass with one
      of those little paper umbrellas in it, but many say its wide-
      topped, long-stemmed form is actually a representation of a toilet
      bowl and the paper umbrella is a head bending over it.


      Mubbo the Hyena 24 Aug - 23 Sept

      The constellation of Mubbo is said to be the heavenly spirit of
      the Hyena God of the Lost XXXXians, a relative of their similarly
      time-lost god Wezen the Double-headed Kangaroo; Wezen being
      another of the Disc's sixty-four constellations, but one that has
      since passed out of the skies as Great A'Tuin swims ever onward.
      Legend has it that Mubbo was once a powerful spirit that stole
      children from dingoes. Or perhaps stole dingoes from children.
      Far too much time and beer has obscured the original story.


      The Small Boring Group of Faint Stars 24 Sept - 23 Oct

      The Small Boring Group of Faint Stars, most distant constellation
      in the night skies and one of the few on a direct aft position to
      the Turtle's line of flight, was first discovered by Herbert
      Paternoster, a postal inspector from Sto Lat. This constellation
      is also noted for having been considered too insignificant to be
      counted by the wizard Numbers Riktor. It was, however, the
      subject of the controversial Methodia Rascal painting Io Watches
      Chickens, although some art critics claim that the tiny, faint
      dots in the upper right of the canvas are actually crumbs from
      the painter's toasted egg sandwich.


      Androgyna Majestis 24 Oct - 22 Nov

      The constellation picturing the god(dess) Androgyna Majestis is a
      relatively new discovery, having only appeared in the night skies
      barely a year ago. It was named by Ms Noreen Cumbersome, an
      amateur astronomer, Secretary of the Ankh-Morpork Women's
      Awareness Society (so called, it is said, because people are
      often unaware that many of its members are in fact women), and
      secret author of the popular Misericordia Mature series of
      bodice-ripper novels. Few people seem to agree on the exact shape
      of Androgyna, nor which of the constellation's distinctive
      purplish stars represent his/her dangly bits. Or, for that
      matter, what *kind* of dangly bits they're meant to represent.


      Great T'Phon's Foot 23 Nov - 21 Dec

      Five brilliant azure stars - Huii, Duii, Luii, Britnii and
      Bueller - delineate the Toes of T'Phon, one of the great astral
      elephant Bearers of the Disc. The story of T'Phon's Toes is an
      ancient Howondaland myth (and one far too long and unexciting
      to be told here), but credit for the constellation's discovery
      goes to the mountaineer Ponsonby Surefoot Gumboot-Slyme, who
      first saw this stunning constellation when resting on the upper
      slopes of the north face of Cori Celesti. This credit was given
      posthumously, after his climbing journal was found on the
      *lower* slopes of Cori Celesti. It appears that he did finish the
      ascent, but came a cropper when trying to plant the Morporkian
      flag of conquest between the toes of Offler and struck a bunion.


      Hoki the Jokester 22 Dec - 20 Jan

      The constellation of Hoki the Jokester honours Hoki, yet another
      Ramtops nature god who, according to the Book of Ultimate
      Reference, usually manifests as an oak tree, a half-man/half-goat
      presence, or "his most common aspect as a bloody nuisance", and
      who is found only in deep woods in Lancre. But such is the
      nature of this nature god that he has been adopted (with a sort
      of infuriated fondness) by accident victims, persons passed over
      for promotion, and recent bridegrooms all over the Disc. Hoki's
      stellar form appears to be a bit undecided - it looks rather
      like a half-man/half-goat that got stuck in an oak tree. The
      brightest star in Hoki is the octarine dwarf Kummonnau, and is
      the favourite wishing star of those whose wishes never come true.


      The Rather Large Gazunda 21 Jan - 18 Feb

      The constellation of the Rather Large Gazunda was named in
      Brindisi by the late, lamented Credenza, Marchionessa di
      Rigatoni, who would swear upon this stellar confection to
      witness her doomed love for the young suitor Rumbelow, whose
      family - the Mountebanchis - were considered persona non grata
      by the Rigatonis. The broken-hearted Rumbelow took poison and
      asked Credenza to join him in his fatal protest, but she lost
      her nerve at the last moment and substituted a thimbleful of
      imported scumble; amazingly enough, she survived, and lived to
      the age of ninety, gazing mournfully at her favourite
      constellation and eating a lot of chocolate. Ever since, the
      Rather Large Gazunda has been considered the constellation of,
      um, star-crossed lovers.


      Lesser Umbrage 19 Feb - 20 Mar

      Lesser Umbrage is a constellation that rarely excites much
      comment, being almost as small, boring and faint as the Small
      Boring Group of Faint Stars. Its only noteworthiness comes
      from its being the companion constellation to Great Umbrage,
      one of the most lifelike of all the constellations (read: one
      that looks most like an actual something, as opposed to one of
      those well, if you squint like so, and stand on one foot
      leaning Turnwise, and have had quite a lot of alcoholic
      beverages before coming outside to contemplate the starry
      heavens... wossnames), resembles nothing so much as a
      retired brigadier general awakened too soon, after lunch,
      cigars and port, but an overly enthusiastic almanack salesman.
      Lesser Umbrage was discovered and named, but no-one has yet
      bothered to come forth and take the credit. Sometimes a bunch
      of stars is just a bunch of stars, after all.

      Copyright 2006 by Klatchian Foreign Legion
      If you did not get all 3 parts, write: jschaum111@...

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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