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Gift Signs for the Holidays: Thoughts that Count Date Published: 12/10/2007 by John Townley
Bio: John Townley John Townley

Early in his astrological career, John Townley introduced the composite chart technique for analyzing relationships in his book The Composite Chart, and twenty years later wrote the definitive work on the subject, Composite Charts: The Astrology of Relationships. He has pioneered techniques for astrological cycle analysis and proposed a new, physical basis for astrology. He is also the author of Planets in Love, Dynamic Astrology, and Lunar Returns, has been the president of the Astrologers' Guild of America, was the editor of The Astrological Review, and is a contributor to professional and popular astrological magazines. His books have been translated into seven languages.

John is also a well-known journalist, elected member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, historian, preservationist, performer, and record producer. He can be regularly found, camera and microphone in hand, covering cultural and technology events ranging from the Consumer Electronics Show to the Toy Fair, from international music festivals to ocean sailing races. When he's not behind the camera and microphone, he's in front of them, performing at maritime concerts in the U.S. and across Europe.

He's written for:

The Mountain AstrologerDell Horoscope
ConsiderationsFortean Studies
Streaming Media MagazineThe Warsaw Voice
Flying Your WaySexology Today
Sea HistoryThe Mariners' Museum Journal
Northern MarinerSea Heritage News
South Street Seaport ReporterDigital Cinema
Surround ProfessionalRecording Media
EQ MagazineProSound News
eDigitalPhoto MagazineThe Toy Fair Times
World Of EnglishIntelligent Transportation Systems Daily
Firefighters' QuarterlyThe Rappahannock Record

He's been featured on:
the BBC, CBC, PBS, NBC, CBS, ABC, CNET and Granada radio & TV, Polish National Radio/TV, Voice of America, Armed Forces Radio, and cable TV.



Gift Signs for the Holidays

It’s that time of year again, the time you really want to give something meaningful, a gift that comes from your caring heart into warmly receiving arms, providing smiles, surprise, satisfaction, and thanks. That requires knowing the person you’re giving to: what they like, what they want, what will please. It really is the thought, behind the gift, that counts, that shows you know and care.

Astrology, since it helps you know people better, should and can be a big help. But most astrological gift-giving guides (and there are a lot of them online) just give you stereotypical shopping lists of the latest gift items in the store that might, maybe, match up to somebody’s general Sun-sign qualities. But there’s a bit more to it than that, and if you use astrology to help you with the thought behind the gift, then you know you’re going to hit the mark. Here are some general approaches, then sign-by-sign tips and guidelines.

The two big things you want to consider in astrological gifting are: 1) what’s happening in the sky now and 2) your recipient’s hidden desires. They both will let you avoid giving something that’s either redundant (they have it already) or doesn’t keep on giving (it’s about to be so yesterday) and allow you to surprise and charm with your intimate insight into your recipient’s needs and, indeed, longings.

Gift Ahead

Gife Ahead

First, the general picture. Right in the middle of the holidays this year there’s a sea change going on in the sky. Saturn just went into Virgo in September, and now Jupiter and Pluto are both moving to Capricorn, the nodes are changing signs (from Pisces-Virgo to Aquarius-Leo), and Mars is backing off from Cancer into Gemini. This really impacts what people are going to want, and just how useful and memorable your gifts will be in only a few months. In fact, what people think they want at the beginning of December is likely to change by New Year, so think ahead and you’ll be appreciated accordingly.

Although the pre-Christmas Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in Sagittarius is all about cheery red ribbons and power-wrapping, what’s inside should be lean, mean, practical, and black. Yes, black is the new black (again, but this time more seriously), since both Jupiter (the latest taste) and Pluto (necessity) will be in dark and serious Capricorn. People want something they can use and that will last, with specific and hopefully multi-use possibilities (Saturn is in Virgo). Early December sales on HSN are a good indicator, where the durable (as opposed to disposable) items have sold out and, for instance, even in the usually white or brightly-colored kitchenware environment, the first to go have been in, you guessed it, black. Simple, black, enduring, and functional — that’s the key. Whether it’s a black Swiss Army knife (not the red one) or a Blackberry, a black leather jacket or a shiny black iPhone, concentrated, mobile, durable, flexible, efficient, and application-specific are all major keywords this season for any gift you buy.

Another current key is the nodes. They apply to the direction of life destiny, where you think you’re headed in life, the inner and outer journey. Their sign change over the holidays draws attention to that, so give things intended to help with the future of the ones you care about, something that will accompany them there. That means tools they will use if they’re going to college, off on a trip, starting a new career, launching a new pursuit, or just going to the store. You want your gifts to become a part of their lives in 2008 and beyond which will forever remind them that your spirit is along for the ride as a helpmate. What you give now will truly be remembered if it suits their new life journey, and if you think of it that way, it will. People remember the tokens that accompany them into their new worlds, and that’s what’s happening now, so give accordingly. Your gift should enable, not encumber, be essential, not disposable, and that will make it and you a part of anyone’s life forever.

Gift Inside

Gife Inside

Since that’s about the general trends right now, that advice applies to everything you give, and everyone you give to. On the individual note, however, astrology offers you a window into each person’s style, and not just through their obvious Sun-sign (raw personality). When you follow Sun-sign indicators, you buy to fit general personality traits, but as every astrologer knows, there’s more to a person than personality. For gifts, the signs of a person’s Moon and Venus give you special insight into their feelings (Moon) and desires (Venus), which will show you what truly moves, amuses, and satisfies them. You may have astrological software already, so you can easily look up a person’s Moon and Venus sign based on their birthday and year. If you have a full chart with exact birth time, you’ll even have the Ascendant sign (physical appearance) which will help tune you in to what clothes to buy and colors/styles to pick. For instance, a cool Aquarius Sun who will probably be swamped with appropriately impersonal electronics items may also have a warm Sagittarius Moon, which is particularly attuned to humor, and yours could be the perfect and only present to make them laugh. Or an outgoing Sagittarius Sun that tends to be given outdoorsy gear may have Venus in Scorpio and secretly long for something more intimate and sexy. You can be the one to know and to memorably provide.

Gift the Person

But, simple Sun-sign qualities alone can be of real help if you make sure you apply them to the person and not the item. You don’t necessarily buy Leo items for Leos, for instance — you buy the appropriate items to make them feel more Leo — like, not another set of royal robes but the keys to a new kingdom, something that helps put them or make them feel in charge. Like a V.I.P. pass for a box seat, not a ticket for the bleachers (in which an Aquarius, Leo’s opposite, might feel more comfortable). It’s about playing to the person’s style and picking something that will help emphasize and empower it. With that in mind, here are general suggestions for the individual signs, which you can apply to Sun-signs or to Moon, Venus, or Ascendants as well:


The essence of pleasing here is directly relative to the attention-span, which is intense but short, fast-moving and aggressive. Anything energetic or fast and dazzling. Videogames with action and shooting (not slow networking games, like SimCity), sports stuff, savage humor, tools, auto accessories, exercise gear, bright and delineated colors, especially red and black…

Classic car recommendation: Trans-Am, Ferrari, Shelby Cobra


Luxury and sufficiency is what to go for. Whatever is solid, tangible, has texture and heft. Velvets, brocades, rich or at least substantial foods, things that last. Wood, furniture, pillows, scarves, comforters, crockery, leather goods, ornate boxes, big bling, not small…rich, intense colors on the darker side…

Classic car recommendation: Porsche, later Thunderbirds


Things that move at the speed of thought are what you’re looking for – whether it’s a good read (or better, several, like a collection or a subscription), quick and easily adaptable clothing and accessories, tech stuff on the software side, language games, anything that keeps the mind agile and on the move. Accessory pairs and sets rather than singles. Colors tend toward blues and light tints, airy and on the move…

Classic car recommendation: MGB, Triumph TR-7


You want to warm the cockles of this heart, so go for things that are particularly personal or have individual memories attached or attachable. Framed pictures of family or other memorabilia, bedroom wear, snuggly sweaters, stuffed animals, comfort food (as opposed to spicy or exotic), intimate dinner out, protective enclosures (precious boxes, purses, wallets, wraps), personalized stationery or journal…colors are off-white, silver, pearl…

Classic car recommendation: Aston-Martin


Enhancing the sense of fun, as well as self-importance and value are key, so anything with lots of recreational value, including games, tickets, congratulatory items (with name, initials, title, etc. on them), portraits, important brand items, gold and gold-colored accessories, upgrades of any kind (the deluxe version), music and DVDs…colors are gold, sunny yellow, ochre, tan, red…

Classic car recommendation: Jag XKSS original 1956, 1956-57 T-bird


Specific and practical, caring yet demanding, you need to provide these folks with something applicable, which can be functional clothing (specific to garden, kitchen, snow, beach, whatever), food designed more for purpose than nourishment, delicate and detailed but classic designs in clothing or jewelry, health items, appliances, utensils, construction tools and kits, educational stuff, organizers…colors are wheat-grey to sandy brown, delineated rather than amorphous…

Classic car recommendation: Maserati


Interaction and competitive admiration is what these folks are looking for, so empower them with anything artistic, musical, entertaining and engaging not for its own sake but for the social situation it creates. Things that sparkle, glisten, reflect, echo and reverberate – like mirrors, reflective jewelry, lights of all sorts, recording devices, music and films, label goods and designers, social opportunities (tickets, invitations, lecture and discussion groups)…colors are green, pastel shades…

Classic car recommendation: BMW


Mystery and the ability to generate it (not solve it) are what you want to play to, so anything that’s on the dark or sensual side tends to please, from sexy silks to heavy leather to intense perfumes, big sunglasses and shadowy hats, anything sexually suggestive (but not too dumbly overt), things old and obscure, puzzles, control devices, spy stuff (cameras, recorders)…colors run dark from purples to browns to black…

Classic car recommendation: D Jag consumer model, 1970s, sometimes Porsche Spyder


The urge to seem real, up-front, outgoing and ebullient is what you are trying to encourage, so this sign gets more outdoors and frontiersy stuff than they probably need. But humorous (if it’s genuine and clear) really works, so does unpolished leather (like suede, buckskin), concept-oriented books (latest attitudes, ideas, etc.), bigger is often better, too-introspective can be a bore…colors run in the browns, russet, orange, golden…

Classic car recommendation: Alfa Romeo, Mustang, Austin Healy 3000


Form and function, simplicity and effectiveness are what you want to enhance, so classic and traditional styling in anything always works, practical tools for life of any sort, method books and approaches, status symbols and monograms, old or historical items, maps, simple and concrete items with a dedicated function. Colors are grays, black, black-and-white contrast, delineated and stark lines…

Classic car recommendation: Mercedes 300 SL, most other models as well


What everyone is getting them are high-tech gizmos and computer gear, when what they are seeking is new but multiple approaches to life. Because they are natural explorers and networkers, you should appeal more to mind than body, but also as much to social as intellectual. Clever devices appeal to their sense of mystery (they like the solution part, not the mystery itself); anything that has multiple uses and applications fascinates, as does science in general, but particularly applicable science, electrical devices. Games, software, publications, planning and design, architecture, anything that can be figured out and shared is what they’d like to have. Colors run to light grays, silvers, and pale and cool pastel tones of yellow and green…

Classic car recommendation: Corvette


This sign specializes in implication and inferred, inserting meanings and descrying possibilities in places you can’t or wouldn’t, so give them something with lots of flexibility, a suggestible but basically blank canvas to embellish upon. Thus, all things spiritual (because they actually provide the spirit), music and art of most sorts (except the totally structural), works of the imagination, supple and light clothing, jewelry with depth (like crystals, not opaque), photography, most things aquatic, inner energy manipulation techniques and services. Colors run to light and misty greens and blues, aquamarine, changing or indiscernible hues…
Classic car recommendation: Mazda Miata



© Copyright: John Townley





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