Posted on Feb 29, 2016 in All Blog Posts, Holidays and Celebrations

“We are born at a given moment, in a given place, and like vintage years of wine, we have the qualities of the year and of the season of which we are born. Astrology does not lay claim to anything more.”

Carl Gustav Jung

The topic of personality is endlessly fascinating, and is thus an extremely popular topic for handkerchiefs. Add the element of astrology, and you have a foolproof conversation starter, regardless of whether you’re pro or con on the topic. A Zodiac hankie allows a woman to flatter a man by elaborating on his positive traits. It’s fascinating to watch a curmudgeon convert to believer when told he’s brave, ambitious, powerful and generous!

The following examples are loaded with information, and thus could jumpstart hours of lively conversation. Whether in French, the language of love:

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the handsome gray backdrop allows the black and gold symbols to visually pop

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Or German

(as discussed previously, Switzerland is the home of the handkerchief, so you’ll often find hankies in French, German, Italian or Romansh.)

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A fanciful, sun drenched zodiac map provides the ultimate flirting accessory

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By contrast, many handkerchiefs focus on a single sign. What I find interesting is the variety of artistic interpretations, which evoke different responses, depending on the imagery. For example, you don’t need to speak German to understand the peaceful scales of Libra or the steadfast determination of Taurus.

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I’m particularly fond of the whimsical, imaginative illustrations of the next artist.

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By contrast this artisan employed a singular template, adapting it for each sign.

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After someone learns what their character strength are, what is inevitably the next question? With whom am I most compatible? As we see illustrated in this next hankie.

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These next hankies appear similar to the one above, but on closer inspection you’ll see they adhere to a different layout. Again a master template is followed, this time it includes the sign’s lucky number, lucky day, lucky months, love compatibility and strengths in business.

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Observe how several different artists interpret Gemini, the sign of the twins, from charmingly innocent to playfully adolescent.

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From minimalist and modern to capricious and merry.

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Yet another artist tackles the zodiac, this time focusing on “him” and “her.”

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The illustrations above appear to have been created in the 1950’s, from the bearded beatnik with his cigarette to the coat with fur collar and cuffs. (Note she’s walking a lobster on a leash. Many Cancer handkerchiefs feature a lobster rather than a crab, though heaven knows why.) The Virgo girl on the right is as fresh and modern in her striped swing skirt; quite a contrast the Virgo below, where the artist’s style is, by contrast, quietly graceful, pastoral, and romantic.

 

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Once again, let’s view a variety of interpretations, this time for the fiery sign Aires.

From James Bond cool to rustic reverie.

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This next pair employ the element of humor, form the unsuspecting photographer on the left, who’s about to be literally “rammed” in the derrière, to the gal in Dutch cap and wooden clogs knitting directly from the ram’s wool coat!

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This zodiac series is particularly creative, so let’s give them their due full size. You’ve already seen Gemini and Aires. Here’s the whole shebang.

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“The celestial bodies are the cause of all that takes place in the sublunary world.”

Thomas Aquinas

 

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Here’s the lobster again, instead of a crab!

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No detail is overlooked. Note the bemused expression on the lion, the perfect blend of type fonts on the sign, & the terrific rendition of the mouse. Note, too, the ringmaster is a woman. Each canvas is worked with care.pers_astr_064 pers_astr_066

 

Note the blue horned devil behind the man, the golden winged angel behind the woman, and a bewildered cupid on the ground between them. The more you look, the more you’ll find…

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“Men should take their knowledge from the Sun, the Moon and the Stars.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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The scorpion decorated like a warrior’s shield is simply superb. Note the gloved monkey reaching down from the tree branches.

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This hunter is so busy twirling his mustache, even if he manages to shoot the feathered fowl, methinks the wily fox will reach the corpse long before the hunter.

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Observing the twinkle in the eye of this cagey Capricorn, methinks the hairy legged mountaineer is in for quite the tug -o’-war!

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Which fisherman will triumph in this scenario? The green-eyed feline or the femme fatale with scarlet fingernails?

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For the ducks who escaped the hunter’s rifle, they can indulge in a scrub and a soak!

Although I don’t read German, it’s fun to recognize the people pouring from the shower head – everyone from Mozart to Thomas Edison, President Roosevelt to Clark Gable. What a hoot!

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The cosmos is a vast living body, of which we are still parts. The sun is a great heart whose tremors run through our smallest veins. The moon is a great nerve center from which we quiver forever. Who knows the power that Saturn has over us? Or Venus? But it is a vital power, rippling exquisitely through us all the time.

D.H. Lawrence

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