This article first appeared in The Mountain Astrologer Apr/May 1996 issue. Reprinted with permission.
ARIES: "Who's in charge here? I'd like to see God right now, please. Am I dead? Gee, I never thought that could happen to me! Where can I get a crystal palace backlit with white light like that one?"
TAURUS: Leaving the body, Taurus realizes that he or she no longer has a stomach and immediately returns to the body (thud!), without seeing tunnels, light, God, etc., making Taurus skeptical for the rest of his or her life.
GEMINI: The key thing to the zodiacal twins isn't the experience itself, but how they can embellish it when telling the story (or writing about it). Since Geminis are comfortable in all worlds, except those without telephones, they usually bounce back to the body fairly rapidly– and the mouth tends to work before the rest of the body comes back to life.
CANCER: Cancerians can live to be 125 years old, and they don't usually have near death experiences, but they can come awfully close to having a near life experience when they get brave and venture out of their house for "supplies."
LEO: "Nooooooo, I am NOT dead. I am not, I am not, I am not . . . Who are those guys in the white robes? What's that they're singing . . . ? They're off key. I can sing better than that! Where's the choir director? I need a microphone immediately. Unless it's Rolling Stone or Spin, hold my calls."
VIRGO: Working a marathon 60 hours straight, Virgo collapses and leaves the body. She moves through that delightfully clean and sparkling tunnel of light, occasionally reflecting upon possible improvements . . . but soon becomes so worried by the thought of her loved ones "managing" without her that she snaps back into the body like white lightning, sits up, and calmly pronounces herself alive, glancing at her watch.
LIBRA: Floating out of the body, then in, then out, then in, and finally out again . . . Libra sees a tunnel and a vibrant being of light at the other end. "Wow, is that Jesus? Wait a minute, maybe it's Kwan Yin. That looks like something she'd wear." Never deciding whether to go through the tunnel (after all, what's death without someone to share it with?) Libra ends up back in the body by default, hounded by a mysterious compulsion to start a dating service for discarnate souls.
SCORPIO: Since most Scorpios have nine lives, they tend to brainstorm different ways to trigger the near death experience. Once nearly dead, most can barely get to the end of the tunnel without meeting some being with whom they have astral sex. When asked whom they prefer to greet them on the other side, 75% name a favorite vampire, and Medusa is a strong contender.
SAGITTARIUS: Sag floats out of her body and has to laugh at the stupid way she bought the farm. After somehow BREAKING the tunnel of light, she absolutely refuses to return to the body, since she's been trying to get out of it for all these years (via clumsy accidents). Because Sag is immensely curious about whether the so-called organized religious have any validity at all, this stroke of luck leads to some amaaaaaazing lessons, until, alas, the astral folks tire of her and trick her into returning to Earth for the duration.
CAPRICORN: It might take Capricorn a little while to realize he's dead because there are special rooms set up to look like executive offices for newly-dead Goats. A sharp-looking, older gentleman-ghost comes in and gives Cap an instruction manual titled HOW TO PROFIT IN THE ASTRAL MARKETPLACE, plus a "job evaluation" type assessment of Cap's achievements and mistakes over the lifetime, followed by a pink slip (meaning the body revived). Caps tend to return to their bodies quickly, unable to tolerate non-physical existence for long.
AQUARIUS: Aquarius gets to the pearly gates, sees that heaven isn't run by consensus, and opts for hell, where at least there is an appealing anarchy and rules are made to be broken. Ironically, Aquarian near-death experiences tend to be extremely traditional, i.e., God the Father, St. Peter, the celestial choir and so on (another reason to rebel and opt for hell). Once in the underworld, they bedevil the hell out of Satan and his cronies with their loud and vigorous campaigns for progressive reforms, and are quickly expelled back to the body.
PISCES: For some reason, our Piscean friends barely notice their near death experiences. Instead, during a typical day at the office, many Pisceans report seeing beings with long-suffering expressions on their faces and who patiently tell the Piscean to go back to his or her body.