A gift so good, planets move ... ?
February 25, 2017 11:10 PM   Subscribe

A good friend is having a birthday soon. I know that it would please him greatly to have his solid and long-standing interest in astrology recognised in the gift I give him. He's a property lawyer by day and his oft-derided interest plays an important role in his personal spiritual practice.

This gift has to be physical, not digital. Not a print out of anything.

Details: male, sun in Aries, moon in Libra, ascendant Sagittarius.

Things that could work:
* a physical object/tool that could let him model his regular planet movements;
* a small sculpture, icon, old small print that could represent something meaningful within astrology for him.
* an old, perhaps exquisite text that could have meaning for someone with his interests.

Budget: @$200
Lead time: Just over 3 weeks, including delivery to Australia.
posted by Thella to Shopping (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Here's a thing. It's also calibrated (close enough) to the location indicated in your profile.
posted by quinndexter at 12:09 AM on February 26, 2017

A stuffed toy ram.
posted by brujita at 12:32 AM on February 26, 2017

You could get him a functional armillary sphere, which can be useful and a pretty nice paperweight.

Most of the important texts in astrology are not written in English, so it might be helpful to know if he speaks any other languages, or is the just the sort of person who would appreciate a fascimile Latin text. Medieval Books of Hours sometimes have astrological themes and tend to be beautifully illuminated, although good fascimiles can cost a pretty penny. The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry in particular has some impressive artwork, and you could probably find some prints online. Here's one example.

It's not exactly a beautiful book, but in undergrad I took a class on ancient astronomy that taught history and methods that was pretty cool. The textbook wouldn't ship in time, but he might be interested just in general?
posted by mystikspyral at 1:00 AM on February 26, 2017

Get him a replica of the astronomical clock in Prague.
posted by ian1977 at 5:21 AM on February 26, 2017

Yes, there are quite a few of us in conservative professions who love astrology; I know more than a statistically-likely number of lawyers/closet astrologers. Most astrologers and lawyers are book hoarders on some level. As a well-made physical object and a fascinating lesson about astrology during the English Civil War, Rubedo Press's edition of William Lilly's History of His Life and Times is hard to beat. You could also give the complete set of Bonatti's The Book of Astronomy, a key medieval treatise that was only recently fully translated into English after 700 years.
posted by Atrahasis at 6:51 AM on February 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

Libra is the sign of the scales. Those also get used as legal imagery or symbology. I would buy him a set of old fashioned scales. It could sit openly anywhere and others would think it was a legal thing, not an astrological reference.
posted by Michele in California at 1:51 PM on February 26, 2017 [2 favorites]

Over your budget, but a constellation quilt would make a wonderful present. Or, if you're crafty (and have a lot of free time in the next week), you can buy a kit. The kits can be northern or southern hemisphere.
posted by superfish at 9:44 PM on February 26, 2017

Whatever you decide to give him, you should include a star projection light. They're really pretty and fun to project in a dark room.
posted by hellomina at 4:38 AM on February 28, 2017

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