Dear Madame Zolonga: Over or Under?

Posted by Planet Waves


Madame Zolonga returns to Planet Waves to answer a reader’s pressing question about toilet paper etiquette — and how astrology can help take the angst out of considering the over/under polarity.

Dear Madame Z,

Please help me solve an ongoing problem at our house. It’s one that I’m sure you’ve heard of before, but I feel has been overlooked by the metaphysical field. Can you tell me what astrology says about people who prefer their toilet paper overhand vs. underhand? In other words, is there a right way to roll?

TemPested To Death

Dearest Tempy,

Let me assure you there’s no quotidian detail of life unworthy of the Astrological Gaze. So your toilet paper troubles are welcome here. To begin, I’m well aware of the various arguments for upsies vs. downsies — ecological, anthropological and teleological to name three. None truly get to the heart of the matter.

In fact most confuse the argument with additional ideological (there’s a fourth!) distractions. With astrology, it’s easy: you’re looking at a polarity problem, nothing more. Up/down. Yin/yang. Female/male.

Consider the illustration to the left. You can see clearly the flaccid penile projection of the “yang” forward roll setting verses the more receptive soft cupping possible in the “yin” backward roll. All signs in the zodiac are assigned male or female polarities, so we need to assign a sign with proper polarity to the matter. But which one is the right one for you?

To answer this, we look to astrological houses. We need to house our toilet paper. One would instinctively assume this is an 8th house matter — all shitters are. But because the conflict occurs in the bathroom does not necessarily make it the essence of the problem. I will ignore the 9th house as well because as much as some would like to make it so, how you roll is not a philosophical debate.

Toilet paper is a thing. It is a tool. And tools and things belong to the 2nd house. I like this idea for a second reason: the 2nd house is like a hand reaching out. The appropriateness of this image is, I’m sure, not lost on you. Whether this hand is willing to give or is on the take depends on the sign and polarity sitting on the cusp of that 2nd house. Positive/male signs give (roll forward). Negative/female signs take (roll backward).


Now it’s a simple matter. Just grab a natal chart and check out the second sign from the Ascendant (the 8 o’clock position). Is it a positive/male sign? Then they’re a forward roller! Negative/female? Then tuck that end to the back.

Of course planets may modify this interpretation, which could produce neutralizing influences. Other ideas? Aries on the 2nd rolls forward but grabs hastily and wastes paper. Capricorn (female) winds backwards but rations the roll.

Obviously, TP padlocked to the roller indicates a Venus-Saturn problem. However, if the Sun sits in the 2nd house, someone might even stake their identity upon it!

If this is all too confusing and you’re blessed with two johns in the joint, how about simpler approach? Tape a “+” on one door and a “-“ on the other, sort your TP accordingly and be done with the whole mess.

Wishing you well wiping!

– Madame Z

6 thoughts on “Dear Madame Zolonga: Over or Under?

  1. KittyJ

    Then, of course, there are those of us who don’t put the TP on the roller at all, but simply leave the TP roll on the counter beside the toilet and grab it when needed. If you reply, “those darn Sagittarians”, you’d be right. ;)

  2. JereJere

    I shit you not!.. I had this converstion 12 freakin’ years ago. I thought it was settled. The paper AlWAYS flows forward from atop! That’s the only way it feels right.

    And damn straight, I’ll switch it up when some screwball gets it wrong! Grrrr…

  3. Amy Elliott

    Respectfully, Jere, I have to disagree. The under-roll is the only possible way to tear off the paper accurately with just one hand.

    Wishing everyone here a satisfying passage through the week.

  4. Madame ZolongaMadame Zolonga

    I’m all for satisfying passages. And I think the TP on the counter is the Uranian solution, KittyJ. :-)
    Jere! There’s no end to this debate. Hopefully I’ve supported it well enough for the sake of astrology, but clearly that won’t satisfy all. Here’s to double toilets, then!

    x, MZ

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