Illustration by Ada Barbee

Using stars and signs to face the uncharted

With delight, I say, “Oh, my god, he’s a Cancer!” My friend scoffs. She is a psychology major and does not subscribe to the concept of astrology and how it affects or relates to human behavior in the least. I, on the other hand, do. 

Millennials and Generation Z are becoming increasingly obsessed with astrology. Nobody really knows why; maybe it is our new religion in this atheist generation. When we have deep and unanswerable questions like the future of a career or a relationship, where others might turn to god, we look at our horoscopes. Regardless of the reason, young people undeniably love astrology. It is becoming a more mainstream hobby, and most people can recite their sun sign when asked. But, most people would also say that they do not allow the abstract concept of astrology to influence their decisions and their lives; it is nothing more than a hobby. That is what I thought about myself, too, until a non-believer opened my eyes. 

As a logical and educated person, I do not assert that astrology is at all scientific or that it is even real. I would never answer a simple “yes” to the question “Do you believe in astrology?” because I know it is not real — it can not be. But, there is just something about it that has kept me interested for the past few years of my life. Yes, I read my friends’ and my horoscopes and birth charts and track the movements of the planets and the moon as they move throughout the zodiac. Yes, if my Aquarius friend does something super Aquarius I will definitely point out that what they did was “such an Aquarius thing.” And yes, maybe I would be a little more apprehensive to get involved with a Leo than I would be with a Cancer. But those things do not mean that I actually believe in this stuff, do they? Do I actually make possibly life-changing decisions based on this? No way. 

My friend studying psychology would say otherwise. When I read someone’s zodiac birth chart, I am subconsciously (and consciously) making assumptions about them regardless of how well I know them. As I get to know them, the mannerisms I read in their chart tend to, more often than not, ring incredibly true. All the while, I was making micro-decisions and assumptions about this person and my relationship with them based on our charts, even if I thought I was not. Inevitably, my confirmation bias leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy in my life and relationships. When we believe and see things through the lens of astrology, it really is affecting our lives, as much as we think (and hope) it does not.

So, what does this mean for us believers? Well, I have not been led horribly astray by the Universe so far. Honestly, it is fun to study astrology and apply it to reality. So, keep believing — I sure will. And I am a Taurus, so good luck changing my mind.

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