I’m not sure how long I have understood what it means for me to be a Capricorn, let alone a “Capricorn sun”. I’ve always known that this is the star sign that coheres with my January birthday, but I’ve now gotten so interested in astrology that if my friend acts in a particular way, I will without hesitation say, “it’s because you’re a Virgo”. I have gotten especially good at identifying Leo’s at parties, and I now check my horoscope, as well as the positions of the planets in our solar system, every single day – but why?
A horoscope is a personalised daily update based on the relations between the planets and the stars. It can be anything from predicting your future, to justifying how you’re feeling that day, to subtly telling you what you should be doing with yourself. It comes in a variety of forms, and many (including me) take to using an astrology app (I personally use TwinFlame) for reading their horoscope. I think astrology is very misunderstood, but I mainly think this is because not a lot of people really understand what it means to be a Pisces, Gemini, and so on.
Most people are familiar with their star sign. However, this is actually what astrologers call your sun sign, meaning that it is indicative of what position the sun was in when you were born. The astrology wheel consists of 12 (13 according to NASA’s recent updates, but I’m trying my best to ignore that as I refuse to become a Sagittarius…) signs, each which represents a particular star constellation starting at Aries and finishing with Pisces. For example, when I was born, the sun was in Capricorn, meaning that the sun was “in”, in a sense, the Capricorn constellation, as the sun covered this constellation from our view of the earth for around 30 days. The same rule applies to the other planets and the moon too; the moon was seen in Scorpio when I was born, Venus was in Aquarius, and so on.
As someone who’s always been interested in both the celestial and the occult, knowing these facts alone were enough to sell me. Astrology makes me feel like a true part of the universe, and there’s something special about knowing exactly where the planets were aligned when you were born and how they are moving now. The question people often have from here is: how does this predict the future, or even what kind of person someone is, like astrology seems to suggest?
The thing is, astrology isn’t new. Many different cultures both ancient and modern have used the sky as a means of prediction and have looked to it for answers. The ancient Egyptians, for example, used the sky as a means of telling when it was going to flood, and it therefore dictated their farming. Although using the sky for future prediction is common and frequent throughout history, it is unclear when people started using it for defining individual people’s personalities and predicting their futures specifically. This specific aspect of astrology is probably where it starts to lose people – how can the planets being in a particular position when someone is born make them more secretive or outgoing than anyone else? Maybe it worked as a prediction tool in ancient Egypt, but don’t we have science now?
My personal answer to this is that people forget how influential the planets are on us. Our livelihood in every sense is dependent on the sun, the moon creates the tides and many people’s periods are the same length as the cycle of our moon – Charles Darwin even used the latter point in his work on evolution. For all the modern-day Isaac Newtons rolling their eyes at the thought of what seems to be nothing more than a millennial trend being considered a serious life tool, a less literal answer would be: why would that be problem?
Nowadays, many people relish in having themselves categorised – I for one like knowing that I’m a Capricorn sun, Scorpio moon, enneagram type 5 and have an INFJ-T personality type. On the same vein, many leap at the chance to have their tarot or palm read, regardless of whether they believe in what these things say. A lot of people are constantly spooked by ghost stories and urban legends, even if they claim to not believe in them. Astrology is another one of these kinds of things: a personality category for some, an occultic indulgence for others. For me, I just like being involved in the stars. At the end of the day, given how happy astrology makes me if people think I’m silly for endorsing it, then I’m willing to accept that, just as I accept astrology itself.
Photo courtesy of Anastasia Dulgier