The Funny Thing About Astrology

You’re not the sign you think you are, but it doesn’t matter

E. Alderson

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For those of you interested in astrology and the forecast of your future, there is a vital piece of information you’re missing. In fact it may be that for your entire life you’ve been associating with the wrong sign.

Let’s take me as an example. Having been born on July 18th, my sign would traditionally be interpreted as that of a Cancer: nurturing, sensitive, loving, but also mercurial and easily agitated. These things are all true of me…under certain conditions. Just how they can be true of anyone under the right conditions. Astrology is nothing more than a play on people’s love of exclusivity. We see this when people cheer relentlessly for a sports team, when they’re patriotic, when they talk about their ancestry or their hometown or their political preferences. These are all exclusive groups that give their members the opportunity to feel seen, and many times the opportunity to feel superior than those outside of the group.

Because it must apply to an enormous range of people, trait descriptions for so many zodiac signs are vague. After all, anyone can be as playful and curious as a Gemini, or as logical and practical as a Virgo when the need calls for it. The truth is that the traits of the different zodiac signs describe all of us on different days and under different circumstances. They are slippery, shifting descriptions meant to appeal to a large audience. And astrology does have a large audience at that.

About one-third of Americans believe there is some scientific backing to astrology. With a population of over 300 million, this means over 100 million people believe that astrology is in some way scientifically sound. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The scientific community has repeatedly rejected celestial signs as having any influence on a person’s life or personality traits. It may at first seem that astrology is a mere take on Carl Sagan’s poetic, “We are made of star stuff”. If it’s true that the same elements which abound in stars are the elements from which life was created, then there may be some truth to the fact that our fates are dictated by these celestial nurseries.

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E. Alderson

A passion for language, technology, and the unexplored universe. I aim to marry poetry and science.