It's in the Stars

I have this secret obsession. I don’t tell a lot of people about it because usually when I do they roll their eyes. Nevertheless, just for you, I’m going to admit my guilty pleasure…astrology. I absolutely adore astrology. If horoscopes were proven to be accurate depictions of your life, I would cry tears of joy. Unfortunately, as we all know, they aren’t. But that doesn’t mean it still isn’t a fun daily ritual to indulge yourself in! However, have you ever wondered where exactly astrology, star signs, and horoscopes have come from? Some dude in an office isn’t typing up random predictions of how your day is going to go, right? (Probably, but let’s just pretend it’s something more special). Never fear- I have researched and come up with a brief look into the history and development of astrology through the years.

It all started way back in the good ol’ days- a little after 3000 BC to be exact. In Mesopotamia people didn’t have iPhones and televisions to entertain them so they spent some time gazing at the night sky. A few stars and constellations were identified at this point, but it wasn’t until the Babylonians when the zodiac was created.

The Babylonians were one of the first great astronomers in the world. They discovered the zodiac, which is “the sequence of constellations along which the sun and the planets appear to move in their passage through the heavens.” The Babylonians concluded that placing these constellations into identifiable segments could help keep track of time, or the progression of the sun/seasons through the year.

In order to create these segments, they identified twelve different constellations (aka the constellations we identify as our zodiac signs today) and associated them with different times of the year. Then these constellations and times of the year were interwoven with the gods because the Babylonians wanted to make it extra fancy. So you are given your zodiac sign based on what segment the sun was in when you were born. In example, I was born on June 10. The sun was in the Gemini constellation segment. Thus, I am a Gemini!

Now where do horoscopes come in? Fantastic question. First of all, a horoscope is a zodiacal circle where the earth lies in the center. The sun lies at the top of the circle; representing it at its highest point in the day. To the left and right of the sun are the eastern and western horizons. An astrologer will orient this chart to a specific person by plotting it on a specific date, time, and place- most commonly the day of your birth. Once this is finished, the way that the planets are aligned within your chart can (supposedly) give you a lot of information on who you are.

A majority of horoscopes that you find online or in magazines are based on Sun-Sign Astrology. This is merely astrology based on the zodiac sign associated with your birthdate. This astrology is so simple because the only thing needed is your birthdate. Many astrologers argue that you get very limited results from this type of horoscope reading because it is so simple and generalized. This makes a lot of sense seeing as they are addressing a large population for every horoscope.

Although astrology is still questionable on its accuracy and factualism, it is something that is fun to look at and read. Most horoscopes lean toward giving you positive feedback, so if you need an extra boost (let’s be real, we all do) it is there help reinforce your day. However, if you ever get the chance to receive an in-depth, personalized chart reading from an astrologer- do it. You might be pleasantly surprised.