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Our Obsession with Astrology Explained

From the beginning of time, humans have been attempting to explain the complexities of human nature: from our behaviour and its driving forces to our unique personalities and quirks. Why are we the way we are? Why do we do the things we do? Though philosophers and psychologists have made great advances in search of these explanations, there are still some things that we can’t seem to explain.

But what if astrology could?

According to astrologers, the alignment of the stars and planets on the day you were born has a significant impact on your personality, emotions, relationships, and even your career or long-term goals. It is possible, then, that what we can’t seem to explain about human behaviour, may be rooted in the astrological, with our fate ‘written in the stars’.

Maybe he’s not lashing out, maybe he’s just a Gemini!

Firstly, it’s important to clarify the difference between the terms Astronomy and Astrology. Though they may look similar, there’s a notable difference between the two-

In simple terms: Astronomy is the scientific study of the properties and relationships of the planets, stars, and galaxies (any celestial matter that exists outside of the Earth’s atmosphere); while Astrology is the belief that the alignment, motions, and properties of the stars and planets, directly affect or influence human endeavours on Earth.

Astrology originated more than 2,400 years ago in the largest early city known to man, Babylon, where modern-day archaeologists have found remains of horoscopes and zodiac-determining astrology boards. Ancient astrologers in 2300 BC could have used this board to show the position of planets and stars at the time a person was born.

As the civilisation of man spread, astrology followed, and this cultural phenomenon spread to the Eastern Mediterranean, fascinating Egyptian colonies, and Greek dynasties, before making its way over to Europe in the Medieval ages. Early-modern Europe couldn’t get enough of astrology either, applying it to their everyday medical practices and university educations (each art was attributed to a planet!) and even using astrological symbolism in their literary works. Notably, Shakespeare was the first to coin the term ‘star-cross’d lovers’ in his 1595 play, Romeo and Juliet, suggesting that the universe and the stars had destined for the lovers to be together.

Astrology, then, has been prevalent in human culture from the very beginning, although it wasn’t until the 20th century that its interests really took off following the rise of weekly newspaper horoscopes in the 1930s.

so, why are we obsessed with astrology?

Whether you believe in astrology or not, it is an undeniably fun past-time. Scrolling on Instagram and sharing zodiac memes that are generic, but relatable to your star sign, pretty much sums up gen-z culture.

There is something so validating about fitting in with your zodiac sign’s characteristics and feeling ‘seen’ by your daily Co-Star updates that explain how you’ve felt recently. People love to be understood and astrology allows us to look inward: our zodiac traits are the ‘blueprint’ for our personality, but our sense of individuality stems from our personal experiences that allow us to learn and grow.

A birth chart reading, created from your time of birth and birthday, can provide you with the intricacies of your personality, emotions, and relationships, according to the stars, which can lead to a deeper understanding of yourself.

Not to mention, that in a world full of uncertainties, it is extremely comforting to feel like the stars have planned everything out for us and we are merely going along with the ride. Life, then, becomes a lot less scary, because we have the guidance of the universe- though ultimately, we are always in control of the outcome.

While astrology may not always provide us with concrete answers, there is great satisfaction in blaming things on the stars: ‘My life is falling to pieces, thanks to Mercury in Retrograde.’

And though there might be a lack of scientific evidence to back up astrologers’ claims, I know that the reason behind my indecisiveness is purely due to the fact that I’m a Libra, or the reason why I’m so emotional is because of my Pisces moon. The stars simply had it out for me…

Astrology provides us with answers to things that we cannot explain, gives us awareness, comfort in times of need, and even direction. So, what are you waiting for? Put your faith in the stars and check out your Big 3!

If you’re looking to get into astrology, why not check out these best-selling books to commence your astrological journey: The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need, The Stars Within You & The Signs: Decode the Stars, Reframe Your Life.

Evelyn Heis

Bristol '23

Editor of the Sex & Relationships section for Her Campus Bristol and regular contributing writer.
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