You may have noticed a certain online trend lately: horoscope posts. Square, white photos listing what your best quality is or what kind of shoe you are or the exact amount of money you spend on coffee or whatever. Horoscope articles float around all over social media. Dozens of Instagram accounts are dedicated to posting about astrology. I personally love looking at my horoscope in magazines, but why are they so popular in the first place?
Horoscopes have been around far longer than this Internet trend uprising. In fact, astrology – the study of celestial objects to learn divine information about humanity – is dated all the way back until at least the second millennium BCE. It’s literally ancient; people of many cultures (Egypt, Greece, Rome, India, etc.) have always loved to study the planets. It was only in the last few centuries that astronomy – the scientific study of celestial objects – took more precedence as an academic field. Since the 20th century, astrology is used primarily for mass media due to its consumer popularity.
But, like most forms of entertainment, there are lots of haters who like to infect as many people as possible with their negativity and cynicism. This is especially true for horoscopes, as they were once considered significant, but have been disproven as a science. Because of its drop in reputation from science to pop culture, reading about the zodiac signs has been viewed as a low-brow, guilty-pleasure activity that only the most gullible people enjoy doing. This is simply not true.
I can’t speak for everyone, but one of the main reasons I love reading about astrology is because they provide a sense of organization to a seemingly chaotic universe. It’s nice to believe that certain truths about humanity can be derived from something as constant as the stars. Horoscopes allow for a small feeling of order among billions and billions of people. People who have vastly different experiences and identities and cultures can connect through similar personality traits as dictated by the stars.
I KNOW it’s not an actual science. Trust me, I do. I also know that if something my horoscope predicts ends up being true, that it’s likely a coincidence. You don’t need to rudely remind me about it and you certainly don’t need to judge me for looking at my horoscope anyways.
Even if you don’t find any deeper meaning in zodiac signs, who cares? They’re just super fun to read. The more ridiculous the posts are, the better. It’s even more fun to go through them with friends, and see how accurate your sign is as a bag of chips (for the record, I’m an Aries and we’re definitely Hot Cheetos). Although astrology is no longer an academic field, it clearly still has value in modern society.
So the next time you want to roll your eyes when you hear someone talking about how their sign isn’t compatible with their significant other’s, don’t. Find a random zodiac Instagram and tag your friends in as many posts as you want. Turning that cynicism into more positive energy is something that the stars predict will make you happier too.