Astrology and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

I love to entertain the idea of astrology. There are countless apps, blogs, and books to indulge in when you’re looking to find out more about your zodiac sign.  But when does the interest extend too far?

When I first began reading my horoscope it was so harmless and rarely extended past just browsing Cosmopolitan’s Weekly Horoscope Updates, but, with the rise of the popular apps Costar and TikTok, the rhetoric around astrology and zodiac signs has intensified.

Original Illustration on Canva for Her Campus Media The astrology community on TikTok is confident and well-articulated, which quickly curates a sense of authority and reliability with the watcher. In most astrology TikToks the premise is to psychoanalyze common traits of each sign. I remember watching a TikTok about Aquarius’s, which is my sign, and the creator spent the full minute talking about how judgemental and pretentious Aquarius’s tend to be. Afterwards I was left with the unsettled feeling of guilt. I began to reflect on if I truly believed I was like that and if that was how my friends and family perceived me. There’s really nothing wrong with self-reflection, but it can be problematic when that’s how it’ invoked.

The most honourable mention when discussing the impact of horoscopes and zodiac signs on my perception of myself is most definitely the app Costar. For those unfamiliar with it, it is an app that gives you an anecdotal sentence or two based on your zodiac sign, but it is a bit more tailored to the individual because it is based on your birthday, so it takes in account all aspects of your astrology chart.  On top of your daily antidote it will tell you your Do’s and Don’ts for the day, where you are powerful and where you are struggling, and will ask you thought provoking questions. For example, this morning my Costar said, “Cultivate Good boundaries”, that I was powerful in routine, spirituality, social life, and sex and love but that I am having trouble in thinking, and creativity and self. Additionally, it asked me if I am feeling misunderstood.

Although astrology can be interesting and a fun daily activity, it can also create self-fulfilling prophecies. When I woke up this morning and saw my Costar tell me that I was having trouble in creativity I was immediately discouraged to write my article for the day. It may sound ridiculous to change your rhetoric around something because of an app but it’s something my friends and I are consistently doing. Most people check their horoscopes in the morning, before their day has really started. Obviously, the logic makes sense; you want to see what kind of day your horoscope says you will have. But when you check Costar before you let your day take its course you’re at risk of letting the app set your expectations. My friends and I would compare Costars on a Friday afternoon and be so jealous of those who had power in social life, and let it implicitly set the mood for the night.

Hero Copy Megan Charles / Her Campus Media Though it sounds so trivial to discuss how an app could be so defining in how well your day unfolds, I compare it to when someone asks you if you are okay. Whenever someone asks me if I’m doing okay, for any reason, it prompts me to genuinely reflect on how I would honestly answer the question. Am I okay? If I am, then why? The astrology community sets the same rhetoric. When I was faced with the question “Are you misunderstood?” this morning I spent genuine time mentally snowballing with the question. As I said before, it is good to self-reflect but it can be problematic when it is done in such an anecdotal tone because what happens if I am misunderstood? The question isn’t being asked by a close friend who has reason to believe I am misunderstood, instead the question comes from my phone screen. There’s no one there to talk it out with or offer me justification why they may think that. Consequently, we need to tread lightly around the topic of astrology and the ways in which we let influence who we perceive ourselves to be.  It can be helpful and lighthearted but should not be underestimated in its impact and influence.