Today, it seems that people are constantly interested in receiving advice or some sort of direction. We seek out people or things that lead us down a path we find helpful or motivating. Some find this guidance through advice columns in magazines, or top tips from sites like Her Campus. These outlets are great sources for entertainment and thought-provoking information. I, myself, have searched endlessly for advice on stressful aspects of my personal life, like how to get over a breakup, or which form of exercise will improve my sleep patterns. Aside from these examples of the hyper-connected world we live in now, there has been a form of guidance influencing people’s perceptions of themselves and their futures for thousands of years: astrology.
Astrology pops up in subtle ways throughout everyone’s upbringings. When you tell people what day you were born, some respond with, “Oh, so you’re a Libra!” or, “Wow, I’m a Capricorn too!” This form of identifying and labeling yourself stands to be a unique way of relating to others and typifying people. Personally, I have never known much about any astrological sign besides my own. I enjoy reading the small columns at the end of a magazine but am completely unaware of what someone else’s sign may mean for them.
However, there are plenty of people out there who check their zodiac every single day and find things within their write-up that spark some reaction – either excitement, dismay, confusion or ease. I know that whenever I stumble across a reading, I can’t help but find myself relating to the description of my previous struggles or future goals.
I am a Leo. So, I guess what that means is that I am loud, outgoing, friendly, cheerful, dominant, selfish and constantly the center of attention. I definitely find myself connecting to some aspects of this description, but what has always surprised me is how people make judgements of people based on these signs. I have never once considered myself someone who needs the spotlight – I in fact hide from it. I do not enjoy dominating conversations or demanding attention. Funnily enough, my two brothers are also Leos, and this fact has always solidified my perception of the zodiac. My brothers are very different from me and from each other. One of them is outgoing but not dominating, while the other is reserved, friendly and contemplative. We all share some aspects of our sign but seem to defy these typical stereotypes.
So why do some people make snap judgements based on one another’s signs when the characteristics can be genuinely incorrect? What is causing me to delve into this topic is a reaction to a YouTube video I recently watched. There is a channel I constantly follow – WatchCut – that posts hilariously shocking videos that push societal norms and make you think about how we interact with each other. One of their segments, called Lineup, shows one person guessing something about a group of complete strangers, like sexual orientation, career, or criminal record. I recently watched one about astrology.
What really stuck with me was that some of the subjects easily said that they would not associate themselves with a Libra, Pisces, Sagittarius, etc. because of the characteristics they believe to be true of the sign. A few people believed that they could not get along with Leos because of their selfishness, egotistical tendencies and arrogance. This is very strange to me because I hope that I do not associate with these attributes, and even if I did, I do not believe it would be due to the day that I was born.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that we all make judgements of one another. It is how we socialize and categorize each other to make ourselves feel more comfortable or in control of a social situation. Astrological signs are fun and can make you feel like there is some sense to your personality in the world. However, what I am hoping to comment on is the need to separate the zodiac from definitions of people. I think that your horoscope can be an entertaining depiction to read every day, but I personally do not take it too seriously. If you do believe in its powers to help predict your future, that’s great too! As long as you don’t let it control your perception of your personality, or stop you from dating or being friends with someone, then it is just another interesting way of connecting with people. Overall, what I am hoping to convey is that I do not identify as a strictly Leo personality, and you may not with your sign either. I find some commonalities, but also a decent amount of dissimilarities. So, if you’re thinking you can’t take me out to a karaoke bar because I’ll be hogging the stage the entire time, you’re pretty far off, and should definitely still consider me an option.