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Why I’ll Never Hate On Astrology (Even Though I Don’t Completely Get It)

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

With the solar eclipse that happened on Monday, my Instagram explore page has been filled with news articles, random memes, and most importantly, endless numbers of astrology videos telling me how my life will forever be changed because of this once-in-a-lifetime event. Do I believe my life will be changed by a solar eclipse? To be honest with you, I don’t. But a couple of years ago, I would have thought differently. Why did my feelings change?

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Astrology is recognized as a pseudoscience that uses divinatory practices to determine events relating to life on Earth as well as individual personality traits based on the position of celestial objects such as constellations and planets. Different cultures have their own systems of astrology — some of which date back a millennia — originating in calendar systems to predict seasonal shifts and interpret celestial events as signs of divine communication. One of the oldest forms of astrology is Western astrology, dating back to 1900 BCE in Mesopotamia, on which modern astrology is built. This kind of astrology is based on horoscopes, which explain a person’s zodiac signs and associated personality traits based on the time of their birth and are used to predict significant events throughout their lifetime.

I discovered astrology when I was a freshman in high school during COVID, when my TikTok algorithm pretty much shoved it down my throat during the long hours spent at home. I did my own research and learned a lot about the surface-level things: natal charts, the meanings of each planet, and the characteristics of each sign. I wouldn’t call myself an expert; rather, I am well-versed. But because of the timing of when I learned about astrology — young, impressionable, and isolated — I used it as a crutch to rationalize my world. I would think things like, “Oh, that person’s just acting this way because they’re a Virgo,” or “I bet this situation is happening to me right now because of the alignment of planets XYZ.” I don’t say this to claim that this is how everyone who is into astrology thinks, but instead to demonstrate a personal example of how I abused and misused it.

When I eventually grew out of this phase and stopped checking my CoStar app every morning for my do’s and don’ts of the day (don’t get me started on the beef I have with this app), I converted to an astrology hater like most other people — dismissive and opposing it. Maybe it was because astrology didn’t explain exactly what I wanted it to, or maybe because I didn’t want to be stereotyped as a “ditzy astrology girl” by my peers, so therefore, I rejected it completely.

As someone who has been on opposite sides of the belief spectrum, I can say that neither side felt meaningful or productive in enhancing my life or my spiritual beliefs. It could be because my grasp on the practice wasn’t deep enough, or that I couldn’t completely reject it as something I felt connected to, but either way, I know I lie somewhere in the middle. And from that, my feelings towards astrology have come to this point: there is so much more value to be gained from astrology in reflecting on the questions that it brings up.

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For example, you watch a video that tells you your zodiac sign will have good luck in your work life this week. Does that make you really excited? Why? Have you been feeling like your hard work hasn’t been noticed recently? What’s making you feel that way? What can you do to change that? Maybe another video comes up about the state of your relationship. How does that make you feel? If you don’t feel like you relate to a claim your horoscope makes, why?

By using astrology as a catalyst for reflection rather than a basis of fact, we can have more authority over our lives and use astrology as a jumping-off point for looking at our world through different lenses. Although astrology might not be an exact reflection of the facts of your life, it doesn’t mean that it lacks value in its capability for introspection, self-reflection, and soul-searching.

Annie is a first-year student at UCLA from Connecticut majoring in Political Science and Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences. In her free time she loves dancing, working out, and baking.