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Culture > Entertainment

I Conducted an Astrology Survey: Here Are My Thoughts as a Science Major

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

Even though I’ve never believed in astrology, I have always been curious to know what drives people towards it. So, what better way to get my answers than to make a series of questions about said topic? Of course, as a science major, you’d think that I’d be more biased with my opinions, which is why I made sure to choose open ended questions that could expand my horizons to new views and ways of thinking. Some of my peers at Her Campus volunteered and answered these questions. So, I’ll be giving my own feedback on the matter as I tackle every single question with an open mind. Disclaimer! I want to formally address that my opinions on astrology are just that: an opinion. If you aren’t satisfied with or are on the opposite end of my answers, please remember that my words are simply the way I view the world around us, just as anyone with different opinions have their own beliefs. That being said, let’s dive into the cosmos!

Question #1: “Are you in a science based degree?”

I began this investigation asking my interviewees about their major, particularly asking if they were studying a science degree (ex. biology, psychology, social sciences, ect).” Seven people answered “no” while the other two answered “yes.” Knowing that the majority of the members answering were not in my same major was thrilling since I was definitely going to get different perspectives on the subject.

Question #2: “Define what astrology means to you in a sentence.”

The second question on the survey was to define astrology briefly and personally Most of the answers were straightforward; how the stars, constellations or any other type of celestial body influences us. And because I knew that definition would be the most popular, I was more interested in different ways of thinking. One of the more open-minded answers was: “Tbh, it’s more like something fun and like magical. I guess that helps me feel included in something bigger, sometimes helps me understand myself better and I just find it pretty, idk.” Before reading that comment, I hadn’t thought about astrology as something that could help me understand myself better. If someone has an incomplete idea of what kind of personality they have, then an interactive outside source could potentially help that person discover that hidden or unknown side of themselves. I say “potentially” because it’s not always the case. In my experience, I’ve found that I can identify with some of the traits and characteristics that align with my sign, but some of them don’t fit my personality at all.

Question #3: “Overall, do you believe that celestial bodies have any influence in our everyday lives?”

 For this question, two people responded “Nope,” one person answered “Of course,” and six people answered “Somewhat. Some things make sense to me while others don’t.” As before, that was the answer I knew that was going to be selected the most.

Question #4: “If you’re knowledgeable on your astrology sign, in what ways is it accurate to your personality or behavior? In what ways is it not?”

In my experience with astrology, sometimes my horoscopes can be scarily accurate while other times they can be the complete opposite. I was curious to know if the other interviewees had had these same experiences and, surprisingly, most of them had. One of them answered: “Not very into it, but I’ve read horoscopes. I tend to relate to other signs other than my own. A friend told me that it’s because I was born at the very very end of Gemini season so I’m half Cancer (algo asi, es todo muy complicado idk). Other horoscopes usually resemble my insecurities or doubts more than my own sign.” It was interesting to find out that this person also shared a similar experience to me. I, too, have found that I relate to horoscopes that aren’t associated with my sign; whether it’s with personality traits or behaviors. Oftentimes, I would always be so confused because these horoscopes would be so specific I could barely relate, but then on more general points I could.

Question #5: “I’m curious… How does astrology and astronomy differ for you? How are they related?”

For the fifth question, I asked the interviewees to point out the difference between astrology and astronomy. Of course, there’s a big difference between the two, and all of the answers do acknowledge that astronomy is a science based on facts, while astrology is not science-based. This member further confirms this by saying, “In the end, I don’t think astrology and astronomy are related. They’re both very different from each other, astronomy is a science while astrology is more of a belief, but that doesn’t make astrology less than.” I used to compare both studies as if they were related, but this comment made me realize the truth: they aren’t! It’s like comparing chemistry with biology; they’re both studies that tackle a similar phenomena, but their approach is very much different! I feel like people, including myself, use astronomy as a way to diminish astrology, but it shouldn’t be like this because both concepts are separate from one another.

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Question #6: “What aspects about astrology do you consider credible and which ones don’t?

The next question is vaguely familiar to the fourth one, as it asks about the credibility of astrologyAn HC member responded: “It has made me understand some people better and it has made me make better decisions in relationships. It helps you have an idea of why someone might act a certain way, like Taurus tends to be stubborn for example, so it gives me an idea on how to approach them.” Although I don’t believe people should treat others based on sign compatibility, the approach this member uses when meeting and interacting with new people is reasonable. However, I believe one should be careful with this kind of approach because, as I’ve said before, one’s perception of a certain horoscope might not match with every person you’re talking to, and you might end up treating them differently than you would’ve under normal circumstances.

Question #7: Tell me why you believe or don’t believe in astrology in a maximum of two sentences.” 

This was more direct than the other questions, and the answer I picked established the following: “As I’ve said before, I don’t completely believe in astrology because it’s never entirely accurate, and how can I fully believe in something that changes so often? On the other hand though, sometimes I like to believe in it for fun, because it’s predicting something positive for my life or something accurate. So, whether I believe in astrology or not truly depends on the day.” Even though astrology might be accurate in pinpointing your personality traits and behaviors sometimes, there’s still some uncertainty behind it, as I’ve discussed previously. I agree with the HC member; if the horoscope adds to your life in a positive way, why reject the possibility of learning about it? However, if the horoscope instead says something completely out of line (like saying that having your particular sign makes you toxic) you shouldn’t take it into account. I’ve read that  my sign makes me a manipulative person, and I don’t perceive myself that way. So, why should I perceive myself in a negative light if it doesn’t positively contribute to my life in any way?

Question 8: “If you were on the opposite end of your opinion on this matter, how would you tell the other side that astrology is or isn’t “reliable”?

The second-to-last question was definitely the most interesting one of the survey, as it asked: I wanted the interviewees to put themselves in another person’s shoes to try and understand the other points of view better. One of the answers read: “Astrology isn’t reliable because the stars cannot determine how you will feel tomorrow, only your unique circumstances can.” . As a science major, this specific perspective was intriguing because how can stars, balls of trillions of hydrogen and helium atoms held together by gravity, millions of light years away from me influence my everyday actions? And, if I think about it hard enough, how are these everyday actions determined by my genetic code more than anything? It’s hard to be open about the things that astrology proposes since, in my perception of the world, how I feel tomorrow is determined by the mood of the day before and the events that lead up to it. Another interesting answer was: “I would find it very difficult, but since astrology is so generalized it can help people project their personal situations and can lead to them feeling safer to share their experiences.” From my point of view, the more accurate the horoscope the less specific it is, and vice versa. The latter doesn’t mean it’s automatically invalid, but rather the more people can relate to the horoscope, the more they can share and bond together. This form of confraternization is a healthy way to figure yourself out with the help of others who share similar personalities. Just as long as you don’t self-diagnose yourself with any mental illness, for that matter. These should always be consulted by a trained professional who can formally help you.

Question #9: “I’m a Gemini, so what does that make me?”

For obvious reasons, I was especially looking forward to the answers of this question, and the  answer I resonated with the most was: “Yikes.. LMAO JKK! you see this right here is an excellent question. I once had a Gemini friend but that friendship was very toxic, however I can’t say that all Gemini’s are toxic bc I also have other Gemini friends and they’re the best people in my circle. It really depends on the person. But hey, Gemini’s and Scorpios.” Hypothetically speaking, if being a Gemini means that you’re toxic, then wouldn’t that make every Gemini toxic? Although astrology can oftentimes be accurate, I’ve over fixated the fact that astrology isn’t a direct indicator of certain behaviors, but rather an accurate set of personality traits that fit a certain group of people with similar characters. Sure, it can be a guide for those who are truly interested, but to make it the leading factor on how you treat others is erroneous. The HC member said that they couldn’t say that all Geminis are toxic because they themselves have met some of them who weren’t. This suggests that just because someone’s a Gemini doesn’t automatically make them toxic. Therefore, I don’t believe that astrology, in any shape or form, determines how toxic a person can be. Negative traits such as these should be consulted with a psychologist who can help you determine whether or not it is the case. A person can be toxic, but it’s not because of their birth sign.

Final Thoughts

I definitely have a different opinion now than before I read the questionnaire answers. Everyone who answered my questions opened my eyes to new perspectives about astrology that I hadn’t given much thought to and, overall, even though I still think that astrology is not completely factual due to it not being backed up with research, I understand now that it’s a way for people to relate to a sign that predicts their personality trait based on the the months they were born in.

Mónica Zoé Haddock Marrero is a contributor at the Her Campus at UPR chapter. She’s a writer and social media designer for the chapter’s online platforms. All things health, such as nutrition, exercise, skin-and-hair care and self-care are all things she has written about and will continue to do so. Also, engrossing topics involving science and research are Mónica’s main area of interest. Apart from being a proud member of Her Campus, Mónica is a recent member in the SACNAS organization which provides professional and research opportunities for STEM students. She hopes to become a professional herself within this fieldwork. Moreover, she is currently an undergraduate at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Molecular Cell Biology. In her free time, Mónica writes short stories about fantasy and science fiction, enjoys making (as well as collecting) earrings and reads comics and stories of all kinds, specifically within the romantic and drama genre. She mostly listens to jazz or lofi while studying, but when she’s doing other miscellaneous things, Mónica listens to pop, rap, love songs and even classical music.