Here’s a quick question for you: Do you know what your zodiac sign is?
Because if you told us you didn’t, we wouldn’t believe you at all. Our zodiac sign is probably one of the most important things we should know about our lives, next to our birthdays.
But if you really don’t know, zodiac signs are our “astrological placements”.
The signs depend on when we are born in the year. There are 12 zodiac signs all in all: Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Capricorn.
Zodiac Signs and Horoscopes
Our zodiac signs also help us determine our horoscope whether on a daily, monthly, or yearly basis. But what exactly is a horoscope?
In general, a horoscope is associated with astrology, where people believe that the alignment of the stars and planets, including the sun and the moon, greatly affect an individual’s mood, personality, and environment.
Meanwhile, Horoscope is forecasting someone’s future based on the positions of the stars and planets during the time the person was born. So in layman’s terms, a horoscope is predicting one’s future based on zodiac signs.
Going beyond future predictions, our zodiac signs assigned to us by astrology is believed to affect many aspects of our lives. Many believe that our signs give us an idea on a person’s personality, preferences, flaws, fears, and even love compatibility.
The Popularity of Horoscopes
Astrology and horoscopes are relatively one of the most popular methods of psychic readings to exist. Today, in the millennial age, the attention towards horoscope and astrology continues to grow.
“There’s something that’s happened in the last five years that’s given it an edginess, a relevance for this time and place, that it hasn’t had for a good 35 years. Millennials have taken it and run with it,” Los Angeles astrologer Chani Nicholas said. But what made it so popular?
Your Horoscope is Readily Available
Since astrology relies on the alignment of the planets and stars when we were born for our horoscope, it can easily give us a psychic reading based on our zodiac sign.
Back in the day, newspaper and magazines will always have a section for their daily horoscope for their readers. And in today’s digital age, daily horoscopes are available everywhere. When you search “horoscopes” on Google, you’ll be given many websites giving daily readings based on the zodiac signs.
It’s Already Specific
As mentioned earlier, horoscopes and astrological readings depend on our birthdates. So, if something like zodiac sign or astrological reading can go as detailed as your birthday, then it’s specific enough to give you a reading without having to consult a psychic reader.
It’s a Millennial Meme
If you scroll through various social media platforms, you will see a lot of memes or jokes that revolve around zodiac signs and astrology.
For example, there’s a viral meme in Tumblr where it says that if a devil can’t come near you, he’ll just send a scorpio or aquarius to your household. It’s that kind of humor.
“The kids these days and their memes are like the perfect context for astrology,” Nicholas said.
Horoscopes Relieve Stress
A study from 1982 indicated that people then used to turn to astrology in times of stress.
Under conditions of high stress, the individual is prepared to use astrology as a coping device even though under low-stress conditions he does not believe in it,” Graham Tyson, a psychologist, said in his study.
Which is why it became so popular in the millennial generation. A 2014 US study said that the millennials is the most stressed generation, and their stress levels continue to increase due to today’s incidents.
Astrology has been their avenue in imagining a better future as an escape from whatever crisis or challenges they face today.
Do People Really Believe in These Things?
While science has debunked the idea that astrology works and is a legitimate phenomenon, some people still believe in its power.
On a personal experience, you may have read the different personalities of zodiac signs and associated them with your friends and family. You may find yourself saying “Oh, she’s really an Aquarius,” or “How the hell did she become a Libra?”
Scenarios like that will somehow make you believe that such things like astrology does affect our lives.
But does everyone believe in it? Well, that’s highly unlikely.
Reading Astrology to Feel Better
As mentioned above, some people turn to astrology in the hopes of escaping the stress that reality is giving them, but they don’t necessarily believe in them.
For some, astrology is some sort of magic that comforts you until you feel better and face reality once again.
“We are increasingly turning to unreality as a form of escape and a way to search for other kinds of freedom, truth and meaning,” J. Walter Thompson’s intelligence group said in a report in 2016.
It’s a Tool for Reality
For some, it doesn’t really matter if astrology is real or not. A few people use astrology as some sort of tool or life hack in the real world.
“We take astrology very seriously, but we also don’t necessarily believe in it,” Broadly astrologer Annabel Gat said, adding that astrology is a way to look at the world and to think about things.
It’s Not Exactly Science
To repeat, science has said that astrology, horoscopes, and planet alignments have no effect to our lives in any aspect.
However, there are people who believe that astrology is rather a psychological and cultural effect rather than a scientific one.
In an interview with The Atlantic, Bertram Malle, a social cognitive scientist at Brown University said that full-fledged astrology, one that goes beyond the typical daily horoscope on a newspaper or the internet, is a very powerful phenomenon.
“[It] provides a powerful vocabulary to capture not only personality and temperament but also life’s challenges and opportunities. To the extent that one simply learns this vocabulary, it may be appealing as a rich way of representing (not explaining or predicting) human experiences and life events, and identifying some possible paths of coping.”Bertram Malle
Whether or not astrology and horoscopes are real, we can be sure of one thing: It has helped people in their lives, whether as an escape from reality, or a way to look at life in a different perspective. Perhaps, that’s enough for now.