Is Astrology Real?

A topic with history that sparks controversy through all parts of the world.

Grae Stockhausen, News Section Editor

When someone brings up the topic of astrology, what pops into your mind? Maybe your daily horoscope, or the article you saw on Mercury going into retrograde? Or could it be the traits that your sign identifies with? Whether you’re knowledgeable on the topic or you aren’t, everyone knows a little bit about the subject. One click into your browser and you can find out your zodiac sign and their traits. But sometimes, people can’t identify with these traits and blow them off, saying that astrology isn’t real because they’re a Leo and hate attention. 

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of the history of astrology, it is very important to state that astrology and astronomy are not the same thing. Astrology is looking for signs based on the movement of the celestial bodies, while astronomy is the scientific study of those objects. Astrology was founded in Babylon around 2,400 years ago, then after 300 years, it spread into the eastern Mediterranean, especially in Egypt, which was under the control of a Greek dynasty. From then on, astrology spread throughout the world but took on different forms in different cultures. It could be used to predict what could happen in the future, possibilities of harvests, and wars and hunts. Lunar eclipses were taken with caution, while equinoxes and solstices were treated as ceremonies and used to give thanks to spirits. While the details of astrology differed throughout cultures, the main message was constant: to inform the individual of the course of their life based upon the positions of the planets and the zodiac signs at the moment of their birth. 

Zodiac signs aren’t just about your surface-level traits, it’s also about your chart as a whole and what sign the planets were in when you were born. The basic breakdown is that the sky is divided into 12 sections, each 30° wide and that the sun moves regularly through these sections, which gives everyone diversity in their chart. Depending on where the planets are located in the sky, the degree location, and zodiac section of the sky during the time of one’s birth, one gets a basis for their personality. 

Each planet controls a different aspect of life, starting with the sun. The sun determines ego, identity, and the “role” in life. This is the core of who a person is and can be found from the day of birth. Next is the moon, which rules emotions, moods, and feelings. It is the sign that reflects personality most, which means some may relate to their moon sign more than their sun sign. Mercury determines communication, talking, thinking, and processing information. It is the mind’s planet, so it also ties into how people learn. Venus is the planet of love, so it shows how and what people love. It can show how to express affection and the qualities one might be attracted to. Mars highlights how to assert yourself and take action, because Mars is the planet of aggression. Jupiter is one of the two social planets and rules idealism, optimism, and expansion. The other social planet, Saturn, rules responsibility, restrictions, limits, boundaries, fears, and self-discipline. Now in people’s charts, this area is where they’ll find familiarity with their peers. Uranus stays in each sign for seven years, meaning it rules a generation more than a person. The planet rules innovation, rebellion, and progress. Next is Neptune and rules dreams, imagination, and the unconscious. The last planet in the chart is Pluto, which rules power, intensity, obsession, and control. In each planet, there will be a sign. Depending on the sign in the house, it gives people a very general idea of how that aspect of their personality will be. As an example, say that someone has their Venus in Pisces. This means that they find comfort through long, close, and trusting relationships. 

Though there are a lot of people who have their Venus in Pisces, that brings up the other argument of, “Astrology is just trying to fit thousands of people into a stereotype of 12 personalities!” However, the reality is, when you’re born, no one else is born at the same time, year, and second as you. All of these things determine your chart, which is more focused on aspects of your personality, not a broad generalized statement. The horoscopes and traits you get off of Google are just surface-level knowledge about the signs. Not everyone is going to identify with everything about their sign and that’s normal. In addition, there is stigma around some of the signs, such as Aquarius, Scorpio, and Leo’s. These signs have been categorized as manipulative, self-obsessed people who don’t care about anyone. All of these stereotypes are harmful to astrology-believing people because it makes people think that they judge people based on their sign, which we only do after we learn all about your chart! (Joking!!)

Whether you believe in astrology or not, it certainly affects society. Moon phases bring different things, new moons bring new beginnings and the ending of old patterns while full moons bring out more chaos energy and cause everyone to be a little bit more hectic. Lunar eclipses also bring out that energy in people, The moon affects the Earth as well as energy and people. The ocean tides are based around the moon because of the gravitational pull the moon has on the Earth. 

With all of that being said, astrology is much more complex than a daily horoscope or what signs one possesses are and how it should shape their personality. Astrology has been studied and used for thousands of years, and if you’re not into astrology, you can choose to just ignore the people who are and the practice in general. It isn’t a harmful practice until people shape it to be cynical and label people.

If you are interested in finding out more about your chart and astrology, I suggest the app Co–Star and this website below! Just put in your date of birth, time of birth, and where you were born!