Students seek identity through astrology

Astrology is a system that assumes a very pointedly accurate definition for each of us. Decided by our time and location of birth, the reasoning behind these definitions is relatively indisputable because it works upon very poignant facts. With that rigidly acute categorization, it feels like something we can lean on. This date, time and place are absolute facts, which provides a solid backbone for projections about our unique personas. There’s a litany of signs determined by this backbone, but three that seem the most decisive are your sun, your moon and your rising signs. The Sun sign is the one basically everyone knows about themselves, which creates a foundation that you can warp to your unique take with your other signs. There are so many variables and influences that it really does feel hard for us to dispute.

The perception of ourselves that astrology grants us is so attractive that we’re more likely to ignore arguments against it. Personally, I find that it’s far too intangible to grant absolute validity, so like many, I tend to waver in the face of actually committing to it. Also like many, I have downloaded that app called Co-Star, and have a great a deal of fun reading about what I am supposedly composed of. Its cosmic basis even feels comforting in a world where religion is largely under attack by more concrete forms of data like math and science. So for the less decisive, like myself, it takes on more of a sense of fun and trivial pleasure than it would a sense of how my day-to-day might proceed, or how I should manage my psyche.

What’s interesting is our generation’s clearly stronger inclination to take it on. Born into a world of social media and reality TV, there’s this emphasis on presentation that exceeds professionalism. We place a great deal of importance upon how we define ourselves. Plagued by the sheer amount of dynamic personalities and stories of success that surround us, it feels like we need to categorize ourselves. There’s this creepingly pervasive notion in our heads that we may be ill-defined, and we look at our fellow peers whose appearances seem so objectively decisive that it foils that pervasive notion to even greater significance. But we forget that our peers are experiencing the exact same thought process, which feeds into their decision to also express themselves through appearances. Our sense of individuality is fraught with doubt, so the question becomes: how do we define ourselves? I would argue that this resurgence of participation in astrology is an attempt at better defining ourselves.

The trouble with this resurgence is that it feeds into why other generations would view us as shallow, like we’re looking for quick and easy answers rather than doing the work to figure ourselves out. And as a resident skeptic, I can see where this perception comes from. After all, to a non-participant, there would be little distinction between one’s astrological chart and a Buzzfeed quiz for what Hogwarts house you are. It starts to lean less toward reassurance and more to the trivial and inconsequential. Why should anyone care what sign you are? If we were all to accept astrology as concrete, would that just turn society into one large social mixer? Might it even turn us into a dystopia where we form tribes according to our signs like some young adult novel? Obviously not, but the comparison paints the picture for all those aggressive astrological-haters.

Astrology seems as harmless as ever. Who’s to say whether it’ll persist or die out, whether it’s a fad or true spirituality, but what’s undeniable is that people enjoy it. What’s even remotely harmful about astrology isn’t anyone’s belief or participation in it, but the manner in which people turn life into a social mixer. When you meet someone new, perhaps don’t immediately ask for their sign. Give them a chance to disprove what negative behavior might often accompany their sign. And to those who are vehemently against it, try not to attack someone for their beliefs. You can poke fun at astrology, but don’t disqualify those who find comfort in it. And if you do find comfort in it, don’t get too defensive about it.

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