Don’t @ Me: Astrology Rules

Don’t Believe Me? It’s Written in the Stars.

Don’t knock astrology so easily. Graphic Jessica Lee.

I open Twitter to a flood of “Brace yourselves, Mercury is in retrograde again!” tweets. My friends tagged me in five different astrology memes, commenting “Haha, this is you.”

I add my complete birth chart on my dating app profile and compare them with prospective matches. My Co-Star app sends daily notifications, dissecting my psyche in ways that sometimes feel like personal attacks. I know it can sound silly, so why am I so into astrology?

When I’m talking about astrology, I don’t just mean your sun sign. I’m talking about your full birth chart, from your sun, moon, and rising signs to your Mercury and Mars placements. Your chart also tells you which houses you find these in and what transits were taking place in the cosmos when you were born. Every aspect of your personality, your potential, and how planetary movements are affecting you are covered in your chart. There are essentially infinite amounts of chart combination possibilities, making it nearly impossible to find someone with the exact same chart as you.

Of course, I don’t believe that astrology can predict my entire future. To be honest, it’s mostly just fun. Being in your early twenties basically means living through a constant identity crisis—and astrology gives you something to relate to.

“Oh my gosh, you’re so right! I do love harmony, balance, and would dedicate my life to justice—I’m such a Libra.”

If we’re going to dive deep, reading your birth chart and daily horoscopes pushes you to be more introspective—something everyone can benefit from. Whether what you read was completely accurate and left you feeling like someone’s stalking you, or you can’t relate at all, you had to think about your identity and values, even if just for a second.

Astrology gives you new ways to be vulnerable, without it being scary, by slapping the label of “Scorpio” or “Gemini” on there.

In religious studies, they call this self-representative communication. Frederick Bird wrote, “Momentarily, [people] identify themselves with the character/roles called for by their script. In doing so, they assert the importance of various character traits. According to Edmund Leach, ‘We engage in rituals in order to transmit collective messages to ourselves.’”

So, when you express your feelings and actions through astrology, it can help you relate to others.

“Oh you’re also a neat freak? It’s because we’re both Virgos!”

Complex ideas, like life cycles, relationship patterns, and personality become easier to digest as well, especially in the age of memes. It can help ease the stress of constant existential dread and make you feel like you have direction. Or, it just gives you a laugh and you can move on.

Whether you find horoscopes vague or not, chances are you can use the advice. If some astrology column is telling you that you need to evaluate your work ethic because your Saturn is in Taurus, to be careful of miscommunication during a Mercury retrograde, or to do an act of kindness today, we can all benefit from that; there’s nothing wrong with turning to astrology for a reminder.

So, next time you try to be edgy and hit me with that tired “Mercury is in Gatorade,” line, it won’t change the fact that astrology rules.