Written By: Natalie Robinson
Humans are shaped into what kind of character they have by numerous factors, whether it be where they grow up, what kind of family they grow up with, what activities they choose to participate in, what cultures they adapt to, etc. Horoscopes, on the other hand, convey what personality traits someone has based on when they were born, or more specifically, the constellations of stars that were in the sky that night. In other words, since the second you were born, your path has been set for you. According to this astrologically based belief system, this outside force has the ability to shape someone into who they are.
During the Postclassical and Modern Eras of human history (500-1800), there were many conflicts and contradictions when it came to religion and philosophy. Although it differentiated by region, people wondered what happened after death. From heaven and hell to reincarnation and Nirvana, it was clear that people wanted to know the great unknown. Can performing good deeds admit you into heaven? Or has your destiny already been set? This present-day philosophy agrees with the belief that your fate is inevitable.
Does one’s astrological sign allow them to ignore their own life experiences when determining who they are? Just think about it. Two people are born on the same day. One is a girl and one is a boy. Very common. The girl grows up in a nice, safe neighborhood with two parents in the household. She attends a private school and her parents hire her a tutor to assure that she has a great chance of getting into her dream college. The boy grows up in an apartment home and he is raised with just his mother in the household. He goes to public school throughout his life and has to work a part-time job most days of the week to help his mother pay the bills. Although the only aspect of life that they have in common is their birthday, are they bound to the same emotional qualities? It doesn’t make much sense logically, but it is possible they could have similar personal qualities. It begs the question: Is our character decided for us when we are born? Or do we set our own course when it comes to who we are?
There are 12 astrological signs; one for each month. Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. They each divide into numerous different categories, such as masculine or feminine; fixed, mutable, or cardinal; and even fire, earth, air, and water. Anyone can google the personality traits of their sign and read about who they are. You can either allow them to reassure yourself or they have the potential to confine you. It’s all based on how you perceive the concept.
Is there a flaw in this system? People’s personalities are not set for their entire lives, not even guaranteed for an entire week. Life is about change and personal growth, but if your destiny is fixed, is there any point in an emotional journey?
There is always the possibility that people can misuse the system. There is another level of horoscopes, which is compatibility. Certain signs have traits that complement those of other signs. On the other hand, there can be conflict among the traits of different signs. In the dating world, an easy way to find out if you and someone you’re interested in would be a good match is to ask them, “What’s your sign?”. This will unlock a world of information and eliminates the need for that awkward, icebreaker phase.
Self-discovery is something everyone chases at one point or another. It may take hitting rock-bottom or overcoming an obstacle for someone to truly develop on that mental, emotional level. Reading a horoscope allows this discovery to become convenient. It is as simple as googling it right now.
Is there any merit in learning who you are through experience and physical events? Or are horoscopes here to guide us to be the best version of ourselves? It’s up to you… or is it?