Je suis Balance

The Zodiac Signs, by @Micheletb, CC Wikipedia

By Genevieve Grant.

Astrology, like most topics, is very contentious on this campus. But in my experience with this pretty ridiculous and pretty ridiculed topic, is that people who seem to hate astrology are thinking about very outdated, boring, and corny ideas of what it is. This is my way of trying to update these ideas, because the only thing I hate more than outdated, boring, and corny things, is a Gemini.

To give just a quick history of astrology, it has something to do with planets and where they were when you were born. It can be very detailed, with whole natal charts about many aspects of one’s personality, or simply boiled down to zodiac signs, here listed in order of best to worst: Libra/Balance, Virgo/Vierge, Scorpio/Scorpion, Sagittarius/Sagittaire, Taurus/Taureau, Leo/Lion, Aquarius/Verseau, Capricorn/Capricorne, Aries/Bélier, Pisces/Poissons, Cancer/Cancer, Gemini/Gémeaux. It dates back farther than most religions, and many cultures around the world attach importance to astronomical events and placements. It’s now commonly recognized as a pseudoscience and the vast majority of people do not believe that it has any bearing on the events of their lives.

I am definitely one of these people.

To most, astrology is directly associated with horoscopes, as a set of predictions about your life that are usually published in a newspaper or, more recently, on the Cosmopolitan Snapchat story. If you come across one of these, I recommend you just tap again or flip the page and read some of their better reporting, like “the Nakedest Looks of the Victoria’s Secret Afterparty”. Horoscopes, like many critics have stated, do not pay any respect to the scientific method. But they don’t have to. Horoscopes are stupid and they’re vague. But are stupid, vague things made for smart, precise people? No, they’re made for fun people.

Reading my horoscope, as presented by this week’s online edition of Cosmo, I can’t help but laugh. I can’t “understand the reality and strength of [my] attraction to [my] spouse or partner”, because I don’t have one. “The astral atmosphere of the day will make your judgment falter in financial matters”, Cosmo describes, “so be very careful in transactions. Only rely on concrete things because ‘it is difficult to catch a black cat in a dark room, especially when it is not there.’” This is decent advice, but it would be decent advice for an Aries too. Or a Capricorn. Or a Virgo. Or anyone, regardless of the “astral atmosphere” these horoscopes love to reference.

Horoscopes are stupid and they’re vague. But are stupid, vague things made for smart, precise people? No, they’re made for fun people.

So if horoscopes are ridiculous, why is astrology fun? To me, the amusement in astrology comes from the definitive characteristics of the signs. This is where fans of the scientific method might find their interest piqued: instead of focusing on predicting life events or giving advice, the vast majority of modern astrological content are jokes about how fake Gémeaux are, or about representing “the signs as German political parties”.

But how could I honestly say “je suis Balance” without providing alternate opinions or playing Aries’ advocate? The connection between your sign and your traits could be completely by chance. It could be self-fulfilling prophecy. While all of these critiques are valid and understandable, they’re also hilarious because they so accurately follow the personality traits of the people who wrote them.

“I think it’s massive crap. It’s based on nothing scientific. It’s as incoherent as religion”, says Réda, who is so completely Aries that I guessed it before he said it. Another Aries, Kaz, disagreed: “I mean other than the inconvenience I am given due to being born an Aries I think it’s scarily accurate.” How warlike of them.

“I personally find it totally irrelevant to assume anyone’s characteristics from their horoscope. Since they are too broadly phrased they cannot have any empirical foundation” said Charlotte, with classic Taurus (and classic German!) practicality.

Tobias, a Leo who is passionate about accuracy, seemed to agree: “Even if it was accurate, the actual stars have moved away from the zodiac signs they were associated with when astrology emerged.”

And from Rhe-Anne, my Capricorn ex-roommate: “You shouldn’t define your life around astrology, the same way you shouldn’t define your life around any kind of personality indicator like people sometimes do with the Myers-Briggs test. But it makes for very funny conversations, and I do believe it’s uncannily accurate.”

As une Balance, I honestly agree with all of these perspectives. They’re right. Maybe it is all fake and meaningless. In fact, it probably is. But my question is, what’s so bad about that? We do countless meaningless things every day. So get over yourself, stop being outdated, boring, and corny, and find out what Beyoncé song you are.

For those interested, here are the German political parties represented as zodiac signs:
Capricorn – FDP Free Democrats (stingy)
Aquarius – V-Partei, the party for vegans, vegetarians, and change (extra and out there)
Pisces – die Linke (for people who don’t work)
Aries – Bürger in Wut – Citizens in Rage (obvious reasons)
Taurus – CDU – Christian democrats (stable)
Gemini – SPD – Social Dems (capricious)
Cancer – Family Party of Germany (they just want everybody to love their parents)
Leo – Communist party (intrinsic need to be different and in your face about it)
Libra – whichever party gets them out of this coalition mess
Virgo – Bündnis 90er – the Greens (caring, nachdenklich)
Scorpio – Piraten (Scorpios are mean, pirates are mean, therefore scorpios are pirates)
Sagittarius – Free Voters Party (Young_Wild_and_Free.mp3)

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