Part 144- Zodiac signs and Horoscopes

 This topic is pretty vague. Vague, complicated, and vast, in my opinion. While the zodiac was first divided into 12 equal signs by 1500 BC, it has started becoming popular in today’s world. “What’s your sign,” becomes a common conversation starter, but what does it mean? What does it mean if I say, “Oh, I’m an Aries.” Sure, it might give you an idea of my personality, but what else? In my opinion, nothing. But, let’s first start with the basics.

What is a zodiac?

A zodiac is a belt of the heavens within 8 degrees of the ecliptic, a great circle on the celestial sphere representing the sun’s apparent path during the year, including all apparent positions of he sun, moon, and most familiar planets. The zodiac is divided into 12 divisions, or signs, which are derived from the constellations that mark out the ecliptic. 
The ecliptic
Source{ Earth Sky}
However, these signs no longer correspond to the constellations in which the Sun actually appears. What ancient astrologers didn’t know when they first started laying out the zodiac, is that Earth wobbles a bit on its axis. This movement is called precession. Over the past two-and-a-half-millennia, our position relative to these constellations has drifted off about 30 degrees. Or, a whole month.  This means that the ecliptic now passes through a 13th constellation: Ophiuchus, which is not considered a part of the zodiac. So, if  horoscopes were connected to present day constellations, I’d be a Pisces, and not an Aries. ( – Further explains)

Why is Ophiuchus left out? 

According to Astrologer Jaime Wright, Ophiuchus is left out because it is usually obscured from view at most times in parts of the world. Also, Astrologers actually knew about Ophiuchus, but never included it in the original foundation, simply because it throws a wench in the interpretive system. It makes things more complicated than they need to be, as opposed to when there are just 12 signs. Just because it appears in the sun’s path, doesn’t make it a sign. 
Not only that, 12 was originally chosen to fit the movement of the sun neatly within the lunar calendar. There are 12 semi notes in an octave, 12 days of Christmas, and there are 12 full moons in a year. The basic units of time ( 60 minutes, 60 seconds, 24 hours) are all divisible by 12. “There isn’t a 13th sign because we already have all the signs we need.” 
Source{ The Irish Sun}

What is Astrology?

Astrology is a type of divination that is based of scientific calculations of constellations and planetary movements. It’s based on studying theses planets and noticing the patterns that occur over hundreds of years. Devotees believe that an understanding of the planets and stars on “earthly affairs” allows them to both predict and affect destinies of  individuals, groups, and nations. The Stars and planets don’t necessarily influence things but they are markers of time and allow us to understand what cycle we are in when a person is born. This relates to the original purpose of astrology: Informing an individual of the course of their life based on the position of the stars and their zodiac sign. Sounds familiar? Well, we’re more common with the term, horoscopes. 

What does a horoscope do?

A horoscope is a forecast of a person’s future, typically including a delineation of character and circumstances, based on the relative positions of the stars and planets at the time of that person’s birth. Or more simply, a short forecast for people born under a particular sign.

Source{daily horoscope}

My opinion:

Like I said before, I don’t believe in zodiacs having any meaning. Ancient astronomers didn’t realize that the Earth wobbles- called precession- which has changed the location of the constellations as we saw them 2000 years ago. I’m supposed to be courageous and energetic, but I’m compassionate and artistic at the same time. Not only that, the signs don’t define everyone’s personality. My friend is a Capricorn, without the 13th sign, and some of the things listed aren’t even true. She is the sweetest most gentle introvert I have known, and has a very artistic personality. I’ve never seen her to be a pessimist or be waiting for the bad to happen. However as a Sagittarius, with the 13th sign, it says she’s an extrovert and very optimistic person. So you can see she’s a mix of both. Plus, Sagittarius have the greatest compatibility with Aries and Gemini. Coincidentally, the rest of our friend group of four are both Gemini. 
My point here is that the zodiacs cannot accurately describe our personality with or without the 13th sign, or in general at all. We’re mostly a mix of two- once again, the ones with and without the 13th sign- and just one sign cannot describe us. It’s most likely by chance that we can posses traits by any other sign besides the one we are born under. 
In addition to that, whenever you read something about your zodiac, there’s often very little or if not nothing bad written about your sign. At the most, there’s only a small about written about your weaknesses compared to about what you excel or are amazing at. The signs are really only for you to feel good about yourself.
Horoscopes are similar. To me, they feel like something you can feel better about yourself by. It’s kind of similar to the Placebo Effect. The Placebo Effect is when an improvement of symptoms is observed, despite using a non active treatment. For example, if you give pills to 10 sick patients containing only water, but tell them it’s a powerful new drug that will cure them, and have 10 sick patients not take the pills, over time the patients taking the pills will show better health. It’s a matter of psychology. 
When people read their horoscopes and the advice given, they feel better knowing about what could happen instead of it taking them by surprise. But, it’s the belief that makes them feel better, not the astrology. 
I don’t want to say Astrology is fake when it has been a very useful tool in ancient lifestyles. People would hunt and migrate with the stars, and it helped civilizations survive. But, I have to say, it lacks “ a mechanism by which it could work.” How is the position of the stars when you were born supposed to affect your personality and fate? Wouldn’t there be a possibility everything turns out differently? It seems surreal that my fate of having a terrible school year or even the world going through a pandemic was already decided. Everything just happened by chance. It just happened by chance that a pandemic began, or that I crashed my bike on the way to take my exams at school, or that my entire year was easy-going and relaxed. Everything is a possibility that could happen, and it just so happened that way by chance.
In relation to horoscopes, I believe that instead of trying to know what will happen, we should just live our life with the unexpected. Even if something bad happens, it’ll remain a lesson and build a better us. For example, my bike. I know why I crashed my bike, and the unexpected helped me become better at biking because I know how I can avoid it in the future. Life cannot be controlled. You will always have the up’s and down’s in life, and you cannot control that. No matter how hard you try, it could work, but they will still be there. I would much rather go through the unexpected by surprise than be on constant alert based on what my horoscope said about the day. 
In modern times I feel like astrology has been ruined. The zodiacs are recent creations made to appeal mass audiences, and the fact that it’s taken some popularity makes it worse. 

As I scroll through Instagram, I often find reels on the zodiac signs such as, “Which zodiac is most likely to”, “These signs are psychos”, “Fear these sign groups”, “ As this sign you are hardest to…”, “ Only one sign can go from laughing to a blank face…”, and so on.  It really frustrates me so much seeing how people just assume what most signs are like without any real backing. Some people might actually be interested in zodiacs and astrology, but the way it’s being presented just doesn’t show it. They don’t even know me but here they are posting content about zodiacs and saying the creepiest fact of an Aries is that I’m a stalker. Not only that, often people only post about the most common signs. Sagittarius, Virgo, Leo, Libra, Gemini, etc. Often Pisces or Scorpio or even Aries are left out. I really don’t know what to say to this sometimes. Signs have become such a big deal in the current generation that almost everything posted on them is fake. 

Here are some examples: