CULTURE

Why Are Some People So Offended by Astrology?

Astrology is cool.

Sorry, I'm Sagittarius rising, so I can't take anything seriously. But I'm also Scorpio Mars, which means I'm definitely a little mad sometimes. And I'm a little mad right now, because I need you to add me on Co-Star. Seriously, tell me your fucking sun sign. Please do it, and I do not want to hear about how you think astrology is so super fake, and you don't like stars or whatever. Listen, if you tell me your Venus sign, I promise to tell you mine. There's nothing to be afraid of.


Astrology is cool! Gen Z knows it, and we're adopting it like gospel. Damn near every friendship I've formed in the past year has started with a great big "WHAT'S YOUR SIGN??" It's magic stuff, even if only because of the way it generates enthusiasm in a conversation.

Have you ever watched a group of astrologically-inclined folks dissecting each other's yods and stelliums? I do not know what these words mean myself, but I know that they ignite some ferocious lights in the eyes of those well-versed in astro. What I mean to emphasize is that astrology, for those invested, is pure fun. It is exciting, explorative, and bonding. Even at its most casual, it has got the power to lay the groundwork for some seriously gorgeous connections.

But despite all that, there remains a camp of folks unwilling to have fun. They do not want to make new friends through easy and enjoyable means. They refuse to participate in silly little conversations that could, in theory, allow them to open up in new and exciting ways. Instead, they opt to be very "Rational and "Respectable." There are the kinds of folks who almost seem to wait around for someone, anyone to mention a horoscope or birth time so that they can remind everyone in the room that astrology is Fake and Stupid.

Bad vibes. Why do some folks get so bent out of shape over astrology?

I won't take up this internet space trying to prove or disprove the legitimacy of astrology. Total believer? Wicked. Think it's goofy? Love it. I am not concerned with what astrology means to us as individuals so much as I am concerned with what astrology has come to mean for our society as a social tool. If we analyze astrology strictly as a social tool, then we can also explore what pushback to that social tool indicates in the context of our social hierarchies.

Astrology is changing the rules of how we get to know each other and ourselves. Its content is erring away from mysticism and towards self-survey. If we can adapt to its presence the way that it has adapted to our societal values, then we may just have one of the most potent social tools around at our disposal.

Astrology has, in its current incarnation, morphed into a means for us to share ourselves with the people around us in a succinct and approachable way. The archetypes of the zodiac become characters all their own, which we relate to and reference in our attempts to communicate parts of ourselves to others. In the same way that I might call on a character from a book I love or my MBTI results (INTJ, duh) while getting to know someone, I can point to aspects of my birth chart and use the ready-made narratives of the signs and planets to help the person opposite me better understand the patterns that make up my personality.

We are all looking for ways to tell people what we are like in as few words as possible. Astrology, in this context, is a particularly convenient tool. It provides a wheel of widely-known archetypes to call on and a social presence adaptable to whichever degree of sincerity its participants desire; some folks might make a passing joke about Taurus being stubborn while others will tear apart your entire birth chart before the end of the night. In either instance, people are sharing themselves, and that is the ultimate goal.

Beyond being super fun and ultra handy, our collective embrace of astrology really points to brighter days. New Age spirituality has been associated with women and queer people since the 1960s, and astrology has been a component of witchy, femme-centric practices for centuries. It is rare that a dialogue typically associated with femininity be championed socially, especially within a viciously hypermasculine society.

When we employ these feminine dialogues as a basis for relationship building in our social spheres, we validate feminine voices and invite them to co-create the terms of our social world. When we willingly lean into these dialogues, we promise women a safe space to speak about their interests and we demonstrate that we are ourselves interested in hearing what women have to say.

Astrology AstrologyBBC

Even when astrology is just for fun, participation in its dialogue still carries a massive gravity. Symbolically, a willingness to participate in the dialogue of astrology helps to undo a centuries-long history of dismissing the feminine voice.

While it can be comical to consider that the Co-Star revolution is actually marking a huge shift in our social norms, I don't think that we should gloss over the importance of adopting and engaging in feminine dialogues. Our brains are wired to pull from whatever information is closest to us, and when we begin positioning feminine dialogues at the forefront of our worlds, we begin integrating the feminine perspective into the collective consciousness.

On the same note, when we make a point to mock and shame those who engage in the dialogue of astrology, we reinforce the patriarchal philosophy that anything associated with femininity is juvenile, baseless, and naive. While I am not suggesting that we must wholeheartedly adopt every dialogue associated with femininity simply because it would help us to champion feminine voices, I am suggesting that we should all be more cognizant of the battles we are choosing. How warranted and important is your anger? Is it more legitimate than the otherwise innocent and jovial conversation that you are putting to a halt? Which voices are you silencing when you start to speak?

It is ingrained in our culture to hate on damn near anything associated with women. An eagerness to snap at feminine joy should concern us all. Why have we been conditioned to mock instances of feminine joy? Why haven't women been allowed the space to play and explore themselves? Opponents of astrology are failing to admit that our society has already established thousands of arbitrary and unscientific routines for getting to know one another. When we talk about ourselves, it is always subjective and always based in whichever dialogues we have had the most proximity to. Talking about ourselves will always be a bizarre, awkward, and non-linear task, and we should feel empowered to share ourselves through any route that can provide us the comfort, safety, and enthusiasm necessary to sharing ourselves authentically.

So why is astrology such a sensitive subject for some? Why is astrology-as-icebreaker fatal enough to warrant the emotional response it often garners? I suspect it has less to do with its scientific legitimacy and more to do with what astrology represents for some. Astrology is a historical signifier of feminine joy and power. In a patriarchal society, astrology is the perfect punching bag. For some, it does not matter what this dialogue is doing within our social order. It only matters that this dialogue continues to exist and disrupt the patriarchal empire.

So really — why take astrology so seriously? Your Mercury must be in Taurus or something. Astrology is hot! Astrology is cool! What is more important than sharing yourself with others and to have some fun doing it?

More from Trueself