Right now, astrology is experiencing a resurgence. Embedded in memes, newspapers, online and print magazines, books, and culture, astrology is seeing a repopularization that hasn’t quite met these levels since the 70s or 80s. People—young people especially—are using astrology to get through the turmoil of modern life. But how?
Astrology is a tool, not a science or a religion. It is a tool that can be used for self-awareness, reflection, and empathy. Astrology places you in the present moment (in terms of the planets and the stars, this is where we are right now) but it will also give context about where you have been (this is where we were yesterday) and makes predictions based on patterns that can help you make decisions in the future (this is where we may be tomorrow).
It may seem daunting getting “into” astrology, or maybe you’re a skeptic who would rather dip a toe than do a full dive. And it’s hard knowing where to start when there’s a vast array of information in the New Age spirituality field in general: there’s the sun signs, moon signs, ascendant signs, natal charts, crystals, chakras, meditation, tarot cards and, for some reason juice cleanses. It’s all spiritual. Dipping a toe into astrology, however, is really more about the mindset you’re in as you begin your research. Try approaching it for self-awareness, reflection, and empathy.
When you’re reading your horoscope, think about whether or not the attributes it describes really are true to you. Back in 1982, there was a study that found that if you tell people a personality trait about themselves, they’ll perceive it as being true. Instead of nodding along to your daily horoscope, think about the nuances that make you you. Or, if the traits and events described really do fit your self image, think about ways that you can use this introspection to your advantage. If you’re a Sagittarius and you know you get wanderlust really easily, book a trip in the upcoming year. If you’re an analytical Virgo and you agree that you have a legitimate OCD for organization, buy that day planner and start scheduling your days for the rest of the year. The world’s your oyster, sun child.
You can also use astrology to look back on the past and consider what you’ve learned from it, and how you can implement change to make things better in the future. If you previously experienced a difficult mercury retrograde, be sure to set up some extra support for yourself before the next one comes around. Whether or not the theories of astrology ring true to you, you can make positive change using astrology as a vehicle for reflection.
Often people will check their own horoscopes and skip past all the others. But there are advantages in reading the signs of your loved ones, friends, or co-workers as well. Checking in on your best friend when their sign’s forecast is in the weeds is an excellent support system. Using horoscopes as a community-builder is an easy way to ensure you’re living your life empathetically, and in a way that considers the needs of others along with your own.
Ultimately, astronomy won’t tell you all the answers. Nothing in life will. But you can use astrology in a smart way that could have a great impact on your life in your pursuit of self-care and self-love. And, if you’re reading this because you were hoping astronomy would give you a sign that you should break up with your deadbeat boyfriend, look no further. This is it.