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Let me preface this by saying that I am no astrology expert; my knowledge is incredibly limited, I often refer to sun signs because they are simple and I find the zodiac to be somewhat enlightening but largely entertaining. We’ve all heard the cheesy, usually ineffective pick up line of “What’s Your Zodiac Sign?” dropped in instances of casual flirting. By the time I was of dating age, that conversation opener was used primarily by women as a screening question for potential mates.
For those who don’t know, astrology is the study of how cosmic forces directly impact human life, here on Earth. While it is not a “scientific” science, and is often rejected by the science community for lacking tangible proof, astrology is a very trendy and relevant phenomenon. While astrology was instrumental in influencing all areas of life and academia in ancient civilizations, it had a popular resurgence in the New Age era of the 1960s and 1970s, and has remained a mainstream interpretation of human nature ever since.
I can honestly say that I never cared about astrology or zodiac signs until I heard the Beyoncé song “Signs” off her debut album Dangerously In Love when I was a teenager. It was then that I became increasingly interested in how I personally reflected traits assigned to my sun sign and whom I would attract because of that. My fascination with the zodiac grew and I found myself anticipating the monthly delivery of my mother’s Essence subscription, just so I could read the Zodiac predictions in the back. I was, of course, elated when the designated month for my sign came around.
As I got older, I would have conversations with girlfriends where we would discuss how our sun and moon signs affected our relationships with men and our friendships with one another; by this time, the zodiac had entered almost every facet of my life. Things we said or did could be explained away with the simple realization of, “Oh he/she’s a [insert your zodiac sun sign here]. No wonder they’re so [insert characteristic of your sun sign here]. And while these assumptions are sometimes true, they are not always fair.
I went on a date with a guy who refused to tell me his birthday. He did not buy into the idea of astrology and didn’t want my preconceived thoughts about the Zodiac to impact my thoughts of him and of our potential relationship. He eventually revealed his birthday to me and once things didn’t work out, I had my list of reasons why, attributed to the results of our signs’ compatibility.
Astrology, whether you choose to believe in it or not, has the potential to affect all of our interpersonal relationships. Consciously and subconsciously, I have felt prematurely drawn to people or put off by them due to outside influences and my interactions with people of different signs.
Can astrology be a scapegoat? Sure. Are we pre-destined to fall into these set characteristics, behaviors and habits, based on how the stars aligned when we took our first breaths? Maybe. I’m still not completely sure what I believe but for now, the idea of zodiac signs being a part of our identities is fun to think about.
Precious J. is a 20-something, aspiring culture writer and music enthusiast located in DC. For more on her contemplations about blackness, culture and music, email her at: Precious@ForHarriet.com