Oct 23rd, 2019, 03:14 PM

What's Your Sign?

By Jessica Cruz
Photo by Anastasia Dulgier on Unsplash
Photo by Anastasia Dulgier on Unsplash
Astrology has been around for thousands of year, now it's one of todays biggest trends.

“Do you have a Co-Star?” seems to be the phrase I have been hearing most this semester. I have always had a large interest in astrology and the multi-layered ideas that play into it. But for some reason, this semester on campus as I meet new students, I am greeted again and again by that same question. 

Co-Star is a horoscope app that lets its users put in their birth information which in turn is calculated and displayed to show the natal chart, all the planets, and their suns and so on, all specific to the individual. 

I didn’t realize it but Astrology was suddenly becoming cool again. Usually, when I were to ask people about their signs and planets, I received perplexed facial expressions and a shoulder shrug. But particularly this semester there is a popular movement lingering. Astrology is becoming a trend, with its own lingo infiltrating social media and conversations, contemporary magazines have astrology columns, twitter accounts being solely dedicated to light-hearted or serious astrology, and now an abundance of apps on our phones help us interact more with astrology. 

Astrology is the pseudo-science of understanding the effect of the moon, sun, and stars on human existence. Early studies of astrology can be linked all the way back to Mesopotamia around 3000 BC. During this period people recognized the constellation patterns and paired it with their understandings of divine gods. The Babylonians within the Mesopotamia recognized the sun and planets formed a patterned passage through time. They selected 12 constellations to represent the different time segments, which we know as a year. Each of these segments was given an animal to represent that particular planet passage. The Greeks later gave a term to the animal segments which they called zodiakos kyklos, which is how we have the term “Zodiac” today. The word “planet” is also Greek for “wanderers.”

Greek Zodaic Calendar. Image Credit:  Josh Rangel/Unsplash

Today astrologers continue to use this 12 star system to align the sun, moon, and planets to an individual. It is believed that wherever the planets and sun are placed relative to the 12 constellations when you are born, then that is your sun sign.  

 

Here's a list of the 12 sun signs and their correlating dates, so you can find yours! 

 

Aquarius: January 21- February 18

Pisces: February 19- March 20

Aries: March 21- April 20 

Taurus: April 21- May 21

Gemini: May 22- June 21

Virgo: June 22- July 22

Leo: July 23- August 23 

Libra: September 23- October 23

Scorpio: October 24- November 22 

Sagittarius: November 23- December 21

Capricorn: December 22- January 20

Zodiac Palm Reading Parlor. Image Credit :Pixel Parker/Unsplash

Over the past couple of years astrology has gained a new name for itself especially for younger adults and Generation Z. Astrology can be seen and used as a type of excuse or justification, like when something bad happens or someone is in a bad mood, it can be excused because mercury is in “retrograde.” Or if you meet someone and they are rude, someone may justify the behavior by saying “oh they’re just a Scorpio.” 

But also outside of these misconceptions, people are gaining a deeper understanding of Astrology. There has been a shift in the perception of the pseudo-science, from when it used to just be a hoax and no one really knew a lot about it. More than ever before, Americans today are becoming less religious and more spiritual. So as younger generations stray away from organized religion and move towards spirituality, astrology fits.  

 

Pew Research Center Graph/ Image Credit: Isala Gray (data gathered from the Pew Research Center)
 

Astrology is unique in the sense that it can be used as a microscope to oneself but also used to connect with others on similarities or differences through their natal charts. 

Especially today in such a media driven world where there is so much uncertainty, younger people especially, are looking elsewhere for more information and understandings. In regards to astrology, many social media users are being drawn to larger communities that share a sign with them. Just even knowing your sun sign can be beneficial to get a glimpse into how your behavior and others work with the sky. 

But it doesn’t stop there. In astrology, there are so many more layers to the human and their relationship with space. Everyone has three main signs assigned to them at birth; their Sun sign,  Moon sign, and their Rising/Ascendant sign. When people ask me what this means I have them picture a house. 

Sun Sign

When you're first walking up to a house, you see the front door. That is the sun sign. It's what you show people when you are passing them on the street or when you’re first meeting them. 

Rising Sign

Next, picture the houses' first room that you’ll walk into, like the living room or mudroom. Now you're getting a glimpse of what the rest of the house could be like. That's the Ascendant/Rising sign. This is when your starting to get to know someone new and you're learning new smaller things about them. 

Moon Sign

Now walk to the back of the house, imagine the bedroom and other intimate parts of the house. That's the Moon sign. The moon sign is the emotions of that person, it’s their behavior and thinking when they're alone. It takes a while to get there, but when you do, you'll have a much deeper understanding. 

Galaxy. Image Credit: Alexander Andrews/Unsplash



This is just the tip of the iceberg to understanding the full scope of your astrology. There are things like your houses, the planets, and their functions, your MidHeaven and so much more. So if you’re more interested in learning about the signs in regards to yourself, there are a multitude of options to take advantage of to get a deeper understanding. Some favorite apps are Co-Star and TimePassages. Both apps offer a social aspect where you can connect and add friends to understand your compatibility. 

Astrology has been around for thousands of years. Even though it’s never sat well with scientists, the concept still finds itself integrated into human understanding. It’s not overzealous to assume people want to construct their own narratives about themselves and outline their actions as a part of a bigger plan. Especially today when there is so much outside noise creating conflict for the individual. Ruby Warrington, author of the 2017 guidebook Material Girl, Mystical World notes, “I think that almost as a counterbalance to the fact that we live in such a quantifiable and meticulously organized time, there is a desire to connect to and tap into that numinous [supernatural and mysterious] part of ourselves.” 

And she’s right. Today people are turning to astrology as it has grown to become such a cultural phenomenon. It has become more approachable, where it can be incorporated into the lingo and lives of people who may not even know much about it.

So, what’s your sign?