Whether you’re a Sagittarius with a Leo moon and Virgo sun or you don’t know what any of those terms mean, you can’t deny that astrology has become increasingly popular over the past few years. If your experiences with an obnoxious hippie friend or a bad Tinder date have made you think the notion that your personality can be determined by the stars and their patterns is completely false, that’s valid; but, you might not be as correct as you’d think.
Astrology, in essence, is the forecasting of events through the observation and interpretation of the fixed stars, the sun, the moon and the planets. It’s been around since Mesopotamia and Babylon have existed, mainly being used to predict the outcomes of future events such as wars, births, deaths and more. Astrology became especially popular among the Greeks and Romans. At first, it was regarded with skepticism by philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, who had already considered the sky to be significant. After Alexander the Great’s rule began during the Hellenistic Period, it became increasingly popular throughout the Greek world. The philosophy of Stoicism was also invented around this time due to astrology’s significance. Stoics believed in the concept of fate, and that stars told the future via “cosmetic sympathy”.
As time went on, the Greeks were able to form a mathematical basis that borrowed from science as well. The Romans, on the other hand, were superstitious, and therefore clung to astrology. Often, prominent Romans relied on astrologers for advice on almost anything, with some leaders using astrology to justify their rule. It died out during the Dark Ages, where astrology was widely forbidden.
Nowadays, astrology’s not used quite as religiously. Horoscopes are resources that many people look to as guides for their week and answers to their problems, and some go as far as to wait to conceive so their child will be born under a certain sign. For a majority of people (mostly Westerners), though, it’s disregarded in favor of science because it’s widely considered to be opposed to modern Western science’s findings and theories.
All things considered, it’s not entirely fair to rule something out because it can’t be fully proved by science. As humans, we haven’t gotten to the point where everything in the universe can be fully explained and investigated. Science doesn’t make moral or aesthetic judgements, it can’t draw conclusions about the supernatural, and so much more. As someone who has studied the classics in past years, I would consider the Romans and Greeks to be among some of the smartest people. They gave us math, science, the alphabet, religion, medicine, philosophy, and democracy, to name a few. So to some, the Romans and Greeks can be considered valid sources.
Maybe there is some science behind it, maybe not. Maybe the Romans and Greeks were geniuses, maybe they knew nothing. We can’t know for sure, but we shouldn’t make fun of those who believe in it thoroughly, or even those who just read a horoscope. It’s a fun outlet; why ruin it when we can’t prove astrology’s invalidity?
So the next time someone asks you your sign or doesn’t want to date you because of it, they might be pretentious, but don’t blame it on astrology itself.
Liz Collins is a contributor to The Daily Campus opinion section. She can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org.