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Do you remember where you were before you learned how to be in tune with the cosmos? Someone asks what your astrological sign is and you meet them with a blank look before they drag you by the arm and make you dig through boxes for your birth certificate. Suddenly they are throwing around phrases like a Harry Potter character and telling you your sun sign is a Capriottis or something? They also know every single aspect of your personality with startling accuracy. It’s all very scary and confusing.
I find, for every person I meet who knows about horoscopes and astrology, there is another clueless significant other who has no idea what their partner is talking about. Sometimes, they’ll even belittle it without really understanding it. At one point, I was the clueless boyfriend, and so I’ll outline the basics I’ve learned and maybe help a few people clueless about the stars.
You have a zodiac sign. It is representative of how the stars in the sky were aligned when you were born. Your zodiac sign will tell you about yourself, and can be used to make predictions through things called horoscopes. The sign you should definitely learn is your sun sign, which is based on what month you were born in. It is sort of like the “starter sign,” and when people ask what sign you are this is probably what they want to know. Your sun sign will tell you about yourself and cover basic traits. If you dive deeper into your birth chart, each person has a moon sign and a sign for each of the planets, and they’ll tell you different things about your person.
The point of astrology, I find, is to reflect on who we are. It’s not always perfectly accurate, but seeing how our star charts align with what we think of ourselves is a good exercise in self-analysis. It also makes for good conversation, and provides an easy way to talk about ourselves to others, explaining how we do and don’t conform to our signs. Too often it is dismissed as bogus due to its tendency to be at odds with science. However, I feel like purity-testing astrology against the scientific method misses the point. It’s not a weather forecast; it’s a tool for looking into yourself. So when your girlfriend or whoever else starts talking about their sign, try thinking about what they are saying about themselves and what they are trying to find out about you—and appreciate it.
Vincent Rendon can be reached at Vrendon@sagebrush.unr.edu or on Twitter @VinceSagebrush.