Lookout Below: Are horoscopes useful? - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Lookout Below: Are horoscopes useful?

Mallory Stiles

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Associate Editor

My horoscope today suggested that I try to remain calm because today just wasn’t going to be my day. To be honest, when I am sitting down after it has all been said and done, my horoscope had a point.

But was that chance? A coincidence? Or was it actually written in the stars that I would have a bad day?

Deciding how I really felt about the subject was tricky. While I firmly believe in things like signs and fate, horoscopes just always seemed a little out there.

Generationally speaking, I thought a lot of us younger folk have let it become a thing of the past, but apparently I was wrong. Research shows a good percentage of young people are still looking to astrology for what they should expect in their day-to-day lives and this is absolutely baffling to me.

I chatted with a friend at work. He’s a Libra, and he said he was on perfectly on the fence himself. He said it was right too often to be completely made up, but that he also thought maybe an algorithm of sorts could be responsible, giving me even more to ponder.  

By definition, a horoscope is a forecast of a person’s future, typically including a delineation of character and circumstances, based on the relative positions of the stars and planets at the time of that person’s birth.

People like Albert Einstein, Princess Diana and Angelina Jolie have made it known that they often relied on astrology for more than an occasional topic of conversation and were known to consult the stars while make life-altering decisions. Sources say that’s how Princess Diana decided to marry Prince Charles.

Almost 30 percent of Americans believe in astrology, according to a 2017 Pew Research Center poll. This begs us to ask one question: Why is there anyone at all who believes in this stuff when it has always been regarded as something of a pseudoscience?

Professionals tell us that in some cases it is a coping mechanism, a means of control or a way to escape the ambiguity of life. People don’t know who they are or where their place is in the world, so they look to the stars for an answer.

As a writer, I don’t feel it is my place to pick the beliefs of others or to say that someone is flat out wrong for anything that gives them a sense of direction in life. Maybe the alignment of the planets does play a role in the state of the universe. My worry is that the more we lean on things that aren’t rooted in reality accompanied by verifiable facts and figures, the more outlandish things will get.

It’s also dangerous because how do we know that my bad day wasn’t a self-fulfilling prophecy? How do we know that each time we read an expectation of the coming day, that we aren’t training our brain to expect those things?

Checking your horoscope isn’t the worst idea I have ever heard and shouldn’t be the world’s main concern, but it still is a subject that should be analyzed in an audit of modern human behavior.

“What are we doing?” is a question that should be asked constantly by every member of every society all the time if we hope to keep things on track.

My overall, now educated opinion? Star-gazing should be a thing and horoscopes should be read for entertainment, but don’t choose a significant other or a college or a place to live based off what someone who has never met you and knows nothing about you has to say. OK?



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