This year, I’ve joined the ranks of daily horoscope checking hopefuls, and grown accustom to logging onto shine.yahoo.com so that I can read the insightful blurb written by some all-knowing stranger. Apparently, my future can be foretold by one man’s interpretation of the positions of angles between planets and other astrological elements.
The truth is, I’m not a big believer in the whole horoscope phenomenon, yet for some reason I still find myself checking the Taurus page to discover what obstacles or surprises I may encounter in the near future. Like so many others, I find it amusing to compare my horoscope forecast to what actually happens throughout my day. But given the lack of proof that horoscopes hold any truth at all, why is it that so many are willing to keep buying into something so ambiguous?
A horoscope is actually a diagram that portrays the positions of the sun, moon, planets, and the angles they make during a specific event or point in time. The “astrologers” interpret these astrological elements, though interpretations often vary and also differ between traditions. For example, the Chinese horoscope is translated differently than that of the Mayans. They also have different signs, each representing a group of people who share similar personality traits. Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence to support the accuracy of horoscopes.
Each zodiac sign is assigned a list of common traits that can easily persuade one into thinking, “Oh yes, that sounds like me”, due to the fact that there is bound to be at least a few characteristics that they can identify with. But we are human. We all possess and share a variety of qualities. I may be a Taurus, but who’s to say I don’t share the same traits as a Capricorn?
Now, the average online horoscope includes insight into your love life and career, two aspects of life that many value most. When someone goes online to check their daily horoscope, they are not expecting a direct telling of their future, but rather they’re looking for all the possibilities the day may have to offer them. Many are in search of hope that life will get better, that there is something to look forward to. Part of the appeal also comes from the common desire to have more control over our futures, more guidance to help us in making everyday decisions. There are plenty of control freaks in this world, many of whom will do anything to get the odds of life in their favor.
The danger lies within those who whole-heartedly believe that horoscopes are usually correct in their predictions and advice. People who live their lives according to what these anonymous astrologers say, may miss out on the opportunities that come with risk. Online and magazine horoscopes are often made general on purpose so that the forecasts they provide may be applicable to as many people as possible. This way, more are willing to believe in the accuracy of horoscopes, and in turn, these publications and sites get more readers.
Horoscopes are so accessible that getting insight into your life is just a click away. What troubles me is that they can be so general to the point of being meaningless. And who is writing these predictions? How do we know that they aren’t completely made up by some random with a knack for fabrication? However, many still find horoscopes to be insightful, though it all depends on the interpretation of the reader. In the end, we are all entitled to create our own paths in life, decide our own fates. It is silly to let a system that is so indefinite dictate how we view ourselves and the situations we find ourselves in. Despite all these concerns, I will continue to read my horoscope not only because I find it entertaining, but also because that tiny glimmer of possibility is alluring.