Astrology has been practiced for thousands of years across many cultures. While mainstream science does not recognize astrology as having a factual basis, many people still find meaning in zodiac signs and horoscopes.
What explains astrology’s continued appeal even in our modern, rational age?
Here are some potential reasons:
Connecting to Ancient Traditions
Astrology connects people to ancient wisdom and traditions passed down over millennia. When someone reads their horoscope, they are tapping into astrological systems developed long ago, such as in Hellenistic Egypt. This can provide a sense of connection to history and the mystery of the cosmos.
Finding Patterns and Meaning
Looking for patterns is part of human nature. Astrology provides a framework for finding meaning in the chaos of life. Even if the patterns are imaginary, reading horoscopes can offer reassurance that one’s life has purpose within a larger order.
Reflecting on Self-Growth
Astrological readings encourage self-reflection on one’s goals, relationships, and personal growth. Periodic check-ins via horoscopes can provide motivation to keep developing as a person. The process of reading and interpreting a horoscope makes people examine their lives more consciously.
Feeling Part of a Community
Sharing and discussing astrological readings helps people bond over common experiences and personality traits. Those who identify with their zodiac sign feel connected to others with the same sign worldwide. Astrology provides social cohesion much like sports fandoms or other group identities.
Experiencing Aesthetic Enjoyment
Astrology appeals to the imagination with its cosmic motifs and intricate systems mapping the mysteries of time and space. People enjoy the aesthetics of zodiac symbols and tarot cards much like they enjoy art, mythology, and poetry. Astrology’s visual and creative elements make it fun and intellectually stimulating.
Gaining Emotional Comfort
Reading one’s horoscope can provide a sense of comfort, direction, and emotional support. While the daily horoscope advice should not be taken literally, it can still start meaningful introspection. At its best, astrology gives people perspective on their problems and hope for their future.
So while astrology may not be based in scientific fact, it continues to offer psychological and social benefits for many. As long as people think critically and do not take astrological readings as unquestionable truth, engaging with astrology can be an enjoyable and thoughtful part of life. What matters most is that people find their own sense of purpose and meaning in the universe.
Thagard, Paul R. 1978. “Why Astrology is a Pseudoscience.” PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, pp. 223-234.
Mayo, John D., Yuri I. Nesteruk, and Emily A. Evans. 2021. “Astrology and Modernity.” Correlation, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 53-72.
Hi there, I’m Mallory Miller, a proud Florida woman living and loving life in the Sunshine State with my husband of 50 years, Mike. I spent my career in journalism and public relations, uncovering stories and promoting causes close to my heart. Now, I’ve redirected my energy towards our joint venture: a website where we share our candid experiences and insights on the triumphs and challenges of senior living.
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