Birthday Deductions: What’s the Hype with Zodiac Signs?
“When’s your birthday?” If you are a part of today’s youth, you already know what’s coming next: “Oh, you’re a Virgo!?” For some, this may be off-putting, others are thrilled by the subject’s mention and are eager to contribute their own thoughts. No matter your opinion, there’s some tell-all reasons why zodiac signs are such a hot topic.
For one, their exact origin is unknown but there is evidence of the early astrology realm in ancient Chinese, Babylonian, Sumarian, and Egyptian cultures. Ultimately, the Greeks set the dates and names we know today. They were largely influenced by the Babylonians who had already gathered there were twelve signs, naming them what many now regard as their alternative titles (i.e. The Great Twins = Gemini). Ptolemy, Egyptian astronomer from 2nd century CE, considerably influenced the concept of astrology as an interest of popular culture with his book, Tetrabiblos. To put it simply, despite its current context, zodiac signs are certainly no new invention.
Obsession with Astrology
If astrology is ancient, why does society’s, specifically young people’s, obsession seem to have come out of the blue? Though it may appear that way, technological and religious shifts can provide clarity. Christianity, in particular, has seen a great decline in the west during the 20th century. The younger the generation, the less likely they are to be Christian, especially not in a traditional sense. As most know, their practices were once the basis for the way society functioned. Being no coincidence, zodiac signs are denounced by the faith, deeming its relation to one’s personality and future as blasphemous to God’s will. In another area, information about the matter was not as easily accessible.
Television allowed for shows like Walter Mercado’s, an iconic Latino astrologer, and 12 corazones, a game show based on contestant’s signs. Noting these accredited to the hispanic world, astrology has had its fair share of modern media exposure. Its biggest platform: today’s various social media networks and search engines. Both advancements have revolutionized the user’s researching ability. Today’s youth creates and consumes most of the content everyday. It only takes one expert to educate the masses. Becoming curious about one zodiac sign connoisseur’s content usually leads one down a rabbit hole of material. Suddenly, there are thousands well-versed in the field and many more with budding or significant fascination.
What really makes it so interesting?
A common human inclination is to better understand oneself and others. Astrology can undeniably satisfy that need. With an in-depth analysis of each sign’s traits, relationships, and behaviors in general, individuals can do some introspection or gain loose insight on their peers. I must say loose since there is no solid proof these conclusions are correct (other than first-hand experiences). It can also serve as a more nonchalant way to reveal some information about oneself in two ways: claiming aspects of your sign’s profile or countering them. Nonetheless, the zodiac world is quite vast, a majority of people are surprised to discover.
Beyond sun signs, there is an entire chart of signs for each planet based on one’s birth time. Casual participants know their big three: sun, moon, and rising. The sun represents your central nature and constant traits, the moon rules your emotions, and your rising explains people’s first impressions of you. Meanwhile, professionals in the department can deliver an entire run-down of what each placement means, including houses which represent the key parts of life. Personality tests and Harry Potter houses are hardly different in what they fulfill for the candidate: belonging.
Bring others together
Positively, it can have the capability to bring people together. Those with the same sign, or compatible signs, are able to find an immediate common ground. With one’s birthday being a fairly impersonal question, even strangers have the opportunity to feel connected with one another. Innocent debates on who is the best/worst sign are always active on social media and open to anyone. Each user has a distinct opinion and some feel inclined to put their two cents in. This kind of friendly dialogue is social interaction that may not have occurred in the absence of astrology.
Particularly, the queer community has quite the presence in the realm. Having previous experience with in-depth self-exploration, it is something LGBTQ+ individuals are well-versed in. As previously mentioned, astrology encourages this, explaining this group’s tendency to participate. Some may even argue that they are more likely to be alternative and thus, unbothered by society’s judgments on the topic. Marginalized groups typically feel empowered by playing lead roles in unique domains like this one. In a sense, it has become a part of the culture and that is monumental.
Counter arguments must also be acknowledged as they provide further context. The most popular complaint is that zodiac enthusiasts allow it to influence every respect of their lives. They have the reputation of attributing every behavior to their own/others’ signs. Viral tik toks have even poked fun at how astrology has somehow made its way into their therapy sessions. These users are shocked to find their behaviors have roots in areas far from their big three. It is important to understand that just like any other topic, everyone has different opinions. The stars will align (pun intended) if we all focus on staying open-minded, and that means on both ends. Undoubtedly, only this matter’s methods of capturing society’s attention and the information available have and will continue to grow and change. All things considered, astrology has never been a fad.