ASTROLOGY MYTHS, PT. 1
Hi! This will be a fun one! Astrology has been practiced worldwide for over 12,000 years. From Ancient times until the late Renaissance, Astrology was the domain of educated men and taught alongside medicine, astronomy, philosophy and languages. As spiritualism bloomed in the 19th century onward, women started to practice Astrology openly (things were a bit easier once witch-burning stopped trending).
As a result, in recent decades, astrology is the subject of so much vitriol because (as we see in every other industry) the interests of women/LGBTQ+ people are decried as 'silly' and 'crazy', while the interests of cis men are 'alpha' and 'healthy'. It is a fact - astrology cops so much hate in popular culture simply because it's a domain defined and enjoyed primarily by women and LGBTQ+ people. As a practice, it doesn't require sexual modesty, permission, money or physical strength to be valued or successful- and so accessibility is much higher for all people of diverse backgrounds. In direct opposition to, say, sport, where 'old boys clubs' have for centuries limited and defined access or even payment to diverse people. Because they can't dominate or control it (and there are MANY cis men in Astrology, it simply isn't built around them), it's easier to belittle or shame it, even in 'polite' conversation where it would be considered rude to tell someone that they're a dumb-dumb for following football or a moron for caring about the characters of a film.
Back when the Internet was only a small cesspit rather than a ceaseless hellfire, I used to try in vain to EXPLAIN Astrology to people. Using my many examples of times that it has literally, saved my life or predicted hundred of world events. When it has provided answers or solutions that no therapist or study could have. Using lived experiences, studies, reports, articles... what I realised (and I'm sure many of you are learning about the online world), is that the other people who were aggressively seeking me out to demand 'answers' weren't actually CONCERNED, they just didn't care. They didn't want education the same way that they'd listen to their mate explain NFL plays or the finer points of a hobby or the plot of Interstellar. It was a 'female thing' so by virtue, it was stupid/wrong/bad/dangerous. AHA! There's something so freeing about the realization that someone else is NEVER going to validate you and you're officially free to stop trying.
But I know, a lot of you - especially those exploring Astrology anew! - are often surprised by the barrage of vitriol this receives. It can be hard to enunciate with clarity why exactly you find value in Astrology, especially when someone is using it as a gaslighting tool to undermine your intelligence. So, let's break down some of those main myths into the misogynist crap that they are so that next time you're at a party and some 'intelligent' dudebro is trying to talk over your shit, you have your answers prepped. LONG LIVE THE ASTRO B*TCHES!
I'm gonna talk about the main myths of Astrology here so you can stop apologising for your love of all things cosmic.
1. ASTROLOGY MEANS YOU BELIEVE PLANETS CONTROL YOU.
Astrology isn't a BELIEF SYSTEM. It's a LANGUAGE, like mythology, music or poetry and can help us understand ourselves and our world in the same way. When Bob Dylan sang 'the times they are a-changin', did you ask him for an empirical study to prove it, including a peer-reviewed definition of exactly how long 'the times' were and what objectively-assessed changes actually took place in relation to a control group of unchanged times? Do you cry watching The Shawshank Redemption even though you've never been in prison? Or did you just understand what the messages were from these pieces, because you're not a complete bonehead?
ASTROLOGERS don't believe planets control you. They believe that the language of understanding cosmic movement, patterns of human behaviour and mythology can reflect our times, lives and understanding in a more cohesive way. Anecdotally, the best astrologers I know nearly all have backgrounds of academia, teaching, social work, psychology, emergency services, nursing/medicine and other fields of observing human behaviour & development. Given that astrology has only grown and strengthened (just like every other art form) rather than become obsolete (like even MEDICINE does every century), it must be telling people something correctly and beneficially, no?
2. ASTROLOGY ISN'T 'REAL'.
Do you think when you yell at a sporting match on TV, that the players can REALLY hear you and it's because of your advice that they get a touchdown? Do you think two boxers getting paid $3 million each REALLY are 'fighting' cause they hate each other? Why do you play fantasy football, videogames, music, movies, TV shows- is it because they help you to learn, grow, and enjoy your life? But hang on. They're not REAL. What about your bank account? Sure, you can look at a website and see some numbers, but is that money REALLY in piles of cash and coins in a box somewhere with your name on it until you actively MAKE it real by going to withdraw it? What about the stock market? The EXACT principles of the stock market are based on folks telling you what to do with your money based on what MIGHT happen in theory, and as we've seen multiple times in the last century, when it goes wrong, entire societies fall apart because their security was based on something that turned out to not be real.
Nothing on Earth is real until you make it real by acting on it. An egg isn't really food until you decide to eat it and you don't die. Astrology isn't 'real' until you apply it and your life improves immensely. I won't go into the depths of 'reality is a construct' ranting, but the absolute vitriol reserved for astrology being 'not real' is always so hilarious to me. Because it's always simply rooted in that good ol' sexist belief that reality is only what hypermasculinity decides it to be. Of course you know the offside rule better than the referee that's actually at the game, while you're just watching it in a sports bar after six beers, Todd! Of course you do. Of course, killing 400 zombies while dressed as a purple alien in a video game is a realistic adult activity and not silly or 'not real' at all.You know what's up!
ASTROLOGY is the humbling, logical acknowledgement that the entire rest of the universe may actually influence you, as a single person, because you're all made of the same stuff, just like the Moon does the Earth's tides.
3. ASTROLOGY INVITES JUDGEMENT. ('That's something a Pisces would say, you're such a Virgo')
All day every day, humans judge each other on micro-factors from their shoes to their voice to their eyebrows. More importantly, as humans, we constantly identify OURSELVES into totally arbitrary categories that reflect NOTHING about our life experiences or worth as a human being. Again, it's only offensive when these frames of reference don't centre patriarchal values and lingo, which astrology tends not to do as it's more inclusive.
Example: "I'm really Type A so I always work late." (ACCEPTABLE!) vs "I'm a Capricorn so I always feel responsible for finishing my team's work even when it means staying late". (NOT ACCEPTABLE!) "He's a SJW". "My Dad is very macho and my Mum is a Career Woman". "I'm an ENFJ". "Milennials these days". "Ok boomer". "She's a hippie". "Typical Republican". "I'm such a middle child". "I'm a military brat". "He drives a Prius". "She's a sneakerhead". "I'm a Crossfitter". "I'm Keto". ASTROLOGY invites self-reflection & self-responsibility, with the end goal being to fully love yourself, live in harmony with the environment and appreciate & support other people.
4. ASTROLOGY IS DANGEROUS.
DRINKING is dangerous. DRIVING A CAR is dangerous. HAVING SEX is dangerous. GAMBLING is dangerous. ASTROLOGY is not. Astrology, for the most part, is zero-cost, requires reading, taking responsibility for the improvement of one's circumstances, and self-betterment.
Going back to Myth #1. If someone ghosts you because 'you're a Gemini', you can safely assume it's an excuse. They're not brainwashed, they're just.. not into you. Instead of worrying about 'people getting brainwashed by astrology', worry about ya dad who's so brainwashed by toxic patriarchy, that he doesn't visit the doctor and is statistically likely to die of a preventable disease because of it. Worry about your friend who's so brainwashed by society that she's gone into debt trying to afford her lifestyle. Worry about your sister who's so brainwashed by advertising that she's getting butt injections to look like a Kardashian.
Don't worry about your pal checking in with her astrologer, cause you can be sure as shit that she's getting told things like "Hey - it's time to really focus on your career/ go to therapy about your Mom issues/ you've worked so hard on yourself, well done/ how can you have better communication with your partner/ here are some tools to help you" - and she'll be doing JUST FINE.