Horoscopes: Finding Truth in the Stars

Example of a natal birth chart.

Image attributed to Morn, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Example of a natal birth chart.

Since the first civilizations, humans have been looking to the sky for explanations about life and their place in the universe. One of the oldest and most renowned explanations is the study of astrology, which has roots reaching as far back as the Babylonian empire. The study of astrology is certainly well established within our culture, but that hasn’t stopped the constant debate regarding its accuracy. Can astrology really predict someone’s personality? Their future? Or is it simply the parlor trick of smoke and mirrors some make it out to be?

First, it’s important to establish a better understanding of astrology and its complexities. English teacher and SWR’s resident astrology specialist, Ms. Jennifer Nazer (a Sagittarius) was able to provide key insight.

Ms. Nazer’s astrology journey ironically began in disbelief, yet today she has almost 16 years of experience through practice with an astrology teacher.

One of the first things Ms. Nazer established was the importance of practicing astrology in order to fully understand it.

“I needed someone to help me understand this because it was complicated,” said Ms. Nazer.

Part of the confusion surrounding astrology is due largely to the more mainstream version with which most people are familiar. Many predictions can be misinterpreted or misrepresented by people who don’t have a real grasp on the information.

“Popular astrology has very little, if any, meaning,” said Ms. Nazer.

Furthermore, Ms. Nazer made it very clear that modern astrology has steered away from making specific predictions.

“Modern astrology does not believe in fated event. If we were walking around and I had no hope of improving my life, why am I here?” said Ms. Nazer.

The astrology Ms. Nazer studies can be described more accurately as a guide to help you through the path your life takes, not a map marked by fates decided the day you were born.

Although astrology has shown to be quite important to people like Ms. Nazer, there are those who are, understandably, opposed to the idea that astrology can make any sort of prediction.

“To quickly dismiss anything in life without doing the research is not logical.”

—Ms. Jennifer Nazer

Students like senior James Melanson (a Gemini) are quick to cast doubt on the study of astrological charts.

“I think people think they’re accurate, but they make very broad statements that are applicable to just about anyone,” said Melanson. “They want it to work, they want it to be right.”

The criticism of “broad statements” is very common when debating astrology. If you give someone a vague reading, it’s reasonable to assume that they are simply changing their view of themselves to fit that generalization.

Still, there are students who are more open to the possibility that astrological predictions could have some significance in their life.

Junior Taylor Franson (an Aries) feels more receptive to the predictions zodiac signs can make, but certainly has her reservations.

“I think they’re more accurate with personalities, but I feel like if you told me I was any zodiac sign I would agree with it,” said Franson.

Once again, people’s doubts seem to lie in the vagueness of astrology, the parts of it that are more or less up for interpretation. Though, astrology still holds a strong allure over many people.

“I definitely do check it every morning,” Franson said. “I’m kind of a superstitious person in that sense.”

Despite the reluctance the average person seems to have towards astrology, it’s fascinating to see the curiosity that exists alongside the doubt.

One thing is certain, astrology will always be criticized and doubted, but it’s cultural significance is strongly rooted in our society.

Ms. Nazer ended on one very important point regarding those who dismiss astrology as completely false.

“If you are in a skeptic frame of mind, it’s not your path,” said Ms. Nazer.

People will always be searching for their place in the world, and whether or not astrology helps you reach that goal ultimately doesn’t matter, as long as you get there.

But who knows? Maybe one day you’ll look up at the stars and your path will unfold itself before you.