January 13th, 2011

golden gate bridge

Written in the stars

I don't believe in astrology, particularly, any more or less than I believe in any other sort of divination or mysticism. But I do find it kind of fascinating that, in all the hubbub over the story that's making the rounds about the supposed new dates of the zodiac that's been making the rounds, not one person I know has said that they think the new sign suits them better. The reaction is almost always the same: "This is ridiculous. No way am I a [insert astrological sign here]." And that seems to be the case whether the individual takes astrology seriously or not.

I include myself in this, of course; despite not "believing" in astrology, I've always found the concept fascinating (much as I do Myers-Briggs and other personality typing systems, whether based on tests or accidents of birth). I've seen my birth chart and read up a bit, and I do see aspects of myself in Pisces in a way I don't for Aquarius, or any other sign. Because of this, not to mention years of habit, "Pisces" has become a part of my identity. Not a particularly important part, mind you, no more or less important that my Chinese astrological sign is the Ox. But it still makes me wonder why this particular way of thinking about ourselves, our personalities, and the way we relate to others has taken such hold in American society.

As it turns out, no one's astrological sign has actually changed after all. This blog post explains why the shifting locations of constellations doesn't matter to the practice of astrology. So never fear: we haven't all undergone a re-alignment of identity after all. But it's still made for an interest test exercise.

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