Astrology: Capricorn, Pisces, Scorpio… daily, weekly and monthly horoscopes. You know the thing. It’s easy to confuse with astronomy which is more telescopes and rocket launches. While an astrologist might argue they are the same thing, an astronomer will vehemently refute this. There has always been a lot of doubt and scepticism about the validity of astrology. Can the stars really predict what you will do and the problems you will encounter this month? That is debatable. Perhaps an astronomer would say there is no scientific evidence, but an astrologer will point to endless anecdotal evidence.
Which side of the argument you fall on doesn’t change the huge resurgence in astrology of late. Why oh why could that be? Again, this may be one for the stars to tell us but there has certainly been a trend of religious belief declining and astrological belief inclining. There’s something deep down inside of us which seems to yearn for direction and certainty that isn’t to be found on earth, or at least from other human beings. True, many people go through life impervious to this desire; astronomers for one. Perhaps science itself can provide that need, however. The laws of science are unchanging, affect us all and can even be proven. Let’s not got too bogged down in the philosophy and psychology of it all, however.
What are the practical effects of this on my life? Ostensibly none: astrologers are yet to turn political and force everyone to download horoscopes and live according to their star sign. On the other hand, the signs are everywhere. Take a look at the high streets and you’ll start to notice more and more astronomy-related products. I was looking for some jewellery recently and I couldn’t help noticing the obsession with “Sun and Moons” (perhaps perpetuated by the TV series Game of Thrones), and every gemstone is displayed alongside its related star sign and the health, social and spiritual benefits they bring. I bought such a stone (garnet) recently, not because I really believe in astronomy or its power but because of the new norms it holds societally.
I didn’t realize at the time but thinking back I realized the connection my month and garnet had (supposedly) was a reason that others would recognize and I wouldn’t have to explain. If I’m being completely honest, I think I also let myself believe in its inter-galactic powers to rationalize my purchase further. Without all these astrological influences, I would probably have chosen a different ring however. “Oh no I can’t buy Aquamarine, that’s for March”, said a little, barely audible, but highly persuasive voice in my head.
It’s online too. Instead of looking for romantic gifts such as the traditional “year one: paper”, “year: two cotton”, “year three: leather”, people are looking to the stars to add authority and validation to their relationships. You can now get personalized star maps set to the exact time and place where you met. You can get the stars printed onto a phone case, as well as a framed map for your living room.
Apps are continually appearing out of the blue. There are numerous astrology apps such as Star Chart and SkyView which show you where your star sign are. You can also keep up to date with the movements of the stars, view their current position mapped onto your phone’s camera (even in the day time). Don’t mistake the surge of popularity in astronomy for pure scientific interest. The stars are making a comeback like never before and it’s our weird and wonderful beliefs and interpretations which are behind it. Whether you believe in it or not, astronomy is well and truly rooted in our age of technology, as well as inside our collective unconscious of society. The first rocket to the moon was “Apollo 11”, named after Greek and Roman god “Apollo”. Even in 1969, God was not at the forefront of our minds but the mythical “Apollo” stood in His place. It will be interesting to watch astrology and technology evolve hand in hand!