Was it truly in the stars?

An analysis on society’s obsession with zodiac signs


Taken from a poll on the OakParkTalon instagram story

Sorry to break it to you, but your breakfast today was not determined by the fallacy of free will. Grabbed some pancakes instead of granola? The heavens above made that decision. Drowned said pancakes in way too much syrup? Why … that was scrawled within the stars. As seemingly every teenager knows, we don’t truly govern our decisions on our own breakfasts or even our own lives — our zodiac signs do.

Zodiac signs are constellations that cross through the ecliptic, or the sun’s apparent path in the sky. There are 12 in total — Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. Your sign depends on where the sun was in the sky when you were born. However, these labels are more than just a birthday sticker — astrologists claim that your zodiac sign dictates your entire personality.

Each sign is designated certain characteristics that are supposed to reflect their nature. Aries are considered competitive and eager, Tauruses creative and dependable. Strong believers of this system resonate with the traits of their signs and some allow these traits to become a core aspect of their identity.

Similar to Hogwarts houses, the categorization of zodiac signs can be both entertaining and rewarding. Although society praises individuality, oftentimes I think humans just want to belong to something. Your zodiac sign can fulfill that. It becomes your team — a group with like-minded people who share similar dispositions. For those experiencing isolation, zodiac signs appear like the perfect remedy.

Teenagers, especially, may be drawn to such a community. Research from a Cigna study reported that members of Generation Z are lonelier than any other age group in the United States. Zodiac signs work oppositely of this trend, promoting a place of acceptance and empathy instead. 

However, for all the good that zodiac signs do, I believe they have severe consequences when taken too seriously.

Recently, I was watching a Youtube video where strangers tried to guess each other’s signs. I went in thinking that it would be fun and light-hearted. I was severely mistaken.

“Yeah, you’re an Aquarius. I had a friend who was very suffocating, and Aquarius is [their] air sign. I couldn’t breathe,” one woman said.

Throughout the video, this same woman continued to make assumptions about others based on her past friends, convinced they were terrible purely because of their possible sign. Furthermore, she asserted she did not associate with some people at all just because they were born at a certain time of year.

Although I understand that this woman does not make up the majority of believers, it still concerns me that there may be more who feel this way. Zodiac signs should be utilized for amusement, not to belittle others for something they can’t control. This, I believe, is the crux of this faulted system — and the fact that so few acknowledge its discrimination and potential harm is troublesome.

However, there’s a simple answer to this issue: don’t let your obsessions rule your life. Whether you believe in zodiac signs or not, we all have things we take too seriously.

Perhaps your predetermined fate chose pancakes. Just don’t let it choose your life too.