Horoscopes: Fact or Fiction?

Have you ever heard the phrase “mercury is in retrograde?” Or maybe something along the lines of ,“We can’t be together, our signs aren’t compatible.”

These sayings fall under the topic of astrology: the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies and their relation to human affairs. Those who believe in it think it can affect the destinies of individuals and changes in the world. The concept of astrology can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia; at one point these ideas were often regarded as so complex that no human mind could completely grasp them. 

Astrology has become a popular topic among the public today. Magazines publish daily horoscopes, Snapchat displays its users’  birth charts and millions of websites are dedicated to show compatibility among star signs. But even with the recent enthusiasm concerning astrology, its reliability has been the subject of many debates. Is astrology factual or fiction? 

Scarozza’s sun sign, as shown by her Snapchat profile. (Stella Scarozza)

High schoolers throughout Baruch had a wide range of opinions regarding horoscopes and astrology as a whole.

“To me, astrology isn’t some shallow thing, I really care about it,” said Isabella Dudley-Flores, a self-proclaimed astrology enthusiast. Though she cares more about tarot — the practice of using illustrated cards to predict future events — she provided a lot of useful information about the topic.

Every person has twelve star signs, determined by the planetary alignment during their birth. The most important are the sun, moon and rising signs. Sun signs depict someone’s general character, moon signs focus on their emotions and rising signs are how you first appear to other people.  

Though some question the accuracy of these star signs.

“I don’t really think it defines someone as a person,” said junior Matthew Abril. “People grow up with different experiences and that helps them with character development… it’s more based on life experience rather than horoscopes.” 

To junior Stella Scarozza, astrology is more fun than fact.

“I don’t think that it actually matters. Part of what I think is that it’s fun to read what they say about you and if [the horoscopes] resonate with you you can use it to reflect on your negative qualities and maybe work on changing them,” she said. 

Junior Nico Smarro has similar thoughts to Scarozza.

“I think they are fun, but I would not fully rely on them to judge someone simply based on their horoscope. Like if I met someone who was a Pisces, I wouldn’t say ‘Oh I’m not going to be friends with them because they are a Pisces,’ it’s just a fun little thing to look into,” she said.

It seems the students of Baruch mostly view astrology as entertainment instead of informational. Although it was once regarded as an intricate foundation of the universe’s existence, a lot of people see it as a fun but unreliable way to understand others.