NO: Should you believe in horoscopes?

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NO: Should you believe in horoscopes?

Nikki Suzani, Features Editor

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“This is your day to be happy!” reads the daily horoscope website for my sign, Scorpio. It seems like harmless fun—just another way to connect with people around me and get some advice on my life (and love life). But in a world where, accord- ing to the National Science Foundation, more than 40% of Americans believe that astrology is a science, we need to con- front the negative implications of this pseudoscience. Because of the way it creates arbitrary judgements of people, setting them on dangerous paths of behavior, and the way it can hurt both physical and mental health when taken as a science we must realize the dangers of astrology.

First of all, astrology has become a form of categorization that assigns people certain qualities based solely on their birth date, an idea that is in and of itself upset- ting. It pushes this ideal that we are predestined to have certain characteristics—characteristics which we can never escape from. This is a flawed way of thinking and can actually hamper character development. After all, if I, a Scorpio, believed I was destined to be “distrust- ing” and “violent,” I’d never work on controlling my behavior or letting people in. I would believe the universe has already decided who I would be and avoid any level of self-improvement because I’m just “born with it.” It’s the same phenomenon that forces women away from engineering fields—as soon as we put ourselves in boxes as to what we’re “supposed to be,” we never push to break free of that box.

Further, when we believe too fiercely in astrology, we begin to judge people off of their signs, bolstering a toxic environment. Over the summer, I worked at a summer camp with two other girls. I remember how welcoming they were—we began to talk about our lives and there was this running joke that none of us had any flaws. Randomly, one day, we got to the subject of astrology signs and I told them I was a Scorpio. I still remember the clouded look over one girl’s eye, as if she was reassessing every interaction with me. “Oh, well you certainly have a flaw,” she laughed. I didn’t find it very funny. It hurts to realize that people will have preconceptions about your behavior, just based off of the day you’re born. That’s why, in my opinion, astrology signs do the opposite of connecting us: they make us more hostile towards one another. Everything from ensuring your crush is the “proper” sign to saying “oh your flaws are because you’re a ___” are all examples of negative bias that astrology cements in some people.

At the end of the day, journalists have to be skeptical. Reading through the horoscopes of each sign, I’ve begun to notice the repetition and the genericness of the advice. It isn’t “specific to your sign” but rather arbitrary ideas that are made to make you think you’re special, when they truly fit everyone. Astrology is fake and it’s not beneficial to believe in it, because it allows for judgement and unhealthy behavior. When you need advice for your day, please don’t go to horoscopes.com. Instead, call a friend, read a self-help book or do something productive that allows you to be open,