Sunday, August 10, 2014

Why I no longer believe in astrology

When I was younger I would read about the twelve zodiac signs with great interest. I identified strongly as a Scorpio, but sometimes wished I had been born an Aquarius. However, I had Aquarius as my moon sign, which, I reasoned, was why I was so influenced by its energy. But why was it that I liked Leos so much? Weren't we supposed to be extremely incompatible?

In the end I realised that I was using these archetypes to put people in boxes, and the less I thought of people in terms of fixed personality types, the more free I was to appreciate them. I had been trying to make people less complex in our overly complex world. Once I realised this I started resisting the temptation to do natal chart for every new person in my life, and suddenly found a lot more opportunities to relate to people who would have previously been seen as 'difficult to deal with'.

Even though I never claimed to have an absolute belief in astrology, I found that its lens was a limitation I could safely do without. It turns out that I can deal with a much more complex reality than I gave myself credit for. When I stopped categorising people I gave them more freedom to move, and this resulted in improved relationships.

There are people in my life who continue to believe in astrology, and I respect their intelligence and even the kind of spiritual awareness that can lead to an interest in it, but I know that I'm happy with the new and improved me, and there's no way I'm going back.

My closest friend right now is a Leo, but I didn't even ask her about her star sign until fairly late in the relationship. And although there was a tiny part of me that was tempted to say 'Ah, I've always been drawn to Leos', I decided to leave it behind. I wasn't friends with an archetype. I was friends with a person. Where I would have once seen it as slightly problematic that she was a Leo, now I focus on the ways that the communicate effectively and help each other navigate the urban jungle of Sydney. There isn't a cosmic barrier to frown over anymore. Astrology is a social construct - a fascinating one with the potential for lots of complexity, but a social construct nevertheless. 

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