So What’s Your Sign?

So What’s Your Sign?

By: Layomi Akinnifesi

Let’s face it; it is pretty hard to open Instagram without clicking through an Insta story with a meme personalized to a friend’s astrological sign. At this point, I’m sure we’ve seen it all: the lists of dos and don’ts for each sign, the introspective explanations, and the jokes about how the chill ones are the Libras, how Geminis are the party animals, and how you do not want to mess with Scorpios. 

We are growing into an era where identity is not just a definition of self but additionally, how others view one. If a person has more friends, they feel accomplished. If someone studies at an Ivy League school, they feel a sense of prestige. So on and so forth. In this context, horoscopes are believed to give people a sense of belonging and a sense of self, making sense in life’s madness. After all, there is comfort in reading descriptions of character traits and relating to them so personally that it feels as though your astrological sign read your mind and knew your entire life.

It’s becoming more of a norm now. There is a fast-growing amount of people that fervently believe in horoscopes. This tends to leave our generation on a slippery slope. When we rely on stars and moons to determine our mood, we can sometimes run into a situation of giving excuses for our less favorable traits. This ultimately leads to not being accountable for one’s actions. For example, an Aries may say that since they are impulsive by nature, then cheating shouldn’t be a surprise.

So how did horoscopes become so popular? Horoscopes date back to about 3,000 years ago when the Babylonians created 12 signs to observe important events during their 12-month calendar. We must remember that horoscopes aren’t purely scientific. The line between science and mysticism is quite blurred. Horoscopes are defined in the scientific world as Pseudoscience, which means “science with a mix of exaggerated or contradictory claims.” In Pseudoscience, there is a heavy reliance on confirmation bias, and that’s how these horoscopes get you. 

Alright, at this point, you’re asking yourself, what about all you’ve read on your sign that sounds like the carbon copy of you? Science explains it. The reason why it is so believable is that your brain naturally looks for patterns. We like making sense of things as humans. Even if there are two unrelated events, your brain almost tricks you into making the events seem connected. But there is hope. Science also explains that the way each of us processes looking for patterns and events is unique to our personalities. 

If you genuinely are interested in finding out more about yourself and your identity, you can take personality tests supported by research. There are two main known ones: Big Five Personality Traits and the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator. Both have a series of questions to assess how you make decisions and perceive the world around you. Maybe you want to know how you deal with conflicts or handle your relationships, career path, and goals. Sixteen personalities is a great website to use. All you have to do is answer questions (as honestly as you can), and it uses the data from your responses to map out your personality on the spectrum. This is a lot more reliable and practical than horoscopes because it can give you valuable tips to better yourself in areas you didn’t even know you needed to improve. 

The main point is to try to make sure you don’t let a 3,000year-old belief tell you who you are as a person. The stars and the moon shouldn’t be the reason you act/think in a certain way. Rather than let an astrological sign “figure out” that you have a quick temper or bad at communication, use the people around you to better know yourself. Check yourself consistently to avoid recycling bad habits. Trust your instincts and take mental notes of your actions. 

Remember, no one will know you more than you know yourself! 

Resources: 16 personalities