Astrology – reality or ridiculous?

Many people have asked me why I believe in astrology.  The concept of astrology has always made sense to me.  Most people accept the fact that the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun affects the ocean’s tides—or, more accurately, the rise and fall of the ocean.  Why wouldn’t the same gravitational forces and those of the planets affect the development of the brains, and therefore the personalities, of human beings who spend the first nine months of their lives in water?  Why wouldn’t it affect the behavior of people since the human body is made up of more than 60% water?  I’m not saying that astrology itself will reveal the entire personality of a person.  Everyone is affected by external forces such as upbringing and life experiences.  However, I’ve come to believe that astrology can often explain why people who are born under different signs, even those raised together, react differently to such external forces and how they are inclined to deal with these forces and their individual problems. 

Take my older sister, for example, who is a Sagittarius.  We grew up in the same household; we even hung out together while she was in middle school and high school.  She has those Sagittarius traits of being too trusting, or gullible if you want to refer to it that way, is a bit clumsy, has a tendency to say things the wrong way, and gets physically ill when her environment is emotionally gloomy or pessimistic.  I am Scorpio, and it drives me crazy when she trusts or believes in people that I know (and have told her) can’t be trusted or believed and when she allows the gloominess of others to stress her out.  It frustrates me when, even after discovering that she shouldn’t have been so trusting, she hesitates to stand up to the person.  She often thinks that I’m too hard, that I should let bygones be bygones, and can’t understand why I’m so “different” and not more interested in marriage.  I often feel that although she’s older than I am, I have to look out for her because she’s so naïve, I see no reason to let bygones be bygones since I hate it when wrongdoers walk away believing that they got away with something, and I know that she’ll never understand me if I try to explain to her that I’m not opposed to marriage—I just don’t want to be married for the sake of being married.  I’m more interested in finding that person who instinctively understands my heart and soul and accepts me for who I am because a couple of times during my younger and less wiser years, I tried to make myself fit into someone else’s image of me and it made me miserable and resentful.  So I would rather be alone and occasionally lonely than stuck in a relationship with the wrong person for the wrong reason and miserable every day.

On the other hand, there are aspects of our personalities that reflect our personal life experiences.  Sagittarius women are not supposed to be exceptionally great housekeepers, but somewhere in my sister’s life, she became germ phobic and her house is always clean.  My home, which is supposed to be clean and orderly, is definitely not because my life experiences makes me put other things—like work—first on my list of things to do.  I have stacks of paper everywhere. 

So yes, I believe that an individual’s basic personality can be affected by the positions of the Sun and Moon and planets but I look at astrology as a tool for understanding myself and others.  It’s not the only tool that I use.  As I said, people are affected by external factors:  happy home vs. a broken home, doting parents vs. strict parents, good friendships vs. “friends” who lead you down the wrong path.   Also, trying to understand a person just by considering his or her Sun Sign is akin to looking at a blurred or torn photograph.  To see the entire picture, from an astrological viewpoint, you need a natal chart which will show where the Moon and all of the other planets were at the time of birth.   Finally, no, I don’t think that astrology can predict your future.  It might be able to indicate such things as when your energy level might be low because of the expected positions of the Sun and Moon and planets, but your future…that’s something that will happen because of decisions and choices that you make.  It’s neither carved in stone nor dictated by the stars.

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