Astrology: Guidance written in the stars

Illustration by Jasmine Tan

Retrograde. Opposition. Air signs. Houses. To many, these terms mean nothing or function neatly as the butt of a joke about the highly-commercialized forecasts of horoscopes.

For some students, however, horoscopes and the broader study of astrology are an invaluable source of guidance.

Kira Sekhar

Sophomore Kira Sekhar, a Pisces sun sign, says she checks her daily horoscope daily and her weekly horoscope weekly using a popular app called Co –Star Astrology. She also follows various astrology-related Twitter and Instagram accounts.

“My horoscope has also given me pretty good advice when I’m dealing with stressful situations. It tells me what to expect from each day and week, so I pay attention to that too,” Kira said. “I don’t view my horoscope as something I have to follow or pay attention to all the time, but it’s a nice guide for my day to day life.”

Senior Anjali Prachand also checks her horoscope daily through the Co –Star app. She doesn’t really look for any specifics but appreciates the guidance she receives from them.

Anjali Prachand

“I guess I have confidence in astrology – not horoscopes as much, but astrology – because there’s no good reason not to,” Anjali said. “Like, there are so many things happening in the world and universe that it’s kind of cool to think that we’re somehow connected to our solar system in a spiritual way.”

To students who believe in astrology, criticism of it can appear to stem from a place of misunderstanding what astrology truly is.

“I want people to know that before they’re dismissive of their horoscope, they should check more than just their sun sign and also that their horoscope isn’t going to tell them exactly what’s going to happen in their life every day,” Kira said. “It’s more of a guide for what you should expect to come your way.”

For most horoscope users at U-High, there is one constant: Co – Star, an astrology app that brands itself like a social media platform, where sharing your information with friends is highly encouraged. Run partly through artificial intelligence, the app has obtained a large following over its brief two years — more than 5 million active users.

Kira uses the app for its social functionality and popularity but also for its organization and structure.

“In Co–Star they tell you which areas you have power, pressure, and trouble in each day according to your birth chart,” Kira said. “I like to see which parts of my life I should be putting more energy into.”

Astrology is an ancient practice with a lot of strong spiritual roots. More than 2,000 years old, astrology can be traced to the ancient Babylonians. The practice of astrology has become mainstream due to mass-media such as newspapers and online horoscopes.

“I probably check my horoscope once a month when my friends start talking about what’s on theirs,” senior Kepler Boonstra said. “The app usually un-downloads between times when I check. I don’t check my horoscope regularly because I don’t think it affects me. I think people tend to read their horoscope and interpret it to relate to themselves because they are written so generally.”

But Anjali believes everyone should check their horoscope.

She said, “I’d just want people to know that any opinion on astrology is totally valid, whether you believe in it or not and that it can be super fun if you want to get into it!”