It’s a sign
What each zodiac sign thinks of horoscopes
Scrolling through Instagram, posts of people on vacations, delicious food and funny memes fly by. One post of an infographic catches sophomore Elizabeth Lee’s attention: “What ‘Friends’ character are you based on your zodiac sign?” Engrossed and amused by what it says about her as a Virgo, she screenshots and posts it on her Instagram story.
“I’ve always known that horoscopes existed because of Instagram, and I got interested in it through that and then I started following [horoscope] accounts,” Lee said. “I think the ones that I post is of something that a lot of people already told me about. So they’re like ‘Elizabeth, you never get anything or you’re so clumsy or whatever,’ and then I see it on a Horoscoptic post and I’m just like ‘Whoa, that’s me,’ so I posted it … I just find it as something that brightens my mood and sometimes they’re really funny.”
Through teen magazines of her childhood, English teacher Vanessa Otto says she was always intrigued by what her zodiac sign says about her. Now as an adult, she’s been more interested in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and she believes it assesses her personality more accurately.
“According to the descriptions of the Leo that I’ve read, Leo’s are passionate, dramatic, quick to anger and extremely loyal,” Otto said. “I think nowadays it’s more [for entertainment] for sure because most people can read any horoscope and make the connection with how it might apply in their own individual situation … There’s a certain danger in basing a definition of yourself and your life choices and goals based on something that’s predetermined, rather than something that you have ownership [of].”
Junior Aditi Mukkara knows more than just her zodiac sign. Through websites and friends, Mukkara has kept track of her moon, element and various other signs. At one point, Mukkara would check horoscope website l.horoscope.com each month and write her lucky days and off days on her calendar. Mukkara’s parents also believe in astrology, and based the first letter of her name on what the stars align with the day of her birth.
“I think my moon sign is an Aries, but [Cancers are] pretty sensitive and we care a lot. Although our symbol is a crab and we have a hard shell on the outside, we’re actually super soft on the inside,” Mukkara said. “I don’t really know the science behind it at all, and I guess usually when you think of zodiac signs or horoscopes, you think of how it’s in the stars and just sounds really dumb.”
Growing up in a Kashmiri North Indian household with grandparents who religiously believe in astrology, sophomore Pearl Raina has read religious texts on moon signs. Raina believes the online definition differs from her religious text and isn’t factually grounded. To her, Raina’s grandfather’s books focus on the relation between astrology and the calendar, while websites and social media are structured to be for entertainment only.
“I’ve always been told that I’m a Scorpio in my moon sign and [in] my sun sign I’m an Aquarius, Raina said. “I see stuff online but half of it is so dumb because people who teach about zodiac signs online, they don’t know because they haven’t been taught. Everything they’ve been taught is from online. It’s usually like ‘Tauruses love food,’ but where did that come from? My religious books [are] a lot more serious than online stuff.”
Freshman Sanya Gupta believes horoscopes are contradicting and constructed to be solely relatable, misleading people into believing things that aren’t true. Gupta says the things spread online go against what she’s read on astrology and religious beliefs, and she trusts the published books she reads over the internet.
“I know that a lot of horoscopes say really contradicting things about Pisces and at times they say we are kind, smart, beautiful, compassionate and artistic,” Gupta said. “They say so many different things from so many different sources and I don’t know what they’re really based on, if they’re really based on facts or just random ideas from someone’s head.”
Freshman Jasmine Grewal likes the fortune-telling aspect of horoscopes. She reads horoscope websites to see if “a new opportunity will come her way,” and finds a thrill in looking up her friends’ daily horoscope signs as well. Grewal will base her day on what a website may say about her sign, Cancer, taking fewer risks when it says she’ll have a bad day.
“What they say about Cancers is that I’m emotional, which I really am. I’m kind, I’m helpful and I’m a homebody,” Grewal said. “To be honest, I was just kind of looking through my mom’s phone in seventh grade and she had a horoscope app, so that’s kind of what got me into it. Every single day I’d just take her phone to see if it’s going to be a really, really bad day. It’s just kind of a thrill of finding out if somebody else might be having the same problems as you or somebody might be just like you out there.”
According to freshman Samika Swamy, the majority of her friends were introduced to horoscopes on Instagram and were all instantly intrigued by how they correlated with the traits that they share. For Swamy, it took more convincing for her to believe in horoscopes or zodiac signs.
“Aquarius are intellectual, fearless, unconventional, uncompromising and kind of stubborn at times,” Swamy said. “At first, I didn’t really believe it, but then I started finding myself being more and more interested in it, because I thought that my horoscope kind of connected with the traits that I actually have, and I was like, ‘wow, if I actually have the traits that my horoscope says that I have, then all these other things must probably be true too.’ I think to some extent, they are true but I wouldn’t say that they’re exactly true.”