I am a Gemini sun, Libra moon and Cancer rising. To people well-versed in astrology, these placements indicate that I am an idealist, easily approachable and generally easy to get along with, but I tend to get bored almost as soon as I start a conversation and cannot make a decision to save my life. However, most people, when I begin discussing the practice of astrology, think that I am a complete fool. Many people, mostly other men, dismiss astrology as some ridiculous practice that only unreasonable people, mostly women, believe in. This idea, of course, is narrow-minded, condescending and misogynistic. I invite disbelievers to see astrology through the perspective of people who actually do take it seriously and perhaps listen to my account before completely disregarding the topic. Astrology is often the butt of many jokes, but it has helped me discover newfound confidence, form connections with other like-minded individuals and further challenge my understanding of human behavior.
In the summer of 2019, I attended a summer writing program in Ohio, about 4,000 miles away from my home in Kapolei, Hawaii. When I was young, I had always kept to myself in the back corner of the classroom. In this program, I was suddenly dropped into completely new and unfamiliar territory, surrounded by 200 brilliant writers from all over the country. When I arrived, I was terrified beyond any fear I had ever felt before. I thought my writing and ideas were neither poetic nor important enough to share, and I found myself subconsciously muting my child-like fascination with fireflies and willow trees (neither of which existed on my island home) in order to fit in with my peers. Even when the residence hall common rooms echoed with laughter and excitement, my body tried to merge into the concrete walls — until an outgoing stranger named Minnie asked me if I knew anything about astrology. I had never believed in astrology before, but I was so desperate to make friends that I was willing to learn more about it just to appeal to this kind stranger.
She first used an online natal chart calculator to show me my own placements and help me understand how astrology may play a role in my own personality. For instance, my moon in Libra suggests that I strive to maintain peace in my personal relationships, which may lead to surrender during arguments. My shy nature has always made me despise confrontation (even now that I have become more confident), so this description was dead-on. It felt nice to know that Minnie was able to gather this information about me without me having to actually be vulnerable with somebody I had met one day prior. After doing a little more research on the anatomy of the natal chart, I found a wealth of information about all the even more intricate parts of astrology like houses, decans and Chiron: all important sections and celestial bodies of a natal chart that can be easily overlooked.
However, simply learning more about the inner workings of astrology didn’t convince me that any of this information was worth learning about –– or truthful, for that matter. One of the biggest reasons for my skepticism about astrology was that it is not supported by scientific evidence. Even now, I recognize that astrology is not backed by scientific discovery; what does planetary orbit have anything to do with my character? I could easily find correlations between my behavior and the planets’ positions in my birth chart, such as my scattered thoughts and curiosity about others’ lives reflected in my mercury placement in Gemini. However, I still found no evidence to prove that these were more than mere coincidences, even if these connections seem eerily accurate. Though my TikTok application’s For You Page is full of explanations of planetary returns and energetic frequency, I still find concepts such as Mercury retrogrades and planetary placements illogical. So, why do I still believe in astrology? Well, that’s simply because I am not a logical person.
Irrationality is a fundamental part of the human experience. Astrology may be irrational, but so were my impostor syndrome and intense fears of social rejection. Nevertheless, these manifested in very real ways, and I still clung to my anxiety toward approaching new people. If I could believe one irrational theory, what was stopping me from believing in astrology as well? As I tried to wrap my head around the petroglyphic symbols scattered around my birth chart, I realized that believing the stars influence our personalities is no more unreasonable than believing that I was an unintelligent and unlikable person. Logically, upon having this realization, I could now recognize that my fears from before were irrational, but I was still afraid of judgment. In order to combat an irrational fear, I decided to approach it with another irrational belief system. I decided to learn more about how the astrological traits of the signs in my birth chart could help me grow.
When I read more about the traits of Gemini suns, I discovered that they were typically popular, outgoing and loved sharing their knowledge with others. Suddenly, I felt like I had the potential deep within me to overcome my intense fear of social rejection. I simply had to embrace my innate Gemini characteristics and grow into the person I was destined to be. At the same time, I learned that it was common for Geminis to frequently shift their personalities to appeal more easily to a wide variety of people. I wasn’t aware that I was shunning parts of myself to fit in at the time, but reading about it made me realize that this was a fault I wanted to correct. Without reading about the common tendencies of Geminis, I may never have realized that I was hiding parts of myself away. My birth chart never told me something about myself that I didn’t already know; it just made me confront the perception of myself that I never desired to acknowledge. I used astrology to analyze myself. When I confronted the shy, anxious parts that I wanted to change, I formed a clear vision of the person I wanted to be. After years of conscious growth and introspection, I am much more outgoing and expressive than before. I am much happier with the man I am today than the shy young boy I was that summer.
Over the course of the two-week program, I continued to ask Minnie about astrology and her journey as a writer and her dreams for the future. Together, we spent many hours editing each other’s poetry, running around the campus and talking until the late hours of the night. Two years later, she remains one of my best friends. Had I scoffed in her face and told her that astrology is irrational and fake, I surely would have never been able to form the connection that I did.
I understand why people often don’t take astrology seriously, but without astrology, I would have never formed connections with others who shared my interest in astrology, and I would not have become cognizant of the unique parts of myself that I repressed in order to assimilate. I’m not saying that everyone has to adopt the practice of astrology; people should do whatever works for them. I think we should all take the time to examine the things that we have initially dismissed as unimportant. Perhaps remaining open-minded and focused on our own growth is more important than forming a rigid and perfectly rational worldview.
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