Sunday, November 8, 2009

In Astrology, Some Believe

by Shardae Jobson

It’s morning, and you wake up to the screeching sound of a noise that doesn’t quite sound like music, but has some kind of melody. Soon you’re up, grudgingly walking around your home. Within thirty minutes to an hour, you’re out the door, heading to work, school, or wherever your first commitment of the day is. After an already busy start, some people may faithfully turn to a section of their newspaper or later on in the day type the address of an Internet page to read their horoscope. The prediction or adamant suggestion that awaits them always manages to pertain to the various lives that are lead on a single day, and this advice comes from a rather anonymous and omniscient place or figure.

Horoscopes are rooted in astrology; while this is a vast subject, a percentage of science teachers and scholars find the sub-genre to be a little silly compared to “real science.” Both critics and readers can agree that it is a fascinating yet almost freaky hit or miss subject of the stars in the sky and hypotheses based on factors such as color and image determining our destiny. These horoscopes are like blueprints of the best and worst of complex and simple personalities. However, maybe these reasons alone are why astrology and horoscopes maintain a daily readership and interest. Despite its pseudoscience reputation, the daily tidbits we receive to better ourselves are helpful reminders we all should be aware of. It may actually be preferable advice too, since the mystery advisor has a more objective tone than subjective tones than those who know us.

Horoscopes are as random as the fortunes you receive in the cookies from your local or gourmet Chinese restaurant, yet there is a nice and caring sentiment hopeful readers are given. We’re suddenly prompted to allow time to take its course; no one has all the answers, sometimes a simple and kind gesture does mean a lot (especially for the right person). Dust yourself off and try again. It sounds trite, even a little corny, but at the core of astrology is hope, faith and trust. Those three gracious adjectives could be why astrology is so heavily marketed towards women. This fact could be a reference to what pop culture and decade old traditions have “taught” us and all have heard, such as women being more emotional than men. Horoscopes are geared towards women through female-oriented websites and magazines such as Glamour, Cosmopolitan and even tabloids like US Weekly that promote the concept of believing in superfluous suspicions.

In describing astrology, it is to an extent like a test and race against time. Among the many things women collectively love (according to cultured fables of our character and nature) is beating both the clock and negative energy in finding love and happiness, be it with Mr. or Ms. Right or Right Now. When it comes to relationships and work, these necessities are not guaranteed when we need it but are always naturally in demand. It seems that while you may be able to achieve one facet, the other is slipping away, and that is when a horoscope’s reassurance comes in to save the day.

Horscopes are generally made more approachable to women than men, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that women are more gullible. If anything, women are more willing to risk it all for love and work in the long run: the maternal instinct is alive and well. Astrology intrinsically celebrates and questions the act of love and harmony. Carl Jung, a philosopher-a type of scientist that tends to be more kind to astrology-saw a connection between women and theory, the myths of the differences between the genders and emotions. Jung, at a time, was using astrology as a means to “find a clue to the core of human psychology” (as he wrote in a letter to his peer Sigmund Freud). What would make Jung think astrology could be some kind of remedy to understanding human nature?

To an open minded philosopher like Jung, astrology and philosophy were like a basis for sociology since there is a supernatural element involved in wanting to protect the future with wishes and positive predictions, as is shown in the form of a horoscope. While we don’t know who comes up with these predictions, over time horoscopes become a trial and error process of trying to efficiently break down who we are, want and need as otherwise insecure and validated human beings.

The Glamour magazine website has a “Horoscopes” tab that follows “Fashion”, “Beauty”, “Love & Sex” and “Shopping.” From there, you can find links that users can use called “Astro Tools” with the tagline “Find Out How the Zodiac Sign Could Impact Your Life!” Well, with taglines like that, women are yet again placed into a Sex & The City atmosphere. It isn’t enough to get the guy, get the shoes, be top dog at work, have time for your girlfriends, and maintain your dignity: now you’ve got to keep your zodiac warnings in the back of your minds! What would Jung think of all this?
It could be that we just want to bestow trust in the critical beliefs we receive. Though these “truths” are in the name of control, whether for a Libra or a Pisces, these are habitual observations and sayings everyone will have shared at one point because of life experiences. Maybe women just enjoy the head start, since we’ve been told since the rise of second wave feminism that whatever boys can do, girls can do better-but we must not forget our intuition. We all want someone special in our lives and for our hard work and efforts to be acknowledged…isn’t that the truth right there? Our horoscopes certainly think so.

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