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Why you should read your horoscope

| Thursday, March 7, 2019

I’ll admit it, I read my horoscope. I don’t necessarily read it every day, and I certainly don’t make my life decisions according to it.  But, I definitely read my horoscope more often than most.

It started as somewhat of a joke because, like many people, I found it to be freakishly accurate. Every time I happened upon my horoscope or saw an astrology meme, I was shocked by how much it seemed to relate to my life. One time, I read an in-depth personality description of a Virgo and found it so accurate that I would have believed my closest friend if she told me she wrote it specifically about me. I’ve definitely fallen victim to the belief that a certain horoscope just has to be correct and I can’t say that I’ve never blamed the universe for my problems. But I don’t actually believe my horoscope, and I don’t think you should either. I just think you should read it even if you think it’s utter nonsense.

The thing about horoscopes is that they’re not supposed to explain your past or predict your future. Contrary to what some might believe, horoscopes don’t actually tell you that you’re going to become rich when the sun reaches its equinox or that your personal life is going to suffer because Mercury is in retrograde.

All your horoscope does is give you advice. It tells you that your life isn’t as bad as it seems and reminds you to be open to new opportunities. Maybe it’ll advise you to spend your money a little wiser or to think about your decisions a little deeper. The advice is vague and unspecific at best and probably nothing you don’t already know. But it’s precisely this vagueness that gives horoscopes their value. Regardless of what it says, each person takes from it what they need. Horoscopes aren’t insightful because they deliver profound messages from the universe, but because they prompt you to draw your own insights by reflecting on your life, your actions and your thoughts. Ironically, it is the recognition that they hold no meaning that makes horoscopes meaningful. As with anything you read, the meaning is found not in the words themselves, but in the meaning you derive yourself.

Instead of discrediting horoscopes because they’re false, we should appreciate them for giving us the chance to be honest with ourselves. Horoscopes don’t tell us that the universe is in control of our lives, but rather, allow us to realize that we are.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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