Repeat after me, COSMO: AS-TRO-NO-MY. AS-TRO-LO-GY. Two entirely different things. One is a science. The other...isn't.
Astronomically speaking, the Earth's spin 'drifts' slightly, about one degree every 72 years. Over two millennia this adds up to a shift in the signs of the (astronomical) zodiac. This is not to be confused with the astrological zodiac, which is a constant. For a more in-depth discussion, go to this astrology-friendly page.
If you live by your daily horoscope, you'll hate what I'm about to say. It's bunk. Complete and utter bunk. You can prove this yourself, if you'd like to, by gathering a bunch of today's horoscopes for your sign. Here, I'll do it for mine.
September 21, 2016
1) From Astrology Answers.com:Moon in fellow Air Sign Gemini is in your fifth house of pleasures and fun, Aquarius. Matters pertaining to your children, may be a focus today. Or maybe you are just throwing some caution to the wind and enjoying some fun in love today. Good for you! Having fun and feeling carefree and lively is just what the Universe has ordered for you today, Aquarius. A Sun and Saturn quintile in your eighth house of resources brings some news on a matter that gets you closer to a big dream of yours. What dream is that, Aquarius?
...wow. Lots of arcane words to sound authoritative, followed by...hmm, fun in love. And blah blah blah closer to a dream. Oh, I like this. Yeah, I can live with this.
2) From the Globe and Mail:
Don’t worry about your rivals and enemies – act as if the whole world is your friend. That need not be far from the truth as it happens. You have a natural talent for winning over those who, for whatever reason, doubted you to begin with.
I'm feeling buttered up here...but nothing about resources or dreams or love. Just some good advice for anyone, of any sign, on any day: act like the world is your friend and most people will react favourably, no?
3) From Horoscope.com:
Information gleaned from surprising sources could lead to sudden, fortunate career breaks, Aquarius. You might explore totally new fields, although this could be temporary. Your efforts should attract the attention of those who matter and eventually lead to advancement or a raise. Don't be afraid to continue to explore these sources. Keep up the good work!
This one's all about my professional life. No love here. No dreams. "News", yes, as in 1), but not quite the same kind (unless I want it to be...maybe my dream is career-oriented?)
4) From ELLE.com:
Don't quit your day job just yet, Aquarius. While globetrotting visions of freelance life could tempt you to pull the trigger, try not to act overly rash. The moon is in your passionate fifth house and forming a dicey square to foggy Neptune in Pisces, confusing your priorities. You don't have live like a nomadic rock star to sate the part of you that longs for creative fulfilment. What you might really need is more artistic expression in your daily life. Free-write, take an art class, doodle in your sketch pad. Channeling the muse will help reveal your true calling.
Oops, I guess I'm not getting a break in my career after all. Now I'm supposed to concentrate on artistic hobbies....
As you can see, these four horoscopes, same sign, same day, are NOTHING ALIKE. If there was anything to astrology, they'd be four differently worded versions of the same message. Go ahead and do this for your sign, or your partner's, today, tomorrow, or any other day, and you'll come to the same conclusion I have: daily horoscopes are a bunch of hokum.
I won't go so far as to suggest that ALL of astrology is bullshit, though. Not if you think...mythically.
A myth, according to mythologist Joseph Campbell, can be defined as "something that never was, but always is." Both halves of that sentence are critically important. A myth is not LITERALLY true, in any way. But it contains a kind of truth that speaks to anyone open to hear it.
We all create a mythic version of ourselves. Social media is one big giant myth-mash. Those silly Facebook personality tests that don't actually test or measure anything? If you post the results from one, it means you agree with its "assessment"...so even if it generated at random (and it did), you have chosen to incorporate its pronouncement into your personal mythos.
This is also true, I believe, of some facets of natal horological astrology. It's not true...unless it's true for you, in which case it couldn't be any more true.
The funny thing about actual astrological readings--based on your date and time and location of birth, and intended as a clue to your personality--is that they're considerably more consistent than the horoscopes that show up in newspapers or online.
If you run down the characteristics of an Aquarius man, you tend to see the following words show up:
I think many of my friends would agree I fit most of that quite well. Maybe not "independent" (but then again, that's a tricky word that can mean a myriad of different things).
The typical Aquarian flaws:
The first one is definitely me. Practicalities bore me: I prefer to let people who enjoy them, i.e., practical people, take care of them. This is a handicap. I recognize it, own it...and have no intention of addressing it.
I lean towards pessimism (or as I prefer to call it, "realism") as well. Give me a reason to feel a little anxious and my world will be ending in short order.
Arrogant? Distant? Those don't square at all with my perception of myself. In fact, I believe I'm modest and close to a fault.
Manipulative? I used to be. It was a defence mechanism, back in my teens and early twenties, meant to assuage my social anxiety. I planned out every conversation and meeting like chess games, and I wasn't above steering people where I wanted them to go.
That's long gone. The problem with trying to operate the world from behind the curtain is that everything becomes a scenario. Fake. I despise fakery and insincerity. Especially in myself. Accordingly, I have done everything I can to eradicate it. What has replaced it is an extra several helpings of empathy.
Astrology will have a nice pat answer prepared for any way that I do not conform to the standard Aquarius profile. It's my moon sign, or some transiting planet fucking up my chart, or something. I'm deeply suspicious of anything that claims to have all the answers, and astrology is one of the things that often seems to make that claim.
But I'm certainly more Aquarian than I am any other sign.
And THIS...this is my wife, Eva Breadner, in the flesh. I could not have described her any better.
There are other people in my world that fit their signs to a T -- the playful, passionate and impulsive Aries; the ambitious, confident and stubborn Leo; and on and on...so often that it really does give me pause. It's not as if astrology is a constant presence in most lives: people can't possibly be picking up on how they're "supposed to" behave as a native of whatever their sign is. It's not the Forer Effect either, because his personality sketches are deliberately, blatantly vague ("you prefer a certain amount of change and variety") or applicable to everyone on earth
(at times you have serious doubts about whether you've made the right decision or done the right thing"). Detailed birth readings, on the other hand, tend to make declarative statements. take it or leave it. Virgo women are analyzers. Aquarius men are offbeat idealists; Geminis are outgoing people-pleasers...direct, stark language that doesn't leave room for misinterpretation.
Astrology is originally one of many ways humanity attempted to impose order on a chaotic world. Religion is another. Both are, to my mind, largely mythological. Never true, but always true.