(originally published 11/18/16 on thecspn.com and in the november edition of the mhs chronicle)
If your horoscope gets your future right, it might be a sign.
Horoscopes center around the concept that the position of the stars can influence a person’s life. Egyptians observed 12 constellations positioned throughout different points in the sun’s 12 month rotation. From these constellations, the Zodiac was born. Each Zodiac sign is thought to give people different traits based on when their birth is in relation to the celestial bodies. Former astronomy teacher Gregory Hayes said while astrology is based in science, the horoscopes themselves are not.
“Astrology is based on the idea that the planets are moving consistently,” Hayes said. “It’s very predictable. But what they do with astrology, is ‘Based on this position in the sky, people born at this time are going to have certain traits.’ While there are some people that believe in them very strongly, there’s nothing scientific to prove it.”
Sophomore Leah Markvan said her belief in horoscopes comes from what she has seen.
“I believe in horoscopes because I’ve just seen them come true so many times,” Markvan said. “It’s not just me; I’ve seen things come true for a lot of my friends, and it’s just too accurate to not be true. You start to see that the predictions are right, and not just a matter of coincidence.”
Sophomore Soumya Jaiswal said that horoscopes have changed along with modern society.
“Astrology used to be taken really seriously, but now it can be entertaining too,” Jaiswal said. “You have your traditional horoscopes — the ones you might find in newspapers and places like that. But it’s also become a big part of social media. You see all these posts describing the signs in different ways, and that’s become very popular.”
Though horoscopes have no scientific proof in astrology, senior Kay Strobel thinks some of it could be based in fact. Strobel said the real science behind horoscopes may actually be psychology.
“There’s a concept that says that what you think will happen influences what actually happens,” Strobel said. “The horoscope becomes real because you believe it will be real.”
AP Psychology teacher Angie Johnston said the phenomenon Strobel is describing occurs on a regular basis.
“It’s called Top-Down Processing,” Johnston said. “If someone says, ‘Hey, here’s your horoscope,’ they may be looking for that more because it’s in their mind and some part of them wants it to happen. However, it depends on the person and the situation – not everybody experiences it.”
Jaiswal said that everybody experiences horoscopes differently. “There are some people that just get insanely into it,” Jaiswal said. “They put a lot of thought into it and it’s a really big deal for them. But for most people, it’s just something fun to read, no matter what you believe.”