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The Truth Behind Astrology: A Debate

The Truth Behind Astrology: A Debate
Illustration by Drew Buchanan

Nathan Vived, Graeme Jackson, and Raymond Matthews
Contributing Writer, Photo Editor, and Opinions Editor

Middle of the Road:

I feel I should preface this section by saying that I do not believe that astrology is real. The idea that stars and celestial bodies bear any effect on the lives and fates and destinies of the people on planet Earth is utterly bizarre to me.

However, I do acknowledge that they have some effect on the people who believe they do. I see it as a self-fulfilling prophecy: believers think that Mercury’s current position in relation to Earth and the Sun will do something to their life, and their life responds accordingly.

Whether or not Mercury actually had a physical effect on that person’s life is irrelevant. They believed it to be so, and so it came to be.

This is not to say that I believe astrology has a massive impact on a person’s life. Unlike most things that people believe (God, gods, various deities, spirits, the flying spaghetti monster, etc.), the planets are not conscious beings that go out of their way to interact with people’s lives.

Instead, the planets are more uncaring giants, forces of nature that cause an impact purely by their being. Because of the revolutions in science, we can also recognize that it is entirely impossible to have any effect on them in return.

One cannot pray to Neptune to change its course to avoid a spell of bad luck the way one can pray to God or Allah for good fortune. Therefore, in my opinion, the lack of a possible dialogue between the individual and the heavens limits the footprint of the stars on the individual’s life. They become more background figures, ones that can be consulted every now and again, but not leading parts.

Illustration by Alyssa Long


I think I should also preface this section by saying I think astrology is hogwash, balderdash, rubbish, claptrap, and any other 18th-century synonyms for nonsense you can think of.

Astrology assigns meaning to celestial bodies that are unconcerned with the daily goings-on of human life. Simply put, we believe the galaxy cares more about us than it actually does.

Horoscopes are one of the most infuriating parts of astrology. The claims are written in such a vague way that they can be applied to almost anything. People have always had a tendency towards this spooky thing called confirmation bias, which is why people only tend to remember the things that align with their horoscope and blissfully forget things that don’t.

Astrology has been treated as an arbiter of spiritual guidance, yet people still tend to cherry-pick their character traits from a sign determined by their birth charts. If you can read these claims that are meant to be specifically tailored to you by the positions of celestial bodies and assess that even one of them is definitely not representative of you, then how can you claim any of them are?

It’s either all accurate or it’s not, right?

It’s both upsetting and cringe worthy when I hear people saying things like, “Ugh, never date a Sagittarius. It is SO exhausting.” Come on now people, the planets are giant orbs of gas and rock floating around in a vacuum. They do not care about you, and they are certainly not the reason you’re experiencing conflict or hardship in life.

So instead of attributing tough times to “Mercury being in retrograde,” I think we should all just own up to our character traits, tendencies, and idiosyncrasies, and stop looking to the sky for answers (or letters from Hogwarts).


I get that the burden of proof is on me here, but before I make my case I want to remind everyone reading that your silly “facts” and “science” don’t matter to me because I am:
Not real.
Not valid.
So, I ask that you respect my right to live in magical delusions of grandeur.

I think that astrology gets such a bad rap because most people have only been introduced to Instagram or Buzzfeed listicles that tell you what flavor of ice cream you are based on your sign (Lexie’s a Licorice Libra, but I’m more of a Candy Corn Cancer). Not that these aren’t fun, but they don’t really get to the heart of what astrology is.

Simply put, astrologists use planetary alignments to assign people a birth chart (a map of each planet’s position in the celestial sphere when you were born), and to make predictions about the present and the future.

Each planet has its own significance (Mars is the planet of aggression and resolve, Venus is the planet of love and beauty, etc.), each sign has its own traits, and the zodiac position that each planet was in when you were born can tell you a lot about yourself.

So in your birth chart, you have multiple signs other than your sun sign. You also have a rising sign, a moon sign, and a sign for each planet that all work together to make sense of your personality.

While there is a lot of legitimate astronomy that goes into making these charts, there isn’t any way for me to prove the spiritual, metaphysical meaning behind them. Like with any spiritual practice, it’s a matter of belief rather than hard science, so I encourage you to research your chart for yourself and see if it resonates with you.

But for any non-believers, I offer the following heartfelt sentiment: I’m sorry that you didn’t get accepted into Hogwarts and have to live a basic muggle life, but some of us are simply magical and are in fact the chosen ones. I know y’all hate to see it.


  1. its either all accurate or not? that doesnt make sense to me. in my eyes, hardly anything is 100% accurate. we are always left guessing. what if people don’t relate to all aspects of their chart because they haven’t reached that point in their life yet? making it easier for them to deny the bigger picture. lol whats your birthday, birthtime, and birth location?

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