Astrological Stereotyping: Embracing Individuality Beyond the Stars
I apologize to all of my astrology fan friends out there for the article you are about to read. It has been a long time coming for me to write this. As a witch it feels blasphemous, but I have some things to get off my chest, and this is the right platform to do so.
I don’t “believe” in astrology the way I used to…
…I now apply astrological archetypes to situations in ways that are exclusively supportive.
Is astrology a science?
It’s up to you whether you consider astrology a science. Astrologers have been long excluded from the scientific community because numerous studies failed to find any evidence that certain personality traits or life events were affected by astrological events.
Astrology in the mystical healing community has long been regarded as a metaphysical study that involves precise calculations and in-depth study. But as witches enter the mainstream, astrology is being, dare I say, abused.
“She’s a stubborn Taurus, she’ll never change.”
“Scorpios are sociopathic.”
“Geminis are cheaters.”
“Capricorns can’t commit to anything but money.”
“Fire signs shouldn’t date water signs.”
“Virgos have OCD.”
“Cancers are crybabies.”
Note these are things most studied Astrologers would not write or say. They are casual claims.
These are examples of the types of things that are said, in memes, in casual conversation, and in magical/healing communities, about real, living people.
There are a lot of reasons (the existence of multiple astrological belief systems, for one) that I approach astrology with a very delicate hand. Some of the most powerful tools in spell crafting are words. To wield such vast and powerful statements at other human beings can have impacts that are not causal in nature. These words cast spells that affect human hearts and minds.
How casual Astrology can hurt, not heal.
Astrology, the art and science of celestial bodies, may influence human personality traits and behavior, offering a unique lens through which we seek to understand ourselves and others. Professional astrologers carefully study patterns in the stars to make predictions about worldly events as well as those in an individual lifetime.
It is a powerful tool that must be respected. There is a reason most of us are not professional astrologers. It takes years of study and practice to develop the sensitivity and insight needed to deliver a meaningful chart reading to an individual seeking healing and understanding.
It frustrates me to see so many folks dip their toe in the waters of this ancient practice, only to then tout their general knowledge with bloated confidence. It’s tough to see witches and other folks casting sweeping spells on entire swaths of people in the form of an astrology meme.
Astrology is as much an art as a science.
I’m not discounting the power of the planets. The moon herself provides more than enough evidence of external planetary pull on our minds, bodies, and souls.
However, in our quest for self-discovery and connection, we must tread carefully to avoid falling into the trap of astrological stereotyping, which occurs when we make assumptions about an individual solely based on their sun sign or the popular generalizations associated with it.
For example, assuming all Aries are aggressive, all Tauruses are stubborn, or all Leos are attention-seekers. While it may be tempting to use these stereotypes as a shortcut to understand someone, it overlooks the complexity and individuality of each person's unique makeup.
Making careless judgements based on astrology hinders our relationships and growth.
When we label an individual based on their astrological sign, we are essentially prejudging them without considering their individual experiences, values, and personal growth. By promoting stereotypes, we limit our understanding of the diverse range of qualities, strengths, and challenges that encompass each person's astrological chart. This sounds pretty similar to other forms of prejudice, right?
This not only hinders our ability to form genuine connections but can also lead to misunderstandings and missed opportunities for growth and meaningful relationships. Moreover, astrology should be seen as a tool for self-reflection and personal growth rather than a way to categorize or judge others.
Careless astrological stereotyping can change how others view themselves, and also how they behave in this world.
Astrological stereotypes can also contribute to self-fulfilling prophecies. If someone believes they should exhibit certain traits solely based on their sun sign, they may subconsciously mold themselves to fit those expectations.
This can result in individuals suppressing parts of their true selves or feeling pressured to conform to societal expectations associated with their astrological sign. It stifles individuality and prevents personal growth and self-acceptance.
I have fallen prey to this, myself, believing for years that my need to be alone in order to create art or regain emotional control was a symptom of my Cancerian introversion. Then I discovered I’m a Gemini in Vedic astrology, and I was delighted to recategorize myself as anything other than a Cancer. I’d grown tired of my set of stereotypes. I wanted to evolve beyond them.
Open your mind to other astrological systems.
Instead of relying solely on sun signs, we should delve deeper into an individual's natal chart, which includes aspects such as their moon sign, rising sign, and planetary placements. This provides a more comprehensive understanding of their personality and allows us to embrace the intricacies that make us truly unique.
Additionally, it helps to look up one’s Vedic (also known as Sidereal) astrological chart, which can reveal a whole new system in which to self-reflect. In tropical astrology, the system most of us in the West refer to, my sun is in Cancer. So, in Western astrology, I’m considered “a Cancer”.
In Vedic astrology, one’s moon sign, not their sun sign, is considered the most important identifying aspect of their chart. In Vedic astrology, my sun is in Gemini and my moon is in Virgo. Therefore, in Vedic astrology (which also happens to be the oldest astrological system and the most accurately alignment with the stars), I would be “a Virgo”.
About sidereal astrology
The sun season dates in sidereal astrology are set in accordance with the constellations themselves, which have shifted over the thousands of years we’ve studied astrology as humans. The dates in tropical astrology, which is the system that most of us use, mostly follows the seasons, and as such, aligns almost exclusively with the northern hemisphere.
Listen to people, don’t try to “read” them based on their chart.
It is also essential to engage in open and non-judgmental conversations when discussing astrology. By encouraging individuals to share their own experiences and perspectives, we can gain a more nuanced understanding of how astrology intersects with their lives. This fosters empathy, encourages personal growth, and enhances our connections with others.
Ultimately, astrology is a tool that can offer insight, self-reflection, and a sense of wonder about the world. However, we must resist the temptation to oversimplify and categorize complex individuals solely based on their sun sign. By embracing the individuality that lies beyond the stars, we can celebrate the rich diversity of human experiences and foster deeper connections that transcend astrological stereotypes.
To combat the dangers of astrological stereotyping, we must approach astrology with an open mind and a willingness to explore its complexity. By recognizing that each individual is a unique combination of multiple complex factors within their astrological chart, we can appreciate the full spectrum of their personality and experiences.
And we can also avoid being prejudiced against others.
It’s good to explore astrology as long as you aren’t hurting yourself or others. Just as Tarot cards aren’t predictors of the future (the reader is), astrological signs don’t carry absolutes. Just as there are many shades of blue, there are many shades of Aquarian energy. Instead of labeling a person “an Aquarius”, for example. You might say that their life is colored with Aquarian energy, and be careful to present challenges as challenges, not flaws.
I love this article published by UC Berkeley, which doesn’t explicitly state that astrology is not a science. It answers questions that help to clarify in the direction of an answer.
Learn more about Astrology and which astrological essences match which major arcana Tarot cards, here!