Star constellations have often drawn people’s attention because of many reasons. Whereas one category of people finds them beautiful, another treats them as a kind of miracle that is still a matter for consideration. There are also those who tie their everyday life with the positions of stars and assert that they are affected by them. When the opinions of the first two categories of people could be understandable, the third one gives birth for certain doubts. The question “what stands behind the belief in star constellations” arises. The primary aim of this essay is to answer the question why people believe in star constellations.
In accordance with the psychologists Nias and Eysenck, astrology is defined as a science that traces connections between planet positions at the moment of a person’s birth and the features of character of that person, his/her personal development, career advancement, marriage, etc. (Desta, 2014). From the abovementioned definition, few conclusions could be reached. First of all, it seems that astrology is a science, meaning that the knowledge of it has been obtained due to application of scientific methods. Secondly, there are certain constants within this science which might be considered as scientific laws; this constitutes an essential part of any branch of knowledge. However, even though astrology is considered nowadays as a science, still the horoscopes generated by practical application of its concepts are of great doubt for a lot of people (Desta, 2014). On the other hand, there are a lot of supporters that strongly believe that their lives are extremely affected by the positions of stars and planets, and therefore, they do not miss the opportunity to check their horoscopes and adjust their lives in accordance with the forecast offered to them.
It is beyond the doubt that there are plenty of people who start their day with a cup of coffee accompanied with an article on star constellations, or, if more precisely, with their horoscope for the particular day. The reasons for such behavior are numerous. There is no need to say that, since the ancient times, people have tried to find something magic that would make their lives more meaningful. The stars and their constellations have been made responsible for their mood, success, health conditions, and fortune chances. To some extent, it helps. When one reads that the next week he/she will be able to close a deal or to increase his/her financial assets, one’s mood rises and one definitely becomes a more confident and optimistic person, who is perhaps indeed able for new colossal actions. On the other hand, if a person who truly believes in horoscopes faces a horoscope that does not promise anything good but only an unlucky week or bad fortune, he/she will be more morally prepared for any misfortunes occurring regardless of his/her character. Therefore, it can be inferred that some people believe in truthfulness of horoscopes because they consider them a good forecast for the future, which provides them with information regarding future events and helps to prepare properly for the new challenges.
Additionally, many people are willing to check whether they suit their partners in accordance with the zodiac system (Dvorsky, 2014). “The affection of a Virgo which sign matches well with mine” as the lyric said, couples are curious about their compatibility; people are eager to know about their romances in the future. They want to check the love potential between them and their partner (or potential love interest) and discover how to build a healthy and sincere bond. Based on this, astrologers are able to compare characteristics of every zodiac sign and present the compatibility levels. (Dvorsky, 2014). There are a number of enthusiasts who believe firmly in the common traits observed in people of the same sun sign and in the compatibility quotient between the different signs.
Another group of people indeed believes that everything in this world is correlated. Nothing happens without a reason. They are assured that coincidences are not coincidental. In fact, such people get inspiration from that idea. They suggest with relevant confidence that everything is affected by the numbers of their birth dates, the constellation under which a person has been born, and lines on their hands. Indeed, sometimes, it is rather convenient to blame all misfortunes and hardships that happen to them on the position of stars. It is also quite convenient to say: “Well, I am stubborn just like all calves are”. Such people always note some connections between the events that occur in their lives. They follow the phases of the moon and try to analyze its influence on their lives.
For some of people, zodiac signs are of great benefit. When they meet a stranger and find out about his or her zodiac sign; they could suggest certain traits of character that are inherent to them as well as the inclinations they might have if being a Leo, for example. Of course, not all people who have been born in August are of the same character, but those who believe in horoscope consider that they do have common features of temper. In addition, being born under some particular zodiac sign means that one might be friendly with people of one zodiac sign and unfriendly with the others just because of the position of the stars when they were born (Bufe, n.d.). Thus, from the psychological point of view, a person who has been born as an Aries will be definitely more confident in communication with Leos as both of people born under these zodiac signs have been considered friendly in relations with each other. At the same time, due to stereotypes related to beliefs in meanings of star constellations, people born under Aries constellation might be unpleasant with the people born under the constellation of Cancer (Bufe, n.d.).
Another reason for believing in astrology is that this science can actually explain why certain things happen in someone’s life. There is a view that nothing in this life is coincidental. Therefore, everything happens for a reason. In this part, astrology seems to provide a bunch of reasons which, as they claim, lead to certain events and consequences. Sometimes, astrologists and fortune-tellers even try to predict what will happen next considering the locations of the stars and planets. In such a way, astrology helps one understand the life as well as the world around him/her.
Some people also believe in astrology and star constellation because of inability to reach a decision of their own. It often occurs that they simply do not have a person near them or a friend whom they can trust and advise with. Therefore, they prefer to rely on their personal horoscopes while making a decision regarding everything, including purchasing of a car and going to the party. Sometimes astrologists themselves regard their field of science as a road guide. However, the followers of such forecasts should bear in mind that the horoscopes published in magazines, journals or online ventures are frequently less professional. They are usually designed by amateurs and, therefore, could not be trusted.
Still, it should be stressed that, despite all drawbacks and inaccuracies, astrology is preferred more than such belief systems as Catholicism, Mormonism, and Islam. Perhaps, the reason is that astrology does not refer to the unpleasant aspects every religion possesses as often the latter forces people to give up on something. Instead, astrology demands nothing in return. However, it provides people with some sort of preordination system. Astrology is often quite silly and irrational, and for the majority of cases it makes one make unfortunate decisions and actions.
Considering demography, it should be noted that women tend to believe in the truthiness of horoscopes a bit more than men. For years, women were among the strongest followers of astrology. Many women’s magazines always dedicate a page or few to the issues of future based on astrology (Desta, 2014). These little pieces of advice provide a step-by-step guide on how to save money, find love, and keep friendship alive. Some women even have their personal astrologists who design personal horoscopes for their clients and warn them about certain less or more dangerous phases of their lives. According to the recent studies, nearly a fourth of all Americans believe in astrology (Desta, 2014). However, the studies show also that women indeed trust horoscopes more than men do. The reason is that women historically believed in supernatural and unproven more often than men did. Additionally, it is noted that women tend to visit fortunetellers and astrologists twice oftener then men do. Another reason for that, in accordance with Dr. Zuckerman, a professor of Pitzer College, is that women have always lived in man-dominated societies where they were supposed to care only about spiritual things such as religion, up-bringing of children, culture, etc. (Desta, 2014).
As a conclusion, it should be said that despite the inaccuracy of horoscopes data, there are still people who believe in fate and in the assumption that their lives are not fully under their control; they believe that certain higher and more powerful substances control them. Mostly, people believe in zodiac signs because this belief gives them support and hope that the next day the stars will take right positions and one will find an optimistic horoscope for a new successful day. It is the way people get inspiration and encouragement in everyday routine.