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Σάββατο, 13 Απριλίου, 2024
ΑρχικήEnglish EditionCan you rely on the stars for your future?

Can you rely on the stars for your future?

By Sophia Mavrou,

Almost 2,400 years ago in Babylon, our ancestors looked up at the night sky and saw a sea of lights. They didn’t have a clue what they might be but they noticed something exciting about them. Firstly, their movements were predictable, and secondly, they had major effects. The seasons, the harvest, the tides. Therefore, it seemed logical that whatever these lights were, they shaped everything in their lives. Eventually, they named their tracking Astronomy and their interpretation as Astrology. Still, 2,400 years later people consult astrology before taking a decision, choose their surroundings based on their zodiac sign because you must never pair a Virgo with a Sagittarius, or even plan giving birth on The Year of the Dragon because it is a highly blessed year in the Asian culture. So, if you are wondering why there is such a strong faith in the horoscope, you are in the right place.
Image source: nypost.com

The great appeal of astrology, even among educated people and the age of science, comes from the fact that it offers something you cannot get easily in other fields; it is personal divination. You can get your personal horoscope and chart, from a personal astrologer who can arrange your financial and social moves only for you. You can have daily, weekly, monthly, and annual predictions revealing what will follow in your dating life, potential promotions at work, upcoming family issues, and more. People love the attention astrology bestows them with, whereas, in other cases, such as traditional religion, you are one of a large flock. It is for this reason that individuals are drawn to astrology when they feel less in control of their lives and hope to find their answers in the stars.

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Apart from that, it can effectively work as a scapegoat when needed and rumor has it that people have never liked to absorb losses. For example, possibly you have heard the phrase “Of course they are arrogant, they are a Leo” at least once in your life. Or the opposite. Suppose that you are a Sagittarius and you come across this text “…[they] do not like to burden others with their problems, so they try their best to solve them internally and remain resolute and stoic.” Or this text “This sign loves to fall in love as much as everyone else, but do not expect them to become overly dependent on their partner or change for them. They are their own people, and they do not need someone else to make them truly happy”. Can you identify yourself with any of them? I can — and I am a Gemini. If you can too… that is great. Only to mention that the first text refers to Cancers and the second to Libras…

This little trick was formally performed by P. T. Barnum (1810-1891). In 1949 a study was carried out in which 39 college students were given personality profiles and were told they were based on a psychological examination. However, all the profiles were actually identical and described generic traits such as “You have a tendency to be critical of yourself”. All, but one of the students, said they mostly agree that the traits reflect them. The tendency of people to see themselves in any horoscope presented to them is entitled the Barnum Effect. Basically, the effect proves that people are naive and desperate enough to regard broadly applicable statements as highly special and uniquely meaningful in an attempt to show off how closely they have examined themselves, when in fact they are in an infinite process of discovering.
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Due to the rapid expansion of the Internet and the subsequent dynamic, it obtained in the marketing field, astrology doubled its publicity alongside the advantage of easy access. True to form, social media worked wonders. From 2016 to 2017, views for astrology videos on YouTube increased by 62%. On Facebook, they increased by 116%. On Twitter, they increased by 297%. In India, astrologers have regular shows on major TV channels. Nowadays, hardly any newspaper dares to go to the press without the horoscope feature. Therefore, it appears transparent that astrology is supported by tons of money, and unfortunately, when profit becomes the first priority, which entails leaving the accuracy promised behind, the instinct of avarice is never satisfied.

Reaching the end, the aim of this article is not to erase astrology. Indeed, the need to know the future is embedded in our DNA. The frustrating part, however, is that it is not in Orion’s belt.

  • Barnum Effect, britannica.com, Available here
  • Barnum Effect: Explained (series), Netflix.com, Available here 



Sophia Mavrou
Sophia Mavrou
She was born in Thessaloniki in 2003 and she is an undergraduate student of English Language and Literature at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Her passions are fashion and interior design. She prefers a period movie over everything else. She is fond of learning new things and she imagines herself living among a field of children and dogs by the age of 40.