Divine Inspiration

By Maddie Wood

In the interest of full transparency, I’ve always thought astrology was a sham. I’m a firm believer in making your own destiny, not following what Cosmopolitan tells you to do on any given day. Naturally, I still read the VICE Snapchat daily horoscope, but that’s mostly because I’m a creature of habit.

Growing up in a traditional Roman Catholic household, I was taught to trust in one belief system, and astrology had no place in that. As you can imagine, I was super skeptical when I received my astrological chart as a birthday gift from my mom this year. The chart looked rather unremarkable – it was a simple stapled packet of printer paper – but contained an outline of my entire existence on this earth boiled down to roughly 4000 words.

According to the introduction of my chart, “The purpose of an astrological chart is to give a bird’s eye view of a life way; choices, pitfalls and blessings which, if seen beforehand can help minimize those difficulties and enhance accomplishments and joys. Just as the moon effects [sic] the earth’s oceans, the placement of the planets at the time of birth influence both direction and how goals are achieved. Astrology is a separate language that provides a compelling metaphor.”

With a little hesitation and a large eyeroll, I dove into the chart. I hate to admit it, but a lot of the predictions and personality traits were uncomfortably true. I won’t go into excruciating detail, but my quirky love of libraries and passion for communicating with others hit the nail on the head, as did my fiercely independent spirit and need for alone time.

Even before I read the astonishingly accurate chart that succeeded the introduction, I was hooked. If we as human beings have the ability to follow the earth, moon and stars in order to have a better idea of what type of life we may live, why wouldn’t we take it more seriously? It’s a shame that this unconventional belief system has become a pop culture talking point instead of a way to be your best self.

In regards to the way the 12 zodiac signs work, The American Federation of Astrologers website offers some insight. “The division of the 12 signs of the zodiac … is based on the earth’s year-long rotation around the Sun and relates to character traits and areas of life (e.g., Venus represents affection, Mercury represents speech and writing, etc.). Each planet is associated with two signs, and the Sun and Moon with one each.”

Astrology may seem like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, but it’s grounded in the centuries old science of astronomy, and has been studied since long before we were on Earth. A whole lot more goes into the art of horoscopes than a millennial searching for behavioral excuses. Every single human has a different astrological existence.

What’s even cooler is the way that our astrological signs can become customizable extensions of our personalities. In a time when society is finally accepting people for their true selves, it’s important to embrace the attributes that are unique to you. Even if you don’t believe everything your sign says about you, it’s another way to express individuality.

As you read earlier in this issue, custom fashion is making a huge comeback, and astrology-themed looks are no exception. Walk into any boutique, a superstore or Urban Outfitters, and you’re guaranteed to find at least one accessory or garment that reflects your zodiac. On the search for astrology-influenced pieces? Check out J. Crew’s new line of sign-based T-shirts or Tory Burch’s astrology cuff bracelets. Granted, some signs are cuter than others (sorry to all you Cancers out there), but the zodiacs are a kitschy way to bring a little bit of flair to your everyday look. Next time you’re attempting to blend sense of style with sense of self, look no further than the stars.

From UP’s 2017 Fall Magazine, Unconventional