We debunk four common zodiac myths that might have given you a bum steer. Like, if you’ve been expecting your horoscope to tell you what’s going to happen, stop right now.
For something that’s been around for at least 2000 years, give or take a few thousand centuries, astrology has a major PR problem. Love it or hate it, people have some pretty strong feelings about astrology – it’s probably as divisive as coriander.
Most of those in the ‘hate’ camp probably write it off because they simply don’t get it. And with so many common myths about astrology floating around, it’s not surprising that many people misunderstand this ancient spiritual tool.
One of the biggest misconceptions about astrology is the idea that your sun sign – the one based on your birth date – tells you everything about who you are (nope). And then there was that misleading spiel about a 13th star sign being discovered (nope again).
Whether you’re a zodiac fanatic or on the fence about the whole thing, getting to grips with these four myths will help you get a better understanding of astrology. Because knowledge is power (especially if you’re a Gemini, right?).
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Snafu 1: Treating your sun sign like it’s gospel
Hands up if you’ve ever thought: how can human beings, who are all super complicated, be reduced to just 12 personality categories? Truth is, they can’t. Your astrological profile is about much, much more than your sun sign (FYI that’s what most people consider their star sign).
The location of all the planets at the time of your birth, and their relationship to each other, shown on your astro chart brings a level of accuracy that could blow your mind. For rookie astrologers, an astro chart can be tricky to make sense of, but it’s worth finding out:
ï Your moon sign – which indicates your emotional MO
ï You rising sign – which signifies the way you relate to people (this is huge, BTW).
You might be a Libra, a typically party-loving sign, with a Cancer rising – which may mean you probably prefer slippers to stilettos. Or maybe you’re a Capricorn, a sign normally driven more by caution than emotions, but you could have a fiery temper due to your Aries moon.
There are tonnes of websites that will tell you your moon and rising sign for free, but you’ll need to know your time of time, so call your mum if you’re unsure.
Snafu 2: Overlooking cusp signs
If you were born within three days of one sign ending and the next one beginning, your astro personality will take on shades of both that sign and the one following it. Sometimes those aspects will complement each other, sometimes they may clash.
For example, if you’re born between September 19 and 25, you’re a Virgo-Libra cusp. What that means depends on your birth date – between September 19 and 22, you could be more Libra than Virgo, meaning you’re inclined towards people-pleasing or falling in love easily, while those born September 23 to 25 (on the Libra side) may be more Virgo-esque. They might love planning things and hold uber high standards at work.
Snafu 3: Believing in the 13th zodiac sign
In 2016, it was claimed that NASA had discovered a 13th sign called Ophiuchus, which led to a major identity crisis for tonnes of people. The same thing happened again earlier this year when that story hit headlines again. Here’s the deal: Ophiuchus is a constellation not an astrological sign (NASA does astronomy not astrology – not the same thing). That means your star sign has not changed, and according to the tropical astrology system that we use in the western world, will never change (phew!).
The confusion probably stems from the fact that all 12 zodiac signs have the same names as constellations, but that doesn’t make them the same. Crisis averted!
Snafu 4: Taking it too literally
If you’ve been expecting your horoscope to tell you what’s going to happen, stop right now. Astrology can help you make better decisions and avoid falling into unhelpful patterns, but it isn’t a tool for predicting the future. Think of it as a rough blueprint for how different energies may impact on your relationships, career, emotions and finances. Don’t think of it in black-and-white terms. Just because you’re a Taurus, for example, doesn’t mean you’re destined to become a shopaholic any more than being a Scorpio guarantees you’ll always be judgey.
A better way to use your horoscope is to look at where certain areas in your life are intensified. For example, if a positive change in your love life is indicated, this doesn’t mean you’re going to catch Zac Efron’s eye tonight (sorry). But it may mean you’re more attractive on an energetic level, so if you’ve got a crush on someone, this would be a better time to make a move. Results are not guaranteed, unfortunately.
Trudie McConnochie is an astrology writer and energy healer.