What’s your sign?

A look into how the MVHS community views astrology

Shivani Verma

After using Snapchat’s Astrological Profiles feature when it was released in November of 2020, senior Lydia Lu, who is a Libra, recalls learning that she and her friend, senior Matthew Yoshimoto, were ranked as highly compatible according to their star sign. Looking through their Astrological Profiles, the pair realized that several predictions about their relationship seemed accurate, such as how they viewed each other as friends.

“[The feature] would be like, ‘You see Matthew as someone who anchors you,’ or for him it [was] like, ‘You see Lydia as someone that you admire a lot because of the traits that [she has] that you might not necessarily have,’” Lu said. “And those two things are things that we never voiced vocally, but when we read it, we clicked and we were like, ‘That makes sense 100%.’”

Graphic | Aditya Shukla

Astrology is the practice of predicting an individual’s identity and future by using the placement of the planets at the exact time and place of their birth. Initially, astronomy — the study of the universe — and astrology were intertwined. Now, while astronomy is considered a science, astrology is deemed a controversial and pseudoscientific practice. While MVHS ‘20 alum Lakshanyaa Ganesh, who is a Cancer, enjoys learning about astrology, she doesn’t completely believe in it due to its often vague nature.

“There are certain aspects of my personality that align with what my astrological sign says my personality should be,” Ganesh said. “But I don’t fully buy into it because a lot of horoscopes and descriptions of what each sign means are very general. If you look at it, you’re like, ‘That makes sense, that’s me,’ but then [when] you think about it more, you’re like, ‘That applies to literally everyone.’” 

The most general aspect of astrology is the zodiac sign, based on where the sun was in the sky on an individual’s birth date, but the practice includes many other facets that consider the placements of all the planets. After doing more in-depth research about astrology, junior Alicia Xu, who is a Scorpio, believes that it has affected her life, particularly her understanding of people.

“[Astrology] is something that makes me happy,” Xu said. “It’s a thing that I can work on [in my] daily life. It helps me become more observant. If I observe people, I can be like, ‘Oh maybe their star sign is so and so,’ and then I can expand upon that on my own, and just think, how could that affect this person and how could that affect my relationship with that person.” 

One way of gaining insight into an individual’s life and characteristics is through the use of the astrological birth chart, a circular diagram with twelve categories that describe a person based on where the planets are in the sky, and which category those planetary positions correspond to. The categories, known as ‘houses,’ correspond with a specific zodiac sign. After viewing her astrological chart, Xu says she has become more aware of her own behavioral habits. 

“[Looking at my own chart], I’ve noticed smaller details about myself,” Xu said. “I’ve thought, ‘I just made this action or just thought this thought that was similar to what I’ve read about my chart.’ And I think it’s cool that I can connect it, even just in my daily life, just on my own.” 

According to Lu, many people generalize astrological predictions and mistakenly believe that astrology states that everyone born on the same day has the same personality. Lu has seven people in her life who share her birthday, yet she maintains that they all have their own distinctive qualities because personality and identity are not defined by astrology alone. 

Similarly, Ganesh says that in spite of the ambiguity of astrology, many people don’t account for the complexity revealed by birth charts, and believes that astrology has accurately predicted some of her own attributes, such as being maternal or emotional. 

Ultimately, Lu notes that despite the varying opinions on astrology, it has the power to form communities easily. 

“I think that zodiacs in general are a really nice way to bond with people, because you can take each other’s astrological placements and try to see if it overlaps,” Lu said. “[If] they are true, [or] if they aren’t necessarily true, at the end of day [that’s] also fine. It depend[s] on the individual, but I do think it can bring people together, because they all have something that they have in common and they have similar interests. They’re able to learn more about something that they’re really interested in and intrigued about.”