Looking to the stars: How astrology can teach us about ourselves

When it comes to astrology, your first thought might be teenagers gossiping over what signs are the most compatible, but there’s a lot more to it.

Astrology is the study of the universe and how it affects Earth and all things encompassed by it. It’s used to understand how the universe affects us individually and as a population.

Whether you accept it as truth or not, the practice has been around for longer than we have.

The study of astrology is traced back to ancient times from civilizations around the world. These ancient astrologers would track the movement of planets and stars and were able to create calendars and predictions of eclipses.

Each planet rules over a different part of self and can be in any one of 12 signs based on where the planet was in the zodiac at your time of birth.

The most common one is your sun sign, determined by the day you were born. To find all your placements you can use an online natal chart calculator, also known as a birth chart. For this you need your birth date, time of birth and location.

Graphic designer, Miranda Grigor, started learning more about her own natal chart in her 20’s and it slowly weaved its way into her everyday life.

“It’s really just another tool for getting to know yourself and becoming a better version of yourself,” she says. “As things are changing in the sky above us it’s impacting different placements. All the transits we’re having will show up and totally throw us into a new trajectory.”

The moon drew her in and when she couldn’t find a moon calendar she decided to make her own in 2017. She now creates new ones annually.

The moon calendars aren’t the only astrology-related part of her business. Grigor also works with an astrologer and offers readings for business owners.

“We help my clients pick launch dates. It’s basically like casting a natal chart for your business because you’re going to be in a pretty intimate relationship with this being if you will,” she says.

Creating a natal chart for a business can give insight when making decisions since it carries its own energy and purpose.

The 1960s saw astrology gain popularity with daily horoscopes being printed in newspapers. The spike is comparable to the increase we see today, but newspapers have been replaced by social media.

The increase in technology brought a fast-paced life that can make people feel burnt out easily.

“Our society has been at a non-stop pace for so long and very like, ‘if you’re not stressed out, you’re not working hard enough,'” says Grigor.

This non-stop way of living can make it feel like you’re running for a bus that won’t stop at times.

“Maybe that is why so many people have embraced [astrology], because it kind of gives us permission to slow down and look at our own unique charts and where our energy is ebbing and flowing,” she says.

The digital world has given astrologers a larger platform to share what they know and share their services with a reach never seen before.

According to IBISWorld, the psychic services industry in the United States, which includes astrology, palmistry and more, has grown on average 1.2 per cent per year from 2016 and is now worth $2.3 billion in 2021 with more growth expected.

With the industry predicted to continue growing, more people are turning to social media for information. There are a number of trustworthy astrologers putting out accurate information, but there are also accounts spreading misinformation.

One thing to remember when diving into the wonderful world of astrology is to trust your gut and if something doesn’t resonate with you, let it go.

“No two experiences are identical, and that’s one of the things I love most about astrology. Your experience is valid and your perception of what’s happening is valid,” says Grigor.

Knowing where your personal limits of belief stand helps you maintain a healthy relationship with yourself and the universe.

Ahllam Mohamad, a visual arts student at the University of Ottawa, tries to keep this in mind as she reads about all things astrology and is careful with content because of the misinformation online.

“At this point, I’m a little bit careful because some people like to throw up misinformation,” says Mohamad. “I think in terms of self discovery, it’s for fun.”

She feels that there is truth in what the stars say and she knows enough to be able to decide what to accept. The most prominent aspect of astrology for her is the comfort it brings.

“It gives me comfort to be like, ‘Okay this person is an Aquarius so they might have these tendencies,’” she says. “I go in knowing something so I’m not too scared of the unknown.”

Mohamad also takes into consideration that astrology isn’t the absolute truth for everything in the world.

“Sure my sun sign is Pisces but I’ve also lived life, I’ve had different experiences so I’m built differently than what an article describes me as,” says Mohamad.

When it comes down to it, astrology is an intimate relationship between oneself and the stars. Learning about it, to any degree, can introduce you to a new way of seeing the world and there is never a lack of new information out there.

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