Astrology: the study of movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world.
According to Kepler.edu, Shakespeare used astrological descriptions as a shorthand description of the personality and attitudes of his characters.
In India, the practice is integral to the culture and until the 17th century, astrology was an integral part of Western culture too. Traditionally, attitudes toward astrology are divided into two camps: those who are skeptical one’s entire life can be determined by what stars they were born under and the “New Age” crowd, those who are mocked for taking astrology too seriously.
Social media platforms such as Twitter and Tumblr dedicate accounts to astrology humor, memes and sincere posts—introducing a new generation to astrology and allowing them to find new aspects of their identities.
These memes and online jokes about horoscopes are often stereotyping pre-defined personality traits, but there is an undeniable comfort in seeing yourself mirrored in these categories.
I myself have indulged in reblogging various Aquarius posts on Tumblr. I see a direct correlation between the average Aquarius traits and my personality.
I consider myself progressive and independent. I have a deep need for alone time in order to regain energy. I tend to be perceived as cold and insensitive, but these are just defense mechanisms.
I have often had a difficult time fitting in and relating to my contemporaries. There is a comfort in finding ways to identify myself outside of my race, gender and religion. It’s easy to pluck personality traits from the narrow choices by my astrological sign, my Hogwarts house (Ravenclaw) or my Myers-Briggs type (INTJ).
But there is a problem with narrowing people to these particular identifiers, especially when these identifiers are mistaken for an explainer of behaviors without holding people accountable.
The narrow identifiers pertaining to astrological signs, Hogwarts house or Myers-Briggs personality type should not be used as excuses for not taking responsibility for actions.
These personality rubrics are tools to support your intuition—ways to hone in on a true sense of self.
People are ultimately multifaceted. I am not just an Aquarius and others are not just their sign. Again, these frameworks should be used recreationally as tools to uncover a deeper and truer self.
One should never attempt to pigeonhole an ever-evolving personality into a predetermined set of traits. To do so is to limit one’s potential.