Taylor Corley. Campus Carrier arts and living editor
You’ve seen the memes: Mercury is in Gatorade yet again. But what does that mean? For starters, it’s important to note that actually, Mercury is in retrograde.
Scientifically speaking, when Mercury is in retrograde, the planet looks as though it is orbiting backwards. This explains why astrology suggests that everyone’s routine is about to be disrupted. In astrology, the planet Mercury is associated with communication, electronics, travel and clear thinking. This means during retrograde everyone should be ready to be hit with a whirlwind of setbacks in all of these areas; no zodiac sign is safe.
By definition, astrology is the influence of the stars and planets on human behavior based on the day and month in which a person was born. It’s a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it’s growing popularity amongst millennials has sparked a rise in memes and conversation.
Disclaimer: Astrology is not a proven science and there is no evidence that one’s zodiac sign directly influences their personality, but zodiac signs, or sun signs, are logically determined by the placement of the sun on one’s birthday. True astrology buffs can go even deeper as to determine their moon sign and rising sign based on the placement of the moon, the day of the week and the exact time they were born.
The practice of checking daily horoscopes has shifted from reading advice for the individual signs to scrolling through Instagram accounts that tell you what movie you should watch based on your sign, and social media accounts who categorize people based on their zodiac signs usually use sun signs.
“I saw one post that told you what ice cream flavor you were based on your Zodiac sign,” senior Reanna Huskey said. “It said that Leos were cookie dough ice cream and I said ‘Girl yes!’”
Social media postings often target the personality traits of each sign. There are 12 zodiac signs: Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius. The 12 signs are then divided into earth signs, water signs, air signs and fire signs. Water signs are exceptionally emotional, fire signs are passionate and temperamental, earth signs are realistic and air signs are social and rational. The descriptions get more personalized within each sign.
“When I was little I would just read about the personality traits of a Leo,” Huskey said. “We’re very charismatic and kind of dominant and I thought ‘you know this really does relate to me.’”
One of the reasons zodiac culture is growing so rapidly is because of people’s ability to resonate with the personality traits of their sign.
“At first I would only ever consider my horoscope because I would see it on Snapchat or Instagram,” sophomore Sydney Kate said. “After I researched my sign, I’m a Libra, I really connected with the information, so I started to keep up with my horoscope more often.”
Many of the jokes surrounding astrology have also made the practice applicable to a larger audience as well as more enjoyable for people who don’t strictly follow astrology.
“I think the meme culture of astrology is how a lot of people know about it,” Kate said. “I do enjoy the meme aspect, but all in all I find the life advice aspect to be quite accurate too and I appreciate that.”
There are several apps that provide people with daily horoscope readings as well as a full analysis of their sign. Amongst some of the most popular are Co-Star, The DailyHoroscope and Time Nomad. But for users who think reading their horoscope every day is tedious, there is the option to view a monthly reading.
“Most of the horoscopes I read are about the future or predictions for the upcoming year,” Huskey said. “I look for my sign’s best dates for the upcoming month or what the month will bring for me, like money or romance, but I don’t try to make things happen. I also read for things to look out for, like trouble with a friend, and even if I think it might not happen, it’s just good advice anyway.”
Contrary to popular opinion, horoscope readings have shifted from being used to determine the direction of one’s life and are now used more as a way to provide insight.
“I don’t think I live my life according to my horoscope,” Kate said. “I think my life and my horoscope just correlate and it’s not that it makes things happen, but it just simply aligns.”
The practice of astrology continues to provide people with information about themselves and assurance about the future. How the information one receives is applied to their life is left up to them to decide. Let’s just hope they’re not a Gemini.