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Opinion | Searching for signals from the stars

Astrology offers a way to dig deeper within ourselves

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This globe shows the placement of planets and constellations within the sky. Astrological birth charts read the placement of these planets and give an interpretation of someone’s archetypal presentation based on those placements. // Photo courtesy of Vedrana Filipović via Unsplash

Traditional modes of religion have been a guiding light for so many people across the nation for hundreds of years now. But recently, as trust in institutions wavers, other modes of spirituality have been on the rise, such as astrology. 

In 2014, a Pew Religious Study revealed that since 2007 there has been a significant decrease in interest and belief in more traditional modes of religion, such as Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, etc.

Humans are curious by nature, constantly searching for answers about ourselves and the world around us. Victor Frankl, a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, said humans are meaning-seeking machines. 

Laya Striaberg, a local Bellingham astrologer, also said that younger generations seek to better understand the inner workings of themselves and the world. 

“They are looking inside themselves for answers, and are no longer looking at doctrines to tell them how to live their lives,” Striaberg said. “They don’t take the outside yes as the inside yes.”

With interest in religion declining, interests in other forms of self-discovery and fulfillment have begun, such as astrology. Although astrology is not a religion specifically, it can be classified as a spiritual practice. 

The World Atlas defines astrology as the “study of the influence of stars and planets on human lives, such as someone’s personality, their romantic relations and their economic successes.” 

It can be used as a tool to look deeper into how oneself functions and also used to help understand the actions of friends, family and even strangers. 

On a larger scale, astrology can also be used to foresee future trends of humanity. Bill Nolan, an astrology professor at Whatcom Community College said that in 2020, there was an alignment of Saturn and Mars that hadn’t been seen since the beginning of The Black Death in the 1300s. 

According to TarotLife, there are many different forms of astrology that have been generated in many different parts of the world. The most popular and well-known form used widely throughout the nation is called Western astrology, also referred to as Tropical astrology. 

Nolan said Western astrology originally grew its popularity in Greece around the fourth century B.C. and has been modernized throughout time. 

Astrology can help people explore the hidden patterns of unconscious forces that may be affecting someone’s life, Nolan said. 

In astrology, each person has a different astrological birth chart. According to Astrostyle, birth charts show where each of the 12 planets were at in its journey around the sun at the time and place of someone’s birth. 

Vancouver, B.C. astrologer, Tegan Forbes, said birth charts can be an “extraordinary tool for going deeper into someone’s own personal philosophy because they are the blueprint of your soul.” 

Forbes went on to explain that given varying planet placements at the time and place of someone’s birth, people are given a different sign for each planet. Each person has 12 different sign placements for the 12 planets that affect different areas in a person’s life.

These signs can give insight into certain archetypal traits that a person might have. It can help people discover and understand parts of themselves and others. The three most commonly talked about are the sun sign, moon sign and rising sign, although all the signs play a big role in your identity, Forbes said. 

According to the astrological horoscope app Co-Star, the sun sign determines ego, identity and role in life, while the moon sign rules emotions, moods and feelings, and the rising sign is how you present to other people.

The number one reason people are skeptical of astrology is because it will never be able to pass the scientific method, so many now consider it a pseudoscience, according to Elephant Journal. Astronomy and astrology used to be close-knit but only recently has skepticism surrounded and outcasted astrology. 

Many people, including U.S. presidents, stock brokers and businessmen have used astrology to predict outcomes and help them achieve success. Despite skepticism, they all acknowledged and praised astrology for its accuracy and helpfulness, Elephant Journal wrote.

Dating apps, like Bumble, have even added an astrological sign feature, so members can share their sun signs with each other to be able to more deeply understand potential matches.

“It was always really hard for me to pinpoint why I act the way I do and for me to see myself,” Alex Metzker said. 

Metzker is an astrology lover from Seattle and said astrology made it easier for her to identify with herself. It gave her a better understanding of who she was and why she acted certain ways. 

“I finally felt at peace with myself,” Metzker said.

Torie Wold (she/her) is an opinion reporter for The Front. She is a second-year student, majoring in Visual Journalism. Her work focuses on creating an open space for students, faculty, and community members to be able to share their experiences and views on current news. You can contact her at toriewold.thefront@gmail.com


Torie Wold

Torie Wold (she/her) is an opinion reporter for The Front. She is a second-year student, majoring in Visual Journalism. Her work focuses on creating an open space for students, faculty, and community members to be able to share their experiences and views on current news. You can contact her at toriewold.thefront@gmail.com.


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