But WHY Do You Like Astrology?

Last year, I took an astrology class from a man who had taught astrology for decades and published multiple astrology books. I remember being surprised that he began the course by explaining why he wouldn’t explain how or why astrology works to people. 

I was surprised that a man who had spent decades with astrology, who had published books, who was speaking to a room of paying students (some of whom read astrology professionally as well) still felt the need to address astrology’s credibility and why he used astrology. I mean, his audience is pretty well defined, right?

But of course, he had good reasons to address the astrology question. Among the top questions asked of astrologers (and astrology enthusiasts) are: Why do you like this stuff? How does it work? Isn’t it all a lot of hooey?

So, if you’ve booked an astrology reading and find your coworker peeking at your calendar, or if you tell your mom/boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend, and they say, "What? How on earth can astrology actually work?" or "Why do you like it?", here’s a list for you.

  1. Astrology assumes people and nature operate with similar rhythms. We go through patterns in life (youth, adulthood, old age, days of the week, job changes, big moves, relationships) and so does nature (seasons, planetary transits, days and nights). When you examine astrology, you see how these events coincide.

  2. Astrology is a tool to understand human psychology and personality types. Forget the planetary connection—astrology as a personality-based discipline has been around for thousands of years, and astrology has refined with cultural changes over time. The astrology chart is a tool to show a snapshot of your personality and how you can develop and refine over time.

  3. Astrology is a feminist, equality-centered discipline. As a folklorist, I’m trained to respect and acknowledge cultural knowledge that others dismiss. This includes disciplines that come from non-dominant cultures, ethnicities, and genders. In the modern era, astrology is used by non-dominant groups to discuss, challenge, and heal major issues that stand in the way of equality.  

  4. Astrology works because it does (this answer is the one the teacher gave). It’s hard to argue with results. Once you experience playing with astrological patterns to get results, you might use the because-it-does answer too! The world is full of abstract ways to get to know the self and improve personal wellbeing: pro athletes and Marines visualize success; CEOs and yogis and everyone in between meditate; and the internet is crawling with strength-finder tests, Meyers Briggs breakdowns, and Enneagram discussions. Astrology is just another way to explore and get to know the self.

  5. Astrology is a way to cultivate compassion. Forget why or how it works, and look at what the practice is—you’re examining ways of being (signs) in different areas of life (houses) to understand how human differences operate, how we make mistakes, and how we grow. In this answer, the relationship of your chart to the planets isn’t too important, but your relationship to the types of energies you embody in various areas of your life is paramount.

  6. No answer. You, of course, are allowed to like whatever you like, and believe whatever you believe. While I don’t recommend this approach in answering genuinely curious people, every once in a while you’ll meet someone who simply wants to prove you wrong, and since astrology is more of a language of association and self-exploration than scientific proof, you’ll likely get nowhere in the conversation. For those people, you can simply change the subject or simply just say, "I like what I like!"

    So, has anyone ever asked you 'the astrology question'? If so, how did you respond?