I Will Never Read A Horoscope Again

Don’t look at the weather in Dallas when you live in San Jose.

Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

At first they were just a page in the back of a magazine, a three-line morsel with information so diluted it’s a wonder they didn’t float away. I never really connected with any of them, gathering no more wisdom about my sign (Cancer) than the fact that it…likes to stay home sometimes? Honestly I’ve met Magic 8 Balls with more predictive power. But that’s how we’ve been groomed to see them, as toys.

What I’ve come to understand over the last year or so, and even more deeply in the last handful of months, is that astrology is an incredibly layered, highly personal practice that cannot possibly fit into something a graphic designer can lay out to appear opposite a back cover. It’s highly personal, with endless variables, based on when and where you were born, and what our universe (that old so-and-so) happens to be doing at any time.

It always seemed odd to me, there somehow only being 12 available personalities on the planet. Maybe I’d throw a bit of numerology in there every now and then or attempt to identify as the year of the Dog. But everything felt flat, limiting, and truly like hocus pocus, which is only acceptable when Bette Midler is present.

I have an endlessly curious mind, which I’d always attributed to being a writer and loving fodder in general, and as soon as I found out there was so much more to astrology than just our signs and rising signs, I thought, “fuck it, why not—let’s get into it.” That curiosity, as it turns out, isn’t because I’m a writer. But I might be a writer because of that curiosity. I’ll explain.

Recently I’ve explored my birth chart, using apps (it’s 2019, what do you want me to do, consult the scrolls?) like The Pattern and Co-Star to give me a more full picture of the moment I arrived on this plane. The more I learn, the more my curiosity expands, and the more I understand that astrology is there not to tell me the future, but to educate me about circumstance, and help me prepare myself to fully engage with the world around me. It’s also there to help me understand the whats and whys of who I am that had confused me and made me feel small since I actually was small. Astrology isn’t a fortune teller, it’s an expansion of my mind.

Sound like hippie shit? Yeah, I thought so, too. I thought Co-Star was just another toy. I thought I’d add my friends and see how we were “compatible” even though I already know my friend Monica and I are super different, but we fully inspire each other and love to see the other happy and in her worth.

But then I looked at my entire birth chart and it’s information in detail in Co-Star, and felt like someone was unlocking a section of my consciousness I wasn’t allowed into before. (My consciousness, by the way, looks like Hogwarts, and I’d essentially just been given access to the Restricted Section.)

My Moon is in Scorpio—that’s why I find security in professional success. I don’t want people to love my writing because I’m a self-centered asshole, I want it because…you know, rent. I have a lot of Capricorn energy—there’s my work ethic. My Venus is in Gemini, that’s why I’m only going to be attracted to men who can banter as quickly and sharply as me. This isn’t hippie shit, this is education, this is insight, this is feeding my curiosity to know more about myself and the world because what I’ve found out so far is fascinating. This is my Mars in Libra.

I think it’s arrogant to call bullshit on astrology. I think it’s pretty full of ourselves to think that the planets, the actual planets and bodies in our universe do essentially…nothing. It’s also useless to assume that a paragraph written by a freelance writer once a month can give you enough insight and information about what’s happening in the universe in a way that is as tailored to who you are as it would need to be. Our own personal astrology is so unique to us, and isn’t that so much better? Isn’t it cool to know that there’s a time and place in humanity’s continuum that’s essentially yours and only yours?

So astrology? I’m into it—all of it. I’m into seeking more education and less fluff, more insight and less entertainment. But back-of-mag horoscopes? Never again. They are, quite literally, not for me.

NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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