Astrology Skeptics Read Their Birth Charts: Chaos Ensues

     It’s a well-known fact that I’m no skeptic of astrology. Anyone who has spent any amount of time with me has heard me utter “Wait, what’s your sign?” or “Oh my god, of course! That’s so  Scorpio!” That’s not to say I haven’t met my fair share of skeptics, however. Of course, astrology isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay! I’ve found it to be such a valuable tool in understanding myself and those around me, though, so when I find people who are not on board with astrology, I usually find myself asking “But WHY!?” Most people tell me that it’s either because they feel like horoscopes are written so vaguely they could apply to anyone or because they’ve never identified with the traits of their Sun sign. Cue me rubbing my hands together menacingly and preparing to fill their head with astrology woo-woo nonsense.

     See, astrology is so much more than your Sun sign (the sign most everyone knows is assigned to them). The placement of the Sun at your birth is important, yes, but equally important are placements of other planets like the Moon, Venus, Mercury, and Mars. The way these planets interact is what really makes up an astrological profile that is specific to you in a way that transcends your typical horoscope.

     So—in an effort to convert as many people as possible to my sinful witchy ways (and also in an effort to understand those that don’t believe in astrology)— I put out a call to my fellow Literally, Darling writers. I asked if there were any skeptics willing to let me do their full birth chart and analysis and give me their feedback afterwards, good or bad. To my surprise, quite a few stepped forward. I was a little nervous going into this. I’ve done birth charts for many of my friends and family members, but I always had a sneaking fear that I was filtering their chart through information I already knew about them and their life, confirmation bias making me feel like their charts were just sooooo accurate. Now, I was tasked with writing birth charts for five people I barely knew at all, my only interactions with them limited to brief correspondence pitching articles, etc.

     I got to work immediately, consulting all my favorite astrology apps, websites, and books and drawing on the knowledge I’ve accumulated over my 2-year journey into the deep end of astrology. I wanted to make the most complete and specific charts possible for these women so if it was accurate there was no way they could write it off as “too general”. I finished my charts, sent them out, and anxiously awaited the feedback. Included in their charts was a breakdown of their basic planetary placements as well as an overall summary of how these placements interacted. I thought for sure one or two of them would come over to the woo-woo side when all was said and done, but it was so much more intense than that.

 

Chart 1: Cancer Sun

     The first chart I completed was for “G” (I’ll be using letters instead of names in case these folks don’t want their birth charts on blast). Before doing her chart, I asked her how she felt about astrology. “I think it’s actually kind of cool when people are into astrology! I’ve just never thought any of mine were accurate, so I don’t really buy into it. I’ve heard Cancers are like very moody and like outwardly emotional, which isn’t really a thing for me.” I sent over her chart and awaited the response. To my pleasant surprise, I watched as she made notes on the chart, making comments about the accuracy for the most part. I had to ask: after reading your chart, have your perceptions of astrology changed at all? “Yeah, it did! I didn’t think my sign really fit me before and now seeing how everything breaks down and how there’s more to it than just the main sign, i can see how it’s actually really, really accurate.”

     It was apparently so accurate, in fact, that it was a little freaky: “It also sort of freaked me out that there were aspects of it that would obviously have to be true since I was born but also were very dependent on specific things happening in my life to make them true now.” (There were aspects of her chart that clearly pointed to certain issues in adulthood that were a direct result of childhood experiences, which rang very true for her.) I asked her if she thought she would recommend birth chart analysis to anyone else now (the true test of if someone has been converted). She said “Yes! I’ve actually talked to my mom and a couple friends about it and they all want theirs done now.” Success! One down, four to go.

 

Chart 2: Cancer Sun

     Next up was G2. I knew she was going to be a tough cookie. When asked how she felt about astrology before doing her chart, she said “I just can’t quite understand why star or planet alignment would have effects on human mood. So I guess I’m more curious and confused than anything else. One more thought I have is that they [astrology buffs] let the idea of “fate” influence them too much instead of how actions of themselves and those around them change the course of a life.” These are all valid points, and I was hoping I could address them and bust some astrology myths in her chart analysis. Of all the charts I did, G2 remained the most skeptical. Her comments on the chart ranged from “This is so true.” to “This absolutely doesn’t fit me.”

     At the end of the chart, she felt that it was somewhat accurate but still too general for her to really feel on board with the concept of astrology. “I feel like I could have recognized elements of myself no matter what it said. So it was interesting, but I don’t feel that astrology actually impacts how I function or make decisions.” When asked if she would ever recommend a chart analysis to someone else, she said “I would recommend it as a fun or entertaining activity (because it is). I wouldn’t recommend it to someone looking for answers or guidance in their life, because I don’t think they will find it there.” Alright, so I can’t convert everyone (I secretly believe that her highly rational Virgo Moon and Rising are responsible), but at least she had a fun time reading her chart!

 

Chart 3: Cancer Sun (Yes, Another)

     I moved on to J, who filled me in on some of her thoughts on astrology before I started on her chart. “I don’t think astrology is in any way harmful, and I think if people want to believe in it, that’s totally fine. I’m not sure that I do, though…When it comes to people who are super into astrology, I admit I’ve probably internalized a cultural message that they’re ‘weird,’ but I’m a bit weird too, so no (deliberate) judgement from me.” Upon sending over her chart, she immediately sent me a response: “Nothing really stands out as being really untrue. It feels like the essence of me!”

     After she’d had some time to go through the chart in full, I asked how she felt. “I actually feel a little exposed…My expectation was that a lot of the qualities would be vague and applicable to lots of people. There’s a part of me that still feels skeptical (like, can I really believe in astrology?!) but the chart was undeniably accurate about my inner nature. It hit on a lot of things that i’m not sure many people know about me.” After our interview, J even went on to ask me about astrological aspects during an upcoming event she was stressing about, joking “Ok, I think this would make me actually converted if I’m asking this…” Don’t worry, J, there’s room in the magical girl club for everyone.

 

Chart 4: Pisces Sun

     E had the wildest change of perspective of any of the people I read for. She commented on my original post looking for test subjects saying “They keep changing mine every five seconds, so I def don’t buy it.” (She’s an Aquarius/Pisces cusp, meaning she falls just on the edge of where Aquarius ends and Pisces begins). Fast forward to the first message she sent me after receiving her birth chart: “Oh my god. I’ve only read the overview, but I’m in awe. Literally all of this is so me. I think I’m totally converted. The more I read, the more I totally believe it.” A few days after she had some time to process, I asked her more about her experience. “I was blown away. The more I read, the more I freaked out…I’m totally down to join the cult whenever it’s formed.” (There had been jokes on my original thread about recruiting for my woo-woo cult).

     Not only was she converted, she told me she’d already been finding practical applications for the information I put in her chart: “I had a meeting with my boss on Friday and I was already utilizing the stuff I learned about myself to better deal with my stress and explain how I felt. I think the whole experience was so eye-opening for me and will really help in the long run.” This is exactly the type of comment I love to hear. To me, astrology is not about having your fate written in the stars, but rather about having aspects of yourself written there. Once you have your eyes opened to these traits, it becomes much easier to change what you don’t like or amplify what you do to make your life better and easier.

Chart 5: Scorpio

     Finally, there was O. O’s main beef with astrology was “that it seems to work in direct contrast with autonomy…I just really don’t like the seeming inevitability of it. Like, because I’m a Scorpio, I’m going to relate to things in a very specific (usually sexual because Scorpio) way…I have girlfriends who will make excuses for their (male) partners based on their astrological sign, and I think it’s kind of bullshit…BUT I’m also totally open to the possibility that all my previous experiences have been misrepresented and that Cosmo magazine and other western news outlets aren’t actually the truest representation of a more ancient practice.” After she received her chart, I received another instantaneous message: “Ok. So. I’m at work currently so I’m going to go through and give you a detailed breakdown tonight…but essentially this is scarily accurate. Like. I’m sharing it with my mom it’s so accurate…Holy shit this is no joke.”

     Once she’d had time to gather her thoughts, we talked more about the experience. “Before I felt, for Scorpio specifically, there is hyper focus on ego, hyper sexuality, jealousy, and stubbornness, and while I do have those traits…people are more complicated than that—and this reading not only acknowledged that complication but also was accurately describing my personal complications.” When asked about how she felt while reading her chart, she expressed the same level of discomfort mentioned by some others: “I found myself nodding and squirming, as I would move from reading traits that I liked, and others that I didn’t like…Reading about my shadow self (Lilith) was actually pretty heartbreaking because it got at my deepest needs and vulnerabilities that have contributed to the worst things that have happened in my life, and to the best…I think the specificity of the fears that are unique to me are going to be particularly helpful.”

     Our chat concluded with one of the most heartwarming sentiments I’ve received after a birth chart analysis: “Ultimately, it’s helped me understand myself better—or give names to trends that I was already feeling or noticing. I honestly think it is even more helpful that it came from you, Kalyn, because we haven’t had any interactions beyond our conversation before you did the chart, but you’re also not some random astrology site. Despite being unsettling, it actually combats loneliness and misunderstandings of the self.”

     With that, my mission was complete. I didn’t convert everyone, but 4/5 isn’t bad. Besides, my real goal was to find out if astrology could help others (even skeptics) as much as it has helped me, and it seems it definitely did. In fact, so many people were so profoundly fascinated after reading their chart (I also did charts for several people I didn’t include here for reasons of length, but none of them remained skeptics) that there were calls for a “Birth Chart Support Group” chat to learn more about astrology and to support each other through this new and wild revelation.

     Nothing brings me more joy than sharing my love for tarot, astrology, and all things woo-woo, so to have brought a small group of women (previous skeptics, nonetheless) together using astrology as a tool couldn’t have been more satisfying. I’m always “that girl” at parties asking everyone their sign, and now nothing will stop me from amassing an army of “those girls”, listing their Sun, Moon, and Rising signs on every social media bio and dating app imaginable. My own woo-woo utopia.

If you’re interested in having your own birth chart analysis completed by yours truly, head over to my Tarot shop here, with more Tarot spreads coming soon!

Kalyn Anderson

Kalyn Anderson

Kalyn is a textbook youngest child and Taurus who, according to her pals, fills the niche of "spooky gay" in her circle. When she's not answering phones at a tattoo shop or peddling moderately priced soaps, you can find her muttering in the woods, crossing the street at recklessly inappropriate times, racing the clock to meet writing deadlines, or reading tarot for her small business, Rabbit Heart Tarot. Her catchphrase is "There's a spell for that", and her idols include Liz Lemon, Helena Bonham Carter, and Tilda Swinton. She can be contacted by lighting sandalwood scented candles, arranging a circle of corn-on-the-cob, and whispering "D'you wanna watch X-Files?" into a mirror at the stroke of midnight.
Kalyn Anderson
  • Quite an interesting post. People are accepting the fact that astrology does work and indeed astrology does work through the movement of celestial bodies.

%d bloggers like this: