Do you believe in astrology?

Ah, astrology. The field of study that is so divisive that its debates usually end in exasperation and being told that the other party is only being stubborn because of something in retrograde.

I personally have no clue about the hows and whys of astrology. I tried back in high school because my friends were into it, I really did, and tried to understand certain stereotypes based on those vague Astrology Twitter accounts but to no avail. I just found myself sort of nodding at generalized statements that kinda sound like me. And while it doesn’t bother me overall, I get royally annoyed when people use it to justify terrible behavior (No, Karen, he isn’t avoiding you because you’re a Gemini, it’s cause you’re mean).

My closest friends, however, are super into it. And more power to them, it sounds fascinating when you get past the general meme-format statements about which The Office quote each sign is. The rising moon, sun, all that stuff is so thoroughly researched that I respect it to a degree. But otherwise, I just can’t get into it. I’m that meme guy with all the question marks whenever someone’s like “yeah, it makes sense that she’s a Pisces rising.”

The non-believers

We talked to 3 non-believers and gathered their views on astrology and why they don’t follow it as much as others do.

Anonymous, Pisces

When asked about how they reacted to the big rise in popularity of astrology, they answered with nonchalance: “I don’t really care–it doesn’t affect anything.” Firm in their decision, they truly believe that the stars and planets don’t govern anything here on Earth. People who try to aggressively dictate someone else’s personality through their charts/signs come off biased to them.

“Makes me think they’re so biased with the way they look at the world. We all have our own identities and we make them up as we go, the stars don’t have anything to do with it.”

But while this person doesn’t necessarily subscribe to the idea of ruling planets and natal charts, they don’t put anyone down. In cases of interacting with believers who talk to them about it, they don’t try to make the believers feel bad. Instead, she lets out a harmless laugh. “They share what they believe with me and I just laugh.”

And while the memes are quite crazy and reach quite far in terms of prediction, the craziest thing that this person has heard based on astrology is a number. A number of people who have a crush. “The craziest thing I’ve heard is the number of people who have a crush on you based on your star sign, LOL.”

Micah Perez, Pisces

His initial reaction to the rise in popularity of astrology again was simple but still full of surprise: “Why?”

But, like many non-believers, he still remains respectful even when maintaining distance from the belief. Even though he may not follow in the footsteps of others in terms of astrology, he doesn’t try to bring them down. “I humor them in as respectful a way as I can but then pay no mind afterward,” he explains. It’s a matter of respect and being polite even if he doesn’t think that the stars can govern our energies.

It’s good that he doesn’t necessarily have very close friends who subscribe to the belief, earning him some respite from the memes or astrology Twitter accounts that go around. But, still, he encounters some crazy predictions or ideas when he does encounter people. When asked, he said that the weirdest one he heard was: “Predictions of JOBS of all things when someone graduates from college.”

Inigo Ragandap, Scorpio

When people talk to Inigo about astrology, he finds it amusing. “I get aliw because since I’m a Scorpio people say I’m bad or mischievous or like mysterious,” he explains, entertained by the idea that his sign is often thought of as dangerous.

Most people who don’t believe in astrology might just shoot down others who do. But Inigo likes to listen, as the field is fascinating in itself even if he doesn’t follow it as closely as those people do. “I have friends who believe, I like listening to them because them being passionate about astrology is interesting and fascinating to me.” According to him, there’s no need to discount the interests of others.

When it comes to behavior prediction, however, he has his own thoughts on it. As a psych major, he doesn’t really think that the date you’re born presets any behavior or inclinations. “Behavior is mostly because of your environment or the people around you. Based on cognitive psychology, the way you think results in the way you behave. Your environment influences the way you think.”

And while he lends a listening ear as much as he can, even he can admit that he’s heard some pretty weird stuff rooted in astrology, the weirdest being: “There’s an alignment of the planets tonight, no wonder we’re fighting.”

The believers

We also talked to 3 people who very much believe in astrology. From birth charts to astrology memes, these 3 are all over them.

Gaby Mendiola, Pisces sun, Sagittarius rising and moon

When asked why she’s so into astrology, she took the route of self-understanding: “I like how astrology can explain how you feel and why you feel certain things. It also makes you realize things about yourself and others that you don’t think about.” She uses it as a tool to reflect on her own feelings and actions–a lens to see herself in.

Gaby encounters a lot of people who don’t believe in astrology and criticize it. She deals with it by trying to introduce them in the most beginner-friendly way. “I interact with a lot of non-believers. Usually what I do is try to read their natal chart to them in a way that they understand. More often than not it makes them understand and become more open-minded towards astrology.”

While a lot of people feel so strongly against astrology because of the bad rap it gets about “behavior prediction,” Gaby believes that it isn’t a be-all, end-all way of knowing someone. “[It] can predict a certain aspect of someone’s personality and behavior… I just like to do it for fun and show people that it’s accurate.”

Belle Mapa, Virgo sun, Cancer moon, and Aries ascendant (IG +Twitter @bellemaps)

While many of us think that astrology is only really big now, Belle believes it never really left. “For me actually, I don’t feel like astrology disappeared–it’s been in our hearts and stars all along charot. But I am very happy that now I can say things like ‘ugh they’re such Geminis kasi!’ and people won’t look at me like I’m having a stroke.”

She got her start early with a piece of literature that every young girl seemed to be reading: W.I.T.C.H.! “I’ve always loved astrology. Ever since I saw it in WITCH comics! I guess it just gave me another aspect of looking at my personality than those tests elementary guidance offices would always give,” she says. “I loved the elemental aspect. I’ve always been a textbook Virgo so it’s been interesting to explore my personality as told by different astrologers/publishers.”

What really has her fixated on astrology is its specificity. According to her, it’s such a personal thing. “There’s a sign ascribed to every planet on your chart. Each planet reflects a certain aspect of your personality or being. The way human beings are so complex, it’s reflected in the stars. Astrologers have a saying as above so below,” she explains. Charts and energy, all that, are so specific per person. “Once you get your chart, it’s really for you talaga,” she expounds.

When it comes to actually dealing with astrology and learning about people, she says it’s like “talking about the weather” because “you can’t predict personalities because people are so elemental and there are more aspects to them than what they seem, so I’m just like ok this planet is retrograding, or the moon is in this phase, etc.”

Chris Pino, Sagittarius

Another believer of astrology, Chris agrees with Belle: “I never really felt like astrology ever left.” And while she grew up watching morning shows with astrology segments or read horoscopes in newspapers, she’s noticed that they just grew more popular in meme form especially across social media. “I see it being used mostly as a means by which people present themselves on the internet. By sharing memes like ‘Sagittarius starter pack’  or some other sign they’re trying to say yeah this is so me.”

And while astrology has a wider reach because of memes and the mainstream, Chris doesn’t believe that these representations are accurate. “I’d say, however, that the mainstream sort of astrology posts and memes I see on Twitter don’t really capture what the essence of astrology is for me.”

For Chris, she finds astrology “fascinating because it shows [her] [her own] inclinations and it makes [her] think about how [she] interacts with the world.” Astrology has become a way to better understand herself, too, and not in a way that robs her of her own agency or free will, but opens her eyes to her own inclinations. “Honestly I just see astrology as a medium for being contemplative about my attitude towards life and how I interact with other people,” she says. “It’s not like the planets force me to do stuff. I think free will is still very much compatible with astrology especially if you go back to why it was developed in the first place–it’s an alternative for understanding a world that can’t be boxed in quantifiable notions or rational theories or whatever.”

Chris also poses a challenging question to those who might doubt astrology without basis and reminds them that the laws of nature tell us everything is interconnected. “When we continue stepping on a patch in the grass it withers. When we kill predators that eat pests there becomes an imbalance in biodiversity. Even the tides in bodies of water shift due to the pull of the Sun and Moon. So who’s to say it’s impossible we also have a relationship with the planets and cosmic objects?”

Now that you’ve heard from both sides, what do you think? How about you? Do you believe in astrology? Let us know!

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