On the 14th July, NASA published findings that there was a 13th star sign – Ophiuchus. Anyone who has even a vague interest in astrology will know that there has always been 12 star signs.
Most people are also aware of which one they belong to, and will occasionally read their horoscope in the column of a trashy magazine, and try and force it to link to the current events of their own life. However, this may have been false all along, which will come as no shock to the cynics who never believed in star signs in the first place!
NASA have also changed all the dates for the star signs. The new dates are now:
- Capricorn: January 20th to February 15th
- Aquarius: February 16th to March 11th
- Pisces: March 11th to April 18th
- Aries: April 18th to May 13th
- Taurus: May 13th to June 21st
- Gemini: June 21st to July 20th
- Cancer: July 20th to August 10th
- Leo: August 10th to September 16th
- Virgo: September 16th to October 30th
- Libra: October 30th to November 23rd
- Scorpio: November 23rd to November 29th
- Ophiuchus: November 29th to December 17th
- Sagittarius: December 17th to January 20th
My birthday is May 20th, so I was a Taurus before the dates changed, and I am apparently still a Taurus now. Which, to be honest I am quite relieved about.
I still can’t help but be relieved that my star sign has not changed
Even though I am not 100% sure how much I believe in star signs, and how accurate the horoscopes I read are, I do feel a strange sense of attachment to being a Taurus and I do relate to characteristics associated with it – such as being practical, determined and ambitious – and sometimes stubborn, of course.
Whether I have these qualities because I am a Taurus, or it is just a mere coincidence, I still can’t help but be relieved that my star sign has not changed.
However, I am one of the lucky ones. There has been outrage on the internet from people who have found out that their star signs have changed – as if they are no longer who they thought they were.
I’ve seen countless tweets and Instagram comments of people discussing their new found identity, with friends replying to them telling them ‘There is no way you’re a Libra!’
I also saw a hilarious article stating that the digital coupon provider Groupon is offering free tattoo removal for people who have the now incorrect star sign tattooed on their bodies.
I’m sure this will be a relief for celebrities such as Rihanna (formerly Pisces, now Aquarius), Rita Ora (formerly Sagittarius, now Scorpio), Justin Bieber (formerly Pisces, now Aquarius) and Rochelle Humes (formerly Aries, now Pisces), who now all have the incorrect star sign tattooed on them!
We don’t like being told we are part of one category, and then being told we have ‘lived a lie’ and we actually belong to a different one
Amongst the negative comments, I also saw a more positive comment, where someone revealed they were happy to finally be compatible with their wife after 30+ years of marriage due to them both changing star signs.
This made me consider whether the change in star signs is correct, and whether the new dates really do indicate which star sign we belong to – because surely to be together for 30 years, you must be compatible?!
As humans, we just don’t like change – we don’t like being told we are part of one category, and then being told we have ‘lived a lie’ and we actually belong to a different one.
I think that’s why we like the concept of star signs so much – we like to have a category to belong to, and we like to feel like we belong to a group. This links to the psychological concept of social integration – we seek to belong to a group in order to avoid isolation.
I think most of us know that the horoscopes written in magazines and on the internet are often not based on science at all, and yet we still insist on reading them and convincing ourselves that they are true.
Once the horoscope we read is in any way relevant to the current events of our lives (this is likely as they are usually quite vague!), this convinces us that there is some truth in horoscopes, leading us to continue reading them in the hope that they might be right again.
It convinces us that we know what is going to happen in the future, making it appear less scary and like we are in control
This is an example of positive reinforcement – and it happened to me today! The Taurus horoscope for today was that my artistic abilities would be boosted – and coincidentally I did a painting today.
Art is one of my hobbies and I do it very often, but this is positive reinforcement as my horoscope was correct, and this is likely to make me check my horoscope again.
The future is something that scares every human being, so by reading horoscopes and being provided with a prediction on what is going to happen to us gives us comfort and reduces anxiety.
It convinces us that we know what is going to happen in the future, making it appear less scary and like we are in control, reducing the fear of the unknown.
Maybe that’s all that star signs and horoscopes come down to. While we are searching for who we are throughout life, we like to have something which can ‘tell us’ characteristics we have and what direction our lives will take, which reduces our uncertainty about who we are and what the future holds.
Because if the star sign of Taurus is said to be dependable and patient – then surely, I must have those traits myself? (Even though I definitely do NOT have the quality of patience!)
But now the star sign dates have changed, it is causing people to question what qualities they even have in the first place
They are also very useful when acknowledging your own negative traits – ‘Yeah, I’m unreliable but its only because I’m a Gemini!’. This allows people to take the blame off themselves for their bad qualities, instead blaming an external force which is out of their control – this is an example of the psychological term ‘external locus of control’.
But now the star sign dates have changed, it is causing people to question what qualities they even have in the first place. If someone used to be a Virgo, they were the type of person who strives for perfection – but now they are a Libra, they strive for balance?
For people who are dedicated fans of astrology and take great notice of their star sign and relate to it thoroughly, this might leave them with a feeling that they have lost part of their identity.
The fact that people are unable to accept the change suggests that the real reason people love horoscopes so much is based more in psychology than the science behind them
According to a survey in 2017, 58% of Millennials believe that astrology is based in science – so why are so many people struggling to accept and adjust to science’s new findings?
If they are based in science, then people should find it easy to accept science’s new findings and adapt to the new star signs. The fact that many people are unable to do this shows that star signs are deeper than just science – it is also psychology that plays a big aspect in people’s perceptions of star signs.
The fact that people are unable to accept the change suggests that the real reason that people love horoscopes so much is based more in psychology than the science behind them.
People use them to give themselves reinforcement about the type of person they are, and as a means to predict what is going to happen to them in the future. I’m just glad that I remain a Taurus so I can continue to be as stubborn, materialistic and intimidatingly angry as I want to be without taking the blame myself!
However, according to an article posted on the 17th July, NASA claimed they ‘never made a new star sign’, and claimed that astronomy (science) is entirely separate to astrology (not science).
NASA reported that they ‘did not changed any zodiac signs’, but instead that they ‘just did the math’. The science that they reported therefore has no need to cause any change to astrology, and everyone who is stressing about their star sign changing on social media now has no need to!
Hopefully this confirmation will mean that astrology fans can relax in the fact that they are still the person they always thought they were, and they can continue to read the same horoscope that they always have done. Panic over!
Featured image courtesy of Numerology Sign via Flickr. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.
For more content including uni news, reviews, entertainment, lifestyle, features and so much more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like our Facebook page for more articles and information on how to get involved.
If you just can’t get enough of Features, like our Facebook as a reader or a contributor.