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Everything you need to know about horoscope

An ancient tradition that is still widely popular, especially in hilarious IG memes

Everything you need to know about horoscope An ancient tradition that is still widely popular, especially in hilarious IG memes

New Year means also new resolutions and good intentions for the most optimistic among us, or a lapidary Same shit, different year for all the cynics around. Yet, a large part of the population, of different ages, origins and social backgrounds, shares a single guilty pleasure: to know what the future holds for us, thanks, of course, to the horoscope. Whether it's love, future, money or work, we like to be reassured, mocked, scolded (without even knowing by whom). It could be the charming Paolo Fox, a true Italian institution, and his winking attitude or the columns on female magazines and IG pages, or on the famous Gazzetta Dello Sport. It doesn't matter: nobody gives up to have even a quick peek at their zodiac sign. And it's not enough for us to know how the first days of the year, the first weeks, the first month, will go. No, not at all, we want to know what all the 365 - oops, 366 - days ahead of us will be like.

On January 1st we’ve seen on our Instagram feed dozen of pics with captions like "1st page of 365", well here’s a gentle reminder: 2020 is a leap year. In Italy, this means bad luck but apparently, in Ireland, women are allowed to propose to men on this specific, get ready ladies! But where does the horoscope come from? How did it gain this position inside our, generally speaking, agnostic Western society? 

A horoscope is a divination act that astrology uses to decode and obtain information from supernatural events. The word ‘astrology’ comes from the ancient Greek ἀστρολογία and is the union of the words 'star' and 'speech'. According to these beliefs, the position and movement of celestial objects influence people’s lives and events on Earth. Until the 17th century, astronomy was also part of astrology, which was considered "the queen of science". Even famous characters like Kepler and Galileo were astrologers. All the most important ancient civilizations looked up as some point, observing celestial phenomena; the first manuals on the subject were written in Mesopotamia and the Babylonians believed that there was an undeniable correspondence between what was happening in the sky and earthly events. But before them, even the primitive people looked at comets and eclipses as inexplicable phenomena, omens of imminent events. Let's flash forward to the third century B.C. when astrology spread in the Mediterranean. The Greeks began to predict not only the course of events but also the fate of each individual based on the positions of the planets, i.e. creating the ancestor of the horoscope as we know it today. During the Middle Ages, there has been a phase of decline in Europe, but in the 13th century with the resumption of interest in astronomy, astrology came back in the spotlight. 

Today it is considered a pseudoscience by the scientific community, determined by superstitions and popular beliefs. According to some, it is even a ‘pathological science’, that is to say, a set of ideas in which a person believes, even though they have been declared erroneous and proved wrong. In psychology this is called the Forer effect (or subjective validation effect or Barnum effect): when an individual reads his/her psychological profile, or at least what it should be, immediately starts to believe that is precise and accurate, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. Of course, the same traits may be common to a large number of people and are presented pretty vaguely. 

As the Centre for Psychology and Psychotherapy in Milan states "the majority of people would like to live in a predictable world, over which they can somehow have control. They feel to have some power over future events and that they won’t be caught off guard. Insecure people are often tormented by doubts, do not know how to make decisions and worry about making the wrong one, of course, horoscope comes to the rescue, in a very reassuring way. In a certain way, it removes responsibilities from them: the stars are going to decide for us, so it’s not up to you to make your own decision. Moreover, the horoscope always has a consolatory effect, because it always has a good word for everyone, a hope. It tickles our ego, our desire to be special, positive, unique people".

The horoscope we are used to reading is based on our birth sign and the influence that the transit of the planets has on all those born in a given period of time. Each sign of the zodiac takes its name from a constellation and by tradition, the first sign of the zodiac is Aries, followed by the other eleven. Western tradition uses the so-called tropical subdivision of the zodiac, which is based on the revolution of the Earth around the Sun. The zodiac is divided into four sectors, corresponding to the two equinoxes and the two solstices. Each of these sectors is then further divided into three equal parts. 

To be honest, there is some evidence that would prove sceptics right. The constellations have different amplitudes (for example, Leo is almost three times bigger than Cancer) moreover, due to the change in the direction of the Earth’s axis of rotation (around one degree every 72 years), the zodiac signs no longer match the constellations from which they originally took their name. Actually it has been estimated that the most precise overlap occurred 1700 years ago. Some people argued that in order to compensate all of this we should add a new sign to the horoscope: the Ophiuchus, literally "the one who dominates the serpent". The new symbol Those born between November 30 and December 18 would have this new symbol but of course, also the rest of us all would then have a new star sign since this would obviously create a drop-down effect on all the system.

At least you will leave everyone speechless saying that you are an Ophiuchus. 

Stay tuned on nss G-Club, as many horoscope surprises are coming...