What Planet Can I Blame Today?

Phoebe Grinter – Columnist
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When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year. Astrology will be there for you.

So my life is falling apart. I spilt coffee all down my new jeans, my card got declined, and I cried at a Christmas advert. But it’s not my fault, it’s obviously because Mercury is in retrograde, my Himalayan salt lamp needs its positive energy recharged, and my stars are out of alignment.

It is reassuring when my horoscope perfectly matches my current situation and can be blamed for why my life is a mess. On the rare occasion I read my horoscope I soon fall into the trap. Yes, I know there are millions of people who share my birthday and star sign, but at the same time I think I’m going to read something completely unique about myself. If my weekly forecast even loosely fits my current situation, it is comforting to think that I am not the sole cause of my problems.

In today’s society, many young people choose to identify as spiritual not religious. It makes sense that while we may not be religious, we are still looking for order in a world that feels as if it has none. Where religion provides an anchor for some people, astrology can offer an alternative without the conservatism of faith that many may be uncomfortable with. It’s in our human nature to feel the need to assign deeper meaning to random events. With our generation caught up in the flushing toilet bowl of climate crisis, parliamentary turmoil and a strained healthcare system, it feels good to point the finger at someone else when things go wrong. These forces in the universe act as a tool to thread together disparate strands of whatever shit storm is happening today. We don’t like the thought that events are random, so we take comfort in the ideas of fate, destiny and predetermination that astrology offers. It is reassuring to think that the orbital movement of the planets is taking care of business for us; that those massive, gassy lumps in the universe offer reasons for why you didn’t get that job you applied for, you smashed your phone screen and were late to lectures three times this week.

Despite popular belief that astrology is just something someone who was very bored came up with, nowadays there is more evidence to suggest that actual scientists think the way the Earth is aligned in space can cause humans to act a particular way. Online shopping, three nights out this week and Deliveroo aren’t the reason you have £2.60 in your bank account, the alignment of the planets is. I have only ever looked to my horoscope during confusing times in my life. When things are going well, I am unlikely to give credit to the universe and will put it down to me being great. But it is encouraging to think that my next monumental cock-up has been written in the stars since birth and is not in fact due to my excessive drinking, crippling insecurity or blatant laziness.

Much like anything, horoscopes should be read with a decent amount of scepticism and a good sense of humour. Maybe I’m writing this because I’m stubborn and strong-minded Scorpio, or because I need someone else to blame for why I ate an entire packet of chocolate digestives last night. Astrology acts as a scapegoat for you to blame your misfortune or erratic behaviour on, so by all means take full advantage.