Superstition, and why belief in astrology makes sense

The romanticised astrologer
Don’t be surprised if astrologers remind you of medievalists.

“One of the greatest of modern myths is that the present is separated from the past by a series of revolutionary leaps in consciousness, each one of which has dispersed the superstitions of previous ages and brought humanity step by step closer to the truth” (Campion, The Great Year, p. 28).

Astrologers are the ultimate romantics, because we have not left the past in the past; but that’s okay, because no one else has, either. We all, in some way or another, cling to that time in human history before the lightbulb revolutionized our experience of nighttime. Did you know that the lightbulb was the single most important difference, in terms of the human psyche? It was. Think about it.

Prior to the invention of the electric bulb, humans knew what it felt like to experience true darkness, at least at times when there was no discernible moon. After we became accustomed to nighttime illumination, we changed our ways of dealing with the unknown and the unknowable. The night had been, in the entire history of humanity, a time of mystery and terrors, a time when people strove to make sense of shadows and fears, phenomena we have come to think of as irrational and superstitious. Perhaps we thought that if we could illuminate the darkness, we could finally illuminate all the dark corners of the human mind?

This is why it makes complete sense to me that people have never lost their faith in astrology. Astrology is a candle to light our way in the psychological darkness. The correlation between the need for astrology and the need for a source of illumination lies with the reason astrology makes sense: it provides us with a feeling of control. Over what? Over the unknowable, of course… the very thing science was hoping to eradicate, but failed to do, because so far, science hasn’t found a way to explain humans to ourselves, not really. And what is more unknowable than ourself? Why, another human, of course.

Nothing is more seductive about astrology than its romance, its antiquated belief system, and its promise that by learning and applying its principles, you can gain some control over the unknown, the darkness, and the mystery of that person who plagues you so.

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