It’s in the Stars: A Reading List About Astrology

In 2015, I started to copy my weekly horoscopes into my journal. I didn’t do it every week, but I did it often enough that it became something like a practice. I subscribed to several astrological-themed TinyLetters, which led to three hours researching tarot, which led to…well, you get the idea. 2015 was rough, and it feels right to start off 2016 on an optimistic, mystical note.

1. “Stars—They’re Just Like Us!” (The Editors, n+1, Winter 2016)

“As skeptics have long argued, part of what makes astrology appealing (and so easily proven “true”) is that each sign of the zodiac has a cluster of traits assigned to it that may be found in nearly any person. Astrology could thus be seen as a humanizing corrective to other, worse stereotypes. To consider that the shy person is sometimes wild, the considerate person sometimes duplicitous, is to practice something rather like empathy.”

2. “Is It Time for Us to Take Astrology Seriously?” (Amanda Petrusich, BuzzFeed, April 2014)

Interpreting the movements of celestial bodies has its roots in ancient Middle Eastern cultures; astrology’s ubiquitousness influenced the founding of modern science. Amanda Petrusich is skeptical about astrology’s contemporary purpose, though she sees the appeal.

“There is also the assurance of change in astrology: The planets keep moving. The chart always shifts. The forecast refreshes on the first of the month.”

3. “Ronald Reagan’s Black Magic Man.” (Jeremy Lybarger, Guernica, January 2015)

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and his First Lady, Nancy, allegedly made many personal and political decisions based on the predictions of their trusted clairvoyants. Who were these psychics politick?

4. “A Case for ‘Believing’ in Mercury Retrograde.” (Katie Heaney, Pacific Standard, October 2014)

Katie Heaney is no stranger to the supernatural—she’s covered everything from auras, witches and cryptozoology to, of course, astrology. When Mercury is in retrograde, all things communication become difficult, crashing hard drives and causing misunderstandings amongst friends. Whether it’s a star-crossed mob mentality or a true cosmic shitstorm, remember: We’re all in this together.

5. “What is the Appeal of Astrology?” (New York Times, December 2015)

Five people, including a psychology professor and a horoscope writer, on their personal and professional opinions about astrology.

Bonus: My favorite horoscope auteur of late is Gala Mukomolova at Galactic Rabbit. I also find Chani Nicholas to be equal parts articulate and prescient.