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Astrology and the zodiac signs have long been polarizing.

Some swear by these beliefs, deriving deep comfort in the assurance that a massive, cosmic network is constantly pushing and pulling, ebbing and flowing to influence the tendencies of earth, air, and human beings.

Others think the entire thing is bogus. These nonbelievers come stocked with a list of gripes: that people outsource accountability to a pseudo-science, that they feel a total lack of individuality within a system so prescriptive, that it's simply boring and confusing.

With a concept so loaded, internet anonymity can do wonders. In that vein, a recent Reddit thread offered a glimpse into the reasons why some people choose to put weight into the signs.

lientubay asked, "People who believe in zodiac signs, why?"

Plenty of people advocated for a more subtle relationship with the signs and their meanings. For these folks, it wasn't an act of handing over all power and understanding to a single system of thought.

Instead, it was carving out time and space to take stock.

Addressing the Accountability Critique 

"Have you ever had a full natal chart done? A lot of people, even people who at a surface level believe in astrology look at their sun sign which is just kind of bs and doesn't really apply to them in the first place."

"It's a lot like any personality test. And rather than looking at it like a self-limiting box, the real purpose is to see your flaws and grow past them rather than relying on them and saying sh** like 'ooh I'm such a cancer, and this excuses x action.' "

-- UnstrungUniverse

Take Some, Leave Some 

"I don't traditionally, but I do cite them a lot and get called on to justify why a lot."

"And I dig into my own zodiac sign a lot, because sometimes it's just a nice avenue for self-exploration."

"I went through a bad break-up once for a pretty long relationship and didn't know who I was anymore by the end. So when I went and got my chart read, this guy told me 'Hey, you're a Pisces, so you care a lot about people.' And I do, totally, one of my big things."

"But then he said "And you're a Libra moon, so you like doing housework, maintaining order, etc."

"Which is totally not me."

"So even though I didn't agree with some of the zodiac stuff, the prompt to stop and think about how I felt about things is something I think more of us should take."

-- armchairavenger

An Avenue Toward Intention

"I can't say if I believe in it 100% but for me, following it is not only fun, but it empowers me to become more insightful and aware of how the emotions of myself and others around me are affecting their behaviors."

"Learning about astrology I think has made me a more empathetic person because I do notice smaller details about my friends, and I can support them more effectively. It's the same thing as say the enneagram, Myers Briggs types, or love languages."

"I don't think it's a bad thing to try to understand yourself and your peers better. Adding astrological elements just makes it more fun."

-- sunlit_cairn

"Believe"

" 'Believe' is kinda a weird word to use in relation to zodiacs. It's more like a guide to human behavior and since everyone is all twelve signs, it can be useful in understanding the consequences of 'over virtue' and 'under virtue.' It's more like a tool for self improvement than a belief.

"Also, the mythology, history and constellations are pretty cool to learn about."

-- Rawveenmcqueen

Others wondered why astrology gets such a particularly bad rep when there are so many other belief systems that the world seems to accept.

Sure, not everyone believes those other religions or belief systems either, but they don't necessarily get so infuriated by them.

Stars vs. The Big Man 

"If people are allowed to believe in a big man in the sky, then people are allowed to believe that heavenly bodies can dictate things too." -- Bivolion13

"People who believe in a big man in the sky, why?" -- GoinByTrundle

"Because we can't reliably think for ourselves." -- Rhonin-

All Things Considered 

"As someone who thinks most things like this are BS, it's one of the least harmful things that people follow."

"I'd rather my neighbors be eccentric astrology nuts than an average scientologist."

-- fluffspeed

True or Not, a Nice Thought 

"I don't believe but I mean everything is stardust so they're not crazy for looking at the sky for answers." -- Biting-The-Pillow

"My astronomy professor said this last class, and I liked it so much that I made sure to write it down: 'We are byproducts of stars - without stars, there would be no life.' " -- rolypolyarmadillo

Finally, some people analyzed why people would become involved with astrological thinking in the first place. These people didn't necessarily believe in it themselves, but they held space to empathize with the people who do.

Finding Context 

"I think is something related to the need of belong to a larger group with some common 'identifiable' characteristic."

"Some people uses sports teams, some other their nationality, and some the zodiac, etc."

-- M14CL

The Circumstances of Belief 

"Because, when I was high as fu**, someone did my whole chart and I've never felt more understood....still chasing that buzz" -- bilyeu4life

"Oh man I can relate! My friend gave me a brownie and read my chart to me at a coffee shop - when it started to kick in I felt like everyone was staring at me and I meekly said 'can you please stop reading that out loud?' " -- EarsLikeCreamFlaps

A Grounding Force 

"Because I always feel stressed and anxious. I need to be tethered to something." -- LackDecent

"It assigns patterns to the randomness of the universe. It's very grounding for me, too." -- Amphabian


So while this list may not leave you any closer or further from believing whatever it is you believe, we hope it pushed you to leave just a little bit more space for the ones who do.

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