With the COVID-19 pandemic throwing the world upside down, some people may completely disavow the idea of fate. But the abundance of destruction caused by COVID-19 has not shaken the faith of Dalhousie University students who are fans of astrology.
Astrology is the study of planetary influence on human lives. Though modern science does not support astrology, the idea of stars and planets effecting humanity has been around for thousands of years. There are several variants from mainstream astrology such as sidereal astrology and Vedic astrology from India.
Astrology in a pandemic
With many university programs continuing online into 2021, one might assume students are becoming less optimistic about the planet’s plans for them. However, some Dal students continue to watch the skies with keen eyes.
Darcy Gillespie, a second-year sustainability major and an Aquarius, thinks discussions about astrology have changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“I definitely see people talking about [astrology] less as horoscopes and more as influential, rather than predicting,” Gillespie says. “I think with everybody in isolation it may have brought on a lot of introspection. I know that definitely happened to me.”
Gillespie, who began learning about astrology during an elementary girl’s summer camp, says she didn’t fully understand her astrological chart (a.k.a. horoscope), or even look into it until COVID-19. After some researching, she finds it fascinating how unique every individual’s chart is and how accurate hers can be.
When asked if she believes her zodiac sign reflects her personality, Gillespie says, “100 per cent yes! Aquarius is described as being very independent and I really resonate with that. I guess Aquarius tries to steer off the beaten path and I find myself on a path that people around me don’t always follow.”
For Viola Bolik, a fourth-year economics major at Dalhousie, her consumption of daily horoscopes has also increased since the start of the pandemic. While she does not believe in the veracity of horoscopes, she says, “Sometimes horoscopes can give you a reminder, or a push to do something, or make you think about the way you act.”
Bolik is a Scorpio with a rising Virgo and says some of her zodiac sign traits are accurate, while others are not.
“I relate to a few of the traits. I am definitely passionate, determined, independent and reserved,” says Bolik. Her connection to astrology during COVID-19 also has a social role.
“As the pandemic started, a lot of my friends started to download Co-Star, so I did as well. My view hasn’t really changed, but I definitely read my horoscope more now than I did before,” says Bolik.
Co-Star is an astrology app, which has been featured on websites like Vogue. The app provides information on people’s star signs and charts, updating daily with personalized predictions and information. With many gathering restrictions in place due to COVID-19, university students may find an otherwise lost social connection through astrology with apps like Co-Star.
“Sometimes Co-Star can be scary accurate,” Bolik says. “It’ll tell me something that’s super poignant to me at that time and it’s a little freaky. Sometimes it says some really funny or obscure things that I love to share with my friends, and we have a good laugh from it.”
Some remain unconvinced
Not all students have caught the astrology bug during the pandemic. April Curl, a third-year Dalhousie student says she was more interested in astrology in her youth than she is now.
“If I am reading a paper and there’s a horoscope in the back, I’ll look at it, but I wouldn’t buy the paper for the horoscope or anything,” Curl says.
Curl believes her Aries star sign describes her in some ways, but it could also relate to any other sign or person. Still, she’s had some brief encounters with astrology since COVID-19 struck as she continues to check what her horoscope says from time to time.
In times of peril people react in quite different ways. Whether astrology holds any accuracy or not, it appears some students at Dalhousie are using it to connect, contemplate and look inward.
Overall, astrology could be a genuine path to social connection through shared interest. So, even for the skeptics, maybe it’s worth a shot to check out your astrological chart. Let’s just hope all our horoscopes for 2021 are looking up.