What’s Your Sign?: On Horoscopes and What the Internet Is Saying About Me

By Jaclyn Jermyn

“What’s your sign?”

My friend leaned closer towards me and squinted, as if my facial expression was going to give away the answer.

“Taurus,” I said quietly, looking down at the drink in my hand. I knew what she was going to say next. Of course I was a Taurus. I am often described as stubborn and possessive by those I am unfriendly with—reliable and fiercely loyal by those who are fond of me—all apparently classic Taurus traits.

I do occasionally glance at a horoscope to see what the world apparently has in store for me. It’s sometimes hard to resist the temptation when the internet is telling me that apparently this will finally be the month that I find true love or lose a lot of money—usually it can go either way. I try not to make a habit of it because aren’t I just unconsciously holding myself to someone else’s standards? Maybe I want to be more of a gentle, peaceful Libra this week.

When I turned 18, or maybe it was 16, my grandmother gave me a folder with a stack of yellowing paper stapled together inside of it. This was my natal chart, otherwise referred to as a birth chart and loosely related to more widely known horoscope concepts. Wikipedia defines a natal chart as “a stylized map of the universe,” that is, “calculated for the exact time and location of the native's birth for the purposes of gaining insight into the native's personality and potential.”

This stack of papers that my grandmother had quite possibly been hanging onto for the entire duration of my life, was supposed to have me all figured out and as I started to read through the descriptions, I couldn’t help but think that maybe the universe did have me all figured out or maybe I was just once again holding myself to someone else’s standards.

I don’t have that original packet anymore, it’s probably in a box somewhere in my parent’s basement, but I did my best to try and replicate it by using astro.cafeastrology.com because it was the first option that came up on Google:

Taurus natives are sensual folk—and this includes sex, but extends to pleasures in all areas: they delight in the sensual pleasures of food, a comfortable blanket, a richly colored aquarium to look at, the smell of flowers or spring rain, pleasing melodies coming from their stereos, and so forth. Some might even say they live through their senses more than most. 

This is fair, I think. I can’t speak to whether I live more through my senses than others but I do take pleasure in moments and feelings and then work very hard to get them back, even after they have passed.

In love and relationship, there is an earthy kind of possessiveness that may be considered jealousy by some, but there is actually quite a difference between being possessive and being jealous. Taurus natives are rarely jealous and petty. They do, however, think of the people they love as theirs—it adds to their sense of security.

This is absolutely true and it tends to get me in trouble. Security is key for me in a lot of aspects of my life.

You are a humanitarian who aims to treat everyone as equals. You seek to be unique and original, and you do your best to avoid bias and prejudice. Social status is less important to you than belonging to a group of diverse personalities. Your identity, in fact, is somehow linked to a larger unit than yourself. You have high hopes and goals, and tend to look at life in terms of opportunities. You have magnetic appeal, as people sense your broad tolerance and openness. The friendships you establish are crucial to your development.

Well, I at least hope that that part is accurate. Can anyone confirm? This would be a nice thing if it is in fact, true.

The thing about reading through these passages is that I got further into the text, I started started skimming over the parts that didn’t fit quite right or those that were a stretch to apply to myself. This leads to an overwhelming sense that “wow, yeah the whole thing was spot on,” when I look back on the experience. But no one person can be fully explained by the time and place they were born. We grow up. We meet new people. Sometimes, in my case, we move far away from where we were born and mix with different cultural values that help shape us. Of course, my East Coast elitism occasionally shines through but that Midwestern niceness has seeped into my life as well.

So, yes, go look at your natal chart. Waste an afternoon trying to twist someone else’s loose astrology to your life experience. Send screen shots to your friends when parts are just too accurate, it’s laughable. But you’re still a complex human being who is far more than what the internet says about you. Or maybe that’s just my stubborn Taurus self talking—I hate not being right.