What’s so bad about identifying yourself with a star sign?
Q: I’ve been getting really into astrology, but my Sunday School teacher kind of freaked out at me about it. What’s so bad about identifying yourself with a sign?
A: My star sign tells me that I’m practical, reliable, and a diligent worker. But it also tells me that I’m a perfectionist, I’m stubborn, and I overthink. That’s OK, right? I have some good qualities and some bad qualities, just like everyone else.
A lot of people think astrology is a shortcut to knowing who we are and understanding those around us. Plus, it’s fun. But I’ve found that when I feel drawn to something in order to figure out who I am, it is helpful to ask myself if it’s really something I want to trust.
At one point during college, I deeply identified with my and other’s star signs. I swore off dating guys who were a certain sign, and I tried to make sense of my friendships based on our sign compatibility.
But one thing that really bothered me was the baggage that came with believing in astrology. I hated that I had to deal with the flaws this sign assigned to me as well as the flaws assigned to my friends, boys I dated, and others. Although it seemed to give me confirmation about my relationships, it also made me feel like I’d been put in a box. And I didn’t like feeling vulnerable to the stars, the moon, and the planets. I worried that my future, health, and relationships were at the mercy of something completely out of my control.
It came to a point where I decided that if I were going to let something determine my identity, I needed to feel completely good about it. Astrology didn’t give me that. So I knew there had to be another way.
I had grown up attending Christian Science Sunday School and had practiced Christian Science now and then, but I’d never explored it very deeply. I’d learned in Sunday School that God is good and that because we are God’s creation, we are also good. But though I felt connected to this idea, it still wasn’t enough to help me feel good about myself.
One thing that really bothered me was the baggage that came with believing in astrology.
I realized I needed to go deeper in my understanding of God. As I did, something cool happened. I realized that because God is always present, always good, always loving me, I did have something that was reliable, stable, and secure.
I also came to see that because God doesn’t come with baggage or have any bad qualities, my identity as His creation isn’t a mix of good and bad. Sure, we all have things we need to work on, things we’d like to be better at. But that’s a version of us that we can actually see redeemed and then let go of as we embrace our God-given identity, which is wholly good. By understanding ourselves as God’s image, we recognize that we’re capable of being fully good, loving, joyful, and so much more.
The more I learned about God’s infinitely good nature, the more I learned about myself and those around me. I started to feel more secure about my own identity. I knew that I was joyful, bubbly, intelligent, strong. Instead of feeling that my life and identity were out of my control, I was trusting God to care for me and tell me who I am. I also realized that I’m not vulnerable to a negative power; I’m an expression of God, good, who is the only power.
Recognizing our spiritual identity brings us a feeling of freedom.
After that, the friendships I felt were unfulfilling didn’t continue, but I was OK with that. I started to see more good in everyone, and I stopped putting people into boxes based on what I thought they’d be like. Far from hurting my relationships, it’s actually given me a deeper connection with others because I’m seeing them, and myself, from a spiritual basis.
Today, I feel better about my identity and more confident in who I am. But the biggest lesson from all of this is that if we really want to know who we are, we have to see that we’re not mortal. We’re spiritual. Recognizing our spiritual identity brings us a feeling of freedom and an understanding of the fullest sense of ourselves, which is what we’re all really searching for anyway.