Please Do Not Call Your Horoscope "Wrong"

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.

It's one thing to look to your horoscope for advice, or to plan accordingly when it warns of an incoming retrograde, but it's a totally different story if you're opening your weekly starmap expecting cold, hard facts. We may hang on to our go-to astrologer's every word, but it's unfair to expect anyone to get it all right, all the time — even when they have access to the stars.

Astrology should never be taken as gospel, but that doesn't stop some readers from holding the heavenly bodies to an unrealistic standard of truth. If you've ever bemoaned your 'scope because it didn't tell you about that argument or breakup ahead of time, you've probably wondered, what's the point of reading your horoscope at all if it isn't going to tell you exactly what lies ahead?

Luckily, Tali Edut of the Astrotwins spelled out exactly how we should be reading our 'scopes. "When we write horoscopes, we imagine scenarios that might happen," she reminds us. "When you read your horoscope, think of those as prompts for your imagination."

Edut compares horoscopes to weather forecasts — you don't expect them to be 100% accurate, but you read them anyway, because they give you a better idea of what awaits you in the outside world. And, like the weather, the planets can influence your behavior and actions, but they aren't the source of every event in your day. Remember, Edut says, "We are always co-creating with the universe. We play a hand in how the final situation will play out."

In other words, your horoscope will never be completely accurate unless you're willing to work with it. Edut uses the example of a 'scope that suggests love is in the air. If you're looking for romance, you'll have to put in a little work, too. "Seize the celestial energy and get on a dating app or go out with friends," Edut says. "Even the forces of Pluto, Jupiter, and a new moon combined won't bring you love if you're hiding out, binge-watching Netflix with your cat. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, either!)" The planets may create opportunities for you, but they'll never just hand something to you.

The next time you look back on your horoscope from a previous week or month, don't get tripped up thinking your astrologer missed the mark. Instead, consider what you might have done differently — or not done at all — to get the outcome you had hoped for. Your horoscope is never a sure thing, but, in the same way that a 70% chance of rain nudges you to take an umbrella, it can direct you toward the right choice.

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