5 Things That Astrology Should Not Be Used For

Photographed by Bianca Valle.
We've said it before and we'll say it again: Astrology is not an exact science. It can be highly informative, but only on a very personal level. Meaning, you can't take the worst- or best-case-scenario version of each sign, and expect those extremes from every person you meet.
"There are myriad ways that a Zodiac sign can express itself," Tali Edut of the Astrotwins tells Refinery29. Knowing a little about someone's astrological makeup doesn't mean you know how they date, what they look like, or what sorts of health conditions they might have.
Of course, that doesn't stop people from making such assumptions.
As much as we love astrology and use it to help us understand how we relate to the world around us, there are some things it simply cannot indicate. Ahead, we've rounded up five areas of our lives where astrology does not belong.
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Some astrological enthusiasts claim that they can correctly guess your rising sign just by looking at you. More accurately, they make this judgement based on your style, body language, and how you introduce yourself — not your bone structure or physical shape. It's simply impossible to apply a single physical description to all members of a sign.
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Gender Expression

As Chani Nicholas told us last month, categorizing the signs of the Zodiac as "feminine" and "masculine" is a problematic practice that doesn't even provide much in the way of accurate information. "The gender binary cannot hold all the possibilities of who we are," she said, adding that a field like astrology should be able to expand along with people's identities, rather than hold individuals to a prescribed set of characteristics. In other words, don't let the traditional belief that your sun sign is "masculine" cause you to question how you identify or express your gender.
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Mental Health

Delving into your birth chart can help you understand how each of your signs contribute to your overall personality, but nothing you discover should ever be taken as a diagnosis. For example, learning that your moon sign's ruling element is water may lead you to accept your sensitive side, but it shouldn't be used to justify or explain away a condition like depression. Nothing in your chart, let alone a single placement, can indicate something as specific and personal as a mental illness. If you have questions about your mental health, ask your therapist — not the stars.
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Physical Health

It's a long-held belief that each sign of the Zodiac rules a different part of the body. To an extent, this is a totally innocent (and actually kind of accurate) idea: Generous Leo rules the heart, argumentative Aries rules the head. But suggesting that Leos are more prone to heart disease, and that people born under Aries get more migraines takes this concept a few steps too far.
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We'd be remiss if we didn't admit to enjoying the occasional compatibility theory ourselves — astrology is certainly right at home in the land of romantic speculation. But, we'd never take a finding from a synastry reading as reason to dump (or jump into bed with) someone. Love astrology can be very entertaining, but it shouldn't be the deciding factor in your dating life.