The Coded Language Astrologers Use With The Signs Of The Zodiac

Photographed by Rochelle Brock.
Every astrology fan can agree: No Zodiac sign is perfect. But, that doesn't mean we want to get roasted every time we open our horoscopes for the week.
For every playful comment on how much Taureans love lounging, another star profile will straight up call Bulls "lazy." Or, there might be an astrologer who paints Virgos with a broad brush and characterizes them as little more than prissy taskmasters (when we just know that Virgos Blake Lively and Beyoncé stand in direct opposition to that depiction).
Some sign descriptions can be so blunt as to make us think that astrologers are inherently biased against certain signs. Unfortunately, no matter how entrenched in astrology we may be, we aren't mind-readers. So, rather than dwelling too long on our fellow stargazers' intent, let's instead direct our gaze on these shady terms themselves — and how we ended up with them in our shared understanding of the signs.
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If you let it, astrology can be a topic of lifelong study. There are always more planets, points, aspects, and asteroids to commit to memory, and each of them adds a little more depth to an individual's chart. The thing is, for those who have only made a hobby of astrology (and prefer to stick to sun signs only), a little shorthand is needed to stay afloat on the surface of this ocean-deep practice.
That's where such (relatively) simple means of categorization as ruling elements, qualities, and, more specifically, planets come in handy. Even if you aren't interested in learning about every feature on your birth chart, you can better understand your sun sign by discovering it's ruled by water and arrives at the start of the season, for example.
Just about every astrologer will reference these traits when discussing the signs or writing their horoscopes. As helpful as they are, they can contribute to that coded language that sells our signs short. For instance, how often has your horoscope mentioned that, as a water sign, you're probably an ultra-emotional lover? How many Geminis are sick of hearing that, thanks to their ruler Mercury, they're total chatterboxes all the time? Or what about Capricorns and their supposed control freak reputation — isn't their cardinal quality to blame?
The most annoying thing about these overblown descriptions is that they tend to carry some nugget of truth in them. It's just that they're too general, brief, or, well, harsh to really do our signs justice. In turn, we don't finish our 'scope with a deeper understanding of who we are, astrologically. We just end up with the vague notion that we might not fit our sign's profile, if it really is as awful as our horoscope makes it seem.
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If you notice that your go-to astrologer describes the signs with exclusively shady terms on a regular basis, it may be time to switch to someone new. Viewing the world through an astrological lens should be fun and illuminating — not something that makes you feel like a pariah, scorned by yet another shady 'scope.
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