At age 10, a blue Starscroll caught my eye in a grocery store aisle. That footlong, 50-cent horoscope sheet was my first introduction to astrology. I'll never understand why I reached for it instead of a pack of Reese's, but I've been hooked on astrology ever since.
There are plenty of bonafide skeptics when it comes to the zodiac, the 13 constellations along sun's path. Believers wonder how these luminous bodies in the sky influence their lives, forecasting breakups and accurately predicting a promotion at work.
Naysayers, however, argue that if humans have free will, energies can't affect our day-to-day behavior. Truthfully, I don't have all the answers. But, like many with Christianity, I've chosen to believe in it anyway.
In 2011, a new (or forgotten, depending on what you read) zodiac signed called Ophiuchus came about. I hated the sudden shift in zodiac birthdates. However, it didn't take long for me to resume my usual proud zodiac-lover stance: I'm a f*cking Taurus (on the cusp of Aries).
If you're not into star signs, I get it. I have no desire to persuade a Pisces woman she's a sensitive daydreamer or tell a Gemini she's a fickle lover. I also can't make you believe that, yes, Mercury retrograde ruins lives.
But, as someone who has a handful of astrology books and three zodiac-related tattoos, I can certainly tell you why I've set my eyes on the stars.
The zodiac gives me something to believe in.
Deep faith in universal energies and the cosmic order of things gives my life meaning. Whether I read my weekly horoscope or get my rundown for the entire year, the forecasts help me create an understanding of my life and purpose.
I also believe in the power of positive thinking, so even if a horoscope says I'll lose money, I take it in stride. On the other hand, if my horoscope says I'll take a trip abroad, I assume I'll be packing my bags soon enough.
With all the bad things happening in the world, why not invest in something good natured and peaceful? To me, horoscopes are positive affirmations that give me faith when I need it, the same way I lean on God in the middle of a crisis.
Obviously, not all my forecasts come true, but so far astrology has served me well.
It helps me read people.
My love for astrology is a personal thing I try not to project onto those closest to me, especially non-believers. However, knowing a person's sign gives me some insight into his or her character.
I always say there's no zodiac sign I can't enjoy. Knowing whether a person is a two-sided Gemini or a heart-on-sleeve Sagittarius helps me figure out the best approach to connect with him or her.
I can sniff out genuine commonalities, like a person who is equally astrology-obsessed, or shares the same dating horror stories (Libra men lie!). I ask strangers their birth dates to break the ice, because even if they loathe the zodiac entirely, I pull them into a debate they can't refuse.
Believe me, people love arguing about why something sucks.
It's worth noting that, in my view, a person's character isn't solely influenced by a birth month. Upbringing can outweigh the influences of any star sign. Still, I believe a person's initial vibes are informed by his or her star-assigned personality traits.
Truthfully, I like to read a potential friend's natal birth chart to take an in-depth look at the planet positions during his or her time of birth.
For all of you still wondering if the zodiac holds any weight, feel free to show me a Libra woman who isn't charming. Since I'm pretty patient (according to my sign), I'll wait.
Most importantly, it's fun.
If nothing else, believing in the zodiac is f*cking fun.
I've shouted out as Fatman Scoop asked "What's your zodiac sign?" and dated a Scorpio guy knowing the earth-meets-water attraction would be intense and undeniable.
Maybe I'm tricking myself into believing my stubbornness and affectionate ways are nature-given. But, if believing in the stars is good enough for Beyoncé ("Signs") and Tyrese ("Signs Of Love Making"), who am I to deny the entertaining, planetary energy?
For all the non-believers still rolling their eyes at my allegiance to astrology, be honest: Can you admit some of your star-assigned traits are spot-on?