As I optimistically scroll through dating apps with my fingers adorned with birthstones, I find myself caught off guard. “Don’t swipe right if you believe in star signs,” I read.
As someone who has spent over a decade completely captivated by astrology, this feels personal to me. Surely these potential suitors can’t talk about me? My fingers clench on my tarot-themed phone case as I fume at the unfair, preconceived opinions of men I’ve never even met.
“Astrology tattoos are a major problem,” it is boldly claimed. Another game kindly lets me know that as a journalist, I’m “too smart to believe all that bullshit”.
I rush to Instagram seeking reassurance from my male followers in the form of a poll. Instead, 30% of them confessed that they would never date someone who liked astrology.
I’m offended but not shocked. A study of Research bench found that 37% of women believe in astrology, compared to just 20% of men – and sadly, this isn’t the first time I’ve run into those who have an aversion to astrology.
There are thousands of viral memes and TikTok videos that all seem to echo the same opinion: people who love astrology are naive, stupid, unhinged and indatable. I turned to the experts to get to the root of the problem.
Why do heterosexual cis men seem to hate astrology?
While some of the most successful astrologers are men (big ups Russell Grant and Jonathan Cainer), astrology is generally considered a women’s club. According to psychologist and sex therapist Barbara Santini, astrology has become “feminized” over time, which means that many men reject astrology just because its population is largely made up of women and gay people.
Astrology advertising and merchandise, from mystical stationery to zodiac makeup palettes, are undeniably directed at women and women, playing on gender stereotypes. Even astrological social media accounts often have female handles. Take, for example, @glossy_zodiac and @astrlgybabe.
As a result, many men feel unwelcome in the community and react by keeping their masculinity and undermining astrology. “For most men, astrology is too feminine or immature, which is why they disagree with it or deny its validity,” Santini says. “It creates a negative perception of astrology and the women who love it. For some men, the rejection of astrology is linked to a toxic masculinity, which does not allow them to enjoy the same things as women.”
What is an astral chart?
More frustratingly, there is a huge misconception about what astrology really is. When Jack from Hinge or Joe on Tinder thinks about astrology, his mind is likely to turn to horoscopes and newspaper memes — and that’s part of the problem.
These two forms are forms of astrology in astrological sign, which ignore the existence of the birth chart. It’s impossible for every Virgo to be making money this week or for every Taurus to be a materialistic glutton who likes to sleep in. Star signs are just a form of entertainment, not the pinnacle of astrology.
It is the natal chart, a chart of the sky at the time of your birth, which reveals good things. It details exactly where each planet was at that magical moment in time. Each planet has its own unique energy, and their placements reveal a little nugget of information about each person, from their sexual inclinations and likely career path to their attachment style and romantic tendencies. (Zodiac signs, on the other hand, are dictated exclusively by the sun.) I, for example, am a unique combination of Aquarius with an Aries Moon, Libra Ascendant, Capricorn Venus, and Pisces Mars. Granted, I probably wouldn’t believe in astrology if I didn’t know it and thought astrology meant that every Aquarius has the same traits.
Ironically, male resistance to astrology could be written in the stars.
“Men might have a problem with being reduced to a vague box. And can we blame them?” male astrologer Ekow Assifuah-Eshun said. “Look at the watered-down astrology of zodiac signs being published. That’s not the whole story. Men are victims too.”
Ironically, male resistance to astrology could be written in the stars. In astrology, the sun represents masculine energy and the moon represents feminine energy.
“The sun is about your core values, and it’s ruled by the fixed sign of Leo – so men in general tend to be a bit more stubborn in their beliefs,” astrologer and manifest coach Melanie Bentley-Moore Explain. “The sun is the center of our solar system. It’s stuck in one place and the planets move around it. Similarly, men can naturally expect women’s opinions to shift and meet the their.”
Interestingly, Bentley-Moore has never had a paying male customer. “Whenever men show interest in booking a reading, they never do,” she says. “One guy mentioned he was afraid of what it would reveal. I think men like to stick stoically to what they know. If a man is more receptive to astrology, it will probably show in its chart through numerous feminine placements (Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces).”
Is astrology related to witchcraft?
This may sound far-fetched, but hear me out. Male unease with astrology may stem from social conditioning that dates back to the witch trials of the Middle Ages. That one night stand who got scared when he saw the sage and crystals on your bedside table? Yeah, it gives major “burn the witch” vibes.
In medieval times, and even before, many women made a living from spiritual crafts such as herbalism and divination, which were considered natural feminine gifts. However, as the Catholic Church grew richer and more powerful, it began to vilify these crafts. Although astrology was still studied by male scholars, women were persecuted for similar practices. Women who were caught performing these new “evil” activities, such as healing and palm reading, were punished and burned at the stake.
“Church leaders felt threatened because they wanted people to follow their god and find their answers in the Bible, as opposed to earth, heaven and intuition,” said Ceryn Rowntree, therapist and author of “The Divine Feminist”.
Maybe that’s why people see astrology as fake and threatening – it’s a belief passed down from our ancestors.
Is astrology scientifically proven?
Men who reject astrology always come out with the same argument: there is no scientific evidence to support astrology. I hate to tell you, but astrology and astronomy were studied together as a science until the 1700s.
Kings and queens hired trusted astrologers to help them make political and military decisions, and medieval doctors turned to birth charts to diagnose patients. Astrology did not fall out of favor until the Enlightenment, when the Church and scholars decided that astrology was no longer worth studying, and we . . . listen.
“People with money shaped what we study and know as science today,” says Rowntree. “There may not be any scientific evidence for astrology, but that’s because there’s no funding for research. Maybe if we were to fund a study of ‘the technology goes haywire during Mercury’s retrograde, “research would find that it is.”
And just for your information, some studies have shown support for astrology. A Colorado State University Study found that veterinarians see a dramatic increase in the number of pets taken to ERs on a full moon: a 23% increase in cats and a 28% increase in dogs. More of this kind of study, please!
There’s no simple answer to why men generally dislike astrology, but if I’ve learned one thing from my research, it’s that that’s not going to change anytime soon. Toxic masculinity, blunted star signs from the newspapers, meme culture, and social conditioning keep men from discovering the richness of astrology, and it’s not their fault.
So the next time you’re made fun of for loving astrology, take a deep breath, light some incense, and send them the link to this article. You might still find your match with a secret astrologer.