Jenn Reese Writer, Artist, Geek

Zodiac as a Tool


When I first moved to California, I applied for a web design job and almost didn’t get it because I’m a Virgo. That’s right, one of the interviewers believed strongly in astrology and felt that a Virgo couldn’t handle such a creative position. Luckily, the CEO felt differently and I got the job.

I don’t believe in astrology, yet I know I’m a Virgo and a Metal Dog. Why? Because it’s fun. Because sometimes letting someone else tell you what you are helps you see yourself in a new way. Because it’s a tool of self-reflection, and in my book, self-reflection is a good thing.

In high school, I was really into tarot cards for the same reason. Not because I believed they would give me answers from beyond, but because using them sometimes helped me figure out what I truly wanted in a situation. They’re a psychological tool, one that let’s you forget science and logic and look for answers via a different paradigm. (Hey, when it comes to things like relationships and career choices, logic isn’t always the best tool. It sometimes works at cross purposes with the heart.)

For the last few days, everyone is talking about the “new” zodiac and their new signs, and I say let them. (Here’s io9 on how that story got started.)

I’m fascinated by how this re-categorization is making people feel. I’m seeing reactions of happiness, of anger, of disbelief, of total denial.

What was it about your old sign that you don’t want to give up? Does the sign form that much of your basis of identity? Is there something in the new sign that appeals to you? Are you disappointed that your own sign didn’t change at all? Was there a limitation imposed on you by your last sign, that you’re now free of — and how does that make you feel?

Has astrology penetrated deeper into our sense of self and identity than we’d each like to admit?

As for me, I’m a Leo now — a natural-born leader and an extrovert. Watch out, world! ;-D

About the author

Jenn Reese


  • I don't believe in astrology. But, supposedly I'm now a Pisces instead of an Aries. As I understand it, that's pretty different. I'm really pretty ambivalent about it. Fish are cool. Rams, also awesome. On the one hand, I'm flighty, forgetful, daydreamy, and creative. On the other I'm stubborn, smart, extroverted, and ready for a fight.

    The only one of those that pops out at me as being outright wrong with is "extroverted." That, I'm not. I can fake it pretty well most of the time. But I'm an introvert's introvert. And that probably shapes my personality more than anything else.

    • What would be interesting to me, is for you to feel drawn to one of those signs more than the other, and then to figure out which characteristics were drawing you. Is it more important that people think you're creative, or smart? Is it worse to be flighty or stubborn? I think it's fun to see what attracts and repels you about each sign.

  • I understand that, and abstractly I don't begrudge people their psychologically-helpful fun?

    But what astrology means to me personally is: not telling anybody at cocktail parties or on airplanes what I actually do for a living. Because invariably they ask me about their horoscope. When I was in high school I had to switch guidance counselors because the one assigned to me kept begging me to be a lawyer or a doctor instead. It took me several months to figure out that he didn't know there was a difference between "astrologer" and "astronomer."

    (Your almost-denied-a-job story takes the cake, though. Wow.)

    • I'm sorry you've had to carry that burden. I've seen it happen to other people, and I can only imagine how frustrating that gets after a while.

      The job thing stunned me. I thought the woman was joking at first, but it became apparent pretty quickly that she wasn't, that she took it very seriously. It was my first "welcome to Los Angeles" moment. (A week later my car was stolen — that was my second.)

  • Yep, I agree that the astrology labels, like any others, are a great invitation to "try on" another perspective on our own patterns and motivations.

    The "new" sign distribution changes me from Capricorn to Sagittarius, and the timing couldn't be better. I've never identified with the "ambitious" part of the Cappy mystique, but sadly, was all-too-familiar with its "reserved" flavor. As a Sag, I'm free to be optimistic and truth-seeking (Truth with a capital T) and LUCKY, and the life of the party, and more and more, I feel these things suit me. I wouldn't have been ready for the shift as a younger woman. Now I say BRING IT.

    Can I get a Raaaawrrrr?

    P.S. Still working on the life of the party :)

    • I've also made the switch from Cap to Sag (happy birthday, btw!). Finally I can stop kicking myself about being disorganized and embrace my less-reliable but Truth-seeking, mutable self. Out of the water, into the fire. Woo!

      Of course, as a seeker of Truth, I've come to the inevitable conclusion that Astrology is bunk. Hmm…

      Anyway, Jenn, I like your take on these things. How we relate (ourselves or others) to a sign or a reading has a lot to do with selection bias. As this is usually a subconscious process, it is interesting to look at what we embrace and what we discard, and indeed learn a little about ourselves.

  • I like you take on using it as a tool for self reflection – never thought of it that way before. I'm still a Virgo no matter which calendar you use. That had me bummed, just because (especially being male) Virgo is without question, the lamest Zodiac sign. Lots of fun when in high school we were talking about astrology and you get stuck being Virgo, the (uptight, anal renentive, control-freak) virgin.

By Jenn Reese
Jenn Reese Writer, Artist, Geek

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