Call Me By Your Star Sign: On Love & Astrology

This month’s Intersections columnist asks if intimate connections are written in the zodiac

Feature by Liv McMahon | 08 Mar 2019
  • Keystone Illustration - Heather Minto

The concept of connectivity is becoming increasingly fraught as we wrestle with its meaning in a digital dimension, making the question – 'what is real love?' – even more complex. Astrology has forever bridged the void between the scientific world and the spiritual, scoffed at and obsessed over in equal measure. Horoscopes allow readers to locate themselves within their words and anchor themselves to the heavens above; their permanence in pop-culture is undeniable.

As a Pisces often astro-dragged for being flaky, thirsty and typically found crying in public places, I’ve always been drawn to the emotional and psychological affirmation horoscopes provide. Today, when we search for partners, lovers and friends, zodiac compatibility is often a concern, and, to me, it offers a perfect gateway to emotional intimacy and sensitivity.

Want to filter potential matches by their star sign? There’s an app for that. Want to compare your worst zodiac traits to Lisa Simpson or Mark from Peep Show? There’s a meme account for that. Astrology’s playfulness seen in the rise of Instagram and Twitter accounts dedicated to astrological dating has always been present in teen magazines and Mystic Meg columns. Now, it thrives online, feeding into how we live, date and relate to one another. Bumble’s decision to let users negotiate matches based on zodiac compatibility is a prime example. For fans of this feature, knowing yourself spiritually saves time and energy in avoiding those with incompatible or clashing traits.

Are our connections to best friends, potential partners and prospective lovers written in the stars? Were past relationships with exes and foes simply star-crossed? I’m as consumed with these existential questions as I am with discovering which Russian Doll character matches my star sign, but I never considered my flirtation with the faith in our stars to be anything more than just that. But in realising my bisexuality, there’s no doubt to me as to why suspending my disbelief in something so centred around self-acceptance no longer feels as difficult.

Queer communities have long sought solace in astrology as a source for faith and freedom outside of religious and political institutionalised heterosexuality, and its mainstreaming perhaps points to a mass desire for a spiritual connection with ourselves and our sexual partners. Recognising the organisation of the universe and stars as just as infinite, vast and chaotic as our reality harmlessly helps us feel safer within it. The positive impact of a positive horoscope may well be mere placebo, but placing faith in it makes all the difference.

Previously in our monthly Intersection column...

Don’t Stop the Music: Headphones & Street Harassment
Sharing Makeup Brushes: On Coming Out as Bi and Femme
Real Love: Can the Cis Ever Love Me?