Astrology is the esoteric study of the stars and planets on the premise the heavenly bodies rule or influence events on Earth.
The planets and stars all align with the 12 astrological signs, known as the zodiac, which themselves derive from Babylonian mythology.
Today, daily horoscopes are read to answer questions about the future, personal relationships and financial concerns.
From an outsider’s viewpoint, astrology might seem scientific because it tracks the positions of stars and the planets – but is it in any way real?
Are daily horoscopes and astrology scientific?
According to the University of Berkeley, California (UC Berkeley), astrology uses a defined set of rules to predict how the horoscopes will affect our lives.
These predictions are based on the positions of the planets and the stars in relation to the Earth and the zodiac.
For instance, a person born right after the Spring Equinox is believed to be more like to develop entrepreneurial skills in life.
But there is no scientific basis to these predictions beyond the deeply held beliefs they are real.
In “Understanding Science – How Science Really Works” – a series for the UC Museum of Palaeontology, UC Berkeley said there are zero cases of astrology contributing to any scientific discovery.
Similarly, astrologers do not use the scientific method to create their predictions and forecasts are typically too vague to be trusted.
UC Berkeley wrote: “In the few cases where astrology has been used to generate testable expectations and the results were examined in a careful study, the evidence did not support the validity of astrological ideas.
“This experience is common in science — scientists often test ideas that turn out to be wrong.
“However, one of the hallmarks of science is that ideas are modified when warranted by the evidence.
“Astrology has not changed its ideas in response to contradictory evidence.”
Another major problem is most people are under the impression they were born under one particular zodiac sign when in reality they are completely different.
This happens because the zodiac, as it was created thousands of years ago, did not account for the Earth wobbling in its orbit around the Sun.
This wobble, known as precession, has caused the intersecting point between the celestial equator and the Sun’s ecliptic in the sky to shift by 36 degrees.
Over the 2,500 years that people have been using the zodiac to predetermine their lives, the signs have moved into different positions and are invalid today.
For instance, a person born between March 21 and April 19 might think they are an Aries, when in reality they were born in Pisces.
The Sun’s recession moved each sign by almost an entire month, further questioning the validity of daily horoscopes.