As far as I can tell, we humans have been trying to find out what's going to happen in the future pretty much since human time has began.
Our ancient ancestors turned to shamans to know how the next hunt would go. Gypsies had their crystal balls. Other fortune tellers use Tarot cards, Ouija boards, tea leaves and more.
Greek mythology is full of oracles, diviners and more. Shakespeare had his witches. And astrology is centuries old.
We, at least most of we, have an aversion to the unknown. It's scary. If we know what's coming, at least we can prepare for it.
Closely connected to this proclivity is the reliance on superstitions. You know how that goes — if I wear my favorite Broncos hat, the team Elway built is going to beat the Raiders. If I step on the foul line coming in from the field, it's a sure bet I'm going to strike out the next time up to bat.
Essentially, we (okay, me) will do whatever we can to have a slightly better chance for a good outcome. I don't necessarily need to know what I'm going to be, or what I'm going to do, but if I can get something that says it is going to come out well, I'll do it.
I listen to all those New Age confidence-building counselors, too. You know the mantra — rely on yourself, or be happy inside no matter what, or karma's a bitch. Sorry, that last one slipped.
Karma is particularly interesting to me. It seems to be a societal creation designed to promote good behavior without coercion or constant oversight. When you know that a good deed or a dastardly deed is going to be repaid in kind, at least eventually, you're clearly more likely to do the good deed, right?
Karma's also a sort of secular version of the Golden Rule. You know how it goes — do unto others as you would have them do unto you. There's also the love your neighbor as yourself, but that assumes that you love yourself. I have a bit of a problem with that.
We Christians are taught to rely on God, not all that other stuff. It's not really that simplistic — there's the whole living a Godly life thing. But it does often come down to this: Let go and let God.
Easier said than done; I know from experience. But it is a good goal, and one I strive to reach on a daily basis.
So why do I keep looking at those darned horoscopes?
I edit the things, so I know just how simplistic and generic horoscopes generally are — particularly those designed for mass consumption. So you'd think I'd just turn the page when I see In The Stars. But that bold-faced Libra invariably draws my eye.
Rationally, I know these things don't mean a thing to me personally. Approximately one-twelfth of the world are by definition Librans, so how could we all expect a financial windfall on the same day?
I even tried to give up reading the things as a New Year's Resolution. It lasted for about two weeks.
What do I get out of it, anyway? Well, if there's something positive, like, "The resources necessary to see your inspiration through to reality come to you almost magically" (that's what I'm expecting today), I can't help but have a little more confidence.
And on the rare, very rare, occasions when it is negative, I remind myself that there's no way this horoscope actually applies to me.
So I'll be looking for a little magic today. Sad, but true.
What about you? What's in your stars?
Made you look.