Obsessed With Astrology? Here’s What Therapists Think


Each astrological signal has a stereotype. Should you’re an Aries, you’re aggressive, whereas Virgos are management freaks. A Taurus is meant to be lazy; Aquarius, chilly. Geminis are shallow, Cancers are over-sensitive, Leos are egocentric, and Libras are indecisive. Scorpios embrace depth. Sagittarius? At all times flighty. Capricorns, in the meantime, are social climbers and Pisces—they dwell the escapist life-style.

Whereas these classes can’t stand up to the scrutiny of science, they supply a ton of consolation to some individuals as a strategy to perceive their family and friends. However can that perception be taken too far—and possibly even be dangerous?

Astrology by the ages

Zodiac indicators and astrology date again to the traditional Center East and Greece. Royalty seemed to the celebs for data on potential future disasters or successes. However astrology had a resurgence within the 20th century when newspapers began printing horoscope columns. Some individuals pair astrology with using tarot playing cards to achieve perception.

You would possibly assume fewer individuals than ever would look to the celebs for steerage, what with trendy expertise and science—however that’s not the case.

In a 2017 ballot, the Pew Analysis Middle discovered that nearly 30 % of Individuals imagine in astrology. The American Federation of Astrologers estimates the variety of Individuals who learn their horoscope each day to be as excessive as 70 million, about 23 % of the inhabitants, in keeping with Smithsonian Journal.

The query isn’t a lot if astrology is actual, however what impression believing, studying, or working towards it has on well-being. And is there a spot for astrology in psychotherapy? Here’s what therapists consider the pattern and what it’s essential find out about astrology and psychological well being.

How astrology might help

Folks want to search out one thing to anchor themselves to within the emotional discomfort, monetary, and bodily insecurity wherein they dwell at present, in keeping with Paul Hokemeyer, PhD, a medical and consulting psychotherapist in New York, and writer of Fragile Power: Why Having Everything Is Never Enough.

Astrology and tarot permit individuals to undertaking their innermost, usually unconscious ideas and wishes onto one thing outdoors of themselves. One of many key components of tarot and astrology is that they concentrate on the long run. They supply a roadmap and insights on how finest to navigate the issues forward. Based on Hokemeyer, this gives a way of order and route that’s comforting when the long run feels threatening and unsure.

“By this course of, the affected person can acquire readability on their emotions and discover grounding within the uncertainty wherein we’re all presently dwelling,” Hokemeyer says. “That is particularly necessary in our trendy ethos of Covid-19, the stress surrounding the 2020 elections, and a future that’s unsure and terrifying.”

(Study the secrets your therapist won’t tell you.)

Astrology encourages self-awareness

The reflective nature of astrology and tarot helps individuals improve self-awareness, offers the power to self-reflect, and spreads consciousness of the current points of their lives.

Based on Courtney Tracy, a non-conventional therapist and mindfulness professional in Orange County, California, each of those practices permit individuals to interrupt from the day-to-day points of their lives and take pause, reflecting on their future wishes, previous struggles, and current inside and outer workings.

“The 12 months 2020 has taught us that we’re lacking so many solutions to so many questions, and one of many greatest questions we are able to ask in our lifetimes is ‘Why are we right here?’ ” Tracy says. We glance to the celebs for solutions as a result of, traditionally, we all the time have.

Most religions include some reference to a heaven or one other essence of existence past our planet. “Astrology and tarot really feel like self-empowered pathways to discovering solutions for individuals’s existential questions and struggling,” Tracy says.

Astrology is validating and straightforward to entry

A part of the recognition of astrology and tarot at present has to do with their common nature, says Caroline Hexdall, PhD, a medical psychologist on the Middle For Conscious Growth in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

“Partly, this data is extra available,” she says. “There are various sources on-line which might be free.” And, once more, the worldwide pandemic and the political division that our nation is experiencing are motivators for individuals to look to different sources along with extra conventional types of assist, corresponding to psychotherapy.

Astrology largely focuses on the constructive

Horoscopes are typically generic and largely constructive, and it’s widespread for individuals to search for solutions that give hope for a greater future. They’re usually affirming and reassuring, which offers consolation, particularly throughout a pandemic, says Hexdall.

Astrology and tarot might appeal to some individuals as a result of the content material resonates with them, offering a way of validation for his or her obstacles or presents, says Hexdall. “What they lack, nonetheless, are the necessary particular person discoveries, particular person interventions, and larger objectivity {that a} therapist can present.”

Though many individuals would possibly think about astrology and tarot a bit “woo-woo,” they’re really grounded in established psychotherapeutic formulations corresponding to psychoanalysis and depth psychology, in keeping with Hokemeyer.

Top view of astrologer holding notebook with watercolor drawings and zodiac signs on cards on table

LightFieldStudios/Getty Pictures

Astrology might provide help to take motion

Astrology and tarot present a chance to undertaking emotions and ideas outdoors ourselves. Within the course of, individuals swap the main focus from inner confusion to exterior readability.

“By specializing in one thing outdoors ourselves, a selected card, the astrological alignment, we’re in a position to transfer our consciousness from the depth and reactivity of our limbic system,” Hokemeyer says. We shift to the prefrontal cortex, the a part of the mind that permits us to have interaction in planning and intentional motion.

Each modalitiesastrology and tarotcan promote journaling, constructive affirmations, and a spotlight to our personal mental health as a every day observe, Tracy says. So these instruments might assist improve self-awareness and self-reflection.

Astrology and tarot can spark discussions in remedy

The broad nature of astrology and tarot readings could be beginning locations for individuals to acknowledge what resonates with them, in keeping with Hexdall. They are often clues to what we wish to domesticate extra of in our lives, corresponding to deeper connections with family members or a extra fulfilling profession.

“They could make the reader extra conscious of what questions they’ve after studying the cardboard or horoscope that might be taken to a therapist who might assist the person change the route they’re intending,” Hexdall says.

The sphere of psychology is shifting steadily away from the humanities into the realm of science, in keeping with Hokemeyer. However having the perfect science is of little use if therapists are unable to ship data to their sufferers.

Generally discussions round tarot and astrology might help. “They allow the therapist to have interaction with the affected person and converse to them in a approach that has a resonance and private that means to the affected person,” Hokemeyer says. “There are circumstances in my observe the place resorting to those projective strategies is useful.” The hot button is utilizing it with sufferers who’ve a robust perception in them.

(Learn to inform in case your therapy is working.)

Astrology’s roots are in therapeutic

Tracy notes that astrology and tarot are historical types of therapeutic practices. And conventional remedy just isn’t all the time acceptable for everybody. Astrology and tarot help these on the lookout for an alternate or enhanced route in direction of therapeutic.

“Just like how there are religious-based therapists and therapies, I additionally imagine it’s fully acceptable for therapists to make use of any type of therapeutic observe that aligns with their very own or their shoppers’ preferences,” Tracy says.

“When a therapist is utilizing these varieties along side evidence-based practices, the significance lies in understanding when to maneuver to extra diagnostic and conventional types of evaluation and help,” she says.

When astrology can harm

It’s necessary to do not forget that astrology and tarot don’t have any foundation in cognitive, organic, or psychological science. So individuals with each acute and continual psychological well being signs ought to see a medical and/or medical skilled previous to utilizing astrology or tarot as the only real resolution, says Tracy.

It may be problematic if the individual utilizing it suffers from psychological well being issues corresponding to extreme despair, for instance. “They could be unable to see any hope and use the fabric to go deeper into their despair,” Hokemeyer says.

Astrology just isn’t a alternative for skilled assist

One other instance of astrology doing extra hurt than good: Somebody with schizophrenia who suffers from paranoid delusions might misconstrue the fabric in methods which might be damaging, provides Hokemeyer.

(Here’s how to suggest someone go to therapy.)

Though a therapist might help shoppers of their use of tarot or astrology outdoors of remedy, typically talking, individuals sometimes seek support from a therapist as a result of their wants and therapeutic objectives should not being met or reached by astrology or tarot, in keeping with Hexdall.

“Therapists are extra doubtless to make use of evidence-based interventions to help shoppers with their wants,” she says. “This isn’t to say that somebody who’s utilizing tarot or astrology can not search the help of a therapist.”

Folks might use each, and it will be as much as the therapist to be taught extra about what motivates a consumer to hunt out the help of every and the way one can inform the opposite. It’s additionally necessary for the therapist to grasp the nontraditional therapeutic strategies used within the consumer’s tradition as this vastly influences rapport and the way finest to help shoppers, says Hexdall.

(Need assistance? Here’s how to find a therapist you trust.)

Utilizing astrology as a crutch

It is also dangerous when somebody depends solely on astrology and tarot as it could result in dependence, and it could possibly make it exhausting to acknowledge when that device is not useful, says Hexdall.

Taking astrology and tarot readings too actually can even result in elevated isolation, despair, anxiousness, and aggravation of underlying psychiatric situations.

“Over-reliance on astrology or tarot, or every other religious strategy, to the exclusion of others, might result in a perpetuation of signs or difficulties somewhat than offering a person the reduction she or he is searching for,” Hexdall says.

Greater than doubtless, astrology and tarot aren’t an issue so long as individuals aren’t completely utilizing them to interchange skilled assist, Tracy says. And so long as individuals aren’t taking their horoscopes too actually.

Backside line

Due to trendy psychology and remedy, we’ve confirmed methods to handle our feelings—we don’t should depend on the celebs to clarify our emotions. However there may be nonetheless room for astrology and tarot. These practices might assist spark discussions in remedy and encourage introspection, self-awareness, and motion. Simply don’t lean on it too closely—it’s not a alternative for skilled remedy or assist.





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