Why Reading Your Horoscope Doesn’t Help

Okay, first the facts: millions of people around the world spend a fortune on knowing about their future. And what they spend is not just money but invaluable time when they read predictions of all kinds in a variety of media.

By Sanjay Gupta

But do they get their money and time’s worth when they rely on a motley bunch of people who know zilch about them? Palmists, numerologists, tarot readers, and others who use all sorts of animals from parrots to Pomeranians. Can there be some truth in what they churn out?

If you really ask me, horoscopes suck. Especially the daily horoscopes appearing in newspapers, magazines and websites. And they suck big time. Here’s why.

If you look carefully, most predictions are vague and based on common sense. They could have come from anyone with half a brain. Sample this prophecy I picked from a popular website: “Your curiosity is running on high, and you just won’t stand for anything less than the entire truth, no matter what question you ask. Your antennae will tell you whether it’s an honest answer.”

Well, my antennae tell me that not many people would admit that they’ll “stand for less than the entire truth.” Needless to say, such a cloudy bit of mumbo jumbo would put me off rather than bolster my confidence – and boosting their self-assurance is what many horoscope readers look for.

Here’s another specimen from the Sunday edition of a paper: “You suffer a great deal because of others’ wrongdoing. Maybe it’s time you stopped others from taking you for granted. Just be more assertive and you’ll find all the happiness you deserve.”

Wow! Reading these lines, our bleary-eyed reader is sure to scream with self-pitying joy: “I told you so. See, it’s all their fault!” The advice may not turn our feeble fella into a bold brat, but it can perhaps make them feel a bit over the top.

Again, I’m not sure of the usefulness of the proffered suggestion. Tell me honestly, who benefits from being over-emotional in this day and age?

Wait, there’s more stuff coming up. This one was buried inside an old stack of newspapers. And it caught my eye when I was looking for something else. (Isn’t that how you find anything these days?)

It goes like this: “Your stars are shining bright and mighty. Just the perfect time to make that critical move you have been waiting for all your life. Lucky numbers 1, 3 and 7; favorable colors Blue and Orange.”

Oh, really? You mean, if I wear a blue shirt to office today, I can tell my boss to take a walk? Or if I pick a lottery ticket with these three digits in it, I’ll become an instant millionaire? Aw, c’mon dude, stop kidding me. If it were that simple, we would all be enjoying pina coladas on a sunny beach doing nothing but reading horoscopes.

Now, tell me, do you still want to know what the stars say about you?

Sanjay Gupta has written this article, as his experience, for Raman Media Network. Sanjay is a seasoned journalist with over a decade of experience with India’s leading media companies including The Times of India Group, Cyber Media, and the Indian arm of the global publishing company International Data Group (IDG). You can contact him at: thinksanjay@gmail.com

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