Some people are taking their interest in astrology too far! It’s cool to consult the cosmos on some things, but it’s decidedly uncool to wield astrology for evil, like using someone’s sun sign to rule them out entirely as a potential friend, partner, coworker, or—as this viral tweet about Capricorns illustrates—a roommate.
A person’s sun sign is just one small part of their entire birth chart, and while it can be a good indicator of someone’s general disposition, you can’t paint the full picture of a person with this information. If you rely only on someone’s sun sign, you’re missing out on potential answers to some crucial questions: How does this person fight, or love? What are they like when they’re happy, or pained? Would you be super annoyed if you were stuck on an airplane with them for hours on end, as my friend astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo says? Someone’s sun sign can’t give you the answers to these questions. Your combined synastry (comparing your full birth chart to someone else’s) might give you a glimpse into these answers, but truly, there’s only one way to know how you get along with someone: spending time with them.
Trust me—I literally just wrote a book about sun sign compatibility, and I know from experience: Sun signs are a beautiful window into a person’s source of vitality, their identity, and their destiny—not to mention a great place for beginner astrologers to start their studies—but it’s just one piece of a bigger puzzle. Just look at Rihanna—is she a typical flaky Pisces, lost in the clouds? Ask any fan, and they’ll be quick to point out the many ways her fierce Aries moon and Venus jump out.
Stereotyping people is always a bad idea, and that applies to using astrology to do it, too! If you’re woo-woo enough to try and wield astrology as a tool to judge others, I’m going to assume you’re woo-woo enough to understand that what goes around comes around. Refusing to engage with a sign shows your lack of understanding of astrology as a complex system. Don’t you know that every zodiac sign is repped in your natal chart, as each one rules one of your houses, even if you have no planets in said house? If you haven’t done the due diligence to study that system, then you definitely don’t have the tools to understand your dynamic with any given sign.
Life is full of rich experiences, and missing out on them because you think a Capricorn will be too bossy at home may find you missing out on a friend who won’t blink an eye when you complain too much (Capricorns lowkey love a good bitch sesh), or who could teach you about maintaining healthy boundaries (shout out, earth signs!). Astrology is not a tool for dismissing people or experiences, or a scapegoat on which to blame all your problems and decisions. Whether the moon is void (a lovely time for quiet meditation, but not a great time to start new projects) or Mercury is retrograde (bringing miscommunications and delays), you still have free will. No one’s perfect all the time, and one bad Gemini does not spoil the bunch.
The sun is an important part of your birth chart that points to vitality, willpower, and the ways you go about manifesting your destiny. But your natal chart also has your moon sign, which teaches us about your sense of home and nurturing; Mars, which offers insight into the ways you take action and assert yourself; and Venus, which touches on your sense of beauty and value. Each planet’s sign placement, house placement, and aspects to other planets tells a story about our lives, and is a profound tool for self-exploration.
Astrology is a millennia-old study wielded by civilizations (from the Babylonians to the Hellenistic period to the Middle Ages to today!) to try and find patterns in history and meaning in the world around us. The cosmos are a beautiful map and guide, but you’re the ultimate decider of your fate. Would you rather use this ancient gift to draw dividing lines in the sand, or to build community and deepen human connections?
This article originally appeared on Broadly.