Astrology has been around for thousands of years, its followers and practitioners insisting it can be an accurate predictor of our personality traits, destinies and love lives.
And despite the lack of scientific evidence that the alignment of stars and planets affects every individual’s life – many of us, – particularly millennials – religiously read our daily horoscopes, consult astrologists and rely on the stars to guide us on important life decisions – and claim incredibly positive results from doing so. Not to mention the ongoing interest in various retrogrades, moon cycles and “zodiac compatibility” between couples – the latter of which has more than 30 million hashtags on TikTok.
“I’ve always been into astrology to help understand myself and learn who I’m compatible with. I decided to ‘Date the Zodiac’ to explore how different star signs show up in people,” says Ms Porter. “After that experiment, I swore to never date a Capricorn (astrologically we are not compatible, as we tend to compete). When I broke that rule, I ended up going on one of the worst dates imaginable and I’ve never done it since.
“Then, in my early 20s, I was in a serious relationship with a guy I really loved. Things were starting to get a bit rocky and I contemplated leaving, but I was so attached to him. The straw that broke the camel’s back was when I put our birth charts through a compatibility metre online and it said we were not suited at all. In fact, it indicated a very turbulent and conflicted dynamic, which it was. I broke it off there and then.
“I met my current partner five years ago and was over the moon when I discovered he was a Pisces – my soulmate sign! We’ve been happily together ever since.
“I would never override my own judgement in favour of blindly trusting astrology, but I believe astrology is a useful tool because it gives a language to our soul that we don’t otherwise have.”
Lucy isn’t alone. Recent research from dating app Hily found that 70 per cent of women say zodiac compatibility – information like a potential partner’s birth chart and star sign – is important to them. Bumble allows users to filter what zodiac sign they match with, with more than one million people in the UK adding this information to their profile.
Heather Sutton, 45, from Glasgow, also relies heavily on her zodiac sign and birth chart to inform her dating life.
“I’ve been embracing astrology since my early twenties when I came across astrologers Lynne Ewart and Shelley Von Strunckel, both of which had predictions appearing in weekly papers,” says Ms Sutton. “They gave insights into what I was experiencing at that time, and I was always able to apply their guidance to whatever was on my mind, especially in terms of my career and love life.
“When it comes to dating, I’ve learnt that my sign, Virgo, is an Earth sign, which can be stubborn and stable. My most meaningful relationship was with a Scorpio so I always tend to lean towards dating them. As a Water sign, Scorpios are fluid enough to handle my stubbornness, and deep enough to add excitement to my Virgo stability.
“These two signs are also 60º apart from one another on the zodiac wheel, which means they have a natural attraction towards one another. When I date now, I often Google people’s star signs when I first meet them to get a handle on what they might be like and what to expect. It really helps me prepare for a date and they’re usually spot on.”
Many sceptics may roll their eyes, but even professional astrologers don’t deny that science can’t yet explain the study of the stars in relation to our personalities and destiny.
Professional astrologer and tarot reader Maria Hayes appreciates that astrology may not be backed by the science – but she says some things go beyond our understanding. “Not everyone will agree with what I believe in, particularly those who see the world through a scientific lens,” admits Hayes.
“Nevertheless, this rift doesn’t invalidate the warnings of upcoming retrogrades or the multiple phases of the moon cycle. Reading horoscopes is an acquired skill. It isn’t there to predict the future. Life is uncertain, but astrology helps us to listen to forces that are greater than us.
“Having this fundamental understanding of life allows my belief to go beyond what scales and meters can’t quantify.”
How to date according to your horoscope
If you’re looking for some extra help when it comes to your love life, then it’s good to know that certain signs are thought to be incompatible, such as Aries – who love to move quickly – and Cancer – who are sentimental and need time to properly establish trust; or Leo and Pisces, who may not get on as the fiery nature of Leos can clash with sensitive Pisces.
“If you’re looking to use horoscopes to influence your love life, you should have your astrological birth chart drawn up, which you can do for free online,” advises Kate Taylor, dating coach at Ourtime. “If you’re a woman, check your birth chart for your Venus sign.
“This explains how you approach flirting and dating. For example, I have Venus in Aries, which means I’m the most impatient dater in the world – I want a proposal on the second date or I’m out. If you have Venus in Gemini, you might love a partner who can talk all night. For men, look at the Mars sign.
“This explains how men approach relationships and sex. It would explain why a normally mild Libra (for example) might be astonishingly dark and dangerous in bed, if they have Mars in Scorpio. I myself don’t get on with Cancerian men. I’ve always found them to be eye-wateringly frugal, to the point where they knock up an Excel spreadsheet to justify splitting the bill.
“I once had a Cancerian man offer to cook me dinner. I’d expected a delicious cosy meal at his house, but instead he picked me up, took me to the supermarket, did his weekly shop, then stood at the till expecting me to pay half. I made my excuses and ran.
“While I’d never recommend you date someone purely because of their horoscope, it is a fun way to understand a new date, or yourself, a bit better.”