May the stars be aligned in your favour: An interview with DU Astrological Society

Trinity’s latest society speaks about star sign compatibility and the scepticism surrounding astrology

With the summer approaching, the days are becoming brighter and the clouds are slowly dissipating, which leaves a clearer sky to view the bright stars above. You may look up  thinking about how beautiful they are, and how much more you would like to know about them. A new Trinity society, DU Astrological Society, is a starting point to provide an answer to all of these questions. Speaking to Trinity News, its founder, Busé Tobin, discusses the aims of the society, studying astrology, and its social stigmas.

When asked about what motivated her to bring her idea for the society into life, Tobin said: ‘‘I’m fairly involved in a couple societies, but they weren’t running the kind of events I wanted to attend. Astrology has become a major part of my life the last couple years, and I thought, hey – a place to talk about astrology and have fun, cool events? Let’s make it happen. Of course, once the idea was planted, it evolved from there – and I started thinking about everything I could achieve with a new society.’’

Despite its new-born status, Tobin hasn’t been prevented from thinking big when it comes to picturing her goals and expectations for the future of the society. “Astrology is something that, I think, is really misunderstood,’’ she confessed, adding: “I want to take away some of that stigma. At its core, astrology is just plain fun…learning about what your different planets mean and how your birth chart lines up with your crush’s. I want to show people that [it’s] whimsy and fun, and that it doesn’t have to be doom and gloom. So for the future, ultimately I hope people will start to see that.’’

“I just thought the memes were good fun and they were always good group chat fodder!”

Astrology is undeniably an unusually niche interest, with many people being sceptical at the idea of reading one’s alignment or future from their star sign. Overcoming this stigma at Trinity may pose the biggest challenge for the society, yet Tobin is adamant that by showcasing the fun side of astrology and the uniqueness of their events they will be able to attract more people to the society. “We want to run astrological season parties…and have the parties themed around the seasons.” She maintains that inviting speakers and hosting collaborative events will help spread the reach of the society and normalise it, “astrologists, psychologists, whoever has something interesting to say about astrology…We also think there’s lots of opportunity for collaboration with other societies, and I think that will be very exciting.”

In her own experience, Tobin admitted she “didn’t believe in astrology when I first started paying attention to it, I just thought the memes were good fun and they were always good group chat fodder! But as my interest began to rise, and I began to learn about the complexities of astrology, I slowly was converted. I think that it all just clicks into place – astrology makes sense. It also helps to make sense of a chaotic world, and tell you what kind of energies you can expect to face day-to-day.’’

For believers, astrology is more than just staring into the sky and playing around with the possible meanings of the constellations, for them it has a real impact on daily life. “I often ask people I just meet about their Big Three – sun, moon and rising signs – and it’s a good way of breaking the ice and starting conversation.” She also spends a lot of time keeping track “of which planets are where, and whether there’s any major astrological events coming up just to be aware of what the stars are doing.’’

“What’s cool about astrology is that you can engage with it as much as you want to – you can just scratch the surface, or you can study it for hours.”

Tobin is not under any illusions that the society will face scepticism, saying: “People will always be sceptical of things they don’t understand, astrology isn’t telling you who you are, or what the future is.” One criticism that Tobin said she hears frequently is that “astrology is too defined [and] people feel trapped in its definitions.” Her response is that “astrology was never meant to tell the future, it just tells you what energies are congregating and what is likely to happen. I think if you want to use it to tell the future, you’d have to be a highly skilled astrologist.” She says that a lot of the negative connotations around astrology comes from some common misconceptions surrounding it: “People think it’s a thing from trashy magazines made for bored housewives. The tropical zodiac, what we traditionally use, is actually over 2,000 years old and was fairly prominent in classical Greece. Astrology is complex, deep, and highly structured. It goes far beyond being just an ‘Aries’ or a ‘Taurus’. Real astrology done by real astrologers is far more true, engaging, and interesting. I think a lot of people would change their minds about astrology if they just gave it a chance.”

Considering the complexity of astrology, Tobin pointed out that: “I don’t think you have to fully believe in astrology to enjoy it – I think that part will come.” To anyone who is approaching the field for the first time, she advises: “What’s cool about astrology is that you can engage with it as much as you want to – you can just scratch the surface, or you can study it for hours. Don’t be intimidated! Ultimately, it’s about learning about yourself and having fun.”

As the interview reached its close, it was clear that this is a society looking to promote a fun time at college for anyone curious about astrology. For the founder, who is an Aries, she finished by discussing her favourite star sign. “In regards to my favourite sign, it would have to be my own! I think the fun, energy, and initiative they bring is just incomparable with any other sign.” She concludes by hoping that the upcoming committee “will have a good mix of all the elements and no one with any crazy moons! Balance is the way to go, in my opinion.”

For anyone interested in joining, the society will hold their first event on Tuesday March 19th, where elections will be held for their committee – with a promise of many events to come before the close of the academic year.