The longer I've dealt with astrology, the more I see its application in my life.

What started as a hippie hobby has transformed into usable knowledge, and now, something I advocate.

Astrology is the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world.

Just like the months of the year, astrology is split up into 12 distinctive houses called the zodiac signs. Each sign carries predictable characteristics or features that play out in humans born during that particular sign, or planetary position in space.

My astronomy teacher called astrology "fluffy stuff," which I sense is the way most people feel about astrology due to the attitudes I receive when I ask people what their sign is.

The majority of people who disregard astrology exercise their argument through laziness, calling astrology dubious, pigeonholing, or too broad. Some see it as heresy if viewing it as a religion, or judge it off the self-prophesying tendencies people create after reading sloppy Internet horoscopes.

I will give counterarguments to these dismissals of astrology in hopes my readers will at the very least give astrology a nod of understanding, or at best begin doing their own research into the subject.

Astrology at first glance does seem dubious, but it has been around for more than 5,000 years. Lasting the test of time, it has held sense long enough for humans to continue its legacy. Astronomy and astrology used to be intimately connected up until the 17th century when the two became separate studies, showing we have had a long history in believing that movement in space ripples down here to Earth.

Think for a moment what life was like when the dark night and its brilliant stars were your only companions for half the day. Don't you think they would begin to notice patterns of stars correlating with people? A full moon has notoriously gotten people riled up, even today, so why not the rest of our galactic companions?

Critics often maintain that astrology is pigeonholing, because they don't think everyone can just be typed out into 12 different categories. Others say it is too broad, that the categories themselves are all encompassing.

To this, I say, you've never read your sign in comparison to another. While I agree the descriptors of each sign are broad, I admit they must be – we are a vast and diverse people, and yet signs are still different from one another.

A good test of the zodiac is to look at your own sign and then compare it to your best friend's. You will see they are definitely broad, yet applicable and very distinct from one another. And for those who believe zodiac signs to be pigeonholing, may I lend you my 2,000-page book on astrology. I believe you won't feel too suffocated by it unless you lay it on your chest; it is very heavy.

For those who believe it to be a New Age creed, and therefore tainting religion, I argue that 1) astrology is not a religion but rather acquired knowledge, and 2) if you believe in an all-creative divine, then why couldn't the night sky have meaning to us, too?

Finally, horoscopes are bull. Do not read a horoscope seriously; I have yet to find one that accurately portrays the significance of the planets' positions in accordance to your designated planet – for everyone has a ruling planet according to their zodiac sign; you're reading the thoughts of Uranus.

The Internet is also not an adequate source for finding information about astrology. It is however an OK place to start. Cafeastrology.com is not a bad place either. I would not however, just look at one source. Check your findings, because all signs have similar themes; once you begin to see them, you can maintain a firm grasp on what is phony and what's spot on.

If I were to point you in a better direction it would be to books — our UT library has close to 100 books and 1,600 search results for astrology. Finally, my email is below, don't be shy.

May your signs always be aligned.

Julie Mrozinski is a junior in English. She can be reached at jmrozins@utk.edu.