Sabrina Ouriana showing what a birth chart looks like. Photo By Maia Wood

Astrology versus Astronomy


Similar origin stories don’t change the fact that one tends to be taken more seriously

Astrology is the study of how the planet’s movements affect our human sphere. Astronomy is the study of celestial objects and these objects are said to surround earth. Both of these fields originated from our ancestors’ observations of the skies.

Astrology was first recorded in about 3000 B.C., by the Mesopotamian Babylonian people. They believed the stars and planets represented the heavens and used their observations of the sky to create the Zodiac. The Greeks continued these advancements by linking constellations to the planets. The ancient civilizations would use their observations to make decisions about their lives. The Indian civilization created what we use today for astrology predictions in about 1000 B.C.

Sabrina Ourania is an astrologer at the Arcata Healing Center and has been studying astrology for 10 years. Ourania described how people could have perceived the stars. She said that some people felt that astrology is the divine celestial realm where different gods live.

“It’s predictable, the sun always rises, the moon is always up,” Ourania said. “It was such a contrast to what the experience was on earth, it brought a lot of awe and admiration and devotion.”

Sabrina Ouriana, owner and astrologer at Godless Alchemist. | Photo by Maia Wood

People are still just as interested in how our sky affects us on the inside. According to a Gallup Poll, 25 percent of Americans believe in astrology. The field is more popular now than ever. Though, science has debunked most of the predictions in astrology, people are more connected to these ideas.

Humboldt State’s astronomy professor, Ryan Campbell said that people want to believe in astrology because it’s fun.

“People want to believe in astrology because it’s comforting, we engage in motivated reasoning to reach conclusions that we want to reach,” Campbell said.

Ryan Campell, Humboldt State University physics and astronomy professor. | Photo by Maia Wood

With astrology being used as a way to experience the world around them, it makes sense that some of these traditions would still be used today. This said, the Greeks and Mesopotamians had very little understanding of modern day science. Why are these traditions still being used in our modern societies?

For Ourania, astrology is more than science can explain.

“I see it as a deeper lay of reality and has a lot do with our own psyche,” Ourania said. “We’ve taken the experiences of our psyche and have projected them onto these planetary bodies.”

Humboldt State students Norma Warren and Trena Neel agree with professor Campbell. Astrology is not something to believe in but is just something fun.

“I believe that astrology is something that people believe in, but I don’t treat it as good model about making predictions about the universe,” Campbell said.

Astronomy and astrology were very closely related throughout history. According to Ourania, many of the great astronomers such as Kepler and Galileo were also astrologists. To fund their discoveries, they would make predictions for wealthy individuals.

“Back then there were not universities offering grants for new discoveries. But was happening wealthy patrons or leaders were coming to know, should they go to war etc. Astronomers day jobs were astrologers, because that is what they were getting paid to do,” Ourinia said.

This close tie to astronomy is what keeps astrology alive today. As we try to move forward in advancements in how we perceive the world, it makes it hard to let go of some traditions. As a science-based society, we can appreciate the past while still having a health perception of reality.

“The history of astrology and astronomy are really tied and I appreciate the historical background that came out of astrology, but I think we have better models now,” Campbell said.

Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination

Major League Marijuana

Why I don’t think marijuana is everything it’s cracked up to be in baseball

Pigs Compost on Campus

CCAT tries to reduce HSU’s food waste footprint through new pig program