Astrology chart

Astrology helps Cher understand herself — and the universe — a little bit better.

Music for this episode is by the galaxy’s own Breakmaster Cylinder. Illustration by Jessie Lamworth.


Cher Vincent: My name is Cher Vincent and I really love astrology.

The first time I learned about astrology was from my mother. She is very extravagant with her birthday cards, like “happy birthday, you turned seven, you turned eight.” But my mother would stuff it with cute cartoons that she sees in the newspaper, comics, stickers. Like it would be this thick, monstrous kind of collection of just thoughts and feelings. And then she had both sides of the paper written notes about all the things I accomplished that year. And she does this for me every year still. It’s like, the thing I look forward to most on my birthdays is all these letters.

One of my favorite things that I really enjoyed was the horoscope that she would cut out the day of. Like that was our tradition, we would get up in the morning to have breakfast together on my birthday, and then we read the horoscope. So the earlier horoscopes for me were like, “you have a year of money,” or “your career is gonna take off.” And you know, as a seven year old and you’re like, well, hopefully I’ll get into the spelling bee? Like it’s not something that you can really conceptualize at that age of having a career or whatever. But what I did know was there was a difference between two people that wrote the horoscopes. The newspaper that we only read the horoscopes were the Chicago sun times, and there were two women that had horoscopes, they would have like their own take. I personally think there was the Gene Siskel and Ebert of the horoscope world, because they had vastly different opinions about what my year was going to be like. And my mother only cared about what Georgia Nichols had to say. Like if it wasn’t Georgia, it wasn’t real.

So that’s our ritual every birthday. We would read those things together, and that was kind of my earliest memories with horoscopes.

So day you were born is your sun sign. A location on your born is your moon sign. And the time you’re born is your rising. So I was born August 26 in Chicago, Illinois at 3:15 PM so that makes me a Virgo sun a Sagittarius rising and an Aquarius moon. The sign is kind of how you’re your best self, that’s the way that you move through the world. I’m very analytical, very detail oriented, but I tend to focus so hard on the details and kind of lose the big picture. Your moon is kind of how you deal with things emotionally. I’m an Aquarius, which means I’m very quiet, I’m pretty reserved. And then your rising is how you interact with people externally and how people perceive you. Sagittarius are very boastful, very willing to put themselves out there, which is funny enough cause it’s true, I do tend to work well in crowds, but honestly I like to be by myself.

I mean, I take most of it with a grain of salt. It’s this kind of like fan fiction astronomy. But worrying about those three signs specifically kind of helps me interact with the emotions that I deal with on a daily basis. It kind of helps me feel like I’m not just this one weird freak, that I am part of a larger system, that I’m not the only person like me, and it kind of helps with my own anxiety. When we identify ourselves as a Leo or as an Aries or as a Gemini, we have a tribe that we can link ourselves to and we find identity, and I think that’s why it’s thrived so much in the last few years. There’s tribalism everywhere, but at least with astrology it feels a little more fun. It’s not necessarily political. It doesn’t feel so scary. It’s something where we can kind of come together and feel connected to the world around us, and the universe around us.

Mark Bramhill: Enthusiast is produced by me, Mark Bramhill. Today’s music is by the galaxy’s own Breakmaster Cylinder. You can find Cher’s favorite astrology memes, apps that can help you learn your signs, and lots more to be joyful about If you’ve been enjoying Enthusiast, pick a favorite episode and share it with a friend. Tell them what you loved about it, and why you think they will love it too. Thanks for listening.