As finals week looms overhead, students are riddled with anxiety about passing exams. Some students rest reassured, however, but it’s not because they’ve studied hard for their classes. They’ve studied the moon and stars instead, and have predicted a week full of positive energy and good luck.
A large number of students at Ohio University use astrology to predict how their day will go and explain the actions of those close to them. For some, having this astrological guidance doesn’t just make life easier, but also helps students feel more grounded and stable when they know approximately what’s going to happen.
Farah Chidiac, a junior studying sociology-criminology, started OU’s Official Astrology Club her freshman year because she wanted to give students a space to meet and mingle with other fans of astrology.
“When studying my personal birth chart, I find myself with goosebumps because I get so scared of how accurate it is,” Chidiac said.
In her life, there has been a moment or two where predictions have been incorrect, but she insists that it is all for fun anyway.
“Your life choices should never revolve around what astrology says,” Chidiac said. “At the end of the day, you hold the brush and how you decide to paint your picture is your choice.”
Astrology enthusiasts are lucky to live in Athens because the county is also home to a number of professionals that have read birth charts for decades. Sue Zano of Pomeroy is one resident who has been practicing evolutionary astrology for years, which is a method that was popularized in the 1980s and is becoming increasingly popular.
Zano refers to natal astrology as ‘old astrology,’ finding the practice limiting because it usually attempts to define people, assigning different signs specific personality traits and attempting to fit them into a box. Evolutionary astrology simply entails reading birth charts in a positive manner. Both follow the idea of a birth chart, which is based off of the location, date and exact time you were born. However, evolutionary astrology tends to give participants more freedom.
“(Evolutionary astrology) differs from the kind I learned, which is more predictive,” Zano said, mentioning that she learned natal astrology first before shifting over to the evolutionary method. “The old astrology had a lot of good and bad associated with everything, and I don’t want to live in a world where I can be labelled as bad. It’s about choice.”
Zano became interested in astrology in the 1970s, when she left OU after the Kent State University shootings.
“Nothing made sense. The call back to the land was so strong and I just couldn’t be part of a world where they would shoot students for speaking their minds,” Zano said. “So, I got some astrology books and my man and I and another couple went to Mexico. I sat in the backseat of a Dodge Dart and learned astrology, travelling around Mexico for three months.”
Zano then returned back to Athens, where she was involved with The Farmacy, 28 W. Stimson Ave. However, she claims all she did at night was study astrology, already incredibly passionate in her hobby.
Turning to astrology for answers in a time that she felt lost, Zano now hopes to give back by providing answers to others through chart readings. She even visits women’s recovery programs, volunteering free readings.
However, Zano is most well-known for providing extensive personal readings for around $125 and also teaching local $10 classes. According to Zano, her classes aren’t linear and members can expect to discuss an astrology-related topic and then learn how to apply it to their chart.
“It’s pretty intimate,” J Ammon, a massage therapist from Albany that regularly attends Zano’s classes, said. “Depending on what her topic is that month, she’ll talk about how the patterns and planets and stars relate to you because of your chart. It’s only $10 and she gives us, probably, $100 worth of information.”
Zano’s favorite part of reading charts is guiding people and connecting with them on such a deep level. Astrology, she feels, gives people self-awareness.
“The more we love ourselves, the more we love our neighbor,” Zano said. “If everybody woke up smiling, how cool that would be. I feel like everybody should have more self-awareness and astrology is one of the best tools. It’s more tangible.