My favorite part of receiving stacks of magazines in the mail each month used to be the classic horoscopes page. Before reading the cover story or flipping through the pages of clothes I'd inevitably circle and vow to buy, I'd rush to the back of the book and check out what was in store for me. I'd wait with anxious hope for my "good days," and I'd obsessively analyze my "bad days."
Ironically, the experience always stressed me out more than it brought me any type of joy, and I pretty much abandoned the activity.
A few years later, I'm still an avid magazine purchaser (not to mention a digital editor) and miss the thrill of reading my horoscope, so I reached out to two astrology experts for their advice on reading your horoscope free of stress and tension.
Check Out More Than Just Your Sun-Sign Horoscope
Your sun sign is based on your birth date, and it's the horoscope that's most popularly read.
"The chances of everyone sharing the same experience on the same day are slim to none. So your daily predictions may turn out to be inaccurate for the most part if you're only reading the horoscope for your sun sign."
While reading your sun sign's horoscope could be helpful for a "general understanding of what could possibly come up for others who share the same sign," Walker suggests reading your rising-sign horoscope, too.
"It's a little more personal and may resonate with you better as it's based on your exact time of birth."
Visit an Astrologer For Personalized Horoscopes and Astrology Readings
There's a huge difference between reading a horoscope in a nationwide newspaper and going to see an astrologer for a personalized reading — mainly in the accuracy department.
"Horoscopes that are crafted to apply to masses of people are inherently generalized," said Jessica Lanyadoo, author of Astrology For Real Relationships and host of the weekly astrology show Ghost of a Podcast.
"They are very general — even the most accurate horoscope for thousands of Scorpios won't apply to thousands of other Scorpios."
For a more accurate, personalized reading, skip the daily app notifications and book a one-on-one appointment with a human astrologer. By meeting with a professional in this field of study, rather than just logging onto your computer, Lanyadoo said, your reading will be "based on a complex amount of data" and can be "deeply personal, nuanced, and eerily accurate."
Your Horoscope Prediction Isn't Set in Stone
"It is useful and helpful to keep track of the astrological weather to see what to look out for, but things can shift at any moment in time," Walker said.
She added that free will — your personal choices and actions — can play a part in the events that occur in your life.
"Astrology can tell you how the planetary movements may impact our lives and advise us on how to deal — it's not always about what's going to happen."
Use Your Horoscope Constructively
For starters, Lanyadoo suggested using common sense when approaching horoscopes. For example, your reading isn't always going to be positive, and that's not the end of the world. In fact, it's more realistic.
"Life isn't always positive — if you're reading horoscopes that are always promising you rainbows and kittens, they can't be accurate, because life doesn't always go our way," Lanyadoo said. "If you're not a person who can handle negative predictions in a constructive way, maybe don't read predictions at all!"
She also recommended using common sense when approaching horoscopes and to avoid reading them obsessively.
Above all, enjoy your daily, weekly, or monthly readings. "Use them as input that helps you make the most sense of your life," Lanyadoo said.
"You may use them as a tool for understanding your past, and once you determine that the horoscope is accurate for you, start using it as a tool in your self-care toolkit. At the end of the day, nothing replaces the value of common sense!"