How far is true astrology

"There is nothing magical about modern astrology"

It was just fun. A special surprise that should cause a little tingling at the Christmas party of a Düsseldorf advertising agency. This astrologer. Someone thought she was just the right person for the occasion. The woman only needs the exact time of birth in order to be able to look into the future. Anyone who wanted was allowed to withdraw with her for a while. Nina, graphic artist, 35, didn't really want to. It struck her as weird. "What nonsense," she said. The colleagues laughed. There's nothing to it. It's just fun.

When Nina talks about the memorable Christmas party today, her eyes still darken. Because when Nina spoke to the astrologer, the fun was over. Not just at the Christmas party, but for the next few months. The astrologer had prophesied to Nina that she would have no children.

Nina wanted children.

Nina had never believed in Star German. It was funny when she and her friends read horoscopes to each other. Somehow it was always true, and it is also true that, as a Pisces zodiac, she is sensitive and creative. That she sometimes lacks discipline and has a tendency to feel sorry for herself. And if her horoscope said that she would meet the man of life on January 10th, then on January 10th she also looked carefully. But if she didn't meet the man, it didn't matter. It was a game. Not more.

After the encounter at the Christmas party, she had the feeling that her life was literally under a bad star, so to speak. "Suddenly everything was gray," she says. And then she says that she had been trying to get pregnant for so long. And that the doctor had said that from a medical point of view there was nothing wrong with her and her boyfriend. "I just couldn't get rid of the thought," she says, "that it is my fate to remain childless."

Long-term demoscopic studies reveal that the openness to horoscopes has increased significantly in the past few decades. It is estimated that there are between 6000 and 8000 astrologers in Germany. According to a 2006 survey by the Offenbach Marplan Institute, almost 20 percent of Germans believed in the power of the stars. And quite a few have had such bad experiences with it as Nina. Dubious figures cavort on the Internet and in advertising columns. Self-proclaimed witches who promise to bring back their loved ones who have gone astray. Oracles that pretend they only need to know our birthday to say how our working life will develop over the next seven days or how a complicated operation will end. Astrology is booming like the whole esoteric scene, which picks up people with their fears about the future and spiritual questions where they cannot find answers in the big churches.

It is well known that there is a lot of shyness with the religious substitute offers. But that's only one side of it. At the same time, astrology loses its disreputable quality. Today we know that the astrologer Joan Quigley is said to have advised former US President Ronald Reagan and urged him to work with Mikhail Gorbachev because the planetary constellations of the two politicians would be an excellent match.

Astrology did not stop at political socialism either. French President François Mitterrand is said to have repeatedly asked the astrologer Elisabeth Tessier to come to the Elysée Palace since the late 1980s. In her book "Under the Sign of Mitterrand", she claims that with her help the President selected the date for the referendum on the Maastricht Treaty. And during the Gulf War, she claims to have called Mitterand regularly and explained to him, among other things, that Saddam Hussein has a planetary constellation that is reminiscent of that of the Roman emperor Nero. After all, the Sorbonne awarded Madame Tessier a doctorate in 2001 for her dissertation, with which she wanted to scientifically prove the credibility of astrology.

Astrology is deeply anchored in our thinking. Many celebrities profess themselves publicly. These include the industrial heir, photographer, documentary filmmaker and mathematician Gunter Sachs. The 78-year-old's voice on the phone is warm and friendly. He likes to talk about astrology. "I was interested in astrology, not because I believed in it very much," he says, "but because I wanted to know. Out of curiosity." At the end of the 1990s he founded the "Institute for the empirical and mathematical investigation of the possible truth content of astrology in relation to the behavior of people and their dispositions" (IMWA) in Switzerland. In a unique study with more than 20 million data, he and his colleagues have shown that the sign of the zodiac under which a person is born has an influence on their nature. More on that later.

Astrology also plays a special role in Sachs' personal life. "I can communicate better with certain signs of the zodiac than with others," says Gunter Sachs. "And I also notice in everyday interaction that certain signs of the zodiac have special character traits." And what chances does the marriage between the Scorpio man Gunter Sachs and his twin wife Mirja have from astrological point of view? "My wife and I have only a brief expectation, but we've been married for 41 years nonetheless."

In addition to the horoscope astrologers, who claim to be able to look into the future, there are numerous astrologers of the other kind. Psychologists, physicists, people with a high level of education who, despite their scientific background, claim to be able to support others in self-discovery with the help of the stars . You will be consulted when life is changing, when a person senses that something has to change. Astrology not only gives the feeling of having learned something about one's own fate, it also gives many people the feeling of having a fate in the first place. A unique one that lifts a person out of the mass society. This suggests that you are not in this world by chance, but a part of a larger whole, embedded in the will of a higher power.

But what is it about the claim that our fate is in the stars? Do cosmic constellations say something about the course of our life at the time of our birth? Are there certain tendencies, temperaments and character traits associated with the signs of the zodiac in which we were born?