Right now, right at this very moment, there is a lesbian lying in bed with her new boo, trying to figure out the most clever way to get her hands on her birth chart. Because if that girl has Venus in Scorpio, well. It’s better to know right away, right?
It’s easy to see why it’s tempting to look up a crush’s birth chart. All you need is their birth date, time, and location, and you can learn All The Answers about who they are as a person and whether they’re going to ruin your life, and if so, specifically how. So simple! So easy! So enlightening! Having a crush is scary and confusing, and birth charts provide a way to anchor yourself in seemingly concrete information.
But before you creep around your not-yet-girlfriend’s house for their birth certificate, maybe pause and just… Don’t. Don’t look up their birth chart at all.
That’s what two of the most well-trusted queer astrologers on the internet, Jessica Lanyadoo and Chani Nicholas, recommend. They say it’s wrong to look up your crush’s astrology, and that you should (at the very least!) wait until later on in the relationship to do so.
Jessica Lanyadoo, queer astrologer, medium, and host of Ghost of a Podcast, has been reading the stars since the ‘90s, long before astrology was a memeable trend. She says that not looking up your crush’s birth chart is one of her less popular beliefs, but nonetheless, she continues to stand by it.
“It’s wrong to look at the birth chart of your crush,” Jessica tweeted in 2017. “Look at your own chart for answers – they’re there.”
Harsh, but true. Looking up someone else’s birth chart feels invasive. Your own birth chart, on the other hand, is 100% your business.
“I really believe that what you consent to and how you participate are the only things that are your business to manage—in relationships and certainly astrologically,” Jessica tells GO Magazine. “Distractions can come dressed in spiritual clothing too; researching someone else’s chart doesn’t actually help you make the best choices—only understanding your own birth chart can do that.
Your chart can tell you A LOT about your relationships, including the types of people that you gravitate towards, your approach to love, and your self-destructive habits. These are the factors that you actually have responsibility for, so it’s important to take ownership of them instead of looking for solutions elsewhere.
The No Birth Charts Allowed approach is what Jessica uses in her own life.
“I never look at my crush or even my friends’ charts because real intimacy happens by showing up, listening, and responding – not by trying to predict or analyze who a person is,” Jessica tells us.
Looking up your crush’s birth chart also prevents you from getting to know them as a whole, complex human being, as queer astrologer Chani Nicholas often points out. Chani has a firm stance on the right time to look up a crush’s birth chart. She recommends that you “wait until you don’t care what the chart says,” because it’s “important to know someone first without judging them astrologically.”
That’s not because a birth chart doesn’t have insights to offer. But it shouldn’t be one of the primary ways that you learn about a new person.
Or, as Chani tweeted literally as I was in the middle of brainstorming for this piece:
“Knowing your crush’s chart is cool but have you ever tried to get to know someone without your misconceptions of their chart clouding your judgment first?”
That word, “misconceptions,” is important. Many of us jump to conclusions about people based on the information in their chart, and it’s almost like we’re fishing for bad news; or, on the flip side, fishing for confirmation that this person is as great as we think. As if that weren’t enough, most of us do not actually know all that much about the complexities of astrology. We are forming snap judgments based on surface-level information from Instagram memes and the top hits on Google! Don’t do it! Stopppp!
Birth charts are complicated, much more complicated than the (admittedly hilarious and fun) memes would have you believe. They are about the ~whole picture~ more than they are about the individual parts, like signs. There’s a reason that people like Chani and Jessica get paid to interpret this information for the rest of us! (And no, robot astrologers/apps are not a substitute for these intuitively wise humans.)
Here’s a perfect example: Many people panic upon the sight of specific signs in a crush’s chart (‘sup, Scorpio and Gemini). But both Jessica and Chani agree that it’s flat-out silly to form judgments about someone based on one specific sign, because everyone has every sign and planet in their chart somewhere. Yes, literally.
Birth charts can be a magical window into a person’s inner workings. They can give you a ton of insight into the fascinating new person that you like so much, and it’s fun to share them with each other willingly when you both feel like it. But before you actually know someone, it’s all too easy for their birth chart to become a reflection of your own thoughts, hopes, and fears, instead of who your crush actually is as a person.
“The truth is that whether or not you like Geminis is a reflection of you and your chart – and not about the actual value of a Gemini,” Jessica tells GO Magazine.
In short, a birth chart is never the whole story. A chart can’t tell us how someone has changed or grown over the years. It can’t tell us how someone smells in the morning, or whether they’ve been to therapy, or whether they recycle. And it certainly can’t tell us whether or not we’ll like someone enough to stay with them, or whether they’ll do the work to love us how we need to be loved.
Instead of projecting your ideas onto a relationship based on astrology, practice leading with your own gut and sense of self. Because if even professional astrologers with decades of experience don’t feel comfortable judging a potential partner based on their birth chart, then the average person who gets 50% of their astrology education from Instagram memes shouldn’t either.