A Catalyst for Collectivity: Co—Star Astrology
In a society increasingly structured by metrics such as ‘hits’, ‘likes’ and ‘impressions’, where depth is flattened to 1s and 0s and nebulous ideas like love, beauty and joy are manufactured and sold through aggregations of filtered squares, it is so easy – so tempting even – to be swayed by the reality presented through our screens. “But,” as Banu Guler, co-founder of astrology app Co—Star remarks, “superficiality suffocates. The human in us craves connection; the dreamer yearns for mystery. So, we search for meaning in the madness, if only for the sign that makes us take a leap of faith.”
Co—Star utilises artificial intelligence and NASA data to deliver personalised astrological readings in real time. Using the day, time and place we were born, Co—Star creates an astronomical snapshot of the sky that can then be used to determine our unique astral chart, “an in-depth personality analysis on character traits, behavioural tendencies, and emotional leanings.” This is then mapped against the current locations of planets, signs, and other charts in order to decipher our horoscopes, as well as our compatibility with other people.
Essay Chynna Lao
Banner Seo Young Lee
Images Banu Guler
According to Banu, “astrology helps us push past the surface to a deeper level.” Yet she is mindful of how easy it can be to succumb to the temptation of reducing a complex individual into an archetype like ‘Leo’ or ‘Aquarius.’ Each individual is a complex ecosystem of moods, emotions, hopes and fears. Our sun sign, she is careful to say, is but “one small part of a massive solar system.”
Which is perhaps what makes Co—Star so unique, and so well-positioned to appease our innate desires for meaning, individuality and connection. In a time plagued by “cookie-cutter categorisation” and “superficiality”, Co—Star’s hyperpersonalised readings of “who you are, how you love, and what you fear” provide a lens through which we can re-explore our sense of self. More importantly, the app arms us with a new language for relating meaningfully to others. As Banu remarks, Co—Star provides “a spark for real talk in a sea of small talk: mindless weather musings become mindful conversation about who’s likely to think big picture, work themselves dry, or stop short of commitment.”
“Co–Star is a catalyst for collectivity in a chaotic world: to see and be seen frees us to find our place in the universe.”
What is astrology?
Based on 2,500 years of reflection on rhythmic orbit and planetary motion, astrology is an advanced art for the modern world. By correlating human experiences across space and time, astrology takes us beyond the walls of our bedrooms and ceilings of our day jobs. It adds mystery and magnitude to a clinical and confusing reality. It transforms daily routines into context of a vast universe. Astrology is an exit — and a connection to something greater.
How did your interest in astrology develop?
I was born a Scorpio.
In recent years, astrology has really come into the fashion world. Having a background in fashion, what do you think the connection is?
In 2018, screens shape our daily lives. We consider fashion shows another notification to check. We swap personal style for the latest fanny pack. We check our phones a combined 8 billion times a day. The same emphasis on aesthetics that makes us the most fashionable generation renders us the most superficial.
In a world where instability is justified beyond comprehension, we force everything that doesn’t fit through a filter of likes, swipes, and follows. But superficiality suffocates. The human in us craves connection; the dreamer yearns for mystery. So we search for meaning in the madness, if only for the sign that makes us take a leap of faith.
Astrology helps us push past the surface to a deeper level. It’s a clarifying tool for reality in a frivolous world.
Why is delving into our natal chart valuable for understanding who we are and how we can better interact with others?
Diving into the intricacies of your astral chart delivers a hyper personal reading of who you are, how you love, and what you fear. It’s not one-size-fits-all. It’s you. And how you translate those complexities makes the connections you have with others that much richer.
Most horoscopes ask what month you were born. Co-Star asks what minute.
How do you think understanding astrology can help us better navigate the challenges and uncertainties of modern life?
As we make sense of ourselves, Co–Star facilitates new ways to relate to others. It’s a framework to express what can be hard to say of emotions and reactions, strengths and weaknesses, pasts and futures. It’s a tool to connect meaningfully with friends and lovers, or to tread lightly with strangers and enemies. And it’s a spark for real talk in a sea of small talk: mindless weather musings become mindful conversation about who’s likely to think big picture, work themselves dry, or stop short of commitment.
Co–Star is a catalyst for collectivity in a chaotic world: to see and be seen frees us to find our place in the universe.