A friend asked in the NZ Skeptics Facebook group about skeptics' star signs. He suggested (tongue in cheek) that maybe, given the personality types of many skeptics, that this would be reflected in our star signs. Rather than pooh-poohing the idea, we decided to collect the star signs of as many skeptics in the group as we could, and threw the results in a google sheet.

Here are some graphs showing the results. It's interesting to see that, after I had looked for different ways to group the data, one graph in particular (grouping by Element) showed an interesting skew. My suspicion is that this is nothing more than fishing for significance. Randomness is clumpy, and with such a small sample size (61) there's bound to be the appearance of significance, even if the data is truly random.

And of course, there's been absolutely no effort to try to ensure that a representative sample of skeptics answered the questionnaire - maybe those who fit the already popular star signs were more compelled to add their data point to the spreadsheet and influence the result than those whose star signs were added by fewer skeptics early on in the project. Maybe skeptics lied about their star sign to invalidate the experiment, potentially because of a dislike of astrology.

Hover over the charts to see numbers, percents and any missing labels.

Year View

This view is an attempt to show a year, from January through to December (although the signs' dates don't quite line up), to get an idea of when in the year the skeptics in our sample were born. An interesting task would be to compare this to average birth rates for each month over the last 50 years or so - as obviously there will be differences, due both to the fact that the months are not all the same length and more subtle factors.

Star Signs

The two star signs that have the most skeptics here are Virgo and Aquarius (I'm Virgo myself). According to the website Astrology Zodiac Signs (which curiously seems to be the top hit for many astrology related searches, possibly because of the number of keywords in its domain name - www.astrology-zodiac-signs.com), these are the traits for both signs:

Virgo

Strengths: Loyal, analytical, kind, hardworking, practical

Weaknesses: Shyness, worry, overly critical of self and others, all work and no play

Aquarius

Strengths: Progressive, original, independent, humanitarian

Weaknesses: Runs from emotional expression, temperamental, uncompromising, aloof

Elements

There's a fairly large skew here. The descriptions on Wikipedia for Air and Earth (the most common elements for our skeptics) respectively are "Communication; socialization; conceptualization" and "Practicality; caution; material world", whereas the descriptions for Fire and Water are "Enthusiasm; drive to express self; faith" and "Emotion; empathy; sensitivity".

Modalities

The Wikipedia descripions for Cardinal, Mutable and Fixed are "Action; dynamic; initiative; great force", "Adaptability; flexible; resourceful" and "Resistance to change; great willpower; inflexible".

Polarities

Data

Here's the source data for the graphs, in JSON format:

[{
		"name": "Capricorn",
		"symbol": "♑",
		"element": "Earth",
		"modality": "Cardinal",
		"polarity": "Negative",
		"start": "2014-12-22",
		"end": "2015-01-20",
		"total": 4
	},
	{
		"name": "Aquarius",
		"symbol": "♒",
		"element": "Air",
		"modality": "Fixed",
		"polarity": "Positive",
		"start": "2014-01-21",
		"end": "2014-02-19",
		"total": 11
	},
	{
		"name": "Pisces",
		"symbol": "♓",
		"element": "Water",
		"modality": "Mutable",
		"polarity": "Negative",
		"start": "2014-02-20",
		"end": "2014-03-20",
		"total": 2
	},
	{
		"name": "Aries",
		"symbol": "♈",
		"element": "Fire",
		"modality": "Cardinal",
		"polarity": "Positive",
		"start": "2014-03-21",
		"end": "2014-04-20",
		"total": 2
	},
	{
		"name": "Taurus",
		"symbol": "♉",
		"element": "Earth",
		"modality": "Fixed",
		"polarity": "Negative",
		"start": "2014-04-21",
		"end": "2014-05-21",
		"total": 6
	},
	{
		"name": "Gemini",
		"symbol": "♊",
		"element": "Air",
		"modality": "Mutable",
		"polarity": "Positive",
		"start": "2014-05-22",
		"end": "2014-06-21",
		"total": 6
	},
	{
		"name": "Cancer",
		"symbol": "♋",
		"element": "Water",
		"modality": "Cardinal",
		"polarity": "Negative",
		"start": "2014-06-22",
		"end": "2014-07-22",
		"total": 3
	},
	{
		"name": "Leo",
		"symbol": "♌",
		"element": "Fire",
		"modality": "Fixed",
		"polarity": "Positive",
		"start": "2014-07-23",
		"end": "2014-08-22",
		"total": 4
	},
	{
		"name": "Virgo",
		"symbol": "♍",
		"element": "Earth",
		"modality": "Mutable",
		"polarity": "Negative",
		"start": "2014-08-23",
		"end": "2014-09-23",
		"total": 9
	},
	{
		"name": "Libra",
		"symbol": "♎",
		"element": "Air",
		"modality": "Cardinal",
		"polarity": "Positive",
		"start": "2014-09-24",
		"end": "2014-10-23",
		"total": 7
	},
	{
		"name": "Scorpio",
		"symbol": "♏",
		"element": "Water",
		"modality": "Fixed",
		"polarity": "Negative",
		"start": "2014-10-24",
		"end": "2014-11-22",
		"total": 4
	},
	{
		"name": "Sagittarius",
		"symbol": "♐",
		"element": "Fire",
		"modality": "Mutable",
		"polarity": "Positive",
		"start": "2014-11-23",
		"end": "2014-12-21",
		"total": 3
	}
]