Brian Oldham

Why Getting Older Scares You, Based On Your Zodiac

In many cultures all over the world, old people are revered for their experience, wisdom, resilience, and spiritual connections to the ancestral past.

Not so in the West! In Western culture, youth is worshiped, while older people are mocked (“OK, Boomer!”), belittled, told to get out of the way, give up their wealth, and let young people take over the world.

Then again, it’s probably true that no one, no matter where they grow up, really enjoys getting old. It’s why the Fountain of Youth was such a popular legend. If you gave them a choice, most people would probably gladly trade wisdom for good looks and the ability to walk up a flight of stairs without breathing heavily.

Here’s what each of the zodiac signs fears most about growing old.

Aries…Losing Your Looks

Anyone who says they don’t care about being attractive is a goddamned liar. As a highly sociable leader type who depends on social approval, you feel it is better to look good than to feel good. But no one can stay attractive forever. Both male and female, people reach peak attractiveness from their early 20s to their late 30s, and then it’s a one-way ticket on a train to Uglyville, USA. The thing you fear most about aging is the day when gravity kicks in and starts pulling all of your body parts earthward. The first wrinkle. First stubborn tummy bulge. Getting jowly. Being all old and withered and pruny and saggy and bent-over. You vow to make as much money as possible in your youth so that when your looks start to fade, you can build an extension on your mansion and hire the best cosmetic surgeon in Beverly Hills to come live with you.

Taurus…Declining Physical Health

Your body should be your best friend, but one day it will betray you in the most agonizing ways. One day you’ll feel like a car that has 200,000 miles on it, and all the parts are starting to go at once. Friends and lovers will turn on you, but your own body? That’s the worst betrayal of all. And unlike cars, you can’t trade your body in for a new one. You dread the day when you start collecting physical ailments like you used to collect toys. Aches and pains and pills and diet restrictions. Cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes. Constant fatigue. A total lack of energy where getting out of bed makes you sleepy and batting your eyelashes feels like lifting weights. It sounds like a horror movie.

Gemini…Declining Mental Sharpness

The average person’s cognitive powers peak at around age 35 and then start declining after 45. You live in fear of knowing that one day you’ll wake up and realize that you’re “not all there” anymore. Your brain is what most people mean when they say “self” or “soul” or even “heart.” It’s the part of you that thinks and feels. Whereas your body is merely what you inhabit, your brain is really who you are. You’ll be able to remember the first and last names of everyone you went to grade school with, but not what you ate for lunch today. Losing your mental acuity seems like a slow death that happens one lost brain cell at a time.


Some people are loners, others enjoy being alone from time to time, but no one likes feeling lonely. And the worst thing about loneliness is that you can feel that way even in the middle of a crowd. What troubles you most about the idea of aging is the specter of falling helpless into the cold clutches of unwanted solitude. Pining for friendship. For someone to understand you. Someone to hold you. Someone by your side during the good times, the bad times, and even the mundane, boring, everyday times. A shiver runs down your spine as you think of one lonely day in the distant future where the four walls in that room of yours feel like they’re slowly closing in on you.


The phrase “time heals all wounds” doesn’t apply when you don’t have much time left. What bothers you the most about getting old is the idea that there will be some wrongs you won’t be able to make right. There will be people you hurt and never apologized to but don’t even know how to contact anymore. Risks you never took. Risks you actually took that were, well, too risky. The wrong career decisions. Picking the wrong friends and especially the wrong lovers. Worrying too much about things that never happened. Not worrying enough about things you should have been worried about. You want to grow old having settled all scores and mended all fences.

Virgo… Not Having Enough Money

When you’re young and reckless and ready to strike out into the world seeking fun and adventure, all you really need is the sky over your head and a road in front of you. But when you grow old and feeble, you’re going to need some sort of material security. You’re going to need a “nest egg” to tide you through your twilight years, but what if some sudden financial catastrophe makes that impossible? Not being able to afford food or shelter or clothes or healthcare when you’re too old to work anymore seems like a nightmare to you. When you’re young and vital and still have the time, you’d to well to act like the ant and not the grasshopper.

Libra…Losing Your Eyesight

When you were young, you used to wonder why those silly old people had to strain to look at the ingredients on a box of cookies. But then one day you’ll be cursing at the sadistic bastards at the cookie company who made the type too small for you to see it. How many carbs are in each cookie? Were peanuts used at any point in the manufacturing of this product? Your age is measured by how many revolutions around the sun you’ve made on this planet, but you just can’t bear the thought of waking up one day, feeling the warm rays of the sun filtering in through the curtains onto your face, but not being able to see it because you’ve completely lost your eyesight and live in a world of perpetual darkness.


How ironic is it that the darkest and most mysterious sign is the one most afraid of the darkest and most mysterious thing about human existence? We all know we’re going to die, but we just can’t face that fact. What if there’s no such thing as heaven, hell, or reincarnation, and when you die…you cease to exist? You’re just erased? That’s such a horrifying thought, it may be why religion exists. It’s probably a little bit true that the main thing most people fear about growing old is that it means that you’re basically sitting in the waiting room for death and biding your time until the Grim Reaper calls your name. 

Can you even begin to imagine the living shame and horror of looking as corny and clueless to young people as old people look to you now? Ponder the sheer terror of waking up one morning, and the world you knew is long-gone, and all of your musical, movie, slang, and fashion references are from another era? Suddenly you find yourself surrounded by younger people who speak a different language and might as well be from a different planet. More than even happiness, people crave familiarity. And the older you get, the less familiar everything around you will become. Your biggest fear about aging is waking up one day to realize you’ve grown stale and obsolete, a living relic of an era that will never return.

Capricorn…Being Forgotten

People want to leave some kind of legacy, whether it comes in the form of fame, accomplishments, or at least descendants. But think about it—what do you know about your great-great-great grandparents? Anything? Have you ever thought about them? To put things in perspective, the total world population around the time Jesus Christ was born is estimated to have been around 170 million, but how many of those people are remembered? OK, there’s Jesus Christ. Probably Caesar. The rest? Totally forgotten. As time goes on, very few people will be remembered. Even the most famous people on Earth start to be forgotten if they live long enough and a new generation of superstars nudge them out of the spotlight. You want to leave a lasting mark, and it scares you to think that this might not be possible.

Aquarius…Outliving Everyone You Know

At some point in your mid to late thirties, you’ll experience a cold moment when you’re either watching a sporting event or a musical concert and it occurs to you, “Holy shit, I’m older than everyone that I’m watching right now.” If you live to a certain age, everyone you grew up with will start to fall away, gone from this planet and never to be seen again. People you went to school with. Your siblings. Your parents. Every lover. In one way or another, you took care of them all…and now there’s no one left to take care of you. It’s almost like being stranded on a desert island.

Pisces…Becoming Dependent on Others

The Book of Genesis says, “From dust you came, and to dust you shall return,” but that only covers the parts of the saga before you were born and after you die. The parts that it leaves out is that you were born an infant, but if you live long enough, to an infant you shall return. Of course, when you get too old to take care of yourself, you’ll no longer look like a baby—you won’t be nearly as cute, and no one will coo in delight when they see you—but you’ll start to feel like one. You’ll need help walking. Lifting heavy objects. You might even (gasp) need diapers again. It’ll be all of the bad parts of infancy with none of the good ones.