Astrology is a meme, and it’s growing in that blooming, unfurling way that memes do. On social networking, astrologers and astrology meme machines amass tens or hundreds of thousands of followers, people joke about Mercury retrograde, and sort out “the signs as …” literally anything: cat breeds, Oscar Wilde quotes, Stranger Things characters, varieties of french fries. In online publications, daily, weekly, and monthly horoscopes, and zodiac-themed listicles flourish.
This isn’t the first moment astrology’s had and it won’t become the last. The practice has been around in a variety of forms for thousands of years. More recently, the brand new Age movement of the 1960s and ’70s came with a heaping helping in the zodiac. (Some also refer to the New Age since the “Age of Aquarius”-the 2,000-year period right after the Earth is considered to move into the Aquarius sign.)
Within the decades involving the New Age boom and now, while โหราศาสตร์ certainly didn’t vanish entirely-you could still regularly find horoscopes inside the back pages of magazines-it “went to being a little bit more in the background,” says Chani Nicholas, an astrologer based in La. “Then there’s something that’s happened in the last five years that’s given it an edginess, a relevance for this some time and place, it hasn’t had for any good 35 years. Millennials have got it and run by using it.”
Many individuals I spoke to for this particular piece said that they had a sense the stigma mounted on astrology, even though it still exists, had receded as the practice has grabbed a foothold in online culture, especially for young adults.
“Over the past a couple of years, we’ve really seen a reframing of brand new Age practices, greatly geared toward a Millennial and young Gen X quotient,” says Lucie Greene, the worldwide director of J. Walter Thompson’s innovation group, which tracks and predicts cultural trends.
Callie Beusman, a senior editor at Broadly, says traffic for that site’s horoscopes “has grown really exponentially.” Stella Bugbee, the president and editor-in-chief from the Cut, says an average horoscope post on the site got 150 percent increased traffic in 2017 than the year before.
In certain ways, astrology is perfectly suited for the internet age. There’s a small barrier to entry, and nearly endless depths to plumb if you feel like falling down a Google research hole. The accessibility to more in-depth information online has given this cultural wave of astrology a specific erudition-more jokes about Saturn returns, fewer “Hey baby, what’s your sign?” pickup lines.
A simple primer: Astrology is not really a science; there’s no evidence that one’s zodiac sign actually correlates to personality. Nevertheless the system possesses its own kind of logic. Astrology ascribes meaning for the placement of the sun, the moon, ymvgiy the planets within 12 sections of the sky-the signs of the zodiac. You likely know your sun sign, the most famous zodiac sign, even though you’re no astrology buff. It’s according to in which the sun was on the birthday. Nevertheless the placement of the moon and each one of the other planets at that time and location of your own birth adds additional shades to the picture of you painted by the “birth chart.”
“The kids today and their memes are like the perfect context for astrology.”
What horoscopes are supposed to do is provide you with information regarding what the planets are going to do today, and later on, and exactly how all of that affects each sign. “Think in the planets as being a party,” explains Susan Miller, the favorite astrologer who founded the Astrology Zone website. “You could have three people talking together, two may be over in the corner arguing, Venus and Mars might be kissing the other person. I have to make feeling of those conversations that are happening monthly to suit your needs.”