Astrology is actually a meme, and it’s spreading in that blooming, unfurling way that memes do. On social media, astrologers and astrology meme machines amass tens or hundreds of thousands of followers, people joke about Mercury retrograde, and categorize “the signs as …” literally anything: cat breeds, Oscar Wilde quotes, Stranger Things characters, kinds of โหราศาสตร์ยูเรเนียน. In online publications, daily, weekly, and monthly horoscopes, and zodiac-themed listicles flourish.
This isn’t the initial moment astrology’s had and it won’t become the last. The practice has existed in a variety of forms for thousands of years. Recently, the brand new Age movement from the 1960s and ’70s was included with a heaping helping in the zodiac. (Some also make reference to the New Age as the “Age of Aquarius”-the two,000-year period after the Earth is said to go to the Aquarius sign.)
Within the decades in between the New Age boom now, while astrology certainly didn’t disappear-you could still regularly find horoscopes inside the back pages of magazines-it “went to being a little more in the background,” says Chani Nicholas, an astrologer located in Los Angeles. “Then there’s something that’s happened during the last 5 years that’s given it an edginess, a relevance for this time and place, it hasn’t had to get a good 35 years. Millennials took it and run with it.”
Many people I spoke to for this particular piece said that they had a sense that the stigma connected to astrology, while it still exists, had receded because the practice has grabbed a foothold in online culture, specifically for young adults.
“Over earlier times 2 yrs, we’ve really seen a reframing of New Age practices, very much aimed 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 a normal horoscope post on the site got 150 percent increased traffic in 2017 than the year before.
In a few ways, astrology is perfectly suited for the net age. There’s a minimal 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 certain erudition-more jokes about Saturn returns, fewer “Hey baby, what’s your sign?” pickup lines.
A fast primer: Astrology is not a science; there’s no evidence that one’s zodiac sign actually correlates to personality. Nevertheless the system features its own sort of logic. Astrology ascribes meaning to the placement in the sun, the moon, and the planets within 12 sections of the sky-the signs of the zodiac. You likely know your sun sign, the most famous zodiac sign, ixizqr if you’re no astrology buff. It’s based on in which the sun was on your own birthday. But the placement from the moon and each one of the other planets at the time and site of your birth adds additional shades for the picture of yourself painted by your “birth chart.”
“The kids today along with their Uranian Astrology are like an ideal context for astrology.”
What horoscopes are meant to do is offer you details about what the planets are performing at this time, and in the future, and exactly how all of that affects each sign. “Think of the planets as being a party,” explains Susan Miller, the most popular astrologer who founded the Astrology Zone website. “You might have three people talking together, two might be over inside the corner arguing, Venus and Mars might be kissing each other. I must make sense of those conversations which can be happening monthly for you personally.”