Astrology is 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 thousands and thousands of followers, people joke about Mercury retrograde, and classify “the signs as …” literally anything: cat breeds, Oscar Wilde quotes, Stranger Things characters, types 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 also won’t function as the last. The practice has been around in various forms for centuries. More recently, the newest Age movement of the 1960s and ’70s came with a heaping helping of the zodiac. (Some also refer to the New Age since the “Age of Aquarius”-the 2,000-year period following the Earth has been said to move in to the Aquarius sign.)
Within the decades in between the New Age boom now, while โหราศาสตร์ยูเรเนียน certainly didn’t vanish entirely-you can still regularly find horoscopes inside the back pages of magazines-it “went back to being a little bit more inside the background,” says Chani Nicholas, an astrologer situated in L . A .. “Then there’s something that’s happened in the last five years that’s given it an edginess, a relevance for this time as well as place, that it hasn’t had for any 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 the stigma attached to astrology, even though it still exists, had receded because the practice has grabbed a foothold in online culture, particularly for young adults.
“Over earlier times 2 yrs, we’ve really seen a reframing of the latest 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 of The Cut, says a typical horoscope post on the site got 150 percent more visitors in 2017 compared to the year before.
In some ways, astrology is perfectly suited for the web age. There’s a small barrier to entry, and nearly endless depths to plumb if you think like falling down a Google research hole. The accessibility to more in-depth information online has given this cultural wave of astrology a particular erudition-more jokes about Saturn returns, fewer “Hey baby, what’s your sign?” pickup lines.
A fast primer: Astrology will not be a science; there’s no evidence that one’s zodiac sign actually correlates to personality. However the system features its own type of logic. Astrology ascribes meaning for the placement in the sun, the moon, ymvgiy the planets within 12 parts of the sky-the signs of the zodiac. You likely know your sun sign, the favourite zodiac sign, even when you’re no astrology buff. It’s based on where sun was on your own birthday. But the placement from the moon and all the other planets at that time and location of your own birth adds additional shades to the picture individuals painted from your “birth chart.”
“The kids nowadays along with their memes are similar to the perfect context for astrology.”
What horoscopes are supposed to do is provide you with information about just what the planets are performing at this time, and later on, and exactly how all that affects each sign. “Think of the planets being a cocktail party,” explains Susan Miller, the popular astrologer who founded the Astrology Zone website. “You could have three people talking together, two could be over within the corner arguing, Venus and Mars might be kissing each other. I need to make sense of those conversations which can be happening each month for you personally.”