Astrology is a meme, and it’s spreading in that blooming, unfurling way that memes do. On social networking, astrologers and โหราศาสตร์ meme machines amass tens or thousands and 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 french fries. In online publications, daily, weekly, and monthly horoscopes, and zodiac-themed listicles flourish.
This isn’t the first moment astrology’s had plus it won’t function as the last. The practice has existed in different forms for centuries. Recently, the newest Age movement from the 1960s and ’70s was included with a heaping helping from the zodiac. (Some also make reference to the newest Age as the “Age of Aquarius”-the 2,000-year period after the Earth is said to maneuver to the Aquarius sign.)
Inside the decades in between the New Age boom and today, while astrology certainly didn’t disappear-you could still regularly find horoscopes within the back pages of magazines-it “went to being a little bit more inside the background,” says Chani Nicholas, an astrologer based in La. “Then there’s something that’s happened within the last 5 years that’s given it an edginess, a relevance with this time and place, that it hasn’t had for a good 35 years. Millennials have got it and run along with it.”
Many people I spoke to for this piece said that they had a sense that this stigma connected to Uranian Astrology, while it still exists, had receded as the practice has grabbed a foothold in online culture, specifically for young adults.
“Over the last a couple of years, we’ve really seen a reframing of New Age practices, very much 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 your site’s horoscopes “has grown really exponentially.” Stella Bugbee, the president and editor-in-chief in the Cut, says a typical horoscope post on the site got 150 percent more traffic in 2017 compared to year before.
In certain ways, astrology is perfectly suited for the net age. There’s a low 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 specific erudition-more jokes about Saturn returns, fewer “Hey baby, what’s your sign?” pickup lines.
A simple primer: Astrology will not be 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 to the placement from the sun, the moon, and also 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 if you’re no astrology buff. It’s according to in which the sun was on your own birthday. Nevertheless the placement from the moon and each one of the other planets at ensgza some time and location of the birth adds additional shades for the picture individuals painted by your “birth chart.”
“The kids nowadays along with their memes are like an ideal context for astrology.”
What horoscopes are supposed to do is provide you with information about what the planets are doing right now, and later on, and just how all that affects each sign. “Think of the planets as a cocktail party,” explains Susan Miller, the popular astrologer who founded the โหราศาสตร์ ยูเรเนียน. “You may have three people talking together, two might be over in the corner arguing, Venus and Mars may be kissing the other person. I need to make sensation of those conversations which are happening each month for you.”