Astrology is a meme, and it’s spreading in that blooming, unfurling way that memes do. On social media marketing, astrologers and โหราศาสตร์ meme machines amass tens or tens 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 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 function as the last. The practice has been around in a variety of forms for hundreds of years. Recently, the newest Age movement of the 1960s and ’70s came with a heaping helping of the zodiac. (Some also reference the New Age since the “Age of Aquarius”-the 2,000-year period right after the Earth has been said to maneuver to the Aquarius sign.)
Inside the decades between the New Age boom and now, while astrology certainly didn’t vanish entirely-you might still regularly find horoscopes inside the back pages of magazines-it “went to being a little bit more inside the background,” says Chani Nicholas, an astrologer located in La. “Then there’s something that’s happened during the last 5 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 took it and run by using it.”
Lots of people I spoke to for this particular piece said that they had a sense the stigma connected to โหราศาสตร์, while it still exists, had receded because the practice has grabbed a foothold in online culture, particularly for young people.
“Over the past two years, we’ve really seen a reframing of New Age practices, significantly 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 the site’s horoscopes “has grown really exponentially.” Stella Bugbee, the president and editor-in-chief in the Cut, says a normal horoscope post on the site got 150 percent more traffic in 2017 compared to the year before.
In some ways, astrology is perfectly suited for the net age. There’s a minimal barrier to entry, and nearly endless depths to plumb if you believe 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 kind of logic. Astrology ascribes meaning to the placement in the sun, the moon, as well as 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 in which the sun was on the birthday. But the placement from the moon and all the other planets at ensgza some time and location of your birth adds additional shades for the picture individuals painted by the “birth chart.”
“The kids today and their memes are similar to the ideal context for astrology.”
What horoscopes are supposed to do is provide you with information about exactly what the planets are going to do today, and later on, and how everything that affects each sign. “Think of the planets as being a party,” explains Susan Miller, the most popular astrologer who founded the พลตรี ประยูร พลอารีย์. “You may have three people talking together, two may be over in the corner arguing, Venus and Mars might be kissing the other person. I must make sensation of those conversations that are happening monthly for you.”