Astrology is a meme, and it’s spreading in that blooming, unfurling way in which memes do. On social media marketing, astrologers and โหราศาสตร์ ยูเรเนียน 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 also won’t become the last. The practice has been around in different forms for hundreds of years. More recently, the newest Age movement in the 1960s and ’70s came with a heaping helping of the zodiac. (Some also make reference to the newest Age because the “Age of Aquarius”-the 2,000-year period following the Earth has been said to maneuver in to the Aquarius sign.)
In the decades in between the New Age boom and now, while astrology certainly didn’t disappear-you might still regularly find horoscopes within the back pages of magazines-it “went back to being a little bit more inside the background,” says Chani Nicholas, an astrologer based in La. “Then there’s something that’s happened during the last 5 years that’s given it an edginess, a relevance for this particular some time and place, it hasn’t had to get a good 35 years. Millennials have taken it and run along with it.”
Many individuals I spoke to for this piece said that they had a sense that this stigma connected to โหราศาสตร์ยูเรเนียน, even though 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 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 the 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 more visitors in 2017 compared to 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 availability of 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 is not really a science; there’s no evidence that one’s zodiac sign actually correlates to personality. However 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 sections of the sky-the signs of the zodiac. You likely know your sun sign, the most famous zodiac sign, even when you’re no astrology buff. It’s according to in which the sun was on your birthday. But the placement in the moon and each of the other planets at ensgza time and location of your birth adds additional shades for the picture of yourself painted by your “birth chart.”
“The kids today along with their memes are like an ideal context for astrology.”
What horoscopes are supposed to do is give you details about just what the planets are doing today, and later on, and just how all that affects each sign. “Think from the planets as a cocktail party,” explains Susan Miller, the favorite astrologer who founded the โหราศาสตร์. “You may have three people talking together, two could be over inside the corner arguing, Venus and Mars could be kissing one another. I must make sense of those conversations that are happening monthly for you.”