Technology & turmoil have fueled our obsession with astrology

In times of difficulty, astrology may be exactly what we need to seek comfort, validation, and reflection

Astrology highlights our need for self-reflection.
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Today, astrology is so normalized that dating apps like Bumble allow you to disclose your sign. Let’s be real, who would want to take on the challenge of dating a Pisces man?

Astrology is both a popular and polarizing topic. Some believe it’s a way of life and structure their days around planetary positions. Others cringe at the slight mention of anything astrology-related. Most people don’t care much about astrology, but for many others it holds deep significance.

Daily, weekly, and monthly horoscopes mark their territory on the front pages of websites like Elle, The Washington Post and VICE, and have landed a permanent spot in Snapchat Stories.

Apps including Co-Star and The Pattern—which aim to provide users with a personalized horoscope experience depending on their sign—have drastically increased in popularity.

With social media influencing trends, people can easily educate themselves about astrology. Hashtags like #astrology, #astrologytiktok, and #astrologysigns have accumulated over 19 billion views in total on TikTok.

Today, millennial and Gen-Z culture and astrology often go hand-in-hand.

In addition to its rising social media influence, astrology has also trickled into the business world, impacting consumers’ buying habits. Charmed Aroma, a candle company known for planting jewelry in their candles, has capitalized on astrology by catering specific products to all twelve signs. When you think about it, astrology provides the perfect business model by allowing personalization.

Astrology has undeniably been commodified to cater to the Western audience. With its deep roots in tradition and religion, astrology dates back to the 2nd millennium BCE in Babylonia. Many cultures and religions have placed importance in astrology and developed intricate astrological systems to predict events. Such systems include Vedic astrology and the Chinese zodiac, which continue to be used today.

People often turn to things that provide them comfort, stability, and answers.

In the last few years, there’s been an increase in the interest in astrology during times of social, political, and economic unrest. For example, astrologers have been met with an increased demand for their services during the pandemic.

Additionally, astrology provides many people with validation and a sense of belonging. For some, being affiliated with religion is enough. For others, astrology offers an alternative measure from traditional religion, allowing people to connect across all demographics.

Either way, both are connected by their ability to provide a sense of stability and belonging in people.

On a more personal level, astrology allows us to be deeply introspective. Throughout COVID-19, many of us have used social isolation as the time for self-improvement. Astrology can provide many insights about yourself, allowing you to explore your archetype and identity.

Like the pandemic, our obsession with astrology comes in waves, reflecting our need for validation and self-reflection. This study of planets has ultimately allowed us to become closer to each other and reflect on how expansive life is.

Astrology serves to remind us that humans are fixed earthly beings in a moving solar system, searching for comfort to keep us going.

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