The Phenomenon of Believing in Astrology in the Social Media Age

By: Sydney McDonald | Managing Editor

The art of astrology has been around for thousands of years dating back to the Mesopotamian era, according to History World. Many countries, regions, and cultures have their own varying versions of astrology that they follow. Following the zodiac wheel, it helps to place where the planets were at the time of a person’s birth. 

Like most trends and phenomenons, there have always been some skeptics along with full-fledged believers. 

In America, the 12 sign zodiac is the most widely known astrology followed. Starting with Aries, ending with Pisces. Even most nonbelievers can recite their sun sign, along with a few common traits that the sign carries, usually picked up from mainstream media. 

However, there is a growing hunger for a deeper knowledge of astrology. In past decades you could only find your full birth chart, a detailed chart listing where the planets were during your birth time, by spending money to visit a professional astrologer or purchasing books to teach yourself how to make the chart. 

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Now, the internet has opened up a whole new world of information. You can find your birth chart with just the knowledge of your birth time and place and a quick Google search. This has allowed a flood of Millenial and Gen Z aged people to gain a vast amount of knowledge on a topic that was for a while, taboo in most places. 

Emma Boles, a junior at South and avid studier of astrology, explained that she found her passion through the understanding it gave her about herself and the people in her life.

“My urge to study astrology came from the acceptance it allowed me to have about myself and the people I care about. It gives you insight into why people are the way they are and helps you to understand them, judgment-free,” Boles said. “When you understand the meaning behind the planets and what they represent it makes more sense. It becomes more logical the more you study it.”

Though the internet and social media has made a huge impact on the astrology world, it possibly has come from a negative place for some new believers. In an article by the Atlantic, it is said that people are more likely to turn to astrology in times of high stress, and Millenials are the most stressed generation to date. 

Millennials and Gen Z have had the most long-term exposure to constant news, updates, and the world of notifications than any past generation. This has been known to cause significantly higher amounts of stress than previously studied generations. Has this exposure been the key to spikes in astrology’s popularity?

The author of the previously talked about article in the Atlantic, Julie Beck, put it softly.

“A combination of stress and uncertainty about the future is an ailment for which astrology can seem like the perfect balm.”