It’s written in the stars. No but for real, is our destiny really written in the stars?
Let’s first understand what astrology actually is. One mention of the word and you’re conjuring up images of Mystic Meg and questionable relationship predictions. In reality, astrology is significantly more than that. In basic terms, astrology ascribes meaning to the placement of the sun, the moon and the planets within 12 sections of the sky – the signs of the zodiac. An astrology reading then gives you information on what the planets are doing right now, in the future and how this affects each respective sign.
“Astrology ascribes meaning to the placement of the sun, the mood and the planets within 12 sections of the sky.”
It’s a controversial topic, astrology. One that splits opinions right down the middle. There are those who think it’s completely nonsensical. On the flip side are those who swear by it, using astrological beliefs as a tool for making decisions, both big and small. Then there are those caught in the middle. These are the people who’ll find themselves reading the horoscopes on the back page of a magazine. And we know – sitting on the fence is frowned upon. We know – it’s seen as boring but when it comes to astrology, built upon the foundations of spirituality, how do we differentiate the truth from faith?
Increased Stress Levels
That brings us to why recent year have seen a significant spike in astrological beliefs. Astrology has been around in various forms for thousands of years, most recently during the New Age movement of the 1960s and 1970s. This period is referred to as the “Age of Aquarius”. Between now and then, astrology took a back seat again until today’s societal and political landscape afforded it the edge of relevancy necessary to thrive in today’s world. Compare this to statistics highlighting the stress levels of millennials among previous generations – 34% say they’ve suffered from severe stress, anxiety or depression in the last two years with 61% of Millennials saying they suffer high or above average stress, compared with 33% of Boomers and 50% of Generation X – and perhaps we have our answer for increased reliance on astrology – a need to make sense of our lives.
Dealing With Uncertainty
The world of “full-fledged astrology”—that goes beyond newspaper-style star-sign horoscopes—arguably, provides a powerful vocabulary to capture not only personality and temperament but also life’s challenges and opportunities. It’s this element that appears to us as a way of representing but not predicting human experiences or key life events, potentially identifying as a coping mechanism for an anxiety ridden generation seeking comfort. If stress makes astrology look shinier, it’s not surprising that more seem to be drawn to it now when we live in a world riddled with huge uncertainties. Perhaps the attitudes of those trusting in astrology is that it doesn’t matter if astrology is real but rather, is it useful?
Most turn to mechanisms like astrology while living in uncertain times, not dissimilar to the politcal, economical and even social landscape we currently exist in. During these times, there’s an increasing willingness to question and break out of pre-defined social norms and look for answers elsewhere, an alternative to systems that no longer seem to be working, to find comfort in the belief of a better future and a reminder that this too shall pass.
Astrology Versus The Social Media Age
Maybe, its got nothing to do with this at all. Take one look at the social media side of astrology – the meme accounts, 90s nostalgia, the escapism – and the suitability of an astrological context in a modern, internet driven world seems totally logical. It ticks any number of boxes on the virality front particularly with the possibilities of personalised content that astrology thrives on. At its core, astrology expresses complex ideas about personality, life cycle and relationship patterns through the shorthand of the planets and zodiac symbols. It’s this shorthand that translates so well into the online world, where behaviour patterns respond to instantaneous solutions and attention spans are significantly reduced.
Articles approaching the topic mostly try to completely debunk astrological beliefs, using a lack of science or logic to present it as irrelevant. The reality is, it’s a significantly complex issue, one we can’t all understand. But to some, astrology is just like any other spiritual belief. Who are we to say it is or isn’t real?
Knowledge is power so if you’re ready to dive deeper into the world of astrology, we recommend starting with these resources.
In Focus Astrology: Your Personal Guide. Available for purchase here.