Feeling sensitive this week? It’s probably because your moon is in Cancer. Been having money troubles all month? That Mercury in retrograde will do that. Dealing with any sort of problem? Consult your horoscopes.
The internet has been flooded with astrology content as of late, as every Aries, Leo and Sagitarrius peruses social media to find the answers to their life’s questions. Young people are increasingly turning to astrology to solve their problems, looking for more spiritual explanations of the world, rather than stern facts and cold science. Everything from relationships, money, career and matters of the heart are being tied to the stars, and terms like retrograde, natal charts and ruling planets are commonplace. When (and why) did horoscopes become such a massive trend?
The history of horoscopes
People have been looking to the stars for guidance for millennia, with cave paintings from as far back as the Stone Age indicating an interest in heavenly bodies for direction. Ancient China, ancient Egypt and various other cultures all showed elements of astrology in their belief systems, and it is thought that these were first blended together and introduced to the west when Alexander the Great conquered Asia around 330 BC. This spread astrology to Ancient Greece and Rome, where, combined with their study of maths and logic, it expanded into the zodiac we’re familiar with today.
Nowadays, astrology is known as the study of the movements of celestial bodies, with horoscopes being the chart representing the positions of these bodies at a significant time – for example, at someone’s birth. There are 12 zodiac signs; Aries (March 21-April 19), Taurus (April 20-May 20), Gemini (May 21-June 20), Cancer (June 21-July 22), Leo (July 23-Aug. 22), Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22), Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22), Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21), Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21), Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19), Aquarius (Jan. 20 to Feb. 18) and Pisces (Feb. 19 to March 20). The most common way to consult your horoscope is simply looking to your birth date, but more seasoned astrologers look at information like their ascendant and descendent planets and lunar charts to get a more detailed picture of their astrological self.
Each sign has a detailed set of characteristics associated with it; how sensitive, aggressive, generous, even how bad with money you are can all be seen in your zodiac. The weekly horoscopes we all know and love work off that information and the current cosmic happenings to give us advice on love, life and whether we should go on that date later.
Horoscopes have always been a fun way to pass the time, but now more than ever, internet-goers are integrating them into their everyday lives. So why are young people so obsessed?
It’s a culmination of reasons. First off, it’s no secret that the world seems to be going off the deep end right now. Natural disasters, political disasters and pop culture disasters are taking over the news cycles and things seem to be going from bad to worse. Social media fatigue due to the constant feed of bad news has been heavily documented, and people want to find an escape, a way to make sense of the world that doesn’t fill them with more dread. Enter horoscopes. Uncertain times in history often see a turn towards spiritual and non-traditional methods of reflection, and astrology is one of the oldest out there. It’s structure and order combined with spiritually-soothing advice give an alternative to organised religion to today’s youth.
And, much like religion, it provides a community. The internet has opened up the art of astrology to the masses, and message boards and blogs the world over are filled with eager zodiac lovers comparing and contrasting their experiences. Sharing spiritual and personal backgrounds with others creates connections, and with millennials widely thought to be much more open-minded and tolerant than previous generations, those connections have spread at lightning speed.
While 2018 is set to become the year that zodiac reigned supreme, we’re wondering if it’ll last. Spiritual trends like this one tend to follow a cycle – we may see astrology sticking around for a while before people begin to turn back to more science and fact-based reasoning again. While astrology has definitely stood the test of time (thousands of years is no mean feat), we wonder what the next divine fad will be.