Why Hopeless Millennials Are Turning To Astrology For Purpose
Everywhere you look on Instagram, millennials are posting astrology memes, daily horoscopes, and laments towards Mercury in retrograde. Many of us have begun to use it to analyze and direct their lives and in a lot of ways, millennials have accepted astrology in place of religion.
Whereas religion oftentimes relies on rules, regulations, and institutions, astrology is seen as a fun, lighthearted alternative. It’s exciting to read your daily horoscope and see what the day will bring. If you’re having a bad day, the stars must be off. Astrology has effectively given hopeless millennials a sense of order, comfort, and excitement for the future — and we’re not giving it up anytime soon.
Millennials are constantly surrounded by stress. Between career anxieties, navigating the dating world, and the current political climate, it’s a stressful world out there for young people. According to data gathered by the American Psychological Association, millennials are the most stressed generation. In times of stress, people cope in a variety of ways — but many look for purpose in a higher power or greater goal. For a lot of millennials, that higher power can be sought in the stars.
This millennial “religion” has a lengthy history. Astrology dates back to the Babylonian era when astrology was introduced to the Greeks early in the 4th century B.C. Through the studies of Plato, Aristotle, and other historic philosophers and scholars, astrology came to be highly regarded as a science. The date you were born and, more specifically, the alignment of the stars on that given day indicates your birth chart — which includes or sun sign. It’s the birth time that astrologists believe influences personality traits, and can even bring forth predictions that are found in modern horoscopes.
We use astrology as a method for planning, gaining more self-awareness, and a better understanding of our relationships. Much of what I personally find myself drawn to about horoscopes and zodiac signs is the ability to gain a deeper understanding of my personality, and how those traits complement or contrast the traits of other signs. Astrology can be used to check compatibility between two people, which especially comes in handy in the modern dating world. Whenever I go on a date, my go-to move is to ask for their zodiac sign. It’s a flirty way to find out more about the person and delve into which traits make up who you are. Are you more justice-oriented? Do you avoid conflict at all costs? These are all personality traits outlined by the zodiac that would be extremely valuable to know before getting into a relationship with a new person.
Much of the debate over signs and how specifically they match up with the personality traits of individual people is highly debated, however. Much of the similarities come down to a nature vs nurture argument. If a person is introduced to their sign as a young age and learns their traits, are they more likely to adopt those traits? Does the day and time you’re born really say that much about who you are as a person? Many millennials say, “absolutely.”
Astrology seems to rise in popularity in times of youth culture and rebellion. In the 60s and 70s, a similar revival of this ancient practice arose, fueled by hippie youth culture and a fascination with the universe and its properties. Pamphlets, newsletters, and horoscopes in weekly newspapers rose in popularity due to the ease with which people could distribute them. In 2018, distribution and sharing content has never been easier. The internet provides a perfect playground for quick, digestible content — in this sense, astrology as a whole has become a meme.
You can easily access your horoscope every morning through an app or the Vice Snapchat Discover story. If you want to find out which cat breed you are based on your zodiac sign, you undoubtedly can. This age of easy sharing has created a cult following for this pseudoscience and transformed an ancient practice into a modern hobby or interest.
Astrology may have risen in popularity amongst millennials due to the need for young people to feel as if they belong. By identifying with their sign, followers of astrology can make sense of the world around them. Personality flaws can be written off as flaws of the sign, and therefore out of their control. If someone was to call a Taurus too stubborn for their own good, they might shrug and agree, acknowledging that trait as an inherent and unwavering part of their genetic makeup.
Astrology not only deals with personality traits, but also relationships within different signs. Many millennials who follow astrology will make dating decisions based solely off of the person’s sign. When meeting a new person, finding out their sign is a discreet way to essentially learn more about the person, however accurate or inaccurate that description may be. Though it’s not recommended to enter or even break off a relationship based on a zodiac sign alone, it can be useful when seeing if your personalities are compatible.
We may practice astrology in the hope of predicting their near or distant futures. Millennials also enjoy feeling like they have a greater significance in the universe, due to their awareness of the self through social media. Others simply like seeing how their personality traits interact with others’. Astrology may be regarded as a pseudoscience not grounded in scientific research or proof, but people have used this ancient practice for centuries as a way to make sense of the universe. In times of stress, a little cosmic grounding is much appreciated.