Growing up, when I thought of a person who is into Astrology, I thought of a woman in her 50s who is still stuck in the 70s and reads horoscopes daily while talking to her cats. This image has completely changed. Currently, astrology, including horoscopes and zodiac signs, has become a big trend among platforms like tik tok, Instagram and Pinterest. There are over 50 billion tik toks under the hashtag astrology. Most of these kinds of videos predict the future of a star sign, like a short horoscope or show the compatibility between two zodiac signs.
These videos are often commented on by users writing: “So this is the reason for my anger issues. Lately, Virgo is just moody this month”. The comment section is active under such short clips, and people find comfort and entertainment in astrology content. However, Astrology has always had believers in history, so why did the trend become so popular in generation z in particular?
Astrology originated in Mesopotamia around the 3rd millennium BC and developed its Western form during the Hellenistic period in Greece. And since then, experienced many peaks throughout history, like in the 60s with the hippie movement. However, it is surprising to experience the revival of horoscopes and people asking what your star sign is out of the blue. The current time is when we are at the highest stand in scientific knowledge. Fewer people are religious, and I thought the same would happen to people believing in Astrology. Consequently, there must be something in Astrology people from Gen Z are seeking.
The first thing that comes to my mind is Astrology as a hobby and a form of entertainment.
There is so much content concerning the topic. Also getting into the bubble of Astrology content on social media is easy. Moreover, the algorithm will show a person searching for content related to the Taurus, for example, more content related to the sign.
Within this hobby, there is another perk of following up the trend. There is a direct connection to other “believers”. There is a vast community of people clicking through star signs. If you meet another person interested in the topic, there is an opportunity for a light conversation opener. There are even people dating looking specifically for the sign of their potential partner.
Above all, it’s a way for people to calm down and keep escaping to another world for a moment. So that Astrology would get more popular during a crisis like a pandemic makes sense.
Also, we live in a world where fewer people are religious. So there is a spiritual void that some individals try to fill and find comfort in something higher, even if they don’t believe in it.
Considering the joy and connection, the new Astrology trend evokes in people may make you think it’s just a harmless trend like many others. However, there are some adverse effects the movement has on society that shouldn’t be left out.
A survey from The National Science Foundation in 2012 found that 34 Americans surveyed consider astrology to be “very” or “sort of scientific”. Polls like this are alarming, considering how this percentage could increase with Astrology becoming a trend again.
The problem with people believing Astrology is science is its connection to an uncritical way of thinking. Unfortunately, people who aren’t questioning Astrology’s trustworthiness are more open to conspiracy theories. And it’s not a secret that conspiracy theories are dangerous. In times of crisis like the corona pandemic, people tend more towards conspiracy theories. We saw it when people stated there is no such thing as a pandemic.
In addition, orienting your life on horoscopes and star signs can be a way to avoid making decisions for yourself. Nowadays, it’s not out of this world that one of the first things people check out before they start dating is the other star sign. It will make decisions easier but also tighten the opportunities if taken seriously. It could lead to judging people before you meet them based on the month and day they were born. I once was told to stay away from being friends with one girl because she was a “Scorpio”.
In today’s society, what happens on social media influences most of the population. Especially young adults and children are spending their time on platforms like tik tok. If I read as a kid, stay away from Virgos if you are a Taurus, I would have probably believed it. The trend itself comforts people and is a way to escape from reality. However, social media’s power over the trend is concerning because no filter declares the information spread as fake news or untrustworthy.