Written in the Stars: Why Astrology Is More Than a Fad

Easing existential dread, one mystical practice at a time.
July 12, 2019
9 mins read

Being a young adult in 2019 can be rough. School, work, health and relationships are some of the biggest stressors for millennials and Generation Z, and finding meaning in the madness is hard for a lot of us to deal with. Here’s why so many young people lean on astrology and the stars and read star signs and horoscopes to help guide them through life.

1. Reflection

Astrology can be an accessible way for us to take complicated ideas about ourselves and our surroundings and break them down. It’s an easy way to describe and express yourself, your experiences and the ways you deal with things, especially during the already hard parts of your early 20s.

Much like Harry Potter houses and Myers-Briggs types, astrology is a way to open yourself up in a generally understandable way. It’s easier to describe your complex feelings and behavior in a situation if you have something like a sun sign to lean on to help you articulate them. The placement of the stars is not meant to dictate your future but is used by some to think critically about who you are, your strengths, your weaknesses and how to embrace it all.

Millennials and members of Generation Z tend to have more diagnosed mental health issues, and arguably astrology is a way for a lot of them to cope. Knowing the placements on your birth chart and what they mean can be a good tool in self-reflection. And while knowing your rising sign won’t cure depression, more young adults find solace in mysticism to help them endure their mental illnesses.

2. More Spirituality From Less Traditional Practices

While plenty of millennials and Gen Zs still practice traditional religions, many others are finding similar comfort in different forms of spirituality. More young adults are leaning into religions like Wicca and Spiritualism, while some gravitate toward practices that are even further outside the mainstream. Like those who practice traditional religions, it’s simply a way to grasp onto ideas bigger than ourselves and find meaning in the world.

Simply liking astrology doesn’t mean you’ll start practicing witchcraft or subscribe to a certain religion, but it’s becoming increasingly more common for those who have an initial interest in it to eventually discover an attraction to different types of spirituality. Whether or not the spirituality you find is in religion, finding some kind of force to help guide you through life can make it less of a burden. For some people, zodiacs are that guiding force.

3. Easily Accessible Information

Like any new interest, diving into extensive research is one of the first things you want to do. With the rise of astrology social media accounts (ranging from memes to astrologers and psychics), the information is extremely easy to access. You can even type in your birthday information to websites such as CafeAstrology and have your natal chart made for free in seconds.

The internet is a wellspring of resources and finding information past your sun sign (the one sign in your natal chart most people are familiar with) is easier than ever. Popular apps like Co-Star and Instagram accounts like notallgeminis and sanctuarywrld take complicated natal charts and break them down in the language that millennials and Gen Zs can grasp —  memes and phone notifications. Instead of going to one magazine’s horoscope section every week, you can find daily blurbs and chart reading guides on your phone in seconds. Diving deeper into your personality through zodiacs is as simple as it gets nowadays.

4. Entertainment

Anyone with a piqued interest in the cosmos has heard the inevitable criticisms in reference to its legitimacy. Regardless, if don’t believe that stars have any kind of impact on your day-to-day life, it can still be fun to read and think about in passing. Sometimes a silly meme about “the signs as pizza toppings” is all you need, and astrology shouldn’t be written off solely because some people don’t think it should be taken seriously.

Learning about the signs and planets and making memes about them is a generally harmless pastime. For some millennials and Gen Zs, it can be a therapeutic hobby when other things they want to do for fun might be financially out of reach. Having an accessible source of entertainment can be really important to making time for things that young adults are actually interested in outside of a hectic work or school life.

5. Bonding

Even if you don’t necessarily believe in signs, chances are you still know your own and those of your friends. It’s one of those pieces of knowledge that everyone seems to learn in middle school when you try to figure out if you and your crush are compatible. But it’s an easy ice-breaker when getting to know new people at any age. Zodiacs are widely known and discussed whether or not they’re widely believed.

Astrological mysticism is also a staple in many LGBTQ+ spaces. Being on the fringe of what large sectors of society deem acceptable is hard enough without all the stressors of being a young adult. But not seeing your identity represented as often as cisgender and heterosexual white identities can leave you looking for answers. For lots of queer people, astrology can be part of that answer. Finding pieces of yourself in a natal chart and not being judged by it can give them the reassurance they often crave that they aren’t getting from large majorities of people.

That’s not to say that all queer people share the same interests or people who share those interests must be queer. People from all races, genders and ethnicities find different comforts in the cosmos. Since everyone’s natal chart is different, there’s no singular universal truth about horoscopes, but being able to use it as a way to bond with others can make your relationships more personal and fulfilling.

Liking astrology is what you make of it. You don’t have to use it to self-reflect and track the location of the planets all the time to figure out when Mercury will go into retrograde again. Sometimes it can be just as fun to look at memes to see which cartoon character matches your sign. Whether you don’t even know your moon sign or you have all of your friends’ natal charts memorized, astrology can be an unorthodox but useful tool in navigating your life and a lighthearted source of entertainment.

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