On April 18, 2020, when the Sun’s orbit entered into the astrological Taurus season, the Instagram account @notallgeminis celebrated by posting a picture of Meryl Streep holding a beer with the caption, “Taurus season is upon us, let’s get indulgent babyyyyy!”
If you scroll through their account, or @drunkstrology or @capricornmemes, you’ll find thousands of posts with upwards of 20,000 likes joking about Taurus’s eating a lot of food, Mercury retrograde or categorizing the signs as literally anything, including skincare ingredients, types of cheeses, “Friends” characters and characters from the Bible. More and more people on social media are turning to these zodiac meme accounts to find a laugh and learn more about their star signs.
What Is Astrology?
As a necessary disclaimer, astrology is not considered a science as there’s no evidence that one’s sun sign correlates to their personality or character. But it is certainly its own system with its own logic and set of beliefs. Most people may know their sun sign, the most popular zodiac, even if they’re not really into astrology.
But popular apps like Co – Star can provide information not just about your sun sign, but your moon sign — which rules your mood, emotions and feelings — and your rising, based off of the time you were born, which dictates how the world may perceive you. In fact, one’s birth chart is designed by the specific positioning of the all of the planets at the time of one’s birth.
Though it may not be a proven science, astrology is certainly complex and somewhat intimidating to newcomers. Which is why zodiac meme accounts like @drunkstrology and @bitch.rising have tapped into something huge.
Why Astrology Is Perfect For the Internet/Social Media Age
Chani Nicholas, a Los Angeles-based astrologer, told the Atlantic, “Astrologers are always trying to boil down these giant concepts into digestible pieces of knowledge. The kids these days and their memes are like the perfect context for astrology.” Zodiac memes certainly dilute astrological signs into something much more digestible, relatable and definitely funny.
Astrology speaks to people’s desire to be seen and understood, as well as their underlying desire to understand the larger operations of the universe. And platforms like Instagram speak to that same want — for people to connect with one another and find some sort of escape from the stress of everyday life.
Astrology as Its Own Subculture
If you haven’t had any introduction to the zodiac signs, scrolling through a zodiac meme page could feel pretty alienating. Like its own emergent subculture, or some might say a cult, the astrological community has its own set of beliefs, inside jokes and even its own vocabulary.
Courtney Perkins, the person behind the account @notallgeminis, spoke to The Insider Mag and said, “The majority of my followers are under 30. Most of us have given up on religion, our government has failed us and this is something that is both a distraction and a way of understanding the people around us in a really laughable way that also feels just spiritual enough.”
More established, holistic astrologers may frown upon the sweeping generalizations that can be found on pages like @notallgeminis. Those arguably reductive statements — “I’m a Capricorn, so I’m a workaholic,” “Geminis have multiple personalities,” “Aries are aggressive,” “Aquarians are quirky,” etc. — can’t always be accurate. But the humor and the attraction of these pages, may in part lie in that simplicity or irony. It’s an open community, and an easy, enjoyable way to understand ourselves and the people around us.
Many of us who follow Perkin’s account, as she observed, are young, and balancing schoolwork, jobs and other stressors. Some of us simply don’t have the time or the energy on our hands to dive into a 300-page book about the history of astrology and the meaning behind all of the planets. What we’re looking for is a laugh and something “just spiritual enough,” which we can always find on accounts like hers.
Astrology provides us, no matter our path, the ability to lightly tap our feet into something complex and take everything with a grain of salt. That’s an almost unseen quality in institutionalized religions or belief systems, in which you can rarely be half-in and half-out. So, as Perkins says, for a generation who has largely “given up on religion,” has maybe been failed by its government and has to juggle many different stressors, zodiac memes can be the perfect cocktail.