Astrology was introduced centuries ago but its popularity is increasing more than we realize. Some people just want to know what their lucky and unlucky colors are, while others just can't wait to hear about what their future has in store for them. This practice has a huge following among millennials, which is quite surprising because this belief was once only a silly piece found in magazines and newspapers many years ago.
A study reported that 58% of people in the US ages 18 to 24 to believe in astrology. Of this number, 65% consider it to be a credible and scientific source. Younger Americans have been influenced by zodiac signs as compared with a 2004 poll, showing 66% of Americans thought that astrology was complete nonsense. Previous reports have also shown that a typical horoscope article had 150% more traffic in 2017 compared in 2016.
According to MarketPlace.org, a nonprofit news organization on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country, while millennials are less religious than other age groups, about 60% of them believe in New Spirituality. Meanwhile, the psychic services industry, which includes astrologers, is worth $2 billion and is projected to keep growing. Many experts believe that the popularity of zodiacs and horoscopes will only grow more with technology. People are turning to smartphone apps to satisfy their zodiac curiosity. As of now, there are more than 200 astrology apps that claim to do everything from tell you if your date is a love match to show what you and your date’s baby would look like.
“The question isn’t whether astrology is real or not. It’s whether the effects are real,” said Banu Guler, the founder of Co-Star, an app with 7.5 million users.
Is Astrology Scientifically Proven?
Many people continue to be amazed by the mystery of the planet and the stars. The movements of the stars and the planets seem like magic to us. Historical accounts reveal that astronomical information was recorded more than 9,000 thousand years ago, showing that people have almost always been really interested in astrology and it might be the oldest form of divination in the world.
Astrology revolves around the premise of heavenly bodies - the sun, moon, constellations, and planets. It is believed that their relative positions and movements can predict and explain events on Earth and human personality traits. Some reports show it originated in Mesopotamia, however, ancient civilizations in different places such as Egypt, Babylon, China, and Greece have also studied it.
Early astrologers thought that the five largest and brightest stars on the sky were gods. But they were actually planets - Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. They also believed that the movements of the sun and moon are significant factors in understanding the basics of astrology. Eventually, astrologers realized that when people are born when the Sun, Moon, and planets were in the same part of the sky, they would have a lot of similarities and that they shared a lot of common interests and feelings.
Thus, astrologers constructed horoscope charts for people, showing a picture of the heavens at the date, time, and place where the person was born. Meanwhile, for some experts, astrology is a type of data science. According to Science Focus, an online site that covers the latest science news, future tech, and wonders of the natural world, it is history’s first attempt to understand the world, and ourselves, using numerical algorithms. While astrology remains popular, there are no scientific studies that can prove or show its validity. The most thorough scientific study ever conducted on the subject in 2003 has debunked astrology’s claims.
According to The Atlantic, an American magazine and multi-platform publisher, horoscopes’ main function is to give you information about what the planets are doing right now, and in the future, and how all that affects each sign. “Think of the planets as a cocktail party. You might have three people talking together, two may be over in the corner arguing, Venus and Mars may be kissing each other. I have to make sense of those conversations that are happening each month for you,” Susan Miller, a popular astrologer who founded the Astrology Zone website, explained.
Why Do People Tend to Believe in Astrology?
According to The New Yorker, an American weekly magazine featuring journalism, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons, and poetry, astrology helped people decide when to plant crops and go to war centuries ago, and was used to predict a person’s fate and interpret his character.
Previous studies have suggested many psychological factors behind why many people believe in astrology despite it not being backed by science. Some factors include people’s desire to feel connected to something bigger than ourselves, our urge to gain a sense of control in an unpredictable world, and our tendency to take note of evidence that apparently supports our beliefs. This could also be explained by the Barnum effect, which refers to people’s propensity to find personal meaning in general statements such as: “You will receive an expected piece of good news.”
According to Metro.co, the UK's highest-circulation print newspaper, some people often accept vague, general, and ambiguous statements because these fit what they are going through although they apply to most of the population. Experts explained that some turn to astrology because they want to take a chance on a new direction in life – to end a problematic relationship or pursue a new job. The popularity of astrology is also often explained as the result of the decline of organized religion and the rise of economic precariousness, and as one aspect of a larger turn to New Age modalities.
Many people also succumb to political panic which makes them search for something to believe in, hence horoscopes. But, of all age groups, astrology is significantly more popular among millennials. Studies have shown that millennials are more likely to believe in astrology compared to other generations. As astrological reader Felicia Sokol said, "Millennials have grown up in the age of information. So much information is at our disposal, including spiritual information. We have so much access to so many different perspectives that it's not so foreign for us to dive into the more ethereal realms. It's simply just another realm to dive into."
It was also reported that people turn to astrology when they are stressed, and millennials are very stressed in this era. They tend to believe in astrology for guidance. Astrology provides some light in this dark moment of their lives. It essentially gives them hope. Additionally, it provides millennials with instant gratification and relief.