Inspecting Astrology’s Rise in Popularity

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Modern-day astrology predicts one’s future and determines personalities ultimately providing wisdom for body and mind. Astrology is the belief that the placements of stars and planets affect an individual’s mood, personality and life, depending on their zodiac sign.

Trinity Dallas, Social Media Mogul

Whether it’s watching funny TikToks about zodiac signs, taking horoscope quizzes on BuzzFeed or installing an astrology app out of peer pressure, astrology has become a popular topic for both Millennials and Gen Z. However, is astrology a credible source? What exactly is astrology and why do people think it is an accurate way to express complex ideas about personality, life cycles and relationship patterns through the placements of the planets and stars?
The start of astrology dates back to around 3000 B.C. beginning along with the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia. Within Mesopotamia, the Babylonians were the first major astronomers other than the Sumerians who didn’t get far in inventing the first astrological system.
Babylonians created the Zodiac by dividing the sky into twelve sections, each named after the largest constellation it contained. Alexander the Great conquered the Babylonian and Sumerian people and the Zodiac diffused to Greece.
Greeks and Romans soon started making significant advances in astrology. However, even once the Roman Empire fell, Arabs,Indians continued studying western astrology.
Astrology was and still is regarded as a form of entertainment more often than a legitimate science.
“I wouldn’t say I believe the zodiac studies, but to a certain extent it can be true. It doesn’t affect me personally; it’s just a label to separate different characteristics,” said sophomore Sahirah Jones.
Astrology is more in the category of metaphysics than science. Dr. Sabrin Stierwalt, a PhD in astrophysics, questioned in an article in Scientific American, “Is there any science to back up whether astrology impacts our personality and our lives? Here’s the short answer: No. None whatsoever.”
According to Alexander Boxer in a Science Focus article, astrology isn’t scientific, in fact scientists don’t study astrology at all, “Astrology has been rejected by the scientific community as having no explanatory power for describing the universe.”
Astrologers aim to clarify the natural world, but they rarely attempt to objectively test whether such theories are true, which is a crucial part of science. When evidence from the natural world does not support a scientist’s hypothesis, the group of scientists rejects or reconfigures it. Astrologers do not approach their own astrological theories with the same level of scrutiny. In a National Science Board study in 2014, 65% of Americans said astrology is “not at all scientific,” 26% said they thought astrology was “sort of scientific” and 6% said it was “very scientific.”
Predicting a person’s future or providing guidance on everyday activities by zodiac signs is gaining popularity. The Cut magazine, for example, reported a 150% rise in horoscope page views in 2017.
“Horoscopes are popular nowadays because of the internet. It puts people under the influence to tune into it because they want to unlock different channels in themselves and see if they can relate to their sign,” said Jones.
Astrology is often used to provide wisdom and boundless insight as it predicts a person’s daily experiences and life changing transformations based on a person’s birth chart. A birth chart is made up of three parts: planet, a person’s zodiac sign and 12 houses. In astrology, these parts come together to help predict a person’s future.
“With horoscopes there is definitely a higher power that people believe in and that goes deeper than what an average person could think,” said junior Joseph Brown who finds that people in his generation often go too far with astrology. “I often question the higher power and where it may actually come from.”
For some, astrology’s predictions serve as a comforting wonder to hang onto that gives them some reassurance as to what their future holds; for others it’s just a fun thing to keep up with and relate to. Astrology in the media is mostly viewed as a metaphorical tool rather than literal but sometimes people find it comforting to take astrology in a literal and spiritual way and apply the complex system to the chaos of life.