We all know the spiritual practice which has taken over our feeds and For You pages: “ The fascinating buzz of Astrology. Mercury in Retrograde” is currently on full blast and Twitter will make sure you know it. Popular Instagram accounts showcasing relatable zodiac memes can be questioned as to where this relatiblity comes from. Is it really the Scorpio in me that’s hurt, or am I just a normal human with feelings, @glossy_zodiac? A little over a quarter of American adults believe in astrology, while 22% are unsure, meaning only about half are completely unconvinced. As you get down to the younger generations, the percentages of those who believe in it gets significantly higher. Astrology has become essential to Gen Z and Millennial culture, but why?

I mean, I literally changed a sentence in my opening paragraph from “Is it really the Sagittarius in me that was late, or did I just not get up in time, @glossy_zodiac?” too “Is it really the Scorpio in me that’s hurt, or am I just a normal human with feelings” for the simple fact that I wanted people to know I’m actually a Scorpio. I could’ve just replaced the word Sagittarius with Scorpio and kept the sentence, but my brain wouldn’t let me move on without coming up with a logical joke sentence that would fit the description of a Scorpio in the same way I did with Sagittarius. I don’t even really believe in astrology. I think it can be accurate and I sure do fit the Scorpio mold but it’s not something I heavily conjecture. So the fact that I couldn’t get on without making an accurate joke about my sign says a lot about astrology’s influence on even non-believers. Anyways, back on topic.

Millennials have been on the zodiac train for a while, and while Gen Zers seem to be the ones on top of the astrology game right now, most of them have only just started. While Covid-19 has affected various lifestyles in different ways, it undoubtedly brought a cultural outbreak to the new generation. As the Black Lives Matter Movement had a huge uprising in early 2020 along with early Covid, a new generation of teenagers began voicing their opinions loudly and fearlessly through numeros social media platforms. We saw an overwhelmingly liberal voice in young voters through this most recent presidential election. With this, many young people saw issues with traditional values in American society. This was identified socially and even religiously. More and more anti theistic ideas came about from the new generation, and spirituality became the new device for people to portray their morals.

Although astrology has existed in other cultures for hundreds of years, it is only recently that it has made its way into the western pop culture zeitgeist. From this, there seemed to be a cultural rebirth among teens. Many found themselves clinging to spirituality and practices of self love and help. Finding one’s true self on a spiritual journey often included following something we know as horoscopes, which can be considered the tail to astrology. Horoscopes are based on the zodiacs and can supposedly tell a person’s future based on their sign. There are horoscopes for each sign by the day, week, month and even year. Decades ago, you’d be called crazy to believe an app or website that you’ve given your birth information to could know what’s going to happen on your run next week. But today, checking your horoscope is a daily routine for many. 

In a world which brings more madness each day, all we want as humans is to feel sane. And part of that is feeling meaningful. Spirituality aids many in fulfilling this desire. However, modern spirituality is often very off centered from its ancestors’ practices. It can be argued that it’s more aesthetically pleasing than it is helpful or healing. Many seek comfort in astrology. Something telling you who you are and what your purpose is may sound startling, but is incredibly comforting to many people. 

Studies have shown astrology brings newfound confidence to believers in their characteristic qualities; they often feel emotionally validated by their zodiac’s description of them. A lot of the time the bad qualities their zodiac possesses can be used to justify mistakes they’ve made in the past, leaving them with less guilt and more self security. Whether it’s healthy to blame your wrongdoings on your zodiac is debatable, but there’s no fight in the fact that it brings contentment to one’s self and status. The same can go for astrology as a whole, you might think it’s total nonsense or be deeply invested in your upcoming June horoscope. Whatever the case is, astrology and horoscopes are a clear staple in the lives of Gen Z and have truly changed a generation with the way they see themselves and the world.