Many people are seeking spirituality & new guidance through the cosmos
Astronomy is an ancient method of cosmological interpretation, whereby alterations in our world are attributed to positional alterations in the stars and planets above.
Nowadays, it is considered amongst science as a more antiquated method of universal inquiry; one that delivers insubstantial evidence to support its theories. So why does it currently stand at a whopping $2-billion-dollar a year industry that only continues to grow in popularity?
Aeons ago, during the earliest known periods of civilisation, man navigated his way through unrecognisable territory by observing the positions of the Sun and the Moon. Centuries later, he would soon come to understand the whole functioning of the universe through the experience of his own life. He saw his existence inseparably interweaved to the forces of nature, and so attributed life itself to the divine workings of the heavens above.
The earliest known records of Astrology date as far back as 4000 B.C., with the Egyptians and Mesopotamians mapping and tracking the constellations (star patterns) they observed in the night sky.
From the Babylonians, recognised as the first great Astronomers and original creators of the ‘Zodiac’ wheel (700 B.C.), to the Greek literature (written between 331 B.C and 5th century A.D) we used to formulate the modern names of planets; scientists still give credit to our ancient predecessors for the birth of Astronomy.
However, as a result of the ‘Age of Enlightenment’, and due to the objective validity of its derived counterparts: Astronomy and Cosmology, the subject eventually declined as a method of scientific inquisition.
Today, although it is still very much academically and professionally viable, Astrology has taken its place among the subjects commonly categorised as conceptual and ‘pseudo-science’. Amongst many it is considered similar to a series of speculative “blanket-statements”, ZME Science creator Mihai Andrei says.
Yet its popularity and infatuation seems to have remerged from the darkness and only continues to grow in today’s modern society. So who is breathing the life back into the heart of Astrology? Perhaps we can look towards Millennials and Gen-Z for the answer to that question.
In search of gravity
Millennials (born 1981-1996) and Gen-Zers (1997 onwards) are seen as the proprietors and inheritors of this rapidly developing and expanding world. Growing up in the ‘Age of Information’, these children, teenagers and adults have experienced life comparably different to preceding generations; being shaped both by its glory as well as its vicissitudes.
Almost 50% of both generations are stressed most or all of the time, according to the 2020 Deloitte Millennial Survey (https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennialsurvey.html), and whether it pertains to economic, environmental, or personal uncertainty; the common denominator remains the same – uncertainty.
Plato once said: “all spirits occupy the middle ground between humans and gods”, and indeed, an integral aspect behind Astrology is its spiritual resonance with those who follow it. This is one reason it stands as popular as it does with Millennials and Gen-Z – because it correlates so strongly with their New Age belief system.
mackayan: Believing in the starsTweet
‘New Age Spirituality’ is a non-religious movement more evident amongst the younger generation than any. Started in the 1970s, it was born in response to the suppressive nature of ‘organised religion’, and places emphasis on individual power, introspective understanding and transcendence of consciousness.
By introducing one to a new dynamic of self-understanding, Astrology automatically becomes therapeutic. Kevin Burk, author of Astrology: Understanding the Birth Chart calls it a “powerful tool for healing and transformation”, because it serves as the “key” that enables us to form a stronger spiritual connection to the universe.
Astrology facilitates a grounding mutative experience that eliminates the perpetual uncertainty that clouds Millennials and Gen-Z, possibly explaining why a third of the younger generation claim that they turn to the planets and stars “in this time of instability in the world”, according to a study conducted by BUSINESS WIRE. (https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190723005100/en/Astrology-Digital-Detoxes-New-Study-Finds-Social).
However, some of those who have studied the subject, such as Jenna Crispin, Guardian Columnist, believe synonymising the ancient science with such a personal existentialism has led to its integrity being compromised, and its purpose morphed it into a “new wave of self-help”.
Being shifted from the category of science into what could now be considered ‘culture’, another side effect is seen through its inevitable fusion to consumerism.
Apps, brands and businesses now profit exponentially from offering subscriptions and products that cater to those looking to strengthen their touch on astrology, as well as portray it those they see. Being diametrically opposed, it seems contradictory to some that materialism now plays a part in Astrology.
But amongst all this there always remains one irrefutable fact. Said best by the New York Times: “the recent boom owes a lot to the dynamics of the modern internet”.
The truth is most astrological knowledge is now accessed online, and learnt through websites offering tarot readings, star-sign compatibility information and more. Although it can be seen as a mere introduction to what Popular Mechanics columnist Jennifer Leman refers to as “amateur astrology”, there is little doubt about the monumental effect the internet has had on the publicity of the subject.
It began as the observation of planetary movement, and now serves as the celestial mirror that reflects none but our true-self, and is capable of inspiring the deepest insight into the starry firmament of our own consciousness. Scientifically proven or not, we may just be experiencing the renaissance of Astrology.