Astrology: What’s All the Hype About?

Writer: Mehek

Editor: Jessica

Visual: Sarah

Around the world, people have a variety of different faiths and beliefs that determine important aspects of their lives. One area of beliefs, divination has gained popularity over recent years. Among them, astrology is a well-known form of divination, defined as a field that studies the influence that distant cosmic objects (mainly planets and stars) have on human lives. With the powerful influence of social media and anxieties of current events that have massively changed people’s lives, astrology’s popularity has exponentially increased over the past few years. While many wholeheartedly believe in astrology and it’s predictions, many in the scientific community have rejected astrology due to its lack of scientific validity, calling it a pseudoscience. 

While many have heard of astrology and the different zodiac signs, most people aren’t aware  of the field’s technicalities and how it actually works. While astrology may look quite intimidating, the basics are pretty simple. The celestial bodies in the sky are always in motion, and a natal chart is a snapshot of the sky at the exact date and time you were born. This chart is used to create your horoscope, which is an astronomical map that shows the location of your rising sun, and moon, along with the houses and planets. Based on the location of your house, planets, and rising, they are assigned one of the 12 main signs, each having their own unique qualities. Different parts of your horoscope can tell you different things about your life.  For example the houses tell you about the different facets of your life , and the planets let you know your different characteristics and qualities. All of these planets, houses, and signs put together creates your birth chart/horoscope for you to easily read

As  astrology claims to provide predictions about the future, it makes sense that many would turn to astrology in times of  uncertainty, especially with the current COVID-19 pandemic. With people’s lives having been turned upside down , many  feel lost and confused, and are desperately looking for something that will provide them with some idea for the future, leading astrology’s popularity to increase in this time. This is supported by the fact from Google Trends, where searches for ‘birth chart’ and ‘astrology’ both hit five year peaks in 2020. 

Social media has also played a huge role in the growing popularity of astrology. Tiktok, this year’s fastest growing app in terms of monthly users, has over 25.8 billion views under #astrology ’. Helping the hashtag gain this amount of views is a generation of newcomers to the astrology world, with some of the largest astrology-based content creators becoming internet celebrities thanks to the app. The app’s astrology videos draw in many viewers, as majority of the video’s are centered around finding out more about yourself with videos like, ‘Your career based on your zodiac sign’ or ‘Your relationship with your parents based on your moon signs’. Overall, although anxieties over recent uncertainties helped increase astrology’s following to some extent, the majority of astrology’s new audience has arrived thanks to social media and the introduction of the field of study to a newer and younger generation. 

As astrology has regained its popularity over the past few years, the debate on astrological legitimacy has sparked once again, with some swearing by its accuracy and predictions and others calling it a hoax. Ida C. Benedetto from private online publication Quartz says that “astrology isn’t fake—it’s just been ruined by modern psychology”. Benedetto discusses how she believes in ancient astrology of the Mesopatamians as it was a lot more accurate due to careful record keeping and observation, but newer astrology or modern psychology is very vague and doesn’t use proper research to determine predictions. On the other hand,many in the scientific community have expressed their clear disbelief in the field of study, claiming that astrology has no research to ensure the accuracy of it’s predictions. There have been several scientific studies conducted to guarantee  the legitimacy of astrology. One of the most notable studies is Carlson’s investigation in which he took around 30 astrologers considered to be the best at their work and asked them to match a random person’s natal chart to a person’s profile without any face to face contact. Carlson’s final conclusion was that astrology had no more validity than chance. 

Many in International School Manila also have differing views on the validity of astrology. One student said that it helped her understand the people around her when she said, ‘​​I think that astrology is a good guiding tool for me, because I think that it explains and gives reason to why some people are the way they are’. Another student said that “I like astrology because it helps me plan decisions on certain things, for example, I don’t want to be making huge changes during Mercury retrograde”, which means she doesn’t like to make big decisions when Mercury is moving backwards. Many students however don’t believe in “I find astrology hard to believe because the statements are usually vague and widely applicable, and their methods often seem more like pseudoscience than reliable information.” 

Whether you believe in astrology or not, it has had a big impact on our society today. It has provided many a sense of hope and some sort of certainty when they feel lost and scared, and given many a sense of purpose. It has also offered a career to many who help analyze these birth charts, and to the younger generation online spreading astrology across the globe. Most of all, it has allowed people to connect with the people around them and themselves on a deeper level that they were previously unable to do before.  

Extra Resources: 

To learn about the 12 astrological signs

To learn about the meanings of different houses

To learn about the meanings of the different planets

To calculate your own horoscope  

Works Cited

Message, casa.colorado.edu/~dduncan/pseudoscience/Skeptical Astrology.htm.

Free Astrology Birth Chart Report, Free Natal Birth Chart Calculator – Just Astrology Things, justastrologythings.com/pages/chart/.

Benedetto, Ida C. “Astrology Isn’t Fake-It’s Just Been Ruined by Modern Psychology.” Quartz, Quartz, qz.com/1170481/horoscopes-2018-astrology-isnt-fake-its-just-been-ruined-by-modern-psychology/.

C.Ht., Patricia Lantz. “How Does Astrology Work?” LoveToKnow, LoveToKnow Media, horoscopes.lovetoknow.com/about-astrology/how-does-astrology-work.

Lane, Corinne. “Home.” Astrology Library, 14 Apr. 2021, astrolibrary.org/houses/.

Monique, et al. “Astrology Planets and Their Meanings, Planet Symbols and Cheat Sheet.” Labyrinthos, 27 Jan. 2018, labyrinthos.co/blogs/astrology-horoscope-zodiac-signs/astrology-planets-and-their-meanings-planet-symbols-and-cheat-sheet.

“Zodiac Signs and Astrology Signs Meanings and Characteristics.” Astrology Zodiac Signs, http://www.astrology-zodiac-signs.com/.“The Anxieties and Apps Fuelling the Astrology Boom.” BBC Worklife, BBC, http://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20210205-why-astrology-is-so-popular-now.