As an Aquarius, I can be pretty skeptical of things, and this is definitely true when it comes to astrology. I’ll admit, when I read profiles of Aquarians, they’re pretty accurate to me, but I always have to stop and wonder why this is. Maybe it’s because I was born at the end of January, but let’s be honest, that’s probably not the case.

There’s no scientific proof behind astrology and horoscopes, so why do people feel so passionately about them? Is it because they genuinely believe in them, or is it because Urban Outfitters told them they should?

Astrology has been around almost as long as we have. Early astrological concepts have been traced back to Ancient China, Egypt and Babylonia. The 12 signs that are used most commonly in western culture today were established in Ancient Greece about 2,500 years ago. While astrology has always been around, it has recently regained a lot of attention.

The New Age movements of the 1960s and 70s incorporated astrology and caused a rise in its popularity. The modern revival of this bohemian culture in the past five or so years has created another obsession with zodiac signs among Millennials and Generation Z. But what is responsible for this most recent uptick?

One answer is media. In the early 2010s, mainstream media articles about “which book you should read based on your zodiac sign” and daily, weekly and monthly horoscopes gained a lot of popularity.

More recently, posts and memes about zodiac signs are all over social media platforms. TikToks under the hashtag “zodiac” have collectively amassed a whopping 12.5 billion views. In addition, Co-Star, an “AI-powered daily horoscope” app, has gained a lot of traction with younger generations as it can be used not only to read your own horoscopes and zodiac traits, but to see your friends’ as well. Not only is astrology on social media, but it’s actually becoming it through this app. In the age of the internet, information about astrology is plentiful and has become trendy.

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As a result of this new trendiness, consumerism has jumped on board. Just one spin through Urban Outfitters and you can pick out an astrology themed product in almost every category from clothes to jewelry to notebooks and more. Hop over to Etsy and you can find zodiac themed home decor, perfumes, makeup, candles and pretty much anything else you could possibly dream up.

Zodiac signs have been extremely commercialized in recent years and between social media and consumerism, astrology is practically impossible to avoid. 

But likely the best answer as to why people are so into astrology is because they genuinely like it. Everyone likes to feel special, and horoscopes give us that feeling.

As much as my fellow contrarian Aquarians and I might think we don’t, humans love to be put in boxes. We like to be told who we are and how we’re supposed to be. Our zodiac signs allow us to explain our personalities and sometimes even hide behind them in order to defend our negative traits. Horoscopes give us advice personalized to us, but they’re general enough that we can always find something applicable to us to take away from them.

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While it might be annoying to be constantly asked “what’s your sign?” or scoffed at when you say you’re a Pisces, astrology can be really fun and even helpful if you let it. It can help us make sense of the world and give us advice we might really need, and in this day and age, it’s inescapable anyway, so you might as well embrace it.

“Astrology Horoscope Wheel Chart” by Numerology Sign is licensed under CC BY 2.0