- Hilary George Parkin
- BBC News
Recently, many people have begun to seek answers to their questions again in astrology. We looked at the factors that push people to look for facts in the stars.
Charm Torres, an astrologer living in Toronto, Canada, says that with the onset of the Covid-19 outbreak, the number of applicants to her has increased. He does not hold one-to-one sessions due to the epidemic, but meets hundreds of customers over the internet.
Most of his clients are from North America, but he also has “queer millennials” like him, many from as far away as the Philippines from which he originally came.
Some have lost their loved ones in the epidemic. Some are trying to start a new business because they have lost their job in the entertainment or restaurant industry. Others do not know how to spend so much free time at home. What they have in common is a kind of support, a desire to connect, and a desire to find oneself.
Torres says that when life came to a halt in many areas due to the epidemic last year, people “had to turn inside themselves, evaluate their lives, gather what they had in mind.”
Around the world, interest in Western astrology had already begun to revive in the years before the epidemic.
This interest, fueled by “meme” accounts on Instagram and astrology applications that can be downloaded to mobile phones such as Co-Star Sanctuary, was fed by uncertainties such as the Brexit process in the United Kingdom, Trump’s presidency.
But in 2020, interest in astrology reached unprecedented heights.
Young generation astrologers on social media
According to Google Trends (trend figures in Google searches), searches for the term “birth chart” reached the highest level of five years in 2020, and many astrologers say that their business is up and running during the closure periods announced due to the epidemic.
TikTok, the fastest growing social media platform in terms of monthly active users in 2020, carried a new generation to the Star Zodiac language and turned the most successful astrology accounts into internet phenomena.
A new group of pioneering astrologers has emerged on social media, coming from young and very different lives and circles.
Considering that the internet was one of the few channels of relaxation for a very large segment of the world who lost their jobs and said goodbye to their loved ones in many parts of the world last year, it may not be surprising that so many people who had not been interested in astrology before turn to the stars to see the future. necessary.
“There is an aspect of astrology that can connect us to life and to something bigger than us, at a time when we feel truly disconnected from everyone and everything,” says Charm Torres.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that even though this “breaking away from everything and everyone” played a role behind the growing interest in the last year, technological inventions and the changing world of belief of new generations (generation Z) also formed the background of this explosion long ago.
Neither science nor religion
Market research firm IBISWorld estimated the total revenue generated by the “psychic sector” (the industry that includes fortune telling, Tarot card reading and astrologers) in the United States at $ 2.2 billion in 2019. However, with the explosion of interest in this field last year, it can be said that this figure was much higher in 2020.
For its followers, it is understandable that astrology becomes mainstream in a crisis.
“People are desperately trying to make sense of this situation and find a way out. Astrology follows the cycles of the planets, so when you look at astrology, you see something happening in the past. Everything that happened right now has a version that happened in the past. I think. it definitely creates a relief for me, ”he says.
A few years ago, Goldstein, who wanted to devote himself more to this subject, arranged a natal chart interpretation session with New York’s famous astrologer and podcaster Jeff Hinshaw.
Birth chart interpretation is one of the areas most preferred by astrology enthusiasts. Using the sky map at the time of the client’s birth, much deeper readings are made of his personality, desires, goals, and life direction than the planetary signs published in a newspaper.
Rather more individual and complex interpretations, such as “Aquarius should look out for business opportunities” or “Gemini should avoid romantic tensions,” are described by reference to the sun, moon, and ascendant signs, and the positions of the planets in inner and outer space.
Caroline Goldstein also gravitated towards her birth charts because of her general interest in monotheistic nonreligious beliefs from many years ago. Like many of his peers, he thought astrology was a way of looking at the world in a different and far less dogmatic way than organized religions.
“Astrology never claims to be the only truth,” Goldstein says.
“It offers only a language in which you can understand your own reality. So it is not the book itself, but the language in which you will read it.”
According to the polls of the opinion research company Pew, more than 60 percent of the generation Y in the USA believe in personal developmentist spiritual movements and thoughts that can be called “New Age”. But they believe less in God and attach less importance to religion than the generations before them.
For some, these alternative ways of thinking are perhaps a way to fill this gap.
Astrology, astrologer Chris Brennan of Denver, Colorado, who publishes a podcast called The Astrology Podcast, says, “Astrology is a field that traditionally stands far from most mainstream religions, such as both science and Christianity. This makes it strange, socially neither purely scientific nor purely religious. And sometimes it can seem like some kind of useful middle ground to people who want to find a bridge between these two areas, or who can’t find the answers they’re looking for in both areas.
Seeking consolation in the stars
For many enthusiasts in this respect, “believing” in astrology is not a very meaningful phrase because they see astrology as a curiosity, a way of looking at their inner world, and a means of contextualizing individual feelings and internal quarrels as part of something bigger.
With this approach, the problems with the lover can be interpreted as a result of the movements of the Gemini constellations or a major change in business life as a result of the inevitable rise in the Saturn cycle.
“If it makes sense of what is happening for someone and provides relief, it shouldn’t necessarily look at it as a bad thing,” says Elena Touroni, a London psychologist and internet therapist.
Though he says that becoming dependent on a single source of information can be dangerous, Touroni understands why so many people turn to astrology and other alternative aids alongside traditional counseling.
“Uncertainty is part of the human experience. It can be difficult to admit that we cannot control many things in our life at all. And when Covid and containment measures are added, these uncertainties are far above their usual level,” says Touroni.
London astrologer Honey Astro studies psychology and counseling. He says these have helped him a lot in building relationships with his customers.
Astro’s specialty is the “12th house” in astrology, that is, the subconscious world, dreams and intuition. At the same time, he is trying to explain that the people he met during this period “there is light in that house at the end of the tunnel” because it touches on issues such as mental health and falling apart from loved ones.
“People tell me they feel like they have entered the therapy session because I can get into very secret and intimate matters. I’m not one of the astrologers who tell people nice things like roses, rainbows, and so on. I’m talking about the good, the bad and the ugly because it’s important that the client knows everything about the star chart. I’m guiding them to deal with perhaps unpleasant things, ”says Honey Astro.
Astro also explains that things have opened up recently. He tells that he has been reading to 80 people a month, sometimes since April last year. He attributes this to both people’s getting bored of quarantine and the sharing of astrology on social media.
He has decided not to read more than 12 natal charts a month (for a £ 100 per session) in order to be able to work on his videos he published on YouTube and TikTok.
With the meeting of Jupiter and Saturn with the Aquarius, the sign of technology and cooperation, “a significant part of 2021 has good energy,” he says.
A rising industry
While most astrologers do not get into the business for money, astrologers with a large following are finding increasingly creative ways to monetize their skills.
Chani Nicholas, one of the most admired astrologers of today, has made a deal with both Netflix and a new app for his book, You Were Born for This, which sold 14,000 in the week of its publication.
Nicholas’s Los Angeles-based company currently employs three managers to cope with the business, each with over $ 100,000 a year.
Maren Altman, who was recently declared the most serious astrologer on TikTok, has turned from a handful of people watching YouTube videos to a phenomenon with over a million viewers in 10 months.
The first viral video of Altman, who entered TikTok in the first months of the epidemic, was “Why Do I Hate Your Star Signs?” was. However, he later raised his score by correctly predicting Trump’s defeat and the composition of the US Presidential Electoral College.
More recently, it accurately predicted the increase in Bitcoin price and the movements in the US stock markets.
Financial astrology is his favorite field and he wants to develop his business in this field. He still sends his estimates to a few thousand customers in return for a weekly or monthly subscription and organizes paid courses. He says most of his clients are in their 30s and have had an interest in astrology in the past.
It is not known whether people who return to astrology will still continue their curiosity when life returns to a degree of normal again.
As podcaster Chris Brennan has said, interest in astrology is happening in waves in the Western world. In the mid-2000s, some astrologers expressed concern, saying that young people are no longer interested in this field.
But now the renaissance of astrology seems to continue for a while, with social media algorithms highlighting memes containing Mercury retrograde and the fact that contemporary life offers few alternatives to nurture the soul.
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