Why Do People Believe In Astrology?

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Why Do People Believe In Astrology?
Zodiac

What's going on with millennials and the stars?

If your social media feeds aren’t filled with “The signs as...” or “Signs most likely to...” articles and memes, where have you been for the last couple of years?

Astrology has had a resurgence among millennials and Gen Z, making it a popular form of self-analysis, but the practice has been in existence for thousands of years, laced into the roots of modern culture.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the New Age movement popularized astrology, giving rise to zodiac signs and horoscopes. While astrology has kept its space on the back pages of magazines and newspapers since then, the recent boom has placed words like retrograde, sun signs, and compatibility in the daily vocabulary of millions. 

But why do people believe in astrology?

RELATED: 4 Popular Questions People Ask About Astrology And How It Differs From Astronomy

Even with so many supporters of astrology, there are even more naysayers determined to criticize this pseudoscience.

If you’re not someone who blames your mood swings on the stars or investigates how good of an astrological match your partner is with you, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about.

Why are people so devoted to a practice that is widely ridiculed?

Everyone has their own personal reasons for turning to astrology, but there are some common reasons that make this practice worthwhile. Here are some of the ways astrology helps people who believe in its powers: 

1. To deal with stress

The mystery of why people believe in astrology is not a new phenomenon.

In 1982, a study concluded that stress played an important role in connecting people with astrological predictions. The study stated that even people who do not believe in astrology during times of low stress are likely to look to the stars for answers when life gets complicated.

Stress surrounding relationships and social roles were among the most popular causes. 

RELATED: The Real Reason People Believe In Astrology And Tarot Card Readings

According to the American Psychological Association, we are living in stress-inducing times, with 63 percent of Americans reporting to be extremely stressed about the future of the country.

Millennials and Gen Xers are significantly more stressed than older generations. When we compare this to the 1982 data, it's no surprise that so many people are looking to astrology as a means of coping with generational concerns and worries.

Maybe you’re an easily-stressed Pisces and need to understand your triggers, or you’re hard-working Capricorn and need advice for easing your workload. It has a calming effect on the mind to explore our fate, rather than surrender to overwhelming feelings.  

2. To cope with uncertainty

Astrological predictions give a level of order and definition to otherwise confusing times in life.

Many look for answers to life’s biggest questions by examining their zodiac sign or horoscope. Why? Because life is full of uncertainty and it can be a lot to bear sometimes.

Who wouldn’t use astrology to look for answers?  

In a report by The Atlantic, subjects admitted to finding comfort in knowing what their future may hold and, therefore, use astrology. Astrological beliefs can help carry people through dark times by attempting to predict what is causing turbulence and when it will end.

Feeling down? It’s probably just Mercury retrograde. Your relationship crumbled? It’s probably because you’re not astrologically compatible.

RELATED: 11 Astrologer Quotes That Explain What Astrology Is & How It Works

3. To investigate romantic connections and love compatibility

Love advice is one of the most common reasons people consult astrology.

According to SEMrush's data-driven astrology study, searches for sexual compatibility quadrupled between 2017 and 2018, with astrology aficionados most often wondering which signs are compatible with Virgos, Leos, and Geminis.

The popularity of astrology has even given rise to astrological matchmaking apps like SweetPea, where users can leave their romantic fate in the hands of their zodiac sign. 

The only thing more inexplicable than astrology is love itself, so it’s no wonder many people link these two phenomena together.

We can’t always control our romantic connections, but that doesn’t stop us from trying. Examining astrology allows us to at least feel "in the know" about who we can or cannot attract. 

4. To escape reality

For many, an interest in astrology doesn’t necessarily denote a belief.

Astrology can simply be a spiritual escape from a world so focused on data and digitalization. It's an opportunity to replace hyper-reality with a different kind of truth. 

A 2016 trend report called “Unreality” by J. Walter Thompson’s intelligence group examined the increased societal appreciation for magic, astrology, and spirituality as a cultural reaction against modern society. 

Many investigations into astrology are concerned with debunking this pseudoscience rather than analyzing the escapism it offers.

The cult following astrology has garnered in recent years has had no negative societal impact in comparison to other non-factual belief systems.

Astrology becomes a source of meaning for people in a world focused on economic growth rather than human happiness.  

RELATED: How To Make Astrology Work For You By Charting Your Future

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Alice Kelly is a writer with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics.

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