Millennials turning to astrology to combat stress

Astrology is booming in popularity, especially among millennials who, according to the American Psychological Association, are among the most stressed Americans. The generation that grew up online is now turning to the ancient practice for help.

Websites and apps like Astrology Zone, AstroStyle and Co-Star are catering to a desire for self-knowledge and guidance.

And millennials are using what they learn to determine everything from how to cope with challenges, to whom they date.

“Millennials self-report more stress and less certainty about their future than any generation before them,” Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Jessica Pels said. “They’re also less religious than any generation before them. So they are looking for guidance.”

Pels said the appetite from her audience for astrology content is huge. 

“74% of my readers have told me that they are, quote, ‘obsessed with astrology,'” Pels said. “And 72% check their horoscope every day.”

Although you may know yourself to be, for instance, a “Virgo” or “Gemini,” that’s only your “sun sign” and understanding astrology is much more complex.

“So sun sign horoscopes, the things you read in papers or online now, are not– they’re, like, one crumb of astrology’s cake,” author and astrologer Chani Nicholas said.

And millennials aren’t just reading horoscopes, they’re learning their birth charts, which explain the position of all planets at the moment someone is born.

“We look to the sky to see what is happening, what mark it has made,” Nicholas said. “And we make meaning out of that mark. It’s kind of like having a map of your life.”

Nicholas took a look at CBS News correspondent Vladimir Duthiers’ birth chart.

“This is a snapshot of the sky, the moment that you took your first breath,” Nicholas said. “Mercury is the planet of communication. It’s in your first house of self, and so that means that there’s something about you that is channeling, or needs to bring through the archetype of Mercury.”

“I’m a blabbermouth,” Duthiers said. “That’s what people say about me.”

“I didn’t say it,” Nicholas said with a laugh.

The seemingly esoteric practice has become more accessible thanks to apps and of course social media. And living in a time that can feel a bit uncertain, many millennials are looking to the stars.

“Millennials have grown up online mostly,” Nicholas said. “And so there’s been a huge consumption of information. So you find astrology in the mix again, being able to help me understand my identity.”

Pels said she found that the interest for her readers in astrology cut across demographics.

“Everybody’s into it,” Pels said. “It’s a communication tool. When you say, ‘Mercury is in retrograde,’ you hear a collective groan. Everybody gets it, right. It’s a way to bond with people. And it’s just fun.”

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