ASST. OPINIONS EDITOR
I recently listened to an episode of a podcast called Stuff Mom Never Told You about why millenials and millenial women in particular have taken so keenly to astrology. In the podcast, they speculate as to why millenial women seem so eager to look to the stars for guidance.
According to the National Science Foundation, 58 percent of millenials believe that astrology is somehow scientific. Here are a few potential reasons: Humans as a species like to believe in something bigger than themselves. There is a certain comfort in feeling that there is a reason for the world and the way it is and that everything is -— even without our knowledge — going according to plan. By believing in astrology, millenial women have found a space for faith and a sense of control in some kind of “in” with the cosmos.
Throughout history, traditional religion has not been particularly inviting for women to have active roles within the community. If not because of the nature of the community, I know of many millenials who had difficult experiences with religion at a young age through their parents or family forcing a religion on them that they never wanted to accept. Our generation also seems to reject the idea of organized religion (or organized anything, it seems) in general. When asked what religion they practice, more millenials will say some variation of “spiritual” rather than choose a traditional religion. Astrology leaves much of one’s understanding up to their own creation with the guidance of the cosmos. This is not to say that other religions do not, but astrology seems to have provided a less traditional outlet for millenial women to have faith in a higher power.
Along this same line, millenial women are generally feminist and supportive of women in leadership roles. Out of the Abrahamic religions (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity), all major prophets are men, and themes surrounding women include chastity and obedience. Astrology has provided an open space where many women have become leaders within the community as well-studied individuals. Studying the stars gives a non-traditional avenue for women’s empowerment and community building.
Regardless of gender, astrology also provides opportunity for self-reflection. The study is centered around human behavior and how the stars’ placements could influence this behavior and habits. Even if it is a non-traditional view, it provides a space to be mindful and reflect on one’s behavior and the behavior and relationships with others. I believe that any opportunity for self-reflection is a good one, even if everything the stars have to say is actually untrue.
If you liked this perspective, be sure to check out more from Stuff Mom Never Told You. They have great podcasts that talk about being a woman, sex, and identity in a way that you might not consider.