Oh My God! You’re Such A Gemini!
Ding! Ding! It’s your daily horoscope: You should read The COMM more often for inner wellness and clarity. Well, if the stars say so…
Why do we create zodiac memes? Is it a way to tease friends without being too personal? Or, is it a way to criticise each other by blaming it on our moon sign? The spiritual system of defining personalities based on one’s date of birth has been plucked from the realm of tabloid magazines and plopped down into the virtual realm of online seminars and apps.
Our fascination with star signs is nothing new. In ancient Mesopotamia, the orientation of the constellations were used to determine the best seasons for sowing and harvesting crops, or when to go to war. Before modern inventions like electricity, the stars were unknowable beacons of light in the sky and so they were automatically imbued with awe. To human beings the stars represented fate, destiny, the preordination of the cosmos. And so astrology was used to divine important life or death decisions.
“Astrology gives context to world events
and everyday issues.”
In 1929, the Wall Street Crash marked the beginnings of the Great Depression. Businesses went bankrupt, jobs were lost, food was scarce and despair widespread. The first astrology column was published in the Sunday Express in the following year. In times of crisis, people search order. Horoscopes (as we know them today) gave clarity, and helped us make sense of the chaos.
As humanity advanced, the divinity of the cosmos no longer prevailed—at least that’s what we thought. Astrology became a tool for learning about seemingly fickle topics like romance, careers and personality traits. But astrology was and still is more important than that. Astrology gives context to world events and everyday issues. A global financial crisis? It must have been because Uranus was in Taurus. Fired from your job? Jupiter must have been in Scorpio! Astrology and divination still function the same way they always have: they assume that people are predetermined, they let us make sense of chaos.
Image courtesy of Stylecaster.
With the advent of the internet and social media, anyone and everyone could become an astrological expert with a quick google search. Reading an astrology chart to discern detailed information about one’s personality used to require familiarity with the zodiac signs and geometry. But now, a personal star sign chart can be generated for free online. There are zodiac dating apps, full moon parties, star sign merchandise, and even paid private readings with online astrologists.
If your love life is always on the rocks, blame your partner’s sign not their behaviour! “I’m never dating a Cancer again! They’re always trying to start fights and they’re super petty!” But is it fair to judge all Cancers based on the complex system of maths and zodiac vocabulary that make up astrology? Or are you actually fast-tracking yourself onto the path of #goodvibesonly by avoiding the “bad” signs? The star sign dating app Align matches potential dates using “sign compatibility”, and ordinary dating apps like Bumble have started listing star signs on user profiles! But there are pitfalls with all this social mediarisation (not a word, but work with me). Your ideal partner might be a sign that you’re not supposed to be compatible with but you’ve missed an opportunity because you assume that everyone is a clone of their sign. It seems like we would rather read a summary of what someone should be like instead of just asking them about themselves.
Like zodiac memes, online astrology content is only getting more popular! “Zodiac signs that I HATE!” videos on YouTube have been gaining popularity on the platform in recent years. One video described Sagittarius as bringing up something that happened when they were 12 even on their deathbed. The jibe suggests that a typical Sagittarius can’t let anything go. While Aquarius were described as the “not like other girls” of the zodiac. She’s read books you’ve never heard of, wears kooky mismatched socks, and is the “weirdo” of the signs. Unpleasant traits, when presented in the language of astrology, are much easier to acknowledge and accept. You’re born a Leo so you can’t help your bad traits, right?
“We message instead of calling, like to show
engagement, share to express what is on our mind…”
To quote the website Entrepreneur, “We message instead of calling, ‘Like’ to show engagement, share to express what is on our mind…” Today’s problems are bound to technology, but technology may also be the antidote. Some people use star signs as a way to discuss difficult topics with friends and family. This pathway to open communication can heal relationships and maybe bring us together based on our similarities rather than our differences. Common artistic interests like poetry, painting, jewellery design and photography are being encouraged by these social media astrology communities. The twitter account Astro Poets writes poetry celebrating the humour, beauty and uniqueness of each star sign.
One thing is for sure, the influence of memes and social media on astrology is not slowing down. Relating to each other with star signs may feel new, but the fundamental act is not. Knowing and understanding all 12 zodiac signs is like a key to building and maintaining relationships. Oh wait, didn’t NASA discover a new constellation? Oh well…
Written by Ash.
Featured image courtesy of Jackie Ferrentino via NBCNews.com.