An Expert Tells Us Why We’re All Obsessed With Astrology
It’s true — we’re astrology-obsessed. From horoscopes to natal charts, we’ve become completely fascinated with the cosmic clarity astrology can bring to our lives. And while the ancient art has been around forever, it seems like it’s only been in the last few years that we’ve embraced astrology as a serious method for seeking spiritual guidance. We were curious about this shift in perspective, so we sat down with managing editor and in-house astrologer for Astrology.com, Narayana Montufar, to chat about her experience as a professional astrologer, the surprising results of a recent study her team conducted, and why this generation is more willing than ever to explore new spiritual horizons.
Brit + Co: It seems like over the course of the last few years, there’s been a collective shift in spiritual perspective and interest in astrology is at its peak — why do you think this is?
Narayana Montufar: You are so right about that collective shift! When I think about it, it gives me goosebumps. What’s even more interesting is that it’s really younger generations of Americans — particularly women — who feel that spirituality is more important to their daily lives than traditional, organized religion. In my experience, what people are looking for and what they’re gaining are one and the same. It’s freedom to make their own decisions. It’s independence from a stifling way of thinking. Because astrology is something that’s more personalized — it’s YOUR specific sun sign and moon signs, and it’s where the planets were aligned when you came into the world — there’s an innate intimacy there. People can experience it and say to themselves, “this is mine and mine alone.”
B+C: We read Astrology.com recently conducted a survey to better understand this cultural shift to spirituality. Can you talk a little about what you found out?
NM: We, along with our sister brand Keen (and an accredited research firm) conducted a research study of 1,000 American adults who were 18 years or older to understand if and why people were choosing to practice spirituality over traditional religion. We found that three in four young Americans (roughly 77 percent of folks) are more inclined to dive into astrology, read their horoscopes, use crystals, or visit a spiritual advisor because of three reasons — personalization, flexibility, and increased fulfillment. There’s more room for customization when you don’t have to subscribe to a pre-determined set of beliefs rules and practices that may not fit in with modern-day culture like we did before.
B+C Why do you think millennials are the group you’ve seen turn to astrology most often?
NM: Millennials simply have a different way of approaching every aspect of their lives, from work to exercise, dating to parenting, diet to fashion. And spirituality isn’t any different. One on hand, I think that because they were raised in the digital age, they don’t feel like they have to accept long-established norms. They can push boundaries, buck trends, and see where it takes them. What that means spiritually is that it’s more accepted to visit a spiritual advisor, see a psychic, or visit a tarot reader. In fact, our study found that 42 percent read their horoscopes, 33 percent meditate regularly, and 16 percent pull tarot cards. A generation ago those weren’t even discussed. Today, there’s an app for that.
B+C: How do you like to use astrology in your day-to-day life? What are some of your favorites ways to incorporate astrology into daily living that’s fulfilling and practical?
NM: One of my favorite ways to use astrology in my daily life is watching the aspects of the moon and using them to make important decisions. As much as I can, I only try to have important meetings on days or times when the moon is having fortunate aspects. I also share a lot of moon rituals with my friends and use new moons week to start new ideas or projects and full moon weeks to declutter, clean my house, and pamper myself.
I also watch the transits of other celestial bodies in order to make use of the current influences when it comes to making travel plans, talking to someone about a difficult subject, or even socializing, and going on dates with my husband. Fortunately, there are a lot of astrologers who constantly blog about the “astrology weather,” so even if you aren’t an astrologer, you can easily find out what are the influences at play at any given time.
B+C: What would you tell someone who is curious about incorporating astrology into their spirituality practice but still feels skeptical?
NM: After being fully immersed in the astrology world since 2011, watching and tracing the constant movement of the planets, I know that having a connection to this ancient practice not only works—it’s a real thing. My best advice for someone who is curious but still skeptical would be to get a birth chart reading. That is usually the first step towards astro self-knowledge. The second step would be for them to study their birth chart and how the motion of the moon and the sun triggers it. What they find might be so exciting to the point of stimulating an interest for watching how other planets like Venus, Mars, or even Saturn affect them — that’s when things start getting endlessly mesmerizing.
(Photo via Getty)