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Astrology has returned to online culture as memes. This is an ironic way to talk openly about issues.

Millions are subscribed to communities with “astromems” – some really believe, but most like to attribute difficulties to conditional retrograde Mercury.

Millions of people have found a way to talk to each other about difficulties and problems using memes dedicated to astrology. Large communities with ironic jokes about zodiac signs were noticed in The Atlantic. The publication believes that such memes help rallying depressed teenagers and escape from loneliness.

Astrological jokes have reached even Russia – on Twitter they constantly write off problems on the retrograde Mercury, and on VKontakte there are public millionaires with memes about solar signs. TJ talked with the authors of such communities about the popularity of the “astromems” and the faith of their subscribers in astrology.

Astrological memes abroad

Astrology has firmly entrenched in the youth culture of the United States, as adolescents have become less religious and began to spend more time on the Internet, according to the publication. So young people are trying to put random events and strange emotions on the shelves with clearly defined labels. This is especially true for representatives of LGBT people and other marginalized groups. Meme accounts help direct introspection outward and communicate with people who suffer from the same problems.

In astrological memes, the same patterns are often used, to which the names of the zodiac signs are signed. Various qualities are attributed to their representatives, which supposedly must correspond to them according to the “rules” of astrology.

Aries, lion, Sagittarius: crazy screams, decision-making, harsh criticism of family members, restaurant choice, “cleansing” fights

“I realized that astrology is the starting point for people who really want to talk about anything. With the help of astrology, you can analyze yourself and your world. People naturally pull each other into it, ” Courtney Perkins, creator of the Instagram account with astrological memes , told the publication . Her followers really often mention their friends in the comments to laugh together at the daily routine and constant stress.

Founder of the astrological application Co-Star Banu Guler (Banu Guler) believes that astrology has become so popular because it allows people to talk about difficulties and negative feelings. “It’s easier to say that you are a Capricorn, so it’s hard for you to express emotions than to declare:“ I’m a psycho who constantly holds back emotions ” Perkins emphasized that she receives a deeper reaction from subscribers when her memes refer to negative qualities.

Astrological jokes in Russia

In Russia, astrological memes have also gained popularity – most often on the network they remember about retrograde Mercury, to which users attribute any problems or failures. For 2019, queries on the topic took off at Google Trends – so, probably, many are looking for an explanation of what is happening.

Astrologers associate retrograde with a real astronomical phenomenon – an optical illusion, in which it seems that the planets are moving in the opposite direction. Popularity Mercury is due to the fact that the retrograde period, it happens more often than others – three or four times a year for two or three weeks.

Communities with astrological memes on VKontakte and Twitter publish more specific content than jokes about retrograde Mercury. Among ironic horoscopes, “aesthetics” (a set of pictures in a certain color scheme), compatibility charts, there are ordinary memes to which the names of the zodiac signs are simply signed. If you remove them, then the meaning of the joke will not change.

Kirill Matovnikov, the founder of the “ my astrology ” community with a million subscribers, said that the public mainly attracted the audience from 12 to 25 years. He links popularity to an interest in secrets, the future, predictions, and “everything that is hidden.” The creator of the tumblr astrology public, Lisa Ishmamedova, believes that interest in astrological memes is generated by a universal love for typing, including astrology, tests for determining temperament and socionics: “Why not combine them?”

Lisa herself does not think about astrology in the categories “believe, do not believe”: “For me, this is not religion, but entertainment. How to pass a funny test and read a description of its results. I like to find similarities with the behavior of people and their signs, but no more. ” Cyril agrees with her: “People need to somehow be distracted, to bury their heads.”

Cyril thinks that the subscribers of his community do not really believe in astrology, because “they don’t know what it is”: “We need to share that most of the content in the public is not astrology, but just entertaining content. Real astrology is completely different, it’s a analysis of natal charts, it’s much deeper than everyone thinks. ”

Twitter account author @ 13th_zodiac_ believes some of his followers really believe in astrology. In his opinion, it is thanks to memes that many people far from astrology are interested in the topic and delve deeper into it.

The popularity of astromems is associated with the ability to belong to some kind of sign. A person sees a meme, thinks: “Oh, just about me, vitally!”, Retweets, the second person sees it … Complain about life in memes, make fun of problems, laugh at yourself – this is what most subscribers love. Astrology is not a panacea or a frontier of human development, but just a way that can help you know yourself.account creator @ 13th_zodiac_

The creator of Twitter account @astro_things also suggests that people want to associate themselves with memes: “I bow to the fact that people in this way just look for themselves in such things. And, apparently, they find it. ”

All the creators of the communities with which TJ talked noted that among the rest of the astrological content, it is memes that attract the most activity and gain likes. In the comments, subscribers agree with their characteristic, remake the situation from a joke under their zodiac sign or claim that they are not at all as indicated in the meme. Artem Astaltsev, a subscriber of the publics “ my astrology ” and “ tumblr astrology ”, in a conversation with TJ explained the popularity of astrological memes by narcissism: “People like to read to themselves – how interesting they are, n **** cryptic and not like everyone else” .

Astromems are another way to find a community of people like you.

Astrology can help people rethink and depersonalize emotions, according to The Atlantic. With the help of jokes, participants in the movement fight together with loneliness, which often generates anxiety and depression. In the outside world, emotional experiences and “complex” personalities are considered personal failures. In this sense, astrology gives people the opportunity to give meaning to events that they cannot influence.

Studies have shown that people with deep spiritual beliefs are less likely to suffer from mental disorders. Some psychologists believe that such an effect may be more related to astrology, since it involves a deep introspection, in contrast to the more collectivist traditional religions.

Scientists agree that willingness to share problems is important for maintaining mental health. Reading natal charts, of course, is not a substitute for professional help, but research suggests that suppressing difficulties and suppressing negative emotions only increase stress.

Given the high level of anxiety and suicide among adolescents – in Russia minors are 4 times more prone to depression than in the US and Europe – the ability of astrology to break communication barriers and depersonalize personal problems can help many. There is no scientific evidence that the arrangement of the planets in any way affects a person or behavior, but it is not necessary to dive deep into astrology in order to benefit from it.

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