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By
Suzanne van Heerde

Written on 10-09-2021

THE RISE OF ASTROLOGY

I can’t remember a significant moment when astrology and tarot card readings became an interest. But I’m guessing it was somewhere during my early twenties – about 10 years ago. Back when there were no algorithms to mostly dictate the new pieces of information I stumbled upon. Most of which I usually acquire by typing in keywords into Google, obscure recommendations by friends or an interesting article that would lead to another bit of equally interesting information somewhere else on the internet.
 
It was at that time that for me the internet became a portal to a world of self-discovery. I used to read about the personality traits of my zodiac sign and was amazed at how accurate certain information was, but at the same time, I didn’t always feel like I lived up to what (in my case) an Aquarius was ‘supposed’ to be – at that time I was not aware of the fact that I had an entire Natal Chart to discover. From taking tests, I went on to reading up on which sign would be my best love match, watching zodiac related videos on Youtube and bringing up the topic when friends talked about their love interests.
“It started to become a very prominent aspect of life that felt like something that I could hold on to when I wanted things to ‘make sense’.
Many know that when unprecedented times are upon us, society tries to grapple by finding meaning in things that they perceive as true. Looking back, I understand that that was exactly what I was trying to do. And here I am, 10 years later, together with many others – trying to find meaning in a situation that we often don’t even want to perceive as ‘true’.
“As a result, since the pandemic hit, there has been a surge in interest in all things astrology.
When it comes to these ‘woo-woo’ practices, many sceptics refer to The Barnum Effect. The Barnum effect, is a common psychological phenomenon whereby individuals give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically to them, yet which are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. This effect can provide a partial explanation for the widespread acceptance of some paranormal beliefs and practices, such as astrology, fortune-telling, aura reading, and some types of personality tests (source: Wikipedia).
 
And this is where I feel like things get interesting. You see, to me, it’s not so much what ‘answer’ a card or a reading gives me – it’s that what my subconscious makes me feel once it presents itself. For example, I’m having a hard time at work and I feel like I’m blocked creatively, deep down inside I know what’s causing it, but maybe I’m just not ready to admit it to myself. So once a certain card presents itself to me, I know my subconscious will make the ‘vague and general enough explanation’ fit to the root of my issues. In that moment, it’s up to me, to be honest with myself and start to deal with it – and I hope you will be able to do so too.
“6 tips for beginners in astrology
  • Start by finding your Natal Chart (via cafeastrology.com).
  • Learn about the different signs to understand your placements.
  • Find information about the different planets and what they symbolize.
  • Learn about the different houses to gain insight on various stages of your life.
  • Find monthly readings on your sign on Youtube (I enjoy The Quietest Revolution).
  • Be open-minded and take what you feel is relevant to you.

Written by Suzanne van Heerde

Suzanne is a social media consultant and a digital culture specialist. She is intrigued by the growth of astrology and the unprecedented times in which we now find ourselves. Her past work demonstrates lively energy as well as creative thinking. She has worked for brands such as The Row, & Other Stories, and Harper’s Bazaar. Currently, she is a study program coach and education coordinator at Academie Artemis.