Millennials who see no contradiction between using astrology and believing in science are fuelling a resurgence of the practice.
By Christine Smallwood
. The New Yorker Astrology in the Age of Uncertainty
A new generation of practitioners is meeting the public’s appetite for astrology. Illustration by Miguel Porlan
On a Sunday night in June, the twenty-nine-year-old astrologer Aliza Kelly was preparing to broadcast an Astrology 101 live stream from her apartment, on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. A glittering SpectroLED light panel made the living room feel like a tiny movie set. “My manager took me to get these lights at B&H,” she said.
A windowsill was lined with gifts from clients—an illustrated zodiac, a white orchid. Kelly sat cross-legged on a taupe ottoman, wearing cat eyeliner and large hoop earrings, greeting people and waving as they appeared in the online chat room. “That is one of my favorite things, as a Leo and as a person—building community,” she said. It was a little before eight-thirty, and some of the fifty-two participants—who had paid between $19.99 and $39.99 each—were typing hellos; one woman, in Europe, had set her alarm for 2:30 A.M., to log in. Once the class started, Kelly clicked through a slide deck about ancient Babylonia; William Lilly, the “English Merlin,” who was consulted by both sides during the English Civil War; and the signs of the zodiac. To explain the traits of Aries, she put up a picture of Mariah Carey (“She loves getting presents”). For Pisces, she had Rihanna and Steve Jobs. “My main favorite thing is to talk about the signs as celebrities,” she said. “Because these are modern-day mythological figures. In ancient Greece, if you said ‘Athena,’ everyone knew, Oh, that’s what Athena is like.