If you grew up in a Desi household, chances are you have (willingly or unwillingly) encountered the wonders of astrology. 

Maybe your parents had your janam kundali (birth chart) made, and frantically bought some Jyotish’s merch to “protect” you. Or, maybe you just came across a corny commercial on TV. 

Although you may have scoffed at the absurdity of it all, you’re probably still somewhat familiar with the ubiquity of astrology in South Asian culture. 

Fast forward to 2021, when young, Western astrologers are steadily dominating social media: from predicting Biden’s win,  to breaking down the GameStop controversy -- TikTok divinators have managed to establish significant credibility, along with a sizable following.

While the pandemic has resulted in massive losses worldwide, astrology and spirituality have seen a meteoric rise, growing into a $2.2 billion-dollar industry

So, how do we explain this colossal shift in cultural acceptance?

Perhaps, with the rapid decline of organized religion, Gen-Z has turned to astrology for a sense of structure and guidance

Or, perhaps some sage advice can provide us with fleeting comfort while we grapple with increasing uncertainty in the times we find ourselves in.

It is no secret that COVID-19, coupled with a spike in global unrest has cast a shadow over Millenial and Gen-Z futures. There is also an increased number of people who do not see astrology and science as mutually exclusive disciplines -- effectively setting the stage for its unforeseen cultural takeover. 

Well… not entirely unforeseen - turns out, astrology itself may have predicted its social media domination, as a result of entering into the Age of Aquarius.

If you look closely, you might notice that this cultural shift echoes the New Age movement that took over the West in the 1970s.

 Look a little closer, and you will find that many of these practices are, in fact, rooted in South Asian culture.

Whether it’s manifestation, chakra cleansing, crystals or weekly astrology predictions, odds are one of the aunties did it first. 

After years of clowning on my parents for being so enthralled by astrology, watching my peers clamouring to Co-Star and cafeastrology.com blows my mind. 

Although no Vedic practice is perfect in itself, it is, nevertheless, important to acknowledge the very real cultural origins of your For You Page. 

So, the next time you’re shame-Googling your crush’s birth chart at 2 AM, you might want to rethink all the times you laughed at Prem Jyotish commercials on STAR Plus.

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5X Press is a forum for opinions, conversations, & experiences, powered by South Asian youth. The views expressed here are not representative of those of 5X Festival.