The Rise of Astrology
By Nia Hampton
The past year gave way to a rise in alternative spiritual practices and religions. People started coming out as “brujas” or acknowledged their desire to connect with older more culturally specific practices such as Santeria or Hoodoo. There was also a resurgence or better yet, a redirection of contemporary astrology. Astrologists and spiritualist of color saw a rise in popularity. They are also seemingly taken more seriously than before. In the 90’s we really only had Miss. Cleo, the black woman from the infomercials with the catch phrase, “call me now!”. Although she quickly became a cultural joke, she paved the way for other queer astrologers of color to find their lane in being their authentic selves in the Twitter-sphere.
It used to be seen as just something for women to discern if their potential lovers were “the one” or not. Astrologers can predict international conflicts, explain environmental problems and even tell us why certain groups of people are more prone to heart disease than others. As alternative spiritual practices are being given a second look by the mainstream media, astrologers are making it known that this ancient practice is not to be taken lightly. My favorite Astrologer is Channi Nicholas, her holistic and activist based approach to the art speaks on larger issues. Her general insights usually start with a historical or political run down to give context to why you may be feeling a certain way, from there she dives into the specifics of what your life may look like in the coming weeks. It’s not uncommon to read a tirade against white supremacy or sexism in her readings either, she keeps it explicitly real.
Another astrologer I enjoy is Corina Dross. Her unique voice makes her horoscopes read like poems. She’s political, personal and at times existential. She currently writes the horoscopes at AutoStraddle and Mask Magazine. A notable astrologer who has been around for a long time, so he’s not necessarily in the same vein of everyone else is Rob Bresny of FreewillAstrology.com. He was one of the first horoscope columns I would read religiously in the local city paper as a teenager. His upbeat and witty horoscopes read like poems or short stories, that are personalized to make you look at yourself differently. Other astrologers to follow include, Danielle Ayoka, @SagittarianMind, @JSoAbove, @sfreynolds, and @meccawoods.
These new astrologers bring a holistic approach to the practice. It’s no longer just about your sun sign. You need to know your moon and rising sign as well. If you want to get really specific, learn about your Venus and Mars as well. No longer are we generalizing people based on one sign alone, instead, it’s about getting exact times of birth and studying natal charts. Thanks to the internet, you can now do your own for free. I encourage you to take some time out for yourself and go deeper into who you are and what you could be. Here’s to self discovery in the new year!
Graphic by Sophia Gach-Rasool.