Magazine | November 25, 2019, Issue

And the Stars Are Projectors, Yeah . . .

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, N.Y.) looks on during the Women’s March in New York City, January 19, 2019. (Caitlin Ochs/Reuters)

Did you know astrology has mapped out an even finer future for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez? “She’s going to be the first president of the United States who’s a woman,” astrologer Anne Ortelee told The Cut. “The next Ben Franklin in a dress.” Remind me, when was Ben Franklin elected president? Never mind. Ortelee is an astrologer, not a historian. She deals with the facts about the future, not musty details from the 18th century. 

The popularity of AOC (Libra sun, Aries moon, and Sagittarius rising) and the popularity of astrology have been growing in tandem, for the same reason. The “party of science,” a.k.a. the party of panic about GMO foods, nuclear power, and climate change, is increasingly the party of moonbats. If you’re dumb enough to believe canceling $3 billion in tax breaks for Amazon in Queens equals freeing up $3 billion to spend on teachers in Queens, why not give the zodiac a go?

Surveys show that, in the words of Vox, “millennials are super into astrology.” (Yes, that’s an actual quotation.) Youth strongly correlates with astrological belief, with nearly 60 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds agreeing that astrology is “very” or “somewhat” scientific. As you noticed back in eighth grade, females are the big majority of astrology consumers, and Democrats are far more intrigued by it than Republicans are. The upshot is that Cosmopolitan now reserves nine pages each month for astrology: It’s hotter than thigh boots among brain-dead 23-year-old liberal women. Boomers, the people who were so besotted with it that they actually declared the Age of Aquarius and then turned “What’s your sign?” into the most notorious pickup line of the Seventies, have now abandoned astrology and are the least likely of all age groups to believe it has scientific merit. Next time you hear a superstitious star-gazing Millennial respond to something an older person says with an eye roll and the hip catchphrase “Okay, Boomer,” feel free to fire back “Okay, Jeane Dixon.” (Yes, this will confuse them.) 

Astrology, a recent story in The New Yorker tells us, is all the rage with Millennials and Gen Z, though the magazine urges us to believe that the new star children are “people who aren’t kooks or climate-change deniers, who see no contradiction between using astrology and believing in science.” Noooo, they’re not kooks, these people who think that “believing in science” equals thinking the planet will be toast in ten or twelve years. Astrologer Ortelee informs us that AOC was a queen in her last lifetime, “so she’s coming in, in this lifetime, to help the people,” and that her chart is “really tied in to the U.S. chart.” (The United States has its own astrological chart, according to the astronuts. Born on July 4, 1776, possibly at 5:10 p.m., the U.S.A. is a Cancer sun, Aquarius moon, and Sagittarius rising.) 

Astrology has become yet another non-falsifiable means by which liberal Democrats reassure one another of the infallibility of their prior beliefs. In the Washington Post this takes the form of 10 million “the Russians ate our democracy” stories. In The New Yorker a woman is mentioned who points out “the connection between the July eclipses (there were two) and the astrology of October, 2018, when Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice.” On the chart of reasons to hate Brett Kavanaugh, this has at least as much substance as anything we have learned about Kavanaugh’s behavior at Yale. As The New Yorker is also the publication that published Debbie Ramirez’s story about Kavanaugh after others had rejected that fuzzy legend, I submit that there is potential in combining the magazine’s political and astrological desks. Not only could it realize cost savings, but Jane Mayer could have done us all a favor back in the fall of 2018 by informing us that she considered Kavanaugh unfit for office because he’s a Mars retrograde in Virgo. 

Astrology even proves helpful in the arena of breaking news: Nancy Pelosi’s announcement that an existing inquiry would hereafter be known as an “impeachment inquiry” came only minutes before Ortelee gravely intoned that “Mercury was sextiling Jupiter” and promised “information and news that we should all pay attention to.” With Anne Ortelee, who needs Maggie Haberman? No detail is too trivial to go unexplained by the stars. After studying the “birth chart” of Boris Johnson, one astrologer at a gathering of like-minded folk asked, “Does anybody see why he has the hair that he has?” clearly expecting an affirmative answer.

The surge in popularity of astrology over the last decade is linked to three commonplaces: One, astrology is something people turn to in times of stress. Two, this is an unusually stressful moment. And three, Millennials are an unusually stressed-out age cohort. When you recall that earlier generations had to deal with things like violent-crime waves, compulsory military service, a high probability of a lifetime spent in manual labor, and no access whatsoever to Netflix or Fortnite, you may struggle to comprehend why Millennials and Gen Z feel so anxious. The answer, of course, is a paradoxical one: They have so little experience dealing with adversity that they fall to pieces if they have to mail a letter. Astrology supplies them with a source of authority they turned their backs on when they stopped going to church or accepting direction from Dad (or, just as likely, Dad became so paralyzed by the idea of parental authority that he adopted a stance of rigorous neutrality as young Emma ran up $120,000 in college debt majoring in intersectional poetry). It’s comforting to be told nothing is your fault, and also that as a Leo you’re cut out for bigger things than figuring out postage.

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