Nadine Jane: An Astrology Girl in a Social Media World
My first introduction to astrology was in the pages of Seventeen magazine. I would flip directly to the back of the issue, scan to the bottom to find “Aquarius”, and feverishly read about the month ahead, mostly to discover whether or not I’d finally get a boyfriend. A few of my friends would do the same, but in general, it wasn’t something that was discussed during the passing period of my middle school. I didn’t know what astrology was, and I didn’t know how it worked—all I knew is that it was incredibly addicting to have a window into my future.
But as I got older, that interest turned into a hobby, which eventually turned into a career. The great thing about this day and age is that the (privileged) majority of us have access to the great equalizer of information, Google. I was able to research for hours in my bedroom at night while working fulltime as a designer. I looked up what it meant to be an Aquarius who was dating a Leo. I was able to discover my birth chart, and, bit by bit, uncover what each house placement and aspect meant for me. I was even able to find credible books recommended by other astrologers. And one fateful morning in late summer of 2017, I decided to take all of the knowledge I acquired and turn it into an Instagram account. I theorized that our generation didn’t want to read the lengthy articles and books I had to devour to learn astrology—they wanted bite-sized pieces of information that were easily digestible and beautiful to look at. This theory turned out to be overwhelmingly true.
Now it’s 2019, and you can’t open Instagram without being bombarded by “The 3 Signs That Are the Worst Employees” or my favorite eye-roll, “The Signs Who Are Most Likely to Be Murderers.” I don’t know about everyone else, but if I were a Scorpio or a Gemini, I would have deleted Instagram by now. Just like anything that gains mass popularity, some of the truth gets lost in translation. What the meme culture seems to leave out is how much more complex we are than just one sign. The irony in the posts that attack a certain sign is that we each have all 12 signs within us, so any shade you throw at one sign is just throwing shade at that side of yourself. You do not have to worry if your partner’s sign shows up in the “The 5 Signs That Are Most Likely to Cheat” list because first of all, that’s not a thing, and second of all, their birth chart may tell a much deeper story. Don’t get me wrong, I have literally laughed out loud at many of said memes, but I think the task at hand for the merging of astrology and social media is to educate. We must inform people of how astrology works, so it doesn’t become the practice’s most significant criticism: a self-fulfilled prophecy.
So, if you are sitting here, reading this, and feel personally victimized by astrology meme culture, I have great news for you. Learning astrology has become more accessible than ever—sites like this, podcasts like The Astrology Podcast, or Instagram accounts like Chani Nicholas’ are just one finger tap or keyboard stroke away. If you can understand the complexity of your birth chart, you will know not to take the Scorpio posts too seriously. If you know your rising sign, you will find your daily, monthly, and yearly horoscopes much more accurate than when you read your sun sign. And if you can understand that you carry all 12 signs within you, you will not only find more compassion for others but the many different parts of yourself.
Astrology, in my experience, has been a practice of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and healing. It has been a tool that I come back to, time and again, when I am feeling lost and unsure of myself. It forever reminds me that who I am is not just okay, who I am is designed with intention. I hope that those interested in astrology will get curious about how the practice works, dig deeper into their charts and take the memes for what they’re worth—a laugh.
Nadine Jane is an astrologer based in New York City.