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What If Astrology Hadn’t Gone Mainstream?

Zodiac Lotto

Below, the winner of November’s Writers Club prompt: The sliding-doors moment of the 2010s.


I can thank the 90s and The Craft for a fashionable foray into goth fashion, and for planting the seed that perhaps, yes, actually, I am a witch. But while Sabrina and Practical Magic had me entertaining the idea that a dormant sorceress reside within me, it wasn’t until the latter half of this decade that I officially began courting the world of woo-woo. As life served up a series of forks in the road, from oyster- to dinner-sized, I turned not just to my ladies in waiting, mom, and Google for advice, but to the spiritual realm, too. Maybe even first.

So what if, god(dess) forbid, astrology hadn’t gone mainstream? What would’ve happened to me and my fellow horoscope heads sans the scapegoat of a Mercury Retrograde? When my iPhones slipped out of my back jean pocket and into their watery porcelain graves, would I have had to take personal responsibility for my irresponsibility? Would this have led me into a shame spiral that only served to make me doubt my own maturity? Would I have been so easily able to write off a basic mishap as the collateral damage of being human with the same ease and nonchalance as my male counterparts? If I’d never begun to profile my lovers, bosses, and parents through various spiritual modalities of choice, would I have become so accepting of my loved ones’ “flaws”? #SuchAGemini

And what if I never upgraded my iCal to the Lunar Cycle? Seriously, would I have set (and occasionally met) as many monthly goals? As each New Moon rolled around, would I have truly taken the time to “call-in” my purest wants and desires; a doting partner, Loeffler Randall flats, a love-love relationship with my anxiety? Without Co-Star’s morning pep talk (and/or ominous forecast), would I have faced Chiberia’s commuting challenges with such aplomb? And at the end of a verifiably shitty week, devoid of Palo Santo to smudge the pain away, would I have simply taken my ego to bed angry?

For many of us in the last decade, spending some time pondering life “according to the zodiac” was a welcome conduit for self-reflection. Others wandered even further into the mystical waters, exploring Human Design, feng shui, and their own intuitive powers. So, if pop-mysticism, astro-memes, and an entire genre of new-age podcasts hadn’t “come into our awareness,” would we still have found a deeper sense of self-trust, self-care, and self-love?

There’s only one way to find out. *Consults Neo Tarot Deck.* Okay, the cards say probably yes, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun.

Graphic by Lorenza Centi.

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