How Astrologers Are Preparing for the 2024 Solar Eclipse

TThe solar eclipse on April 8 will bring an economic boost to the US, seeing increased profits in the travel and hospitality industries, and potential traffic jams across the path of totality from Texas to Maine. But increased interest in the astronomical phenomenon is also attracting more attention, and business, with a particular subset of the population: astronomers.

Astrology-which studies how the movement of planets, stars, and other celestial bodies affect people’s lives-is different from astronomy, the field of natural science. Only about 34% of Americans believe in astrology, according to the Associated Press. But moments like this solar eclipse are coming up when the two cross, causing a spike of intrigue about astronomy, among even those with only a “peripheral interest,” to watch content online, apps that download, or look for other answers online.

Read more: This Determines How Long the Total Eclipse Will Last in Your Location

“Eclipses are always a big thing in astronomy because they reveal and obscure,” Jessica Lanyadoo, who has been working as a full-time astronomer since 1999, tells TIME. “During eclipse season, but also during mercury retrograde – which coincidentally happens at the same time – these are times when people tend to achieve a lot more because we’re showing more in the of this astrological event.”

Lanyadoo, who runs an astrology and advice show called Ghost of a Podcast, says that during eclipse seasons people are more likely to arrive “in a state of more raw emotion”. Lanyadoo doesn’t see clients for face-to-face consultations outside of her podcast, however, she says this astronomical phenomenon encourages more people to listen to her work, or watch a video she posts on her social media.

Read more: How to View the Total Eclipse Safely

Chani Nicholas, co-founder of the astrology app Chani and an astrologer for over 20 years, also says she notices increased engagement across her social media pages, blogs and newsletter during eclipse season. Because of that, she works to increase her “production of free content on the solar eclipse and offers all-access passes to” premium content for 30 days. “This uptick shows the value our users and readers place on astrology as a tool to guide their lives,” says Nicholas.

Carol Starr, an astrologer and psychic for the past 35 years, says she has noticed an increased demand for birth chart readings during this eclipse season, especially from people aged 18 to 35. Part of that is likely due to its popular. TikTok, because she has collected more than 480,000 followers on her social media page. However, Starr says she has also noticed that astrology has become more mainstream in recent years, and that younger people are relying more on astrologers’ predictions to dictate life decisions. “When I go live on TikTok, I get about 6,000 people and I can tell by their comments how they feel about astrology,” says Starr. “A large percentage of them say to me all the time, ‘Things are so bad for me. Thank you for telling me that [my sign] that he will have a good life now.”

The industry as a whole is growing more — Allied Market Research says the value of the astrology market will reach $22.8 billion by 2031, compared to $12,816.7 million in 2021. But America’s younger adults are more likely to say they believe in astrology than people elderly. , according to a YouGov survey in 2022. “We’re living in a tougher landscape,” says Starr after addressing how the rising cost of living is making younger generations more and more anxious about their future, which which makes them look for answers to ease their fears.

Starr plans to meet this month’s increased demand for readings by offering a special reading that will focus entirely on the personal impact of the solar eclipse on people. “I know I’m going to be overwhelmed within the next five days or so [of appointments],” she says.

Cara Villarreal, an astrologer and tarot reader, says that while she mostly works with returning customers, she has seen some new clients come in primarily with Libra and Aries placements, which Villarreal says could to suffer more severely on this solar eclipse.

Read more: These are all the Different Types of Eclipses

“When we’re moving through a heavy astrological period like the eclipse what I try to do is adjust my calendar until I don’t get five to 10 readings a day, knowing that there will be growth, ” says Villarreal. In addition to adjusting the number of appointments she can make per day with existing customers to make room for new clients, Villarreal says she plans to record episodes for her podcast, Tia Cosmáishare an April overview of the eclipse, and other astrological events.

For many, these online sessions and offerings can bring them comfort that they couldn’t find anywhere else. “A lot of times when people approach astrologers, it’s not their first choice, it’s like their third choice,” Lanyadoo says. “[They’re] like, ‘Oh my god, how do I deal with life? Maybe an astrologer will have an insight that others won’t have.’”

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