Let the stars understand me and my mobile explain it to me: the rise of astrology apps

Before, you wondered about the zodiac sign, with the horoscope page of the super pop with the week’s predictions in hand. Now it goes deeper: the moon, the sun or the ascendant are taken into account. Mercury retrograde is discussed on social networks and apparently more precise applications for mobile phones appear. “I have never believed in astrology or that shit. But The Pattern It’s leaving me square about how much he is right about things about my personality and situations. I love it because it helps me analyze myself and understand myself better. I don’t know why”, sums up a user on Twitter.

You only have to write the place, date and time of birth and The Pattern application promises, as it says on its website, to offer “detailed information” about the character or life situation of whoever downloads it. It is more complete than its analogues (Cost, for example, only give away one brief phrase a day) and offer long texts that are governed by specificities such as cycles. You can even connect with another profile and analyze the compatibility. The preliminary launch occurred in 2017, with the impulse of the actress and youtuber Lisa Donovan. In 2021 the apps it already had more than 15 million anonymous and famous users, such as the writer and also actress Issa Rae.

The boom goes beyond omens and spirituality. According to the specialists consulted by ICON, it is due to the desire for self-knowledge, but also to the fashions of platforms such as TikTok. It was precisely in this social network that the astrologer Charas Vega (Ibiza, 27 years old), better known as The Pattern, found the recommendations of Charcastrology. His grandmother already told him about this set of beliefs, but it was on the Tumblr social network that he began to investigate for fun. Those hours were like a game that she laid the foundation for the memes that she started making in 2020, a week before the pandemic. “Which Pedro Pascal character are you according to your sign?”, “What Bad Bunny song are you?” or “What politician from Spain are you?” are some of his creations.

The sign of Libra, as represented in the 12th century in wall paintings found in the church of Ourjout in Les Bordes-sur-Lez, in the south of France.

“I talk about series, current affairs, pop culture… I work as things happen,” he tells ICON by phone. “I base myself on the most predominant features of the signs and then I let my mind fly, although I always try to justify everything. They are quite well received, 84,000 followers They are not achieved from one day to the next”. The idea came to him unexpectedly and, since then, he has maintained the formula. “I have only changed the aesthetics a bit, before I used PowerPoint and now Photoahop”, says the author of the stars have told me (Ediciones B), which situates the profile of its followers in women between 18 and 30 years of age. It seemed to Vega that The Pattern proposed a “very fun” way of making a first approach to the world of constellations, without the need to be very exhaustive. “To capture well, well, well, I would say no. It is something more complex. But the work of these apps it’s entertaining, so I think they do their job well,” he says.

Read the horoscope to understand yourself

These applications respond to identity concerns, as the psychologist and astrologer Gabriel Casanova explains to ICON: “I think that the need to connect in societies with so little ability to focus on relationships leads us, more and more, to try to find tools that can make May these connections run deep.” The 36-year-old from Buenos Aires specialized in these two professional fields because, from his point of view, they pursued a common goal: to find meaning in life. “They can be valuable tools for those seeking a greater understanding of themselves and their place in the world,” he muses, “and they can complement each other for a fuller exploration of the human experience.”

Both he and the also astrologer and psychologist Laura Sakina mention the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, the founder of the school of analytical psychology, because he was also interested in science and the study of the stars as compatible realities. For Sakina, a 42-year-old from Madrid, the desire to investigate this knowledge arises from a “very strong paradigm shift”. Technology advances, people connect, artificial intelligence creates images that seem real and writes beautiful poems, but the human being is still anchored to the same questions. “In the end, life cannot be controlled,” she says. Astrology helps her, she says, to draw a map. “But it is there to get out of it, you have to transcend it.”

Diego Pablo Simeone, coach of Atlético de Madrid and a firm believer in the horoscope, which he has admitted that he uses to manage the squad and choose which players he wants to sign.
Diego Pablo Simeone, coach of Atlético de Madrid and a firm believer in the horoscope, which he has admitted that he uses to manage the squad and choose which players he wants to sign. JAVIER SORIANO (AFP)

The dark side

There is nothing wrong with astrology as long as one does not radicalize, according to Sakina. For example, Mercury retrograde, which in the imagination of those who follow these beliefs is like living in hell, can be a beautiful stage. “It means that internal communication works more than external. Astrology is complex. It helps her, she assures, to get more right with people. “In an astral chart you see limitations, fears, where it shines or what someone’s way of communicating is like.”

“We can learn from ourselves, face a mirror, review ourselves, set limits… It depends on what we do,” he defends. What, to her understanding, is more dangerous is what Kaylee Dugan wrote on the website of Brightest Young Things, marketing agency and production of events and online magazines. under the headline Astrology apps are ruining my life, She confessed that she added her boyfriend to The Pattern on a family vacation and, through the app, he received some unexpected advice. “A destined partner could enter your life in a surprising way,” she read on the app. A few days later he touched her. “You are prone to stay in a relationship, even if it’s not fulfilling,” he hinted. More messages arrived on the same line, recommending that they end their relationship.

Astrologers are against such dogmatic interpretations. It happens to Aleix Mercadé, a 39-year-old Barcelona graduate in Philosophy, professor at the school of astrology comsogram and in the process of finishing another degree in Psychology. “I find the application [The Pattern] the limitation that it deduces what someone is like according to a specific theory. We must review this knowledge and open them to collect more information. The Pattern’s analyzes are multifactorial, but they lack a push.” Its other drawback is the ambiguous, general or abstract language it uses. “It makes the Forer effect more likely,” he says, referring to the name given to the psychological phenomenon that causes people to perceive vague as very precise data about themselves. “You think that what you read in the application is milk and you end up excited. It is the daily bread in any discipline, that generalities are abused”.

Why does Mercadé believe that the application is successful? “Because we don’t know anything. Where am I, who am I, what am I good for? It gives you options in the face of that stress. It is like having a GPS in a reality that is a hyper-complex map”. Also for something less elevated, for mere narcissism. “That’s the most aggressive part,” he tells ICON. The Pattern gives the possibility to talk about oneself, to think about oneself, to be the protagonist. “It satisfies the need for spirituality in a secular world, aseptic to religion. It is a cool proposal that links you with the cosmos, with existential issues”. To become, ultimately, someone special.

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Let the stars understand me and my mobile explain it to me: the rise of astrology apps