McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Will W. Adams
astrology, natal chart, horoscope, qualitative research, psychological growth, self-understanding
In North America, astrology has been experiencing a resurgence in popularity. This is immediately remarkable given that the United States and Canada are industrialized, modern societies where astrology is widely lamented as a pseudoscience. This dissertation presents a phenomenological exploration of the underlying reasons for this cultural trend, particularly among the demographic that uses it most: millennial women. Existing psychological literature on astrology is primarily dominated by correlational studies or historical analyses and lacks the depth and richness of direct experiences of individuals engaging with this phenomenon. This study sought to address this gap within psychological literature specifically, by conducting qualitative interviews with millennial women to uncover the meanings and functions of astrology in their lives. First, all participants expressed a defensive positioning regarding astrology that justified a complex reason for its use. Second, a theme of astrology being psychologically beneficial emerged in that the use of astrology levies an intrapersonal, highly individualized sense of self-cohesion. Third, my participants expressed how astrology brings an interpersonal community or shared identity that is conducive to compassion and connection. Lastly, participants shared that astrology provides guidance and reassurance if not used in excess. This research contributes to the understanding of astrology's appeal among millennial women by providing a nuanced, qualitative exploration of their experiences and perspectives. The identified themes shed light on the significance of astrology in the lives of those representative of the demographic that uses it most, offering valuable insights for both scholars and practitioners. The findings underscore the need to consider the diverse functions astrology serves in contemporary society, transcending mere belief or skepticism, and emphasizing its role as a multifaceted tool that supports personal growth, emotional well-being, and compassionate connection.
Floyd, R. J. (2023). Understanding the Psychological Significance of Astrology in Millennial Women's Lives (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/2205