“It is an entertainment platform, and I think we need to take it with that grain of salt. Take what resonates, and leave the rest behind.”
Recently, my TikTok algorithm has been flooded with videos about upcoming astrological transits that will supposedly affect my life and relationships. Unable to physically stop myself from scrolling, I’ve been voluntarily stuck inside a zodiacal echo chamber.
One day I’m told all Aries placements would soon be cheated on by their partner and the next I’d learn I’d be isolating myself for the following three years (Saturn had just entered my sun sign). This type of fear-based astrological content has existed for many years but it’s gained more attention as astrology has continued to grow in popularity thanks to apps like TikTok.
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An example that speaks well to this is the AI-generated app Co-Star, originally created by non-practising ‘astrologers’. The founder himself admitted to trolling users who would specifically be affected by positive transits, all for the sake of humour.
I found that my rapid absorption of astrological content drained me. From one gripping ten-second video to the next, I began to wonder if they even held any truth. How could this person, knowing nothing about the intricacies of my personal birth chart, predict my future?
After clicking ‘not interested’ and taking several piping hot showers, I felt a little less pessimistic. I didn’t want to reject astrology entirely, though, and I still had some questions I wanted answers to. So, I reached out to a Melbourne-based astrologer, Tanya Wasylewski, for some insight on the matter.
Can you tell us a bit about your practice and work as an astrologer?
I’m an astrologer, holistic counsellor, and EFT practitioner. So, I combine those together. I come from the lineage of psychological astrology. I approach the birth chart as a map of who someone is, their personal growth and development. It helps get a clear picture of who they are, rather than [using] predictions or divination.
The traditional sort of astrology is that it’s very fated, and I think particularly in Vedic astrology, like the Indian type of approach, [there] is that fated aspect to it. I think more and more, in modern astrology, people are looking towards this aspect of like can it help me get to know myself on a deep level. Astrology can really help people with that discovery.
What are your thoughts on TikTok astrology videos?
I mean, some are entertaining. There can be some really funny and fun ones. There’s not a lot of depth and nuance [though], and it’s not personalised. So you’re not going to get the full story of what’s going on. There [are] also a lot of keywords that get thrown out there, like ‘change’ and ‘transformation’.
Change and transformation can happen gradually over time. It doesn’t have to be so quick and fast. I think people can get stressed out, thinking that ‘Oh my god, everything’s going to shift in a big way for me, and what’s that going to mean for me and my life?’.
It is an entertainment platform, and I think we need to take it with that grain of salt. Take what resonates, and leave the rest behind. If you know your own chart, you have a better idea of what’s going on for you.
Do you think the consumption of this type of fast-paced astrological content can generate fear in viewers?
Yeah, I think there are a lot of fear-based headlines in the world at the moment… and a lot of quick content. So if you’re [watching] fear coming at you from every direction, then, of course, your cortisol [will] be raised. You’re going to get into that fight-or-flight response.
[It] can be really difficult when you’re just there scrolling and watching these videos that are constantly telling you that big things [will] happen. You can get quite fearful, or maybe even start to look for things in your life that aren’t really there. That can be a really dangerous thing, as well, if you’re looking for problems rather than looking for solutions.
It’s like when you’re sick and you Google your symptoms and you think you’re going to die. Then you go to the doctor, and they’re like, actually, there’s just this little thing wrong with you. We need to be really careful of what we consume online across everything.
Are there dangers associated with inexperienced astrologers sharing horoscopes online?
I’ve been practising astrology for five years now, and it has changed over time as I learnt more and learnt how to deliver things in a different way. Like I said, all the keywords that you learn when you start to study astrology… that’s what gets put out there, and then you’re not necessarily looking at all the subtleties. Their information may not be wrong, but there isn’t that experience in presenting it.
If we look at the seventh house, which is the relationship house in astrology, that also covers things like business partnerships and colleagues. So if someone says you’ll have trouble in your relationships, it might not be your relationship at home. It could be one at work.
It’s also like what lesson can you take from this? Maybe you need to learn how to communicate better with someone. Then that’s the lesson you take with it. It’s not someone’s going to cheat on me, and it will end. It’s what is the underlying message for me in this?
How do you think AI has impacted how we consume astrology content?
It doesn’t quite pull everything together in a whole and holistic sense, really. So you are getting part of a story, but you’re not getting the full picture. I think anything that gets people into astrology and interested in it is good.
I played with Chat GPT and was like “Write me something on, you know, the full moon”. The content it gave me wasn’t incorrect, but it was all about what that would mean, rather than [discussing] all the little nuances. If people are using AI… they’re able to get that overview. It’s not that depth of knowledge that you get from seeing an astrologer and getting a reading that’s specific for you.
How do you suggest people continue to learn about and enjoy astrology outside of social media?
There [are] some really great websites and even videos on YouTube, which are longer and can go into a little more depth for people. That’s really useful. Go get your chart read by somebody and ask them to explain things to you, so you [can] understand what it all means. That’s probably the best thing to do. For instance, right now Saturn is about to move into Pisces, [so] you can be like oh okay, well Pisces rules this particular part of my chart, so I know that that’s what’s going to be affected by this transit.
Also, one approach I do is meditate with the planets. I might do a guided meditation with somebody and get them to feel into what messages might be dropping in for them. It does really help with a person’s own intuition and their own internal guidance system. Enjoy it, be entertained by it [and] laugh at the memes.
To find out more about Tanya’s services, head here.