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Sign of the Times

Modern astrology—think magazine column rather than Babylonian temple—has possessed varying degrees of cultural cachet since its advent in the early 20th century. But today, riding a surge of non-religious spirituality and mobile-tech convenience, it’s more popular than it has been since the ‘60s, when New Age was all the rage. On Instagram and other social media platforms, astrology-themed videos and memes have become reliable forms of self-indulgent entertainment—what better way to laugh at oneself than a celebrity-inspired parody of your star sign?—but there are more sincere offerings, too, from pop culture phenomenons who offer bite-sized predictions to more traditional practitioners who devise complex birth charts for their remote clientele to the revival of cocktail culture with a cosmic twist starring Zodiac-themed cocktails inspired by the four astrological elements: fire, earth, air and water.

Illustration by Ruben Toledo

Illustration by Ruben Toledo

Alex Dimitrov and Dorothea Lasky, who launched the Astro Poets Twitter account in 2016, feature a mix of low and high—celebrity content and memes, along with quotes from admired poets. But the duo is best known for crafting lyrical tweets in which zodiac signs become poetic figures. The delivery can be, at times, obscure: a recent horoscope for Leos read, “What has begun is what you asked for although you called it something else. What shells! Yes it really was you who was waiting.” But the duo’s over 500,000 followers seem to bask in the combination of artistry and astrology, and the popular pair have recently launched a podcast and a book.

Using the web in a more traditional way, Chani Nicholas is part of a wave of socially conscious practitioners who approach birth charts as tools to help the star-crossed find fulfillment and self-love. Through her site and newsletter, which reaches more than 200,000 people, she provides zodiac-informed political commentary and queer advocacy. She also boasts a seal of approval from the reigning queen of recommendations, as the resident astrologer for OprahMag.com. In January, Nicholas published her first book, “You Were Born for This: Astrology for Radical Self-Acceptance,” a self-help workbook with sections on determining your life’s purpose, your emotional and physical needs, and your motivation and drive—all packaged in a retro-inspired disco-glitter design.

Some in the astrology world have fully embraced digi-ubiquity. Banu Guler’s extremely popular Co-Star app delivers the instant gratification of constant updates—you’ll never have to be caught off guard by Mercury in retrograde again—in matter-of-fact language that is nearly impossible to misinterpret. The daily horoscopes are generated by an algorithm that corresponds phrases—written by the in-house team of two poets, an editor and an astrologer—to astronomical phenomena. And even more traditional astrologists are also using mobile technology to further their reach. The beloved industry staple Susan Miller, a matriarch of modern astrology and an early adopter of digital platforms, now runs a massive network of offerings that retain her signature maternal style, including her own app.

Cosmic cocktails inspired by the four Astrological Elements featured in Lalique glassware

Cosmic cocktails inspired by the four Astrological Elements featured in Lalique glassware

Don’t wait for the stars to align to meet your perfect cocktail match.

Mindfulness and Meditation guru by day and bartender/restaurant owner by night, Niamh Maher shares her bespoke cocktails inspired by the four astrological signs, served flawlessly in her favorite Lalique glassware. Each zodiac cocktail captures the signs’ dominant personality traits: Bold, spicy, life of the party—her margarita draws directly from the Fire Sign (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius); hard-working and grounded—her Paloma features the flavors of the Earth Sign (Taurus, Capricorn and Virgo); intellectual and curious—her Bellini is a well-balanced blend of delicate elements of the Air Sign (Libra, Aquarius and Gemini); and intuitive and emotional—her Sangria is a subtle nod to the Water Sign (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces).

Specialty cocktails representing the dominant traits of the Zodiac signs

Specialty cocktails representing the dominant traits of the Zodiac signs

Astrology enthusiasts are quick to note that the practice is really intended to provide context and wisdom, not straightforward predictions about the future—a point that hasn’t discouraged new initiates. Indeed, in this age of uncertainty, a little insight goes a long way. So, enjoy the magic of mixology and be inspired by the cosmos.

Click here to view the full IGTV episode on the making of your own cosmic cocktails with Niamh Maher!

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