In today’s super fast and competitive world, nobody wants to get left behind. No one wants to have doubts and unanswered questions, especially when it has prospects of a better future. It is the fear of missing out (FOMO) that everybody is on a lookout for instant solutions, easy remedies and speedy rewards. Everyone wants to know well in advance about their miseries and downfalls to take right steps to come up as a winner. They want to take informed decisions today for a better tomorrow, and astrology is “The Thing” for that.
Astrology is a pseudoscience that claims to divine information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the movements and relative positions of celestial objects. Astrology has been dated to at least the 2nd millennium BCE, and has its roots in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Many cultures have attached importance to astronomical events, and some—such as the Hindus, Chinese and the Maya—developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from which it spread to Ancient Greece, Rome, the Arab world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person’s personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.
Astrology is derived from the word “astrologia” meaning “the Science of the Stars”. It consists of a bunch of distinctive systems that are laid upon the fundamental idea of a relationship between happenings in our world and certain kind of astro-phenomena or influence of the stars on us. So, the basic principle that astrology acknowledges is that celestial bodies have effects on every earthling. The celestial bodies help provide us with the ability to both organise knowledge and understand the world around us. Their location, as it pertains to one’s birth date, place and time, has a significant impact on one’s life. It’s a 4000 years old science and is also stated as the “Mother of all sciences”.
In ancient India astrology was so superlatively dominant that no one could think of not consulting an astrologer or taking the advice of an astrology practitioner or a priest before taking any action at all. Even today, in times of technology and development of the physical sciences, Indians wouldn’t dream of not acting in accordance with the advice of a practitioner. This inherent fear has created a vast opportunity for the business of astrology. Modern communication technology has bridged the gap between the consultant and the seeker and only helped the business of astrology flourish more. The fear of the unknown gives an impetus to the business of astrology and foretelling the future, for everyone seeks to know their own future. Being the mother of all sciences, It provides an insight into what is and will be according to the movement of the stars and planets, which have a huge impact on our daily lives, both spiritually and astronomically.
Astrology has seen tremendous growth in recent years and is only growing with advent of scientific tools and better understanding of people. Online Astrology is also one of the fastest growing markets (especially in India) growing close to 100% year over year and is expected to grow to 3 billion dollars by 2020 in India alone. People, especially youth, are realising that astrology can come in handy and can really help them shape their future in an organised and informed manner. On the other hand more and more educated and passionate people are taking up astrology as a profession and guiding people through practical, modern and radical consultations.
The influence of the internet now widely impacts astrology. This influence of the internet can be easily discerned in the transformation of astrological tools, from the traditional panchang to software apps. The trend has led to studying software apps pertaining to the Panchang and astrological calculations. And it has eventually given a boost to the modern day astrological business, thereby helping many. Gone are the days when one needed to consult an astrologer to have one’s horoscope made and read. Technology now enables easy reading of one’s own horoscope on the internet. Computerised Kundali reading has played a pivotal role in the commercialisation of the system, leading to the mushrooming of a plethora of astro businesses in almost every city in the country.
The reason for the spread of astrology is mostly owing to the youth, who are apprehensive of the future and aim to control it. The youth believe that staying updated of the future will help them prepare for it in a more organised manner. Another reason for its phenomenal growth and popularity is the host of entrepreneurs who have taken up astrology as a business in the past. These entrepreneurs are further providing advice in the form of modern, practical and radical solutions. Undoubtedly, the popularity of astrology as a business has been spurred by the fear of what lies ahead.
As astrology marketplaces and online consultation continues to boom, technology companies and service providers can innovate and provide customised solutions and products to meet end consumer needs, which will further boost the industry. Some of them have chosen to provide a marketplace for puja services, while others have chosen to deliver Prasad from temples at the click of a button. With user friendly UI and UX backed by complex algorithms, portals such as clickastro.com are disrupting online astrology and are reaching out to customers through mobile apps and websites. Astrology start-ups face various challenges online to gain popularity. Being a traditional profession, astrology is often believed to be more authentic offline. Many Indians still believe in meeting an astrologer face to face, receive a handwritten horoscope and find it hard to accept computer generated ones. In the online space, the astrologers’ expertise is also questionable as he or she is known only by qualifications that are displayed on webpages, whereas in the offline space, expertise and reputation is established primarily through word of mouth. Many astrologers are also unaware of the vast potentials of an online business.
Online marketplaces have found a place for themselves in almost every sector and astrology is not an exception. However with a plethora of services on offer, the fragmented market needs to be tapped and organised, and the opportunity comes from this fragmentation. According to sources, every year, more than 100,000 new astrologers enter the market. While the vastness of astrological services range from reading and predicting your stars and planets to selling semi-precious stones, Numerology, Palmistry, Gemology, Vaastushastra, Tarot Reading, etc, getting them under one roof is a huge opportunity. An online aggregator that provides all genres of astrological services could be a game changer.
Astrology as a business is not a myth. It is a reality, aided by software, and is capable of generating revenues. The business of astrology has risen to disproportionate levels and is one of the biggest income grossers, but its spiritual soul has got lost somewhere in the process. It is very unfortunate that astrology is now devoid of the human touch. These days, fortune tellers regularly use ready reckoner kundli-making computer software and smartphone apps, which lead to inaccuracies and failures . So in the business of astrology only money is growing and not the science.