Why Millennials Prefer Co-Star to Prem Jyotish

South Asian millennials knew about astrology before it became the rage. Their path to it isn’t always easy.

Palm Reading Astrology Jyotish
Jyotish by Abhilash Baddha for The Juggernaut

Garima Garg


January 13, 2020

“Burn it all down and start over,” read the Co-Star notification for Washington D.C.-based Upma K. during a workday. “Everything was on fire that day but I laughed it all off when I read that,” said the 27-year-old UX strategist.

Though Upma K. had been reading The Cut’s resident astrologer Madame Clairevoyant’s horoscopes for over five years, she avoided Co-Star when it first launched in October 2017. “Everyone was like, this is regressive,” she said. Her resistance was part of the baggage she had around Indian Vedic astrology, also called Jyotish. Many South Asian millennials have had astrology in their lives since the beginning — they’re not discovering it for the first time. It’s just that astrology has never been as accessible, baggage-free, and even cool in the West, as it is today. It’s still a complicated journey for South Asians to accept astrology.

Growing up in an Indian household, Upma K. had a personalized horoscope, or a Kundli, prepared for her by her parents. When she made the mistake of telling her American friends at school about it when she was younger, “they used to be shocked and they were like ‘how can you believe in this?’” she told me. “But now Susan Miller posts her monthly horoscopes and everyone goes crazy.” 

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