How Astrology Has Made Me A Better Person

My altar, in the afternoon (Various talismans PIctured from left to right: rosemary, rose quartz, clear quartz, lucky mojo kali oil, wisteria, the Thoth Tarot, the Cosmic Tarot) 

A few weeks ago, the creative genius behind Girlboss Woo (otherwise known as Jeanna Kadlec) tweeted this:

I'd been secret admirer of her hard-hitting, heartfelt feed for a while, but this topic was too juicy to pass up. I immediately grabbed my phone and typed out a quick email asking if she'd like to make it a blog hop, and this is the result. 

In it, you'll find a (not-so) brief history of how I got into astrology, how astrology has impacted my relationships, and the greatest lessons I've learned along the way.

You can read Jeanna's post on how astrology helps guide her self-creating in the present here! 

Finally, if this speaks to you, please go forth and do your own post! I'd love to know more about your personal journey with astrology and what it's taught you so far.

In spirit,

-A

PS - Astrology has made me a better person, but I'm definitely not perfect! Have mercy on us for this title, y'all.

 

 

How did you first get into astrology? 

My journey with astrology started early. I can remember using AOL to research everything I could find about birth charts and being amazed at their precision. I was only 9 or 10 at the time, but even then I could feel there was something potent in those symbols.

That said, it's important to understand where I come from.

I was born and raised in South Carolina, and like most families in the South, I came from a very religious background. Like most witches, I was also born with an innate aptitude and deep desire for magick. My father’s side of the family was Catholic, and my mother’s Southern Baptist -- traditions I participated in wholeheartedly for a large portion of my adolescence. I’d always felt drawn to the sanctuary of religion, even though it frowned on my more occult inclinations. Eventually, the magickal call grew too loud to ignore.

Even so, it was a slow unravelling. For most Southerners, leaving the church community is unthinkable. It’s a way of life, and the center around which all social and political activity revolves. It wasn’t until after college that I felt brave enough to start a blog about my spiritual inquiries, and years after doing so that I came out the “broom closet”. While I’m grateful that I found the courage to do it, I still acknowledge that taking that action came at great cultural risk.

"While I’m grateful that I found the courage to do it, I still acknowledge that taking that action came at great cultural risk."

What happened in between? The short version is this: I went through a period in high school where I drifted away from magick, but eventually astrology pulled me back in. After moving to college, I bought a copy of Parker’s Astrology and never looked back. Just a few weeks later I was reading for friends. That’s when I had the idea to start The Midheaven.

From there, it was very much a case of “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”. I met my mentors and teachers through The Midheaven, and when the time was right, everything fell into place. I’m so glad the online community has made quality instruction available to those who wouldn’t be able to access it otherwise.

That said, if you’re new to astrology, I encourage you to walk slowly. Especially with the advent of the online magickal community, there is more information available than ever before -- an exciting fact for any new spiritual seeker! Unfortunately, like everything else on the internet, there’s also a lot out there that doesn’t honor the original rigor and integrity of these sacred art forms. The best way to avoid getting duped is to work with reputable teachers (of which there are many) and to make primary sources your best friend. 

 

What is one of the greatest lessons astrology has taught you thus far?

The greatest lesson that astrology has taught me is that every person has something valuable to teach you. This is common decency, but astrology drives home the point in a visceral way that leaves me awestruck every time. 

"Every person has something valuable to teach you."

Did you know that no one will have a birth chart identical to yours for another 20,000 years? I’ve always found that to be such a beautiful, humbling fact. In my practice, nothing has served has a better reminder of how different -- and how alike -- we are as individuals than astrology.

When you think about it, everyone has at least the ten major planets going on (yes, Pluto still counts for us astrologers!). Then there are twelve possible sign and house placements for each! Add to that the Ascendant, Midheaven, other house cusps, Lilith, Eros, other asteroids, and the combinations are nearly infinite! Whenever you are interacting with someone new, think of just how miraculous it is that they exist at all. And yet, we still manage to meet people with whom we share astrological similarities -- Venus in Virgo, or Sagittarius rising, or whatever else it may be. It really is magic.

 

How has astrology impacted your relationships (professional, personal, or otherwise)?

On a very personal note, I’ve had an astrologically unconventional marriage. My husband and I met during Venus retrograde, a period well known among traditional astrologers for its ability to cause relationship tumult or doomed love. Our early relationship wasn’t without its challenges -- we are both artists, after all -- but the quality of our relationship never waned. Those same astrologers admit on rare occasions that Venus retrograde can bring past life lovers back together, but who knows! 

I should also mention that we were legally married under a Mercury retrograde, which was another highly inadvisable move, but necessary because of a health insurance issue. Yet, we’ve been together for over six years and we couldn’t be happier. As I always say: Mercury retrograde is not an excuse.

At this point you may be wondering, “If you met your husband during Venus retrograde and married him under Mercury retrograde, why does astrology matter? Why should I visit an astrologer at all?” It’s a valid question. I believe that, like all sacred arts, astrology is intuitive and requires a certain level of discernment to hone in on the correct interpretation. It’s the astrologer’s job to tell you if the relationship is going to go off the rails, or if you’re meeting your twin flame. 

Back to meeting people with the same placements as you: when that happens, I believe it is a karmic relationship. They act as a mirror for our own behaviors, whether we find them admirable or ugly. This principle also works in relationships where you aren’t alike at all. When you approach relationships with curiosity instead of obligation, everything feels lighter. That's what astrology allows you to do.

"When you approach relationships with curiosity instead of obligation, everything feels lighter."

Of course, relationships constantly evolve and we are flawed people. There’s no astrology book that will make you the perfect spouse or business partner, and we all make mistakes. I think the best thing that astrology can do is help you learn from those mistakes -- particularly with the help of the personal planets -- and make better decisions in the future. There’s such an emphasis on prediction, but looking to the past and unraveling what you can improve upon is just as useful.

Overall, it’s made me a more compassionate person, both towards others and towards myself. Understanding the personal planets (Mercury/communication, Venus/love, Mars/action) and how they influence an individual’s style of relating has allowed me to clarify not only what I need in a relationship, but also how I can best care for others.

 

 

There's more where that came from.

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